1 Samuel: Saul and Jonathan were camped at Gibeah along with 600 men. Jonathan took his armor bearer and went to one of the Philistine garrisons without anyone know in it. Jonathan believed that the Lord would give them into his hands. The garrison was in a pass above them. When Jonathan and his armor bearer showed themselves to the Philistines, they invited him to come up and they would teach them a lesson. Jonathan took that as sign that they would have victory so the two attacked and killed about 20 men. The ground shook and God sent panic into the Philistines and they fled away.
When Saul heard of the panic he mustered the forces and discovered Jonathan and his armor bearer were missing. He asked the priest to bring the Ark and the panic increased. Saul’s men assembled and went into battle. They found the Philistines in confusion killing each other. Deserters returned to Saul and they pursued the Philistines. Saul made his troops swear not to eat until evening, but Jonathan hadn’t heard it so he ate honey he found in the woods.
A man told Jonathan about the oath and he said his father’s oath was foolish. The men were so hungry that when evening came, they started killing animals and eating them with the blood still in them. Saul made everyone bring the animals to a large rock where they were slaughtered correctly.
Saul then wanted to pursue the Philistines at night but the priest said they should inquire of God first. There was no answer so Saul wanted to know who sinned and the person must die. Saul inquired of the Lord and found it was Jonathan. Jonathan admitted to eating honey. Saul said he should die but the men rescued Jonathan because he brought the deliverance that day.
Saul continued to be victorious over other nations and there was war with the Philistines all his life.
Psalm: David asks God not to be silent because of the wicked people around him. He asks God to deal very harshly with one man that is against him. He wants him punished to the extent that his posterity dies out in two generations and God never forgets his mother’s sins. David then list the sins of this person. He then extends this punishment to all his accusers.
He says of himself that he is poor and needy. He is weak and a scorn to his accusers. He asks for help and to let them know God has done it. They will curse but God will bless. They will be dishonored but David will give thanks and praise God among the people. God stands by the needy and saves him from those who condemn his soul.
Proverbs: Fools don’t like their father’s teaching. If he were wise he would heed reproof. It pays off to be righteous but wicked people lose their income. Wise people share their knowledge but not fools.
John: No one could arrest Jesus because it wasn’t his time. Many people believed because of the signs Jesus did. The Pharisees overheard this and sent officers to arrest Jesus.
Jesus said he wouldn’t be around much longer and they couldn’t come where he was going. The Jews didn’t understand and thought he was going to the Jews dispersed among the Greeks to teach Greeks.
On the last day of the feast, Jesus stood up and to come to him and rivers of living water would flow from them. He was talking about the Spirit who had not yet been given.
Upon hearing this, people had differing idea about Jesus. Some said he was the Prophet or Christ. Others argued that Christ could not come from Galilee but had to be of David’s lineage and come from Bethlehem.
The officers sent to arrest Jesus came back empty handed explaining that no one had ever spoken like Jesus. The Pharisees accused them of being deceived because no authorities had believed in him and that the crowd is accursed because they don’t know the Law. Nicodemus tried to say that they shouldn’t judge without a hearing. The Pharisees then accused him of being from Galilee because Scripture doesn’t mention a prophet from Galilee.
What Stood Out
1 Samuel: “And they said, ‘Do whatever seems good to you.’ But the priest said, ‘Let us draw near to God here’” (1 Sam 14:36).
Psalm: “For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death” (Ps 109:31).
Proverbs: “The lips of the wise spread knowledge” (Prov 15:7).
John: “The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man” (John 7:46)!
1 Samuel: After having thousands of men desert and leaving him with only 600 men, Saul seemed to be paralyzed. However, Jonathan stepped out in faith to see what God would do and a great victory was the result. Saul made rash promises and oaths, which hindered his army and almost killed his son in the process. While Saul was meticulous to make sure the men didn’t sin by eating meat with the blood in in it, he didn’t even think about asking the Lord about pursuing the Philistines at night.
Jerry Bridges says that an ungodly person is one who goes through his day not thinking about God’s will or being dependent upon God. Saul was an example of someone who was ungodly. Sure, he was obedient to the commandment not to eat meat with blood, but there was no other evidence of his thoughts about God during this conflict. When confusion broke out in the Philistine’s camp, he asked the priest to bring the Ark. But when the noise became greater, Saul essentially ignored God. The New living Translation interprets his words as, “Never mind; let's get going” (1 Sam 14:19)!
Where are we in times of trouble. Are we like Jonathan seeking how God will use us or are we like Saul, sitting under a pomegranate tree waiting for something to happen. Do we make rash vows hoping God will respond or perhaps not even thinking about what God will do? When things seem to be going our way, do we continue doing what we’ve been doing without checking with God? Do we trust God and step out in faith?
Psalm: David has a couple of lines in the Psalm that remind me of Satan’s hate for believers. “Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand” (Ps 109:6). According to Revelation 12:10, Satan is our accuser. He accuses us before God day and night. It is to God’s glory that he doesn’t respond to Satan. On the other hand, we have Jesus as our advocate reflected in Psalm 109:31, “For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.” What a wonderful Savior we have. 1 John 2:1 tells us that Jesus is our advocate so that he defends us even when we sin.
Proverbs: A wise person shares knowledge but fools keep it to themselves. The best knowledge we have is the knowledge of salvation though Jesus Christ. If we don’t share that, then it proves us to be fools for we will not have rewards in eternity for being obedient in this area.
John: Again, there is much confusion among the people about who Jesus is. The people show that they know more about Scripture than previously mentioned. The important thing is that many believed because of Jesus’ signs. Even the officers who were sent to arrest Jesus were impressed by Jesus’ teaching.
What impressed the officers is what should impress us as well. There is nothing like the Word of God to make us stop and ponder our actions. It doesn’t matter if we are looking at the Old Testament or the New. Since Jesus taught only what the Father gave him and all of Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, then it all fits together. We shouldn’t close our minds to what Jesus says or we will be like the Pharisees who didn’t have the foggiest idea about what Jesus taught.
ApplicationTrying to be godly is not always easy because it isn’t what comes naturally to us. I need to train myself to consider the Lord’s will before I jump into things.
 Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins Small-Group Curriculum: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Reissue ed. (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2010), 62.