All posts by Shannon Upton

Suffering for the Savior

Read it!: Acts 9

But the Lord said to Ananias,

“Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles

and their kings and before the people of Israel.

I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

(vs 15&16)

 

Think it through:

From what I can tell, being God’s chosen instrument is rarely an easy thing. In Tarsus, Saul clearly thought that he was being God’s instrument. Saul probably thought he was suffering for the Lord when he left his home on the journey to arrest more “heretical” Christians.

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So Sometimes Being Young Isn’t All That Great

Read it!: This is a look back at the Young David Bible Study Series.

You may want to review any notes you’ve made, actions you’ve taken, or prayers you’ve written.

 

Think it through:

As I consider the things that the Lord’s been bringing to my attention through this study of Young David, I’m noticing a bit of a theme. (Hopefully you haven’t noticed it—as least not enough that it’s bothered or distracted you!)

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Should We Be “Two-Faced” for Jesus?

Read it!: I Samuel 24

When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed?

May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today.

(vs 19)

 

Think it through:

By I Samuel 24, King Saul had shown himself to be wildly jealous, delusional, and murderous. David has the perfect opportunity to kill the king—the men around him are urging him to do so! Instead, he confronts Saul with his face to the ground, calling him “My lord the king” and “my father.”   Saul sees reason (for once) and commends David for his action.

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I Want Holy Dice!

Read it!: I Samuel 23

Again, David asked,

“Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”

And the Lord said, “They will.”

(vs12)

Think it through:

So if you’ve been wondering why there are dice next to my little sheep, here we go.

In I Samuel 23, David defends a nearby town against the Philistines despite the imminent danger to himself and his men. He does this on the direct order of the Lord; as in, he asks the Lord if he should go (twice!) and the Lord says “yes.”

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Give it up! (To God, That Is.)

Read it!: I Samuel 22

From there David when to Mizpath in Moab and said to the king of Moab,

“Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you

until I learn what God will do for me?”

(vs 3)

 

Think it through:

At this point in his life, David is on the run with a ragtag band of men who were “in distress or debt or discontent”—not so much followers of his but those unhappy with Saul. He’s moving from one place to the next, hiding from a king who wants to kill him. He knows the Lord has crowned him as the next King, but he’s not sure how or when that will come about.

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Breaking the Rules, Jesus-Style

Read it!: I Samuel 21

…The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy.

How much more so today!

(vs 5)

 

Think it through:

David made several questionable decisions in I Samuel 21. At the start, he lies to a temple priest about being on a mission for Saul. In the next chapter Saul kills the priest (and many others), an act that might not have happened if David had told the truth.

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How Not to be a Fair-Weather Friend

Read it!:  I Samuel 19 &20

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it for you.”

(Chapter 20, vs 4)

 

Think it through:

Now here’s a story of a truly great friendship (perhaps the greatest friendship recorded in the Bible—or anywhere!), that between Jonathan and David.  These two friends loved each other greatly.  Can you picture them meeting one another, discovering their nearly instant rapport?  I can imagine them hanging out, sharing confidences with one another, and enjoying the ringing sound of their combined laughter.

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Trouncing the Green-Eyed Monster

Read it! I Samuel 18

As they danced, they sang:

“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him.

“They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”

Vs 7&8

 

Think it through

Saul began as a proud supporter of David. After all, David’s successes in battle were Saul’s successes. He promoted the young leader quickly. But as soon as Saul heard the people sing David’s praises, his heart changed. David had entered Saul’s territory, becoming more popular that he was in his land of Israel. Saul became jealous (vs 8), then watchful (vs 9), and then murderous (vs 11).

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How Weakness Brings Glory

Read it! I Samuel 17

All those gathered here will know that it is not by the sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

(vs 47)

Think it through

As he says these words, David is looking up at Goliath. Nine foot tall Goliath (I can look at my eight foot-high ceiling to get some perspective on that!). Covered in armor Goliath. Wielding a huge sword Goliath. And next to him, there’s young, ruddy David with his slingshot and five smooth stones.

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What’s the True Value of Your Efforts?

Read it! I Samuel 16

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

(vs 7)

 

Think it through

So let’s kick off this series with one of my favorite verses from David’s part in God’s story, I Samuel 16:7. This verse reminds us that God knows us, inside and out.  When He looks at you and me, He sees the special and unique children He created.

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