May 13

1 Samuel 14:1-52

The more we read about Jonathan, the more we fall in love with this young man. He wasn’t one of those guys who sat around and played it safe, he had a heart to take steps of faith, he was confident in God’s victory over Israel’s enemies.

We’re blessed and impressed by his armor bearer as well.

1 Samuel 14:7 (NKJV) “So his armorbearer said to him, ‘Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.’”

One day they mosey on out, Jonathan doesn’t tell dad, the king, because there’s too much red tape involved. They just go out to see what the Lord will do, I love Jonathan’s reasoning:

1 Samuel 14:6 (NKJV) “Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.’”

He wasn’t sure, but he knew it was possible. Jonathan knew that the God of the universe didn’t need the help of man, he knew that it wasn’t a matter of numbers, God could win with many or with few. So Jonathan sets a “fleece.” Everyone knows that the one on higher ground has an advantage. Jonathan said, if they call us up (from man’s perspective a disadvantage on our part), it’s the Lord and He will give us the victory. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened…and things began to stir, even the earth began to shake (1 Samuel 14:15). God honors obedient steps of faith.

Saul finally begins to move; the Philistines were fighting among themselves, and the Israelites who had previously defected, returned.

1 Samuel 14:23 (NKJV) “So the LORD saved Israel that day, and the battle shifted to Beth Aven.”

Earlier in the day King Saul had forbidden the soldiers to eat anything, placing a curse on any of them who did. Jonathan was unaware of that and helped himself to honey. Afterwards one of the guys informed him of the king’s orders, and Jonathan thought the king’s command was foolish (he was right). Later when the Lord wasn’t speaking to Saul, the lot selected Jonathan as the reason for God’s silence. I have a hunch either (A) God wasn’t in the lot selection, or (B) God chose Jonathan only to have the men protect him from his foolish father. Maybe then Saul would learn from his son.

Can you believe Saul was willing to kill his son Jonathan for eating honey…after all he’d done? Something was seriously wrong.

1 Samuel 14:45 (NKJV) “But the people said to Saul, ‘Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.’ So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die.”

God gave Israel the victory, and he used Jonathan in a great and mighty way.

I agree wholeheartedly with the words of Warren Wiersbe, “Jonathan was the true leader in Israel, not Saul. The contrast between the two is striking. Saul was sitting while Jonathan was attacking the enemy. Saul trusted his growing army, but Jonathan trusted God and did not depend on numbers (1 Samuel 14:6). Saul watched things happen, but Jonathan made things happen. Saul tried to impress people with an oath, but Jonathan did what was necessary to fight the battle. Saul weakened the army; Jonathan strengthened the army and challenged it to new victories.”

John 7:31-53

There was a lot of talk amongst the people, as to who Jesus was. Some said He was the Prophet (John 7:40; Deuteronomy 18:15, 18), others said He was the Christ (John 7:41), He was actually both. In the end, the crowd was swayed away by the selfish and envious leaders. They should have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and taken the evidence to heart – the miracles Jesus did, the words He spoke, the love He had. If only they had investigated just a little, they would have discovered that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as the Scriptures had prophesied. We all have that personal choice to make, let’s not be swayed in the wrong direction by the tidal waves of the world.

The religious leaders sent officers to get Him. Jesus addressed the non-believers:

John 7:34 (NKJV) “You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

Contrast that statement with these:

Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV) “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

John 14:3 (NKJV) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

They couldn’t understand Jesus’ words, for they were deaf and disobedient; they knew He spoke powerfully, but were not willing to humble themselves before Him and believe.

It was the Feast of Tabernacles, the time when the Jews celebrated God’s sustenance in the wilderness. On the last day of the feast when they poured out the water, symbolizing the way God had given them water in the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-6) Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink…he who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 

It was an invitation to salvation and satisfaction. Only Jesus can save and satisfy our thirst, not religion, riches, or other relationships, just Jesus. When we finally get this truth, by faith, we’ll find the “flow,” by the Person of the Holy Spirit, life will just “flow,” with power and life and love for others. After Jesus was crucified, died, and glorified, the Holy Spirit arrived to empower us. To walk in the Spirit is our only hope to live that victorious Christian life (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18).

When the officers returned to the chief priests they asked, “Why have you not brought Him?” Their answer is epic:

John 7:46 (NKJV) “The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!’”

Can you imagine what it must have been like to “be there?” To hear Jesus teach? His love, sincerity, truth, and anointing? The Pharisees never game Him a chance, but there’s almost always an exception. Nicodemus was different he was just and objective…God was working in his heart. 

We know where Jesus is from for we’ve searched the Scriptures. One day everyone will know where Jesus was from, that Jesus wasn’t from Galilee, He was born in Bethlehem, He came down from heaven, and He fills all eternity.

I’d like to recommend a visual experience. This movie is WORD-FOR-WORD the entire Gospel. Perhaps you’ve seen movies on the life of Christ, but there aren’t many which are word for word! This movie uses the Good News Bible, which is a solid version, easy to understand. Let me know if you’re able to watch it and what you think.

Psalm 109:1-31

This Psalm of David is one of the most detailed imprecatory Psalms that we have.

David’s heart is wounded within him (Psalm 109:22), the mouth of the wicked has spoken against him, and others are believing those lies. I’ve always loved David’s words in:

Psalm 109:4 (NKJV) “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer.”

Warren Wiersbe said, “When people have lied about you, spoken hatefully to you, and rewarded you evil for good, you would benefit from reading this psalm. When your heart is wounded within (v. 22) and there is no way to set the record straight, take it to the Lord and tell Him how you feel.”

David prayed for justice. He prayed that God would deal harshly with his accuser, and his accuser’s children, that God would remember their sins, that they’d reap what they’d sown.

It’s okay to tell God your heart, and even share with Him how you feel, but Jesus has also commanded us to do something very different:

Bless those who curse you.

Do good to those who hate you.

Pray for those who treat you miserably.

Love your enemies.

Matthew 5:43–44 (NKJV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

David gave himself to prayer, but not for his enemies, against them. Let God deal with them, pray for them. Maybe they’ll get saved. If not, vengeance is His, He will repay.

As God’s children we can echo David’s closing words with confidence:

Psalm 109:30–31 (NKJV) “I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. 31 For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those who condemn him.

Amen. Thank You Jesus!

Proverbs 15:5-7

V 5 – This is another VERY common principle in the Proverbs…as God tries so hard to hammer this home. How we need to be wide open to our Father’s instruction, to be receptive of Godly correction.

The fool thinks little of it, he despises it, while the prudent values it and takes it to heart!

It often starts with our earthly father, depending on the type of dad you had, and then it flourishes with the instruction and correction of our heavenly Father.

Ray Comfort said, “A Father has an intuitive love for his children. He wants what’s best for his own flesh and blood. He teaches them that fire burns, that water drowns, and that speed kills. Only a fool doesn’t listen to advice provoked by love and given for our own good.”

V. 6 – Here’s a question for you, “What would you rather have, trouble or treasure?”

I’m sure all of you would vote for treasure, right? Especially the treasure beyond measure, the Spiritual treasure that can never be taken away in all of time and eternity.

This passage speaks not just of some treasure, but in the house of the righteous there is MUCH treasure. This is the mom and dad who are saved and serving the Lord (the Joshua 24:15 family) – may this be what we’re laying up…not mere “revenue.”

This is why Jesus said in: 

Matthew 6:19–20 (NKJV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

V. 7 – Definitely related to:

Proverbs 15:2 (NKJV) “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”

Proverbs 15:7 (NLT) “The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give.”

The sin of the wicked is not always that they pour out foolishness (v. 2); sometimes it’s that they have nothing to say (v. 7).

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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