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By: Larry Shaffer
This pic was taken from my iPhone in 2016 when Leigh and I were hiking near Highlands, N.C. We love the Carolinas!
It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!
I Samuel 30, 31
This book ends in sad form. The constant enemies of Saul and Israel rise again against Saul, his sons and Israel’s armies. Saul’s sons, including Jonathan are slain in battle. Saul is severely wounded by the arrows of the archers. As the Philistines close in, Saul falls on his sword so as not be taken alive by the Philistines. Just as the Philistine giant, Goliath, was slain and head cut off, now Israel’s tallest man, Saul, was slain, head cut off and paraded around the Philistine cities to celebrate. The people of Israel fled in fear.
This is a sad state for Israel, but it sets up a bright future for God’s chosen people. 2 Samuel will chronicle the restoration of Israel with God using King David to set up an uncontested national dynasty for Israel. God has been preparing the new King through trials and testing. He has been humbling David and therefore forming within him a high dependence and submission to Himself. We know that the future blessings of God upon David will lead to some grievous sin of pride. Nevertheless, God will mightily use this man who was characterized with a sensitive and contrite heart. When everything seems to be wrong and we are in our lowest state, realize that God is not finished yet. He promises to care for us, His people, who are humble, dependent and sensitive to Him. We see the here-and-now, but God sees our humble state and eventually turns mourning into laughter and tears into joy.
We have a future and a hope! Amen!
No matter how things appear in our immediate physical world, our true existence (both now and in heaven) is in the Kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, we are continuously lavished in mercy (God withholding what we deserve) and grace (God giving us what we don’t deserve). Being in a state of constant mercy and grace, we can say with Paul, “we are more than conquers through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And from Jeremiah, hear God’s voice when He speak to you saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11. Amen!