Reading a chapter a day is not enough, especially if it is from a book that is so rich, so vibrant and very much real. It is an adventure where you allow the writer to take you back in time to different civilizations and cultures, observe their way of life and see how the writer uses some people to draw lessons that you can bring back to the real world.
Recently my adventure is a ride back to 1045-1025BC, in the land of the Middle East where kings and nations fight for dominion, people and lands. I am currently reading the book of 1 Samuel which is part of a marvelous comprehensive book entitled “Bible.” God, the author of this book and producer of history, rejected the first anointed king of Israel (I’ve blogged few days ago) due to his disobedience. When God explicitly commanded Saul to kill every living creature in the land of the Amalekites (a nation that opposed Israel when they came from Egypt), Saul killed the people alright, but spared its goats, sheep and cattle. A simple command he failed to obey. Then Saul said something like “well, I’m going to offer them to God anyway..”
But you know what dear adventurers? Samuel the prophet told him “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.” There we can draw out a general principle that God is indeed more pleased if we obey his commands rather than if we sacrifice our time, effort or money for him. They’re all nothing to him, if we can barely meet his minimum requirement.
To continue, Samuel said “So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
Although King Saul still held on to his position, the Lord had already chosen another person to take his place. He was a young man named David, chosen ‘not by his appearance or height,’ for ‘the Lord looks at the heart.’ He was the youngest in his family. I know how it feels to be the youngest. You’re not expected to achieve as much as your older siblings. You are the one usually being utos-ed, not the other way around. Usually, you are more dependent and attached to your family. So likewise, David was the one attending the sheep of the family, while his older siblings are off to battle with the soldiers of Saul. Like any other bunso, he was also an idealist. But most of his ideals were grounded by faith, for truly nothing was impossible with God for him.
David’s dad asked him to give some loaves of bread and cheese to his brother’s army. When he arrived he saw a giant holding a javelin on his shoulder. Then as he was asking men there, his oldest brother annoyed with him, saying “What are you doing here anyway? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (Sounds familiar, youngest lads out there? :P) Then David merely replied, “What have I done now? I was only asking a question!”
Maybe the questions David were asking, pointed to the fact that he was interested to fight against Goliath the giant. For the questions were reported to the king and the king sent for him. David told Saul that he would go fight him. Saul replied with another discouraging remark “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” I bet if we were in his shoes, we’d just say “umm… okay, at least I tried.” But guess what happened next? David said he had killed bears and lions that attached his father’s sheep and goats, the Philistine wouldn’t be any different. Finally, Saul agreed. He provided armor, helmet and a coat of mail for David to put on for protection, but David just said “I can’t go in these; I’m not used to them.” Talk about his guts!
Well, maybe it’s more than guts. David said to Goliath before the fight, “You came to me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies - the God of the armies of Israel.” Talk about faith!
You know how the fight ended? David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone (17:50). Simply amazing.
Saul appointed him to command over 1000 men, to be a commander over the men of war, and David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him. What a wonderful thought to know that no matter how young you are, how weak, how imperfect, if the Lord is with you, then He will bring you victories in life.
This story can be found in the book of 1 Samuel chapters 15 to 18. Till our next adventure together!
May the Lord be with you, and you be in the Lord today. :)