Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Bait of Satan - Chapter 4 - Book Discussion

The Bait of Satan, Chapter 4 - My Father, My Father!
In Chapter 4 of The Bait of Satan we learn about dealing with offenses from fathers and father figures by studying King Saul's betrayal of David, found in 1 Samuel 16-31.

The story begins with the prophet Samuel anointing David to be the next king of Israel, though at the time he was just a shepherd boy. Soon after, David was called to the palace to play his harp in order to soothe Saul's soul which was being tormented by an evil spirit (Saul was out of God's will due to his disobedience). This allowed David to get his foot in the palace door, so to speak.

David experienced more favor with Saul when he killed Goliath. In doing so, he also won Saul's daughter's hand in marriage and moved to the palace. It seemed like everything was going well for young David and that God's plan was in place to make David the next king.

Then everything changed one day when David and Saul returned together from a successful battle. The women of Israel sang, "Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands." Saul immediately became jealous of David and despised him. The rest of Saul's life was spent hunting David down and trying to kill him.

David had several chances to kill Saul and chose not to. He desired to be reconciled with Saul to the very end. When David found out who killed Saul in battle, David sentenced that man to death. After Saul's death, David continued to remained loyal to him by showing kindness to his descendants and by writing a song that honored Saul and his sons.

Chapter 4 - Key Points/Bible Verses:

1 Samuel 24:11 - David wonders why Saul continues to try to kill him even though he has proved to Saul that he has no evil intentions against him.

Malachi 4:6 - God wants fathers to turn their hearts to their children.

1 Samuel 26:8 - David's friend Abishai wants to kill Saul when they were able to sneak up on him during the night when God put all Saul's guards into a deep sleep.

1 Samuel 26:9-11 - Even though God had given David the opportunity to kill Saul by putting all Saul's guards into a deep sleep and allowing David and Abishai to sneak up on Saul, David refused to kill him. He left it in God's hands.

Proverbs 18:21 - We no longer kill each other with swords, but instead ravage each other through the sword of our tongue.

Proverbs 6:16-19 - When we speak things to others with the intention of damaging relationships, even if it is true, it is an abomination to God.

2 Samuel 1:14-15 - David ordered death to the man that killed Saul.

Day 7 and Day 8 - Devotionals:

Days 7 & 8, in the devotional at the back of the book, cover Chapter 4 of The Bait of Satan.

Day 7

Think of the "fathers" in the past from whom you have experienced rejection. Circle any who have rejected or hurt you:

I circled: Biological father, Stepfather, Pastor, Church Staff, and Teacher.

One biblical example of a father's rejection was Saul's rejection of David. Carefully read pages 34 - 36 of The Bait of Satan. As you read, jot down all the ways David could have been tempted to take up an offense from Saul:

- Saul tried to kill David twice while David played the harp for him.

- David was forced into the wilderness and had to hide in caves from Saul.

- Saul killed 85 innocent priests and the entire city of Nob when he found out they had been hospitable to David.

- David proved to Saul that he meant him no harm when he cut a piece from Saul's robe when instead he could have killed Saul or harmed him. Even knowing this, Saul still sought to kill David.

Now complete these sentences:

David treated Saul: compassionately, with love and respect.

Instead of revenge, David: sought reconciliation.

Read 1 Samuel 24:11 and then complete these sentences:

When someone attacks me, God wants me to: humble myself before them and try to make things right with them.

When someone rejects me, God wants me to: seek restoration and reconciliation through forgiveness.

Write a prayer asking God to work in the lives of your father figures and enable you to pray for them and forgive their faults:

Dear Father, Please help me to pray for and sincerely forgive the father figures in my life who have wronged me. Please work in both their hearts and mine. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Day 8

Look over the following list. Check whether or not you believe that Saul should have received the death penalty for such a crime:

1. Saul had murdered 85 innocent priests and their families (multiple counts of first-degree murder):

2. Saul, along with three thousand men, attempted in every possible way to kill David and his men (multiple counts of attempted murder): I checked DESERVING OF DEATH

3. Saul continued to function as king even when the anointing to rule had been taken from him and given to David: I checked DESERVING OF PUNISHMENT

4. Saul lied about David, sought to turn everyone against David, and broke his promises to David: I checked DESERVING OF PUNISHMENT

Write a prayer asking God to humble yourself before those who offend you and to ask for forgiveness:

Dear Father, please help me to rid myself of my prideful ways and humble myself before You and those who offend me. Help me to ask for forgiveness. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Chapter 4 - My Thoughts

I'm in awe of David's compassion and love for a man who despised him and attempted to murder him almost every chance he got.

It was huge for me to learn in this chapter that God will put us in circumstances that will test us to reveal the true condition of our hearts. When God put Saul's entire army to sleep and allowed David and Abishai to sneak up on Saul, it seemed like God was giving David the perfect opportunity to kill Saul. It seemed so absolutely crystal clear that it was God's will for David to take Saul's life! But David refused, and in doing so, proved the purity of his heart. He passed the test with flying colors! It's easy to see why David was called "a man after God's own heart."

I have had major issues with the father figures in my life. I spent many, many years living with anger and bitterness in my heart, but I did reach a point in my life when I realized I needed to forgive and let go of the bitterness. While these relationships have mostly been restored, I fully recognize that I have a long way to go before I can love these men to the same extent that David loved Saul.

How about you? Do you think you can love the fathers and father figures in your life the way that David loved Saul?

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Anonymous said...

My book isn't set up like yours, Viki. I think I may have included these answers in another chapter :) I'll put my answers again here just in case.

I didn't circle any of the father figures as people who have hurt or rejected me.

David could have taken offense at the sheer fact that Saul was trying to kill him! lol But also that Saul killed other who helped David. That Saul was so mean to David even after God appointed him. So many reasons.

David treated Saul with respect.

Instead of revenge, David hoped for reconciliation.

I had about the same as you for the fill-in-the-blanks scripture part.

Now, the next chapter really got me! I'm finding that to be more applicable to me personally and the struggles I face.

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