READ: 1 Samuel 23-25
THINK: How are you at submitting to authority? Respecting leaders and responding to them appropriately is a challenge-especially if it seems they're making bad decisions. However, doing what comes easily isn't what builds character. Doing what's right-regardless of what others are doing-helps you grow spiritually. That includes showing grace and integrity toward leaders and relying on God to accomplish His will in His way. David chose not to take vengeance on the king. Rather than taking matters into his own hands, David submitted to God and waited on His timing. Because of David's humility, God eventually placed him on the throne, despite Saul's efforts to prevent it.
RESPOND: Why is it important to seek God's guidance and approval before embarking on a mission or engaging in a "battle" (23:1-2)? Since Jonathan was King Saul's son, what was extraordinary about Jonathan's encouragement of David (23:17-18)? What does this tell you about Jonathan's character and sensitivity to God? How did God divert Saul's attention when he was closing in on David (23:26-28)? Why didn't David kill Saul when he had the chance (24:6,11-13)? (See 24:6 note.) What does this reveal about David's character? How might God have been testing David in this situation? How did David show trust in God by how he handled the encounter with Saul (24:12,15)? Why is it difficult to leave things in God's hands when you see a chance to do things differently, maybe quicker, than God intends? What example did Samuel leave for Israel and all of us? (See 25:1 note.) How did Nabal return evil for good in how he treated David and his men (25:4-12,21-22)? How did Nabal's wife, Abigail, show wisdom, responsibility and diplomacy in her actions toward David (25:23-31)? How did God use Abigail to keep David from acting irrationally? (See 25:32 note.) How might God use other people to keep us from doing wrong?
PRAY: Pray for God's guidance in a situation you currently face or a decision you need to make. Ask God to help you never get in the way of His purposes involving the people close to you. Pray for patience regarding God's plans, trusting Him to fulfill His purposes with you in His perfect timing. Take time to listen for God's response.
ACT: Personally encourage as many people as you can today regarding specific things they have done or are going through. Do this verbally as often as possible, but a kind action can also lift someone emotionally. Be conscious to thank people who serve you in any way-and don't forget to smile more.
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