As I was reading 1 Samuel 18, it struck me that there were a lot of repeated words and phrases in this chapter – and anyone who has done an in-depth Bible study knows that these repetitions often hold key themes and ideas.
So here’s a list of some of these repetitive elements: Continue reading
1 Samuel 11 paints a very different picture of Saul than we see in chapter 10. In chapter 10 you get the impression that Saul was dealing with insecurities and a low self-image, and that he wasn’t entirely sure he could handle leading the nation of Israel.
But then his moment comes.
Messengers from Jabesh Gilead arrive in Saul’s hometown with the news that Nahash the Ammonite is threatening to do some pretty awful things to the inhabitants of that city. When Saul hears the news, the spirit of the LORD comes upon him, and in righteous anger he is moved to action against the threat. Continue reading
I remember, when Life Action came to my church nearly 3 1/2 years ago, one of the leaders gave an illustration to the youth that I have not forgotten.
I don’t remember his exact words, but here’s the gist of what he said.
He showed a picture of a ruler, and talked about how we create our own standards of holiness. We put people like Hitler down at the very bottom of the ruler, and other criminals pretty close to him. We put ourselves higher – closer to the top than to the bottom. Peers who do “more bad things than us” go a little below us, while above us go maybe a few people we really admire (our pastor, a famous missionary, the apostles, etc.). So we stand back and think, “I’m pretty well off! I’m not as bad as all those people below me, and I’m closer to the top than to the bottom. Yep, I’m a pretty good person.” Continue reading