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Tag: rescue

David Rescues Keilah

Today we continue on in our journey through the book of 1 Samuel. For the past several weeks, we’ve been following David as he attempts to escape the grasp of King Saul. Even though David has been nothing but loyal to Saul, Saul has become insane with jealousy towards David and is convinced that David is trying to conspire against him. Saul has become so fearful of David that it seems there is nothing he won’t do to try to capture and kill David.

In fact, Saul has just executed 85 priests and their families because the priest Ahimelech had earlier given David some supplies for his journey! Of course, Ahimelech didn’t even know that David was fleeing from Saul, but Saul accused him of conspiring with David and ordered that he be put to death. Ahimelech and all of his relatives were then murdered by Saul’s henchman, Doeg. Only one member of Ahimelech’s family escaped – his son Abithar who fled for his life and found refuge with David.

Of course, Abithar wasn’t the only person who found refuge with David. You’ll remember that when David was hiding from Saul at the cave of Adullam, a whole group of people came to David and joined him there. These men were described as being in trouble or in debt or bitter of soul. But they all found compassion and refuge with David until David was the captain of about 400 men.

About that time, the prophet Gad told David that the Lord wanted him to return to Judah. And so, being obedient to the Lord, David and his men left the safety of their stronghold in the cave of Adullam and returned to Judah. And that’s about where we left David last time.

Saul is still on the hunt for David and David is now hiding out with his 400 men in the forrest of Hereth. 

Now I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but as soon as I read about David hiding out with his men in the forest of Hereth, I immediate thought about the story of Robin Hood. I mean, just change a few names and the plot is strangely similar. Instead of Robin Hood and his band of merry men hiding out in the Sherwood Forest – you have David and his ragtag group of 400 men hiding out in the forest of Hereth. And instead of Prince John and the sheriff of Nottingham trying to hunt down Robin Hood, you have King Saul and his evil herdsman, Doeg trying to hunt down David. You could even find similarities between Robin Hood’s loyal friend, little John, and David’s loyal friend Jonathan.

The only thing we haven’t seen yet is David stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Then again, in today’s passage, we’re going to see David coming to the rescue of those in need – even while being on the run himself – so maybe there are some more similarities after all.

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Gideon – Mighty Hero

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking at some of the unlikely heroes in the book of Judges.

And of all the characters that we’ve looked so far, none of them have been the real famous Bible story characters that maybe some of you grew up with. If you went to Sunday school as a kid, you probably acted out the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho – maybe you saw a puppet show about Noah and the ark – there was probably a flannelgraph illustration of Daniel in the lions den.

However, you likely didn’t see any puppets acting out the story of Ehud as he lost his dagger in the fat of King Eglon’s belly. You’re not likely to have seen a kids feature skit about how Jael hammered a tent peg through the skull of Sisera. These aren’t the kinds of stories that usually make it into the children’s Bible story books. But they are in the Bible – and they are important for us to study and learn from… Just maybe not when you’re 5 years old!

But today we’re going to look at another judge – and this one is a little more well-known then some of these others. His story isn’t quite so graphic, so you very well may have learned about him in Sunday School. Today we’re going to look at the life of Gideon.

And Gideon’s story begins just like all the other judges we’ve looked at so far. They all begin the same way…

You’ll remember the cycle of sin that we’ve been talking about in the book of Judges. Israel would sin and so God would allow their enemies to oppress them. And after several years of enduring this oppression, the Israelites would repent and cry out for God to save them. Which of course, God did by sending them a rescuer – that is, a judge – like Ehud or Deborah. But then, as soon as the enemy was defeated and that particular judge died, the Israelites would go right back into sinning again and the cycle would begin all over.

And so, it’s quite predictable, that after Deborah rescued Israel from King Jabin and his commander Sisera, that Israel would again sin, and God would allow another enemy to oppress them. And this time, the enemy was a doozy. If you have your Bibles you can turn to Judges chapter 6 – verse 1. It begins like this:

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