1 Samuel 16 & 17

Well, I’m making another post late at night… After orchestra rehearsal (more on that tomorrow), I got to my dorm fairly late, and had some work that I wanted to do before doing this. Anyway, for my time today, I continued to read through 1 Samuel chapters 16 and 17, which focus on David (the future king of Israel). Again, I thought I’d just share a couple of passages that stood out to me. Tonight, I’ll be a little quicker, because I need some sleep.

First, God sends the prophet Samuel to anoint a new king to replace Saul from the sons of Jesse. Before choosing David, God reminds Samuel “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of [one of David’s brother’s stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16: 7) Enough said.

Chapter 17 tells the well-known story of David and Goliath. It’s been a while since I’ve read the Bible’s version of it, and it really reminded me of what David was up against when he went into that fight. Yet another reminder of what faith in God can do.

Well, I’m off to the shower, and then to bed. Planning on continuing through 1 Samuel tomorrow.

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Imagine Dragons – Bleeding Out

Cicadas

Besides pictures and the molted shells, I had never seen a real cicada before this summer. And because this is a cicada summer I am seeing a lot of them around grounds of my university, and I’ve been surprised at how large they are. For those of you that have never seen a cicada, they are big. It isn’t uncommon for me to see at least one three to four inch cicada just laying on the sidewalk on one of my walks to class or rehearsal. It also surprises me that more people aren’t scared of them. Not only are they big, but they’re pretty ugly and gross looking. If I were afraid of bugs, I think cicadas would be pretty close to the top of the list (probably right below bees).

1 Samuel 14 & 15

Last night at Chi Alpha the speaker centered much of his talk around the story of Jonathan from 1 Samuel 14, and because I didn’t have any other ideas for places to read, that’s where I started tonight. I ended up reading until the end of 1 Samuel 15, and found three points or reminders that I thought I’d share. The first was one last night’s speaker brought up, from the story of Jonathan. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this passage (I didn’t know it until last night) and don’t have a Bible handy, here’s a quick synopsis:

Saul is king, and Israel is at war with the Philistines. The Israelites’ chances are looking pretty slim again, because the Philistines have captured all of their enemy’s blacksmiths. No blacksmiths means no new weapons, which makes an army rather ineffective, but Saul isn’t really doing anything about the problem. His son, Jonathan, however, is confident enough in his faith that he and his “armor-bearer” decide to go to a Philistine outpost and see what happens, not telling Saul what they’re doing. After the Philistines let the two approach the outpost unharmed, Jonathan and his companion are able to kill all of the men there, at least twenty in all. Then, the Bible says, God caused a “very great panic” to spread through the Philistine camp, and the Philistine army all fled, saving Israel all because Jonathan and his armor-bearer had the courage and faith to do the seemingly impossible.

For me, this speaks worlds to me about the importance of trusting in God in all that I, and we, do. I have no intentions of picking a fight with a group of thugs who are set on killing me, but the story is still a great reminder of how, if you have faith in God, can do anything, regardless of how difficult. Reading on into 1 Samuel 15, I came across a couple of really good points from a story about Saul. Again, some background (hopefully a little bit more quickly):

After “defeating” the Philistines, Saul goes to finish off another enemy of God and Israel, the Amalekites. He is able to easily defeat them, but then disobeys God by keeping the king of the Amalekites and some of the best animals alive. In those times, God demanded that any enemies of his be “devoted to destruction,” which basically means that everything living related to the society, including the animals, must be killed. Even though Saul said he was going to sacrifice the animals to God, the prophet Samuel reminds him that “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of the rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

I think that final point basically speaks for itself. For me, it tells me that God values our obedience to what he has commanded far higher than anything else. Even if we think we have better plans, God is the perfect judge, so we should obey him above all.

The story goes on. Immediately realizing his mistake, Saul confesses his sin, but in a way it is too late. Being that this incident was far from being Saul’s first transgression, God decides that Saul should no longer be king of Israel, and strips Saul’s rule from him. This is an important reminder for me that while honestly being “sorry” or confessing a sin does remove that mistake from one’s “list of transgressions,” it rarely removes the consequences resulting from it. This is an idea I feel it is important to remember, especially when interacting with other people (so basically most of the time).

Well, that’s a lot more than I expected to write, and I need to go to bed. I don’t need to be up for class as early, but still trying to get into the habit of going to bed earlier (haha, great work…). I expect tomorrow’s post will be a bit shorter, but we’ll see…

Jars of Clay – Loneliness & Alcohol

Another New Project

Last night I went to Monday Night Live, the weekly meeting for Chi Alpha. For those of you who don’t know what Chi Alpha is, it is a young adult Christian Fellowship that has active groups at many colleges and universities in the United States. It was my first meeting, and a really good experience, but there were a couple things that the speaker said that particularly stood out to me. One of those things was that we should actively set apart time every day for God, both through prayer and reading the Bible.

Personally, that really challenged me to make some changes to my life and lifestyle. I have never really done anything quite like that. While I pray fairly regularly (meaning, whenever I’m not doing something else and think to, which, to be honest, has been a lot more often than it used to be), and consider myself fairly well-versed in the Bible (haha, punny), I have never really set apart time just for God before. Whether because of school, music rehearsals, or just having other things to do, I have never allowed time for something like that, but I’m deciding to change that.

As a new project, I am going to try to spend between ten and thirty minutes either reading the Bible or actively praying, not just cramming it in like an afterthought, if you know what I mean. That’s not a lot of time, but it’s more than I have been doing. Also, to hold myself accountable, I’m going to begin posting some thoughts from what I’ve read here on my blog (under the Daily Devotion category). I would start now, but I do have a rehearsal that starts in half an hour, so I will make my first real post tonight.

John Mackey – The Frozen Cathedral (Performed by John Locke and the UNCG Wind Ensemble)

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