Everybody needs somebody to challenge us

Today I want us to look at 1 Samuel 25.  We see here in this passage the best of David and the worst.A leader despised and therefore angeredIn just the last chapter David refused to stretch out his hand to vindicate himself, here he almost makes the exact same mistake. We have to understand the culture of the day to fully appreciate what is going on.  Hospitality at the time was considered obligatory, and to fail to provide it was a major slight. David didn't have a contract with Nabal, … [Read more...]

Returning good for evil even when a relationship is beyond repair

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"An eye for an eye" says Leviticus 24:17. We often fail to realise that this was a great gift from God to the Jewish people. In an age when food was scarce, when your enemies were plentiful, and when only the strong survived, it was typical for retribution to be much fiercer. For example, if someone from a neighbouring village stole a bit of corn from the fields, why not pillage and burn the whole village in response? God asked his people to limit their retribution to no more than was taken. A … [Read more...]

What you really need when it feels like the World is against you

There is only so much that one person can take.  Some people have a higher threshold than others, for sure.  But no wonder that David would have felt the pressure as he was eing hunted from place to place, even while he still defended towns from Philistine assault. Then, sneaking out from the camp of David's enemy comes the one man who can help him, Jonathan.  The man who's love for David is the stuff of legends. The man who was content to advance his political rival's cause.  The man who had lea … [Read more...]

How David transformed a ragtag group into a strong army

One of the marks of Saul's leadership was that he attached himself to the strong. David, now an outlaw seems to have a very different approach. In 1 Samuel 21 and 22 we see him make good his escape and establish for himself a base in a cave. In some ways this former darling of the royal court makes a pitiful sight.  He is described as "alone" as the small group of people with him in 1 Samuel 21 seems that way compared to his usual traveling companions.  When established in the cave, a small g … [Read more...]

David and Saul: No good deed goes unpunished

Now, where were we? Before the recent controversy intervened, I was ambling my way through 1 Samuel in a series looking at leadership lessons in the life of David and Saul. New readers may want to go back and look at some of those as we pick up where I left off in 1 Samuel 19 and 20.What is striking in these chapters is the extraordinary injustice of Saul's reaction to David. He was once like David himself. A young champion of war, a darling of the people, one whom The Lord was clearly with. … [Read more...]

Why cessationists are wrong about prophecy

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Later today the Strange Fire conference hosted by John MacArthur begins. A few weeks back I expressed my concern about some of the publicity for this event seeming to accuse all charismatics of being blasphemers. This event also prompted Terry Virgo to share a video about how Lloyd-Jones encouraged him as a young charismatic.I will be watching at least some of the event online. But one thing I am not expecting to hear is a novel or convincing argument from Scripture. I just want to state … [Read more...]

How will you react when others do well: selfish jealousy or selfless love?

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We saw just a couple of chapters ago that Saul's son Jonathan was the darling of Israel, having boldly led the charge to defeat an enemy. He was strangely silent in the whole account of Goliath, where David eclipsed both Jonathan and his father.Saul had already demonstrated he was a a selfish leader so it is perhaps no surprise that instead of welcoming David as the saviour of God's people he was jealous of him, especially when the people sang "Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his … [Read more...]

How King David reminds us of Christ Jesus

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Yesterday's post began to introduce us to King David, who I argued was possibly the greatest character other than Jesus in the Bible. Jesus himself does call John the Baptist the greatest in status, but David's story is given in great detail for a reason.David's story is so appealing for many different reasons. Generations of boys are excited by story's of great battles, and glorious victories, none more so than the one we see in 1 Samuel 17. Which of us don't love the story of the mocking … [Read more...]

What kind of leader should we choose?

David Kills a Lion I Samuel 17:34-36

In 1 Samuel 16 our gaze begins to turn from the failed leadership of King Saul to the emerging leadership of the future King David.David is probably the greatest character in the Bible other than our Lord himself. Certainly more chapters are devoted to his story and his songs than to anyone else. In 1 Samuel so far we have seen rather mixed examples of leadership.  In David's life we will see a much better model of leadership, and we will not see the signs of a selfish, failed leader we have … [Read more...]

Eight Marks of a leader in terminal decline

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In 1 Samuel 15 we see a further worsening of Sauls leadership. There is now no way back for him. Yesterday we discussed six leadership errors he made. Today it just gets worse.We must judge Saul in the context of his time when he was called to exercise God's judgement.He disobeyed a clear instruction from God (1 Samuel 15:8) He kept the best for himself rather than God (1 Samuel 15:8) He took praise to himself by setting up a monument (1 Samuel 15:12) He tried to cover up his sin by a … [Read more...]


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