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1 Samuel 29:1-31:13

Even when we have made alliances with the “enemy” for what we think is self-preservation; even when our actions cause pain and grief to others as well as ourselves—the city of Ziklag being taken, burned to the ground and everything that was in it carried off, God stills fights our “other” enemies and restores everything that has been stolen. Interestingly enough the town/city of Ziklag was not a town that should have been possessed by the Philistines, that city was part of Judah’s inheritance that had been taken from them during the time of the Judges. (See Joshua 15:21-31 for Judah’s inheritance) Therefore, God will restore all things lost by previous generations.

There is something here that I always considered just part of the narrative, the finding of the Egyptian in the desert as David and his men chased after the Amalekites. Now I see that it points to Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. They army, like the Samaritan, was on a mission. In the King James Translations the use of the words, “by chance” describes how the priest and the Levite happened upon the man left half-dead; however, the Samaritan was on a “journey.” When we are on a journey, we will meet up with the people we are called to minister to; however, when we are traveling “by chance” we will pass folk by. Meeting up with those people and ministering to them will send us down the correct road that leads to complete restoration.

Some of the men of David’s army showed mercy to this Egyptian they found in the desert. They brought him back to David, they fed him and gave him something to drink, and they restored him. That act of kindness led them to the men they were seeking. Usually armies, especially back then, were ruthless in their pursuit. If you happened to be in there way while they were on the move, their feet, horses and chariots would crush you. What happened to the Egyptian is a clear “type” of Christ’s mercy, or the Mercy of God.

The second thing I observed, and am rethinking in a different way is Saul’s suicide. I had come to think that Saul was a coward and didn’t want to suffer the pain of a lingering death, but now I’m wondering if what he did was a continuation of his rebellion to the Word of God. Samuel had told him, the night before:

Since you did not obey the LORD and did not carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this thing to you today. The LORD will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines! Tomorrow both you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand the army of Israel over to the Philistines!" (1 Samuel 28:18-19 NET.)

My thinking is this: Did Saul fall on his sword thinking that in so doing he would place his dying, and how he died, in his own hands and defy the words spoken by the prophet Samuel. Hmmm.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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