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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 14.47-52

1 Samuel 14.47-52
Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, the sons of Ammon, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines; and wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment. He acted valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, and delivered Israel from the hands of those who plundered them. Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua; and the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the firstborn Merab and the name of the younger Michal. The name of Saul's wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul's uncle. Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel. Now the war against the Philistines was severe all the days of Saul; and when Saul saw any mighty man or any valiant man, he attached him to his staff.

If I have to be blunt, I find it personally difficult finding something nice to write about when it comes to King Saul. Saul was vain, vindictive, and displayed elements of paranoia. He may have been tall and handsome, but he was a bit short of character. As such, he did manage at times to do some things right.

Saul was king over the land during a time of external strife. The nation was in a constant state of struggle against the other people groups in the region. The fault for this lies within the disobedience of the people of Israel. When they first took possession of the land, God instructed them to wipe out the other peoples that lived there. For whatever reason, they failed to do so. Therefore, the nation was still at war.

We see in the last verse here that Saul did something pretty smart. Whenever he found a great warrior, he put him on his own personal staff. He surrounded himself with the best people that he could find.

Many years ago, I got the opportunity of a lifetime. My office was being moved to Ft Worth, and I was one of the only persons left who was willing to stick it out. For me, it was not only the opportunity to take over the leadership, but also to rebuild the team, almost completely from scratch. To do so, I searched for the best and smartest people I could find. Over the years, that team became one of the best in our field of fraud prevention. Every time we got kudos, I made sure that my team got the credit. I did well because my folks did well.

So what do we do with this? As Christ followers, we see in the letter to the Hebrews (10.25) that we should continue the regular assembling of ourselves together.  We do this for the mutual encouragement of one another, especially in a world where strife and anxiety are so rampant. We all need an encouraging word … regularly! It’s all too easy to get bombarded by all the junk the world throws at us. We should make every effort to get to our worship gatherings on Sunday, and to Life Group. That’s where we find that encouragement.  Love and encouragement is so important. As a side note, one of the Apostle Paul’s traveling companions was Barnabas … his name means the Son of Encouragement. What a great name! As we meet together, we all need to act like a Barnabas. To finish this up, let’s keep on meeting together.  Why?  Because we desperately need one another, whether we realize it or not.

Weekly Memory Verse: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12.1