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My reputation is what I am in the light (in public). My character is what I am in the dark (in private).

1 SAMUEL 1, Verses 1-11

Remember that the Old Testament gives us the history of God's people. But from the New Testament we learn what these happenings are illustrations of our Christian life. Otherwise we could never understand why there was so much killing and warfare. (We often don't realize that God is teaching us that this was necessary, and therefore we are careless about putting out of our life the things we know are not pleasing to the Lord.)

1 Sam 1:1-3 In Joshua 18:3 we noticed that the Lord had chosen a place called Shiloh, when the Israelites finally finished their 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Eli was the name of the priest of the Lord who was in Shiloh. Today we read of a man named Elkanah, and his wife Hannah.

1 Sam 1:7-11 Their faithful visits to the house of the Lord. In verse 11, Hannah promised that if the Lord would give her a son, she would "give him unto the Lord all the days of his life". (What a wonderful thing it would be if believing parents today would really wish such a thing for their children).


No person is so liable to a fall, as one who is continually administering the truth of God, if he be not careful to maintain a "good conscience". 1 Tim. 1:19

1 SAMUEL 1, Verses 12-28

1 Sam 1:12-19 These verses further show us possibly why God kept Hannah waiting so long before He gave her the child... the bad state of the priest. He thought Hannah was drunk. But she was in great sorrow, and waited patiently on the Lord. Hannah and her husband return to their home. Notice the last five wonderful words!

1 Sam 1:20 Hannah's prayer is answered and she is given a son whom she calls Samuel - which means "asked of God".

1 Sam 1:24-28 Notice 3 things about this little boy Samuel, who is brought to the house of the Lord at Shiloh, and left there. First, he was weaned. Perhaps this would mean "separation", for he would now be eating new and different food in the house of the Lord. Second, a sacrifice was offered! In order that they might stand accepted in the presence of God, there must be the death of a sacrifice. Third, he is brought into the presence of the Lord at Shiloh. Notice in the last verse, the word "LORD" is mentioned three times, and then it ends with the word "there". For the believer today, it is important to remember that the Lord Himself is the only gathering centre, for all who have put their trust in Him. Matt. 18:20.


When self-will enters our life... self-indulgence follows.

1 SAMUEL 2, Verses 1-11

1 Sam 2:1-10 Hannah rejoices "in the Lord", and mentions His Name 9 times in her prayer! But there are other amazing things about her prayer. You'll have to read it slowly to see what a vast meaning is hidden in it. It presents a picture of what has taken place after the death and resurrection of Christ (which took place over 1100 years after Hannah's prayer!)

1 Sam 2:8 First - the grace of God taking out the guilty sinner to the throne of glory. Second - verse 9 - the perfect safety of the saints of God. Third - verse 10, the time of tribulation after the church is called to heaven. Fourth - verse 10, the coming of Christ in power and glory, and the setting up of His kingdom on the earth. Millennium. What a prayer!


If we start to drift away from the Lord, it is not done suddenly, and we pass through many "red lights".

1 SAMUEL 2, Verses 12-28

1 Sam 2:12 The two sons of the priest Eli were wicked men. Notice what it also says about them.

1 Sam 2:13-14 It seems that the customs (or the way the priests did things) replaced God's instructions originally to Moses. Here were some.

1 Sam 2:12-17 God takes notice of the sin of those who were in the position of priests. Their selfishness and wickedness must be punished. The more a person knows, the more responsible he is, and the severer the punishment if he disobeys.

1 Sam 2:15-16 This was worse. The original Passover, (Exodus 12) was the only occasion when the sacrificed lamb was to be roasted. All Passovers after, were a memorial only of the first, and were to be boiled or cooked. Here the priest wanted to roast his part. (Christ our Passover, died once. We have a memorial weekly of that death).

1 Sam 2:17 Notice how serious an offense this deed was "before the Lord".

1 Sam 2:18-19 Samuel continues to go on with the Lord, even though there is so much evil around him. In a sort of way, young Samuel has taken the place of a priest. The priesthood was God's established method by which a man could come near to God. But when the priesthood had failed, God can work in grace, and that is what He is doing here. God is showing how He can come close to man by His grace. His praying mother came to visit him, and watched him grow.

1 Sam 2:26 Samuel grew on, and pleased the Lord. (The Lord can keep us from the wickedness that is all around us).

1 Sam 2:27-36 God has seen all that is going on, and there will soon be punishment for it.


Moral sin comes from the natural heart... doctrinal sin comes from the natural mind.

1 SAMUEL 3, Verses 1-10

1 Sam 3:1 The wickedness of the house of Eli was in sharp contrast with one faithful person. "The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord, and the Word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days." Just one young boy surrounded by much evil. (Who is willing to walk with God today? It is dark and evil, but still possible to walk with God. The challenge is very personal, though you will not find yourself alone, for there are others also to whom the word of the Lord is precious).

1 Sam 3:2-3 Here we have a night-time story. Eli the priest was almost blind; the lamp of God in the temple was going out, and it was a very dark time in Israel's history. This is a picture of the day in which we are now living. The light of the Word of God has been rejected, and those who ought to be able to guide and instruct God's people are almost blind.

1 Sam 3:4 Even at such a time of darkness as today, there is still the voice of the Lord to be heard.

1 Sam 3:5-10 Samuel did not recognize the call of the Lord. But at last it is made clear to him that the Lord was really calling.


The path of faith will never be esteemed wise in the eyes of those who use natural wisdom in the things of God.

1 SAMUEL 3, Verses 11-21

1 Sam 3:11 We don't know how old Samuel was at this time but he was a boy. The Lord tells Samuel that what He was going to do would make everyone's ears tingle! The Lord waited long, but Eli did not correct his guilty sons, nor did they turn from their wicked ways. God may wait patiently, but he will not overlook sin.

1 Sam 3:12-14 The Lord said He would do this. Take time to read what happened about 120 years later, in 1 Kings 2:27. Does God say something and not carry it out?

1 Sam 3:15-20 Samuel tells the whole message to Eli, and though Eli submitted to it, he didn't seem to feel responsible to correct his guilty sons, even then.

1 Sam 3:21 And it was in Shiloh, the one place the Lord had chosen to set His Name. (The Lord will reveal Himself to a believer today who is willing to hear and obey). Notice carefully how the Lord reveals Himself.


We are never in danger when we are in the presence of God; but when we are thinking of having been there... Satan enters.


1 Sam 4:1-2 Samuel is now the prophet. Judgment on Israel comes suddenly. God's people Israel, are faced with a powerful enemy, the Philistines. At the first battle, there are 4,000 men of Israel killed.

1 Sam 4:3 They decide to bring the ark with them "that it may save us". What a terrible thing to using the Lord as a convenience. They never felt that their own sinful condition was the reason for the defeat.

1 Sam 4:5 When the ark is brought to them, they shout with great self-confidence.

1 Sam 4:10 This time there are 40,000 Israelites killed in battle! The ark of God is taken by the enemy, and Hophni and Phinehas are both killed - just as God told Samuel. (The ark was the highest and holiest picture of the presence of the Lord).

1 Sam 4:12-18 The sad end to old Eli, he had just heard of the death of his sons, and that the ark of God was taken. And it seems that the taking of the ark of God brought him more grief than the loss of his two sons. It is good to understand this.

1 Sam 4:19-22 The wife of Phinehas hears that her husband and his brother both are killed. She is in pain in giving birth to a child, and is at the point of death. She asks that his son be called "Ichabod" (which means "there is no glory") because the ark of God was taken. For her, this was the worst news. When the ark of God is lost by Israel, everything is gone! The ark was never in the House of the Lord again.

1 Sam 4:21 Notice the order of importance in which this woman places the three dreadful events.


Nothing more destroys spiritual intelligence than merely floating with the stream of opinions and ways.


We can imagine the Philistines boasting as they brought the ark to their land and put it in their idol temple.

1 Sam 5:3 But the next morning their idol had fallen down before the ark of God! They lift up the idol, Dagon, and set it back in its place. It was God Who caused this.

1 Sam 5:4 The next morning the idol has fallen down and its head and its hands have broken off!

1 Sam 5:6 God will not permit His holy ark to rest in a heathen temple, and more than that, there are plagues among the Philistines and they are afraid to keep the ark any longer.

1 Sam 5:8 Instead of repenting and sending the ark back to Israel, they just send it to another part of their own country.

1 Sam 5:9-10 Again the Lord brings plagues and suffering upon these heathen. No doubt they were afraid to destroy the ark, for though they were heathen and worshipped idols, yet they knew that the God of Israel was the true and living God - 4:7 confirms this.


We are living in the midst of an immense network of systems in which Paul's ministry is totally unknown. For it he suffered as an evil-doer unto bonds. Acts 9:16.


1 Sam 6:1-9 The false priests among the Philistines try to decide what to do. Afraid to keep it any longer, they don't know just how to send it back. At last they put the ark on a new cart, drawn by two cows, and a box of golden gifts sent along with it. God directed those cows to leave their calves, an unnatural thing - and to walk slowly back toward the land of Israel.

1 Sam 6:14-15 These cows pulled the cart with its wonderful burden, right into the field of a man named Joshua, an Israelite. He, and those with him, at once offered a sacrifice to the Lord.

1 Sam 6:19 A sad note, and a warning. Do you remember something about this wonderful ark? It was a large box of wood, covered with gold, and inside it were the two stones on which the ten commandments were written. Covering the ark, was the mercy seat, made of pure gold, with two cherubim (like angels) on it. Now in order to look into the ark, they would have to lift that covering (mercy seat). This if course, would expose the ten commandments. See how many died for doing this. (For us, it would be like intruding beyond what has been told us of the Person of Christ (see Matt. 11:27).


There is no room for divine strength except where there is weakness. If we realize our weakness perfectly, we find perfection of His strength.


1 Sam 7:2 Twenty years have passed by, and the people of Israel now lament "after the Lord". This is good. It is not only the ark, but the Lord Himself. But what a long time to waste. (We need not remain away from the Lord. If we have failed, He waits with forgiving love to welcome us back).

1 Sam 7:3 But now after 20 years of silence, we hear the voice of Samuel.

1 Sam 7:5 The centre now of the whole administration of Israel.

1 Sam 7:3-9 The children of Israel had taken heathen gods. People always want something to worship. They must first repent of this, and get rid of their false gods. Samuel pours water on the ground to show how weak and helpless they were. There is no shouting or boasting here - just confession and prayer. (If we are facing problems we should do the same thing). The Lord knew all about those idols.

1 Sam 7:10 The result of their complete trust in the Lord, and their confession of their own weakness. The Lord brings about a mighty victory, against the very enemy that had so badly defeated them 20 years before. If there is a confession of sin and a crying to the Lord, He will hear and answer! 1 John 1:9.


An atheist is a vile sinner wanting to eliminate God, so that there are no consequences to his sin.


Those sons surely did not know that what they did would be written down for us to read about today. They try to take bribes secretly and hope it will never be known. We believers can easily follow this road and choose being like careless Christians. But are we obedient to God's Word? We need to remember that all our doings are known by the Lord, whether good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10).

1 Sam 8:5 The people ask for a king to reign over them. In their heart they didn't want God as their King.

1 Sam 8:6-9 Samuel was so troubled about this that he asked the Lord what to do. The Lord tells Samuel "they have rejected Me". They wanted to be "like the nations".

1 Sam 8:10-18 Samuel tells the people what kind of man would reign over them, and the problems they would have with him.

1 Sam 8:19 In spite of this, they answer "No, but we will have a king over us", - that we may be like all the nations. There it is again. They don't want to be known simply as the people of God. What was at work? Their will! Is ours?


Joab, with all his actions, is not mentioned among David's mighty men, but his armour-bearer is named. 2 Sam. 23:37.


Saul is to be the king over Israel. Up to the end of verse 14, we see the way the Lord directs Saul to the place where he is to meet Samuel. He was just looking for the asses. But God was directing him each step - and for a purpose.

1 Sam 9:15-16 The Lord had told Samuel ahead of time, that Saul would come to meet him.

1 Sam 9:20 Samuel knew all about the asses. The Lord had told him.

1 Sam 9:21-27 How surprised Saul must have been at the things that happened here. He left home for another purpose and now it turns out that Samuel the prophet had been expecting him and had told the cook to save the very best of the meat for this special guest. (Remember, the eye of God is upon you also. What we are "seeking" in life is what our life really is. He has a message for you, for He knows all about you and wants to bless you.)

What an unstable man Saul was! He ignored the man by whom God had done so many things, and ignored the God Who was behind it all!

(After we believers are taken to heaven, the Antichrist will appear in Israel. He will announce himself as the Messiah. Today we're seeing billboards announcing the soon coming of the Messiah. He will be the false one... not Jesus). In our chapters king Saul can be a picture of this false man. Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin... one of the two tribes already in Israel. Saul was not the king that God wanted, king David was. Saul was anointed secretly... David publicly.


Power comes, not from effort but from confiding confidence.


1 Sam 10:1 Now Saul finds out the real purpose of Samuel's message. He is anointed to be king!

1 Sam 10:9-13 All the things that Samuel told Saul, happened one by one.

1 Sam 10:17 What was the condition of Israel at this moment? Very sad. But still God remained! The God of Bethel, Who had promised to Jacob never to forsake him. Samuel calls the people together to present to them their king. As yet, they did not know who he was, for Saul had not told them, and neither had Samuel.

1 Sam 10:18-19 Samuel faithfully reminds them of guilt in rejecting the Lord, who had done so much for them.

In the verses that follow, all seems well at first. When souls turn from obeying the Lord, things may seem bright for a while, but we can never, never turn from the Lord and be truly happy, (though we may think we are).


We should not be friends of the world, but we should be the best friends they have.


1 Sam 11:1-11 Here Israel meets its first difficulty under Saul. God still loves His people, though they have rejected Him, and here He gives power to Saul and the people to win a mighty victory over their enemies the Ammonites. We notice that God gives Israel an easy test first. The Ammonites made a foolish condition (verse 2). There was a total victory (v. 11). But the harder tests were to come later.

1 Sam 11:12-15 You may remember the place "Gilgal" when Joshua was leading the army in taking the land. (Joshua, chap. 5). That place became the starting place for their victories. Now we see that at this very same place they make Saul their first king. In spite of their self-will in wanting a king, the Lord here gives them the opportunity to make a fresh start under a king.


A disobedient believer is, unwittingly, a slave of a mightier rebel than himself.


Samuel asks the people to tell him if he had been dishonest or unfair. They all admit that he had been true and honest.

1 Sam 12:6-12 The past history. They had turned against the Lord, and had been tested by powerful enemies. And yet when they cried to the Lord, they were delivered! What mercy!

1 Sam 12:13-15 Though they had rebelled and rejected the Lord as their king, yet the Lord promises, through Samuel, that He will bless them and their king, Saul, if they will follow the Lord. This was surely forgiving and gracious, for it shows how much God loved those people, and wanted to bless them.

1 Sam 12:16-19 The people admit that they had sinned in asking for a king.

1 Sam 12:22 Unfaithful people, faithful Lord and faithful Samuel.

1 Sam 12:23 Our book opened with Hannah's unceasing prayer (1:12) and here the one she had prayed for is unceasing in prayer for the people. (Don't give up praying for others, in particular). Samuel promised that he would never stop praying for them, and then he warns them once again not to turn aside from the truth of God.


Knowledge is power and must be used in love - but love must always be controlled by knowledge.


1 Sam 13:6-7 Here we find God's chosen people hiding and trembling before their enemies. (We also shall find the enemy too strong for us when we, through carelessness, have a bad conscience because of things we're allowing in our life).

1 Sam 13:8-14 It might not seem to us that Saul made a very serious mistake, but it was disobedience to the Word of the Lord. Saul was afraid that the people would run away, and so, instead of waiting as Samuel had told him to do, he himself offered this sacrifice. This was only to be done by the priests... not by a king. (How common it is today for people to feel that they have a perfect right to worship the Lord just the way they choose.) God had made His will known to Samuel, but Saul rejected that, and this made his disobedience very serious. For this reason, he lost the kingdom!

1 Sam 13:17-23 There were no swords or spears in all the land except with Saul and Jonathan... certainly an indication that they were in a weak condition. (Let us always be on guard against our enemy, and always have with us the "Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God". Eph. 6:17).


Where the flesh isn't crucified, the world and Satan have power in our life.

1 SAMUEL 14, Verses 1-21

Jonathan, the son of Saul, loved the Lord, and had a brave and fearless heart.

1 Sam 14:1-2 Jonathan and his armour bearer are secretly planning to go right into the camp of the enemy to fight, and at the same time Saul is resting under a pomegranate tree!

1 Sam 14:3 A priest, wearing the proper clothes was there, but he was not used for his proper work.

1 Sam 14:4-6 It took courage to go out against a whole army, with just one man with him. But Jonathan's trust was in the Lord.

1 Sam 14:7-17 With perfect confidence in God, Jonathan and his armour bearer enter into the powerful army of the Philistines. See the result! The Lord is with them.

1 Sam 14:17-20 Saul didn't even know that his own son was there fighting the battles of the Lord.

1 Sam 14:21 Here is a sad thing... some of the Hebrews (Israelites) had been living among their enemies, the Philistines. They were friends with the enemy! It reminds us of James 4:4.


Every unbeliever has a disappointed heart or a heart seeking what will disappoint it, though he doesn't realize it.

1 SAMUEL 14, Verses 22-52

1 Sam 14:22 Those who had no desire to fight the Lord's battles, now hear that the enemy fled, so they suddenly come to life (like us sometimes... when life gets difficult to stand up for the Lord, we hide. But when other believers have stayed and stood up and succeeded then we reappear to get some benefit).

1 Sam 14:24 What King Saul did. The only part he contributed was to trouble and hinder the people of Israel and particularly so the man who deserved most credit... his son Jonathan. Saul only thought of himself in verse 24. Now that he had been in power only a little while, all thought about God was gone.

1 Sam 14:27 Jonathan hadn't heard his father forbid anyone to eat that day.

1 Sam 14:29 Shows us how far apart father and son really were. Jonathan was the one God was using, not Saul. The food had strengthened Jonathan.

1 Sam 14:30-33 The people, seeing how Jonathan was helped, go out to battle, win, and eat the sheep, oxen and calves in defiance of the king. But they go too far, for they ate the blood too. This was a sin against God.

1 Sam 14:34-52 Saul builds an altar to the Lord at the very time he had brought his son under the sentence of death.

1 Sam 14:47 Though Saul attacked the enemies, he didn't destroy them as he should have.


There is only one place for the flesh... one proper receptacle for it... the grave of Christ.


1 Sam 15:1-5 Long ago, the Lord warned Israel that they were never to be at peace with Amalek - Exodus 17:16. Amalek is a picture of the old sinful nature that is in us. We are to consider it dead, and to put down every effort of that old nature to act - Romans 13:14. Saul was plainly told that he was not to spare any.

1 Sam 15:9 "But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep..." This was disobedience.

1 Sam 15:13 Saul tells Samuel that he had "performed the commandment of the Lord". No doubt he thought Samuel would not know of his disobedience, but guilt cannot be hid from God.

1 Sam 15:15 When Samuel tells Saul that he knows of what has been done, Saul tells a lie. (Will God be pleased if we bring to Him as a sacrifice, something of the old nature that has been condemned? Of course not.)

1 Sam 15:22-23 Important verses. The Lord wants obedience! "To obey is better than sacrifice". True worship of God cannot have any of the "old nature" in it (even singing and service are not worship).

1 Sam 15:30 The pride and vanity of Saul. He knows that he has sinned, but wanted to honour men before he honoured God.

1 Sam 15:32 Samuel himself puts king Agag to death. (Thank God there will be a complete end of Satan, and it is the Lord Himself who will see to it).

1 Sam 15:35 Saul is rejected and Samuel never visits him again, but he mourns for him. (In faithfulness to the Lord we may not be able to go along with those believers who are disobedient to the Word of God, but we ought to mourn for them).


You can't bury your conscience, but you can harden it.


Now begins the wonderful story of David, for God still loved His people and was determined to bless them in spite of their failure. So instead of continuing to mourn for Saul, Samuel is told to go and anoint a new king. And this is beautiful for the Lord says "I have provided me a king".

1 Sam 16:6-12 Samuel, as directed of the Lord, goes to Bethlehem, the very town where our Lord Jesus was born 1,000 years later. The sons are brought before Samuel, who spoke as intimately to the Lord as if He were standing right there. Samuel is impressed by the height and appearance of the eldest. Samuel goes from one to the other. Are these all your sons? asks Samuel. "No, there is one, but he is keeping sheep". Look what it says about him.

1 Sam 16:19-23 David is suddenly called into the presence of king Saul, to act as servant to him, especially to try to help him when he was troubled by an evil spirit.


Bring feet and truth together.


1 Sam 17:1-11 The well-known story of Goliath.

1 Sam 17:11 The result of not trusting the Lord (Like us, sometimes?)

1 Sam 17:12-27 Jesse was thinking about his sons in the army, and he sends David with a message and a present. (From now on David is a picture of Christ).

1 Sam 17:26 While all the others trembled and were afraid, David knew the living God was on the side of Israel and was not afraid.

1 Sam 17:28-29 His brothers accuse him of carelessness and pride. (The Lord Jesus "came unto His own and they received Him not" - John 1:11).

1 Sam 17:30-39 Saul suggests that David put on the king's own armour. But David takes it all off, for he would not dare to go in the strength and armour of men, but in the power of God. He says "the Lord ... will deliver me". (Have you ever faced a temptation in your own strength and found how weak you were? But if we trust in the strength of the Lord, there will be victory.)

1 Sam 17:40 David picks out five smooth stones and has them ready in his bag. (It is a good thing to have the Word of God ready to meet any attack of the enemy).

1 Sam 17:49 With one of these stones, the victory is won! David is a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus who went into the valley of death to defeat our mighty enemy. At the cross He defeated Satan and death, and now we share the wonderful victory.


Union on the principle of "mutual concession" with respect to the diverse views which are found among christians, though it has a very fair appearance, is profoundly evil. Eph. 4:3... It supposes that truth is at our disposal.


1 Sam 18:1 David's victory was for all Israel, but it drew the heart of Jonathan (son of Saul) to David.

1 Sam 18:4 Jonathan not only said that he loved David, he showed it. (Are we willing to show our love to the Lord Jesus by our obedience to His Word?).

1 Sam 18:5-9 David is in trouble. Saul hears the songs of praise to David and he becomes very jealous.

1 Sam 18:10-11 The jealously is so bad that Saul tries to kill David.

1 Sam 18:12-30 Saul sees that he cannot kill David, so he tries to make trouble for him in other ways. But through it all, David behaves himself more and more wisely. It is beautiful to watch the conduct of David as he is hated by Saul and loved by Jonathan. (Is it not true that our Lord Jesus is more bitterly hated and more warmly loved than any other? And each one of us is on either one side or the other).


The state of my soul may be discerned by the effect produced upon me by the mention of the name of JESUS.


1 Sam 19:1 Jonathan lives in the palace with his father the king, and he sees continual hatred against David, his special and beloved friend. (Perhaps we have found it much the same. We love the Lord Jesus, and we love to hear others speak well of Him. But we have to live and work with those who are like Saul - they actually hate the Lord and take His precious Name in vain).

1 Sam 19:4-7 Here we see the faithfulness of the love of Jonathan for David. He speaks "good of David unto Saul his father". This must have taken a lot of courage. (It is not easy to speak well of the Lord Jesus among those who hate Him, but surely we would not be silent at such a time). Saul listens to his son and promises that David will not be put to death.

1 Sam 19:8-17 Saul soon turns from those good promises.

1 Sam 19:18-24 David runs to Samuel. Saul hears and sends messengers to capture David, and finally goes himself to take him - but see how the Lord takes care of His own. Neither Saul nor his mightiest men can touch one whom the Lord protects.


If I say, "Jesus is everything to me", what does my schedule look like?


1 Sam 20:1-4 David tells Jonathan of his great danger, and Jonathan bravely answers. That was a wonderful promise to make, but sad to say poor Jonathan failed to keep it, as we shall see. (If we really love someone, we are glad to do what they desire).

1 Sam 20:14-17 David promises that he will not only show kindness to Jonathan but to his house (family) for ever.

1 Sam 20:18-34 Jonathan is next in line to the throne, but he has to choose between his father and his best friend. To which one shall he remain true? (Have you ever faced a test like that? Let us always be true to our Lord Jesus Who died to save us and to deliver us from our mighty enemy).

1 Sam 20:35-39 In verses l9 to 22 Jonathan told David how he was going to get the message as to whether it would be safe to come into the king's house or whether David should run away.

1 Sam 20:41-42 They loved one another - and David's love was greater. Count the number of times it tells us of the love they had for each other. Don't forget, David is a picture of Christ, Jonathan a picture of a believer who loves the Lord.


The besetting sin of our age is to trivialize sin.


1 Sam 21:1-6 David, (the anointed king) is rejected just as the Lord Jesus was rejected by those who ought to have received and honoured Him. So when David comes to the priest and asks for food, he is given the hallowed bread that had been on the table of showbread! The Lord Jesus Himself speaks of this in Matthew 12, verses 3-4. He, like David, was a rejected, though anointed, King. This is telling us that the "former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4), so when the Lord was rejected, the eating of the holy bread was no longer an offence in God's sight.

1 Sam 21:10-15 Now David is so afraid that he goes to the Philistines, the enemies of Israel, to find shelter. Here David fails to be a type of Christ... he acts like a man of the world.

1 Sam 21:13 If we ever turn our eyes from the Lord, and fail to trust fully in Him, it is surprising how foolish we can act - Romans 8:31.


The believer stops making spiritual progress as soon as he stops repenting.


David, the anointed king of Israel, goes away and hides in a cave! In verse 1 we read of his family going there... that was natural, but in verse 2 we read 3 times about "everyone". Certainly not ones who could help David. Just the opposite. Just think of the 3 groups. Who was the attraction? A man who King Saul was hunting like an animal! This man was an outcast! Once again David becomes a picture of our blessed Lord Jesus. He had won the hearts of the people. Yes, but he also was God's choice to be king. Not only was the future great king of Israel there, but there was also a prophet, 22:5, and the future high priest, 22:20-23.

(Our blessed Lord Jesus is King, Prophet and Priest. May each of us who knows the Lord as Saviour realize we are following one Who has been rejected by this world. Now just where would we prefer to be... in the palace of king Saul, where David was hated, or in the cave where he was captain? All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ today are actually in this position. We follow a rejected Man and we are hidden with Christ in this world, a cave. Is it worth it? Our happiness doesn't depend on nice circumstances but on how close to Christ we are living).

1 Sam 22:6-19 Saul is so filled with pride, that he will get rid of anyone who tries to help David. (And we must remember that if we wish to be true and faithful to our rejected Lord, we also will meet with those who will reject and oppose us).

1 Sam 22:20 One of the priests escapes and runs to David for safety. David's words must have been enough to drive away all fear from Abiathar. (Are we prepared to take our stand beside our Lord in the place where He was rejected?)


When once a person is away from God, that person, has no spiritual sense of sin.


1 Sam 23:1-2 David did what each of us needs to do daily.

1 Sam 23:3-4 David's friends still think that it would be safer not to go against the Philistines. David is patient with them and goes and prays to the Lord the second time and gets the same answer, "Go", but adds something to what He had said the first time. (Are you getting that message? You will if you keep close to Him. Read John 15:7).

1 Sam 23:9-15 Again David asks direction from the Lord, and this time, instead of going out to fight, he is directed to escape. Saul seeks him every day but cannot find him. (The Lord Jesus does not promise us popularity and honour in this world: rather it may be persecution. But if it is for the name of the Lord, we can rejoice).

1 Sam 23:16-18 How much better if Jonathan had shared the trials with his friend David.

1 Sam 23:19-29 Saul surely tries hard to find David to capture him, but God takes care of David. Nothing seems to get through to Saul from the Lord. He doesn't leave David alone because he has learned this from the Lord, but because the Philistines had attacked his land! Remember this when you come to chapter 28.


Sin that goes on in us unjudged, weakens in the soul the authority of the Word... we're on the road of dishonor to God.


1 Sam 24:1-2 It seems hard to believe that Saul could be so determined to get rid of David, who was the one chosen by God instead of Saul (15:1)

1 Sam 24:3-8 David's men tell him to take the opportunity to kill Saul, but David refuses. He knows that Saul is still the king, even though he is acting so badly.

1 Sam 24:9-15 See the humble place that David takes. He calls himself a dead dog, a flea. He was quite right to honour king Saul, in spite of all the persecution that he had suffered. (The day is coming when the Lord will have His rightful place, but in the meantime, He has told us to obey the authorities over us. But, on the other hand, the authority of God comes first, and we must never give up obedience to the Word of God, simply to obey the commandments of men).

1 Sam 24:16-22 Saul weeps when he hears the voice of David, and makes all kinds of confessions. We shall see whether he meant what he said.


Wherever there is independence, there is always sin.


1 Sam 25:1 We could name this chapter "A man's foolishness and a woman's faith".

1 Sam 25:2-9 Nabal was very rich, but hot-tempered and proud. His wife was beautiful and wise.

1 Sam 25:10-13 David sends some of his young men to ask food from Nabal, in return for the protection he had given to Nabal's shepherds. Nabal rudely refuses, and David, in anger, sets out for revenge.

1 Sam 25:14-17 Some of the young men of Nabal see that there is trouble on the way, and so they tell Abigail what has happened.

1 Sam 25:18-31 The wisdom of this woman. She hurries to meet David with a great gift and takes a place of being the guilty one.

1 Sam 25:31 She reminds him that if he sheds blood in his anger, he will live to regret it. (Every picture of our Lord Jesus has failure somewhere, for the Lord Jesus never acted foolishly - but He will come forth from heaven to bring punishment on those who have rejected Him. And who will be brought into blessing? Those who have admitted their guilt and have received His mercy).

1 Sam 25:32-35 David at once sees the wisdom of this woman's pleadings and he thanks her for it, and turns away from his purposes.

1 Sam 25:36-44 Nabal gets his punishment. (What a wonderful picture of the love and grace of our Lord Jesus that would not only spare us from punishment, but bring us into the nearest place of love and blessing.)


God hates pride above all things, because it gives to man the place that belongs to Him Who alone is exalted over all.


1 Sam 26:1-4 It seems hard to believe that Saul never gives up his hunting of David.

1 Sam 26:5-10 All the soldiers, who ought to have been guarding him, are asleep. Abishai wants to take that spear, and kill Saul right on the spot, but David will not allow him to do this, for he knows that Saul is still God's anointed king, and he will not injure him.

1 Sam 26:11-16 David acts in patience, forgiveness, and trust.

1 Sam 26:21-25 Saul's heart toward David is unchanged, though these words sounded so sweet. Particularly the last verse. David seems to sense this, as the first verse of the next chapter indicates.


Pride interrupts communion with God and draws down His chastisement, for God resists the proud. James 4:6.


In this chapter, David is certainly not a picture of the Lord Jesus. But it does show the weakness and mistakes of every one of us who is a believer in the Lord. Let's not forget it!

1 Sam 27:1-4 David escapes into the land of the Philistines, the very enemies of Israel. What a strange thing to find Israel's future king, the one who had killed Goliath, finding shelter among the Philistines. (We believers sometimes turn to the world for help, and that is what David was doing).

1 Sam 27:5-7 David settles down in the enemy's land in a city called Ziklag.

1 Sam 27:8-12 David acts and speaks falsely. (When we take one step in the wrong direction, it often leads to something worse). David tells a lie, and tries to cover it by saying that there is no one left alive to tell on him! (Who tells the true story? The Lord does. He heard that lie! We can never hide anything from God).


What is the secret of the unhappiness and restlessness of many a believer? A hankering after rest here.


1 Sam 28:1-2 David now finds himself in a hard position, (a picture of a believer who compromises the truth). He had chosen to go and live with the enemies of Israel, and now he finds himself faced with the problem of fighting against his own people. (If we do not remain faithfully on the side of our rejected Lord, we may find ourselves standing with those who resist the truth).

1 Sam 28:4-5 Again the mighty army of the Philistines is gathered against Israel, and Saul the king trembled greatly. Samuel was dead, David was gone away, and Saul didn't know where to turn, for he was a stranger to the Lord. This is the contrast with David in chapter 23:1-4. So he turns to a "witch". There were such in those days, and they were under the power of demons. Saul can turn no where else, so he turns to the devil for help.

1 Sam 28:7-20 What a terrible experience! The witch is amazed to see Samuel, and Saul is terrified at the message Samuel gives him. "Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me". Dead! Of course Samuel was obedient and Saul was disobedient, but they would both be in eternity. Some people would like to think that spiritists have power such as is here displayed. But that is not true. God brought up Samuel, and the witch was as frightened as Saul was at his coming up. She was used to demons impersonating dead people. They didn't frighten her. Now Saul has just one day of life left him. Will he turn to the Lord and confess his guilt? Sad to say, he did not. Here was a man who was told that he would be dead in one day, and yet his heart was so hard that, though terrified, he went his way - without God.


Nothing is more terrible than a conscience hardened by a perverse will.


What a strange picture in this short story. David, the fearless Israelite who had fought against Goliath and the Philistines, is now going out with the Philistines to battle - against Israel! Always remember that God did not write the Bible to exalt any man or woman, but to show His own perfection and glory. Every person fails. But also never forget that when we have accepted Christ as our Saviour, we have been made as perfect as He is. Hebrews 10:14. We have received Eternal Life. 1st Epistle of John 5:11.

Do not confuse our perfect, holy position before God in Christ, with the old life. When we do what we want we are going back to that old life. We only sin because we want to. Read Romans 8:2. They go on side by side. On the first, Scripture says He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified (all believers) Heb. 10:14 and Paul said "In me, that is in my flesh dwells no good thing" Romans 7:18.

1 Sam 29:7-8 Even when David is told that he is in the wrong place, he argues that he wants to stay. But the Lord was over all this, and He will not allow David to go out to fight against Israel.


There is no blindness like that which results from resisting the light, and, in the presence of light, not renouncing one's own will.


1 Sam 30:1-21 What happened during David's absence? The Lord has surely allowed this. (If we wander from the Lord, He is faithful in bringing us back, but we may suffer for our disobedience).

1 Sam 30:3-6 David and his men are terribly discouraged, for it seems that they have lost everything. And those who had been so faithful to David even suggest stoning him to death! But "David encouraged himself in the Lord His God". Even though he had wandered so far from the Lord, and had mixed up with the enemies, yet when he is in deep trouble, he knows that he can turn to the Lord and will find Him faithful.

1 Sam 30:11-15 An interesting story of an Egyptian servant who was left to die. (It is a picture of just what we were like. We also were servants to sin and Satan, and we would have died in our sins if the Lord had not found us.) David shows him kindness and strengthens him, and then asks him if he could bring him to the company of soldiers that had burned and robbed Ziklag.

1 Sam 30:16-20 What a mighty victory - David recovers all. Yes the wives and families of every one of those men were recovered alive and well. (How thankful we should be that our Lord Jesus, through His death for us, has recovered all. It is finished. He has been victorious for us - so that we now can enjoy all the blessings that result from that victory, and can look forward to eternal joy and happiness).

1 Sam 30:26-31 There were enough things from that mighty victory to send gifts to many others. (Not only shall we enjoy the happiness of our Lord's home and His love for ever, but there will also be blessing for others - even for the believers on earth).


The more truly one is in the light, the more is one necessarily allied to Satan if one rejects the light... the heart becomes accustomed to estrangement.


1 Sam 31:1-6 Here is the sad end of Saul and of his sons.

1 Sam 31:7-10 The heathen Philistines now boast in their victory over Israel and king Saul. Once Saul was so mighty and David was so despised. Here is the sad end of that boasting king.

1 Sam 31:11-13 We are glad to read of the valiant men who honoured Saul, as God's anointed king, even though he had been such a failure. We shall see=later that David took notice of this, and showed his thanks to these men who risked their lives to show respect to their fallen king Saul. Let's look back over this book we've just finished reading. What stories of failures of men! Almost all of them! It really looks as if God was giving up on them... Samuel the prophet has died, king Saul and his sons are slain by the Philistines; even David had gone over and lived with the Philistines, Israel's bitter enemy. All is gone. No hope or blessing for Israel, except in the mercy of God! But this is exactly what we find in the second book of Samuel.


by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
Published by Mario Persona

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