Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2020.09.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 18:1–16

Read 1 Samuel 18:1–16

Questions from the Scripture text: When David is done debriefing with the king, who sees him, and how does he respond (1 Samuel 18:1)? What does Saul put a stop to at that point (1 Samuel 18:2)? What do Jonathan and David do (1 Samuel 18:3a) and why (verse 3b)? What five things does Jonathan give David in 1 Samuel 18:4? Where does David go (1 Samuel 18:5)? What does he do? Whom is he over? How is he received? By whom? From what was David returning in 1 Samuel 18:6? Who had come out from where? What were they doing? Whom were they meeting? But what did they say in their singing and dancing (1 Samuel 18:7)? How did Saul feel about this (1 Samuel 18:8)? Why? What did he begin to do on that day (1 Samuel 18:9)? What happened on the next day (1 Samuel 18:10)? What Saul doing under this spirit? Who did what and why? But what was different this time? What did Saul do, and why, in 1 Samuel 18:11? How many times? Who was afraid of whom in 1 Samuel 18:12? Why? What does Saul do out of this fear (1 Samuel 18:13a)? Where does he put David instead? What does David do (1 Samuel 18:14a)? How/why (verse 14b)? Who recognizes this as the cause, and how does he respond (1 Samuel 18:15)? How do all Israel and Judah respond (1 Samuel 18:16)? 

Beloved, let us look to God for grace to guard our hearts against jealousy. We’ve known for a couple chapters now that the Lord is against Saul. What a dreadful thing—to have the Lord against you! And what does the Lord use, here, to bring down the one against whom He has set Himself? 

Jealousy: “David has their hearts, which makes him an enemy of my crown” (1 Samuel 18:8). Never mind that it was to Saul that they were coming out with joy and song and dance (1 Samuel 18:6), and that they attributed the slaying of thousands unto him (1 Samuel 18:7), and that it is implied praise to him that he has chosen David as his righthand man (1 Samuel 18:21 Samuel 18:5). 

Jealousy is irrational; that’s how it works—especially when we think beyond our circumstances to the truth that we brought nothing into this world (1 Timothy 6:7), and that everything that we are or have is the grace of God to us to begin with (1 Corinthians 4:7).

But what if the world is irrationally against us, as Saul was against David? David’s faith operates understandingly; it is the opposite of jealousy. Then let us seek to have the same strength as this passage emphasizes about David: that the Lord is with us (1 Samuel 18:121 Samuel 18:14). And let us seek to respond with the same skill as this passage emphasizes about David: that we would behave wisely (literally, “understandingly” in 1 Samuel 18:51 Samuel 18:141 Samuel 18:15). 

Jealousy is much concerned with whether circumstances or people seem to be for us. Faith says, “the Lord is for me, and knowing this frees me to live for the Lord.” If you are a Christian, this is the fundamental reality of your life: “The Lord is with me in Jesus Christ.” And if that is true, this is the fundamental response of your life: “Let me live for the Lord according to the understanding that His Word gives.”

How do you decrease focus upon people’s opinion and increase focus upon God’s favor?

Suggested songs: ARP56B “You Have Recorded All My Ways” or TPH515 “More Than Conquerors”

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