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Trip 311: David’s Kindness to Saul—Part 2; Samuel’s Death (1012/1011 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment: __1 Samuel 24:9-22;    __1 Samuel 25:1-13

Focal verse(s):  1 Samuel 24:16, 20:  “When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.

Saul was shocked that his enemy David had not tried to kill him.  He was convinced David meant him no harm when David showed him the piece of his robe he had cut off while Saul was relieving himself in the cave.  Saul acknowledged David’s righteousness and said that he knew David would become king, but asked David to promise he would not destroy Saul’s family when he came to the throne.  David so promised and Saul returned home, humbled by the obvious anointing of God on David’s life.  Samuel died and David moved to the Desert of Maon, where times grew tough.  He appealed to a rich man named Nabal for some provisions, but Nabal refused with bitter contempt toward David.  David was so furious that he took 400 of his men to go and kill Nabal.  Nabal’s name meant “fool” and he certainly was foolish not to provide David with provisions!  David was a mighty warrior and was providing protection for the area in which Nabal lived, plus the fact that he would be the next king of Israel!  The Bible tells us not to refuse anyone in need (1 John 3: 17).  Who knows, we may be refusing an angel in disguise when we turn down a beggar! (Hebrews 13:2)  What are you doing personally to help those who are in need or in distress?   David was soon to be king of Israel, yet had fallen on very hard times.  Are you a Nabal (enemy) or a Jonathan (friend) when it comes to helping people?  Pray that God will give you spiritual eyes to see needs of people around you today. 

 

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Trip 310: Deliverance in the Wilderness of Ziph-Part 2; David’s Kindness to Saul

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Samuel 23:19-28    __Psalm 54    __1 Samuel 23:29    __1 Samuel 24:1-8

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 54:1-3: Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your power. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen against me and violent men have sought my life; they have not set God before them. Selah.

When the Ziphites also betrayed him to Saul, David fled went to the Desert of Maon.  Saul pursued him there, but was called back temporarily because he had to defend Israel against another Philistine attack.  It was at this point David that wrote Psalm 54, confidently placing his trust in the Lord despite being hotly pursued by ungodly men.  David urgently appealed to God for deliverance, asking for an escape from all the troubles his foes were bringing him and promising the Lord a freewill offering.  When Saul was interrupted from pursuing David by the Philistines, David used the opportunity to flee to the oasis of En Gedi on the Dead Sea.  Saul overtook David at En Gedi after finishing with the Philistines and went into the same cave where David was hiding to relieve himself, not knowing David was there.  David had the perfect opportunity to kill Saul, but instead crawled up to Saul and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe as he was relieving himself to prove to him that he could have killed him.   After Saul left the cave and was at a distance, David came out and called out to Saul.  This is an astonishing illustration of God’s grace to us as sinners….He could have easily chosen to destroy us or even not to create us, knowing how we would turn out.  Jewish legend says that when God was about to create man, He asked the angels around His throne for counsel.  The angel of Justice said, “Do not create man, because he will commit all kinds of wickedness against his fellow men, being hard, cruel, dishonest, and unrighteous.”  The angel of Truth said, “Do not create man because he will be false and deceitful to his brother-man and even to you, oh Lord.”  The angel of Holiness said, “Do not create man because he will follow that which is impure in your sight, and even dishonor you to your face.”  Finally the angel of Mercy (God’s most beloved) stepped forward and said, “Create him, our Heavenly Father, for when he sins and turns from the path of right and truth and holiness I will take him tenderly by the hand, and speak loving words to him, and then lead him back to You!” (Source Unknown)

 

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Trip 309: Deliverance at Keilah; the Wilderness of Ziph

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Samuel 23:1-18

Focal verse(s):  1 Samuel 23:15-16:  “Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.”

At the same time David was fleeing from Saul, he also fought against the Philistines, who were constant enemies of the Israelites.  After seeking the Lord’s leadership, David delivered the town of Keilah on the Philistine border.  However, his kindness was repaid by someone reporting his location to King Saul!  He retreated with 600 of his faithful men to the Desert of Ziph, a desolate, hilly, and wooded area between Hebron and the Dead Sea.  There he was joined by Saul’s son Jonathan, his true and faithful friend.  Jonathan told David that he felt Saul knew in his heart that David would be king, but was fighting against God’s will.  Jonathan, true to the Lord in spite of his evil father, gave David his allegiance, recognizing David as the true king of Israel.  Jonathan’s actions remind us of John the Baptist who said of the Lord Jesus Christ, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)  Jonathan was in a terrible situation with his devil-inspired father trying to kill his best friend!  When Christians find themselves in similar circumstances where they have to choose between loyalties, the choice must always be with whoever is in the will of God.  This can be a difficult area to perceive, and much prayer and reading of the scripture will be necessary.  The true test of whether a person is in the will of God is found in 3 John 1:11: “… He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”   Also, 1 John 1:16 says, “And this is love that we follow His commandments.” 

 

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Trip 308: The Execution of Ahimelech; Discovery of Jonathan’s Covenant with David; The Evil Report of Doeg the Edomite; Murder of Ahimelech by Doeg

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Samuel 22:6-23

Focal verse(s):  1 Samuel 22:17:  “And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the LORD to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me ” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the LORD.”

After spotting David at Nob, Doeg the Edomite reported his whereabouts to Saul.  When Saul learned that Ahimelech the priest had provided sanctuary for David, he sent for Ahimelech and the other priests at Nob.  After listening to their truthful story about David being with them, Saul commanded his servants to kill Ahimelech and all the priests, but they hesitated, so he had Doeg the Edomite do the dirty deed.  The ruthless Doeg killed 85 priests as well as women, children, babies and animals of the city of Nob.  When David was told this terrible news, his heart sank and he felt responsible for the death of the priests.  Ahimelech’s son Abiathar escaped and was the one who came to David and told him the news of the slayings.  Abiathar joined David at this point and would later be part of his royal staff when David became king.  This was a dark time in David’s life:  The king was trying to kill him, people were being killed who were his friends, and he felt utterly helpless to do anything about it.  But the Lord would protect him and give him the victory, as He does with all of His faithful servants!  The Gospel Message reported that “No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patient with half so much care and exactness as God weighs out to us every trial.  Not one grain too much does He ever permit to be put in the scale.”* God was using these great trials in David’s life to prepare him for the throne of Israel!  Just remember, if you are going through trials right now, God can use you on the “other side” to be a prescription to others going through the same thing!

* Edward Henry Chater, “Christian Truth: Volume 4”  Article #14874 (Addison, Illinois: Bible Truth Publishers, http://www.bibletruthpublishers.com)

 

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Trip 307: Refuge in the Cave of Adullam—Part 2; David’s Provision for His Parents and Return to Judah

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Psalm 142    __1 Samuel 22:3-5

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 142:6:  “Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.”

Psalm 142 was also written by David when he was hiding in the cave at Adullam.  David knew as we all should, that God was the only One he could depend on.  He was utterly helpless before his enemies and no one seemed to care for his life.  David voiced his complaint to God, crying out for mercy.  He seemed to have lost his will to fight as he wrote this Psalm, because he mentioned his resistance had weakened.  He asked God to “look to my right”, meaning to “stand guard” over him.  David acknowledged the Lord as his portion, his allotment, his total being.  He compared his situation to being in a prison, asking God to rescue him from his enemies, because he then could then give God the praise and all the righteous people could gather joyfully around him, rejoicing in triumph because of God’s goodness in answering his prayer.  David knew his family was not safe from the devious King Saul, so he moved them all to Moab, probably to live with some relatives of his great grandmother Ruth.  At the request of the prophet Gad, David moved to the forest of Hereth in Judah, where he could be among his own people during the days of trouble while King Saul was trying to hunt him down and have him killed.  The exciting thing about studying David’s life at this point is the wonderful way he trusted in God in times of trouble.  These Psalms have been a comfort to millions during distress and trouble!  Turn to your favorite Psalm and read it as you close your devotion time today.  If you don’t have a favorite yet, then find one!

 

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Trip 306: David’s Apprehension in Gath—Part 2; Refuge in the Cave of Adullam (1012-1011 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Psalm 56;    __1 SAMUEL 22:1-2    __Psalm 57

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 56:8:  “You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?”

While David was in Gath he also wrote Psalm 56, which is set to the tune of, “A Dove on Distant Oaks”…sounds like a top-forty country and western hit!  David stated that even though his enemies waited to destroy him, he totally trusted in the Lord, who knew his sufferings.  He prayed that God would destroy those who plotted against him, but he was not afraid of any man because his trust was totally in the Lord.  David described his tears being collected in a wineskin, which was symbolic of God not forgetting his sufferings.  David knew that mortal man was powerless to thwart God, and since his total trust was in the Lord, he praised God ahead of time for the victory!  He was so confident of this fact that he used the past tense (“you have delivered me”).  David moved to a huge cave at Adullam, where he took up residence with about 400 men who were refugees for various reasons.  It was at Adullam that he penned Psalm 57, which is similar to Psalm 56 in its message, except that this Psalm has a more triumphant theme.  Even in his dark hour, David expressed a desire that God “be exalted…above all the heavens and the earth“.  Our focal verse alludes to the fact that David probably used lachrymatories, or tear bottles to collect his tears of grief.  These bottles were used among the ancients in times of mourning and sorrow and were then placed in the tombs of the deceased.  They were made of glass, pottery, agate, sardonyx, and other materials.  The reference made by David was to his own tears of sorrow of which God had kept an exact record.  He varied his prayer in this metaphor on the basis that God had already anticipated his request and entered an account of every tear in His book.  In fact, David realized that all the details of his life were the foreknowledge of God.*  What a marvelous lesson for Christians today:  Even in the most tragic times of your lives you are to praise the Lord and exalt His name above the heavens and the earth!

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 1430, #6433:  “Tear Bottles”

 

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Trip 305:  David’s Apprehension in Gath (1012 B.C.)

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Samuel 21:10-15    __Psalm 57

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 57:2:  “I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me.”

After leaving Nab to flee from Doeg the spy, David went to the town of Gath, hometown of the dead Philistine giant Goliath whom David had killed.  When the town leader Achish recognized him, David pretended to be totally insane, which allowed him to escape unharmed.  This experience motivated him to write Psalm 34 in which he called on the people of God to praise the Lord for their salvation.  In this Psalm he instructed the people of God on how to live a long life and affirmed God’s goodness to those who trust Him.  David resolved to praise God continually regardless of his circumstances and asked the people to praise the Lord with him.  He reflected upon his own deliverance from harm, stating that the Lord sends angels to surround those who fear the Him.  David’s instructions to believers on how to have a full life in the Lord include fearing God, shunning evil, and doing good, all of which produce a life of quality with God’s blessing.  David stated that those who live a righteous life will have the Lord’s protection, answered prayers, and deliverance from troubles.  He summarized by noting that the Lord redeems His servants (“no one who trusts in Him will be lost“).  This Psalm is an acrostic, each verse beginning with a different letter in the order of the Hebrew alphabet.  Why don’t you try to write an acrostic poem to God today?  Start with your own name or a simple word such as “love”, etc. and then share your poem with a friend! 

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Bible Devotional

 

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