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Saul had totally lost all form of respect for God.He knew Ahimelech heard from the Lord therefore the Lord was still with him yet he had him killed using a gentile.I can't help but wonder how this really happened...did 85 priests just sit and wait for one Edomite to slay them all or did Saul's officials finally decide to join in the slaughter...
I guess this may be a bit controversial...I couldn't help wondering if what happened to the priests came as judgement on the house of Eli and his sons(I couldn't find any scripture to clear me on that one)...The priests seemed godly men and their slaughter by ungodly men does raise the usual questions"why did God let that happen".
We can see David getting encouragement when he's at his lowest;the people he fought to save from the philistines are willing to give him up,each time he looks at Abiathar he remembers that priests got killed because of him,Saul's hot on his heels....then his beloved friend Jonathan comes to remind him that God is still on his side.It's also amazing that Saul stops at nothing to kill David yet when the philistines attack Israel,he turns back even though he's so close to capturing David.God made him do that!Saul was capable of throwing his spear at Jonathan in public because of David,killed innocent priests because of David,surely he couldn't have cared less if all Israel burned down if only he could get David....yet he turned back!
The question still rises up in my mind...what about the priests and their families...slaughtered like sheep.Reading Bob's commentary,I guess when Jesus promises abundant life surely he meant eternal life.Daily we hear of christians killed during missions and it really doesn't go with the prosperity gospel that we hear so much about.True nobody likes to preach about poverty but Jesus became poor so we could be rich...we are called to share in his sufferings.I pray for grace and understanding to be able to God will inspite of the costs.
God bless you all

The friendship between David and Jonathan reminds me of the bonds developed by men who have served together on the field of battle. God seems to use this fraternal bond to encourage David in his most desperate time and it causes a son to turn on his father. Just a thought.
Jim

I Samuel 23 (NKJV)
9
When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.”
10
Then David said, “O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake.
11
Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.”
12
Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will deliver you.”

John 10 (NKJV)
10
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

13
The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
14
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
15
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
16
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.
18
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Psalm 115 (NKJV)
16
The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.

~~~
NOTE:
Of course all of the heaven and the earth are the Lord’s – which is self-evident by the fact that He is Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Yet, the Spirit says that “…the earth He has given to the children of men.” Obviously, Adam and Eve (humanity) were created to be under God’s authority because—obviously—He is Creator. Yet, while being under God’s authority, man was given authority over the earth.

This helps explain one reason why the devil tempted man. The main reason, I am sure, was because the devil hated God. But he also wanted to steal man’s authority over the earth as a way of expressing his hatred and opposition to God.

We are talking spiritual warfare. When Adam chose to follow foolish feelings and sin against by God by giving into temptation to be “a god”, the devil (though not created to be so) became “the god of this world”. Though Satan obtained it illegally (against God’s will), he did obtain this through the deception of sin.

This is why Jesus, being fully and Perfectly Man and fully God, had to be born of a virgin. This is why He had to undergo every temptation of Adam, Israel, and all humanity and overcome every sin and temptation. When He did that, then He was able to re-install redeemed humanity as having spiritual authority over the earth through His own victory.

Matthew 28 (NKJV)
18
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

~~~
We are either agents of light and truth (Father, Son, and Spirit) or darkness and deception (the devil). In reality, no man is a “free moral” agent in the sense of being totally isolated, a being unto himself.

Note Saul, by giving himself over to sin, was more and more controlled. Contrast this with David who sought the Lord’s counsel.

David had intimacy with the Lord. If David had this wonderful privilege in the OT, surely we can and must have the experience of intimacy with the Lord Jesus who came to give us eternal and abundant life because we are His sheep and we know His voice.

How we do know His voice? Because we are His sheep, and He has a very distinctive voice. How do we distinguish His voice from all others? By spending much time with Him, His Written Word, and in His Presence.

Vance

What is with this ungrateful city of Keilah? David saves them from the Philistines and they show their gratitude by being willing to turn him over to Saul?

Is there some virus floating in the air? Saul is so focused on killing David. Has anyone read A Tale of Three kings? by Gene Edwards? (Good read.)

Anyway, who would have known God would have the Philistines attack at just the right time and to turn Saul's head to that situation? Oftentimes I pray and have it all mapped out about how God should answer my prayers so that the outcome is to my liking, but I need to remember these types of passages, because God always has an "Ace in the hole" or a "trump card" that He can use to bring about His desires. Praise God~

Alrighty then, this good Shepherd story reminds me of when Jesus was talking just the other day about the slave having no rights but family being in solid.
It also reminds me of a story I heard about there being three kinds of people: Sheepdogs, wolves, and sheep. Wolves don't become sheep; sheep cannot be wolves, and the job of the sheepdog is to protect the sheep from the wolves. I am sure you all can draw from the analogy here.

Idols. umm. umm. I guess sheep don't recognize idols. We are not the sharpest pencils on the desk, are we?

Patience. We all know the axiom there, don't we? We all want it but we don't want to go through what it takes to get it.

Thanks again, John, for your insights yesterday. It was very helpful. Want to take on that Keilah thing? hahaha.

Jim

Amen. I spent six years in the peace time Navy. Most of it on one ship (an aircraft carrier). We worked long hours, fought fires, repaired machinery that couldn't be repaired and formed bonds that I have only seen on some sports teams - (and that does not compare). I can only imagine how more intense the friendships and bonding are during war and when the men are in combat.

Sue: Keilah

Nothing is 100%. take a look at any poll today and no matter the question there will be a split amongst the respondants.

I am sure the city was grateful to David. The Philistines had attacked when the harvest was in, so this was a critical victory. However, no matter how grateful, I am sure Saul had some segment of the city in his camp (corner).

In addition, there is the fear factor. Since a priest had escaped they knew of the slaughter of priests and probably the annihilation of Nob.

"Why would the people of Keliah betray the man who just saved their city? No doubt, they heard of Saul’s brutal massacre of the priests (1 Samuel 22:16-19), so they knew Saul would stop at nothing to kill David."
http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0923.htm

They did not turn David over to Saul, we only know that if David had stayed God said they would have given David over to Saul. In the end they were spared from Philistines and Saul.

Note: The Ziphites were Judeans, and their sole reason for helping Saul appears to be to get in the good graces of Saul. For benefits or just to avoid his wrath?????


Anka,

Great catch on the House of Eli.

None would live to see the prime of life, and those not cut off would be heartbroken - as Ahimelech will be when Zadok is given the High priesthood. (1 Sam 2:30-36)

God uses all to accomplish his ends - even if that all includes someone like Saul.

List of (high) priests of Israel is at this link:

Eli, descendant of Itamar, son of Aaron
Ahitub, son of Phinehas, grandson of Eli
Ahijah, son of Ahitub
Ahimelech, son of Ahijah, High Priest during the reign of King Saul
Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, High Priest during the reign of King David

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_High_Priests_of_Israel

In Bob's conclusion remarks:

"Because of Eli’s sin of failing to deal with his sons, Eli’s priesthood was to be taken away. The sign that this would happen was the death of his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas (2:34). The next phase of the fulfillment of this prophecy comes in our text, brought about by the insane jealousy of Saul when he orders Doeg, the Edomite, to kill all the priests and their families. One survivor is left, just as God indicated (2:33). The next phase of fulfillment will come in the days of Solomon when the priesthood is taken from Abiathar, the descendant of Aaron’s son, Ithamar, and given to Zadok, the descendant of Aaron through his son, Eleazar (1 Kings 2:27, 35). The full and final fulfillment seems to be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the faithful priest (see Psalm 110; Hebrews 5:6; Revelation 19:16).100

Who would have ever thought that the prophecy of chapters 2 and 3 would be fulfilled as described in chapter 22 by a virtual madman? Even in his disobedience and insanity; even in his rebellion against God by the slaughter of the priests, Saul is being used of God to fulfill His promise, yet in a way that does not impugn the character of God.

Notice the similarity between the prophecies God made concerning Eli’s priesthood in chapters 2 and 3 and the prophecies God gives concerning Saul’s kingship in chapters 13 and 15. Because of his sin in failing to deal with his sons’ abuse of their priesthood, Eli’s priesthood was taken away. A significant part of this we now see described in chapter 22. Is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Eli here not given to us at this point in the story to buttress the prophecy God made concerning Saul’s kingship? Just as surely as Eli’s priesthood was taken away a few years and a few chapters later, so Saul’s kingship is taken away a few years and a few chapters later. God always keeps His promises, and He sometimes does so by employing the most unlikely instruments."

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=368

Jan,

I would propose that Saul lost the holy Spirit, so there was a vacuum. God allowed an evil spirit from Satan to occupy Saul.

[Note: this is similar to idea that a sealed believer can not be possessed by Satan. the two spirits can not occupy the same body.]

Even allowing the evil spirit in Saul, God is still in control. (just like with Job). Even though Satan rebelled against God to be his Adversary, it is ironic that in his adversarial role he still is part of the work of God's plan. So his rebellion has gained him nothing, he is actually a "slave" to the Lord's plan (probably unwittingly).

I say all this, because I propose that it is not Saul being tested, but David. Through an "evil" Saul, David is the one being put through the wringer. God uses Satan, the evil spirit and Saul to fulfill the curse on House of Eli, and put David through the fire. Note: David always seems to seek the Lord.

Just like with Job, David was not to be killed (that was not in God's plan), but he certainly was harassed and tested.

I Samuel 22:1-23:29


There is sooooo much meat in today’s reading, so many things to hone in on yet, I can’t get away from a verse in Proverbs that keeps coming to me over and over again every time I read today’s Old Testament passage,

THE WICKED flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion. [Lev. 26:17, 36; Ps. 53:5.] When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue. (Proverbs 28:1-2 AMP)

I became stuck with this passage and didn’t know why. “God, what does this have to do with the passage? David is the one who is running from Saul; is David “wicked” because he is running; but Saul IS after Him,” what am I missing? “God what are you trying to tell me?”

And then I heard in the middle of the day after “seeking,” knocking,” “asking” about the meaning, “The wicked flee from the face of truth, that is what they are running from!” Never have I looked at those verses in Proverbs as speaking about anything other than one human who is paranoid because of evil deeds fleeing from another. Saul’s pursuit of David was not really about David although David was the object of Saul’s desire. Saul’s pursuit was all about fleeing from the truth that he had been removed from his spiritual authority over Israel and as the spirt goes, there goes the man.

What are we pursuing and are we pursuing it out of our fleeing from the Truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NET.)

I think I was given some insight into why those in Truth are persecuted. It’s really not about us, its all about Jesus.

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" So he said, "Who are you, Lord?" He replied, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! (Acts 9:4-5 NET.)

Saul hadn’t touched Jesus physically; however, because Jesus was and is the Truth, any assault against those who speak the Truth, love the Truth, live by the Truth is an assault against Jesus.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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