Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 103

Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcome to Day 103 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

My iPhone Bible ap had another error, it took me to 1 Chronicles 14, not 1 Chronicles 4…

S cripture

1 Samuel 14 “Jonathan [son of King Saul] said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” 7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

1 Chronicles 4 gives a detailed account of the genealogies of the Tribe of Judah. (Becomes increasingly important as David is about to come on the scene… and Jesus is “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!)

2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

O bservation

I noted in 1 Samuel 14:52 “All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.” This was a difficult time in Israel’s history. “After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines.” The Philistines were especially… pesky… taunting the Israelites… “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.”

How humiliating.

Seems they have completely lost sight of who they were, their heritage and God’s promises to them. Their disobedience has cost them dearly. They defeated the Philistines by God’s hand, but they couldn’t finish the job. It says the Philistines “withdrew to their own land” in v 46.

This has been Israel’s downfall every step along the way. On top of that, the army begins eating meat with blood in it… It’s like they take two steps forward and three steps back.

I love the exchange between Jonathan and his armor-bearer… “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead;

I am with you heart and soul.”

A pplication

To me, the Application portion of this exercise is the most important. If we read the scriptures and make all kinds of great, deep observations, but fail to apply it to our lives, then it’s just good information. The Lord may give us deep insights, but if I don’t ask or think through how this applies to my life today, then so what?

That’s the question I always ask, “So what?”

The “So what?” for me today raises a couple of thoughts. So what if they are eating meat with blood in it? Does that really matter? I mean, they’re hungry after a long, hard-fought battle. Really, what does it matter?

They were disobedient. Rather than take a little extra time to prepare the meat properly, they rushed into it… and this, after the Lord had given them a victory. Then, BAM! Instead of worshiping him, offering proper sacrifices and enjoying a meal… they give in to hunger and sin in the process.


It’s like letting our guard down.

It’s easy to get lackadaisical in what we do… offer strange fire, as Aaron’s sons did. Get overly familiar, loose with our comments (one of my personal weaknesses, especially when I am tired.)

The upside of today’s reading for me was very inspirational… It’s easy to focus on all of Israel’s failings and relate them to my life in a cautionary way. That slaps me upside the head every day as I read…

But I love Jonathan’s trust in the Lord and how he expresses it… “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” Putting his trust in the Lord, not in his own strength or numbers.

And his armor-bearer’s response, “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”

I always say, “Showing up is half the battle. (The other half is showing up for the right reasons…)”

Heart and soul.

Heart and soul…

Heart AND soul…

HEART… and soul…

Heart and SOUL…

I have always served. I’m known for my dependability (I think) and faithfulness (I hear that often.) But it’s possible for me to be someplace geographically, but my mind be a million miles away… Right? People can see through if/when I am just showing up. I hate that… I am always mindful of what I am projecting, because as a leader, do I want our ministry partners “just showing up?” Filling a spot on the schedule? Or do I want them showing up next to me, “heart and soul” ready to take on the battle of leading worship… teaching our kids… Serving the community. Heart and soul…

Heart and soul.

Heart and soul… at home? Not just while I’m out extending the kingdom, doing my job…

Heart and soul… all the time?

Heart and soul.

Now THAT’S Application.

P rayer

Lord, help me to put my heart and soul into all that you have in mind for me to do. Give me energy, courage, strength and vision!


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7 thoughts on “Day 103

  1. Lisa Green on said:

    One of the applications for me this morning related to how many times have I thought as Jonathan did, perhaps this is the Lord, and then I do nothing about it. I go back and question, want God to confirm to me, etc. when in my Spirit I knew I should. It is sometimes for me the not doing something I should do- the good

  2. Mark Long on said:

    I find the whole story with Jonathan a little confusing. Jonathan’s raid seemed to be a bit of knee jerk stunt, but maybe it was just confidence in the Lord. And while I understand the issue with Saul’s vow to not eat anything before evening, Jonathan wasn’t there to hear it. It seems to work out in the end, but I’m straining to grasp the meaning of this and for some reason this story seems to be sticking in my mind… Hmm…

  3. Rick Hall on said:

    Hi Scott, Just a quick thought/thanks. I have spent some time with Henrietta Mears’ Bible handbook, which is great, but I find it really helpful to have your commentary that distills some of the highlights on a reading-by-reading basis (and puts them in big-picture context). So I am thinking that if it is possible, it would be great if we could save access to your commentary when this is all over, at least until such time that the whole thing starts again, and advertise it once in awhile for people who may be trying to read through the Bible on their own but would desire some motivation along the way. (I think the motivational content here is really helpful, including the numerous pictures!) Or maybe at least there is some way we could download and save the whole thing if it is of reasonable size. Thanks for doing this!

  4. Hey Scott, those are some great insights in your application today. I am one of those who struggles with ‘being where I’m at.’ My mind is often on to the next thing and the Lord has been showing me over the last week or so that I need to slow down, pay attention, listen…..etc. Even doing the readings sometimes becomes an item on the checklist instead of a chance to sit with my Father and learn from Him for awhile.

    You’re right–it’s heart and soul!

  5. So much to ponder and glean from the story of Jonathan and the honey…

    So Jonathan unknowingly sins when he eats honey which is perfectly legal except for the unwise oath of fasting that his Dad put in place and apparently did not communicate very well, yet some Israelites eat meat with blood which is not legal. God is non-responsive, and it’s easy to conclude that it was open sin of eating meat with blood behind His silence. I bet Saul was thinking this and was sure the lot would fall to Israelites. It’s unclear whether the stone (one) that Saul had brought to build an alter was to be used for a sin offering, to properly slaughter the animals so they could be eaten, or both perhaps. It does seem clear that Saul is quite sloppy in his rule of Israel.

    So why did the lot fall on Jonathan instead of the Israelites? Was it because his sin had not been confessed yet while the sin of eating meat was at least acknowledged and possibly atoned for? Did God not answer because of Jonathan’s sin, or something else? Saul inquires about who sinned presuming that be the reason behind God’s silence. It’s interesting that in Samuel’s warning about a king, it was mentioned that God would be silent. We could do a lot of finger pointing here. The Israelites and Jonathan sinned in part because Saul is sloppy in his kingship, even though they should have known better than to consume blood. Saul is in kingship because the Israelites rejected God and demanded a king. They wanted a strong leader to lead them in battle against enemies that they were supposed to exterminate when they first took possession of the land and didn’t. And so on…

    So who is to blame? We all are. We all sin and we are all sloppy towards God. I know that I often take God for granted. I think the application of this is to appreciate God more by spending more time praising Him for blessings than asking for stuff. We can also spend more time in scripture and worship in His presence. I love the Stirring the Waters and NOW services for some “bonus worship” with a more open timeframe and atmosphere. Finally, I think we need to confess our sins with humility as well as recognize sinful areas of our lives and change them.

    Lord, I’m sure that this comes as not shock to you, but I am a sinner. I sin with my words, actions, and thoughts. I am doomed but for Your grace by dying on a cross for me. Your blood covers my sins. Although I will be a sinner until I am with You, I invite the Your spirit to show me sinful areas of my life where I need to change. Forgive me of my pride, impure thoughts, greed, and irreverence towards You. In Jesus name.

  6. I so do not want lip service. Application of the word is key. Many people will say they have all of a preacher’s books. That is great, but are you applying it to your life? Is it working for you?
    Too often we run to another Bible study when what we really need is this right here. What does God’s word speak to you and how can you apply it? Good stuff!

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