Listening to God and speaking for him (Travelling Through God’s Word: 1 and 2 Samuel)

1 and 2 Samuel We read, in 1 Samuel 3, we read about the boy, Samuel, responding to the call of God: "Speak, for your servant is listening." Towards the end of 2 Samuel,, we read these words of David, "The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His word is on my tongue." If …

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Jesus Christ – the King of the Jews: going to the Cross for a world of lost sinners

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 19:1-27; Psalm 68:21-27 To be “the King of the Jews” was a great honour. David recognized this when he said, “But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 26:11). Pilate didn’t. He sent Jesus “to the cross” with this “notice … Jesus of Nazareth, the …

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Second Sunday after the Epiphany: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51

Second Sunday after the Epiphany: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51 God is restoring His glory among His people. The call of Samuel is a vivid example of what God can do in the lives of children. Samuel’s early response to God set in motion a whole process of …

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Our God reigns – and He saves.

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 18:25-40; Psalm 68:15-20 “The Lord… has appointed David leader over Israel” (1 Samuel 25:30). Christ’s Kingship is far greater than David’s – “My Kingdom is not of this world… My Kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). Our God reigns (Psalm 68:16). His reign is seen in His work of salvation: “Praise be …

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Success as a military leader, failure as a spiritual leader

Saul enjoyed success as a military leader: “Wherever he turned, he was victorious” (1 Samuel 14:47). He was a failure as a spiritual leader: “Then the Lord spoke to Samuel, “I regret that I made Saul king. He turned away from Me and did not carry out My instructions” (1 Samuel 15:10-11). God’s Word of …

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Two very different attitudes to life – trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands

The story of David and Saul is a story of two very different men. David recognized that the Lord was in control. Saul, on the other hand, was trying to keep himself in control. There are two very different attitudes to life - trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands. We see …

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Jesus’ death was a triumph – not a tragedy.

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 19:28-20:9; Psalm 68:28-35 The contrast between the death of Saul, the first king of the Jews, and Jesus, the true King of the Jews, is striking. Saul’s death was a tragedy. Jesus’ death was a triumph. The contrast is the difference between a man who said, “it is enough” (Saul had had enough …

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The victory belongs to the Lord – not to Satan!

Jonathan’s faithfulness to David arose from his love for him (1 Samuel 20:17). This is true of God. He loves us. He is faithful to us. The story of David runs parallel to the story of Saul. It highlight. the continuous conflict between God and Satan. David was God’s man. Saul had become Satan’s tool. …

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Don’t settle for “second-best.”

Fourth Sunday in Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Don’t settle for “second-best”. ‘Samuel did what the Lord commanded’ (1 Samuel 16:4). Real obedience comes from ‘the heart’. It is more than just ‘keeping up appearances’ (1 Samuel 16:7). ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’- This …

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The life which glorifies God – love God and love your neighbour.

1 Samuel 10:9-12:25; John 12:37-13:17; Psalm 66:1-12 Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:5). Samuel prayed for the people (1 Samuel 12:23). Those who truly love will, like Jesus and Samuel, live to serve others. This life of service is to be combined with a life of worship. We are to “shout with joy to …

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In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

1 Samuel 17:38-18:30; John 16:5-17:5; Psalm 68:1-6 At the heart of David’s triumph over Goliath, there is this great testimony: “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). When we face ‘Goliaths’ in our own …

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We must learn from those who fell from the Lord.

1 Samuel 13:1-14:23; John 13:18-38; Psalm 66:13-20 We must never be proud, taking the grace and power of God for granted. We must learn from those who fell from the Lord: (a) Saul did “a foolish thing” – he did not keep the command which had been given to him by the Lord his God …

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What we do for God can never compare with what He has done for us.

"Be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you" (1 Samuel 12:24). What we do for God cannot even begin to compare with what He has done for us.  Anything that we do - fearing the Lord and serving Him faithfully …

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King Jesus – so much greater than king David

1 Samuel 21:1-23:29; John 18:1-24; Proverbs 13:10-19 David was delivered from his pursuer, Saul. David became the king of Israel. Jesus was delivered into the hands of His enemies. Following His resurrection, Jesus was declared to be the King of kings. “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares …

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No human king can compare with Jesus – the King of kings.

1 Samuel 8:1-10:8; John 12:12-36; Psalm 65:1-13 Saul was an unworthy king. Jesus is the King who is altogether worthy – “Blessed is the King of Israel” (John 12:13). We are to bring “praise” to “God our Saviour”. We are to “shout for joy and sing” (Psalm 65:1,5,13). He is worthy of all praise, glory …

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More than a story about David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1-58 David defeats Goliath. This is not only a story about David and Goliath. It is about the Israelites and the Philistines. It is about 'God' and the 'gods' (43,46). Victory comes from the Lord. It is given by grace. It is received by faith (47). Notice the contrast between the attitude of …

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Sometimes, when we pray for a change in our circumstances, God says to us, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

1 Samuel 1:1-28 Hannah 'wept'. Hannah 'was no longer sad' (7,18). What made the difference? No child had been born. She had not even conceived. These things did not happen until later (21). Why was there such a change in Hannah? She believed. God's Word had been spoken (17). Hannah believed His Word. She rejoiced …

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May the Lord help us to be “His faithful ones”, who walk with Him.

1 Samuel 2:1-36 What a contrast between the son of Hannah and the sons of Eli - 'the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord...in the favour of the Lord', 'the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the Lord (21,26,12). This is the difference between 'the children of …

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When the Lord comes to us, we “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

1 Samuel 5:1-6:16 In 5:3-4, we read of God's superiority over Dagon - 'The Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King' (Jeremiah 10:10). 'The hand of the Lord was heavy' on those who set themselves against Him (5:6-7,9,11). Let 'the Lord alone be exalted'. He is our only …

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The glory belongs to the Lord, not to anyone else!

1 Samuel 18:1-30 'Loved' by 'all Israel and Judah' (16,28), David was hated by only one man, the most powerful man in the land - Saul (29). Saul was full of envy (7-8), suspicion (9) and violence (10-11). Saul had been proved wrong (17:33,50), and he didn't like it! David had more success with the …

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When a king did more harm than good: God had greater things in store for Israel – but not until Saul’s reign was over!

1 Samuel 8:1-9:10 Israel's demand for a king did not arise from love for God. It was motivated by human pride (8:5,20). Having 'rejected' the Lord as King, the people made their choice. They did not choose for God! They 'chose for themselves' (8:7,18). God allowed them to have their king but He did not …

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We all make mistakes. May God help us to learn from our mistakes.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 Making mistakes: it's part of life for all of us: 'We all make mistakes. If any one makes no mistakes... he is a perfect man' (James 3:2). What are we to make of the 'mistakes' made by Saul and Jonathan? Saul's 'mistake' was an error of judgment which 'troubled the land' (24,29). …

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A heartfelt prayer that was heard and answered (Part One)

1 Samuel, chapters 1 and 2 History is full of stories about people. They are people from whom we can learn lessons for our our life in today's world. In 1 Samuel, we read about Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan and David. History tells us about God. It is His Story. This is important. We will …

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The Holy Spirit – Learning from 1 Samuel

Everyone was so happy - ‘Long live the king! (1 Samuel 10:24). Everything seemed to be so promising - ‘The Spirit of God came mightily upon Saul’ (1 Samuel 11:6). God’s people were victorious (1 Samuel 11:11). God’s people ‘rejoiced greatly’ (1 Samuel 11:15). This is not, however, the whole story. Things were to get …

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Never to be forgotten

In 1996, Willie McDonald died at the age of ninety. I had only known him for a short time. I will always remember him as a man who loved the Lord deeply. He was small of stature, but he was a man of “strength”: real, spiritual strength (Psalm 90:10). He was “strong in the Lord”, …

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More than a mysterious presence – the good news of God’s love

We look at the world around us, and we feel like we are near to God. Where does this feeling of God's nearness take us? Does it take us to Jesus Christ, our Saviour? or Are we left with something less than faith in Christ? When we feel that God is speaking to us through …

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Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph - and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

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