Monday, February 27, 2012

1 Samuel 17-18, February 23

Ladies, as we see our freedom of religion challenged in the courts and the schools, it is imperative that we take a stand and support Christian movies. I started researching a movie and found the makers of the movie to be a type of “David” versus the Goliath of the film industry.

Since the early 1980's, the Kendrick brothers have been making movies. The three brothers, Shannon, Alex, and Stephen, took their bulky VHS camcorder around their neighborhood in Smyrna, Georgia and filmed videos with their friends. As their storytelling ability developed, they expanded their experience with productions for church groups, businesses, and schools.

In 1999, Alex was called to Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia to oversee their media ministry. At the time, he expressed a desire to produce Christian movies. Stephen joined the church in 2001 as a pastor assistant. A survey in 2002 said movies and television were now more influential than church and religion; the time was right for developing a movie ministry.

Alex prayed for the right story, and God answered by giving him FLYWHEEL. A small budget of $20,000 was raised, and church members came on board as the cast and crew. After three months of filming, which took place on lunch hours and weekends, the team edited the movie and obtained permission to premiere it in their local theater. To everyone's surprise, it lasted six weeks and received an incredible response.

In 2006 Facing the Giants, written by the Kendrick brothers, was released not with the purpose of making money, but to evangelize non-believers and encourage Christians to believe in a mighty God and the power of prayer. You may remember their latest films, recently released to DVD, Fireproof and Courageous, addressing families in crisis.

Facing the Giants chronicles the football team from a small high school in Georgia plagued by six consecutive losing seasons. This created open hostility from many parents seeking scholarships for their sons. They plotted to get rid of Coach Taylor.

Facing problems at home as well, the coach turns to God in desperation. Taylor spends all night reading scripture and praying to God. His new game plan asks players to glorify God on the field and off, to do their best and praise God for the outcome win or lose. The entire high school experiences revival, and soon the whole town is talking about trusting God for the impossible! Coach Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith in God and fervent and continuous prayer affects their football games and their lives!

What makes something appear to be a giant is thinking that we can’t overcome the situation; the situation seems impossible or at least it feels that way.

In Matthew 19:26 Jesus reminds us,With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.


When we focus on God instead of our giants, we will be blessed.


GIANTS that threaten to destroy us- 1 Samuel 17

GIANTS that come beside us and encourage us- 1Samuel 18:1-4

GIANTS that oppose us at every turn- Chapter 18:5

This week young David, playing his harp and faithfully tending his father’s sheep, will soon encounter a giant. All the king’s men were cowering in fear. Along come Jesse’s youngest son, probably about seventeen, dutifully bringing roasted grain and bread for his brothers. Verse 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

GIANTS that threaten to destroy us- 1 Samuel 17

In Numbers 13-14 most of Israel denied the power of God to possess the land of milk and honey because it was filled with giants. Ladies, if we don’t deal with our giants today we will have to face them later.

4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span, about 9 feet 9 inches5 (Notice the picture how the scales of the armor overlap like the scales of a fish.) He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels 125 lbs.; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels, 15 lbs. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Now that is a big man, ladies, and haughty braggart.

10 …, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” …Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

NASV 22 Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.

Don’t you love it! David left his baggage and ran to face the giant!

(When Saul was called to be King, remember, he was hiding among the baggage.)

David boldly says to Saul in v.32 “your servant will go and fight him.”

Your servant! Oh that we would all approach God like that.

36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

David was just running an errand for his father, not seeking notice of anyone, not trying to gain favor with Saul as his brother claimed. He was not looking for trouble, but trouble reared its ugly head and David would not run away. In fact v49 said, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. End of the Giant!

One commentary said David made two remarks in chapter 18 about Goliath, but referred to the LORD eight times. David’s focus was on God not the giant. (Scripture tells us he had five stones. The other four may have been for Goliath’s four sons.)
When we focus on God, instead of our giants we will be blessed.

Ladies what Giant is threatening you today. What’s your Goliath?

Bud Martenn

· A Giant is anything that STANDS between you and God’s plan for you

· A Giant is that which is STRONGER than us and cannot be faced alone

The trouble with Giants is they steal the peace of God’s people and cause us to forget the promises of God.Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sisters, the battle is the LORD’s. Surrender your pride and let the LORD fight the giant.

Whatever threatens your life, your health, your family, your ministry; go to God in prayer. Saul’s armor did not fit David, but rather encumbered him. Don’t try to be something you’re not.

When we focus on God, instead of our giants we will survive.

Samuel 18:1-4 Giants that come along beside us and offer us encouragement

The battle with the giant Goliath fills Chapter 17 and Saul will plot ways to get rid of David in most of chapter 18 but sandwiched in between these conflicts are 4 precious verses about Jonathan and David. Though secular authors may try to misconstrue their love for each other, but the bible tells us in Chapter 18:1-4

1 Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

David would need a giant friend in his life to survive Saul’s attacks; someone to watch his back; feed him information to provide safety from his enemies.

I know men that hunt and fish and watch football together. They sometimes spend more time with their friends than their wives.

Proverbs 18:24 But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Ladies do you have someone who is giant friend to you. Having been to conferences, retreats, and trips with different friends, you really find out a lot about your friends when you travel with them. There are many sisters in Christ and prayer partners that come along side and supported you when needed. But most of us only have one “Jonathan.” Someone you can share all your mean and ugly thoughts, and she won’t betray you; someone that knows all your faults and will love you anyway. Someone you can depend on to be there in the middle of the night or by your side at the hospital bed. How do I know she is my Jonathan, because she puts my needs above her own?

Salt Covenant- During ancient times, agreements and promises were sealed by a salt covenant. Each person would take a pinch of salt from their pouch and place it in the pouch of the other. This agreement could not be broken unless an individual could retrieve their own grains of salt. But this, of course, is impossible. That is how I feel about my best friend.

If you do have a friend like that: Thank the LORD for her friendship and let her know how blessed you are to have her in your life.

If you don’t: Pray to your Father and ask Him to send an encourager into your life.

God blesses us with gentle giants that encourage us and help us survive lifes’ trials.

Let’s talk about spirits for a minute. Notice in verse 1 Jonathan immediately became one in the spirit with David. But down in verse 10 an evil spirit from God came upon Saul. In the Old Testament , spirit came and went as God commanded. But Sisters we do not have to worry about that. We can grieve the Holy Spirit and we can quench the Holy Spirit. But once we invite Jesus into our hearts, the Holy Spirit comes to stay. We are sons of God and he is our Abba, Father.

Romans 8:14-15those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

GIANTS that oppose us at every turn- Chapter 18:5

5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

David seemed to be well loved by everyone.

However soon v.8 Saul became very angry and the song the women were singing displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” 9 And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was (prophesying) ESV and NASV says raving in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Saul even try tried use his daughters to confound David. From that time on David had to hide from Saul.

GIANTS that oppose us at every turn- Chapter 18:5

Each one of us face giants during our lives. Even though we all face giants, they come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes these giants can be petty issues at work or constant drama with family members, unwarranted criticism from peers, or unresolved bitterness from a friend that refuses to forgive.

But that kind of Giant can be person or activity that affords us an opportunity to grow in the Spirit and mature in our walk. I hope I learn that lesson soon!

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

When we focus on God, instead of our giants we will not only survive but be blessed for our faithfulness. Choose Jesus for your Savior and live free!

Ladies will you choose to wait on God to handle your giants?


My computer-died on Monday. It took all day for techs to transfer files from the hard drive. Tuesday installed Security, iTunes, Office Suite, Docs to Go to communicate with the iPad for PPT. Wed. night saved the show, but couldn’t find it. After church I prayed, LORD, if it is my pride, don’t let me find it. Maybe God was instructing me to add some info about the Holy Spirit in the pastors’ weekly study. Long story short-found the file hidden deep in the unsearchable pit in this folder. users\sanger\AppsData\local\temp. Ladies, that had to be the devil. PRAY

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1 Samuel 12-14, CHARACTER COUNTS, February 9, 2012

When I worked in the public schools, I came upon a program called CHARACTER COUNTS. Looking at Samuel, Saul, and Jonathan it was evident which men had strong character traits taught in the program.

T rustworthiness
R espect
R esponsibility
F airness
C aring
C itizenship

 Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow, only one thing endures—character.”  Horace Greeley:

How Character Is Formed Have you ever watched an icicle as it is formed? It froze, one drop at a time, until it was a foot long, or more? If the water was clean, the icicle remained clear and sparkled brightly in the sun; but if the water was slightly muddy, the icicle looked tainted, and its beauty was spoiled.
Just so our characters are formed. One little thought or feeling at a time adds its influence. If each thought be pure and right, the soul will be lovely, and will sparkle with happiness; but if impure and wrong, there will be deformity and wretchedness.

Character builds slowly, but it can be torn down with incredible swiftness. 
Faith Baldwin (1893–1978) 

Character Counts

  • ·        Chapter 12-Samuel A Man of Character
  • ·        Chapter 13 Saul A Man of Questional Character
  • ·        Chapter 14-Jonathan a Model of Great Character
Samuel was indeed a man of good Character. He was trustworthy and honorable,  prophesying God’s message without diluting it.  He was highly respect by the people and God trusted him with the responsibility to judge all of Israel with fairness and caring.
v. 2 Samuel said to all Israel. I have been your leader from my youth until this day
v.5"God is witness, and his anointed is witness that you find nothing against me—no faults, no complaints." Message

Samuel once again remind the people the LORD your God brought you from Egypt into the promise land. Vv.7-11 performed righteous acts for you and your fathers.  God your king- sent judges, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely. Now here is the king you have chosen,
Samuel is stepping down as leader of Israel but his is still the priest and the prophet through which God will speak to the King. With a powerful demonstration of God’s omnipotence Samuel…v18 called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain, so all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
Though the people reject the Lord and asked for a king, God remains faithful.
 22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 

Chapter 13 Saul a King of Questionable Character
 1 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years.
During the time of the Judges the tribes of Israel were spread out and had no king and no army. When Saul was anointed king, he unified the tribes to fight Nahash and the Ammonites. Ch.11 v.6 The Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul in Power and the Ammonites were slaughtered. V.11 Remember 330,000 men were gathered
 The nation of Israel was had been subservient to the Philistines since the time of Samson. Israel enjoyed peace as subjects of philistines. As long as they behaved and didn’t cause trouble the Philistines left them alone. The Philistines had an organized army with a unified system of government. However, Israel was disorganized and no real competition for the powerful enemy. From our scripture lesson this week, the Philistines had outposts of approximately 20 men around the area.
 13: 2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
This was probably more like a body guard than an army. Saul seems quite at ease with the Philistine’s garrison surrounding the land. However Jonathan does not seem content with this situation.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Seems Jonathan stirred up a hornets’ nest. Saul is set to ride the coattails of Jonathan. He blows the trumpet and takes credit for the victory. All the people are summoned to Gilgal.
 5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore.  The Philistines had the ability to smelt iron ore, using the intense heat. Thus iron proved a “secret weapon” which kept Israel subservient to the Philistines for centuries. In v.19-22 Israel has no weapon of iron or a blacksmith to sharpen tools. Bible Reader’s Companion  
6 When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they
      Hid in caves and thickets
      Some Hebrews fled
     crossed the Jordan to Gad and Gilead
     joined the Philistines
      Men quaking and scattering

v. 9 Saul makes a hasty decision which will affect his reign as king and causes Samuel to wash his hands of him. Some commentaries feel Saul was proud and arrogant to offer the sacrifice before Samuel arrived. But I think Saul saw the massive Philistine army gathering and went into panic mode. He knew there had to be sacrifice to God before they could fight. Saul took matters into his own hands, but he had no authority to make and offering.

10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11What have you done?” asked Samuel.  Saul starts making excuses.
      Philistines were coming
      The men were scattering
      You were late
      I was compelled to seek the Lord favor 
      So I offered up a burnt offering 

All Samuel wanted to hear was confession and repentance. Saul gave him excuses. Was he trying to encourage the men who were starting to scatter? He should have been more concerned about pleasing God instead of pleasing the people.
Although this one act may seem small to us; God saw the wicked mind and deceitful heart that rebelled against the providence of God. What contempt of God’s authority! God clearly the saw all the wickedness that lay hid in Saul’s heart and foresaw future offense.
13 “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; 

Character is not made in a crisis—it is only exhibited. Robert Freeman (1878–1940)

God wanted a man after his own heart. Saul wanted the praise and approval of man.  
At times I have acted like Saul, trying to do accomplish difficult tasks without seeking the LORD’s guidance. Have you ever tried to help God, when things weren’t happening fast enough to suit you?  Without consulting God or asking for his blessing, I tried to organize a girls’ mission group at church. The purpose was to help my daughter “fit in” since we were new to the community and the church. Needless to say, that was a disaster.
A friend reminded me, “You are not God! You cannot fix this and you cannot control the actions of another person.” Wow! What a eye-opener!  I knew I was a fixer, trying to make everyone happy after the divorce and traumatic move from our home. But was I foolish enough to try to play God?  The Creator, Omnipotent, Omniscient LORD of the Universe did not need my help. By getting in His way, I interfered with His perfect plan for my family.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Chapter 14-Jonathan a model of Good Character

Let’s compare the actions of Saul and the actions of his son Jonathan in this chapter.
v 1-2 While Saul is resting under a pomegranate tree with his 600 men, Jonathan comes up with a plan. He slips away with his armor bearer depending on the LORD to guide his steps.
6 Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
Expecting a sign from the LORD, Jonathan shows himself to the Philistines.
12“Climb up after me; the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel.”
In that first attack Jonathan and his armor bearer killed twenty men.
 15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.

Two men and LORD is always a majority. 

What a difference in Jonathan and Saul!  Saul at once needs to find out who is missing and discovers it is Jonathan. Seemingly embarrassed to be shown up by his son’s initiative, the battle is now personal. It is no longer God’s battle or even Israel’s battle; it is Saul’s battle and he desires the victory. Saul impulsively resorts to curse any man who eats before the enemy is defeated.
23 So the LORD rescued Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.
vv. 24-30 The Israelite soldiers weakened from lack of food, are in distress. v25 As they enter the woods, it appears the hand of God has made provision though a supply of honey.  Jonathan dips his staff and tasted the honey and his eyes brightened. Yet no man would eat, fearing Saul’s oath. Jonathan was busy fighting when the oath was made. But Jonathan realizes the starving men cannot perform their best. Food could have fortified the men gained a greater victory for Israel.
vv.31-35 After they had struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, the men pounced on the plunder and butchered  animals on the ground and ate meat that had blood in it.  This was strictly forbidden in the law.
Seeing this now Saul worried about their sin against the LORD and hurriedly builds an altar to the drain the blood; it was his first time to build an altar to LORD.
 36 Saul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”…
But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.” v3.7 But God did not answer him that day.
vv. 38-43 Saul realizes there is sin in the camp and seeks the answer by casting lots.  And Jonathan was taken.
The unyielding Saul, who willfully disobeyed Samuel at Gilgal, is now ready to execute his own son, Jonathan for a small taste of honey. Do you think there could be some jealousy involved here?
 45 But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the LORD lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death. 

I stand before my neighbors on my character; but in heaven I have no standing myself at all. I stand there in the character of my Savior.  Paul Daniel Rader (1879–1938)

At a national spelling contest in Washington, an unusual incident occurred. In the fourth round of the contest, Rosalie Elliot, then an eleven- year-old from South Carolina, was asked to spell avowal. In her soft Southern accent she spelled it. But did the seventh grader use an “a” or an “e” as the next to last letter? The judges couldn't decide. For several minutes they listened to tape recording playbacks, but the critical letter was accent-blurred. Chief Judge, John Lloyd, finally put the question to the only person who knew the answer, "Was the letter an “a” or was it an “e?” he asked Rosalie. Surrounded by whispering young spellers, she knew by now the correct spelling of the word. Without hesitating, she replied she had misspelled it. She walked from the stage. The entire audience stood and applauded, including half a hundred newspaper reporters.
                        Reputation is what folks think you are.
                        Personality is what you seem to be. 
                        Character is what you really are.
  Alfred Armand Montapert

Will you choose to be a woman of character for the LORD?