Studies have shown we are generally more likely to trust the people we find attractive or have a “presence” about them. Those who “look the part” are more likely to receive our listening ears, our votes, our willingness to hire them, and our delegation of important roles to them. 1 Samuel highlights how the Israelites, including the prophet Samuel, fall into the trap of relying on the data their eyes are receiving. But God has a strong message about the reliability of our eyes in making value judgments. We explore and apply.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." What effect do adverse situations have on friendship? If we read Job, we may conclude that crisis just drives friends to turn on each other under stress. But could a crisis actually solidify friendship and reveal its true meaning. We explore David and Jonathan and the principles of their covenant friendship.
One of the ways the Bible relates the glory of God to us is through the idea of weight. And this intertwining of "heaviness" and "glory" is a major theme of the first few chapters of 1 Samuel. So what are the implications of the weight of God's presence - now? And in eternity?
Sometimes one traumatic event is enough to cause a breakdown. Sometimes post-traumatic stress disorder may be the result of the cumulative effect of a number of episodes. The situation of David and his men in 1 Samuel 30 is enough by itself to be a crisis. But add the cumulative effect of years of stress, and you have the makings of a meltdown. We examine the different responses to crisis in this text, including how David demonstrates a faithful response that neither ignores the crisis nor despairs during it.
As part of our series on seeing Jesus in every book of the Bible, we examine 1 and 2 Samuel where the "seed" language reemerges and is now connected with the idea of "Messiah" as one who is coming.