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This week, we studied 1 Samuel 26, which is a near repeat of chapter 24, but a different experience for David and Saul.

In 24, David cuts off a bit of Saul's robe to prove he could have killed him while he was pooping in the same cave where David and his men were hiding. <People, you can't make this stuff up!>

David felt awful about desecrating the King's robe to prove a point and asked Saul for forgiveness, btw. That, my friends, is a great example of humility.

So here we are in chapter 26...David and his ruthless commander Abishai (killed 300 in battle by himself) went into Saul's camp of 3,000 men on a suicide mission to make a point: God was on David's side and would once again protect him from Saul.

Saul and his men are all sleeping very deeply because God put them in a deep sleep and David takes Saul's water jug and spear and spares his life (although Abishai shares other ideas).

The chapter wraps up with David calling out to Abner, Saul's commander. He tells him he and his men are worthless protectors of their king and should be killed for their lack of security. Saul hears David's voice and David makes his case: why pursue an innocent man? This is the last time Saul and David communicate because Saul dies after this.

Observations:

- God defends his own.
- God protects us from our idiotic behavior.
- God defends the innocent and brings justice for the afflicted.
- God brings us back to the same problems and issues because we have not dealt with these issues the right way in the past.
- David was blessed with knowing he would be king one day. God then tested him to see if he would be faithful to God and not his own desires.

Spiritual truth and personal application: man rewards man AFTER he proves himself worthy of a reward. God rewards man BEFORE he proves himself worthy and gives him multiple chances to get it right. <-- this is huge, so stop and consider what you've been blessed with and what God wants from you concerning that blessing.

Last week's study was 1 Samuel 25. David is mad at a guy named Nabal for not giving his men food when he's protected Nabal's sheep shearers in the fields… not that Nabal asked David to protect his workers! He's so angry he's told his men that he's going to kill Nabal and all the men in his home.

While Nabal's name translates to "fool" it's David who's acting like a fool. He thinks that because he did something good (protection) and didn't do something bad (take advantage of Nabal's workers) that he should be handsomely rewarded.

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We are a diverse group of people who live in the Houston area who gather each Sunday morning for fellowship, worship, Bible study, and breaking bread. Meeting together informally in a home for "church" allows us to get a good charge for the week, and a welcome challenge in our walk with Christ. The dress code is casual and our time together is informal and friendly. We're always open to welcome new visitors to come join us and be a part of our church family.

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Randall Neighbour is the President of TOUCH Outreach Ministries and the author of numerous resources on holistic small group life and leadership. His most recent book, The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry: When it won't work and what to do about it is shaking up the American group life movement, providing practical solutions for the pastor and church who desire to equip and release God's people for the work of their ministry through holistic small group life. Randall coaches pastors, consults with churches, trains small group leaders and members, and continues to write from the TOUCH offices in Houston, Texas. He and his wife are planting a cell-based housechurch near downtown Houston for those who refuse to darken the door of a church building.

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