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May 2020

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Sucking up...the Amalekite told a lie.Saul specifically didn't want to be killed by an uncircumsised man...and he told his armour bearer to kill him not this Amalekite who probably thought David would reward him for killing Saul.David in spite of everything Saul did,loved God and this love extended to Saul.True God is love and unfortunately this is one area where sadly I fail.I had grown to distrust people so much that while I could go out of my way to help,sometimes even sacrificially....I couldn't love.Jesus in his love for us came to dwell among us..gave us his time,gave up his comfort.I pondered in my heart the love between Jonathan and David.As Jim and John said...the bond between soldiers.I still love my life because I try my best to protect myself from being taken for granted or hurt by others,compared to David,Jonathan,Paul...I lack love and love my life.I pray God helps me let go completely so He can fully use me.I pray the church sees the need for unity in this spiritual battle...and most like God meant it to be...not something that costs little but something that gives it all.
God bless you all.

I’m going to expose my thoughts about “Love” based on today’s Old Testament readings, David and Jonathan’s love for each other and Anka’s comments/thoughts.

Love, as mentioned by Jesus and as written about by Paul in I Corinthians chapter 13, cannot be an emotion that we so readily ascribe to it. Love, as per God’s definition and usage cannot be what we think it is a feeling of warm fuzzes.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJVR)

The reason I wrestle with our understanding of what “Love” is as God sees it is because we equate the evidence of “Love” with the absence of hate; bad feelings; dislike. Yet, in God’s Word we are told to hate/despise/reject sin (depending on the translation, our mother/father/sisters etc. Yes, yes I know that Jesus said He brought a new Law,

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44 KJVR)

All of these directives require us to do something, not to have or work up an emotion or feelings before doing it. I believe, as a book title so readily proclaims, “Love is a Verb,” it is a doing and NOT A being. For God so Loved …That He Gave. (John 3:16) He gave of himself, He offered up Himself to pay the cost of committed sin and for committing sin, to people who hated Him. I have heard it said that we need to send our feelings and emotions to school to teach them, to keep them under control, to not let them take us down the path of good intentions done the road to hell.

In the 14th chapter of Jeremiah in the Amplified Bible, there is a rendering of a text that I have to admit I don’t contemplate enough,

And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword; and they shall have none to bury them--them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them [and not on their false teachers only, for the people could not have been deceived except by their own consent]. (Jeremiah 14:16 AMP)

Our emotions get us into trouble because we allow them to override biblical principles because we have a “feeling” about someone, be it love or hate, thus we become a party to our own deception. This may all be just a rant going nowhere but I believe I need to; we all need to examine our understanding of Love. Is it a Verb, Noun, Adjective or Adverb? Our we letting our emotions tell us, lie to us on whether we love someone or not. People leave the spouses because they don’t “feel” in love; we deny aid or help to people who we don’t care about and “feel” they are trying to trick us---all of this is based on emotions. And we should know that our emotions can “lie” to us. After all we know that we have brains but when is the last time you “felt” them. Feeling or not feeling something, by use of our senses, does not mean something does or doesn’t exist. We are a people of faith walking be faith, talking by faith and operating by faith not by emotions. To operate by faith we must now what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us; we must, like Jesus, only do what we see the Father do. Then and only then can we move away from sentimentality and emotional “love” into the God kind of Love. For God so loved the World that He Gave …”

Grace and peace

Hearing of the death of Saul and the tribute he gives, shows David's humility. He could have said, "Saul deserved this!"" But David looked to the Lord as the judge, and the honor he shows for Saul demonstrates this. What a great example for us all to honor those in authority over us, as well as to see the evidences of God's grace in the lives of others rather than focusing on what is wrong.

Good Analogy

"Suppose someone came [to your house] at three o'clock in the morning and put a ladder up to the second-floor window and began to climb in, what would you do? 'Well,' said the man, 'I suppose I'd shoot him.' I said, 'What right have you to shoot a man? After all, can't a man come into your house in any way he wants to come?' He said, 'No.' Then I said, 'You are saying that you can get into God's heaven any way, any time - by any back window that you choose. God Almighty has made definite, positive and absolute rules for entering His heaven - rules as definite as our civilization makes - if you go to somebody's house you ring, you knock. ... Make a noise and come up in the way that house owner decides.... God has done the same thing. He says that anyone may come in, but they must come [by his way: by the cross of Jesus Christ embraced by a faith that is willing to bear any earthly loss to have him and his salvation].'"

We do not get to make the rules. Too often in reading the Old Testament and regarding Salvation mankind wants to decide what is "RIGHT" or "Just" or "what makes sense". People make these decisions based on their perceptions of right and wrong (flawed as they are), their intellect (small as it is compared to God), or their "feelings" (see Ramona's post).

It just doesn't work that way, nor should it. I could never have made the decision for Salvation unless I put aside my human foibles and just read the Bible to see what IT says regarding everlasting life. Once I acknowledged what the Bible says in John and Romans (I only read those two chapters, but did it several times) - it was decision time.

Did I (Do you) want to do it your way and take a chance on getting it wrong for an eternity, or did I (Do you) agree to do it God's way?

It may be "WHOMSOEVER WILL", but it is by God's rules and conditions - not by our just wanting to feel good about our faith or getting "fire insurance".

Once saved - it does not get any easier.

"People say to the Lord, "I will believe in you, I will follow you, I will serve you, if you do this or that for me." But the Lord says, "No, you give up your life, your hopes, your plans - you surrender them to me - and I will give you your life back far better than you had it before. But you must make that surrender. And you must make it blind, by faith in other words, without the help of first being able to hold in your hand the blessings that I promise to give you. YOU CANNOT BARGAIN WITH THE LIVING GOD AND WITH THE REDEEMER OF YOUR SOUL. You must trust him. That is faith and that is why comparatively few people live by faith. It is a daring business. It is absolutely the right thing to do and the sensible thing to do - for Christ has risen and God has spoken - but it is in no case the natural thing to do!" - ibid. [Caps mine for emphasis]

Saul (means: asked) had four sons:
1. Jonathan (means: Jehovah has given)
2. Malki-Shua (means: my king is salvation)
3. Abinadab (means: father of liberality)
4. Esh-Baal (means: man of Baal) aka: Ishbosheth (means: man of shame)

In I Chronicles 8:33 and 9:39 he is referenced as Esh Baal.

Saul's nephew,
Abner (means: my father is a lamp),
Ner whose name means "light" was Abner's father and Saul's brother), decides to make Ish-bosheth king, in defiance of what should have been common knowledge: Samuel had annointed David King at God's direction. What was he thinking? And, why was Ish-Bosheth not killed in the heat of the battle when Saul and Jonathan died? What of Malki-Shua and Abinadab?

In John MacArthur's Study Bible I was impressed with this explanation of the tribute David made to Jonathan and Saul; it helped to solidify the intent of the lamentation, and would like to share it with you all, but first a preface:

1:18 The Song of the Bow

This was the title of the poem in which the word "bow" may have been chosen with reference to Jonathan, whose bow is mentioned in verse 22.

okay, now the lamentation:

The Beauty of Israel

Literally, the gazelle or antelope of Israel, the chosen symbol of youthful elegance and symmetery, most likely referring to Jonathan. Thus, the song began and ended with Saul's noble son.

High places

These were open-air worship sites generally established at high elevations. In this case the high place was Mt. Gilboa, where Saul had died.

How the mighty have fallen!

They were not only Israel's slain "beauty," but Saul and Jonathan were mighty men who had fallen in battle. This phrase is repeated as a refrain in verses 25 and 27.

1:20 Gath...Ashkelon

Two chief cities which together could represent all of the Philistine territory. Gath was situated in the eastern part of the Philistine territory, while Ashkelon was in the west by the sea. David did not want the Philistines to rejoice at the calamities of Israel as Israel had rejoiced at the defeat of the Philistines (I Sam. 18:7).

1:21 no dew or rain

David spoke a curse, seeking the absence of dew or rain upon the mountain where Saul and Jonathan died.

not anointed with oil

It was necessary in those times to anoint a shield with oil (see 21:5) to prevent the leather from being hard and cracked. But there on Mt. Gilboa lay the shield of Saul dried out, a symbol of defeat and death.

1:22 bow...sword

These two weapons were used by Saul and Jonathan with much power, accuracy, and effectiveness. It was also with the bow that Jonathan helped David escape Saul's wrath (I Sam 20:35-42).

1:23 beloved

This generous commendation, including Saul who was seeking to kill David, showed David's gracious, forgiving attitude -- a model of gracious love (see Matthew 5:43-48).

1:26 Surpassing the love of women

This bond between David and Jonathan was strong. However, this does not mean that their friendship was necessarily superior to the bond of love between a man and a woman. The commitment shared between the two of them was a noble, loyal, and selfless devotion (see I Samuel 18:3), which neither of them had ever felt for a woman. Unlike love between a man and a woman in which a sexual element is part of the strong attraction, this love between these two men had no such sexual feature, yet was compellingly strong.

1:27 weapons of war

A figurative expression referring to Saul and Jonathan.

Sorry - did I miss something somewhere in this story - I keep looking for someone to point out the fact that NOBODY killed Saul - he fell on his own sword by his own hand, as did his armourbearer or was that my imagination:

1Sam 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

1Sam 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

So when I read this portion today, I was sort of going What? Yet nobody so far has pointed this bit out about how the Amalekite was a liar, and David obviously was never provided the real truth either about it, although I doubt it would have made much difference in respect of him taking this guy's life for his greed and errant attitude.

Just another reminder - was a time long ago when a bad attitude could get you killed - today it seems to be what drives our nations sadly, and we see much more spiritual death as a result.

>>Sorry - did I miss something somewhere in this story - I keep looking for someone to point out the fact that NOBODY killed Saul - he fell on his own sword by his own hand, as did his armourbearer or was that my imagination:>>

Romayne—The intent of this Blog is for us to focus on/write about the things that peak our interest, it is not to come to a consensus and do a group think, mental assenting on what any one person thinks we should focus on. Sometimes there is a common theme or thread that each person picks up, today there wasn’t.

The following is taken from Mike’s Welcome page, the first paragraph:

The purpose of this website is to encourage you to read through the entire Bible in a year! This encouragement to you is offered in two simple free ways - 1. This daily blog with reflections, commentary and questions. 2. Weekly free e-mails filled with encouragement, commentary, and questions.

Each of us comes from a different background, a different longitude and latatud on the earth and have experienced and are experiencing different things--each is at a different level. I personally have read though the entire Bible over thirty times so I was always uncovering, discovering things that I didn't see the last time I read a particular passage.

Maybe no one spoke of Saul killing himself because you were suppose to bring it up :-o

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11

In the story of the Talents, each man was given according to his ability and the “Master” expected a return on what He had given them based on their ability (Matthew 25:14-30). I will ask a question and it is a rhetorical question but it is something that has bothered me for many a year, or at least it has peaked my interest for a long time.

What happened to Jonathan? I know that he died along side his father, but what happened to him, why did he end up dead along side his father? What happened to his commitment to David?
Then Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Saul's son Jonathan liked David very much. So Jonathan told David, "My father Saul is trying to kill you. So be careful tomorrow morning. Find a hiding place and stay in seclusion. (1 Samuel 19:1-2 NET.)
Then Jonathan son of Saul left and went to David at Horesh. He encouraged him through God. He said to him, "Don't be afraid! For the hand of my father Saul cannot find you. You will rule over Israel, and I will be your second in command. Even my father Saul realizes this." When the two of them had made a covenant before the LORD, David stayed on at Horesh, but Jonathan went to his house. (1 Samuel 23:16-18 NET.)

I could be totally off base but how does someone make a statement that he would be second in command knowing that the first in command is being hunted down like a dog then go back to his house? How often do we know that something is supposed to be yet we continue hanging out in the wrong place? Was Jonathan supposed to die that day, along with his father because he was never suppose to be second in command?
Was he looking back towards his old life instead of looking forward to a life with David as his leader? Do we set out to “plow the field” while looking back toward our house?

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62 KJVR)

Just something that makes you go, Hmmm!

Grace and Peace,

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