Tag: Saul

A Pursued Prey David’s Persecution

A Pursued Prey David’s Persecution

Book of 1 Samuel Chapters 21-30

Last week we mentioned that Saul had ruled for nearly 30 years before these things with David had taken place. We also know that King Saul ruled for a total of 40 years:

Act 13:21  And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, [by the space of forty years].
Act 13:22  And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

History says that David began his rule in 1011 BC and that King Saul died in 1011 BC.

At the time of this lesson David will be around 20 years old and age to 30 years old.

King Saul spent the last 10 years of his life trying to make the life of David miserable, by trying to eliminate him from this earth.

Saul had tried to use his servants to kill David.

Saul had tried to use his daughters to kill David.

Saul had tried to use his son, Jonathan to kill David.

Saul had tried to use the Philistines to kill David.

Saul had thrown spears at David while David only played music to soothe him.

Saul will take matters in his own hands as the death of David has become a very personal thing to him.

Saul was in misery and Saul made David’s life miserable!

We should be able to see the hand of Satan in all these things!

Let’s begin:

*****1Sa 21:1  Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?

Nob is a city of the tribe of Benjamin. This city is where King Saul had had the Tabernacle moved, though the Ark of the Covenant was never returned to the Tabernacle during the time of Saul.

This Nob was near and probably within sight of Jerusalem according to Isaiah:

Isa 10:32  As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

Nob was also about 2 miles from the home town of King Saul which was Gibeah and where the Ark was kept.

Ahimelech, sometimes called Ahiah, was the great grandson of Eli who would have been in his 60’s by this time.

Why was Ahimelech afraid?

David had been in the King’s court for 10 years, we could ask ourselves how would we feel if someone in the counsel of our president, a non-believer, just happened to drop by our church without notice.

So he ask, Why are you alone?

After his meeting with Jonathan, David knew he could not return to the palace of Saul. He had to flee for his life. He was not in his usual attire nor in his armor and he would not normally be traveling the country side alone as he was a target of all the enemies of Israel.

*****1Sa 21:2  And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.

David lies to the High Priests.

David did not know who he could trust at this time but he did know he could trust the Lord, "But" David began scheming instead of trusting.

If we would just trust God with every portion of our lives, we would find no need to lie about our
circumstances!

Ahimelech had no reason to doubt these things of David and he did not.

"You may try to lie to save your life but you can never lie and save your soul"!

The prophet Jonah cried out to the Lord while in the belly of that whale and he used these words:

Jon 2:8  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Jonah knew the mistakes he had made by not obeying God and he truly needed mercy just as David needed at this time!

David was actually joined later in the cave of Adullam with some men that stayed with him so this part could be true.

Like Jonah, David later regrets having lied to the High Priest:

1Sa 22:22  And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house.

It would be a good time to point out that as these things develop we will see this Doeg as a "type" of the Antichrist.

We know that the spirit of the Antichrist has lived in all generations:

1Jn 4:3  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; [and even now already is it in the world].

*****1Sa 21:3  Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.

This question simply means what food do you have? David requested 5 loaves of bread but then said whatever you have will be enough.

*****1Sa 21:4  And the priest answered David, and said, There is no "common bread" under mine hand, but there is "hallowed bread"; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.

David had presumably made arrangements for some of his own followers to meet him after he had escaped from King Saul, so he was not alone.

We can understand that anyone with David would also be considered an enemy of Saul and would have also left all their own possessions behind.

David had made a hasty escape.

What is hallowed bread?

God had given this command to Moses that concerned the Tabernacle:

Lev 24:5  And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
Lev 24:6  And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.
Lev 24:7  And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Lev 24:8  Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
Lev 24:9  And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.

The only time this "hallowed bread" could be considered "common bread" would have been after it was replaced each Sabbath.

This bread was to be eaten by the Priest of the Tabernacle.

Jesus explains this when He was asked about it by the Pharisees:

Mat 12:3  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
Mat 12:4  How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

By the laws given to Moses it was unlawful for the common man to eat of this bread!

"But by God’s law of love", when the house of God which teaches eternal life cannot be used to sustain physical life then that would be the greater sin!

AND, Jesus adds:

Mat 12:8  For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

It was to be clear to these young men and they needed to understood where this bread came from and it’s use.

It should also be clear to the Church!

The House of God’s single most important purpose is to reach out to the lost and we cannot do that by turning our back to them!

And the saved must keep in mind that Jesus Christ is our Lord seven days of each week not just on the days we worship!

*****1Sa 21:5  And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

We can see that David and this group of men had been alluding Saul already for 3 days and by the hand of God this was the time that was to be set aside by men to stand before the Lord.

Exo 19:15  And he said unto the people, "Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives".

Once that bread was removed from that Table that was built for that purpose, "it then became common bread"!

That bread that was intended to "shew a type of eternal life" became a bread that "sustained physical life"!

Jesus said:

Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.

When we studied the Tabernacle we learned these things:

1) The Table for the "shew bread" was in "type" Jesus Christ in the flesh.

2) Being completely over laid with gold reminds us of Jesus Christ continuing and everlasting "deity".

3) When Jesus Christ became man, He also became "The Living Bread of Life".

4) Being made from fine flour speaks of "the perfection" of Jesus Christ.

5) This bread "was baked" which gave it life, we cannot live on flour and the baking of the bread shows us that our everlasting life came only after Christ death on the Cross.

6) This cake of bread would have been punctured just before the baking and we know that the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was punctured 5 times on that cross.(5 the number for "Grace")

7) That bread was hallowed bread "reserved for the priests" but everyone that is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, is truly God’s priesthood.

David was filled with the Holy Spirit and the Spirit remained with him throughout his life.

When the Holy Spirit fills each believer he then becomes a priest:

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up "a spiritual house, an holy priesthood", to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

It would have gone against the Word of God to deny David this "hallowed bread"!

Our "Hallowed God" came to this earth to save the "Common people"!

*****1Sa 21:6  So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

David had not needed to lie!

That bread was given to David was to teach us that the preservation of life is more important than some ceremonial rules and regulations of any religion!

Our one and only job after salvation is the lead the lost to the Lord so that they can be saved!

The need for "Grace" will always replace the need for "Rituals"!

Rituals are laws or works!

God teaches us:

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  "Not of works, lest any man should boast".

There is not one part of the Old Testament that will not lead us to Jesus when we study it out!

But Satan always also has his servants in the house of God!

*****1Sa 21:7  Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.

Now let’s watch Doeg:

Doeg was a servant of Saul, and Edomite, and was Saul’s head shepherd and a fake proselyte of Judaism!

We learn a lot about this man Doeg in this verse but let’s see how David described this man in a song written about him:

Psa 52:2  Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Psa 52:3  Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
Psa 52:4  Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.
Psa 52:5  God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
Psa 52:6  The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
Psa 52:7  Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

[Compare this to the description in Ezekiel 28]

*****1Sa 21:8  And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.
1Sa 21:9  And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

We must not interpret David’s haste to be away from Saul as an urgency to about the work of the Lord for we would be wrong in doing so!

David was running to save his own life and was making many mistakes while doing that. We should say that David was sometimes in a panic himself and in great despair.

David probably knew that the sword of Goliath was at the Tabernacle and he made up another lie.

Remember David kept the laws of God!

The High Priest pointed out that David knew of this sword.

It was kept in the Tabernacle as a monument to the defeat of Goliath, giving glory to David rather than to God who had given David this victory.

We Do Not Need Idols In Our Church!

We can never place any symbol of God in our house of worship that could cause that object to be worshipped.

Our only trophy is the Holy Spirit, that lives is inside our bodily Temple and can only come to us in the name of Jesus Christ.

David would show this same stress that resulted in great sin several more times in his life.

Every Christian makes mistakes and the Holy Spirit will lead us to repentance if we are truly saved!

*****1Sa 21:10  And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
1Sa 21:11  And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
1Sa 21:12  And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

David does not make good sense at this time but he was disappointed with his nation!

David wrote the 34th Psalm later as he reflected back on this time.

One verse says this:

Psa 34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Israel may not have accepted David as the new king but the Philistines were very aware that David would be the king of Israel.

David later wrote a Psalm about this incident and one of those verses has these words:

Psa 56:8  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

David realized again that only the Lord could deliver him from the hands of Saul and from all his enemies:

Psa 56:13  For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

*****1Sa 22:1  David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him.

The cave Adullam is about 13 miles west from Bethlehem. It is located on a hill about 500 feet high and there are numerous caverns there.

This was a low point in the life of David and he wrote Psalm 142 of the time he spent in this cave:

Psa 142:6  Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

We have now seen three times that much of the music of David was written at low points in his life "but he always knew who to turn too"!

We can also see that the attitude of David’s older brothers had changed, and all his family came in support of him.

Spiritually this makes us aware that as Christians who honor the Lord Jesus Christ we must also share in His rejection and in His suffering!

Luk 9:22  Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me".

As Christians we will suffer in this world but the Lord will be with us every step of the way!

*****1Sa 22:2  And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

We should notice that these men were not lawless bandits, "they were all victims of King Saul’s oppression". Some of these first 400 became some of the 30 of David’s mighty men and this group of men became the backbone of David’s army.

David understood the battles that were coming and that he would have to defend himself but his parents were to old and they were now also targets of King Saul.

*****1Sa 22:3  And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me.

We begin to see why the Bible was arranged in the order that these 66 books are when we see scriptures as this one.

The King of Moab was also an enemy of Saul and Israel.

David was the great-grandson of Ruth the Moabitess of which Jesse was the grandson. The Moabites at this point had no grounds to be against David as the word was spreading that he was also an enemy of Saul.

In fact it would be a good time to be on good terms with the future king of Israel.

David understood that he would one day be king of Israel but he did not yet know the time that would take place.

*****1Sa 22:4  And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.

The "hold" was probably the stronghold David used in Moab and near the border of Judah and was not the same as the cave of Adullam.

*****1Sa 22:5  And the prophet Gad said unto David, "Abide not in the hold"; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.
1Sa 22:6  When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;)

Gad is a prophet of God that joined with David while he was on the run and must have stayed close to him his remaining days.

Gad later wrote a book that may have even been called the "Acts of David".

1Ch 29:29  Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, "and in the book of Gad the seer",
1Ch 29:30  With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

This is all we know of this book but if Ezra completed the books of Samuel, then he certainly knew these things of Gad.

Gad, along with the prophet Nathan, also assisted in arranging the music with David in God’s House and was known as the King’s Seer, referring to King David.

2Ch 29:25  And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, "and of Gad the king’s seer", and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.

As a Seer, Gad had visions from God of what was going to happen and he advised David to return to Judah.

It would be hard for David to be a witness for the God of Israel if that God could not protect David in the land of Israel!

It was Judah that needed to know David and it was not fitting that the future king of Israel could not trust God’s ability to keep him safe in his own land!

We can see King Saul had nothing else on his mind but the destruction David and he was waiting for any knowledge of him with his spear in his hand ready to kill David himself.

Saul craved another opportunity to cast that javelin at David!

*****1Sa 22:7  Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds;
1Sa 22:8  That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

As Saul got the word that David had again entered into Israel, this time with an army, he gave this challenge to his own tribe Benjamin from which he had chosen most all his national leaders.

Saul felt like all of Israel had conspired against him and he challenged his own tribe to prove their loyalty because he said, "I am still your king and David is a nobody who can do nothing for you".

This gives us another picture of how far King Saul had sunk into depression, nearing insanity.

Saul said the proof of these things is the fact than none of them had told him about his son Jonathan, who had conspired with David allowing him to escape.

Saul again shows his fear of David!

*****1Sa 22:9  Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.
1Sa 22:10  And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

Doeg seizes on this opportunity to be more than just the head shepherd for King Saul. and now tells him how he had witnessed David with the High Priest.

Doeg makes it seem that the High Priests had also conspired against the King by not only providing weapons and food but had also inquired of God for David which did not happen.

Keep in mind that Saul had already been informed by Samuel that the Lord had rejected him as king as we follow what takes place.

*****1Sa 22:11  Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.
1Sa 22:12  And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord.
1Sa 22:13  And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

Saul repeats what Doeg has said about the High Priest.

We also need to keep in mind the phrase "all thy father’s house" is the house of Eli.

What did God say to Eli?

1Sa 3:12  In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

God said there would come a time that all of Eli’s family would be destroyed and there would be no more priests come from that family line.

We can see that God did not use Saul to do this evil but that God knew that this would happen.

God could have stopped these things from happening but He had already said He would not do so.

Ahimelech was innocent of these things that Doeg said and we can see his response:

*****1Sa 22:14  Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king’s son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?
1Sa 22:15  Did I then begin to enquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

The High Priest, like everyone else, had witnessed David how he had been faithful to the King.

Ahimelech reminded Saul that David was indeed still his son in law.

Ahimelech knew that whatever Saul had commanded David had obeyed.

Ahimelech says I had no reason not to believe what David had said and was not involved in any conspiracy against King Saul!

Ahimelech denies inquiring of the Lord for David and this had not been necessary as both David and Saul had already been informed of God’s Will.

So, What did King Saul do?

*****1Sa 22:17  And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.
1Sa 22:18  And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

The army of Saul knew this was wrong but Doeg murdered 85 members of the house of Eli, leaving only Abiathar left of the house of Eli.

Not only that but Saul destroyed the city of Nob!

If we see Doeg as a "type" of the "Anti-Christ" then we can see Ahimelech and those priests as a "type" of the Church.

Ahitub means "brother of goodness" but Ahimelech means "brother of the King"!

*****1Sa 22:19  And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

King Saul had failed to obey God to destroy King Agag and the Amelikites but it seems Saul had no problem with all these that were of the Tabernacle of God, God’s House!

Sounds a whole lot like the world we live in now!

David spent the next 10 years evading King Saul and certain  death!

It was a difficult and an uncertain life and the most important thing we need to realize as David eventually did himself was the fact that the Lord was with him during all this time!

David was on God’s training ground because it is God that sits on the throne in Heaven!

Jesus teaches us with these words:

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And He adds for us to remember:

Psa 56:3  What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

David learned this and we need to learn this also!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

A Devoted Servant David’s Loyalty

A Devoted Servant David’s Loyalty

1 Samuel Chapter 18-20

When we left off last week the Lord had removed a "giant" named Goliath from hindering the work of his servant David. In fact God had used this incident to make Israel aware that changes were beginning to take place again in Israel.

As the result of David’s victory over Goliath, David was given a permanent place in Saul’s court.

Up until this time David was only called in when King Saul was depressed by that evil spirit and Saul was so caught up in the music that he had not taken notice to the musician.

Saul had not paid much attention to the musician because it was the music that soothed his soul.

David will now get the full attention of King Saul because God will allow it to happen!

Let’s begin:

*****1Sa 17:58  And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
1Sa 18:1  And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Had Saul been obedient to the Lord, Jonathan would have been the next king of Israel and we not found a fault in Jonathan in the scriptures. We have not read a physical description of Jonathan. We have only witnessed his character and we have seen bravery,  and cunning, and a warrior dedicated to Israel.

It seems Jonathan would have been a great king.

Jonathan would have been about 30 years old at this time with David nearing 20 years old. Jonathan had witnessed the courage of David because even as brave as he was, he had not challenged Goliath.

So Jonathan’s friendship for David began with an "admiration of David’s faith in the Almighty God"!

Jonathan "witnessed" David’s courage, and his patriotic duty not only to Israel but to the God of Israel!

The most priceless gift we have is salvation!

But, after salvation comes family but along that line we know that friendship also means a great deal to all of us in this world we live in.

The Bible teaches us with these words:

Pro 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

The Lord Jesus uses the word "friend" eleven times in His teaching in the Gospels.

The Bible also says of friendship:

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

When we love the Lord Jesus and believe upon Him (have faith), we are the "Friend of God"

But there is something else we need to know:

Jas 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that "the friendship of the world is enmity with God"? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We see that we cannot be friends to this world and still be friends with The Lord Jesus Christ!

To be friends with the world is to be the "enemy of God"!

We see that Jonathan has decided to seek friendship with David.

This is our only function after we are saved!

"To reach out to the lost of this world and lead them to Jesus by our own example".

The way we live our lives must be a witness for Jesus!

Sadly but in this world we live in now, it is important to point out that Jonathan was not seeking some homosexual love or some homosexual relationship!

To those that have serve in the military can understand the closeness of comrades in arms and many of us have close friends that we love dearly.

Though they both remained loyal to their own families, this friendship could not be affected by the other things that changed their lives.

We should also not forget that David is on God’s training ground and God took as much time as needed to mold the character of David for at least 20 years before He placed him on the throne of Israel!

*****1Sa 18:2  And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.
1Sa 18:3  Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

What is a covenant of friendship?

A covenant is a contract or an agreement between two people.

Friendship is more than good will toward another individual!

Friendship is different from a love for food or a love of objects.

This agreement between Jonathan and David was a solemn agreement, "to keep up and maintain a cordial respect for each other" and to support each other, even in separate interest in life and even after death!

And as God provided, David now had a true friend in Saul’s court, who would plead his cause, and could help to preserve the life of David.

*****1Sa 18:4  And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

Jonathan was a prince, next in line of the throne of Israel, yet he showed David that he was his equal. There was no better way to show David his favor toward him than to show David that he was also as a prince.

We know that David wore the clothes of a "shepherd" but now wore the clothes of a "prince" but also he wore the weapons and clothes of a "captain" of the army.

These things should remind us of the prophesy of Isaiah:

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.

Jesus Christ is the Captain of our lives.

Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and The Lord of Lords.

It is interesting to note another type of Christ in this scripture:

Php 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Just as Jonathan took of the robes of royalty, Our Lord humbled Himself when He took off His Heavenly garments and took on the role of a shepherd on this earth!

Jesus Christ is truly our friend because Jesus is truly Our Savior!

Jonathan was truly David’s "Friend"!

What did this covenant mean to these two men?

Listen to what Jonathan says in this verse:

*****1Sa 20:42  And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

This is probably the last day that these two friends had some time together.!

It had become too dangerous for these two men to be seen together by this time because they both knew that they had different paths to travel.

Some would say they had different destinies but these paths were chosen for them by the Lord and both of them were obedient to their calling even though Jonathan would go to an early grave because of his loyalty to his own father.

The Lord would be "Mediator" between these two families "Forever"!

The Lord is our "Mediator between us and the Almighty God in Heaven!

The love that David and Jonathan shared is a "type" of the love that each brother and sister in the Lord should have for each other!

This is our example of pure love for one another and not some lustful thing that has little or no meaning!

Jonathan had absolutely nothing to gain from his relationship with David except the knowledge that he had a close friend!

AND, The Lord had absolutely nothing to gain in coming to this world in order to save us "And That Is The Only Reason He Came"!

Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; "but that the world through him might be saved".

Let’s see how things got to this point:

*****1Sa 18:5  And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

This the theme of our lesson today!

David did not disappoint Saul nor his friend Jonathan but proved himself of the trust they had placed in him.

He did everything his king asked him to do!

David behaved himself wisely. In other words David took the role of a servant to his nation and to his king, and not to himself.

David became general in Saul’s army and the army accepted him though Abner was general over the entire army.

Abner would be included with those servants that took notice of David.

In fact all the people of Israel took notice of him including all of Saul’s servants.

David was prosperous and successful because the Lord was with him!

*****1Sa 18:6  And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.
1Sa 18:7  And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

David’s stunning victory over Goliath had made it possible for the entire army of Israel to conquer the Philistines.

David was the hero of the people!

Because of what David had done the army pursued and destroyed the Philistines on more than one occasion.

Up until the time of Goliath Saul had led the army of Israel into many battles but his contribution this day was meaningless, but to the people of Israel, but he was still their king.

As this victorious army returned to Israel from such a battle, David’s popularity reached it’s climax and Saul’s fragile self-confidence could take it no more!

*****1Sa 18:8  And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?
1Sa 18:9  And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

The Bible teaches us:

Pro 27:4  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

If we want to see what happens to a man after the Spirit of God has departed, "then we have our example with Saul"!

Saul craved the praise of his people but that praise was going to David.

Saul became continually envious and suspicious from that day forward.

David the musician was now David his enemy and Saul’s jealousy could not be contained!

*****1Sa 18:10  And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
1Sa 18:11  And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.

Saul now sought the death of David!

Samuel had provided an example to Saul in religious and governmental things but now David was showing Saul the art of a true leader.

David was showing Saul "what he should have been to Israel", instead of what he was!

But Saul’s anger was really directed toward God, because the Lord was with David and Saul could not reach David to cause him harm.

We must always remember that hedge of protection that the Lord provides!

The Bible says:

David did not forget to include this in some of his songs:

Psa 5:12  For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

And Peter did not forget to teach those that love Jesus:

1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It was David’s faith that brought him victory and it is that same "faith" that brings victory to all those that love Jesus Christ.

But we must always remember "we are in a battle" and also remember that in every fight there are some that go home with bloody noses and some with cuts and bruises.

David knew that his music was intended to soothe Saul at these times, so he just moved out of the way of that Javelin, which also proves to us that he also kept a keen eye on Saul.

We must also keep a keen eye on what Satan is doing in this world and be ready to dodge his methods!

*****1Sa 18:12  And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.

Why was Saul afraid of David?

He knew that the Lord was with David and was no longer with him!

Saul had been abandoned by the Holy Spirit, and Saul became a victim of this evil spirit.

*****1Sa 18:13  Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

Why was David given the authority over a thousand man army?

Saul was hoping that such a carelessly brave young soldier would die in battle!

David went out against the enemies of Israel and continued to come back from each battle in victory and the people noticed but Saul became the more enraged!

*****1Sa 18:14  And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him.
1Sa 18:15  Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.

Why was Saul afraid of David?

Saul could see all his failures in the successes of David!

Saul had to realize that he was fighting a loosing battle because the Lord was on the side of David.

We should stop and realize that one of the major problems the unbelieving world has, is this fact the Lord is with His people!

We might not notice every victory that God has over the unbelieving world but they notice because the world is becoming more and more like Saul!

Satan knows he is fighting a loosing battle but he refuses to give in and like Saul tries to kill all those "that the Lord is with" every chance he gets!

If Satan cannot kill us, he then tries to ruin our testimony!

We must wear the "Armor Of God" and keep a keen eye on Satan!

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

*****1Sa 18:16  But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

They might not have transferred their allegiance from King Saul to David but all of Israel and Judah are drawn to David as a military leader and they followed him into battle.

We should also see this separation of Israel and Judah as these things play out.

And let’s remember why Israel had wanted a king.

1Sa 8:20  That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and [go out before us, and fight our battles].

David was going out to fight their battles but Israel was not ready for him to be their judge!

*****1Sa 18:17  And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD’S battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

Saul has the "makings" of another plan to get rid of David for good.

We can see how devious he has become!

Saul had publicly committed to offer his daughter’s hand in marriage to the one that had killed Goliath.

But, David sensed that Saul was up to no good.

Being a son-n-law to the king would have even made David more of a trophy to the Philistines, if they could capture or kill him.

*****1Sa 18:18  And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?

David is truly humbled to get this offer from King Saul but he did not refuse the offer.

David came from a poor family and was still more of a shepherd that he was worthy to be in the king’s family.

*****1Sa 18:19  But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul’s daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.

Saul then withdrew his offer as it seems that he really had no intention of making David a part of his family in hope that he would die fighting with the Philistines.

Saul gave his daughter instead to another man Adriel.

We know very little of this man.

We know that this man was the son of Barzilla.

We know that he was a Meholathite which signifies weakness or sickness.

But, this union brought forth 5 sons who were raised by Michal, Saul’s other daughter.

It seems that both these parents died at a young age shortly after their fifth son was born.

*****1Sa 18:20  And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
1Sa 18:21  And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.

Now Saul had another plan. If he could not make David mad enough to just leave then he would allow David to get close enough to keep an eye on him.

Michal would be Saul’s eyes on David and still David would be a greater target for the Philistines to try to capture of kill.

*****1Sa 18:22  And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king’s son in law.
1Sa 18:23  And Saul’s servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?

Saul has become so devious that he is tempting David with a chance to get his throne.

Remember David had already been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel and David did not yet know what circumstances would allow that to happen so being son-n-law to the king may just be how this thing would take place but this was a bad thought.

Spiritually we continue to see a "type" of sinner in the life of David at this time, knowing that none of us are worthy to be in the Lord’s house, the King of Kings!

But Saul was even more devious than it first seems, as he still thinks he can even keep this marriage from taking place.

*****1Sa 18:24  And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.
1Sa 18:25  And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 18:26  And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired.

A hundred men would have to die.

These men were not a part of the covenant with the Lord. (the covenant of circumcision given to Abraham)

The death of these men would bring a shame to their own families and make even greater enemies of the Philistines.

David himself would have to perform this task and David should have refused.

This was not being a true soldier and this not in the will of God!

God later told David about some of these things:

1Ch 22:8  But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, [because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight].

It is not sin to kill as a soldier because God has placed those leaders in place!

But it is great sin to any soldier who kills for "his own reasons" and maims and disfigured his enemy.

God is always watching!

*****1Sa 18:27  Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.
1Sa 18:28  [And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David], and that Michal Saul’s daughter loved him.
1Sa 18:29  And Saul was yet the more afraid of David; and Saul became David’s enemy continually.
1Sa 18:30  Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.

These things removed any doubt, if Saul had any, that the Lord was surely with David.!

David possessed traits of strength and courage appropriate for a king but he also had wisdom beyond his young years.

Saul was doing everything in his own fleshy power to try to hold on to being king, disregarding what God had said to him through Samuel.

King Saul gives us an example or a "type" of all future national rulers that oppose the Word of God!

Jealousy, rage, deceit, and making up the rules as they go are just a few of things bad leaders show!

We can see these things happening in our own nation!

Now Saul sinks even further, as he knows that Jonathan has a deep friendship with David and he ask even Jonathan to kill David.

*****1Sa 19:1  And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
1Sa 19:2  But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
1Sa 19:3  And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

This plan of Saul’s also backfires because Jonathan is a true friend!

Five more times in chapter 19 there is a reference made to Saul’s intention to kill David.

Saul even tries to use his daughter Michal against David:

*****1Sa 19:17  And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?
1Sa 19:18  So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

We can see that Michal had many traits of her father.

But, in all these things David never went against his king!

Spiritually we should see that God never insulates His Saints and His Chosen from trouble and danger.

But God will protect His Children!

David wrote many of the Psalms that prove to us that David realized that sometimes God must lead us through the dark times, in order to make us stronger and to make us aware that it is only He that could have brought us through these things.

Jesus Christ gives us these words to remind us:

Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Then Jesus ask His Father and our Father for something very special:

Joh 17:14  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, "but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil".

And Jesus adds that one day we should be with Him:

Joh 17:24  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, "be with me where I am"; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

We know that God will surely answer this prayer of His beloved Son!

We can be absolutely sure that if we belong to Christ Jesus, through "faith", one day we will see Him in His Glory!

The Bible says:

Isa 33:17  Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

A Brave Warrior David’s Faith

A Brave Warrior David’s Faith

Text: 1 Samuel 17

When we left off last week David was using his musical talent to soothe King Saul in his moments of depression.

David had been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel but this knowledge was not known but by very few, maybe only David and Samuel.

Israel will soon see the actions of their future king.

David had left home as a humble shepherd and had entered Saul’s court as a humble musician but we will soon see that to be a man after God’s own heart also requires some bravery.

God says:

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, "to stand".

We should see that God desires all His children "to step out of their comfort zone" and "get into the battle". We will face many spiritual battles as we try to advance the kingdom of God but our strength must also come from Our Lord.

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

We will see the future king of Israel have victory but, we will also see the first king of Israel continue to fail.

Knowing this let’s begin:

*****1Sa 17:1  Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim.
1Sa 17:2  And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.
1Sa 17:3  And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.
1Sa 17:4  And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

This valley where this battle was to take place is bout 6 miles from Jerusalem. A narrow path exist that goes right up to the interior of the land near Bethlehem which is another 6 miles.

When David joins this battle, he would have already traveled the 12 miles between his father’s house and this camp of King Saul.

This Goliath would be a descendant of the race of Anakim. Israel had had first contact with these people when Moses sent out those 40 spies into Canaan land.

Num 13:33  And "there we saw the giants", the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

These giants had been defeated by Caleb:

Jos 15:13  And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.
Jos 15:14  And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.

And slew them:

Jdg 1:10  And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.

But, there were still some that had escaped to Gaza, and Ashdod, and Gath, as we have the proof in this Goliath.

We will see three figures in our lesson today.

First: Goliath.

Goliath stood at least 9 feet 9 inches tall. A span is generally understood as 9 inches and a cubit as 18 inches and we will also see that he was heavily armed and prepared to kill.

Next: King Saul.

Saul had already been rejected by God for disobedience. He had threatened his own son Jonathan and would have killed him. And at his last chance he had spared Agag the king of the Amalekites and greedily had taken the choice of the spoils of that war.

Saul was forsaken by the Holy Spirit and now suffered great depression and Saul was greatly afraid of Goliath.

Next we will see David.

David was only a youth which means he was not yet 20 years old. He carried a staff and not a sword.

He carried faith yet no physical armor.

He had no weapon but a sling.

He had exactly what was needed this day to defeat the enemy of God because within him he carried the Spirit of God.

David did not consider Israel’s army as Saul’s servants.

David knew they were the army of the Living God!

*****1Sa 17:5  And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
1Sa 17:6  And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
1Sa 17:7  And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
1Sa 17:8  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
1Sa 17:9  If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

King Saul was at least seven feet tall but Goliath easily was a far taller man.

That "coat of mail" was composed of plates of metal overlapping each other somewhat like fish scales and it weighed 200 lbs.

That spearhead weighed 24 lbs.

Those "greaves" were coverings for the legs and reached from the ankles to the top of the knee. They were made of hide and were probably also covered with copper.

That "target of brass" was a circular frame, carried at the back, suspended by a long belt and crossed the chest from the shoulders to the upper legs.

Goliath was truly the champion of the Philistines because as of this day no man was able to defeat him in one on one combat.

Goliath was a loud mouth, vulgar, boastful, evil man with no respect for any other man and he defied anyone to battle with him.

Goliath suggested that there was only need for one man to die to end this war between these two enemies.

All Israel needed was their own champion to defeat him in battle.

Goliath was lying "but he thought of himself as unbeatable.

We know the end result of this battle, yet the Philistines are still the enemies of Israel even up until our day.

*****1Sa 17:10  And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
1Sa 17:11  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

To "defy" is to "dare"!

Goliath sensed that all of Israel were to cowardly to face him and the tallest man in all of Israel, the king, was greatly afraid and this fear flowed through his entire army.

SO, Goliath’s challenge went unanswered.

*****1Sa 17:12  Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
1Sa 17:13  And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
1Sa 17:14  And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.
1Sa 17:15  But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

We should remember this Bethlehem because there at least one other place with the name of Bethlehem.

This is the same place as prophesied by the prophet Micah where Jesus would be born!

Mic 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

David had seven more brothers but we know that only six others are named in the Book of Chronicles. David had a brother that had died shortly after being shown to Samuel and before having a family of his own.

This other brother like many even today was just name on a grave without a history except to his father and mother and a Holy God!

David’s three oldest brothers served in Saul’s army. We know that Saul kept only the bravest of men in his army so this gives us an idea of the character of these brothers.

David was not yet old enough to be in the army and was still obligated to the family at home.

We also know that Jesse was a very old man at this time.

*****1Sa 17:16  And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
It had been now 80 times that Goliath had stood in hearing range and defied Saul and the army of Israel.

We can be sure the term "cowards" was used many times and it was true!

*****1Sa 17:17  And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;
1Sa 17:18  And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.

As a father Jesse had great concern for all his sons and was well aware of the battle raging just 12 miles form Bethlehem.

In that day each soldier had to provide his own rations and Jesse sent food to not only his sons but to also their commanding officer.

*****1Sa 17:19  Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
1Sa 17:20  And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
1Sa 17:21  For Israel and the Philistines had put the battle in array, army against army.
1Sa 17:22  And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren.

By the will of God, Jesse had picked the exact right day to send David to check on his three sons.

David had left early in the morning but the 12 miles of travel had taken until that evening.

When David arrived at the camp he left his cart and ran right amongst the soldiers in search of his brothers.

*****1Sa 17:23  And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
1Sa 17:24  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

It was at this time that Goliath did what he had done 79 previous times and bellowed out his challenge to all of Israel.

What David saw brought more concern than that of Goliath!

David saw all of Israel tremble and run in fear of that one man.

*****1Sa 17:25  And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.
1Sa 17:26  And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1Sa 17:27  And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.

King Saul had made a generous offer to any would battle Goliath.

1) Saul would give one of his daughters in marriage therefore allowing a stranger into the royal family.

2) Saul would make this man to be a rich man.

3) Saul would not allow the family of this man to be taxed.

AND, David could not believe what he was hearing!

David knew that Goliath was a Gentile who was profane and worshiped a false god and a stranger to the covenant promises of Jehovah.

David also knew that by allowing this evil man to profane the Army of God, Saul was allowing Goliath to profane the Lord Himself.

David now knew this was God’s battle and not for any man of Israel!

*****1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
1Sa 17:29  And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

Eliab had no patience for his youngest brother because what David had said carried reproach to every soldier on the field that day including his own brothers.

David would have still been tending the sheep if his father Jesse had not sent him that day to check on his brothers and he ask his brother, "well what have I done now"?

Saul and the army of Israel saw a giant of a man BUT David only saw another Philistine who was just an insolent enemy of Jehovah God.

David felt that surely Jehovah would enable any man that relied on Him to overcome this evil man!

There was certainly a cause!

Whenever we step out in "faith" to serve the Lord, there will always be those there to cause discouragement!

*****1Sa 17:30  And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
1Sa 17:31  And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
1Sa 17:32  And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Saul had spent 40 days in fear of his life and the defeat of the army of Israel and he finally heard that someone had volunteered to fight this Goliath.

Saul sent for the man and it was David that was sent to him.

David stood again before Israel’s giant, King Saul, and declared that he would remove this other giant of the Philistines.

David could see the fear in all of Israel along with their "lack of faith"!

BUT, David saw only a large man that defied the God of Israel.

This battle was now God’s battle and God still uses humans to perform His Will.

*****1Sa 17:33  And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

What Saul said was true!  In David’s own strength he was certainly not able to defeat this giant of a man.

Saul knew something about Goliath and Saul knew Goliath had never lost in hand to hand combat and was now in his prime.

AND, David was probably not yet 20 years old.

*****1Sa 17:34  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
1Sa 17:35  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
1Sa 17:36  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
1Sa 17:37  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

The life of the shepherd is not an easy one!

God had selected David because The Lord wanted a man whose heart belonged to Him. It was the job of the shepherd to protect the sheep and David was not describing an isolated incident.

David had encountered predators on many occasions and he had never ran or hid for his own safety.

David had put "the needs of the flock" over his own personal needs.

David knew that "it was the Lord that had delivered him from all these things".

If we cannot see a "type" of Christ in these verses then we will never understand the Bible and the way God teaches us by example!

In a short period of time David would be king of Israel and God was also showing Israel how every king should put his people even before his own safety.

I wish our own president and every president would take this stance and be for the people instead of what he is.

God would not allow his future king to go down in defeat!

And David’s faith would not allow him to miss this opportunity to gain this glory for the Lord!

*****1Sa 17:38  And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39  And David girded his sword upon his armour, [and he assayed to go]; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

Saul was glad that some one had finally come forward to fight Goliath.

It did not matter to him that was a boy that had not reached 20 years old.

Saul had armor fit for a king, "the best armor of all of Israel" but we must remember that Saul was the tallest man in Israel and David was as average as average can be, not a wimp but certainly not out of proportion for a Jewish man of that time.

David could not be made into a little Goliath just by dressing as a soldier!

David had worn no armor in defense of those sheep but had relied upon the Power of God and he would rely on God’s power again.

We can never allow unnecessary things to weigh us down in our service to the Lord!

Christ Jesus is our "giant killer"!

The Lord had delivered David before and the Lord would deliver David now.

David could not be king if he died on the battlefield this day!

David knew that Goliath had not only challenged all of Israel, he had specifically challenged the God of Israel and this would be Goliath’s downfall.

*****1Sa 17:40  And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

We should miss the fact that David did not hesitate, not even for a moment!

David’s armament was this:

1) A shepherd’s staff:

The shepherds staff represents "authority".

The shepherds weapon "in type" means "a staff of bread" the indispensable support for life.

Psa 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

David’s indispensable support for life would be the Lord Himself!

The Lord is "The Bread Of Life"!

2) Five smooth stones:

Five is the number for the "Grace" of God.

The "Stone" is in type the "living stones" of God.

The word "smooth" means these stones will pass through the air without restrictions.

Air represents the Holy Spirit and these stones would not "quench the Spirit"

So we have "Grace", "The Believer" and "The Holy Spirit".

It takes these things for salvation!

3) The scrip:

The shepherds bag carried the food for his journey but this bag also carried materials for the healing and the binding up of the lame sheep.

But this scrip also carried the mouth piece for musical instruments.

We know that the Word of God is our "Scrip"!

And we better know that the Word of God is our "mouth piece"!

4.) The "sling":

The "sling" received the "smooth stone".

The sling represents the Power of God!

Zec 9:16  And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: "for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land".

David armed with the "Grace" and the "Power" of God did not hesitate to draw near that giant!

*****1Sa 17:41  And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.
1Sa 17:42  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
1Sa 17:43  And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
1Sa 17:44  And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Goliath could see no further than Saul could see!

Goliath only saw a small, poorly armed boy.

Goliath did not see God’s Weapon that stood before him!

Goliath thought he saw a sure victory.

These are the exact same things that Satan sees in every child of God!

Two armies stood on the side lines as a youth not yet a man, faced a man of war from his childhood.

It was time again for a new beginning for Israel!

*****1Sa 17:45  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1Sa 17:46  This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
1Sa 17:47  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
1Sa 17:48  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 

David said "I come to you with the faith of my God" while you trust in your own strength!

It is in our best interest to lay aside everything and anything that comes between us and The Lord Jesus Christ.

When we are identified as in union with the Lord then we show this world that we know where our strength comes from.

David’s one ambition was to show the world that there was a God in Israel that was above all gods.

We should always be careful to choose our battles.

But we must always battle for God’s Glory!

Not for our own cause, not for our own opinions, and not for some cause of the church that does not line up with the Word of God, for these things are great sin!

We need to constantly expose our hearts to the Holy Spirit so that we can be wholly cleansed of sin and be filled with total devotion to the Glory of Our Lord.

After all our one job is to be used "to save the lost"!

All else must be second in our lives!

David hastily ran into this battle, he did not even notice that Goliath was a giant, he was only an enemy that God would brush out of His way and God did just that.

*****1Sa 17:49  And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
1Sa 17:50  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.

Every soldier that looked upon this battle expected this battle to be in close quarters.

Every weapon Goliath had was designed for close combat.

But all the weapons of the shepherd can not only be used in close combat but can also be used from a distance!

An experienced shepherd can sling a stone anywhere from 100 to 150 miles an hour.

And, Most every shepherd is deadly accurate with a sling!

Goliath’s only chance to live that day would have been to surrender or act like a coward and go on home!

Our Lord will accomplish His purpose and David was chosen as the Lord’s weapon that day!

We already know that the Spirit of the Lord already lived inside the body of David.

God guided that stone to the exact spot for victory, just as He does for every Pastor, every Missionary, and every child of God!

Psa 18:31  For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
Psa 18:32  It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
Psa 18:33  He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
Psa 18:34  He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

*****1Sa 17:51  Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

David is now the new Caleb to Israel.

David is now the new Joshua to Israel.

These were the giant slayers in their own time.

To remove Goliath’s head symbolized a complete victory!

The champion of the Philistines was not able to stand up to the God of Israel because no one can!

*****1Sa 17:52  And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.

The Philistines ran and Israel pursued, the Philistines were again defeated!

*****1Sa 17:53  And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
1Sa 17:54  And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

The Philistines had left behind all their possessions and those became the property of Israel.

*****1Sa 17:55  And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
1Sa 17:56  And the king said, Enquire thou whose son the stripling is.
1Sa 17:57  And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
1Sa 17:58  And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.

David twice called God "the Living God" because he knew that God actively intervenes for His people!

David’s "faith" overcame what some would call insurmountable odds, but that is what the Lord does every time a sinner is saved.

David did not focus on outward appearances because the outward appearance has no meaning to the Lord.

The Lord sees things as they really are!

David did not allow "fear" to be a part of his life!

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

From where is our victory?

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory "through our Lord Jesus Christ".

How do we have our own victory?

1Jn 5:4  For "whatsoever is born of God" overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even "our faith".

How do we over come this world?

1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but "he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God"?

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Persecutor Becomes The Proclaimer

The Persecutor Becomes The Proclaimer

Book of Acts Chapter 9

Who was the Apostle Paul?

Who was the apostle to the Gentiles?

We will begin to find out these things today.

God had begun His Church in Jerusalem. God had laid the foundation for world wide evangelism but the Church had remained in Jerusalem and grown at a fast pace.

God had told His Church these words:

Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The Church had grown in Jerusalem and Judaea. Philip had taken the “Gospel” to Samaria.

It was now time for the Church to grow “unto the uttermost part of the earth”.

God had already sent witnesses to the known world from those that were witnesses on the day of Pentecost:

Act 2:5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

But it was now time for “the Church to send” out the Missionaries, the Evangelist, and the Preachers.

Saul the “persecutor” became Paul the “proclaimer”!

God continues to work out “His plan” to bring the “Gospel” to the entire world!

It is only when we see life as God sees it that we can get an accurate picture of life, of living, and of eternity!

Lets begin:

*****Act 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Saul of Tarsus was a very zealous man who actually thought he was doing God a service by trying to put a stop to Christianity.

The Apostle Paul later gave this testimony of himself:

Act 26:9  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Act 26:10  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.

The Apostle Paul later wrote to Timothy:

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
1Ti 1:13  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, [because I did it ignorantly in unbelief].

Saul had set at the feet of Gamaliel a great teacher:

Act 22:3  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

But even the great Gamaliel did not know God spiritually and could not teach this to Saul.

These old teachers taught that the Messiah could only come when everyone completely obeyed the Law as given by Moses and added to by the Pharisees.

The Messiah could never have come under these conditions because it was impossible for anyone to keep all 613 of those laws.

Saul was spiritually blind:

2Co 3:13  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
2Co 3:14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 

The Nation of Israel is still in this state of spiritual blindness until this day!

They still stumble over the Cross as even Saul did at this time:

1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, [unto the Jews a stumblingblock], and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The persecution of the Church at Jerusalem had driven the Church underground and many had been scattered. The religious leaders in Jerusalem were enthused as they thought Christianity was coming to an end in Jerusalem but Saul wanted to go beyond the borders of Jerusalem and even Judaea.

Like many of today, Saul hated Jesus Christ!

Even in foreign lands the High Priests and the Sanhedrin Court were still recognized as the spiritual rulers and certain things of Judaism were allowed by Rome when it came to religious practices of the nations under Roman rule.

Damascus is one of the world’s oldest cities and was first mentioned in the Bible in the time of Abraham:

Gen 14:15  And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

There are many suffering in Damascus today as it is the capitol of Syria and war is consuming Syria at this time.

But in Saul’s day many Jews lived in Syria.

*****Act 9:3  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Saul (Paul) never forgot these things that happened to him this day on the road to Damascus.

In chapter 26 Paul says that it was midday or noon time.

In chapter 22 Paul says it was about noon time.

So when the Sun was at it’s highest in the sky and at it’s brightest, a light even brighter than the Sun shined round about Paul.

The Apostle Peter uses this instance in one of His epistles:

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, [and the day star arise in your hearts]:

Jesus uses these things in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and [the bright and morning star].

Jesus Christ is the true Light that comes into this spiritually dark world.

John the Baptist said of Jesus:

Joh 1:8  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of “that Light”. {Referring to the Lamb of God}

Jesus said of Himself:

Joh 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: [he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the “light of life”].

Here again we can see that only Christ Jesus is the “Light of Life”!

*****Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Suddenly Saul found himself on the ground. “Every knee will bow to Our Lord”. A personal meeting with Jesus Christ will humble us all.

Everyone with Saul fell to the earth but only Paul could understand the words that were spoken:

Act 26:14  And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

With the emphasis on the Hebrew language it may have been that these others with Saul may not have known the Hebrew language as Aramaic, Greek and Latin were the dominant languages of that day.

BUT, When God repeats a name such as in these verses it always means that a message of special importance will follow!

He did this with Abraham (Gen 2:11).

He did this with Moses. (Exo 3:4)

He did this with Samuel. (1 Sam 3:10)

He did this with Absalom. (2 Sam 18:33)

He did this with Peter. (Luke 22:31)

He even did this with the city of Jerusalem. (Mat 23:37)

Paul knew he had to respond, because there is no place to hide when Christ Jesus shows Himself!

*****Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

It is easy to see that Our Lord described Paul as a stubborn animal. We are all stubborn when we reject the truth of the “Gospel”!

These pricks were pointed objects that were placed in the harnesses of animals that hurt them when they rebelled against that harness.

Jesus was telling Paul, “what injury or what physical harm have I caused you?”

This tells us that the the Lord through the Holy Spirit had already been working on Saul.

Not many of us come to know the Lord on our first calling. Thank God He is the God of the second chance!

Saul had seen many of his friends and his own family come to know Jesus before him:

Paul later wrote:

Rom 16:7  Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, “who also were in Christ before me”.

And above all Jesus makes it “very plain” that when His Church, The Body Of Christ, suffers then He also suffers along with them.

Our Lord will always identify Himself with His believers!

*****Act 9:6  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

No doubt Paul came under conviction and this conviction woke him up to great guilt for what he was doing to the followers of Jesus.

Now, Saul had actually seen the risen Christ and instantly, he became a believer!

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

When any of us reach this point our next question should be the same as Paul:

“Lord, what wilt thou have me do?”

Isaiah put it this way:

Isa 6:8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? [Then said I, Here am I; send me].

The Apostle Paul would have a similar response as Isaiah!

*****Act 9:7  And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Act 9:8  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Saul was not traveling alone this day on the Damascus road. These other men had seen a great light but they had not understood the Words of Jesus.

Act 22:9  And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

Those men that were with Paul could not get words to come out of their mouths, they were speechless. What they had witnessed, they were in amazement of! They were bewildered by what they were witnessing!

Saul learned that Jesus was indeed alive.

Saul learned that he had to repent, something that was almost impossible for a Pharisee to do.

Saul learned that he was in danger of God’s Judgment!

Saul learned that he was a lost sinner in need of Salvation.

Saul learned that all of a sudden his personal values were meaningless.

Because, Saul had now been arrested by Jesus Christ:

Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for [which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus].

Saul had to loose his religion, before he could accept his unrighteousness before the Lord Jesus Christ!

No other Christian up till this time, had, had this kind of conversion experience but at the end of the Church Age most all the nation of Israel will have a similar experience as this one of Saul:

Zec 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: [and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced], and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Zec 12:11  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

This experience had left Saul temporarily blind and he was led by the hand on to Damascus!

God had to thoroughly humbled Saul and he would never be the same!

And at this same time ,God was preparing a Christian man named Ananias.

*****Act 9:17  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Ananias despite everything he had heard about Saul, believed what the Holy Spirit had laid on his heart. He went to Saul and graciously accepted Saul as a brother in Christ.

Despite his great education at the feet of Gamaliel, Saul was just now only a “babe in Christ”.

Saul was converted to Paul on the Damascus road and was baptized by the Holy Spirit at that time because this is what the Bible teaches and what Paul would later teach. There was at this time a need of the “filling” of the Holy Spirit which took place immediately when Paul received “his sight”.

Remember the Jews “require a sign”.

Paul received his “physical” sight at the same time he received his “Spiritual” sight submitting himself fully to the Lord.

Saul of Tarsus became Brother Saul!

*****Act 9:18  And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

It was only after these things that Saul was baptized. Again we see that “water baptism” had nothing to do with Saul’s salvation!

And, Like the other Apostles, Paul received his Apostleship from the Lord Himself and we can also see that there was no such thing as “apostolic succession” as taught by some other religions.

*****Act 9:19  And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

It had been 3 days since Saul had eaten or drank anything and he had also been blind for those same 3 days.

Saul got to know God’s disciples and how loving and forgiving they truly were!

Luke uses the phrase “certain days” in this verse. This word can mean “some days” with the disciples that were at Damascus.

What Paul tells us, explains this time period better:

Gal 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Gal 1:17  Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; [but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus].
Gal 1:18  Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

This visit to Arabia is the place where the Lord Himself taught the Apostle Paul just as He had taught the other Apostles.

*****Act 9:20  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Paul never forgot this period in his life and repeated it over and over again in his epistles:

Gal 1:1  [Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ], and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

The Apostle Paul knew for sure that Jesus Christ was the Messiah sent of God and Paul was even more zealous to preach this truth than he had been in persecution of the Church!

We may not know exactly how long Paul was in Arabia but we do know that it was 3 years before Paul returned to Jerusalem.

*****Act 9:21  But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

The reputation of Saul had proceeded him into Damascus but this city of Damascus saw a different Saul than they had been told.

The dramatic change in Saul’s life was a source of wonder to the Jews who had fled to Damascus partly because of him.

And, this was the place that God first sent Paul to begin his ministry.

*****Act 9:22  But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

Saul was a very intelligent man and highly educated and as a Pharisee he was well learned in the Old Testament scriptures. When the Lord opened his eyes to the truth in those scriptures Paul said that the Lord had revealed to him the mysteries of the Bible.

1Co 4:1  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, [and stewards of the mysteries of God].

Paul also went on to say that as stewards, or overseers of God’s Word, (Preachers) then he needed to be found faithful.

1Co 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

This is true for everyone called of God, especially God’s ministers, to be faithful in preaching the truth of the Word of God.

We know that there is a great falling away from the truth of God in our day. That’s why the Church needs to make a full return to the “Apostles Doctrine”.

Maybe the world would look upon Christianity again in wonder and amazement and not in anger.

The truth will still make us free today!

*****Act 9:23  And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

Those many days probably refer to that period of time Paul spent in Arabia.

These same Jews had been anticipating Paul’s arrival in Damascus and they knew the purpose of his coming was to arrest the Christians who were seen as creating problems for Judaism.

But when Paul came into the synagogues with this message of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Son of God, this only made matters worse for them.

These Jews could no longer win by arguing God’s Word because the truth was easily seen in the scriptures once Jesus could be seen throughout them all.

The part of Saul’s reputation of being him being a zealot meant the only way to silence him would be his death.

*****Act 9:24  But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.

Damascus was a walled city like most the old cities of the Bible. So there were gates in and out of the city. Paul explains to us later that these Jews had enough pull in Damascus to get aid from the ruling Gentile authorities.

2Co 11:32  In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

They knew if Paul was apprehended or even if he made it through those gaits they would kill him.

But God always makes a way for His disciples. God had already said why He had called Paul:

Act 9:15  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16  For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

*****Act 9:25  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

Just as we had studied on the city of Jericho, there were houses built on the city walls with windows that allowed them to look out upon the country side.

Paul said:

2Co 11:33  And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

God would not even allow the ruling government to detain His preacher man!

There have been many excavations in and around Damascus and one of those discoveries includes the remains of “the street called Straight”.

It is a truth that more than 84 facts of the Book of Acts have been verified archaeologically.

The writings of Luke and the acts of Paul are the truth of the Early Church and the Apostle Paul was truly the Apostle to the Gentiles as we will learn from most of the remaining Book of Acts.

There are also many other great things we have not covered in this chapter. Please take a look on your own time.

Questions?

Let’s Pray?