Friday, February 22, 2008

Flinging About God's Name - Not Good

This week I've been preparing to take Precept's advanced leader training and as I think I shared, we've been in 1 Samuel quite a bit.

I'm going to give you a VERY abbreviated history here, just to put this passage into context.

(Precept has taught me that context is key, some say king...either way, to take a passage out of context is dangerous. Cults take passages out of context and build doctrines around one verse, all the time. Scripture isn't to be studied that's to be studied truth upon truth, precept upon precept. Ask me, I grew up in a cult, and we learned all kinds of false doctrine based upon a one Scripture exerpt!)

OK....on with the lesson. Sorry, I got on my soapbox there. :)

King Saul was the anointed king of Israel. However, he sinned against God; acted in partial obedience to God, which is the same as total disobedience to God; and wouldn't repent.

God then rejected Saul and took the Holy Spirit from him. ( In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit rested on people. It wasn't until after Jesus ascended back to heaven that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, came to indwell the believer in Messiah Yeshua.)

Then, God sent Samuel to anoint David as the next king of Israel. However, the role as king was not to be David's immediately. Saul was still in the position, and although David did nothing but honor Saul, Saul sought to kill him...he hunted David down in many different locations...viciously!

This brings us to 1 Samuel 23. (I've skipped a lot, so go get your Bible and snuggle in for an amazing read of 1 Samuel, and you can mine all the truth that I've had to skip to get to tonight's point.)
Here is the text of 1 Samuel 23:

1Sa 23:1
Then they told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are plundering the threshing floors."
1Sa 23:2
So David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the LORD said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah."
1Sa 23:3
But David's men said to him, "Behold, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the ranks of the Philistines?"
1Sa 23:4
Then David inquired of the LORD once more. And the LORD answered him and said, "Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand."
1Sa 23:5
So David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines; and he led away their livestock and struck them with a great slaughter. Thus David delivered the inhabitants of Keilah.
1Sa 23:6
Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, {that} he came down {with} an ephod in his hand.
1Sa 23:7
When it was told Saul that David had come to Keilah, Saul said, "God has delivered him into my hand, for he shut himself in by entering a city with double gates and bars."
1Sa 23:8
So Saul summoned all the people for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
1Sa 23:9
Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; so he said to Abiathar the priest, "Bring the ephod here."
1Sa 23:10
Then David said, "O LORD God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul is seeking to come to Keilah to destroy the city on my account.
1Sa 23:11
"Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down just as Your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant." And the LORD said, "He will come down."
1Sa 23:12
Then David said, "Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?" And the LORD said, "They will surrender you."
1Sa 23:13
Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit.
1Sa 23:14
David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.
1Sa 23:15
Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh.
1Sa 23:16
And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God.
1Sa 23:17
Thus he said to him, "Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also."
1Sa 23:18
So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house.
1Sa 23:19
Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, "Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?
1Sa 23:20
"Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part {shall be} to surrender him into the king's hand."
1Sa 23:21
Saul said, "May you be blessed of the LORD, for you have had compassion on me.
1Sa 23:22
"Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his haunt is, {and} who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning.
1Sa 23:23
"So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah."
1Sa 23:24
Then they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon.
1Sa 23:25
When Saul and his men went to seek {him,} they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard {it,} he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon.
1Sa 23:26
Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them.
1Sa 23:27
But a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid on the land."
1Sa 23:28
So Saul returned from pursuing David and went to meet the Philistines; therefore they called that place the Rock of Escape.
1Sa 23:29
David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.

I can't begin to tell you how guilty I feel about skipping all of the awesome lessons that are to be had from this one passage of Scripture...there are so many.

However, I really want to point you to one thing tonight.
Did you notice WHO delivered David from Saul when he was going to Keilah to besiege David and his men?

Who knew the future? Who holds it in His hands?

Who told David to leave?

Whose side is it clear that God was on?

Whom was God protecting?

Yet, look at Saul! He's had the Holy Spirit stripped from him, by God Almighty, and yet what is he doing in verse 7?!

What about in verse 21?!

Did God really deliver David into Saul's hands?

Did Saul really have the power to bless anyone in God's name anymore?

What were the people of Keilah about to do to David, the man anointed to be the next King of Israel?

Would that really have been in keeping with God's plan?

Isn't Saul making false claims about the Lord here?

Do you see it, sweet friends? Do you see it?!

I want to warn you, in all the love of the Lord, that there are people in our lives today who are claiming God's hand in things, for their own selfish reasons, when God has nothing at all to do with what they are doing, much less with them!

There are spiritists and mediums today who claim to be working for God, yet God says that these people are detestable to Him.

Deut 18:10
"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
Deut 18:11
or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
Deut 18:12
"For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.
Deut 18:13
"You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.

There are people claiming to do God's work who are performing abortions; false teachers preaching a prosperity "gospel"; even pastors telling members of their churches "we're not about Bible study here"...the list goes on and on and on.

My exhortation to you is to weigh what people tell you against the Word of God.

Weigh the credits that they try to attribute to God next to His Holy Word.

See if what they say about God is in keeping with what He says about Himself.

Don't be led astray!

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

How else can you expect to know what God says about Himself, but to get into His Word and find out?

I know it seems scary, and overwhelming. I remember those days...goodness, I had one of them today as I was studying Daniel 7, with no background in prophesy WHATSOEVER!

But you know what?

God is faithful, and He wants us to know Him,
and to know Him we MUST know His Word.

He will teach you, if only you will go to Him and ask Him to sanctify you in the Truth.

His Word is Truth! (John 17:17)

It's by His Spirit that we have life, and by His Spirit that we have understanding.

If you haven't accepted His Son as your Lord and Savior, that's your first step, for without Jesus, you will not be able to have the Holy Spirit. Without God's Spirit living within you, you won't be able to understand the Bible in spirit and in truth.

If today is the day that you want to accept Christ as your Savior, here is the plan of salvation...

Repent of your sin. Have a change of mind about how you've been living, and turn from sin to serve Jesus Christ.
Believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, and profess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead.
Accept the gift of reconciliation that Jesus completed on the cross by His shed blood and His death, as payment for your sin debt.
Accept the gift of life that Jesus gave you by His life, when he rose from the dead.
Walk in obedience to Jesus Christ as your new Lord and Master. Serve Him now, not sin.
Be baptized in obedience to Him.
True salvation will be manifested by a changed life.

Mat 28:19
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
If you pray and tell the Lord that you repent of your sins, and want to walk in obedience to Him. If you ask Him for His forgiveness, and choose to walk in obedience to Him, the Bible says that He will make you a new creation in Christ.
Some will give you a prayer to pray. I think this is between you and God. You know your sins before Him...just talk to Him. Tell Him that you want to turn from sin to live for Him. He knows your heart, and wants to hear from you in your own words, not in mine.
If you do chose to surrender your life to Christ, would you please e-mail me at the above address? I want to pray for you by name, and I want to praise God over you too!

I've never done this before..never in 105 posts. Yet, tonight I am compelled to pray for you...for each one of you who may read this and be weighing for yourself the cost of following Jesus Christ as Messiah.
As you read this, I want you to know that I have gone before the Father on your behalf, asking Him to show you what it means to be a follower of His Son, Messiah Yeshua, Jesus Christ..and to help you be certain of your salvation through Him.

I remember weighing the cost of following Jesus, myself, almost 9 years ago in the privacy of my bedroom.

I was newly married...I think we were on day 12!

Already, our marriage was a wreck...based upon lies we told ourselves and each other during our dating time.

I was on top of the world by the world's standard...made a 6 figure income at 29 years of age...had the fancy car, fancy clothes, fancy wedding and honeymoon...on the outside I guess things looked pretty good.

But, my inside was rotten...lost...broken...hurting...oh, how I wanted someone to truly love me!
All the while, my Heavenly Father had been wanting to show His love to me every day, but my life had been too sin-sick to care.

It was no accident at surprise to God that my marriage was going to be bankrupt from day one. He used that very thing to draw me to Himself.

I remember the words He whispered to my heart.."You've given Me lip service your whole life, but you've NEVER given Me your life. This is the man that I designed for you from eternity past, and I have plans to bless this marriage, but I demand your obedience!"

That very second, I knew I had a decision to make. I knew my days of "playing with God" were over. He was done with my lip service.

Now I had to choose. Would I follow Him, or would I follow the world?

Would I drop my new husband like a hot potato, run back to my fat salary and drown myself in the ways of the world like a pig in slop, or would I repent and follow and obey?

I guess you know by now what I chose. :)

I gave up "a lot", or so people liked to tell me. It was a lot of what the world used to define me as successful. But it was all going to burn one day!

But you know ... I wouldn't change my decision for anything in the world...literally.

Jesus Christ is everything to me.

I hope that after you read this, He will be to you, too.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

In His AMAZING Love,


Woman in the Tent said...

Jes, this is so beautiful. Thank you for being so transparent. I've been so bogged down lately I haven't taken the time to read it and I'm so glad I did. Jesus just lifted the veil of my hypocrisy last July after a two year process. You know, I was raised in legalism. We were taught to say the "sinners prayer" and then go live like a Christian. But, that "Christian life" was just in the flesh. Trying to live perfectly when that is not who you are inside requires the wearing of a mask. Mine just came off in 2007in a very long story. I sent it to Kay and she responded. She understood. Unfortunately, there are many who do not.
Love ya, Laura

Jes said...

Hi Laura,

Thank you for your post! How precious God is that He shows us our need for Him, and then transforms us by His Word!

How sweet of you to share your story with Kay, and for her to take the time to respond. That must have meant so much to her..and to you!

If you ever want to share it with me, I'd love to hear what God has done in your life!

You can send it to I can't remember if you have my other e-mail address, but if you do, you can send it to either.

You are a sweetheart, and I love reading all that God is teaching you too!

In Him,