May 19

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44

There’s an interesting contrast in these two chapters between David’s response to two men who did him wrong. The first – Saul, had 3,000 soldiers. The second – Nabal, had 3,000 sheep. 

Imagine the situation, the temptation, as David is hiding in the cave and in comes King Saul to “attend to his needs,” (we would probably say, “use the bathroom”) in this case a cave. David’s men, David’s flesh, and David’s assigned demons all tell him to kill King Saul, doesn’t this look like a gift from God? But David spared the King, only cutting off a corner of his robe to prove the fact that he had spared him. David probably had no respect for Saul the man, at this point, but he did respect the crown. David knew God has placed Saul where He was, and it needed to be God’s hand to take him down. Until then, he saw Saul as God’s anointed.

We all have a tendency to see things differently, based on what’s in our hearts. David’s men saw this as an opportunity for murder, for mutiny, David, however, had a different heart, he saw it as an opportunity for mercy.

1 Samuel 24:6–7 (NKJV) “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.’ 7 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.”

Afterwards David cried out and shared his heart with Saul. “Why do you listen to liars who say I seek your harm? I wouldn’t dare to stretch out my hand against you.” David even refers to him as “Father,” (1 Samuel 24:11). David is sincere in what he says, there is no sin in his heart against Saul, not a sliver of rebellion; David sees himself as a dead dog, worse, a flea on that dead dog. David ultimately gives the entire situation into the vindication of the LORD.

Saul responds with one of those “moments,” of reason. He lifts up his voice, he weeps, he refers to David as his son.

1 Samuel 24:17 (NKJV) “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.’”

Saul had a moment of sanity. He knew David was destined to be king and only asked that he would spare his descendants. I wonder if that severed piece of robe reminded of him of the incident years earlier with the Prophet Samuel?

1 Samuel 15:27-28 (NKJV) “And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 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.’”

Confirmation of David’s coronation.

If only this was beyond an emotional moment for Saul, it could have been epic. But it was superficial; it wouldn’t be long, before he was hunting David like a dog once again.

In between these stories the Prophet Samuel died (1 Samuel 25:1). He finished his race and went home to heaven. Not much is said on his passing, but apparently David was there at his burial, to offer his respects and say goodbye for now. The older I get the more funerals I attend – we grieve, we miss, we mourn, and then we’re off…to fight and finish our own race of faith (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

David and his men were like a wall of protection to Nabal’s flock, so when it was time to shear they figured they might get some compensation for that. David sent a couple of men with the request, but Nabal (the fool) sent them away shamefully. David straps on his sword, gathers 400 troops and makes his way toward Nabal; David has it in his heart to wipe out the ALL the men.

Earlier we read good things, on how David was willing to do good to the one who did him bad (Saul), but not this time (notice the contrast between 1 Samuel 24:27 and 1 Samuel 25:21). David would have had another regret if he followed through with his intentions – so God intervened. God sent David a wise woman named Abigail, who intervened for her household. She was sensitive to God’s plan, that David would be anointed king one day – that David fought the battles of the Lord…and in her relationship with God, she saved her family. She gave a peace offering to David.

Three times in the Bible God says, “Vengeance is mine…” (Deuteronomy 32:25; Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30) and it certainly is. He does a much better job than we could ever do, and takes only Nabal down. Not only that, but because David relented, David is blessed with a wise woman, Abigail as wife. If only she was his only one.

John 10:22-42

The Feast of Dedication is called Hanukkah today, commemorating the victory God gave to the Jews through the Maccabees. Jesus was in Jerusalem celebrating the holy day and the religious leaders once again approached Him with that question of whether or not He was the Christ.

Jesus had proven it to them, but they were blind and deaf and did not believe; they were not willing to become His sheep (His followers). 

Jesus said:

John 10:27 (NKJV) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

Jesus doesn’t give up, He knows the only way they’ll believe in Him is if they believe He’s sent by the Father, but they take up stones to stone Him when Jesus claims to be one with the Father. They knew exactly what He was saying:

John 10:33b (NKJV) “…You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

Jesus then takes them back to Psalm 82:6 where the Bible sees Israel’s judges as gods, and even refers to them in such language. Not that they were God’s by nature, but they were in function and delegation. How much more is this and appropriate view of Jesus!

The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains, “Jesus now completed His argument. Since the inerrant Bible called their judges “gods,” the Jews could not logically accuse Him of blasphemy for calling Himself God’s Son since He was under divine orders (set apart) and on God’s mission (sent into the world).”

The Jewish religious leaders refused to believe in Jesus, in spite of the many miracles, signs, and wonders He did. In spite of the fact that He was love and truth, He was God incarnate. But others with open hearts began to realize that all that John the Baptist said of Him was true.

If only the world would open their hearts and eyes to all the words and all the Words of prophecy fulfilled in Jesus – it’s a good place to be.

John 10:42 (NKJV) “And many believed in Him there.”

Psalm 116:1-19

One of the many reasons we love the Lord, is because He hears our every cry, our every prayer. The Psalmist expresses that explicitly and takes it to its logical conclusion:

Psalm 116:2b (NKJV) “…therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”

We should too.

Apparently the writer was close to death, but God graciously delivered him and dealt “bountifully” with him.

God had delivered his soul from death, his eyes from tears, and his feet from falling. So what would he do with those feet? He would walk before the LORD in the land of the living. He would take up the cup of salvation (reminds me of Jesus’ cup). He would pay his vows to God – publicly.

I guess in one sense we fight for life, we pray for healing, that we may serve the Lord as long as we can, to bring Him glory and bring as much good to as many people as we can, but eventually (unless we get raptured) God’s answer to our prayer for healing will be on the other side of time. And then we’ll remember these words:

Psalm 116:15 (NKJV) “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.”

We’re saints in Christ. Our death will be precious in His sight, for we will be with Him, we’ll be home forever, where we belong (see Revelation 21:3-7).

Proverbs 15:20-21

V. 20 – You wanna make dad glad? It’s not about being wealthy, it’s about being wise; spiritual wisdom.

It’s interesting how in the latter portion of this verse, we don’t’ see the word son, it mentions a man, the foolish fellow is all grown up now, but he’s not really grown up; and because of that, he despises his mother. The word “despises,” is Latin in origin from two words meaning to look down on; to disrespect. Apparently, she doesn’t really matter to him.

We frequent this passage – again and again – don’t we?

3 John 1:4 (NKJV) “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

A verse for both parents and children.

V. 21 – The NIV says it this way, “Folly, or a lack of spiritual sense, brings joy to one who has no sense…”

They’re destitute of discernment; the Hebrew word literally refers to the heart; this person who has fun as a fool, is grinning as they’re sinning.

But a man of understanding, a Christian man or woman doesn’t walk like a beast on all fours, they walk uprightly, they walk with Christ, and even like Christ.

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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