Synopsis:The Philistines raise an army against Israel. Saul is scared and doesn’t know what to do. God won’t talk to him directly or through the prophets. He has also thrown all the wizards and people with familiar spirits from the land. He asks around and finds out there is a woman in Endor who has a familiar spirit. So he puts on clothes to hide himself and goes to see her. She is skeptical. You aren’t going to turn me over to Saul are you? No, I promise I won’t. Saul then asks her to bring up Samuel. Which she does. And she is upset because now she realizes, he is Saul. Saul asks her what she sees. She says she sees gods ascending from the ground. An old man comes, covered in a mantle, it is Samuel. Samuel is pretty upset that Saul called him up from his rest and Samuel tells Saul – God doesn’t like you and you are going to die. Saul throwns himself to the floor distraught. The woman with the familiar comes and tries to get Saul to eat. He refuses. She kills a calf and makes some bread and Saul agrees to eat and then they all leave and go back to his house.
In other words:God isn’t talking to Saul so Saul holds a séance with a female psychic and asks a cranky dead Samuel for advice.
Favorite bit:That Samuel is really cranky for having been summoned by a psychic – when God is really clear – you aren’t supposed to use psychics. No wonder God has abandoned you. (1 Samuel 28:15,16)
2nd favorite bit:That the psychic is from Endor.
3rd favorite bit:That the psychic - seeing Saul's distress, even though she didn't like him, still offered him food. (1 Samuel 28: 22-25)
Least favorite bit:That not only will Saul and his sons be killed, but so will the Israelis.
Moral Lesson Learned:Be nice to people who suffer, even if you don’t like them (1 Samuel 28)
Synopsis:Samuel dies. Everyone is sad. In the meantime, David comes to a shepherd who is shearing his sheep. He sends men out to ask for food and supplies. This man, Nabal, refuses. So David and 400 men arm themselves to kill the household and steal what they need. 200 men are to be left behind to guard, the “stuff.” Nabal’s wife Abigail finds out her husband said no to David and goes out to meet him with food, sheep and wine. She asks David to spare her house and to let God take care of Nabal’s wickedness. David thanks her for her wisdom and after Nabal finds out about his wife’s giving food and supplies to David and his heart is stricken and he dies 10 days later. David asks Abigail to be his wife and she brings some maids with her and David ends up with 2 wives. We are told this is ok because his other wife Michel (Saul’s daughter) has been given to someone else anyway.
In other words:Samuel dies and David gets another 2 wives.
Favorite bit:Abigail pleading with David. (1 Samuel 25:18-31)
2nd favorite bit:1 Samuel 25:13 – 400 men gird for battle. 200 “abode by the stuff.” It just tickles me that this is the wording. Stay by the stuff and guard it.
Rather anti-climactic bit:Samuel dying. This chapter is named for him, but it’s really the story of Saul and David. Samuel’s death only takes up 1 verse out of 44 and it’s pretty matter of fact. Samuel died and the people of Israel lamented him. (1 Samuel 25:1)
Most interesting bit:1 Samuel 25:37,38 – when Nabal finds out what Abigail has done, “his heart died within him and he became as a stone.” 10 days later, he is dead. Sounds like a heart attack to me.
Least favorite bit:1 Samuel 25:44 – that Michal, David’s first wife was given away to someone else. I understand that Saul didn’t like David, but … it’s still not giving women a say in who they are married to. And, David doesn’t seem to care.
Moral lesson learned:Don’t be a jerk (1 Samuel 25)
Synopsis:Saul musters 3,000 men to seek out David and kill him. They camp in a ditch. David goes to the camp and steals Sauls spear and water while he is sleeping. Then goes to a hill out of reach of the army. He wakes everyone up and tells Saul – again, I could have killed you but did not. I am not a sinner, do not try to kill me. Saul apologizes yet again, I won’t try to kill you anymore and Saul returns home.
In other words:David once again is given a chance to kill Saul and once again does not. Saul once again promises to stop trying to kill David.
Favorite bit:That David’s army isn’t all Israeli’s, he has Hittites and others serving with him. 1 Samuel 26:6
Least favorite bit:1 Samuel 26:21 – When Saul once again promises not to kill David. How many times are we going to have to listen to his empty promises.
2nd favorite bit:That David basically wins this stand off by guilting Saul into admitting that David has done nothing wrong.
Moral Lessons Learned:
- Sometimes you win by not fighting. (1 Samuel 26)
- When fighting someone immoral – take the moral high ground and keep it (1 Samuel 26)