1 Samuel 20 – Deep and Meaningful Friendships

Do you have close friendships? The fast paced and high pressured world in which we live often prevents us from having the time we need to develop deep and meaningful friendships.

David and Jonathan were close friends. You can see this in 1 Samuel chapter 20. In fact, in our day of gender diffusion, reading about two men who were so emotionally close and demonstrative can lead a reader to believe they had more than just a friendship. But there is no indication in Scripture that this was the case…especially since both men were dedicated to the law of God which forebode anything else.

Like David and Jonathan, we all deeply yearn for friendships that are consistently loving and unswervingly loyal. We look for close friendships with people who will commit to us…not because they have to, but because they want to.

God longs to have this kind of relationship with us. It’s why He came to us in the form of Jesus…so we could see this kind of relationship in tangible form.

But if this is what we want, why do we so often fail to experience it?

Jesus said…

“Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 ESV)

If you’re not receiving deep and meaningful relationships with God and with others, could it be that you’re not giving that kind of relationship? If so, what are you afraid of? Take some time and ponder these questions. It could renovate your relationships.

1 Samuel 5-6 – When God Parents Teens

Parent is a difficult job, no matter the age of your children. But it is especially difficult to parent teens. Teens strongly demonstrate and exercise their self-will. They are also very good at diverting blame and misrepresenting loving discipline as punitive retribution.

1 Samuel chapters 5-6 portray the Israelites much like teenagers. In chapter 4, the Israelites independently do what they want to do, without consulting God. Because of this (and previous offenses,) they bring about a disconnect in the relationship…symbolized by their separation from the Ark of the Covenant.

As a good parent, God works behind the scenes (unbeknownst to them) to reconnect the relationship and return the Ark. Like teenagers, the Israelites are happy to receive the blessing of the Ark’s return, but they continue to do what they want to do. They continue to treat God with casual disrespect. And when God disciplines them for this attitude, the Israelites respond as if God is to blame (1 Sam. 7:2)

Too often, I respond to my Heavenly father as if I’m a teenager. I want what I want, when I want it. I’m glad to receive His benefits, but hurt when He disciplines me. And I’m usually more concerned with Him not leaving me, then with me not leaving Him.

I tend not to recognize:

  • All He did behind the scenes to restore our relationship.
  • The fact that He, more often than not, is the one who makes the first move to restore the relationship.

Yes, 1 Samuel chapters 5-6 make theological statements about the omnipresence of God in a pagan culture. And yes, you see teachings about God’s sovereignty and holiness. But mostly you see a God who goes out of His way to move towards His children…even when they have rebelled and disconnected from Him.

Be grateful God has a heart for teenagers…like us!

Deuteronomy 11 – The Freedom to Choose

“Life would be so much better if I could just get people to do what I want them to do.” Much of our stress and frustration is due to wishing, expecting and trying to get people to do what we want them to do.

Deuteronomy chapter 11 reminds us that God is the only one in existence who has the power to make people to do what He wants them to do…and He doesn’t do it! He lets people choose (Deuteronomy 11:26) God spells out our options and the consequences for those options. He also urges and encourages us toward the better choice. But He won’t make that choice for us.

If God can save us difficulty and problems by making us do what we’re suppose to do, why doesn’t He?

Read moreDeuteronomy 11 – The Freedom to Choose