11/16/14: The Greatest Story Ever Told: 1 SAMUEL (3)
Each year I am amazed to see how eagerly and generously these students participate in our “Operation Christmas Child” collection. We counted 67 boxes on Sunday — and several students told me they would be delivering their boxes to the collection center this week. I feel very privileged to know kids like these!
Before continuing our study of 1 Samuel we learned a little more about how to interpret Scripture. Special Hermeneutics refers to those special rules that apply to specific types of biblical literature. For example, when reading Old Testament Narratives, it’s important to realize that narratives tell what actually happened, not what should have happened. Not all the characters we read about in the Bible are worth imitating. As a class we emphasized the fact that God is always the main character and ultimate hero of an Old Testament Narrative.
Despite his serious failures, David — one of the main characters in 1 Samuel — is worth our careful study and admiration. How many lessons there are to learn from his life! When God chose David to be the second king of Israel, he chose a man after his own heart. Throughout his life, David feared God and trusted God — no matter what.
David’s encounter with Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. Often we read it as if it were a moral lesson on courage. Actually, this story is all about God — the mighty God who can deliver his people from anything. David entered the battle because of his concern for God’s glory…he responded to Goliath’s taunts with a confidence in God’s help…and he conquered the giant in God’s strength, not his own.
David’s fear of God and trust in God are seen so clearly in the cave of Adullam when he had a chance to kill Saul (I Samuel 24). But to the utter dismay of his six hundred men, David did nothing more than cut the corner from Saul’s robe. Why? Because he refused to raise his hand against God’s anointed king. Instead he placed his trust in God for deliverance.
In Psalm 34, written after David was delivered from one of his many foes, David tells us what we can learn from his life experience: “Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11). May the Lord cultivate in each of us a heart like David’s, a heart that feared and trusted the Lord above all else.
Next Sunday we get to enjoy our first Bible Bowl competition of the year! In teams of three or four, students will be competing head to head to see who knows the most about the book of I Samuel. The winning team will be forever enshrined in 12:13 class history when presented with our Bible Bowl trophy!
FOR DISCUSSION WITH PARENTS:
- David trusted the Lord during difficult times. How do I respond to life’s hardships?
- God chose David to be king because of what he saw in David’s heart. What does God see in my heart?