David Pawson - Samuel Pt2
Thoughtful Thoughts 24.5.19; Samuel Part 2: A heart for God.
1. Compare and contrast…
Last time we saw that Saul’s sin did not cause him to repent, as his concern was only for himself. When Saul was confronted with godliness, his reaction was to throw a spear. First it was at David and then at his son, Jonathan. That was Saul’s inner response to those trying to be a good influence.
Unfortunately, Archbishop Stephen Langton of Canterbury divided up the Bible, so now we have Saul lying mortally wounded from battlefield wounds at the end of the first half, which we now call 1 Samuel, before falling on his own sword. Then 2 Samuel starts with David hearing about the disastrous end to both the battle and to Saul. This is why we need to read the Bible right through and not jump around, or we miss the point. So as the original Jewish Bible doesn’t divide Samuel, we see that Samuel intended for there to be one flowing story. What Samuel was doing by having one single book was preparing the people for the transition from Saul’s royal line of Benjamin, to David’s royal line of Judah. That is why Samuel was “comparing and contrasting” these two men.
2. A heart for God…
To make his main point about David, Samuel didn’t go into great detail of David’s sin with Bathsheba, but only mentions it in passing, compared to the book of Kings. Samuel is highlighting David’s good points. As Kings goes into David’s sin in detail, we will take a look at David’s sin when we come to Kings. What Samuel does do is to relate the story of Abigail, as David is shown to be responsive to doing the right thing when he had been about to kill Nabal for his shameful behaviour. (Previously, when we did the webcast of David Pawson’s message on Samuel, someone pointed out that David Pawson made a mistake by saying that Abigail was Nabal’s daughter. So, before that happens again, I should point out in his defence that in his “Unlocking The Bible” book on Samuel, David Pawson does actually write that Abigail was Nabal’s wife, so David Pawson simply ‘mis-spoke’ in front of the camera when recording this message.) Let’s not miss the main point that King David corrected his behaviour when his sin was pointed out to him. When David was shown the error of his ways, he sought to put things right and Samuel shows us that. However, God chose to desert Saul. He chooses who He will favour. He did not desert David, as David valued what God valued, even though he didn’t always do what he knew was right.3. Lessons for us…
God can choose whether or not to leave us, but it is not arbitrary. It depends on whether our value system puts God first, (Prov. 3:6) or whether we put ourselves first. We need to value what God values. God decides who He will be with. The value system David had of wanting to do what God wanted, was the difference between Saul and David. That is the message which we can lose sight of if we just treat this as a record of events, by putting Saul’s reign in one part, and David’s reign in another part. It may sound like common sense if you don’t understand Samuel’s point and purpose in writing what was just one book, which Jews accepted for a thousand years before it was divided up by the church. Samuel’s teaching point can be lost if we miss what Samuel left out. It illustrates why we need to read the Bible right through and not jump around. The Bible makes more sense if we read the books in the same order the Jews placed them in, instead of the order the church put them into.
Anyway, our teaching point is that Samuel is saying “look at the difference between Saul and David” and “look how serious sin is”. How we treat sin is all about the heart. That value system is why God said, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:13 & Malachi 1:3). Now we can see why Jesus said we must hate our parents in Luke 14:26, because in context, it means we must put God first, (Prov.3:6). We have become so used to only hearing what God loves, that we are almost unaware of all that the Bible teaches that God hates. (The Biblegateway website has a search engine which can show you how much there is.) Our God is holy which is why Moses had to take his sandals off before the burning bush. Those identified in the Bible as friends of God, like Abraham, were in awe of Him. The Bible knows nothing of treating God as if He were a mate. When Saul conducted a sacrifice himself, because Samuel was delayed in coming, he was permanently cut off by God, and Samuel never spoke to him again in his lifetime…(only in death, which our picture shows). Sin is deadly serious. This book is full of warnings for us to avoid being like Saul. We must value what God values, like David, if we are to ever seek His favour.
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
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