It’s not my job!

Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

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1 Samuel 23: 1 (ESV) Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

It seems like every post lately has been about David running from Saul, and in some way that has been the prevailing theme of the last few chapters in 1st Samuel. I may have stated this before but it is worth saying again, “If it’s getting tedious for me having to write about it, I’m sure David and his men were even more frustrated having to live through it”.

This portion of scripture (verses 1-4) just stood out, why would the welfare of this town be so important to David? What was so special about Keilah that it would cause men that are running for their lives to risk going into battle with their enemy’s enemy?

Isn’t that the heart of a leader? Perhaps this is the reason David was called in from the fields by Samuel and anointed in the first place. While King Saul is pre-occupied with hunting down David, and David is concerned with the welfare of the inhabitants of Keilah. Shouldn’t that be where Saul’s focus should be?

Ask yourself 

  • Do I do the same thing? 
  • Do I get so sidetracked with personal stuff, anxieties, and concerns, that I am letting my everyday obligations suffer?
  • Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

I work for the Department of Transportation and every year we have performance reviews, and at these reviews  my job duties are broken down into percentages. 85% of the time I’m doing inspections 10% of the time I’m supposed to be doing office work and 5% of the time just says “other”  duties at the descretion of the Resident Maintenance Engineer

That means this… I can never say, “It’s not my job!”

Lord help us not to be easily sidetracked, Lord enable us to be your hands and feet even through the most trying situations, and finally Lord give us a heart, compassion and concern for your people despite our current trouble, trials & tribulations. Strengthen our hands for battle, when everything and everyone around us is saying, “It’s ok to relax.”

And help us to step up and fill in the gap when others drop the ball. 

That’s a whole lot of distress!

If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 

1 Samuel 22: 2 NKJV“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”

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Perhaps this is where they get the saying, misery loves company. Here is David running for his life running from a powerful crazed man who is bent on destroying him. It’s bad enough when you have trolls & haters, enemies with nothing else to do but make your life miserable. It’s even worse when you have powerful adversaries, and that’s what David had… a King with unlimited resources out to get him.
When I was 10 years old we left Chicago, Illinois and moved to San Bernardino, California near Seccombe Lake. There were plenty of kids around to play with, and one of our favorite games was Hide-and-go-Seek which we played in our neighborhood at night. 
Now that I think about it, it was just a bunch of knuckleheads trespassing on other people’s properties. To us there was nowhere sacred and nowhere off-limits when we played Hide-and-go-Seek. 
We would hide under houses, on roofs, in abandoned cars, in backyards, in trees and under parked cars. I once found this pink fluffy material stacked in a neighbors side porch that I dove into headfirst. The minutes hiding in the fluff seemed like hours, and when I heard, “All-lee All-lee in come free!” I knew the game was over, I didn’t get caught but I itched for a few days. I guess no one in my neighborhood thought that anyone was crazy enough to hide in that fluffy pink stuff. Before then I didn’t know what fiberglass insulation was. What kind of monster creates something that looks like cotton candy but itches like poison ivy??? 
I said that, to say this, when you find a place to hide there’s no way in the world you let other kids hide with you! Its a well known fact, it’s impossible to keep two kids quiet. You are bound to get caught. 
So I wonder what David was thinking, fleeing from King Saul was hard enough with a couple of loyal guys, but how in the world was he going to pull it off with 400 discontented, debt ridden and distressed men?
If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 
I didn’t think so. 

It’s a mystery the way that God works. We know that eventually this rag-tag bunch will produce men who; jump into pits with lions in the snow, stand alone in a field of beans and fight when others ran, one who would slay 800 men with a spear, three who broke into enemy territory just to fetch their leader a cup of water, others killed giants, ferocious animals and preformed other amazing acts of bravery. 

We don’t always get to choose who follows us, but we do choose who we will be as a leader. Seeing these men could have broke David, it could’ve caused him to quit to surrender and eventually to forfeit his life. But David chose to lead these men. 
There are men and women today looking for a leader. If and when they find you, what kind of leader will they find?
Will you be able to minister to their brokenness? Will you be able to look beyond their distress and dysfunction and direct them towards their destiny? Will you be the catalyst that reaches into their chaos and creates champions who preform greater feats than even your own?
That’s what David did. What will you do?
-John Rosado

A different level of Cray-Cray (CRAZY)

1 SAMUEL 18: 10 (NLT) The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

David is brought into Saul’s house (palace) soon after the defeat of Goliath. There was something about David, that Saul appreciated and he wanted that influence and attitude near him, specifically in his home and around his family. But there was also something about David that brought out the very worst of Saul.

Saul was so insecure that he was constantly looking over his shoulder; I guess that insecurity was a byproduct of having the Prophet tell you, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you”.

I can almost feel for Saul; who could withstand the amount of stress and anxiety that would put on an individual? He was paranoid, raving mad at times. The evil spirit that was allowed to take him at times was overwhelming! Enter David; a skilled musician that could play a tune which would sooth Saul’s tormented soul.

But how cool was David? …Dude had ice in his veins! How in the world could he continue to minister to this madman? 

Imagine having to continue to play his instrument while getting spears thrown at you by a man of war?

How would you perform under that pressure? …Could you? …Do you?

We have a hard enough time ministering to people who get on our nerves. We have difficulty being cordial with folks who write nasty things about us on social media. We lose our salvation when the Pastor doesn’t acknowledge our hard work, or god forbid he doesn’t stop to shake our hands on Sunday!

Do you wonder how he did it?

• How did David manage to retain the frame of mind to continue to strum and sing?

• How did David maintain the composure to go to work the next day?

• How did David muster the strength needed to keep his mouth shut and complete a task?

I know most of us would have failed if this was all just to test David’s character. How could God expect him to minister and serve this man under those conditions? And if this sticky situation which David is placed in is in the Bible to help us in our lives (using 2nd Timothy 3:16 as a standard) then, what can we, or better yet… What do we need to learn from it that will help teach us to live righteously?

2nd Timothy 3:17 that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

God help us! It would have been so easy for me to pick the scriptures in this chapter which spoke on Jonathan and his love and affection for David. Heck it would have been easy to write about David’s exploits on the battlefield, and how he eventually gets the girl. But once again I’m left with a Scripture that challenges me. A Scripture that forces me to take a long look at myself and make changes. 

Father God, I (we) can’t do this one without you. I (we) know this one is going to require a higher amount of grace than usual. I’m (we are) going to have to make some attitude and character changes and they are going to hurt. But I’m (we are) looking forward to the man (person) I’m going to become. Once again thank you for your Word. May it accomplish in me (us) what you desire in your heart for it to accomplish so that I (we) may be complete, equipped for every good work. -Love John

Anointed

‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:10-13‬ ‭(NIV) “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David…”‭

So we end the last chapter with Saul being rejected by the Lord, and this chapter starts with the Prophet Samuel once again looking for the person that’s going to lead God’s people as king.

 

There are some interesting things to look at in this chapter.

 

Saul is a young man head and shoulders above the rest. He was a fine specimen of a man. He’s tall and he looks the part. If we were to look up the features & qualities necessary to be king, Saul met the qualifications, he passed the eye test. 

David on the other hand was the little brother everyone forgot. No one bothered to even call him in from the fields for this special visit from the Man of God. He was fine looking, handsome, a good complexion and some versions say he had pretty eyes. Not a very kingly description to be sure.

Saul was out looking for his dads lost donkeys when he was chosen. David was tending and protecting his father’s sheep, tasked with their wellbeing.

It is curious to note later in the chapter, that David was also given the task of soothing Saul on the occasions when an evil spirit would torment him. David was also an armor bearer to the king. Much like Moses and Joseph; God had placed David exactly in the right place He needed him to be until the proper time of His choosing.

 

Most sermons based on this chapter are about how man looks at the outside and God looks at the heart. That point is obvious, but what stuck out to me this time are the contrasts. 

Is it possible that God was trying to make a point? 

This is what you get when you do the choosing! He (Saul) may have passed the EYE test, but he didn’t pass the HEART test. 

When you got Saul you got an impulsive, impatient, man-pleaser; a rebellious man who the Lord regretted ever choosing and whom the Lord rejected as king over Israel. 

God went so far as pulling His Spirit from the man! 

How much of a mess do you have to be to get to that place with a God whose very character is LONGSUFFERING and ABIDING in LOVE?

But if God is so displeased with Saul, why allow him to continue to lead for a period of time?

I believe this time was used to develop Davids character, and to refine him. 

How would we preform under the same circumstances? 

  • If we were David would we be able to play a tune that calmed the very man we were anointed to replace? 
  • If we were David would we be able to carry a shield and protect this mans back in difficult and dangerous situations? 
  • If we were David would we be able to sit still and calmly wait for God’s appointed time?

I can only speak for myself, but I would bet that the same holds true for you… I don’t think I would !

I tend to be impatient, I have a propensity for speaking my mind, I don’t think I could hold it together knowing the seat that Saul is occupying will shortly be mine…. Oh wretched man that I am!

But then again…

I am using the Scriptures to lead and guide me, and I am acknowledging my faults as a fallible man. I am NOT able! But if that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, He can quicken this mortal body by His Spirit. So therefore I can do all things thru Christ which strengthens me! 

Oh Heavenly Father, once again thank you for your Word. It doesn’t return to you empty but it accomplishes that which you have purposed in your heart for it to accomplish….In me!!!! Cut away the filthiness of this flesh, soften the hardness in this heart. Empower and embolden me to walk out my Salvation with fear and trembling. Help me to serve others even those who seem like they are far from you. Give me the patience I need to wait on your perfect timing. And lastly… thank you for choosing me. -Love John

What a RUSH!

1 Samuel‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ “And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.”

Wait a minute! What? The Spirit of God caused Saul to get ANGRY?

Could it be the same Spirit that caused Jesus to break out the whip at the Temple here causes Saul to get righteously indignant?

Heck yes! And then some. 

Isn’t it peculiar how the sound of the people in lament would stir up some to action, but cause others to just join in on the wailing?

Upon hearing the news that the people of Jabesh-Gilead were about to surrender to the Ammonites. Saul was stirred to action. The people of Jabesh-Gilead upon surrender were about to have their eyes gouged out. This action would render them useless as soldiers, and as archers. It was a form of humiliation and utter disgrace. Why would a people submit themselves to this painful debilitating mutalation?

…They had NO HOPE!

Why would the enemy give them 7 days respite in order for them to find someone to help their cause?

…The Ammonite King allowed it because he believed they were helpless, and hopeless.

But GOD!

Had a plan, and a man. 

You see, there is nothing worse than a leader who doesn’t act. How many of us have had supervisors who didn’t like confrontation so they let terrible employees run amok in the workplace. Ugh! That’s so frustrating!

How many of us want to spank those “Little Darlings” that terrorize their parents at the grocery store? And why does it bother us so? I believe it’s because they refuse to act when it’s absolutely evident to everyone else that it’s the proper thing to do.

But Saul was not yet tested, he may have been anointed before God, but he hadn’t been inaugurated before the people. They never had a King before, and he didn’t know know how to be one.

Something about the heart change that Saul experienced in the previous chapter transformed him from spectator to participant. Something about the anointing, something about the calling on his life. The same boy who was worried about finding his fathers donkeys was now concerned with the well being of a nation.

How did that happen? The verse says, …And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul… He came upon him mightily and his actions united 330,000 men to come to his side.

So what can we learn from this chapter?

1. Your TITLE means nothing without assuming the responsibilities it requires.

2. Your inadequacy might just be linked to your failure to act.

3. Righteous indignation isn’t the same as doing something for shock value.

4. People will follow a Spirit attentive leader.

5. God doesn’t NEED us to rout the enemy, He gives us front row seats.

Heavenly Father, we never want to go into battle without You, but at the same time we don’t like to sit back doing nothing. Help us to be content with plowing the fields until the time comes for us to act. We want to be so attentive to your call, that the things that break your heart also breaks ours. Give us the discernment to know when that time is. Enable us to act when others cower in fear, knowing the battle is not ours but Yours. Let our actions draw likeminded people to our sides, changing spectators into participants, and wailers into mighty men and women of valor. Love you – John

Heart Change

‭‭1 SAMUEL‬ ‭10:6-7‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you will prophesy with them, and you will be changed into another man. When these signs come to you, do for yourself whatever the situation requires, for God is with you.”
…So we left off with the Israelites asking the Man of God for a King. I had to combine my thoughts on Chapter 9 with Chapter 10. 
     We are introduced to Saul. A son of an affluent man, a young man who is described as tall, handsome and obedient. 
     This kid is on an errand for his pops. He is with a servant looking throughout the land for some lost donkeys. Doesn’t seem like anything really out of the ordinary. Saul and the servant search high and low and it seems like they have really run out of options, but the servant has an idea, “Let’s ask the prophet maybe he can let us know where these lost donkeys are.” 
     Little does Saul know that his life is about to be changed forever. The M.O.G. Not only tells him to stop looking for the donkeys, but he tells him he is about to be anointed king. 
     I have to be brutally honest, I have journaled this book before and each time I’ve skipped chapters 9-10, and I almost skipped it again, but if I apply the standard of 2nd Timothy 3:16 then there must be something for me here that I desperately need. 
      I know I’m biased. I know that because I have read the entire story that I have a prejudice toward Saul. It’s maybe not a 100 biased opinion, but there indeed a dislike for the guy. My Bible hero is David, and the way that I have read that Saul treats David has got me all salty towards him. I already know he is impulsive, disobedient and let’s a jealous rage overtake him. I already know that his failures cause him to be a “One and Done” monarch. 
     His blunders at leadership and loyalty. Not only costs him the realm, but it also denies him any chance of a successor from his blood line. 
So what can I learn? Ugh. 
      Young Saul was obedient, he also believed in the words that he was given. There was also a heart change before the gift was imparted. God literally changed his heart, perhaps this heart change gave him the boldness to join in with the prophets? 
      I really don’t know! All I know is that God gave this kid a shot. And he started off with the right heart, the right attitude and the right spirit
      Father, help me to understand your Word especially when my preconceived notions hinder and effect my ability to receive. In a sense I want to be like young Saul, I want to be able to move on just your Word without a doubt and without questions. Like young Saul, I also want this old hard heart changed especially if it means Your Spirit coming on me mightily and empowering me to use my gifting in a greater capacity. 
     Heavenly Father, I know time after time you are looking for men and women who are available to stand in the gap and rebuild the walls and not just any man or woman will do. 
     Father God, I don’t want just a great start, but I want to finish STRONG. -John