It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
Abigail (Hebrew for “father rejoices” or “source of joy”) was not a main player in the history of Israel, but she had an instinctive skill for diplomacy and peace-making. A woman of beauty and brains, Abigail in the Bible could defuse a dangerous situation between hot-headed men.
Though Abigail may have been trapped in a bad marriage — probably arranged by her parents — she was hardly helpless. She took decisive action when her husband mistreated David. Abigail in the Bible saved her people as well as David from taking action he would later regret.
She, in the end, would marry the man she saved from rash action, bearing him his second son, Kileab (2 Samuel 3:3). David could lose his temper but always recognized when faced with sense.
I Survived is a kids book series, featuring a pre-teenish boy or girl protagonist who survives some ordeal (usually a natural disaster) based off real historical events. By Lauren Tarshis, I Survived books are short, easy reads sure to delight and teach at the same time.
The latest in Ms. Tarshis’ series is called “I Survived The Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967.” We follow an eleven-year old girl named Mel whose mother just died in a car accident. She visits her grandfather every year who lives in Glacier National Park. This is the first year they visit without her mother, and Mel is having a hard time adjusting. However, this year, the grizzlies in Glacier National Park are acting strangely, and Mel is determined to find out.
Her Aunt Cassie is a writer, and she visits as well. They meet a wildlife biologist investigating the bear incidents as well and decide to hike to a lodge up in the mountains called Granite Park. There they learn the grizzlies have become a tourist attraction as the lodge is feeding the bears (aka baiting them) with garbage. It’s become quite the show.
Mel herself almost gets attacked by a grizzly, but she is saved by a porcupine. That summer, two teenage girls are attacked and killed by grizzlies, bringing national attention to this problem. Trash was also everywhere, not being disposed of properly, further enticing the bears to change their behavior. These bears had lost their fear of humans and saw humans as a threat to their food source — garbage. The bears were also dying of starvation, having gotten glass in their mouths from all the bottles of food they tried to eat.
In 1967, this truly did happen. Many called for the eradication of the grizzlies (as if it were their fault humans were baiting them and feeding them). Luckily, intelligence prevailed and the National Parks began to clean up their acts. They disposed of garbage properly — including instituting bear proof garbage cans — and launched an educational campaign to not feed animals, approach animals, or litter.
Cleaning up our act has allowed grizzlies to thrive. In 1975, the grizzlies became a protected species and could no longer be hunted. There are now 1600 grizzly bears, living primarily in Montana and Wyoming with 32,000 in Alaska.
I personally had never heard of this in history, so this has been my favorite I Survived book so far. Mel learns to talk about her sadness. Very educational and informative and sure to spark many long conversations about topics such as the conservation of animals and humans’ role in preserving species. I loved this book and learned a lot.
Other I Survived topics include the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, The American Revolution in 1776, The Great Chicago Fire in 1871, and the Japanese Tsunami in 2011. Great, quick reads that I highly recommend.
Wishing everyone a happy, safe, and prayerful Christmas Day!
Saul was the right and proper king, living in luxury. David, a secretly anointed king, lived in a desert, scrambling to survive. Saul had a professional army; David had a band of outlaws.
Twice David could have killed Saul. He didn’t, knowing that was God’s job.
David was on the run, dealing with locals who turned him in twice (23:19; 26:1). David’s situation was deteriorating as Saul’s mental state was. He had popular support, even among his neighbors. Soon, he’d leave Israel and become a hired hand for the Philistines (1 Samuel 27:1).
David has a sense of God’s timing, essential to leadership.
You need to know when to act boldly and when to wait; when to bend and when to stand.
This will be the last prayer request for 2018! Please leave your prayer requests here and praises if you have some. There is power in prayer so the more the merrier! You can also email me your requests at: firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the comments below.
Mine: To remember to pray for others and pray for unbelievers in my life.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
“Fear of the Lord” is a phrase we find frequently in the Old Testament. Does it mean that we should be frightened of God? No.
“Fear of the Lord” gradually became a standard phrase for a good relationship with God. A good relationship begins with a reverent sense that God is so powerful and righteous that we dare not take Him lightly. But it goes on from awe to a sense of deep security, as Psalm 34 demonstrates.
For the believer, the fear of God is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this fear. It’s a combination of reverence and awe.
Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom.
Fearing God means having a reverence for Him that impacts the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
Fun Fact: The Bible uses the word “fear” at least 300 times in reference to God.
David, still fearful for his life, decides to go to the Philistines, so Saul will stop pursuing him there. David goes to Gath where he fled before (1 Samuel 21:10) and pretended to be insane, and he and his men settle there. They are given their own land in Ziklag and stay for 1 year and 4 months. David raided some of Israel’s enemies while there, killing everyone and taking their possessions. He lied to Achish, telling him he was raiding the Israelites. David was protecting his own skin.
12) David was afraid of Saul and feared for his life. He knew if he fled Israel, Saul would quit pursuing him, which he did. David’s reasons were valid but unnecessary. We’re not told if he prayed to God about it, but to me it seems as if he didn’t trust God to protect him, so he took the matter into his own hands.
13) Personal Question. My answer. Too many times to count: as a kid, divorce, bankruptcy, moves across country, jobs, etc. I prayed and trusted and tried not to worry and give it to God.
14) He will provide, protect, console, and never forsake those who trust him. God knows us. We are His. We are given eternal life. God is for us. We are justified. He gives us all things. We are never separated from the love of Christ. God works through us. All of God’s promises are encouraging as I walk in faith with Him.
Again, we see the imperfections of David. He’s having to lie to Achish in order to stay and kill people because he’s afraid and not trusting in God’s protection. People are dying. Granted, they are Israel’s enemies, but they are still dying needlessly. David is human just like us and makes mistakes.
What we say in our heart has a tremendous power to shape our thinking, our actions, even our whole destiny.
David was discouraged and tired of trusting God for His continued deliverance. In his discouragement, David forgot God’s past deliverance. In his despair, he left God and His people behind.
This is the second time David flees to Achish — this time leading his army and family to sin as well. In 1 Samuel 21:10-15, we learn David briefly went over to Achish of the Philistines, believing there might be a place of refuge for him. God allowed that experience to quickly turn sour, and David pretended to be a madman, so he could escape.
IMPORTANT NOTE: David did not write any Psalms during his time with the Philistines. His heart was not with God.
David needed his own city, Ziklag, to operate from unobserved.
The Hebrew word raided comes from the verb to strip, with the idea of stripping the dead for loot. David attacked these villages or encampments, killed the men, stripped them for treasure or armor, and robbed the people of the village or encampment. This was no way of life for a man after God’s own heart.
David attacks only Israel’s enemies. Still, he’s nothing more than a robber and a murderer. He is not fighting for God.
God is allowing David free will, letting his decisions play out — like he does with us. But God has not abandoned David. On the contrary, he is hoping David will come back to His arms.