Author Archives: Jim Gavigan

1 Chronicles 8:29 – 11:21

13So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

1 Chronicles 10:13-14

5When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. 6He asked the Lord what he should do, but the Lord refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots28:6 Hebrew by Urim. or by the prophets. 7Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.”

1 Samuel 28:5-7

For some reason, I have just glossed over Saul consulting a medium when I have read through this part of the Bible. Interestingly enough, Saul had decreed the no one was allowed to consult mediums earlier in his reign. Literally, this decree is documented just a few verses up in 1 Samuel 18.

So, what would drive a man to do the thing he deemed no one under his charge could do? I am going to speculate here, as I don’t know what drove Saul to do this. My opinion is that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure as a leader. He was facing overwhelming odds with the Philistine army in front of him and he was absolutely panicked since God wouldn’t give him any advice. He was desperate for an answer – any answer, from anywhere.

He had drifted away from God, and likely deep down he knew it. He was likely trying to use God as a “genie” and saying “Just help me God! Give me an answer to my prayer!” I think that this is a danger we all face, especially those of us in leadership positions as the consequences can be worse. Sometimes, our motives are completely wrong, or we have drifted so far away that God chooses to remain silent because our motives aren’t sincere. This is likely where Saul was – his motives weren’t at all sincere.

There have been numerous times over the last 5 years where I didn’t know if my business, Industrial Insight, was going to make it. There certainly have been temptations to do things on my own and not consult God. Honestly, there have been a few times where I took an action and THEN asked God to bless it, but that is another story. However, I couldn’t imagine driving down SR16 5 miles from our house to a house that advertises psychic services (I rarely see cars there, so I wonder how many people go to actually see this person). I haven’t been tempted to consult my horoscope or some astrological prediction, either. I was big into astrology before I became a Christian and literally didn’t even do so much as read a horoscope after that, so that could have become a temptation for me I guess.

There have been times where God was silent with me, often for just a time, but He has always answered my prayers, even if it wasn’t what I was praying for nor in the time I was asking for. There were times that doors closed on me/us and I am convinced God was simply protecting me/us. There were times I heard “no” or “not yet” but I am not sure I ever got to such a panicked state that I wouldn’t/couldn’t wait on an answer.

So again, I go back to what drives a man, who was once a man of God, to compromise so much? I am not sure, but the lesson here is that even when I am facing what I believe are dire circumstances, that I should trust God, even if he is silent and I can’t hear Him. Maybe I am the impediment to our relationship, or maybe He is is just choosing to be silent for a reason I have yet to understand. We have to be careful to not compromise, just because we are facing tremendous pressure. It is in those moments of trust in silence that likely galvanize our relationship with God and our faith in Him.

Dear Lord, help to stay steadfast to Your will in these crazy times. Let me never compromise my trust in you and search out people and things that could lead me away from Your will. In Jesus’s mighty name, Amen.



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1 Kings 14-17

24Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

1 Kings 17:24, NLT

Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, the widow said. It is interesting as for many days, Elijah had been hanging out with her and her son. The widow and her son were literally down to their last meal and she was picking up some sticks to start the fire to bake the meal, when Elijah happened upon her.

12But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

1 Kings 17:12, NLT

This was in response to Elijah needing a cup of water and then saying “oh, and can you bring me a bite of bread too?” So, Elijah tells her to do exactly what she was going to do, except make his bread first, and in so doing, God would make sure there was always enough left to make another meal. This goes on for many days and yet she still hasn’t figured out that this is a man of God? It is only after “some time later,” so maybe many more days, weeks, months even, that her son got sick and died. She got frustrated and vented to Elijah that it was his fault that her son had died:

8Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”

1 Kings 17:8

Elijah takes her son to an upper room, sprawls over the boy three times while praying and pleading to God for God to bring her son back to life, which mercifully, He did.

So, here we are, back to the line “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God!” I am trying to figure out what this dear woman was thinking. This guy shows up out of nowhere and she basically now has just enough to eat every day because He said she would. That is supernatural. There aren’t many choices on what to think here. It sounds like she had almost convinced herself that this was a man of God, but she was still not 100% sure.

I think we can all relate to this woman. You see, sometimes God puts people in our lives who may not do supernatural things, but who give us just what we need when we need it. Sometimes, God answers a prayer. Other times, he puts us in a situation where we are at exactly the right moment to minister to someone else. He uses every person and every situation to mold us into who He wants us to be. Sometimes, that is unpleasant, and many times, the unpleasant outcome isn’t a punishment, but a tool.

Yet, how many times do we catch ourselves with unbelief? If we believe in Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit, then why do we keep doubting? We start to walk on water like Peter did on the sea of Galilee, and then we get those same doubts and start to sink. How many times does God have to prove Himself to us before we really catch on and have ZERO doubts?

I remember a pastor who used to tell us he was preaching his sermons to himself and hoping we would get something out of it. This blog is me writing to myself and hoping you will get something out of it. I doubt, I pout, and I sometimes kick and scream when things aren’t going my way. I lose a job, a business deal, a friend, etc. and it’s “woe is me!” Why have I still not figured out that it is all part of His plan and He knows better than me? I am just like this woman with one of the few prophets of God living with her and yet she doubts what she is seeing. I am her. I am sure God just shakes His head as he proves time and time again that He knows what is best for me.

Maybe one day I will learn.

Nah, probably not….

Dear Jesus, I am sorry for those times I doubt you and the Father and that you know what is best for me. You give me and us just what I and we need right when we need it. No more than we need, and no less. You prove yourself faithful over and over again. Please let me learn to have the type of faith that moves mountains. In Jesus’s mighty name I pray, Amen.

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1 Samuel 30:11 – 2 Samuel 2

“21Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. 22But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.”

23But David said, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the Lord has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. 24Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” 25From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today.”

1 Samuel 30:21-25, NLT

Sometimes, we want to be the ones out in battle, whether physically or spiritually. We want to be like David and his mighty men, conquering things for and with our God. However, sometimes, it is our job to stay back, out of the actual “fight.”

In this case, it was men that were too exhausted for the fight, so they stayed behind and guarded some equipment. David gave them the same honor that he bestowed on his other men who had been in battle with him. Despite some evil men who had fought not wanting to reward these 200 men who had stayed behind, David knew it took ALL of them to win the battle and to have a successful unit.

Being an avid sports fan, I have seen some teams (not a ton mind you) that have praised the men and women who were bench warmers, on the practice squad, the equipment managers, and/or all of the ones behind the scenes who never hit a home rum, made a 3 pointer, scored a touchdown, or scored a goal. Yet, these are people that help make a team go and keep things together.

Maybe you are one of those in the background at work, in your family, or in a ministry who isn’t necessarily out on the front lines where you can be seen, but make no mistake, your role IS vital to the mission. I have had forward facing roles in business for years, and there was always support staff who made my life easier and let me focus on the task at hand. I always have tried to recognize those people and tell them that they were appreciated.

I am the leader of our household, but there is ZERO doubt in my mind that my wife Kristina is the glue to our family, even thought I am the sole financial provider for our family. I think sometimes she gets discouraged and I remind her that her role in being the glue to our household and the influence she has had over our boys is way more important than the roles I have played.

I have had front line ministry roles and have been in the background at churches we have belonged to. I realized that all of the roles were important in God’s mission in that church. I have been on sports teams where I was the “star” to some degree. Yet, it took all of us to win games.

I have tried, although I am sure I have missed in this area too, to praise those people in the background. I encourage you to do so as well if you are in a role out on the “front lines.” You will be amazed by how much impact it has. I am sure David’s words and actions had incredible impact on those 200 men.

Here is the reality, there isn’t always a David to hold back the people who mistreat you and think you are undeserving just because you are operating in the background. However, there is One who notices all and don’t forget that. You are honoring Him. So don’t be discouraged. He notices and is preparing a reward for you.

Lord, we don’t always play a “front and center” role. Sometimes, you have called us to work in the background. Some of us, you have just given us a personality to stay behind, stay out of the spotlight. Let us not lose heart when imperfect people don’t recognize what we do. Help us understand that You see and appreciate us. Amen.


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Judges 10-13

Jephthah’s Vow

29At that time the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites. 30And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, 31I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave him victory. 33He crushed the Ammonites, devastating about twenty towns from Aroer to an area near Minnith and as far away as Abel-keramim. In this way Israel defeated the Ammonites.

34When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters. 35When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “Oh, my daughter!” he cried out. “You have completely destroyed me! You’ve brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.”

36And she said, “Father, if you have made a vow to the Lord, you must do to me what you have vowed, for the Lord has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites. 37But first let me do this one thing: Let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.”

38“You may go,” Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. 39When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin.

So it has become a custom in Israel 40for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.

Judges 11:29-40, NLT

Most of the time when reading the Bible, I try to imagine what it is like being there. I try to put myself in the scene or even imagine myself as one of the people.

In this case, I am trying to imagine what was really going through Jephthah’s mind here. He had been mistreated and run off by his own family because his mother was a prostitute. As an adult, he had become a great warrior and his people had come to him to fight for them. After asking, as I know I would have, “You people mistreated me and ran me off and now you want me to fight for you because I am a good fighter and leader?” He relented and agreed to fight for the Israelites. Here is where I get curious about his thought process.

He didn’t have to make the offer he did above, especially knowing someone from his own family would likely be the first out of his own house to greet him. Was he hoping for a goat? A sheep? The family dog? I am just not sure why he didn’t just ask for God’s help without what could potentially be a devastating sacrifice. I am also wondering if there was something else that was dear to him, other than a living family member that he could have sacrificed.

I also try to get into God’s thoughts here as well, which none of us will ever understand. God knew before Jephthah made the vow, that it would be Jephthah’s daughter who would be the first to greet him. Why her? It was such a huge test of Jephthah and his daughter and they showed great character and love and obedience to God to follow through with the vow.

I cannot imagine Jephthah’s daughter’s pain while in the hills. Did she think of running away and not honoring the vow? (Likely) Did her friends try to talk her out of it? (Likely)

Sometimes, I wish I understood God’s plans and what he allows more. However, as I have aged, I have seen so many times in my own life where circumstances and events didn’t make sense at the time and years later, I could see them woven into a much more intricate plan. It is like we are all part of this marvelous and massive tapestry being woven and we, along with the people in our lives, are just one miniscule piece of it. Sometimes, we get to see glimpses of our part of the tapestry, and more times than not, we don’t. Yet, I am convinced it is all being woven according to God’s plan, whether I understand it or not.

Lord, I don’t always understand what You ask of people. I don’t always understand the evil I see, the heartbroken victims in this cruel world nor certain miracles and joys. However, I do know that it is all part of a much grander plan and all for Your glory. Lord, just give me discernment and peace when I see events that seem like injustice or that seem so unfair and let me be reminded that it is all working for Your glory, whether I understand it or not. Amen.

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Leviticus 13:40-14:57

45“Those who suffer from a serious skin disease must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed.13:45 Or and uncover their heads. They must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46As long as the serious disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp.”

Leviticus 13:45-46

Isolation. One of the worst things that we humans could have happen to us. The last two years have made me feel more isolated than ever, as I am sure it has many of you. However, how would you like to be like the above person? Tear your clothes, look disheveled, and with covered mouth, shout “Unclean! Unclean!”

I shudder to think of it.

Maybe we have all felt this way to a certain degree (or more) in our lives. For many it was high school. For some, college. Maybe a work situation for others. Maybe even with our own family. Maybe outwardly, you were keeping it all together, but inwardly, the above described how you felt – you kept feeling unclean. I have felt that way a few times in my life, where I not only didn’t feel like I “fit in” (which is almost always, honestly, as I have never really “fit in,” whatever that even means), but that I was almost unclean to those around me. It is a terrible feeling and you just start to crave being around someone who cares, who will give you a loving smile, a hug, let you cry on their shoulder either literally or figuratively, or just even talk with you.

So many people are going through this today. I think we must continue to stay mindful of this – that many people we run across feel isolated, alone, and unclean. Maybe they can hide it better behind their masks (literal or figurative), but you can see it in their body language or their expressions. How many times have I walked past someone like that where a smile or a kind word might have made a difference in their life? I try my best to look for people who feel this way and give them some kind of encouragement, but I am often in my own world, rushing about, on my own mission and not God’s mission. I need to be better.

Before reading the rest of the text I was assigned, I kept wondering “so, how does this person get clean again?” However, it took me a while to get past the above passage. It just smacked me in the face for some reason.

So, now for the rest of the story…

So, it is pretty complex to get ceremonially clean. Once the person’s sores have gone away, the Levite priest first has to perform a ceremony with two live birds that are ceremonially clean, a stick of cedar, a hyssop branch, and some water in a clay pot. Then, the person must wash their clothes, shave off all of their hair. Then, they can come back to camp, but stay outside their tents for 7 days (what if it is freezing cold and windy? snowing? torrentially raining? scorching heat? I digress). Then, they must wash their clothes again, shave again and bathe themselves in water. Then they would be ceremonially clean. Then, 8 days later, there is another sacrificial ceremony involving two male lambs, olive oil, and flour. If the person is too poor, then they have to bring two birds instead of lambs.

Quite intricate, isn’t it? Thankfully, we don’t have to go through all of these rituals to be “ceremonially clean” anymore and rejoin society if we have a skin ailment. That had to have been awful. First, having to live away from everyone and declaring yourself unclean and then having to go through all of that just to get back into normal society. No thanks!

I also kept wondering – well what if the person’s sores never went away? What a fate that would be!

This whole picture also makes me think of how we are “unclean” because of sin. Imagine if we had to do elaborate rituals instead of just sitting at Jesus’s feet, confessing our sin and our need for him daily, weekly, hourly, or even minute by minute? How many of us would continue to try to get ceremonially clean over and over again? I think most, if not all of us, would have just given up and said to ourselves “It is hopeless! I will just stay unclean!”

Thankfully, we don’t have these rituals anymore, yet we still have these stories of them to keep us thankful for the times we are living in, as challenging as they are. Jesus has paid the price. He was the final sacrifice, the pure and unblemished lamb for all of us to become clean again.

Lord Jesus, we are all “unclean” as we are all sinners. Thank you for stepping out of the comforts of heaven to come live as we do, yet without sin. Thank you for being that final sacrifice for all of us. Thank you for loving us so much that you endured the pain and the shame of the cross to cleanse us. We are forever thankful and we all love you so much! Amen.

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