Saturday, September 19, 2015

1 Samuel 26

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 26. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Saul, as we've been seeing, was the King of Israel who was seeking to kill David because he viewed him as a threat. Abner (verse 5) was Saul's cousin and the leader of his army, and responsible for Saul's safety.
  • David has another chance to kill Saul (see chapter 24 for the last one) but again does not because of his respect for the authority of Saul's position as (God's anointed) king. Abishai wants to kill Saul, but doesn't because of his respect for the authority of David.
  • David took Saul's sword and water jug to prove to Saul that he really was not a threat to his life. He had the opportunity to kill him, but did not take it.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God tells us, in the Bible, to respect those in positions of authority (see, for instance, Hebrews 13:17 and Romans 13:1-5). David sets the example that we should respect leaders, whether we agree with them or whether they deserve it or not.
  • What would have seemed best for David would be to kill Saul, but David wasn't concerned with promoting his own interests, but instead with doing the will of God.
  • David never took the opportunity to kill his enemy, but every time he had the chance he did "kill him with kindness." David went way beyond what anyone would have expected by not taking the life of the one looking to take his, and by speaking kindly to him.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • What leaders has God put in your life? In your country, city, job, church, family? Do you show them respect? In what ways are you not currently honoring them? Take a moment to pray about this.
  • It's so easy to live for our own interests, but we need to live for the will of God. Where are you doing something or pursuing something because it's what you want, without giving thought to whether it's what God wants?
  • Is there someone who maybe has "enemy" status in your life, who you could kill ... with kindness? That is what God calls us to in the Bible - Romans 12:17-21. What generous and loving thing could you do for someone who doesn't deserve it, or who would be shocked to receive it from you?