Cracks in the Armor

Notes on 1 Samuel 13-16

 God has called, anointed, and empowered Saul to be king of Israel, but in these chapters it is becoming apparent that he has some character flaws. Saul responds more to fear than with faith. It seems like he is trying to live up to an image of what he thinks a king should be and do, rather than relying on that which God has provided. It is God who molds and shapes us into the person He wants us to be.

 My first church met in a drug alcohol rehab center. They offered a class on addictions and recovery at the local college.  I attended the class and one night they brought in a man who was in recovery to tell his story. He was a big man. When he came through the doorway he filled the opening. He was a man’s man, but he said something I will never forget. He said, “John Wayne didn’t do us men any favors.” Apparently he was trying to live up to that Hollywood image which no one could possibly live up to and his attempt to do so led him into addiction and the pain and heartbreak associated with it.

We all face trials and testing in life. Saul’s response to his trials and testing is from fear. He kept his distance from the enemy while he kept the larger part of the army with him in Chapter 13. His son Jonathan seemed to step out in faith but when Jonathan gains a victory Saul takes the credit in the press in Chapter 14. Meanwhile Saul wants to be tough, trying to be a leader of men but makes poor decisions and a rash vow that almost cost Jonathan his life. In Chapter 15 Saul decides he knows best and rebels against God’s orders regarding the Amalekites. Saul is trying to show himself as king and puts up a tough leader front but he is an empty shell and God will remove His anointing from King Saul. God has some harsh words for Saul in 15:23   Saul never learned that where authority is given there is also responsibility and accountability.

God sends Samuel to anoint David as king in Chapter 16. David will go through trials and testing as well but his response will be to learn from them and build his trust in the Lord. Jonathan wants to be David’s second in command but Jonathan doesn’t hang out with David so how is that going to work?

We will read more about these men in future studies.

For us today a good study is found in 2 Timothy 2

Trials are meant to prove (and improve) our faith. Walk by faith not by an image with an empty shell.

Pastor Dave