1 Samuel 28: How the Mighty Have Fallen

At this point in our narrative, David has found refuge in Philistine territory and managed to keep up such a false face that the king of Goliath’s hometown believes him to be one of his greatest allies! In fact, as King Achish prepares to wage war against Israel, he calls upon David to help and promises to make the outlaw one of his top men in reward for his “loyalty.” And David, in sync with his undercover identity, agrees to come along and fight against his own people.

The scene closes there and shifts to Israelite territory. The narrator quickly reminds us that the beloved prophet Samuel is dead and that Saul has purged the land of “mediums and spiritists.” Then the camera zooms in on Saul himself. Continue reading


Do You Do Right to be Angry?


I was grumpy. Those of you who know me may be surprised by that statement, but believe it or not, I do get grumpy from time to time! Don’t believe me? Ask someone in my family.

So anyway, I was grumpy. As is usually the case, it was over something stupid. My plans had been somewhat changed – hardly changed – but I didn’t like it. I was thinking grumpy thoughts toward my mom, even though it really wasn’t her fault. Honestly, when I think about it, I think I was grumpy because my plans had been sort of taken out of my hands and put in hers instead, and I was resenting the loss of control. Even though the end result was pretty much the same. Silly, right?

Well, as I was grumbling inwardly to myself, these words rose in my mind, “Do you do right to be angry?” 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.

Ruler1He 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