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I have had my eyes on Saul's character since we began discussing it earlier in the week. Here it's much more obvious what his flaws are. It's a lack of faith in God's power in his life and a focus on himself. That's why he initially hid among the baggage, that's why he was "small in his own eyes", that's why he is "afraid of the people", and why he wants Samuel to come back with him in order to honor himself. He also refers to God as the Lord your God (meaning Samuel's)---he doesn't call him the Lord, my God (meaning Saul's).

Interesting.

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23

Don’t second guess God and don’t think because God is the Ancient of Days, that He is senile and just doesn’t know anything. Don’t cry out, “God, you just don’t know …” Yes He does.

I am intrigued by Samuel’s directive to Saul, “And Samuel said unto Saul: 'The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel; now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.” (1 Samuel 15:1 JPS)

Saul, I (Samuel) about to give you some instructions, but they are not from me I’m passing them on from God so, “Listen Up!!” We read the Bible to get a “Word” from God. But, are we practicing witchcraft and idolatry by ignoring or fighting against the Word we have read and heard? Do we try to “pretty it up” by rationalizing and reasoning away the Word. Do we try to say God’s Word is complicated and open to interpretation in the face of someone telling us, “No, we are dead wrong and haven’t listened?” Samuel gave Saul a clear Word, leaving nothing to interpretation. However, what Saul heard with his ears was filtered by what was going on in his heart. He changed the message to fit himself.

Saul was a man with a big ego born out of his insecurity. Samuel said, When you were small in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel? (1 Samuel 15:17 AMP) People usually have big egos to cover-up their perceived insignificance. Saul saw himself and judged himself through his own eyes and not Gods. He is like those animals and fish that have a built in mechanism that causes them to “puff-up” to appear bigger than what they really are.

God how much have I “Puffed” myself up?

Saul used the words "the Lord,your God"quite a bit.God wasn't Saul's God,just Samuel's.His repentance was just a show before Israel{"I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God." 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD}.I wonder why Samuel in the end did agree to go with him...and why Samuel argued with God on David's annointing because he feared Saul would kill him...It also beats me why Samuel would mourn over Saul so much.
In the NT reading,I just love the story of the sinful woman who got mercy from Jesus.When I think that he still intercedes for us in heaven it truly is an encouragement...
God bless you all

Just a small note to add to Vance's statement about the Trinity being 3 persons in 1 God. I recently just had the concept that it's not that hard to connect with the concept - we also are 3 in 1 so to speak - body, soul and spirit - each a separate entity but all joined together.

I'm SO enjoying having joined in at this particular point in the readings, as each is consolidating what the Lord has already been teaching me - i.e. I had just started watching a film on the life of David (similar to the Jesus films) and had also just watched the Gospel of John before starting into these readings, so He's totally confirming many points to me once more. I think one thing that hit me on Saul's disobedient episode was how easy it is for us to assume we know better than God. Or where we feel we can change His Will in some way and still please Him. I thought it was tough on Saul in some respects that although he repented, and no doubt was perhaps even forgiven, he wasn't restored, which for him was so important. And I praise God that He provides us even restoration through Jesus when we truly repent. I think too that we sometimes don't truly appreciate just how fortunate we are that God provided his new Covenant for us to avail of - dread to think where the human race would be now if He hadn't. Blessings, Romayne

Thank You Lord for the call to a holy walk with You!
I pray often, not as often in a "prayer setting"; sometimes just when I'm driving or walking or running. I keep a journal, and there are often days without an entry. I'm not near as diligent as I want to be. But the Lord is ever gracious and good to me.
I want so often to increase my walk of godliness.

I was kinda wondering about the evil spirit the Lord allowed torment Saul. And am amazed that the only way it would leave him was when David, the annointed, would minister by harp for him. Wow! What a crazy place David must've felt to be in. I need to pray about all of that for a while! :)

I just LOVE the story from the "woman caught in adultry". John 8:7 stood out for me ... “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”. Such a good lesson! If you have never sinned you can judge someone else, but if you're a sinner as well, than you should keep your mouth shut! Even I should memorize this verse, I have to admit that I look around myself too much, when I should just look into a mirror from time to time. I have learned not to judge other people, I will not judge people. But I can look around sometimes and think to myself how I should do different and think how they should do things different. Bad habit!!! I also love John 8:18 "I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”

I really love reading John!

I am loving the OT readings! Really amazing! I love reading on Saul, Jonathan, David...very excited to get into David's life! Its amazing that this is the Psalmist. I love it!! I cant wait for tomrw's readings!
I like the story of the woman caught in adultery...many speculate that Jesus, who wrote with his finger in the dirt, was writing down the names of the accusers and their sins. That is why each man, one by one left.
Jesus' words are so powerful again in John!
Psalms and proverbs kinda goes along with the OT readings. fascinating stuff!

I Samuel 16
7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees [ SEE NOTE ]; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

[NOTE ]
Septuagint reads For God does not see as man sees
Targum reads It is not by the appearance of a man
Vulgate reads Nor do I judge according to the looks of a man.
I am very glad that God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God, Who is not fickle and change like humans do (I Samuel 15:29).

I am sure that it is impossible for us, as humans, to really have any idea how God sees people—or even how God sees us.

In fact, I have spoken with those who do not believe in the God of the Holy Bible—the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—often make this very point. They indicate that it is impossible to know with certainty who God is as He is so far above us.

That would be true, except that God has chosen to reveal Himself clearly and definitely in His Word, and through His covenant people over thousands of years. Most clearly, the Father has revealed Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ Who is the glory of God, according to Hebrews 1:1-3.

~~~
Having said that, we who have a relationship with the Lord know that our human wisdom can never understand who our God is. Yes, we must study to show ourselves approved, as in 2 Timothy 2:15.

Yes, we need to love God with all of our mind and reasoning faculties (as in the Great Commandment of our Father quoted by Jesus the Son).

Yet, in the final analysis, our minds and beings will only know God fully by revelation through prayer and in that personal relationship with the Lord.

And this has everything to do with our hearts. It is so easy for me, as a human, to deceive myself based on my understanding of my own heart—just like King Saul.

~~~
To human understanding, there seems to be a huge difference between the Father God of the OT and the love of the Jesus the Son in the NT. At least, that is in limited human understanding.

Note the wrath and justice of God when He remembered the persistent sin of the Amalekites, and told King Saul to destroy them. Also note when God when He rejected Saul for not doing so.

Yet, Jesus called the God of the OT by the name of “Father”. This shows that He is a compassionate God, more than willing to be a Father and to love and forgive.

Also, note the verse in Proverbs: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD…”

People can say that there is a contradiction between the “God” of the OT and Jesus the Son in the NT. After all, note the exchange of words with the woman caught in adultery: “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ ”

~~~
The so-called “opposite sides” are reconciled by letting God’s Word—the Bible—interpret itself, and letting God speak for Himself.


1. FIRST, NOTE THAT JESUS CALLED THE GOD OF THE OT BY THE TERM, “FATHER”.

This reveals that God has always been a compassionate God, always ready to forgive and love. The OT is rich and overflowing with God’s compassion and mercy, more than willing to heal and forgive.

It is just hard for human understanding to get past the holiness and justice of God to see it. Again, it is not right for us to “judge” God by our limited view. He is God, and we are not.

2. Second, note the first verse Psalm 110, truly one of the most powerful Messianic Psalms: “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ ”

In Matthew 22 (NKJV), Jesus clearly references this verse as speaking about Himself:
41
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42
saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43
He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
44
‘ The LORD said to my Lord, “ Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool ” ’?
45
If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”
46
And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

~~~
It seems clear to me that Jesus and the Father are One—in unity and in essence. There are NOT three gods—rather three Persons in the Godhead. Though that might not satisfy some, it is the answer to the so-called contradiction between the “Father” and the “Son”.

Jesus clearly reveals His self awareness as God when quoting Psalm 110 about Himself. Also, Psalm 110 clearly shows that those who refuse to repent—whether the Amalekites, or me or you—can never be forgiven.

But that is not because of any kind of shortage of God’s mercy, or of the unwillingness of God to forgive. That is because our hearts—if they are not right—keep us from entering into the fantastically amazing mercy of God to forgive.

May we heed God's will in Philippians 2 (NKJV):
12
Therefore, my beloved…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Vance

I think it is the best way to read the bible in one year,must say that I am learning a lot from this program, keep up the good work. Regards
Johan

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