~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27 ~ John 6:22-42
Psalm 106:32-48 ~ Proverbs 14:34-35
Old Testament - Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion today has some good food for thought to the question of Why did Israel want a king? - "1. Samuel's sons were not fit to lead Israel 2. The 12 tribes of Israel continually had problems working together because each tribe had its own leader and territory. It was hoped that a king would unite the tribes into one nation and one army. 3. The people wanted to be like the neighboring nations. This is exactly what God didn't want. Having a king would make it easy for them to forget that God was their read leader." In 1 Samuel Chapter 8 we hear Samuel passing on God's warning to how the king will treat the people...
Can you imagine hearing these words of Samuel if you were Saul in 1 Samuel 9:20 today - "And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel's hopes." All you are doing is looking for your dad's lost donkeys and all of the sudden you hear this from the seer! Whew... You know though - I will say this. Being in relationship with God is always an adventure. I think oftentimes we will start out on a journey to do one thing and God ends up taking us some place completely different. Saul is about to embark on an adventure. You and I have the opportunity to embark on an adventure with God each and every day. I know that there are many times that God sends me into places & situations I would have never thought imaginable. That's the adventure of faith. It truly is not boring!
An image is below for 1 Samuel 9:11 today - "As they were climbing a hill toward the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, "Is the seer here today?"
New Testament - Wow... verses 28 & 29 in John chapter 6 are so beautiful and simple that I think it is easy to miss the strong meaning behind this conversation between the crowd & Jesus - "They replied, "What does God want us to do?" Jesus told them, "This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent."" Check out that very last sentence. This is what God wants you to do. Believe. That's it. It's that simple. Believe. Not give away all your money to the poor. Not do thousands of good deeds. Not become a perfect person over night. Just believe. Believe. Yeah, okay, maybe God will ask you to give away some money and do good and become better person after you believe... :) But the key is first and foremost to Believe. Do you Believe in Jesus, the one whom God sent?
And verse 35 is so powerful as well - "Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst." Jesus saying he is the bread of life is similar to him saying he is the Door or the Vine. Bread is a beautiful metaphor that Jesus supplies divine nourishment to us spiritually. For me, this verse also reminds me of Communion in our churches today.
Bible.org's commentary on our John chapter 6 readings today titled "The Bread of Life" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 106 verse 39 stood out to me today, speaking about the Israelites - "They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD's sight." I think this Psalm verse stands the test of time with our modern world today. Do you believe that we still defile ourselves with our evil deeds today? Do you believe that our love of idols is adultery in God's sight? How can we stop defiling ourselves with evil deeds and stop loving idols in our modern world today?
Psalm 106 verse 44 through 46 stood out to me today as another amazing example of God's compassion, even after we sin against Him - "Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries. He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love. He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness."
Proverbs chapter 14 verse 34 today is a great reminder that godliness is not just an individual issue, but a community and even national issue.
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!