May 16 – Are You a Real Follower of Jesus?

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
John 8:31-59
Psalm 112:1-10
Proverbs 15:12-14

1 Samuel 18:10 — Why is God sending an evil spirit? suggests it was part of God’s judgment on Saul.

First, the evil spirit was “from” the Lord in that it was allowed by God to harass Saul. Ultimately, all created things are under God’s control. It is likely that this evil spirit was part of God’s judgment upon Saul for his disobedience. Saul had directly disobeyed God on two occasions (1 Samuel 13:1–14 and 1 Samuel 15:1–35). Therefore, God removed His Spirit from Saul and allowed an evil spirit to torment him. Likely, Satan and the demons had always wanted to attack Saul; God was now simply giving them permission to do so.

1 Samuel 18:14 — A great commendation for anyone.

Saul Throwing his Spear at David

1 Samuel 19:24 — The sad descent of Saul from humility:

  • to arrogant appropriation of the job of the priest
  • to hubris
  • to two attempted assassinations of David (1 Samuel 18:11)
  • to an assassination attempt using the Philistines (1 Samuel 18:17) – which sounds a bit like what David did to Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:15)
  • to a general assassination order (1 Samuel 19:1)
  • to another specific personal assassination attempt (1 Samuel 19:10)
  • to a delegated assassination attempt (1 Samuel 19:11)
  • to the four waves of assassins he sent to Ramah (1 Samuel 19:20-24).

John 8:31 — How can we be identified as disciples of Jesus? Paul reiterates the importance in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Not all who appear as real are actually real disciples:

My best friend in high school, we did gospel evangelism together as high school kids. Went away to college and declared himself an atheist. My best friend in college, we were co-captains of the football team, was headed for seminary. He essentially denied the faith and walked way. One of my best friends in seminary, his father was the dean of the seminary. After he graduated, he set up a Buddhist altar in his house. So we all deal with this. We all are asking the question all the time who is real? Who is genuine?

John MacArthur

By the way, notice that this antagonistic dialogue is with the Jews which believed on him. MacArthur quotes J.C. Ryle:

This is the most dangerous spiritual condition any person can ever be in where you’re halfway to Christ; inclined to Jesus, inclined to the truth about Jesus, wanting what Jesus provides and what He offers, but not willing to give in to the full demands that He lays on the sinner of repentance and faith in Him, declaration of His lordship, turning from sin toward righteousness

John MacArthur

John 8:48-51 — Also from John MacArthur:

Three phases appear in this dialog, and they flow through a kind of a consistent pattern. First comes blasphemy from them. Then Jesus speaks truth, and then He gives a gracious invitation. So the first one: blasphemy, truth, gracious invitation. Second one: blasphemy, truth, gracious invitation.

John MacArthur

Psalm 112:1 — Another blessing on those who obey the Lord! May you be one of those blessed!

Proverbs 15:14 — If you have free time, instead of turning on the TV set, grab a book!

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