May 17

1 Samuel 20:1-21:15

I’m not 100% sure on the timeframe, but most Bible teachers tell us that David is now on the verge of ten solid years of trials, troubles, turmoil, testing, and temptation. Why?

Had he done something wrong? No! As a matter of fact, it was because he behaved wisely, it was because he was doing things right that all would go “wrong.” King Saul was therefore fearful of David and allowed himself to fall under the influence of an evil spirit, who wanted to kill David.

In one sense we live in a world where Satan rules (hence, tons of evil) but – God overrules and God would be preparing David and others, for the time he would be crowned king of all Israel (Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28 never get old). It’s been said that before God can truly use someone greatly, He must allow them to be hurt…deeply.

Saul wanted to kill David. David knew it, but Jonathan was in denial. David shares some heavy words with Jonathan:

1 Samuel 20:3b (NKJV) “…but truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.”

You ever think about that? Not that we’re fearful of death, but the Bible says it can happen at any time, none of us have tomorrow guaranteed (James 4:14). With David it was doubly true for the King of the country wanted him dead; he was just a “step” away.

It wasn’t until his dad tried to spear him that Jonathan realized the deadly danger David was in, so in dramatic fashion David was sent away to flee for his life, both swearing not to harm each other’s descendants, no matter what happened.

It’s understandable that David is in panic mode, but he makes some huge mistakes in the get-go. He flees to the city of Nob, where the High Priest and Tabernacle are – and David lies to Ahimelech saying he was on a secret mission for Saul, asking the High Priest for food and any weapons that might be available. It’s too bad that he lied, for Doeg the Edomite was there that day.

After lying to the High Priest, David’s onward spiral continued. Can you believe David fled to the Philistines? The Philistines knew all too well who David was and the’d even heard about the song and dance of the ladies, attributing 10,000 soldiers slain under this man’s leadership. David caught himself in the nick of time, and pretended to be mad, crazy, insane, and by the grace of God he was protected and kicked out of their presence.

It would be a tough ten years for David, he didn’t deserve it, but he needed it. I remember a book I read in my early days as a Christian, and a couple of times since, by Alan Redpath on the life of David, “The Making of Man of God.” That’s what God was doing, and that’s what God does, as He allows the tears over the years, Psalms will be written, character will grow, this type of purity and power is formed only in fire.

Early years of David’s Mission

John 9:1-41

I try to put myself into the shoes of this man who was born blind. He’d never seen the blue sky, the white clouds, the green trees, the beautiful flowers; he’d never seen the faces of his family. All his life it was a world of darkness.

To make matters worse, the popular teaching circulating in that society was that the reason he was born blind, was that he had sinned within his mother’s womb, or his parents had sinned – that’s why he was born blind.

All this must have made life rough for this man.

Then one day Jesus walks into his life. We don’t know how old the blind man was, we do know he was “of age” (John 9:21). Jesus first corrects the disciple’s errant theology, this wasn’t a result of the parents’ sin or any wickedness within the womb, it was for the glory of God. Jesus then heals the blind man with some pretty simple stuff, a mixture of saliva and dirt, followed by a rinse in the Pool of Siloam (to draw out his faith?). For the first time in his life, he could see. Wow! Absolutely overwhelming! Imagine seeing the world for the first time after only hearing and wondering what it looked like…all your life!

Of course people begin to question him; he doesn’t know a lot about the one who healed him other than that it was Jesus, so they take him to the religious authorities, and the man simply tells his story, that Jesus was the one who healed him. The religious leaders verify everything with his parents, he was indeed born blind, now he sees. The man’s parents are afraid to say anything about Jesus because the Jews in charge of the temple had already threatened to excommunicate anyone who “believed” in Jesus.

It’s at this point when we begin to see who’s really blind. Although I would never wish it upon anyone, I’ll bet almost anything that the blind man spent a lot of time thinking. Without the sense of sight you have less distractions. He had developed a very logical and reasonable perspective of God. The Jews called Jesus a sinner, but the formerly blind man disagreed with them, and rightly so – it was not only illogical, it was unbiblical (Psalm 66:18).

The man says, all I can do is tell you my story, that once I was blind, but now I see, and it was Jesus who healed me. Think about it, the miraculous healing of a blind man is unheard of, and God doesn’t hear the prayers of sinners – logical conclusion: Jesus must be good, He must be at least a man of God, a man from God, a prophet of God. The man was right…right on track.

Tragically, the religious leaders had developed a spiritual blindness. They could not see the signs of the Savior right in front of their eyes. They were not open to truth, they were not teachable. They excommunicated the formerly blind man – but it wasn’t a problem. Jesus ushered him into His congregation of salvation. He found the man and revealed Himself as the Son of God…the man responded with a perfectly reasonable act of worship.

John 9:38 (NKJV) “Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him.”

I’ll never forget the day Jesus healed me of my blindness – it was August 20, 1989. Prior to that day I had no understanding of spiritual things. I went to church, I read the entire Bible, people would try to witness to me and tell me spiritual things but I did not understand – at all. Until the day Jesus saved me, healed me, opened my eyes…and then, now, I can see. One thing I know – I was blind, but now I see…and it was Jesus who did this for me. 

What else can I do with my life, but worship Him?

Psalms 113:1-114:8

Psalm 113 is a reminder that we are to CONSTANTLY praise the LORD. We His servants are to praise Him now and forever; from sun rise to sunset and all the time in between. We have good reason to praise the LORD, for this great God of the universe humbles Himself and enters our world to help the poor and the needy, even raising them up. He blesses the barren in such a beautiful way – with a family. Just a few reasons to praise the LORD.

Psalm 114 is a brief testimony of Israel’s redemption from Egypt, a picture of salvation. May we never forget the way God brought us out of Egypt, and the way He loves us. Isn’t it awesome to think that God’s people are His sanctuary! (Psalm 114:2) God split the Red Sea, the Jordan as well. God moved mountains as if they were pebbles skipping along like rams and lambs. God gave water in the wilderness, even a fountain of waters. And God has not only saved us, but He’s moved mountains to do so, even giving us the Living Water of His Holy Spirit. May we never stop praising and singing with heartfelt appreciation of our salvation.

Proverbs 15:15-17

V. 15 – So much of life is what we make of it, isn’t it?

NET notes, “The image of a continual feast signifies the enjoyment of what life offers, they enjoy life in spite of adverse circumstances…”

Those afflicted with evil are those who choose evil – but those with a healthy, holy, merry heart are those who are wholeheartedly in love with the Lord.

Is that you? I hope so. It’s neat to see people who have that sparkle in their eyes, they’re upbeat, almost as if they have joy in their genes.

(Contrast Jacob and Paul – Paul sang in prison and celebrated death; Naomi and Ruth; Habakkuk 3:17-18 – it’s all a matter of perspective)

Verses 16-17 – Many of you are familiar with the name Warren Buffet, he’s an American investor, business tycoon, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world with a net worth of 78.9 billion, as of August 2020, making him the world’s seventh-wealthiest person.

To his own admission he lost the love of his life because of his busyness with his business, wherein he was gone most of the time. One day when he arrived home, she was gone. Buffet later said that Susan’s leaving was the greatest failure of his life and 95% his fault. He reminds me of Solomon, because here were/are two men who had it all, and both essentially said the same thing. It’s vanity.

Buffet said, “It doesn’t make any difference if you have a thousand dollars in the bank or a billion.” He went on to say that success is found in love.

It’s not about a great dinner or dollars…God knows, most know, it’s all about great love. 

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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