Spares A Life

In a warlike scenario, it isn’t uncommon for someone’s life to be spared, even in the heat of battle. The enemy catches someone’s eye and they decide to let them go. You’ve seen it in movies like Saving Private Ryan and others.

It isn’t shocking to me that this story line has a biblical origin.

In 1 Samuel 24, we read the story of David Sparing Saul’s life. Saul has been chasing David over and over again. The two come together in a cave, Saul is indisposed, and David has the chance to end this constant pursuit. But he chose not to. He chose to take the “high road” and spare Saul’s life. Why?

Do you think David thought he didn’t want to become Saul? By killing Saul, he would have been just like him? Or maybe David really knew that God had control of the situation and His prescribed outcome was perfect. Regardless of the why, David had the will power to withhold his hand.

We may not have as dramatic of opportunities, where we literally hold a life in our hands. But we may have a chance to snipe back at someone who has been rude to us. Or post something embarrassing about someone because they showed a picture of you, you wished they hadn’t. Maybe our role of sparing someone isn’t life or death, but it might mean almost as much.

David sparing Saul was more impactful to all the men surrounding both sides than killing him would have. David killing Saul was expected. His being let go, was not.

Do something unexpected today!

Epic Fail

How willing are you to fail?

Think about the question. Are you willing to jump into something that will almost guarantee failure?

Most of us will say no way and why would you. We fear failure. We won’t even try something that has a chance of failure, except play the lottery.

Check out 1 Samuel 14. Read the first 7 verses.

What is their chance of success? Won’t they fail? Then why even try?

I’m reading a biography of George Washington. George Washington was the father of our country. He was tasked with something that was certain to fail – lead a rag tag group of men against the worlds greatest army. You have no food, no clothes (not just no uniforms, but no clothes), no shoes, no guns, and no ammunition.

This was the task set before the leader of our revolution. If George had been us, he wouldn’t have even tried, because the guarantee of failure was so big.

I’m going to say something that is revolutionary. Ready? It’s okay to fail.

Much of history has been written by those who in our standards would be considered failures. Don’t believe me? How many battles did George Washington win? How many lightbulbs did Thomas Edison try to make before ONE worked? How many people walked out of a Billy Graham revival and didn’t give their lives to Christ?

Failure is part of life. Without failure, how do we know what success looks like? How much failure are we willing to endure for the one success? But we want the success without the risk of failure. I’m not sure where we got that idea, since there isn’t a historical precedent for it.

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan was ready to fail. He wasn’t worried about the outcome. He was just willing to risk, so that God can be glorified.

J & D

1 Samuel 22

David is still in trouble. Saul is still trying to kill him. And listen to the words used to describe the situation surrounding David.

Verse 2, “And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.”

Or

Verse 23, “Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.”

Do these phrases sound familiar at all? How about, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden.” Jesus said that. Or what about, come to me and I will give you life. Does that sound like Jesus?

Jesus is in the line of David (see the genealogy in Luke), but clearly David was in the line of Jesus. God used him to whisper to us about His son, coming later. The Old Testament is full of these things. These whispers, these connections. Nothing makes me smile more when I see a new connection that I’ve read over before. It takes looking back to see these things.

Life is like that. Only when you look back, can you see how Jesus has been there the whole time, though you didn’t see Him at first. He’s there.

What is a book in the Old Testament you have struggled to see Jesus?

David and Saul

I’m reading in 1 Samuel 18.

Most people, even if they don’t read the Bible, know who David is. He is the sheep herder who killed Goliath. Every March we hear about “David” playing “Goliath” during the NCAA basketball tourney. David we get. Who’s Saul?

To put it simply, Saul is David’s boss. Saul is the King of Israel, to David’s sheep herding, harp playing and occasional warrioring. Saul was the first king picked by Israel. David, was the 2nd.

Basically in 1 Samuel 18, Saul figures out that David is the new chosen king of Israel, chosen by God. That means God is with David and no longer with Saul. This chapter truly could be a movie, and actually it is the plot of about a hundred movies. But this where Saul starts trying to kill David. Kind of a lot. For example, 1 Samuel 18:10-11, shows Saul trying to pin David to the wall with a spear, but David evaded the attack…twice. Twice? Really, you don’t think getting a spear chucked at you once would be enough?

What is really crazy at this point is David’s character. In the movies, if someone tries to kill the good guy, the good guy tries to kill that person first so as to preserve life. What does David do? He marries Saul’s daughter and continues to serve the King. David isn’t like the rest of us. We would have all gone into self preservation mode. But David became part of the family. And went back to work the next day.

With this example, we shouldn’t be so surprised when later in the Bible Jesus talks about loving our enemies. I don’t think you get more enemy than Saul was to David, but David stood right there and kept serving him as he was supposed to. David was one crazy dude. And the story is just getting started.

1 Samuel 19-20 for next time.

What’s New

It has taken me over 4 years to get here, but I have finally figured out what I am supposed to blog about and why. So, things they are a changin’. From here on out, I’ll be blogging about my reading through the Bible. It will be a public journal of sorts. Two reasons for this. The Bible is the most amazing collection of books known to man. I want to share it in a simple way that intrigues us rather than intimidates. The other reason is, I need some accountability on reading my Bible. If you don’t get a post from me for a few days, call me out. Your comments go to my email.

So that is the “big” change.

If you want to bail out, now is the time. I you think this will be fun, invite a friend to join you. You can read along or not. I’ll try to remember to share the address of what I am reading. Enjoy. See you in the comments…