Sunday, September 20, 2015

1 Samuel 27

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 27. 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?)

  • David escaped and found refuge amongst the Philistines. The Philistines were the enemies of Israel (David's people) so this was a surprising and strategic place for David to hide from Saul.
  • This is an interesting, and disturbing chapter. We see David (who is supposed to love and represent God) raiding towns and killing all the people in them, and also lying (to Achish, about what towns he was raiding). Some thoughts to consider:
    • Just because we see something happen in the Bible doesn't mean it's the right thing. The Bible reports history as it happened, and does not seek to clean up the history of its heroes. Though David was a hero, throughout his life we see him making mistakes and bad choices, just like everyone else.
    • This was a very different time. That doesn't mean all that happened was right, but things like David did were normal. The reason they seem so horrific to us is because we're living 2,000 years on the other side of Jesus, who came and introduced to the world new ideals like humility and mercy and loving your enemy.
    • The tribes David attacks were known for being evil and for torturing and killing innocent people. David may have felt justified thinking that they had lost their right to live because of their crimes against humanity.
  • David would someday become king of Israel. By killing off some of Israel's enemies (Geshurites, Girzites, Amalekites) he was strengthening the position and safety of his country.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Jesus once said, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16). The idea is that we live in a world that can be evil and can seek to harm us. Therefore we must be smart and strategic about how we live in that world. We also need to be pure. We can't let the evil of the world taint us, and we can't be lowered to those standards. In this chapter we can certainly question whether David was as "innocent as a dove" but we can't question whether he was as "shrewd as a snake."

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

  • Look at your life and specifically how you interact with "the world" (in your job, your social life, your neighborhood, your relationships). In what ways are you not being innocent? How is the world dragging down your character and your choices? And in what ways are you not being shrewd? Is there a way you need to be wiser and make better choices?