Spiritual Rants: May 14 “A Real ‘Hack’ Job” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 1 Samuel 15:1-16:23 John 8:1-20 Psalm 110:1-7 Proverbs 15:8-10

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Old Testament: 1 Samuel 15:1-16:23

Samuel was afraid because David who was to be anointed, he realized though that he was the one for the job that was appointed.

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1 Samuel 15:1-35  A Real “Hack” Job

Samuel told Saul to go and punish Amalek for blocking Israel coming out of Egypt.  Samuel told Saul to utterly devastate him and all his people and animals.  Later on we will see that Hangman, I mean, Haman is an Amalakite in the book of Esther.  These were NOT good people.  They hated God’s people and had to be utterly destroyed.

So Saul took 200K soldiers and 10K men from Judah.  He told the Kenites to scram since they had been good to God’s people coming out of Egypt.  He didn’t want them to get slaughtered along with the Amalekites.

Saul defeated the Amalekites and their king, Agag.  His army destroyed all the people and their animals but left Agag and the best of the animals alive.  Saul only killed the worst of the animals.

Samuel arrived on the scene and brought word from Yahweh.  Yahweh regretted picking Saul as king, he said.  Samuel prayed all night he was so upset.  When Samuel got up the next morning, he got a message that Saul had erected a monument to himself in Carmel.  When Samuel found Saul, Saul greeted him with an apparently spiritual greeting, “Blessed are you of the Lord!” (v. 13).  Saul told Samuel he did everything Yahweh had commanded.  “How come I can hear animals making animal noises then?” he asked Saul.  Saul said they were the best of the livestock and that the “people” had spared them (v. 15).  But he said all of the rest of the animals were destroyed.  He sounded a lot like Eddie Haskell.

Samuel told Saul that Yahweh had given him a message for Saul the night before while he was praying.  “Ooo, what is it,” Saul asked.  Samuel said to him, “Though you were just a little neighborhood kid, the Lord picked you to be king and sent you on a mission to completely destroy all the Amalakites and their stuff.  So why didn’t you do it?”  Saul said, “I did.  But the people took some of the stuff to sacrifice later.”

Samuel said, “Bad answer.  Yahweh would rather you obey than come up with phony sacrifices.  Rebellion is as bad as visiting a witch and disobedience is as bad as worshipping idols.  You’re O-U-T, pal.”

Saul replied, “I’m really, really sorry.  I was just afraid of the people.  Please forgive me so I can go and worship.”  Samuel said, “No way, Jose.  You didn’t do what God asked and He’s not going to do what you ask.  Sayonara.”

Samuel turned to leave but Saul grabbed the bottom of his robe and ripped it.  Samuel told Saul, “Just as you ripped my robe so is Yahweh going to rip the kingdom from you and give it to one of your neighbors!”   Yahweh isn’t going to change His mind on this one either (cf . Num. 23:19).  Saul said, “I messed up but please still go back with me so I won’t look bad in front of all the leaders of Israel.”  So Samuel went back with him and Saul started worshipping again.

Samuel approached Agag, the king of the Amalekites and Agag said, “So everything’s cool?”  Samuel said to him,”Just as you’ve killed the sons of many women, so I’m going to make your mother childless.”  Then he took his sword and “hacked Agag to pieces” (v. 33 NET).  Then Samuel went back to his home in Ramah and Saul went back to his home in Gibeah.  Samuel didn’t see Saul except one time (cf. 1 Sam. 19:23-24).

1 Samuel 16:1-23  How To Lie Truthfully

Yahweh told Samuel to quit pouting over Saul and to go and anoint another king.  Samuel said to Yahweh, “Are you sure?  If I go somewhere to anoint another king, Saul will off me.”  The Lord told Sam to just bring a heifer with him and tell everyone he was in town to sacrifice.  Was God telling Samuel to lie?  No, because Samuel was actually going to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice.  Use this principle carefully but Jesus did tell us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves (cf. Matt. 10:16).

Saul asked the family of Jesse to sacrifice with him in Bethlehem.  Samuel thought all of David’s elder brothers were better specimens than David but Yahweh chose David.  As the Apostle Paul later said, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, bthe things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).  God does not look simply at outward appearances but sees inside a person (v. 7, cf. 1 Chron. 28:9; Jer. 27:10).

1 Samuel 16:1-23  Don’t Harp On It

So Samuel anointed David and the Spirit of the Lord came on him “mightily” (v. 12).  The Samuel took off for his home in Ramah.

About the time the Spirit came on David, He also left Saul.  An evil spirit took His place and harassed Saul.  Saul became depressed so his aides told him to seek out a harpist to play some elevator music to lift his spirit.  Saul said that was a good idea but to find someone who was really good.  Of all people, they found David.  He was described as “a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him” (v. 18).  How ironic!

David showed up at Saul’s place with a donkey loaded with bread, a jug of wine and a young goat.  Saul thought David was the “berries” and made him his armor bearer.  So whenever Saul was harassed by the demon, Saul would send for David.  David would play his harp and Saul would feel better because the demon absconded.

New Testament: John 8:1-20

The woman was caught in a bust but it was the Pharisees’ whose names were written in the dust.

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John 8:1-11  Their Names Were Mud

One time when Jesus arrived at the temple early, he drew a crowd who had come to hear him teach.  The religious leaders were ready to set him up again and try to embarrass him.  They brought a woman caught in flagrante delicto (“in the act,” v. 4).  She was fried.  The leaders reminded Jesus that the woman was supposed to be stoned for that kind of an offense.  (Here’s a question: where was the man???)  Jesus bent over and wrote something in the dirt with his finger.  While He was writing, they kept quizzing Him.  Finally, He stood up and said to them, “Whoever has never sinned can throw the first stone” (v. 7).  Then He went back to writing in the dirt.  They started peeling off, one by one, starting with the oldest amongst them.  Soon, no one was left except Jesus and the woman.  Jesus said to her, “Where’d everyone go?  Isn’t there anyone left to execute you?”  She said, “No, everyone peeled off.”  Jesus said, “Well, I’m not going to do anything.  I guess you can leave . . .  and one more thing . . .   don’t pull anything like this again!”

What do you think Jesus was writing in the dirt?  Could have been the names of all the religious leaders?  Could it have been that they were all guilty of adultery, too?  [Answer:  yes!]

John 8:12-20   How To Really Light One Up

Jesus revealed another of His “I Am” names indicating He was the Great I Am just like at the burning bush.  He said, “I am the Light of the World.”  Whoever followed Jesus would be in the light and whoever didn’t would be living in darkness (cf. 1 John 1:5-6).

The leaders pulled a legal fast one on Him.  In the OT any crime had to be witnessed by at least two people (see Deut. 17:6; 19:15; cf. v. 17).  Jesus said He actually could testify to Himself because He knew He had come from Heaven and was telling the truth.  He said the leaders were basically clueless (v. 14-15).  Jesus said if they really wanted two witnesses, that was fine.  The two witnesses would be Himself and His Father.  There’s their two Persons (v. 18).

The leaders asked, “So where is Your Father?”  Jesus told them they didn’t have a relationship with Him.  If they did, then they’d know Who He was and Who His Father was (v. 19).

Though Jesus was teaching them in the Temple treasury, no one could grab Him because it wasn’t His time yet to get grabbed.

Psalm 110:1-7    A Royal Psalm

He would reign eventually with everything under His feet, all His enemies throughout time will dwell under His seat.

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Psalm 110:1-7    The Jesus Psalm

You might ask, out of all the psalms that speak of Christ, why call this one the Jesus Psalm?  Psalm 18 would certainly be a candidate but it speaks of the torture and crucifixion of the Messiah.  This one speaks of His exaltation.  If the Messiah by Handel is the Jesus Song, and it is, then this is certainly the Jesus Psalm.

It is one of the most quoted in the New Testament.  It portrays Christ as a victorious protector (vv. 5-7), a priest (v. 4), and a potentate (vv. 1-3).

The Hebrew of verse 1 states that Yahweh, the LORD, says to Adonai, my Lord . . . .   In other words, God the Father says to the Messiah that He will be with God the Father until the end times when He will subdue all of the Messiah’s enemies.  He will put all the nations under the Messiah’s rule (cf. Heb. 1:13).  We call that the Millennium (see Addendum To The End).

Verse 1 is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:34-35.  It is hard to miss the idea that Christ is God in this psalm.  Peter insinuates that in his great Pentecostal speech in Acts 2.

“The Lord” in verse 2 is the Messiah, Adonai.  He will rule from Jerusalem, Israel over all the nations during the Millennium (cf. Rev. 20:4).  Everyone will worship Him by their own free will at that time (v. 3).  He will be King of the World.

Verse 4 compares Jesus to Melchizedek, the King-Priest of Salem, aka Jerusalem (cf. Gen. 14:18 ; Heb. 7:1).   Melchizedek seems to come out of nowhere in Genesis. But Abram, later known as Abraham, considered Melchizedek closer to God than even he was.  He accepted blessing from Melchizedek (cf. Gen. 14:19).  Christ was like Melchizedek, “a priest forever” (cf. Heb. 5:6).  Some consider that Melchizedek was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus which would make a lot of sense (see Just One Way).

The “Lord,” Adonai, aka the Messiah is in God the Father’s presence currently (v. 5).  Some day, in the Millennium, possibly just seven years away (see Reports are Flooding In, Part 2), Christ could be ruling over the entire earth (v. 5, cf. Isa. 18:7; Zech. 14:16)!  He will subdue all His enemies.

Jesus, the Messiah, will judge all the nations (v. 6, cf. Matthew 25:31-46).  He will subdue them in battle (cf. Rev. 16:16; 19:13-15; Joel 3:2, 11-14).  It will be a bloody mess and a massacre.

Then He will rest after the battle and lift up His head in victory (v. 7)!

The book of Revelation is not the book of Revelations as some pronounce it.  It is a single revelation of the exaltation of Christ over the world.  It is not only Christians who will worship Christ. Everyone will worship Christ (Phil. 2:9-11).

There was a commercial that ran in Indianapolis years ago.  It showed a mechanic standing under a car with his hands dripping of filthy car oil.  The camera panned into his face so the viewer would be focused on what he said.  “You can pay me now or pay me later.”  The point was that if you got an oil change now, you wouldn’t need an entire engine later.  That is the theme of Philippians 2:9-11 but it is also the theme of Psalm 110.  If we trust Christ for salvation now, we will not be involved in the horrible massacre at the end of the world or the judgment of everyone who rejects Christ (see The GWT).

Jesus is God.  He died for your sins (cf. 1 Pet. 3:18).  You can trust Him now and He pays for your sins (cf. 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).  Or you can bow to Him later and pay for all of your own sins.  The choice is yours.

Either way, Jesus will be exalted and worshipped by all.

Proverbs 15:8-10  Fake Christians 

When God’s discipline was too much to bear, bring your troubles to God in prayer.

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Not everyone who says that they are Christians are actually Christians (cf. Matt. 7:21).  There is a religion that is based on Christianity and a lot of people in our country adhere to it.  They are moral, for the most part, in their own power.  This is not true Christianity.  True Christianity involves being born again (cf. John 3:6-7).  It also involves living for Christ in the Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:6-9, 14, 16).  

If someone is just going through the motions of being a Christian, that is an “abomination” to the Lord (v. 8a, 9a).  God loves those who communicate with Him in the Spirit (v. 8b, cf. John 4:24).  He loves those who live for Him (v. 9b, cf. 2 Cor. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 4:2 ).  The theme of the Bible is that rebellion against God leads to death but a relationship with God leads to life.

There are always consequences for our actions.  Many people just live their lives selfishly, grabbing all the gusto they can get.  There is a judgment Day for those who reject Christ and it won’t be pretty (v. 10a, see The GWT).  If people reject the Word that God has broadcast all over the world, they will punished eternally (v. 10b, see A Hell Of A Death).

Choose Life: Scripture:    1 Samuel 15:14  NASB    “Bleated Out”

“But Samuel said, ‘What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?'”         1 Samuel 15:14

Num. 32:23 states that if anyone sins against the Lord, “ . . . be sure your sin will find you out.”  King Saul thought he could get away with sin.  He was wrong.  He disobeyed an explicit command that had come directly from God.  As a result, he lost his kingship and the kingly line departed from Saul (cf. v. 23, 28).

Do you think you can get away with your sin?  You can’t.  The worst that could happen is that God will “yank your chain” early aka the “sin unto death” (cf.  John 5:16; Acts 5:1-10; 1 Cor. 11:30; see also my blogs The Sin Unto Death and A Message From God).

A lesser effect of our sins is that they can mess up your prayer life (cf. Ps. 66:12; 1 Pet. 3:7).  That means they can mess up your relationship with God.

Do you have any unconfessed sin today?  Get rid of them and put them on God.  If we confess the sins we know about, He will forgive the ones we don’t realize we are committing (cf. the end of 1 John 1:9, “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”).

If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Our names cannot be “blotted” out of the book of life (cf. Rev. 3:5, NIV, KJV).  However, I believe we can maybe be “bleated” out or blacked out if we persist in sin.

If you think you have sinned, check yourself against Scripture.  If you can’t find a Scripture indicated that you have sinned, you may have false guilt or be under attack from the accuser (aka Satan, cf. Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:10).  How can you tell the difference?  Ask God for wisdom (Ja. 1: 5) and the Holy Spirit for help (cf. 1 John 3:20).  The Holy Spirit’s job is to convict (cf. John 16:7-8) but also brings peace (cf. John 16:13, 33).  Ask Him for help.

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   A Real “Hack” Job

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