November 7, 2017

I Got Nothing

By: Larry Shaffer

It was an honor to recently have interviewed Jim Nance, legendary sportscaster.  Check out this pic. The company I work for, Insperity, hosted a group of our clients and partners at the PGA championship this last August. Jim Nance is a spokesperson for Insperity and he agreed to appear at our gathering and I interviewed him. He shared fascinating stories from his career and personal life. It was a real treat. Additionally, he was one of the nicest most gracious people I have ever met.

I Got Nothing

I Samuel 29

This is a short and kinda weird chapter. Not that the simple story is weird, per se, but why is it in the Bible and what is the main principle(s)? I have a view that, using human hands and minds, God authored the Bible. Thus, there is a purpose and reason for all that is contained in the Bible. Going through parts of the Old Testament and sometimes here in I Samuel, it’s been difficult to always understand the main points of the passage. In Paul’s epistles it can be as simple as “rejoice always, prayer continuously and in everything give thanks.” Ok, from that passage, I know exactly what I should do to “apply” God’s Word to my life. Now do I always do it? Well, that’s for a different discussion. But for now, I am concerned with at least understanding what God is teaching in this passage.

Hidden Treasure

It can be frustrating throughout the process, but in the end, there’s a lot of satisfaction in reading, reflecting, studying and then discovering God’s main point in a particular passage. It can be like discovering a hidden treasure. For example, I read this chapter yesterday, I Samuel 29, and then I said to myself “I got nothing.”  But this morning as I read it, some principles seemed to emerge. I love it when that happens.

Don’t trust your own motives alone. Seek God!

Remember that David fled to the Philistine King, Achish for protection from Saul. Often, David will seek God before making major decisions and will hear from Him and obey. In this case, the text makes it clear that David did not seek God but did what he felt he should do. This doesn’t disclose his motives. Only that he takes action to get into the good graces of Achish.  He is successful. Achish trusts him with his life. So, when Achish decides to launch an attack on Israel, he asks David to be on his side. David agrees. This is shocking in that David has refused to harming God’s chosen king, Saul, but he was willing to kill God’s chosen people? What we don’t know is if this is a devious plot of David to gain trust among the Philistines and then turn on them in battle (God never endorsed this plan in the text) or does David find so much safety and security in gaining the love and adoration of a king (Achish) that he can’t get it from Saul. There’s no indication of his motives to turn on Achish so I tend to think he was seeking security and appreciation in the wrong place, apart from God’s guidance. More tomorrow.