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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.

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.

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.

I love this verse today: "So Saul quite the chase and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape."

Also, I love when it says, "Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God." As Christians we are to support and encourage each other. When someone is weak or going through a challenging time, a kind word is needed. One WORD from God can make everything change!

The whole story of Saul and David reminds of an excellent book I read once and one which my Pastoral team is currently reading called "A Tale Of Three Kings" by Gene Edwards. Its a great book on the different types of leadership and also on the wounding that happens within the body of Christ. Good read...

God bless you all...

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."

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?????

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


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."


Evil spirit and Saul

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.

John 10:9

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." NIV

Someone once told me a shepherd could lay down at the gate of his pen, and the sheep would walk over him (not hurting him) and exit the pen. If a stranger lays in the gate - the sheep will not go near the gate. Have no verification on this anecdote.

However, Jesus is that gate and when we go through Him we are saved. We will have the benefits of security by being in him (in the pen), and the ability (and mandate) to go outside the pen into the world. Throughout it all we will be taken care of and find pasture (nourishment) for our life in Christ.

The NIV Study Bible comments re:1 Sam 16:14 "This statement and similar ones in Scripture indicate that evil spirits are subject to God's control and operate only within divinely determined boundaries. Saul's disobedience continued to be punished by the assaults of an evil spirit. Saul's increasing tendencies to despondency, jealousy and violence were no doubt occasioned by his knowledge of his rejection as king...and his awareness of David's growing popularity, but an evil spirit was also involved in these psychological aberrations."

Shall I use the Jesus picture for our church website?. I will be taking only Jesus out of the picture.

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