We are complex and so is God

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills — From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV

Yesterday we contemplated the complexity of human emotions and the difficult and joyous transition from Saul as King to David. We will be in this transition for a couple days – so today let us contemplate the complexity of God as well.  Maybe we can get to know God deeper and more fully.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of Psalms chapters 121, 123-125, & 128-130 (embedded below for your convenience).  These are 7 of the 15 Psalms of Ascents. Not all of the Psalms of Ascents were written by David.

To me it is interesting that they are placed here in chronological order. In our chronological order story – David doesn’t know yet that Saul and his sons have died. Also there is dispute about when in history they were actually written. You see Psalms are prayer songs. So they were orally passed down from generation to generation. It is generally believed that the book of Psalms was written when Israel was going into Babylonian captivity – written for Daniel who survived the Lion’s den and his contemporaries. So some of the words in the Psalms are also contemporary to that time period  – whereas David would have said tabernacle, there is at least one place it was changed to temple (while some believe David was speaking of a future temple and God’s promise as if it was already fulfilled – like speaking in faith saying “I am healed” when the healing isn’t yet manifested.)

These 15 Songs of Ascents were traditionally sung as people made their way to the temple in Jerusalem on a pilgrimage in order to worship God on the way to the temple.  But the temple wasn’t built when David wrote his. This tradition was resumed when they rebuilt the temple.

Psalms, as a book, was created as a way to write down these songs for future generations in case they couldn’t sing them while they were enslaved by Babylon. They put them in an order that encouraged and helped the captives. They grouped the songs together according to similarities. They also set them together in a way that creates a visual pattern of the temple itself in visual imagery and symbolism. So the captives could not go to the temple to worship – but they could go to the Psalms.

I suppose, the people who put together the assumed chronological order of the events of the Bible (done by many companies and people and I have taken the generally assumed as most accurate of the versions) have placed these Psalms in this position of reading, because we do not know when David wrote them but this was probably the last possible point in which he could have wrote them. Maybe it was during this emotionally complex time of Saul and Johnathan’s death and his rise to the throne. Or was it written in a cave after one victory while still waiting for the promise of being king? Did He write them when He was comforting Saul? Did he write them after God saved him and the sheep from a lion or bear out in the lonely fields?!

What we do know is that these are beautiful prayers of faith and thanksgiving – speaking of how great God is from a humble position that God requests from us. What we know is that these are prayers we should pray regularly and with all our hearts but these are often saved for Jewish holidays and festive occasions that relate to joy and redemption.

I have many past posts about understanding who God is – David knew. So studying these, while focusing on the terms that describe God, is a great lesson – grasping more about this huge and mighty God!

Yesterday we read Psalm 18 when David called God: His Lord, strength, rock and my fortress, deliverer, trustworthy, a shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, worthy to be praised, does what He says He does, listener, earthquaker, angry, breathes smoke, shoots fire from His mouth, able to push down the heavens, has darkness under His feet, rides on a cherub, flies on wings of the wind, maker of darkness, but He has brightness before Him, He makes thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

David goes on to describe the Lord as thundering from heaven, His voice is hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and lightnings in abundance, and He moved the seas and the foundations of the world just with His exhale from his nose. (I am sorry to interrupt David here – but can you imagine God taking a yoga class… “Breathe in, through your mouth, a nice deep breath, and slowly, out through your nose, ex……..…..” then “Oh God! Stop! Stop exhaling!” as lightning and arrows pour out of His nose and the seas move and expose the dried up foundations of the world! And the whole yoga studio shakes, just for good measure.  Ok – no more yoga for God!!)

Next David describes God as loving, supportive, rescuing, and caring because He delights in humans and rewards them – God is merciful, blameless, pure, shrewd, savior, and conqueror. God is able to bring revelation and enlighten my darkness. God’s way is perfect, proven, a shield and reliable; a rock. And then David continues with describing a teacher: arming, teaching a perfect way, placing on a high place, and giving.  God hold people up, is gentle, bestows blessings, gives security, fulfills the promises He made and restores.

“The Lord lives!” He is alive. He is exalted. He is worth of ALL praise from both Jew and Gentile – all will sing praises to Your Name.

God is BOTH someone to fear and someone who you can run up and curl up in His arms! This is what leads avid into such wonderful praise and worship songs! God LOVES to hear that we understand who He is – moreover that we are thinking and singing and living all about that understanding! This is worship.

So as we read today’s passages let us remember our own complexities and deep honest truths of our shortcomings (to stay humble) and Worship God with David – outside of time and space – and in agreement and unity!  And let us worship God understand His complexity and inability to fail!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 121, 123, 124, 125, 128, 129, & 130 NKJV

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

A Song of Ascents.

121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your [b]keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall [c]preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve[d] your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 121:3 slip
  2. Psalm 121:5 protector
  3. Psalm 121:7 keep

Prayer for Relief from Contempt

A Song of Ascents.

123 Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!
For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
Our soul is exceedingly filled
With the scorn of those who are at ease,
With the contempt of the proud.

The Lord the Defense of His People

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

124 “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say—
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
When men rose up against us,
Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
Then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
The stream would have [a]gone over our soul;
Then the swollen waters
Would have [b]gone over our soul.”

Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the [c]fowlers;
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

The Lord the Strength of His People

A Song of Ascents.

125 Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
On the land allotted to the righteous,
Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
And to those who are upright in their hearts.

As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways,
The Lord shall lead them away
With the workers of iniquity.

Peace be upon Israel!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 124:4 swept over
  2. Psalm 124:5 swept over
  3. Psalm 124:7 Persons who catch birds in a trap or snare

Blessings of Those Who Fear the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

128 Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

When you eat the [a]labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

Song of Victory over Zion’s Enemies

A Song of Ascents.

129 “Many a time they have afflicted[b] me from my youth,”
Let Israel now say—
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed on my back;
They made their furrows long.”
The Lord is righteous;
He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.

Let all those who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned back.
Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up,
With which the reaper does not fill his hand,
Nor he who binds sheaves, his [c]arms.
Neither let those who pass by them say,
“The blessing of the Lord be upon you;
We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

Waiting for the Redemption of the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

If You, Lord, should [d]mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 128:2 Fruit of the labor
  2. Psalm 129:1 persecuted
  3. Psalm 129:7 armsful, lit. bosom
  4. Psalm 130:3 take note of

His way is perfect

28 For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. 29 For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. 30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
31 For who is God, except the 
Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?” Psalm 18:28-31 NKJV

Quick read today’s reading before you read any more of this short devotional! Spoiler Alert! Scroll down quick to the passage and come back when you are done! Spoilers begin now.

Here is a spoiler – today, King Saul dies. Unfortunately we are assigned so many words to read today, that I feel I need to keep this devotional short. So there is no time to get into so many interesting parts of this story.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of First Samuel chapters 28-31 and Psalms chapter 18 (embedded below for your convenience).  The overall theme is God’s way.

David commits himself to the Philistines, Achish, and agrees to go against the Israelites with him. David didn’t know the Lord was going to use this to end Saul’s life. God did not want David anywhere near this – so God said no! Besides, as we see – God had another assignment for David and it kept them busy.  As you read (or think back on what you read) you can see God’s sovereignty all over this story.

Then in 1 Samuel chapter 31 – We find out that Saul has died, along with his sons. Saul’s son, Johnathan who was David’s best friend, also died. Let us pause and think about the emotional state of David. He cries out to God for his life, literally, because a man who is like family wants him dead. He is told God wants him to replace that same man. Which can only happen if he and his heir’s all die (because kingdoms are passed along generations). And now David suffers a very personal loss of friends and family like relationships. As well as relief that he isn’t being hunted and praise and thrill that the promise of God can now be fulfilled. What an emotional rollercoaster!

It is important to keep ALL of the complexities of David’s emotions in mind when you read or reflect on today’s Psalm. Which I almost feel is out of chronological order although today, tomorrow, and the next day’s readings all happened very quickly in a short span of time when David was going back and forth between grief and rejoicing – at the same time.

We should keep it in mind, because the Bible isn’t just a story with a nice clean plot and storyline as we often try to simplify it to be – we are used to it in other stories.  David was a real man, who lived. He is every bit as complex emotionally as we are – maybe more. It makes me think about how other expect us to simplify our stories and how we miss-read others because we simplify them through our own assumptions. And I think about how much greater our love, our witness, our reach would be if we understood God made us complex and able to be many things at once.

Which brings us back to God’s mighty plans – how in 1 Samuel God kept David from witnessing the death of his loved-ones and then with this complexity of heart we see and understand the Psalm of God’s mighty sovereignty so much better – and understand His plan – His ways – are so much better than our own.

We understand how small we are and how much more He has control of – He can literally move the universe in order to do something for you. And He will move all of time and space to save you. This is how much He loves each of us individually. This is why, when He asked to have a relationship with me I said yes – if you do not have a relationship with Him, please know He is asking you as well. Please say yes to getting to know Him and building a relationship with Him.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 28-31 and Psalm 18 NKJV

Saul Consults a Medium

28 Now it happened in those days that the Philistines gathered their armies together for war, to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, “You assuredly know that you will go out with me to battle, you and your men.”

So David said to Achish, “Surely you know what your servant can do.”

And Achish said to David, “Therefore I will make you one of my chief guardians forever.”

Saul Consults a Medium

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented for him and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land.

Then the Philistines gathered together, and came and encamped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.

Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

And his servants said to him, “In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.”

So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.”

Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”

10 And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”

11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”

13 And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”

And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a[a] spirit ascending out of the earth.”

14 So he said to her, “What is his form?”

And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.

15 Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

And Saul answered, “I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.”

16 Then Samuel said: “So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? 17 And the Lord has done for [b]Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night.

21 And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was severely troubled, and said to him, “Look, your maidservant has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hands and heeded the words which you spoke to me. 22 Now therefore, please, heed also the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.”

23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.”

So his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he heeded their voice. Then he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she hastened to kill it. And she took flour and kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 So she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.

The Philistines Reject David

29 Then the Philistines gathered together all their armies at Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by a fountain which is in Jezreel. And the lords of the Philistines [c]passed in review by hundreds and by thousands, but David and his men passed in review at the rear with Achish. Then the princes of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?

And Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And to this day I have found no fault in him since he defected to me.

But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; so the princes of the Philistines said to him, “Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men? Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying:

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

Then Achish called David and said to him, “Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight. For to this day I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you. Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.”

So David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

Then Achish answered and said to David, “I know that you are as good in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the princes of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Now therefore, rise early in the morning with your master’s servants who have come with [d]you. And as soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart.”

11 So David and his men rose early to depart in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

David’s Conflict with the Amalekites

30 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [e]grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”

And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.

So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor.

11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water. 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong, and where are you from?”

And he said, “I am a young man from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. 14 We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”

15 And David said to him, “Can you take me down to this troop?”

So he said, “Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this troop.”

16 And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. 19 And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. 20 Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21 Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not follow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he [f]greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless[g] men of those who went with David answered and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.”

23 But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. 24 For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.” 25 So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26 Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the [h]spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord”— 27 to those who were in Bethel, those who were in Ramoth of the South, those who were in Jattir, 28 those who were in Aroer, those who were in Siphmoth, those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 those who were in Rachal, those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 those who were in Hormah, those who were in [i]Chorashan, those who were in Athach, 31 those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to rove.

The Tragic End of Saul and His Sons

31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers [j]hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers.

Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and [k]abuse me.”

But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.

And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. 10 Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth[l] Shan.

11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 28:13 Heb. elohim
  2. 1 Samuel 28:17 Or him, i.e., David
  3. 1 Samuel 29:2 passed on in the rear
  4. 1 Samuel 29:10 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX adds and go to the place which I have selected for you there; and set no bothersome word in your heart, for you are good before me. And rise on your way
  5. 1 Samuel 30:6 Lit. bitter
  6. 1 Samuel 30:21 asked them concerning their welfare
  7. 1 Samuel 30:22 Lit. men of Belial
  8. 1 Samuel 30:26 booty
  9. 1 Samuel 30:30 Or Borashan
  10. 1 Samuel 31:3 Lit. found him
  11. 1 Samuel 31:4 torture
  12. 1 Samuel 31:10 Beth Shean, Josh. 17:11

Psalm 18

God the Sovereign Savior

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:

18 I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my [a]strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the [b]horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of [c]ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
10 And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
12 From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
[d]Hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out His arrows and scattered [e]the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

16 He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
19 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
23 I was also blameless [f]before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
27 For You will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.

28 For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can [g]run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
30 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is [h]proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

31 For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
34 He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
36 You enlarged my path under me,
So my feet did not slip.

37 I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
38 I have wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
39 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have [i]subdued under me those who rose up against me.
40 You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.
41 They cried out, but there was none to save;
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
42 Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind;
I cast them out like dirt in the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people;
You have made me the head of the [j]nations;
A people I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me they obey me;
The foreigners [k]submit to me.
45 The foreigners fade away,
And come frightened from their hideouts.

46 The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47 It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
48 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.
49 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the [l]Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.

50 Great deliverance He gives to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his [m]descendants forevermore.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 18:2 Lit. rock
  2. Psalm 18:2 Strength
  3. Psalm 18:4 Lit. Belial
  4. Psalm 18:13 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; a few Heb. mss., LXX omit Hailstones and coals of fire
  5. Psalm 18:14 Lit. them
  6. Psalm 18:23 with
  7. Psalm 18:29 Or run through
  8. Psalm 18:30 Lit. refined
  9. Psalm 18:39 Lit. caused to bow
  10. Psalm 18:43 Gentiles
  11. Psalm 18:44 feign submission
  12. Psalm 18:49 nations
  13. Psalm 18:50 Lit. seed

Special Post – Today’s Thoughts

It has been a while since I wrote a sermon, but I keep feeling led to write one – or at least a longer post again. God told me to do short devotional to go with our daily reading and I have been diligent. But in my personal studies I still root around in various topics as God leads and occasionally they bleed into my daily Facebook/Instagram posts. (If you aren’t connected on Facebook or Instagram, there is different content there in addition). So I have been writing down various verses and thoughts and today I was going to thread them together – But can I do that as well as my pastor seemed to do this morning?!?! Probably not. So below is my outline. Thank you God for my pastor peaching some of these verses and some of my thoughts – what a great confirmation!

Big Things are Coming!

First – God uses the foolish things to confound the wise – which seems to summarize my life and the calling he has on me.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;” 1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

Second – many are called few are chosen – Praying I am counted worth and chosen –
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14 NKJV

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” Ephesians 4:1 ESV

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 ESV

And Finally – His promise:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8 NLT

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”  Ephesians 3:20 KJV

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Summary:
Psalm 18 – God the sovereign savior

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV

Weekend Reading (April 18)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms chapters 17, 35, 54, and 63 NKJV

Psalm 17

Prayer with Confidence in Final Salvation

A Prayer of David.

17 Hear a just cause, O Lord,
Attend to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
Let my vindication come from Your presence;
Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.

You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have [a]tried me and have found [b]nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Concerning the works of men,
By the word of Your lips,
I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.
Uphold my steps in Your paths,
That my footsteps may not slip.

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.
Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who [c]save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the [d]apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
From the wicked who oppress me,
From my deadly enemies who surround me.

10 They have closed up their fat hearts;
With their mouths they speak proudly.
11 They have now surrounded us in our steps;
They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth,
12 As a lion is eager to tear his prey,
And like a young lion lurking in secret places.

13 Arise, O Lord,
Confront him, cast him down;
Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,
14 With Your hand from men, O Lord,
From men of the world who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.

15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 17:3 examined
  2. Psalm 17:3 Nothing evil
  3. Psalm 17:7 deliver
  4. Psalm 17:8 pupil

Psalm 35

The Lord the Avenger of His People

A Psalm of David.

35 Plead[a] my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and [b]buckler,
And stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”

Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor
Who seek after my life;
Let those be turned back and brought to confusion
Who plot my hurt.
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
And let the [c]angel of the Lord chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery,
And let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit,
Which they have dug without cause for my life.
[d]Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly,
And let his net that he has hidden catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord;
It shall rejoice in His salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
“Lord, who is like You,
Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,
Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”

11 Fierce witnesses rise up;
They ask me things that I do not know.
12 They reward me evil for good,
To the sorrow of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
My clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled myself with fasting;
And my prayer would return to my own [e]heart.
14 I paced about as though he were my friend or brother;
I bowed down [f]heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.

15 But in my [g]adversity they rejoiced
And gathered together;
Attackers gathered against me,
And I did not know it;
They tore at me and did not cease;
16 With ungodly mockers at feasts
They gnashed at me with their teeth.

17 Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue me from their destructions,
My precious life from the lions.
18 I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among [h]many people.

19 Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies;
Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful matters
Against the quiet ones in the land.
21 They also opened their mouth wide against me,
And said, “Aha, aha!
Our eyes have seen it.

22 This You have seen, O Lord;
Do not keep silence.
O Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication,
To my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness;
And let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who rejoice at my hurt;
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
Who exalt themselves against me.

27 Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 35:1 Contend for me
  2. Psalm 35:2 A small shield
  3. Psalm 35:5 Or Angel
  4. Psalm 35:8 Lit. Let destruction he does not know come upon him,
  5. Psalm 35:13 Lit. bosom
  6. Psalm 35:14 in mourning
  7. Psalm 35:15 limping, stumbling
  8. Psalm 35:18 a mighty

Psalm 54

Answered Prayer for Deliverance from Adversaries

To the Chief Musician. With [a]stringed instruments. A [b]Contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?”

54 Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your strength.
Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers have risen up against me,
And oppressors have sought after my life;
They have not set God before them. Selah

Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is with those who [c]uphold my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil.
[d]Cut them off in Your [e]truth.

I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good.
For He has delivered me out of all trouble;
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 54:1 Heb. neginoth
  2. Psalm 54:1 Heb. Maschil
  3. Psalm 54:4 sustain my soul
  4. Psalm 54:5 Destroy them
  5. Psalm 54:5 Or faithfulness

Psalm 63

Joy in the Fellowship of God

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with [a]marrow and [b]fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall [c]fall by the sword;
They shall be [d]a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 63:5 Lit. fat
  2. Psalm 63:5 Abundance
  3. Psalm 63:10 Lit. pour him out by the hand of the sword
  4. Psalm 63:10 Prey

Weekend Reading (April 17)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 25-27 NKJV

Death of Samuel

25 Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of [a]Paran.

David and the Wife of Nabal

Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.

When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore [b]let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.’ ”

So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited.

10 Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my [c]meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”

12 So David’s young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Every man gird on his sword.” So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies.

14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he [d]reviled them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel[e] that one cannot speak to him.”

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

20 So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”

23 Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. 24 So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant [f]speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant. 25 Please, let not my lord [g]regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: [h]Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, since the Lord has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging[i] yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. 29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. 30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, 31 that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34 For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!” 35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person.”

36 Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. 37 So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. 38 Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

39 So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.”

And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her saying, “David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.”

41 Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, “Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 So Abigail rose in haste and rode on a donkey, [j]attended by five of her maidens; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives.

44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to [k]Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

David Spares Saul a Second Time

26 Now the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah, opposite Jeshimon?” Then Saul arose and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the Wilderness of Ziph. And Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite Jeshimon, by the road. But David stayed in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness. David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul had indeed come.

So David arose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Now Saul lay within the camp, with the people encamped all around him. Then David answered, and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to Saul in the camp?”

And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.”

So David and Abishai came to the people by night; and there Saul lay sleeping within the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. And Abner and the people lay all around him. Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him [l]at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!”

But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?” 10 David said furthermore, “As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish. 11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But please, take now the spear and the jug of water that are by his head, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got away; and no man saw or knew it or awoke. For they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.

13 Now David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off, a great distance being between them. 14 And David called out to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Do you not answer, Abner?”

Then Abner answered and said, “Who are you, calling out to the king?”

15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not guarded your master, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water that was by his head.”

17 Then Saul knew David’s voice, and said, “Is that your voice, my son David?”

David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” 18 And he said, “Why does my lord thus pursue his servant? For what have I done, or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now therefore, please, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant: If the Lord has stirred you up against me, let Him accept an offering. But if it is the children of men, may they be cursed before the Lord, for they have driven me out this day from sharing in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 So now, do not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord. For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.”

22 And David answered and said, “Here is the king’s spear. Let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered you into my hand today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24 And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the Lord, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.”

25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, my son David! You shall both do great things and also still prevail.”

So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

David Allied with the Philistines

27 And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will [m]despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.” Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow. And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no more.

Then David said to Achish, “If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?” So Achish gave him Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. Now [n]the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months.

And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the [o]Girzites, and the Amalekites. For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from [p]of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt. Whenever David [q]attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish. 10 Then Achish would say, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David would say, “Against the southern area of Judah, or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites.” 11 David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to Gath, saying, “Lest they should inform on us, saying, ‘Thus David did.’ ” And thus was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the Philistines. 12 So Achish believed David, saying, “He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; therefore he will be my servant forever.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 25:1 So with MT, Syr., Tg., Vg.; LXX Maon
  2. 1 Samuel 25:8 be gracious to the young men
  3. 1 Samuel 25:11 Lit. slaughter
  4. 1 Samuel 25:14 scolded or scorned at
  5. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit. son of Belial
  6. 1 Samuel 25:24 speak to you
  7. 1 Samuel 25:25 pay attention to
  8. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit. Fool
  9. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit. saving yourself
  10. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit. with five of her maidens at her feet
  11. 1 Samuel 25:44 Paltiel, 2 Sam. 3:15
  12. 1 Samuel 26:8 Or one time
  13. 1 Samuel 27:1 despair of searching for
  14. 1 Samuel 27:7 Lit. the number of days
  15. 1 Samuel 27:8 Or Gezrites
  16. 1 Samuel 27:8 ancient times
  17. 1 Samuel 27:9 Lit. struck

Cries from a Dark Place

Lord, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:1-2 NKJV

In the day before yesterday we left off with David hiding in caves and being hunted by Saul, who was, without hesitation, going to kill David. And the Philistines captured him in Gath. Poor David was really having a rough go of things – pretty much everyone was an enemy. We have all had times when we felt people were against us or that everything was against us and thankfully we have these words of David which are like greeting cards bringing us comfort and redirecting our eyes on the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of Psalms chapters 56, 120, & 140-142 (embedded below for your convenience). Here is a short devotional about today’s reading to help us think about how to apply these Psalms in times of need by looking at Psalm 141.

Just this morning, if I was to be honest – I cried out to God and begged Him to hear me, which doesn’t mean to just let it enter His ear, but for it to enter His ear, and for Him to respond with some sort of intervention. “Make haste to me!”

You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You,Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. 10 In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), 11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:8-11 NKJV
Every time – David get real and raw with God.  He puts into words things you and I want to just say to God: “Well, You know.” But God wants us raw and honest and to tell Him it all – I have this enemy and I make it all worse because I have this flesh and this sin and I have this situation which is bigger than me and I made a mess of things and I can’t do it without you……

David has an understanding of God’s holiness and the principles set in place to approach God – yet without the tabernacle (since it and the priests are obviously NOT in the caves with him) – David goes boldly and directly to God. This is one of the reasons David is known as a man after God’s heart.  However, David still applies the tabernacle design when approaching God in prayer:
Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

After approaching God in love and reverence to the design God has shared with us – out of his moment of pain, in the darkness of the caves – in honesty and realness – we watch David quickly become undone.  I know this experience well.  Here I am hurting and needing God and as I approach Him – I forget those woes as I realize I am a sinful mess even at my best. I need God to help me! Help me with my mouth! It needs to be shut when it needs to be shut and open when He says to speak! An ongoing lesson as long as we live.

My heart inclines naturally to evil – we are all sinners with this compulsion towards sin. And we need God in order to even need God – we are just that frail and undone! So of course this initial realization of God’s holiness in His presence (because He did respond when we cried) exposes us as filthy sinners in juxtaposition to His holiness.

Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it.”
We are sinners worthy of reproach, discipline, correction – and moreover death – because the wages of sin are death!  Yet in verse 5 we also see grace and redemption! Forgiveness and the ability to be cleansed. If not, would David have been able to complete the Psalm?

So David repents and finds forgiveness – and is able to become righteous, through faith as a gift from God, enough to remain in God’s presence in order to circle back to his original petitions as he completes verse 5 with:
“For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.”

I love David! One of my favorite people in the Bible. He is zealous for God – runs in headlong with no thought of consequences! God said it and that is enough! (Unfortunately he gets swept up in sin the same way – I too run clumsily and zealously into whatever God says and lack the reserve that comes with caution for consequences and unfortunately I too get swept up in sin the same way.)

So David’s prayer here is specifically against those who are coming against him – so David prays that God will throw them off the cliff?! Other Psalms today ask for rain of burning coals on them!  Wow David has some very creative vengeance… And God knows that David is venting and doesn’t count it as sin – but David also doesn’t plan to actually try to seek vengeance on his own. I have prayed that certain liars would have their mouths burn on fire when they lied – and that David’s Psalms against his enemies would be true against my enemies!!! Oh how I relate to David and his flair for poetic drama! Like verse 7 – we are so dead we are scattered bones at the mouth of our own graves! Oh poor me! He can throw a pity party like no one else (except maybe me)!!!

Keep me from the snares they have laid for me, And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.”
This is a great prayer! I don’t know about you but I have seen a pattern. Something entices me and then my flesh engages and that is temptation. Then something whispers in my ear keeping my mind going back to it – this pattern is of course how we are trapped and ensnared by sin.  We definitely NEVER own up to our portion of sin enough (as a population in general and not you or me specifically). It is just so easy to say the enemy tempted me when many times we have tempted ourselves. (So much so that we did a whole study on it last year!)  But this prayer is against the actual traps. 

10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I escape safely.” Amen!

Now let us circle back to verse 8 – because I saved the best for last!

But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord; In You I take refuge; Do not leave my soul destitute.”
The most important thing for us to learn here today is that David kept his eyes on God! God was his refuge and never left his soul destitute.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NKJV

Seek, like keep your eyes on the prize, like put God first in all things, like take it all to God and be real about it (He knows anyway, but we need to confess it).  David understood this. So, even though David was a mess – God loved Him and made David king.

If we respond to God the same way as David – God will make us into princesses and princes of His kingdom and fulfill all of His promises to us.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms chapters 56, 120, & 140-142 NKJV

Psalm 56

Prayer for Relief from Tormentors

To the Chief Musician. Set to [a]“The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.” A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.

56 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?

All day they twist my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather together,
They hide, they mark my steps,
When they lie in wait for my life.
Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, O God!

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
10 In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God;
I will render praises to You,
13 For You have delivered my soul from death.
Have You not kept my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God
In the light of the living?

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 56:1 Heb. Jonath Elem Rechokim

Psalm 120

Plea for Relief from Bitter Foes

A Song of Ascents.

120 In my distress I cried to the Lord,
And He heard me.
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue.

What shall be given to you,
Or what shall be done to you,
You false tongue?
Sharp arrows of the [a]warrior,
With coals of the broom tree!

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,
That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 120:4 mighty one

Psalm 140 – 142

Prayer for Deliverance from Evil Men

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

140 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men;
Preserve me from violent men,
Who plan evil things in their hearts;
They continually gather together for war.
They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;
The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
Preserve me from violent men,
Who have purposed to make my steps stumble.
The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords;
They have spread a net by the wayside;
They have set traps for me. Selah

I said to the Lord: “You are my God;
Hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.
O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
You have [a]covered my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
Do not further his wicked scheme,
Lest they be exalted. Selah

As for the head of those who surround me,
Let the evil of their lips cover them;
10 Let burning coals fall upon them;
Let them be cast into the fire,
Into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11 Let not a slanderer be established in the earth;
Let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

12 I know that the Lord will maintain
The cause of the afflicted,
And justice for the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name;
The upright shall dwell in Your presence.

Prayer for Safekeeping from Wickedness

A Psalm of David.

141 Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works
With men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.

For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.
Their judges are overthrown by the sides of the [b]cliff,
And they hear my words, for they are sweet.
Our bones are scattered at the mouth of the grave,
As when one plows and breaks up the earth.

But my eyes are upon You, O God the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
[c]Do not leave my soul destitute.
Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
And from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While I escape safely.

A Plea for Relief from Persecutors

A Contemplation[d] of David. A Prayer when he was in the cave.

142 I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.

When my spirit [e]was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
They have secretly set a snare for me.
Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
[f]Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 140:7 sheltered
  2. Psalm 141:6 rock
  3. Psalm 141:8 Lit. Do not make my soul bare
  4. Psalm 142:1 Heb. Maschil
  5. Psalm 142:3 Lit. fainted
  6. Psalm 142:6 Give heed

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the 
Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:1-6 NKJV

In yesterday’s reading we left off with David hiding in caves and being hunted by Saul, who was, without hesitation, going to kill David. And so today we have a few of the Psalms David wrote during those days.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of Psalms chapters 7, 27, 31, 34, & 52 (embedded below for your convenience). Here is a short devotional about today’s reading.

I have had some rough times in life. I was abused and had to hide from an abuser. I had a supervisor watch my every breath with the intention of jumping out and yelling “gotcha” if I made any errors.  I have had many weird and difficult situations.  But I have never been hunted and had to hide for my life.

Recently, most of you know, I become unemployed in a job market where there are millions of jobs way under my paygrade and aptitude and every interview I have had has said I was over qualified. I went a month and a half without unemployment benefits because of a problem in their system – so I have zero income for that time.  I lived on faith, fasting and prayer. God provided very little through man – it was AMAZING!!! God has been so glorified! And I am working on setting up a business and all sorts of great things with God and…. It all starts… in a potentially frightening place – like David’s cave.

Not hunted. But definitely the potential to fear for your life.

But like David was being prepared through his trials – so was I and when I was tempted to fear instead I trusted the Lord. More than that – I blessed Him!!! I thanked him for every little thing!!! My family bought me allergy meds, and a dress, and took me out for my birthday and got me fun boots – I flourished in blessings that were not of man (If you have been reading the “Testimony Tuesday” posts on Facebook you have heard me blessing God for each and every thing!)

It has been hard, but I have also been oblivious to most of it as I get caught up with praise and worship and anticipating the next miracle.

Here I am trying to encourage you to trust God no matter what and even if it looks bad to the world – you will be happy! But instead I am testifying of the goodness of the Lord! God is good. So GOOD!!!!

Magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together” “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” Oh let us boast on the Lord!  

Also, feel free to share what the Lord is doing in your lives! We would love to hear it!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms chapters 7, 27, 31, 34, & 52 NKJV

Psalm 7

Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies

A Meditation[a] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite.

O Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah

Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up [b]for me to the judgment You have commanded!
So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You;
For their sakes, therefore, return on high.
The Lord shall judge the peoples;
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
And according to my integrity within me.

Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and [c]minds.
10 [d]My defense is of God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

11 God is a just judge,
And God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he does not turn back,
He will sharpen His sword;
He bends His bow and makes it ready.
13 He also prepares for Himself instruments of death;
He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.

14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on [e]his own crown.

17 I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 7:1 Heb. Shiggaion
  2. Psalm 7:6 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX Lord my God
  3. Psalm 7:9 Lit. kidneys, the most secret part of man
  4. Psalm 7:10 Lit. My shield is upon God
  5. Psalm 7:16 The crown of his own head

Psalm 27

An Exuberant Declaration of Faith

A Psalm of David.

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat[a] up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the [b]beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be [c]lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of [d]joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait[e] on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 27:2 devour
  2. Psalm 27:4 delightfulness
  3. Psalm 27:6 Lifted up in honor
  4. Psalm 27:6 joyous shouts
  5. Psalm 27:14 Wait in faith

Psalm 31

The Lord a Fortress in Adversity

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

31 In You, O Lord, I [a]put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of [b]refuge,
[c]fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in [d]adversities,
And have not shut[e] me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my [f]body!
10 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
11 I am a [g]reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a [h]broken vessel.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
17 Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a [i]pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a [j]strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 31:1 have taken refuge
  2. Psalm 31:2 strength
  3. Psalm 31:2 Lit. house of fortresses
  4. Psalm 31:7 troubles
  5. Psalm 31:8 given me over
  6. Psalm 31:9 Lit. belly
  7. Psalm 31:11 despised thing
  8. Psalm 31:12 Lit. perishing
  9. Psalm 31:20 shelter
  10. Psalm 31:21 fortified

Psalm 34

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The [a]angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no [b]want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To [c]cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as [d]have a contrite spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be [e]condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 34:7 Or Angel
  2. Psalm 34:9 lack
  3. Psalm 34:16 destroy
  4. Psalm 34:18 are crushed in spirit
  5. Psalm 34:21 held guilty

Psalm 52

The End of the Wicked and the Peace of the Godly

To the Chief Musician. A [a]Contemplation of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”

52 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endures continually.
Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
You love evil more than good,
Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
You love all devouring words,
You deceitful tongue.

God shall likewise destroy you forever;
He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place,
And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous also shall see and fear,
And shall laugh at him, saying,
“Here is the man who did not make God his strength,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And strengthened himself in his [b]wickedness.”

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it [c]is good.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 52:1 Heb. Maschil
  2. Psalm 52:7 Lit. desire, in evil sense
  3. Psalm 52:9 Or has a good reputation

Powerful Lessons of Love

“David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.” 1 Samuel 22:1-2 NKJV

In yesterday’s reading we see that David had begun a humble journey of being a shepherd, serving as a musician in the king’s court, serving as a warrior, hiding for his life in caves, being hunted, and even serving an enemy as he found refuge in the enemy’s territory, in preparation for being king.  We should keep this in the back of our mind as the book of first Samuel focuses more on the rise and fall of Saul being king and second Samuel focuses on the rise and fall of King David.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of 1 Samuel 21-24 (embedded below for your convenience).

Even though this book is written with the express purpose, to focus on the life of Saul, and to compare and contrast Saul and David – so the readers can learn to be more like David without having to go through the same trials – yes even though, I still seem to be drawing out David’s story line. David was loving, yet strong. He was Christ-like without knowing Jesus. He was a sinner, like me and so relatable.

It seems to be a theme, people trying to figure out who Christians are in this strange new world.  The wheat are shaken with the tares and as the division becomes obvious to the world, the world looks at the remnant and says: but you don’t act like we think Christians should act like.

Previously, they developed an idea that Christians are weak.  They obviously do not know how long suffering love is – and how strong one must be to be longsuffering. (Ah, see, longsuffering so we must be tolerant…. Ok hold this thought as we will circle back.)

As we see in the opening verse, David hid himself. Mighty warrior – hiding. Yet this isn’t viewed by anyone as weakness. I do think if these events were happening today the media would spin it to show David as a weakling. It was his honor and strength that drew 400 men to him! It was a rough sinful crew – they longed for someone who could love with longsuffering and be strong (someone like Jesus). 

As we read today’s passages. We see David rise back up in strength after gaining an army (and a brief moment of fear where he acted mad).  Saul rides up to the hills to hunt David and goes into the very cave where David was hiding. David cuts Saul’s robe and let’s Saul leave. David goes out after him and…

“Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand!” 1 Sam 24:10-11a NKJV

Now back to that longsuffering – Here is strength and longsuffering and tolerance and all of those things – David loved Saul and was best friends with Saul’s son. And here David calls Saul: “my father”.  God’s heart is love and David is all about love! And in love, David did not kill Saul. David continued to tolerate the behavior, in strength.  He did not stay there to get killed – but Saul was vexed with an evil spirit and David knew we battle NOT against flesh and blood – even though he also had to fight actual flesh and blood battles. David understood that it was a spiritual war for the throne and that God was fighting for him! All David had to do was love Saul.

Love. Like the real kind of love. Like the GOD IS LOVE kind of love. Not the weak kind. But the kind that looks at these sinners who hurt us repeatedly and continues to intercede in prayer for them. The kind who love the sinner and not the sin. The kind that continues to witness and continues to stand as an example of the love of Christ – the kind of love that dies for others regardless if they are a sinner or not. Not the modern interpretation of the ‘tough love’ kind that justifies intolerance and ‘my way or the highway’ gauntlet. Real passionate, grace filled, life changing love. Yes, it may separate people who are in different places – but love remains. Love is a seed quickly watered by God himself, because God is LOVE. God is not slow as some understand slowness.

This is love:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13 NKJV

It is time for Christians to stand up and act like Christians. Walk in the power of God – which is love. Lord, please open the reader’s understanding.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 21-24 NKJV

David and the Holy Bread

21 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”

So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.”

And the priest answered David and said, “There is no [a]common bread on hand; but there is holy[b] bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.”

Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And [c]the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.”

So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.

Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.”

So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.”

And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David Flees to Gath

10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

12 Now David took these words [d]to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them, pretended [e]madness in their hands, [f]scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? 15 Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

David’s Four Hundred Men

22 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was [g]discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.” So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.

Now the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go to the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

Saul Murders the Priests

When Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered—now Saul was staying in Gibeah under a tamarisk tree in Ramah, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants standing about him— then Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, you Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds? All of you have conspired against me, and there is no one who reveals to me that my son has made a covenant with the son of Jesse; and there is not one of you who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day.”

Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, “I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 And he inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

11 So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!”

He answered, “Here I am, my lord.”

13 Then Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day?”

14 So Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house? 15 Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.”

16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!” 17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and [h]struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. 19 Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep—with the edge of the sword.

20 Now one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests. 22 So David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have caused the death of all the persons of your father’s [i]house. 23 Stay with me; do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.”

David Saves the City of Keilah

23 Then they told David, saying, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and they are robbing the threshing floors.”

Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and [j]attack these Philistines?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”

But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord once again.

And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

Now it happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, that he went down with an ephod in his hand.

And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars.” Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.

When David knew that Saul plotted evil against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “O Lord God of Israel, Your servant has certainly heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah to destroy the city for my sake. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? O Lord God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.”

And the Lord said, “He will come down.”

12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah [k]deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?”

And the Lord said, “They will deliver you.

13 So David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah and went wherever they could go. Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition.

David in Wilderness Strongholds

14 And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. 15 So David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. And David was in the Wilderness of Ziph [l]in a forest. 16 Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and [m]strengthened his hand in God. 17 And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.” 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the Lord. And David stayed in the woods, and Jonathan went to his own house.

19 Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.”

21 And Saul said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, for you have compassion on me. 22 Please go and find out for sure, and see the place where his hideout is, and who has seen him there. For I am told he is very crafty. 23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides; and come back to me with certainty, and I will go with you. And it shall be, if he is in the land, that I will search for him throughout all the [n]clans of Judah.”

24 So they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. But David and his men were in the Wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David. Therefore he went down [o]to the rock, and stayed in the Wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued David in the Wilderness of Maon. 26 Then Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. So David made haste to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were encircling David and his men to take them.

27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28 Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place [p]the Rock of Escape. 29 Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.

David Spares Saul

24 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.

David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down. And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’? 10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. 14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”

16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. 18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Therefore swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house.”

22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 21:4 ordinary
  2. 1 Samuel 21:4 consecrated
  3. 1 Samuel 21:5 The young men are ceremonially undefiled
  4. 1 Samuel 21:12 Lit. in his heart
  5. 1 Samuel 21:13 insanity
  6. 1 Samuel 21:13 scribbled
  7. 1 Samuel 22:2 Lit. bitter of soul
  8. 1 Samuel 22:18 attacked
  9. 1 Samuel 22:22 family
  10. 1 Samuel 23:2 Lit. strike
  11. 1 Samuel 23:12 Lit. shut up
  12. 1 Samuel 23:15 Or in Horesh
  13. 1 Samuel 23:16 encouraged him
  14. 1 Samuel 23:23 Lit. thousands
  15. 1 Samuel 23:25 Or from the rock
  16. 1 Samuel 23:28 Heb. Sela Hammahlekoth

The making of a King

“For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.” Psalm 11:7 NKJV

In yesterday’s reading we see that David was anointed to be king, yet he had a long journey before He gets there.  A humble journey of being a shepherd, serving as a musician in the king’s court, serving as a warrior, hiding for his life in caves, being hunted, and even serving an enemy as he found refuge in the enemy’s territory.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of 1 Samuel 18-20, Psalm 11 & Psalm 59 (embedded below for your convenience).

David went through a lot. It is almost as if God said, Saul became king to easily and never learned very valuable life lessons and servitude – I will train the next king with fire! When we are going through our firey test (hopefully not hunted), just praise and worship God like David did! God was teaching him to be a humble king and a partner with God!

David knew he was not righteous but that through God’s grace he was counted righteous. Roman’s chapter 3 – from “all have sinned” all the way to “there is none righteous”. (Roman’s chapter 3 is good additional reading if you have time to read it today.) David knew because he learned early on that he wasn’t righteous – but that God loved righteousness – and for him that meant staying a humble servant in order to be obediently under the will of God. Striving to be in the will of God is the best we can do and God will help us – this is righteousness. It is a gift through faith.

“and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:21-22 NKJV

David was fully convinced that what God had promised, that David would be king, God was able to perform.
What promises are you standing on?? Are you fully convinced God is able, even when you are going through the fire? Even when all seems hopeless and lost – is God still able?!

I live a life see the manifestation of God being able! I share it at every chance I get – so you know He is able for you as well.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 18-20, Psalm 11 & Psalm 59 NKJV

1 Samuel 18-20

Saul Resents David

18 Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the [a]soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day, and would not let him go home to his father’s house anymore. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.

So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and [b]behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the [c]Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said:

“Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”

Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So Saul [d]eyed David from that day forward.

10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence twice.

12 Now Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from [e]his presence, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him. 15 Therefore, when Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

David Marries Michal

17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab; I will give her to you as a wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let my hand not be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.”

18 So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.

20 Now Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 So Saul said, “I will give her to him, that she may [f]be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall be my son-in-law today.”

22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Communicate with David secretly, and say, ‘Look, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now therefore, become the king’s son-in-law.’ ”

23 So Saul’s servants spoke those words in the hearing of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king’s son-in-law, seeing I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, [g]“In this manner David spoke.”

25 Then Saul said, “Thus you shall say to David: ‘The king does not desire any dowry but one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’ ” But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 So when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to become the king’s son-in-law. Now the days had not expired; 27 therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and killed two hundred men of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full count to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him Michal his daughter as a wife.

28 Thus Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him; 29 and Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul became David’s enemy [h]continually. 30 Then the princes of the Philistines went out to war. And so it was, whenever they went out, that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.

Saul Persecutes David

19 Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted greatly in David. So Jonathan told David, saying, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide. And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you.”

Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you. For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?”

So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be killed.” Then Jonathan called David, and Jonathan told him all these things. So Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past.

And there was war again; and David went out and fought with the Philistines, and struck them with a mighty blow, and they fled from him.

Now the distressing spirit from the Lord came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing music with his hand. 10 Then Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s presence; and he drove the spear into the wall. So David fled and escaped that night.

11 Saul also sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and escaped. 13 And Michal took [i]an image and laid it in the bed, put a cover of goats’ hair for his head, and covered it with clothes. 14 So when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.”

15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16 And when the messengers had come in, there was the image in the bed, with a cover of goats’ hair for his head. 17 Then Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me like this, and sent my enemy away, so that he has escaped?”

And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’ ”

18 So David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 Now it was told Saul, saying, “Take note, David is at Naioth in Ramah!” 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. 22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is at Sechu. So he asked, and said, “Where are Samuel and David?”

And someone said, “Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Jonathan’s Loyalty to David

20 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?”

So Jonathan said to him, “By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!

Then David took an oath again, and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”

So Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you.”

And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening. If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked permission of me that he might run over to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ If he says thus: ‘It is well,’ your servant will be safe. But if he is very angry, be sure that evil is determined by him. Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. Nevertheless, if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?”

But Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I knew certainly that evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?”

10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me, or what if your father answers you roughly?”

11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out into the field. 12 Then Jonathan said to David: “The Lord God of Israel is witness! When I have [j]sounded out my father sometime tomorrow, or the third day, and indeed there is good toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you, 13 may the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan. But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. 14 And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; 15 but you shall not [k]cut off your kindness from my [l]house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the [m]house of David, saying, “Let the Lord require it at the hand of David’s enemies.”

17 Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 And when you have stayed three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid on the day of the deed; and remain by the stone Ezel. 20 Then I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target; 21 and there I will send a lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I expressly say to the lad, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them and come’—then, as the Lord lives, there is safety for you and no harm. 22 But if I say thus to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you’—go your way, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter which you and I have spoken of, indeed the Lord be between you and me forever.”

24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast. 25 Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And [n]Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him; he is unclean, surely he is unclean.” 27 And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?”

28 So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.”

30 Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he [o]shall surely die.”

32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul cast a spear at him to [p]kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David.

34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully.

35 And so it was, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 Then he said to his lad, “Now run, find the arrows which I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the lad had come to the place where the arrow was which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried out after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan cried out after the lad, “Make haste, hurry, do not delay!” So Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came back to his master. 39 But the lad did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew of the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his [q]weapons to his lad, and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”

41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 18:1 life of Jonathan was bound up with the life of
  2. 1 Samuel 18:5 Or prospered
  3. 1 Samuel 18:6 Philistines
  4. 1 Samuel 18:9 Viewed with suspicion
  5. 1 Samuel 18:13 Lit. himself
  6. 1 Samuel 18:21 be bait for
  7. 1 Samuel 18:24 Lit. According to these words
  8. 1 Samuel 18:29 all the days
  9. 1 Samuel 19:13 household idols, Heb. teraphim
  10. 1 Samuel 20:12 searched out
  11. 1 Samuel 20:15 stop being kind
  12. 1 Samuel 20:15 family
  13. 1 Samuel 20:16 family
  14. 1 Samuel 20:25 So with MT, Syr., Tg., Vg.; LXX he sat across from Jonathan
  15. 1 Samuel 20:31 Lit. is a son of death
  16. 1 Samuel 20:33 strike him down
  17. 1 Samuel 20:40 equipment

Psalm 11

Faith in the Lord’s Righteousness

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

11 In the Lord I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot [a]secretly at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?

The Lord is in His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
The Lord tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Upon the wicked He will rain coals;
Fire and brimstone and a burning wind
Shall be [b]the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous,
He loves righteousness;
[c]His countenance beholds the upright.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 11:2 Lit. in darkness
  2. Psalm 11:6 Their allotted portion or serving
  3. Psalm 11:7 Or The upright beholds His countenance

Psalm 59

The Assured Judgment of the Wicked

To the Chief Musician. Set to [a]“Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him.

59 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
[b]Defend me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,
And save me from bloodthirsty men.

For look, they lie in wait for my life;
The mighty gather against me,
Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord.
They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine.

Awake to help me, and behold!
You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel,
Awake to punish all the [c]nations;
Do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah

At evening they return,
They growl like a dog,
And go all around the city.
Indeed, they belch with their mouth;
Swords are in their lips;
For they say, “Who hears?”

But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them;
You shall have all the [d]nations in derision.
I will wait for You, O You [e]his Strength;
For God is my [f]defense.
10 [g]My God of mercy shall come to meet me;
God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.

11 Do not slay them, lest my people forget;
Scatter them by Your power,
And bring them down,
O Lord our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips,
Let them even be taken in their pride,
And for the cursing and lying which they speak.
13 Consume them in wrath, consume them,
That they may not be;
And let them know that God rules in Jacob
To the ends of the earth. Selah

14 And at evening they return,
They growl like a dog,
And go all around the city.
15 They wander up and down for food,
And [h]howl if they are not satisfied.

16 But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 59:1 Heb. Al Tashcheth
  2. Psalm 59:1 Lit. Set me on high
  3. Psalm 59:5 Gentiles
  4. Psalm 59:8 Gentiles
  5. Psalm 59:9 So with MT, Syr.; some Heb. mss., LXX, Tg., Vg. my Strength
  6. Psalm 59:9 Lit. fortress
  7. Psalm 59:10 So with Qr.; some Heb. mss., LXX, Vg. My God, His mercy; Kt., some Heb. mss., Tg. O God, my mercy; Syr. O God, Your mercy
  8. Psalm 59:15 So with LXX, Vg.; MT, Syr., Tg. spend the night

Saul was rejected

“I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.” 1 Samuel 15:11 NKJV

Wow. God greatly regrets Saul and Samuel grieved all night. I have literally thought on this for two days. God gives us what we want and then regrets it.

I have thought about predestination and our free will choices which affect the outcome and how God permits things – even to the point of regretting His choice.  I have also thought on grace and mercy verses a more legalistic view – because Saul sin made God regret and disqualified Saul for the promise (like the Children of Israel, like Moses and the promise land). Soon we will see that David also sins and he sins many times and he is disqualified from seeing the temple built, yet he doesn’t lose out on the promise of the Messiah coming from his seed.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the book of 1 Samuel 15-17 (embedded below for your convenience).

I know, I started this off with a deep thought and a huge spoiler from today’s reading – sorry!  And after two days of thinking on those deep thoughts – I find the best solution came from my Pastor’s sermon today. Literally – I prayed to God to show me where grace and law meet and how to resolve how Saul is rejected and David was not – when BOTH men sinned (which is an over simplification, I know – but bear with me – as I know God did).  Yes, God stayed with me though these thoughts. The ultimate root is the fact that I am a sinner (so are you) and how do we manage to be like King David, a man after God’s heart – and not like Saul, rejected and regretted.  I am a sinner – I cannot even serve God without help from God. So, if sin, temptation and flesh are always a struggle – how do we finish without God regretting His investment in us??

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:1-2 NKJV

Pastor read more verses from this passage that just this – it goes on to say we are citizens of Heaven and all sorts of fantastic affirmations.  But here in verse 2 we see where grace and law meet and work together – where Saul fell and David took flight on wings of eagles.

Our sanctification of the spirit is a work of God – a work of grace that happens in us and transforms us. And all we need to do is humble our self enough to get out of the way and let God do what God does. And what He does is “for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus”.  We are transformed into citizens of heaven, into blood bought Christians, into children by adoption – for obedience and sprinkling of the blood.  So grace – the blood – – and law – obedience meet. Right here.

Saul did not have the blood of Christ, but Saul did have grace as we know David did as well. David used that grace to repent and stay humble and partner with God. And Saul did what was right in his mind and in the law. Therein is the difference. Knowing who we are and that knowledge transforming us with grace into obedience. Not obeying because of law, but because of thankfulness, because of love, and because of humility.

I suppose – as long as we continue to repent and work diligently at not sinning, partnering with God – acting like the children of God who we are!!! We won’t have to even think twice about being rejected as Saul was. Just be the willing child who keeps on trying to please the Father no matter if we fail or not. It is definitely time that we acted like we are Christians!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 15-17 NKJV

Saul Spares King Agag

15 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack[a] Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.

Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.

Saul Rejected as King

10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” 13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

And he said to him, “Speak on.”

17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are [b]consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the [c]spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”

20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

22 So Samuel said:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of [d]witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”

27 And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.”

30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag king of the Amalekites here to me.” So Agag came to him cautiously.

And Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

David Anointed King

16 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have [e]provided Myself a king among his sons.”

And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”

But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.”

So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify[f] yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have [g]refused him. For[h] the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.”

And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not [i]sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with [j]bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

A Distressing Spirit Troubles Saul

14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the [k]distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.”

17 So Saul said to his servants, [l]“Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.”

18 Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.”

19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. 21 So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. 22 Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

David and Goliath

17 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was [m]armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul. 15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.

17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.” 19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle. 21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is[n] there not a cause?” 30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.

31 Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

38 So Saul clothed David with his [o]armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained[p] him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.

And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of [q]the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

55 When Saul saw David going out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?”

And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.”

56 So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.

57 Then, as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?”

So David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 15:3 Lit. strike
  2. 1 Samuel 15:18 exterminated
  3. 1 Samuel 15:19 plunder
  4. 1 Samuel 15:23 divination
  5. 1 Samuel 16:1 Lit. seen
  6. 1 Samuel 16:5 Consecrate
  7. 1 Samuel 16:7 rejected
  8. 1 Samuel 16:7 LXX For God does not see as man sees; Tg. It is not by the appearance of a man; Vg. Nor do I judge according to the looks of a man
  9. 1 Samuel 16:11 So with LXX, Vg.; MT turn around; Tg., Syr. turn away
  10. 1 Samuel 16:12 Lit. beautiful
  11. 1 Samuel 16:16 Lit. evil
  12. 1 Samuel 16:17 Lit. Look now for a man for me
  13. 1 Samuel 17:5 clothed with scaled body armor
  14. 1 Samuel 17:29 Lit. Is it not a word? or matter?
  15. 1 Samuel 17:38 Lit. clothes
  16. 1 Samuel 17:42 belittled
  17. 1 Samuel 17:52 So with MT, Syr., Tg., Vg.; LXX Gath