Posts Tagged ‘1 samuel’

At the End of the Day

Oct 11

by Victoria Robinson

Some days just don’t start out well at all … some weeks just don’t start out well … some years just don’t start out well. In our lives it is important to focus on the “end of the day”. Whether that is literally a twenty-four hour day, less than a day, or many days. In the midst of tumultuous times we can lose hope. Yet we must always stand on the scriptural truth that what is important is how we finish—not how we start, or even how long success takes. In the suspenseful saga of Queen Esther we see a wonderful ending to the Jews “day”, “Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews.”

This story had its beginnings years before the victorious ending. One could say the roots of this story began during the reign of King Saul. The villain in Queen Esther’s story, Haman, was a descendant of King Agag whom King Saul was told to annihilate. Instead of obeying God, Saul killed all the Amalekites, but allowed King Agag to live. Some theologians believe that this could be the reason Haman wanted to destroy the Jews. Saul’s obedience to God might have prevented what the Jews were facing in the days of Queen Esther. But alas, it is important to keep in mind that no matter what or who caused your “day” to start badly, the ending can turn out good as long as your trust is in God. Just like the Jews who fasted and prayed for God to deliver them from the hands of the evil Haman, so also you must seek God and place your trust in Him.

King Solomon gave us wise counsel when he said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning. Since a true appraisal of any enterprise can only be made from the vantage point of its completion, the end is, the Preacher of wisdom reminds us, better than the beginning. However, the end is frequently arrived at very slowly, and the man who would find profit in this life must be a patient man.
 KJV Bible Commentary

Girlfriends, how is your “day” going to end? No one except our Lord can truly answer that, but are you trusting Him for the outcome no matter what you are facing? The apostle Paul faced many difficult days and yet he knew what counted was how well his “day” ended. In the book of First Timothy he stated, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would hold firmly onto the hand of our heavenly Father and wait patiently for the “end of the day”.

Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. So the king made Mordecai one of his highest officials and gave him the royal ring that Haman had worn. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property. ~ Esther 8:1-2 CEV
 
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. … Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business.” So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” ~ Esther 3:5-6,8-11 NIV
 
Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” … Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. ~ 1 Samuel 15:3,7-11 NIV
 
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
 
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NIV

Ain’t Misbehavin’

May 21

by Victoria Robinson

The lyrics to the original 1929 recording of “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, sung by the great jazz musician, Fats Waller, might be good to ponder in light of our relationship with our heavenly Father.
I know for certain,
The one I love,
I through with flirtin’,
It’s just you I’m thinkin’ of.
Ain’t misbehavin’,
I’m savin’ my love for you.

Girlfriends, how about you, do you love God with all your heart or are you flirtin’ with other “gods”? In the book of Exodus the Israelites were warned against flirting with other gods because the one true God is jealous. Other gods can be anything that we devote our love to more than the one true God. Inanimate objects, friends, lovers, or even spiritual leaders are just some of the “gods” we can find ourselves idolizing.

One of my best girlfriends and I attended a conference where a well-known Bible teacher was speaking. I have to tell you, we were both taken aback at the behavior of some of the ladies attending. It truly was bordering on idol worship. Ladies were jockeying for position even to the point of moving other people’s belongings from the seats. We both looked at each other in disbelief. While the speaker was incredible and there is no doubt she does not encourage worship of herself, we were just a little frightened when the doors opened and the “ladies” stampeded in! My friend and I were there to hear the Word of God as spoken through a gifted lady of God—not a “god”.

Dearest girlfriends, let us examine our hearts and make certain there is only room for one true God so that we can honestly say, “Ain’t misbehavin’!”

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~ Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV
 
Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. ~ Exodus 34:14 NIV
 
Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. ~ 1 Samuel 12:21 NIV

I am a friend like __________.

Feb 22

by Victoria Robinson

Among King David’s close friends, there are two that stand out. One was Jonathan and the other Ahithophel. On the one hand he had a faithful friend in Jonathan. On the other hand he had a faithless friend in Ahithophel.

Johnathan was the son of Saul who had become jealous of David and sought to destroy him. Jonathan faithfully watched out for his friend David. After the death of Jonathan, David penned these words, “I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”

Then we have the unfortunate betrayal of Ahithophel who was David’s counselor who turned against him and sided with Absalom. Later when Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh. There in his misery, he hanged himself. David also penned some words about this faithless friend, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”

So, are you a faithful friend like Jonathan or are you a faithless friend like Ahithophel? If you filled in the blank above, which of David’s friend’s names would you put? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would honor our heavenly Father by always being faithful in our friendships.

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” … ~ 1 Samuel 20:42 NIV
 
How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. ~ 2 Samuel 1:25-26 NIV
 
While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing. ~ 2 Samuel 15:12 NIV
 
Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “O LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” ~ 2 Samuel 15:31 NIV
  
Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. ~ Psalm 41:9 NIV
 
A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. ~ Proverbs 12:26 NIV
 
A friend loves at all times … ~ Proverbs 17:17 NIV

Pour It Out!

Dec 24

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, have you ever been so distraught that you cried bitterly and could not even utter words? I know I have. There was a woman named Hannah who found herself in this situation. She was barren and sad because she wanted a son so bad that her anguish was overwhelming. She appeared so distraught that Eli, the priest at the Tabernacle, thought she was drunk and told her to pour out her wine. Instead she told him she was pouring out her heart to the Lord. This is quite simply the best medicine for a sorrowful heart.

If you are hurting today, please know you are not alone. Your heavenly Father is with you and would love to hold you as you pour out your anguish to Him.  Hannah had a glorious ending to a difficult story as the Lord heard her cries of anguish and gave her a son.

Dearest girlfriends, pour out your hearts to the Lord today and allow Him to care for your deepest needs.

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. … As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied, “I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Please don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”“In that case,” Eli said, “cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. ~ 1 Samuel 1:10-18 NLT
 
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. ~ Psalm 3:3-4 NLT
 
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. ~ Psalm 18:6 NLT
 
Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out, “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. ~ Psalm 94:17-19 NLT
 
My heart is in anguish. The terror of death overpowers me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can’t stop shaking.  Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. … Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ~ Psalm 55:4-7,22 NLT

What’s In Your Wallet?

Dec 04

by Victoria Robinson

We have all heard the advertising slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” So girlfriends, I am asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Cards galore I bet. There are debit cards, credit cards, store rewards cards, and maybe even a little cash, just maybe. Who carries cash anymore?

In the book of First Samuel, there was a boy who carried a wallet. He had something very different in his wallet. He placed five stones in his wallet. I have never felt the need to put stones in my wallet, have you? However, these stones proved to be quite important to this young man. It is with this provision that David slayed the now infamous Goliath.

So again I ask, “What’s in your wallet?” I am of course referring to your spiritual “wallet”. According to the apostle Paul our spiritual weapons are not the same ones used by the world. We have divine weapons to demolish strongholds. In fact he tells us we should take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Perhaps what we need in our wallets is a “thought catcher”. In order to take our thoughts captive we need to be able to discern which thoughts are godly and which ones are from the enemy.

In fact in the story of David and Goliath, we see Goliath taunting David. David must have taken the ensuing thoughts of fear captive in order to conquer Goliath. (My knees would probably have been knocking!)

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would use a “thought catcher” by filling our minds with the Word of God.

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his wallet; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. ~ 1 Samuel 17:40 ASV
 
He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. ~ 1 Samuel 17:43-45 NIV
 
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. ~ 1 Samuel 17:48-50 NIV
 
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV