David’s Soft Heart

Journal Entry // July 26, 2022

Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! (ESV)

1 Samuel 25:33

Here we see one of the more important aspects of David’s character on display. David was named as a man after God’s own heart and I often misunderstand what this really means. David’s heart was humble before the Lord. What I mean by that is that David didn’t always make the right decision or choose the path of righteousness, but the one thing he did very well was listen to the counsel of God. In this particular case, David was offended by the way Nabal had treated his representatives and himself by extension. David’s pride was wounded and he was embarrassed before his band of brothers. In his wounded pride, he had decided to strike out against Nabal and slaughter all the males in his company. David’s wounded pride was taking revenge to a stark level. David had let his outward appearance before the men lead him to make a decision that was steeped in bloodguilt.

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Mask of Fidelity

Journal Entry // July 19, 2022

Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the LORD your God.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 15:30

If I ever need a picture of what it looks like to put on the mask of fidelity to hide the ugliness of willful sin, this is the picture that should be fresh in my mind. The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15 is almost a sympathetic one as I read through its pages. I marvel at how easily Saul is misled or misunderstands the command of God to devote the Amalekites to complete destruction. I shake my head at how Saul could ever think that he’s completely destroying when he freely admits that he spared the best and the king as well. I want to read in disbelief that a man called by God and confirmed to be king through all these amazing moments, could so easily neglect a command of God and believe that he was actually being faithful. Then I remember… I do this each and every day.

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Single-minded Devotion

Journal Entry // July 17, 2022

Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. (ESV)

1 Samuel 12:24

This is the charge that Samuel gave to Saul and the people as he installed Saul as king of Israel. This is Samuel’s instruction for them to stay in the good and right way. And what is this instruction from Samuel? Single-minded devotion to the Lord and his commandments. There is no room in this life for the double-mindedness of a wayward heart. Our hearts should be singularly focused on the Lord in every aspect and circumstance of life. Our single-minded devotion is characterized by a healthy holy fear of the Lord leading us to serve him with all our heart. Our motivation, our affection, our underlying heart engagement with every action we perform should be firmly grounded in a love for Christ.

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Humble Acceptance

Journal Entry // July 14, 2022

So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 3:18

The humility of Eli is a tremendous example of what it means to understand the magnificence and sovereignty of the Lord. In the moment of hearing the judgement of God against him and his family, Eli dies not turn bitter or angry. He does not blame shift and deflect to the failings of others. He does not rationalize and try to make excuses. No, he simply acknowledges that the Lord God is sovereign over all. Eli humbles himself before the wisdom of God. He may not like the “bad” circumstances and adversity that is about to be brought into his life, but his answer is to trust in the goodness of God.

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Faithful Inside and Out

Journal Entry // July 12, 2022

And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. (ESV)

1 Samuel 2:35

The faithful priest is an obedient priest. A priest that doesn’t just follow and obey the letter of the law but is walking according to the heart and mind of God. Meaning that this faithful priest is living according to the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. This is typically the spot that trips up many a person including myself. There is a misunderstanding that God will be pleased with me as long as I am following the letter of the law but this is not a wholly adequate understanding of the importance of the law or its purpose. It’s not enough to just tick the boxes of obedience like a task list. The underlying importance of the being obedient to the spirit of the law is this… that we do according to what is in the heart and mind of God.

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