Chapter 16

Saul and David, Two Chosen Men of God

God did not want his chosen people to have a king over them, but in Israel’s plenty, they prostituted themselves and lost their ability to see God or to trust Him. So God gave them what they asked for, a King. God revealed to Samuel the man He was to anoint King over Israel. This king will be the man that will come to you to inquire the where about of some lost animals. Saul asked Samuel the directions to the prophet’s house not realizing he was talking to the very man he was seeking. After their meeting, Samuel had Saul dine with him, and stay the night.

1 Samuel 9:19 “...In the morning I will let you go and will tell you everything that is in your heart. As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desires of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father’s family?”

This is a statement that seems out of place given the fact of what was told him the next day after he was anointed.

I believe God was telling us that He determined many years prior, that Saul and all his fathers’ family would feed Israel on the bread of life. This time period of three days was already past, which equates to three years of sanctification. Samuel connected the sentence with the “lost donkeys” to the sentence of “all the desires of Israel” by using an “and” because they are interrelated, you cannot have one without the other. God is not going to choose a man and his family to lead and carry his chosen people who are not sanctified, for he would not be qualified.

It would appear on the surface that all Samuel did was to give Saul three events that were going to take place later in the day, and would finish up by having the Holy Spirit come on him in power.

The first event was to meet two men near Rachel’s tomb and they will tell him that the donkeys have been found and that your father is now worried about him, and asking what should I do about my son. Samuel had already told him yesterday that the donkeys had been found, so how and why would this be in Saul’s heart?

In the last half of the first sign, we find out what is in the father’s heart, not Saul’s heart. The same observations can be made for the second and third signs as well, so how can Samuel say that this is in Saul’s heart?

The Bible is demanding that we go deeper if we ever expect to reconcile what Samuel said, to what was in Saul’s heart. And if this is to be relevant to you and me today, then Samuel must be speaking about us. We know God never changes, his motif operandi is always the same, and we expect the Spirit to manifest in us, this same power. Therefore, we who have been given the faith to believe that these three signs that were given, were fundamental principals clothed in the practical events in Saul’s life, and are the same three signs that encapsulate the desires of our hearts. Samuel foretold of them not only to Saul but to you and me.

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

As Samuel was sending Saul off, he had Saul’s servant go on ahead so he could give Saul a message from God. This message that God gave Saul through Samuel, was to be received in private, for it was personal. God has this same personal message for you and it will only be received all by yourself in the privacy of your mind, through His word.

This message is timeless, practical and therefore relevant not only to Saul, but to every son of God that he has given the sight to see, the understanding to perceive, and the discipline to follow. God is looking for leaders over his inheritance.

1 Samuel 10:1 ... “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?”

Israel’s king would be a farmer from the smallest tribe of Israel, of the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin. God picks men and women who are the least in themselves for it brings together the ingredients to return the most glory to Himself. If Jesus has given you the mind to see, the heart to follow, and the will to obey, then he is anointing you to be a leader over his inheritance.

The servant has gone on ahead, it is just Samuel and Saul (God and you) and God starts to tell you all that is in your heart.
1 Samuel 10:2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?” ’

Here God is speaking to us in dark sayings or a riddle, not face to face. I believe God is telling us that after two years you will come alive to me, even though it is going to seem like you are on the outskirts of what you considered main stream of your belief. Some time after the two years, God will start revealing to you your mission, to carry the bread of life to his people. All God’s attempts to jar his people out of their complacency, within the confines of his Word, has just served to harden their hearts, so he is turning his attention to the one who will obey Him and to work out a plan for their mission.

1 Samuel 10:3 “Then you will go from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another, a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them.”

You will continue on your journey until God is speaking to you face to face and not in riddles (Num 12:8) or anything else. I believe that God is directing us to abstain from eating meat or drink anything that is fermented for three years on our way up to meet him.

Isaiah 22:12-14 Therefore in that day the Lord God of host, called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving the head, and to wearing sackcloth. Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, killing of cattle and sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine: “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we may die.” But the Lord of host revealed Himself to me, “Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven you until you die,” says the Lord God of host.

That leaves you eating only two loaves of bread over three years. That means that one third of your food throughout these three years must come from feeding on the Bread of Life. I believe that after two years of this self imposed siege, your mind will be at a point in rejuvenation, which will allow you to start seeing him face to face.

Isaiah 30:20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

1 Samuel 10:15 After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

After that, which is to say, after the two years of meeting with God, he will put a new song in your heart, for you will understand the goodness of God. He will start showing you the place where you are to carry out His mission, located somewhere in the body where the enemy has an outpost.

After completion of your third year, you go in faith, you will join the procession of prophets who have prophesied before you, that have orchestrated sweet music to the Lord. At the end of your third year, the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in POWER and you will prophesy, because the purity of your flesh and blood has changed the physics of your body to that of a holy person.

Once you have gone through the process, God is with you whatever your hands find to do. After three years, you will be a holy man of God, producing fruit that pleases Him.

So what are the desires of the heart of every child of God but to: Come alive to God through purification, speak to him face to face to receive your mission and to move out in the power of the Spirit, to take victory after victory.

But you say it did not take Saul three years before he received power.

1 Samuel 10:9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.

This was a physical event that happened in time but it is also a picture of what was in Saul’s heart. God foreknew, and I believe God ordained that the life style of Saul at this time, was one that had his temple pure and was ready to receive. This is also a picture of what must be in everyone’s heart that has given their life to Christ and is longing to move in the power of the Spirit of God.

For Saul all these signs were literally fulfilled in his body by the power of God in that 24 hour period, but the riddle of Saul’s life was given to the reader to solve, understand and to follow, so that we can be changed into a different person regardless of the time.

There is no doubt that Saul at this point in his life was in the center of God’s will, having been changed by the receiving of the power of the Holy Spirit and given the directive to do whatever your hand finds to do because “God is with you”. We too can, and will be, in the center of God’s will, if we are intentional about endorsing the truth in this riddle.

The question becomes: How could someone like Saul experience this close intimate fellowship with the Creator, yet still be fooled into taking actions that would remove him from this relationship? We need to understand, for it is in the understanding that we can grasp the gravid (grave danger) in compromising the little acts of obedience, which leads us out of the will of God and onto big acts of disobedience.

Samuel gives the warning:
1 Samuel 12:14 “If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God - good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

It would seem clear enough, but Saul needed to study his forefather’s history, and then he would have discovered that they in fact, only thought they were careful to keep all God’s commandments and laws. The puzzling problem that Saul needed so desperately answered was: Why did their fathers think they were obeying when in fact they were not? For him to continue on and accept this kingship without understanding what placed him there, is to continue in ignorance and just hope not to fall out of God’s will.

1 Samuel 12:25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.

Samuel was telling them that they were doing evil right now and if you do not turn you will be swept away. All the fathers down through the ages were thinking they were following what God demanded. These thoughts that were deceiving them were originating in their minds, therefore, it must have everything to do with the mind. It must be, if the mind is not functioning properly, it leads us to act on thoughts that go against God and we will not even know that we are. And so the puzzle continues today, if I do the same things that my fathers did, I will end up in their same position before God?

If the Lord is going to hold us accountable for our thoughts, then our thoughts have the ability to reveal whether we are in the pretense of Jesus or rather in the character of Christ. So what thoughts would speak boldly against the character of Christ? Did Christ say, I want what I see the others in authority having, or I will not drink this cup the Father has prepared for me, for who else has been asked to bare such a load?

Christ’s character would never allow thoughts of comparison to root in His mind or allow Satan, through someone else, to plant thoughts of comparison. Saul was jealous of David because thoughts of comparison were able to take root in his mind. Thoughts of comparison were signaling Saul that he had moved out of the character of Christ and away from God. Thoughts of comparison are not the only thoughts which can tip you off that you are not in Jesus’ name, but they are, most certainly, one of the most seductive types of thoughts which can take root even in the most unfertile state of mind.

Let us look into Saul’s account and see if this theory holds any water. Only the prophet Samuel was to make the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord and Saul knew it.

1 Samuel 13:9 ...And Saul offered up the burn offerings. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” “You have acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.”

He knew the clear directives God had laid down for these offerings and when the time of testing came, his mind went into the mode of rationalizing and computed actions that he knew went against God. To lose his men was a disgrace and was shaming him as their leader. The flesh cannot stand to be humbled, and if the flesh is in control, it will always produce action from pride.

Pro 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Saul was leaning on his own understanding. Pride comes before a fall and Samuel was not long in his arrival or his announcement to Saul.

Saul continues to show what is in his heart as he places his army under an oath saying: “Cursed be any man who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” This was a serious matter which immediately required God’s participation and put his army in a needless disadvantage on the battlefield. Saul’s son Jonathan, not knowing, eats some honey and through his bravery, God brings about a great deliverance for Israel. This attitude of pride lost him the kingdom and would have taken his very son, Jonathan, if not for the men. This attitude of arrogance does not come from God so where did it originate and how did it come to be in control?

After Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men, in an area of about half an acre, something changed in the minds of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 14:15 Then panic struck the whole army - those in the camp and fields, and those in the outpost and raiding parties - and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.

This same phenomenon which was working against Saul was working for him in the army of the Philistines. What was going on in the mind of Saul was going on in the minds of the Philistines. One man’s act of faith started a land slide of doubt. The battle was won in the mind, and with regards to the Philistines, was lost in the mind. The same reality holds true today, the question is: “Do you want to have truth working for you or against you?”

Romans 11:7-8 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”

What is this “spirit of stupor” and how does it practically come upon you? The dictionary’s definition of “stupor” is: 1. a state in which the mind and senses are so dulled, as by a drug that one can barely think, act, feel, etc. 2. Mental or moral dullness.

God does not wave his hand and suddenly this evil spirit comes upon you. No, it is in your choosing to disobey His laws that govern, which creates in you a posture where by even witnessing Truth in action does not register, and reading the word of God does not register. The reality of this truth has not dissipated over time and neither has our understanding come to the level required to over come.

Samuel directs Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites and not to spare any living thing or anything that belongs to them.

1 Samuel 15:9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs - everything that was good.

Here we see a further degenerating of Saul’s condition, not only did he directly disobey God but he went to Carmel to set up a monument in his own honor. If you are not faithful in the little things, you will not be ready when it comes time to be faithful in the big things. Therefore, if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. This meeting where God confronted Saul through Samuel took place at Gilgal. (Sam 15:12) When Samuel questions Saul on his actions, we see him using the same deception on Samuel that caused him to disobey. Samuel is not fooled by Saul’s attempts to justify his actions and quickly sets him straight in this reply 1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

If you are going to reject a direct command from God on a specific issue that the result can and will be plainly seen, how much more over the standing commandments that the consequence cannot readily be seen. This comes sharply into focus in Sam 14:33 when it was someone other than Saul that recognized the men were sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it. Any time you persist in rejecting the clear word of the Lord, you can expect him to remove the power of his Spirit and give you over to a spirit of evil.

1 Samuel 16:14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

1 Samuel 16:23 Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

This spirit was inside him and it was hurting him by affecting his mind, which caused a departure from what is right and true. Samuel had already anointed David as king, but David was still out attending his father’s sheep when Saul sent for him to play the harp to sooth his evil spirit.

Jesse, David’s father sends back with Saul’s attendance, a gift for honoring his son, as Saul asked for David to play music for him. The gift that is recorded here is no coincidence, and like every word God writes, it has something to communicate.

1 Samuel 16:20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.

As we compare the picture of how the power of the Spirit arrived on Saul, to the picture God gives us as he ushers in David, Saul’s replacement, we are given insight as to why this man failed. It is important to gain this knowledge, so we can avoid these same actions that destroyed Saul’s fellowship with God. Saul’s subjects were giving gifts that they knew the king would enjoy, the very things the Lord removed to consecrate him.

We know that the Spirit of the Lord left him, but it was the actions on Saul’s part which brought about this evil spirit. It is not a matter of one or the other, but being careful to keep the proper balance.

I believe that God’s word is showing us that it is the actions on our part, which will either inhibit and / or drive away the power of the Spirit, or invite and sustain the power of the Spirit in our lives. How fast you can flop back and forth only God knows, because you are unique, but it is either one or the other.

Saul was catering to his flesh, and was consuming meat and wines as entertainment, which ultimately robbed him of the privilege of delivering the Bread of Life to Israel; he became pregnant with evil, conceived trouble and gave birth to disillusionment.

Isaiah 22:12-13 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating meat and drinking wine! “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!”

When the fear of the Lord is subdued, the flesh will always revel.

After David slew Goliath he became the object of Saul’s wrath which shows the fatalness of Saul’s thinking.

1 Samuel 18:10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Don’t become confused when you read that this evil spirit was from the Lord for His word tells us in:

Romans 1:28 Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.

Saul sinks further into depravity, as hunting David for years was not enough, he turned to the witch of Endor to call up Samuel, that he might inquire about the pending battle that made him afraid and filled his heart with terror.

1 Samuel 28:16 Samuel said to Saul, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and become your enemy? ... The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors - to David. Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.

Saul’s actions of disobedience not only turn the Lord away, but made Him his enemy. Saul went from a nobody to the center of God’s will, to become God’s enemy all through his own actions, because he was ignorant of what God demands of us all. Here was a branch from God’s chosen people who was broken off and ran out of time to understand how he could be grafted back in again.

When Samuel came and delivered God’s rebuke to Saul, He was also addressing all of Israel. What took place through this disobedience was a monumental moment in history, not only for Saul and his men, but speaks directly to anyone who will not follow God’s instructions and put to death all that the Amalekites represent.

Hosea 9:15-16 All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels. Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up, they will bear no fruit. Even though they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb.

The book of Hosea is a book on the future times and God is directing these writings to the people in the future. Each of us will have or has had our own spot called Gilgal, the question is: Will God, or did God come to hate us there. Gilgal was a place in time where most of God’s people crossed over to follow wickedness and as a result cast-the-dye for all generations to come.

Each generation through ignorance will teach and instruct their children in the ways of wickedness. The princesses will not know that their deeds will and are going against the very laws of health and vitality, and as a result their offspring will be instructed in the way of death.

David in contrast, was a man after God’s own heart.

1 Samuel 16:12 ...Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.

David becomes Saul’s musician and friend. Eliab, David’s oldest brother, attacks his character when he inquires about Goliath saying “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” I find it quite interesting that the word to describe where David was pasturing the flock was “desert”, the same place where God taught obedience and purified the flock of Israel and where Jesus went to learn obedience through suffering. It was not that Jesus was ever disobedient, but I believe that God, his Father, was preparing him to obey to an extent he had never before experienced, to accomplish his mission.

Heb 5:8 Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him...

Perseverance in and through suffering brings about and teaches obedience to perfect holiness. It was after He was made perfect in the desert that he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him. I thought it was for all those who believe in His name, had eternal life. Now this scripture is telling me it is exclusive for the ones who obey and that Jesus only becomes the source of eternal life. This scripture is giving us the definition of believing, and if you come to Him by obedience you can access the source of eternal salvation with life and honor.

I believe David’s choice to suffer in the desert also taught him obedience and positioned him to receive God’s best. Also, you can be sure when you are in the will of God, Satan will find somebody close to you who he can use to attack your character, and accuse you in the area where you are most devoted and reveals the area where he is lacking.

God empowers David to kill Goliath and rewards his faithfulness with success in whatever Saul gives him to do, to the point where Saul gave him a high rank in the army. However, this same jealousy which turned his brothers against him on the battle field, is now going to work on King Saul. When Saul hears the women of the towns singing and dancing saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” he became indigent. The next day Saul tries to kill David with a spear, as the spirit of jealous takes control. Because of the attempts on his life, David leaves and spends the next ten years on the run, finally settling down with his men in Gath, in the land of the Philistines. David gains the confidence of the King of Gath by lying to his son, Achish, about where, and who he was raiding, but on his way up to fight against Israel, the Generals of Gath refused his services.

We find David arrives back at Ziklag, where all their families had been attacked and carried off by the Amalekites, the very peoples that God asked Saul to completely destroy, one of the two reasons given why Saul lost the kingdom. David, after weeping aloud until he had no more strength, turns to the Lord where he finds strength, and immediately inquires of the Lord on what to do. “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” He answered, “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. Here we see David doing his best to completely destroy the Amalekites but four hundred manage to escape. Does it not seem strange that the four hundred men rode off with no plunder?

Who are these Amalekites that keep slipping away and what do they represent for us, that God wants them completely destroyed, that cost Saul his kingship, and who is continually warring against Israel?

To understand what went wrong in Saul’s life and to be on guard in our own life we need to know who these people are.

These peoples first come on the scene in the latter part of Exodus 17. Why the latter? Because God is showing us that we need to relate to them in the same way we are to relate to the first part of 17.

In the first part of 17, we find the people of Israel traveling in the desert and becoming thirsty to the point of violence. God instructs Moses to take his staff and (verse 6) “...Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” A rock has got to be the last place you would expect water to flow from, but is this not in keeping with God’s character? If your level of faith only allows you to perceive the physical happenings of God supplying water to His people in a dry land, then that will be the only level that God can meet your needs on. We need not stop at this level, nor did God expect us to, for through Paul in:

1 Cor 10:1-5 We read: For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

That rock was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all who fall on this rock will receive salvation from death or have eternal life. That water is a picture of what he freely gives forth, grace to live the abundant life, and to drink of this water is to receive all the promises His word speaks of.

Once I ask Christ to come into my life and take away my sin, I have fallen on that rock and have entered into a covenant to salvage my life work. This covenant is to secure my salvation with eternal life, as the drinking of this water meets the conditions of His covenant.

The abundant life encompasses all the blessing of God, and becomes a by-product of the action. Therefore, I had better learn what it means to drink the water, if I don’t want my body to be one of them who were scattered all over the desert.

My hope is we can all see very clearly that the rock and the water were and are, telling us so much more than a first read may have revealed, and now we have become aware that our abundant life is not secured.

If in this first half of this Chapter 17, God tells me what is not secure. Would it not make sense that He would focus the last part of this chapter on what I am up against, that could rob me of my security? Likewise, the second half of this chapter is also going to reveal to us so much more than just “a people” that the Israelites are battling with.

These Amalekites are trying to kill them, to stop them from entering the promise land. We find in verse 11: As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

God is telling us that there is nothing we are going to do to win the battle, unless we can see God’s man who will have his hands held high towards heaven. Moses is a fore shadow of Jesus Christ, and just as something had to hold up Moses’ hands, so the same was for Christ.

John 12:32 Jesus said “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

Psalms 37:23 If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Jesus went to the cross where they lifted him up on a hill, with his hands nailed upwards to heaven.

Psalms 118:16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you with my righteous right hand.

There is only one thing which is blocking our path to the promised land and we are in fight to the death.

There’s no negotiating a peace treaty, if we fail to kill the flesh,
Make no mistake, the flesh will kill us.

As we’re in the valley warring against our flesh, we are instructed not to fear, or be dismayed. We have God’s assurance that he will strengthen us, because he has lifted his Son high on a hill, with his righteous right hand extended towards heaven, personally on my behalf. My responsibility is to look up and receive his strength by faith.

(NIV) 1 Chr 29:12 ...In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

(NASB) 1 Chr 29:12 “Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone.”

His uplifted hands give me the ability to receive the victory over that which wars against me and keeps me from the abundant life and the promised land. The Bible tells me that it is my flesh that keeps warring against my spirit.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh set its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

The Amalekites are a picture which represents our flesh, something that is always vulnerable to Satan’s temptations that are at the least trying to block me from God’s best, and at the greatest, trying to kill me.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

It is through the defeating of the flesh that peace is established in us and with God. Christ made available His unmerited favor to everyone who will accept it by faith, because without gaining access to His grace, the victory over your flesh is impossible.

Utilizing this faith is in the moving out, because His hands were held high for me (grace), to give me the will to believe in His strength to seize my flesh by the neck and run it through with the word of God. We now have accomplished that which must be achieved by faith to enjoy peace with God. With the flesh subdued, grace can go on to teach you to say no to ungodliness, as it continues to supply the strength.

So Joshua overcame the Amalekites army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my banner. He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

God is going to be at war with the flesh until the flesh is done away with.

These Amalekites will only be put to death as the Spirit leads us to exercise the Word of God, through the strength we receive as we keep our eyes fixed on the uplifted hands of Jesus.

This method of defeating them must be recorded and passed on because the Lord will be at war against them from generation to generation, until the day God completely blots out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.

We needed to take a little side track off to further prove and grasp how these Amalekites operate, so we can be certain of what is needed to appropriate the knowledge to overcome. The revealed truth coming from the lives of Saul and David is invaluable in our understanding of what we're up against. In other words, we know where we want to end up, that is in victory over them, but what are the practical steps in accomplishing such a thing?

David has returned just two days prior from defeating the Amalekites, when a man brings him news that Saul and Jonathan have been killed on Mount Gilboa. David questioned the man about his report.

2 Samuel 1:5 ...“How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and riders almost upon him. When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and said, ‘Who are you?’ “ ‘An Amalekite,’ I answered. “Then he said to me, ‘Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death, but I am still alive.’ “So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my Lord.”

Saul was most certainly fighting the Lords’ enemies, but the problem was, he was doing it outside of the blessings of God, and that force is in the power of the flesh. We know the details surrounding Saul’s death in:

1 Samuel 31:4 He asked his armor-bearer to run him through but his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

Both accounts of Saul’s death must be true, for if one of these two men were giving false testimony, God would have informed us, because he does not leave it up to the reader to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth. But it appears there is a clear contradiction in the word of God, for how can Saul die at his own hands yet have this Amalekite run him through.

The Bible scholars consider this second report a lie, and should you follow them you will maintain the statuesque and go nowhere. Saul was still alive, even though his flesh had him in the throes of death long before this battle, and now God in this picture is pulling back the curtains and showing us the behind scenes of how and why he died.

Both these accounts on Saul’s death are true. These Amalekites represent a picture of what is going on inside of each of us, this warring between our flesh and our spirit. God is confirming what He has shown us earlier, compromise with the flesh pollutes God’s Holy Temple and a polluted temple will digress to the point where one day it will destroy you, robbing you of your crown. You may ask “Why do I want to persevere against my flesh just to keep my crown?”

Rev 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it.

If you overcome, you will be worthy to continually be in God’s presences as someone who is holding up God’s temple. Overcoming of what? Overcoming the flesh, to be in a state of health, to survive the test / cleansing of the Great Tribulation period; that is, you were able to live through it to finish and make ready to be received.

After David mourned and wept and fasted for Saul, and the armies of the Lord, he was quick to recognize who this man was and would not be swayed by his gift or his smooth talk.

2 Samuel 1:15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died. For David has said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”

Everyone who considers themselves to be the Lord’s anointed or not, needs to understand the flesh is working to kill you. Therefore, without believing, that is taking action that employs the truth, the flesh will be successful; it is just a matter of time. When time has worked with the flesh to position you in the throes of death, Satan will be there to claim the victory over God’s temple. The Spirit of God working through your spirit would have given you many more years of fulfilling life that would have accomplished your Godly mission.

David becomes King

2 Samuel 5:4 David was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

David did what was right and just, for all of Israel and God gave him rest from all his enemies. God knew David’s heart, that is to say, his heart was pliable, and his spirit was humble and submissive. God sovereignty always places the right man in the right place at the right time, when He chooses to make a new covenant.

2 Samuel 7:15 “But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”

Saul had this same opportunity, if only he would have been obedient in the small directives because these small things robbed him of the ability to be faithful in the bigger things. Saul’s actions sowed what he did not want to reap. This new promise made to David only, guarantees that David will have a blood offspring on the throne, and does not exempt him or them from suffering the consequences of their actions.

2 Samuel 7:14 “I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

Remember, and keep in mind, that God uses men to inflict punishment on His sons to whom He loves, which is exactly what is going to happen on the Day of Judgment.

We know that God does not show favoritism, so there must be some actions on David’s part that has allowed him to conduct his affairs in such away that God can refer to him “As the apple of my eye” or “A man after my own heart”. In Genesis, when God was directing us on what is best, regarding a wife, he states “the two shall become one flesh” not the many shall become one flesh. But we see that in: 2 Samuel 5:13 After He left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.

He went directly against God’s command and one of his wives, Bathsheba was a married woman. He saw her bathing from the top of the palace, where he gave into his flesh and committed adultery. When Nathan brought this to David’s attention in:

2 Samuel 12:7 “...I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hands of Saul. I gave you your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been to little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.

Here is this word “Why” again. God is directing us to answer the question of, “Why did he do this evil?” If God brings up the question, then you know the question is important to answer and He is going to give us the answer somewhere because the answer is at the heart of the matter.

Even though David was quick to tell Nathan that he had sinned against the Lord, it did not resolve him of the sentence handed down by God, which was that, ...the sword will never depart from your house and ... you did it in secret, but I will do this in broad daylight ... Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

David had faith, that is, he believed that God was going to take away his sin and we can see the Lord did, but the actions had severe repercussions to his son and his kingdom.

Anytime our action brings disgrace to our Lord and cause people to act in the same contemptible manner that we have, you can expect for God to withhold his blessings. We, like David, don’t keep busy in the evening with the things of God, so in this time we look for ways to satisfy the desires of the flesh. For most of us it is eating and watching TV and both could be acts of adultery. Now that we are not going to die for our sins, we have allowed our flesh to reinterpret God’s word; in an attempt to hide our disgrace, as to deceive us into thinking what is happening to us is still the abundant life. Therefore, the onlookers to our lives are showing the same utter contempt, because we have rationalized a way, what was design to be the clear results from our actions. We have in effect, erased our witness for the ones who would follow us. Therefore, you can imagine the terrible state David would have been in if there was no one like Nathan to jar him out of his delusive justification.

But where is our “Nathan”, which will speak God’s word so we can get off this merry-go-round?

Your whole life could go by and you may think you are experiencing the blessing of the Lord, but in fact you are not. Each time David sent his army out to do battle he knew why, and if Nathan had not brought it to his attention, his flesh would have had deceived him into thinking that this was normal. This same fighting will never leave our house and the people in our influence will be emboldened to take our shame to greater levels.

The Lord struck the child and he became ill. (Verse 16) David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent nights lying on the ground. David humbled himself through the seventh day until the child died. We need to follow these actions David displayed in petitioning God, so our children might live.

The Psalms gives us great insight not only into to the heart and actions of David, but into the mind of God. God wrote through David and others 150 Psalms that give us insight and understanding to know His mind and His will. If this was not His mind or will, these writings would not have been preserved and placed in His Holy Word.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

The question becomes: If God does not show favoritism, but is only faithful to His word, then what action of obedience positioned David to receive the mind of God? And if I know and repeat these same actions, it should place me in the same position that is, having the mind of God. I believe the action that sets David apart and is consistent with scripture is found in Psalms 109:24 which reads: “My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt. I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads.

Psalms 119:83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget thy statutes.

Psalms 69:8-10 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn;

The manifestation of this reality, that David had this consuming passion for the house of God, was expressed externally through having the mind of God and also that Christ was giving us a picture of what took place in David’s weeping and fasting.

In John 2:17 Jesus’ disciples equated the clearing of the temple by Jesus, to David’s exact words “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

This not only confirms that David had the mind of God but that Christ was giving us a picture of what took place in David’s body so he could have this mind of God. Jesus wants to clear everyone’s temple because he wants everyone to have the mind of God, for to see Him as He is, is to worship Him as He wants.

The question becomes what happened in David’s life that brought him to the point where he had the mind of God? In Psalms, Chapter 35, Verse 13-14, we see the actions of David when the people around him were sick.

Psalms 35:13-14 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.

This clothing of sackcloth took the form and became the action of denying himself food, which humbled his soul before God. This sackcloth produced prays for these people around him that were not very close to him, which were dying, but to no avail. The people around him that witnessed his actions saw no results, and therefore, became indignant rather than convicted. In the people's eyes, David’s actions only served to enflame them because his actions seemed to only testify against their perceived righteousness. David’s actions were heaping burning coals on their heads, not only by his actions, but by his confident position that God will deliver.

David now becomes sick.

Psalms 35:15-16 But at my stumbling they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together; the smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, they slandered me without ceasing. Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth.

These people who David had been witnessing to about sickness have now become Satan’s tools, to slander him now that he has become sick.

Psalms 35:21 And they opened their mouths wide against me; they said, “Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen it.”

David’s sickness is described in Psalms 38:3-10 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities are gone over my head; as heavy burden they weigh too much for me. My wounds grow foul and fester. Because of my folly, I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long. For my loins are filled with burning; and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am benumbed and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before Thee; and my sighing is not hidden from Thee. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me.

Keep in mind that lawlessness had been building for some time in David’s life and most certainly was responsible for his actions regarding Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba. But David does not stray from his conviction or God’s promises, even though the evident in his actions of the past would run contrary.

David express in Psalms, Chapter 41:1-3 his continuing faith and belief in the laws of God.

Psalms 41:1-3 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble. The Lord will protect him, and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desires of his enemies. The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, Thou dost restore him to health.

This truth from David’s mouth even makes his close friends taunt him by asking him, “Where is his God?”

Psalms 41:7-10 All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt, saying, “A wicked thing is poured out upon him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again. Even my close friends, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. But Thou, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

David shows us his course of action in Chapter 42:3, even though his friends taunt him by asking him where his God is.

Psalms 42:3-4 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God. With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

David is remembering the past where he lead his people to the house of God for thanksgiving and pray, and to study the word and glean the truth from the scriptures. This truth that he believed would heal them and set them free. The puzzling question was: “Why were they not experiencing the transformation that the word of God promises?”

If David had of known the answer to this riddle, he would have a better chance of not stumbling and becoming sick, but he was human and lacked the power of Love to overcome his flesh. David was weak like most people are, and now finds himself in the same position as all the other people he had fasted and prayed for, that had died. It was now time for his faith to be tested, to find out for himself what he believed, and because of what he preached to others, and his deep commitment to God’s word, he would stay the course and if need be, will die, trying to lead the way. The fact that all were abandoning him and slandering his devotion to the word, only served to remove everything, except the love of God to draw close to.

Psalms 38:11-22 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; and my kinsmen stand afar off. Those who seek my life lay snares for me; and who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, and they devise treachery all day long. But I like a deaf man do not hear; and in whose mouths are no arguments. For I hope in Thee, O Lord; Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God. For I said, “May they not rejoice over me, who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me.” For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin. But my enemies are vigorous and strong; and many are those who hate me wrongfully. And those who repay evil for good. They oppose me, because I follow what is good. Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

This time for speaking is over, now is David’s time for action and he will take no prisoners with his flesh.

Psalms 102:4-11 My heart has been smitten like grass and has withered away, indeed, I forget to eat my bread. Because of the loudness of my groaning My bones cling to my flesh. I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places. I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop. My enemies have reproached me all day long; those who deride me have used my name as a curse. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, because of Thine indignation and Thy wrath; for Thou hast lifted me up and cast me away. My days are like a lengthened shadow; and I wither away like grass.

God restores David and He put to music this riddle on the harp, the very same riddle that was spoken about in:

Numbers 12:8 “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the Lord. …

Psalms 49:3-4 My mouth will speak wisdom; and the meditation of my heart will be understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp.

But what is this riddle David puts forth, a conundrum to be unraveled? The riddle is to understand that we are missing a pivotal piece in the puzzle and to point us to clues to solving the mystery of God as it relates to righteousness and holiness.

Psalms 69:22-25 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever. Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them. May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.

There is only one thing that can be on this table that would darken their eyes and stiffen their bones so their backs are bent forever, and that would be an abundance of food and drink, holy or defiled, followed by many irresistible deserts.

Luke 11:34 “The lamp of your body is your eye; when the eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”

Remember, David, when writing these Psalms, had the mind of Christ. Therefore, anybody who went against God’s laws, whether they sat at his table or the table of his enemies, would subject themselves to the slowly tightening noose of the snare and receive this retribution.

Psalms 103:2-5 Praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord is not only going to forgive all my sin but heal all my diseases and continue until my youth is renewed like the eagles. If God does not heal all your diseases, neither are you redeemed from the pit, nor crowned, or satisfied to the point your youth is renewed like an eagle. This is not my words, these are God’s words!

Psalms 106:13-14 David points out what happened to the children of Israel after they crossed the Red Sea. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave into their cravings; in the waste land they put God to the test.

If we give into our cravings, we will put God to the test and this is what he is saying to us: They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.

This act that God calls prostitution is not a sexual act in the sense of intercourse between male and female, but rather succumbing to and allowing the cravings for food to go unchecked or unbridled.

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