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The God Who Provides

Text: I Samuel 23
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: November 30, 2008

Some of us know what it is to be betrayed by someone we loved – perhaps by a family member, or a boss, or a friend.

In I Samuel 23, David is betrayed twice by people whom he had helped as they sought to hand him over to king Saul who was seeking to kill him. In the midst of these troubles, God helps David by providing guidance, encouragement and a providential deliverance.

As we have seen many times in I Samuel, the experiences of David foreshadow the life of Christ and our own experience. Jesus was betrayed by those to whom He had shown great love. As His followers, we also are mistreated for His sake.

Like David and Jesus, we can look to God to provide guidance, encouragement, and providential deliverance.

Saul Slaughters the Innocent

Text: I Samuel 22:5-23
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: November 23, 2008

One of the main reasons people give for not becoming a Christian is the problem of evil ‘How can there be a good God when there is so much suffering in the world?’

In this week’s text in I Samuel we see a lot of evil. Wicked King Saul massacres not only almost all of the priests, but the women and children in their town of Nob.

Throughout human history men have committed atrocities against each other, resulting in the loss of millions of lives.

Our text and the related Psalm (52) offer a biblical perspective on human evil. Our God is working out His good purpose in spite of evildoers. Furthermore, God will bring justice to those who wickedly cause others to suffer, and He will bring vindication to those who are righteous.

The supreme answer is found in the New Testament where God enters our suffering world in the Person of Christ and subjects Himself to the full extent of evil and injustice so that evil might ultimately be conquered and eliminated.

Man on the Run

Text: I Samuel 21:1-22:5
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: November 16, 2008

When I was a kid there was a popular TV show called “The Fugitive” in which a man falsely convicted of killing his wife escapes from custody and seeks to find the true killer while also evading the law.

In this section of I Samuel David is a fugitive. For several chapters he is chased from place to place, trying to evade murderous King Saul. In evading Saul David sometimes does things which we might question, such as lying to the chief priest and seeking refuge with the Philistines.

There is a story behind the story, however. While this section of Scripture describes David’s actions, the reader is aware that it is the LORD who is protecting and providing for David.

There also is more to our story than meets the eye. Four of David’s Psalms (34,56, 57,142) are specifically tied to the week’s text. In these we see what was in David’s heart as he was facing these great trials. In his distress David cries out to God who hears and delivers him, resulting in heartfelt praise. The experiences of David (the LORD’s anointed king) are mirrored in the life of Jesus as He too sought provision and protection from the Father as He faced murderous enemies.

We too face significant trials in this life. Because we are in Christ we can pray as David prayed in the Psalms, knowing the LORD cares for us as He did for His Anointed (even when we don’t deserve it). Just as David gathered a group of distressed misfits as his followers (22:2), we who have been rejected by the world are Christ’s band of misfits through whom He conquers the world. (I Cor. 1:26ff)

Covenant Faithfulness

Text: I Samuel 20
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: November 9, 2008

Covenant is a major theme in the Bible which is organized around God’s covenants with His people. A covenant is an agreement with mutual obligations which stipulates blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. God’s covenants with us display His lovingkindness (Hebrew hesed), in that He graciously meets the needs of those who are united to Him by covenant.

Covenants between believers should share the features of God’s covenants with us as we make commitments and show lovingkindness to one another. The most significant human covenant is marriage. A key to success in marriage is understanding and fulfilling our covenant obligations.

David and Jonathan made a covenant of friendship (18:3) which is tested in I Samuel 20. David is being pursued by Jonathan’s father, King Saul, who wants to kill him. David flees to Jonathan and seeks covenant lovingkindness from Jonathan, even though it will cost Jonathan much to fulfill his promise. Jonathan, remarkably, looks ahead to a future in which David will be the powerful one and Jonathan’s family will be those who are at risk. Jonathan secures David’s promise to show lovingkindness to his household in the years to come.

When we see how David and Jonathan kept their covenant, we are reminded of God’s covenant faithfulness to us, supremely expressed in the work of Christ. We also are reminded of how we should keep our commitments to our families, our church, and our friends.

Energetically Remaining in the Love of God

Text: Jude 17-25
Speaker: Mike Kelley
Date: November 2, 2008

Jude 17-25 – But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Looking for a Leader

Text: I Samuel 8
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Date: November 2, 2008

In this message delivered at Grace Fellowship Church in Bremen, Indiana, Jim Newheiser examines Israel quest to find a leader and calls on God’s people to put their hope in Christ our King.

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