TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

First Samuel 28 – 31

1 Samuel 28

Achish believing that David was anathema to Israel, calls David to fight with him against Israel alongside the Philistines.

1 Samuel 28:1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.

Achish knowing how much spoil David had gained by killing the Amalekites [but thinking that spoil had been taken from Israel] thought that David and Israel were permanently estranged and offered to make David his own body guard.

28:2 And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.

Saul facing the battle and not having Samuel to consult and the priests now supporting David, sought someone to consult God for him, and was deceived and tempted into consulting a witch to produce Samuel from the dead.

28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. 28:4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. 28:5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

Saul tried to consult God, but had been rejected and since he did not seek God in heartfelt sincere repentance, God would not hear him.

So many who do look into the Word of God like Saul had sought an answer from God at the first, receive no answer because they are not sincerely repentantly submissive to learn and to live by every Word of God.

Saul received no answer because he was not sincerely and faithfully following and living by the Word of God and he was doing what was right in his own eyes like the majority of today’s spiritual Ekklesia. We love our organizational idols and have no love for the truth, therefore the truth is withheld from us.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Because many follow our idols of men and do not sincerely and zealously follow and live by every Word of God; they are deceived about the beginning of the tribulation and will be rejected by Christ into the furnace of correction.

1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

At this point we might exclaim how terrible it is to seek out a familiar spirit [demon] about the future or anything else, yet we do exactly the same thing in today’s spiritual Ekklesia!  What do I mean with the statement? I mean that whenever we study the teachings and false traditions of men and apply them to keep them, instead of living by every Word of God; we are turning our backs on the Word of God to follow doctrines of familiar spirits [demonic] spirits.

How many of you consult horoscopes in the local papers? How many assemblies have turned aside from what Jesus Christ commanded us to preach, to a worldly business model organization and outreach? How many organizations use the Nicolaitane [Babylonian Mysteries] government system for church leadership?

Do we not realize that learning false doctrine and false prophecy to follow it, is turning our backs on the Word of God to embrace the ways of the enemy of God?  

To willfully seek out the teachings of the enemy,to do them, in place of any zeal for the Word of God, is an act of disloyalty to God and his Word, it is rebellion and mutiny against God and his Word.

God’s Word says that to obey or follow any person, contrary to the whole Word and teachings of God; is idolatry and rebellion against Almighty God.  If we follow anyone contrary to the whole Word of God, we will be rejected from our calling.

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [to keep our own ways and not submit to God] is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

28:8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. 28:9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? 28:10 And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

A demon appears to them in the form of Samuel and the woman is given recognition of who Saul really was by the demon.

28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 28:12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

Saul demands to know what the woman has seen. Today very many are filled with such curiosity that they seek out the teachings of Satan instead of seeking out the truth from the Word of God. She says that she sees an old man and Saul is deceived and jumps to the conclusion that this is Samuel.

Saul bows before an apparition. We also bow before our organizational idols of men; how very many still bow down to some man and keep the words of men contrary to scripture?

28:13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 28:14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

Saul then asks the demon what he should do; what Saul should have done is what we still have an opportunity to do! We and he should run to God and sincerely repented committing to learning and zealously keeping the whole Word of God with all our beings forever!  To love God enough to DO what God says!

28:15 And [the demon appearing as] Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

This evil spirit then tells Saul the truth! Yes evil spirits sometimes speak the truth; but we are to seek God and we are not to turn our backs on God’s Word to follow after demons. Every false religion is a mix of truth and error. That is what makes it so enticing and so deceitful, for Satan presents himself as an angel of light.

28:16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 28:17 And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: 28:18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.

Brethren the whole of scripture repeats over and over and over again that we are to obey the Word of God above ALL others, including those who claim to be prophets or apostles (Deu 13).

28:19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me [dead]: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Saul was fasting for an answer, and yet he would not turn from his own ways to sincerely repent before God.

A fast which is not fasting in sincere repentance and commitment to go and sin no more is simply a pointless exercise. WHY fast for spiritual growth, when we will not accept what God is teaching us in his Word? We need to fast the fast of sincere repentance, and turn to the Word of God to learn and to keep it in wholehearted Christ-like zeal; then we will begin to grow spiritually!

28:20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. 28:21 And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.

The woman then advises Saul to break his fast because he had fainted, but he refuses her because his heart is very heavy.

28:22 Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.

When Saul’s servants also entreat him, Saul relents and eats.

28:23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. 28:24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof: 28:25 And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.

1 Samuel 29

The last battle of Saul

1 Samuel 29:1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel. 29:2 And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish.

The leaders of the Philistines question the presence of David and his band.

29:3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?

The leaders of the Philistines reject the presence of David and his band.

29:4 And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? 29:5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?

Achish is still deceived into thinking that David is an enemy of Israel and a friend of the Philistines, but the other Philistine leaders are more prudent than Achish.

29:6 Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not. 29:7 Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.

David asks why he is being sent away and Achish gives him the answer.

29:8 And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king? 29:9 And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.

David then departed in the morning while the Philistines went up to battle at Jezreel.

29:10 Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master’s servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart. 29:11 So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1 Samuel 30

The Amalekites attack and destroy Ziklag in the absence of David and his band; and the Amalekites prevailed, yet God protected the people from them and saved them alive.

1 Samuel 30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.

David and his men discovered the fall of Ziklag and the loss of their families and wept sore.

30:3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 30:4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 30:5 And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

David seeks God, as we all should do in good times and bad

30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

God tells David to pursue and liberate his loved ones

30:7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 30:8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those [200 men could not continue] that were left behind stayed. 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.

They find a faint Egyptian and make inquiries of him

30:11 And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; 30:12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.

The Egyptian explains that Amalek invaded Judah while the Israelites and Philistines were fighting in the north of Judah.

30:13 And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. 30:14 We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.

David asks this Egyptian to guide him to the camp of the Amalekites.

30:15 And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.

They caught the Amalekites partying and drunken

30:16 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.

Only 400 escaped the slaughter by David and his band, and all that had been taken captive were recovered. This crisis was a test to build up the faith of David to believe that God keeps his promises and will deliver all who put their trust in him. Very often we are tested with trials, and if we trust in God and diligently seek him to keep his Word; he will keep his promises and deliver us in that day.

30:17 And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. 30:18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 30:19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.  30:20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David’s spoil.

David then made a law that the spoil should be shared equally between the fighters and those supporting them from the rear.

30:21 And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them.

30:22 Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart.

30:23 Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. 30:24 For who will hearken unto you in this matter? but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike.

30:25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day [the day this was written].

Now here we have a problem with the idea that this book was written by Samuel, since Samuel was already dead and there is the whole of second Samuel left.

Samuel likely dictated the first part and the remainder may well have been written or dictated by the high priest or the prophets during the life of David.

David then sends a portion of his goods to the elders of Judah; this coming while Saul was still king and just before the death of Saul, was a political gesture of immense kindness that would have made an impression on Judah, encouraging their acceptance of David as the new king when the time came.

David had long ago been anointed king by Samuel, yet all of his subsequent life from his “calling” seems to be directly teaching him the attributes of a godly king and preparing him for the kingdom.

This is a lesson for us; that the called out and anointed to be king’s and priest’s of the New Covenant, are also being trained up, as they wait and endure many things patiently, to be proper godly kings in the spiritual Promised Land of eternity. We are not only being trained by the trials that beset us, we are also being continual TESTED as to our unswerving loyalty to the whole Word of God.

Why do the faithful suffer?

Because the Master Potter is forming our clay into his own image, that we should learn to be like him, by internalizing his Word and his very Nature!

Because the Master Builder is molding us into a spiritual character house that will last for all eternity!

Because we are being trained up and being continually tested as to our fitness to receive a kingdom and to rule it righteously forever!

When we are being buffeted and tried, it is to help us to learn and grow spiritually; to help us to become more like God, through learning the habit of unshakably standing on the whole Word of God, no matter what anyone else says or does!

The scriptures contain much about David and much of his own writings; because he is prime example of growing up into a righteous king for us to learn from. David made many mistakes as we also do; that is not the issue, for everyone makes mistakes; the issue is how we deal with our mistakes!

Do we just justify ourselves and continue in our errors and sins like today’s spiritual Ekklesia does in their lack of zeal for the sanctity of the Sabbath etc etc?  Or do we diligently study and then sincerely repent, change and go forward in the light of the truth of God’s Word?

David was a magnificent example for us; not because he was perfect, but because he had a perfect attitude of clinging always to the Word of God, and of quickly repenting whenever he found himself in sin. That is an example that we should all follow.

30:26 And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD; 30:27 To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir, 30:28 And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa, 30:29 And to them which were in Rachal, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites, 30:30 And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chorashan, and to them which were in Athach, 30:31 And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.

1 Samuel 31

After David was sent away by the captains of the Philistines; they engaged Saul and Israel in battle, and the Philistines defeated Israel and the sons of Saul were killed; even beloved Jonathan.

1 Samuel 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 31:2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons.

Saul was also grievously wounded

31:3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 31:5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

Then Judah abandoned their cities that were close to the Philistines [modern Gaza].

31:7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

When the Philistines came to take the spoil they found Saul and his sons, and they rejoiced for Saul had done them much hurt during his rule.

31:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

Then the men of Jabeshgilead rescued the bodies of Saul and his sons in a valiant deed; for this city was very loyal to Saul.

31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; 31:12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

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