~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25 ~ John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2 ~ Proverbs 15:22-23
Old Testament - In First Samuel 26 David completes the 3 "tests" of obedience, as discussed in yesterday's post, by once again not killing Saul when he had the opportunity. Verses 9 through 11 again show David's character when he and Abishai had snuck into Saul's camp and Abishai offered to kill Saul - ""No!" David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die in battle or of old age. But the LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But I'll tell you what--we'll take his spear and his jug of water and then get out of here!""
Interesting... in First Samuel 28 Saul bans mediums - wise - and then becomes desperate for one - unwise... The medium seems to get quite freaked out that she has called up Samuel. Commentaries suggest that she is used to calling up satanic / demonic forces. She connected to Samuel somehow here and was freaked out by it. And Samuel tells Saul exactly what he probably knows in his heart. God has left him - a long time ago - because of his disobedience. Consulting a medium is just one more disobedient act in a string of them. I pray that no one reading this consults mediums or does tarot cards or gets into palm readings or any of that garbage. It is spiritually dangerous and risky to get into any of that. Unfortunately, I know that things like "tarot card reading parties" are somewhat popular today. I have been invited to them and have not gone - and told the hosts why I was not attending. Please avoid this spiritually risky stuff. It is no joke dangerous.
Bible.org's commentary on today's First Samuel readings titled "The Second Time Around" is at this link. Commentary titled "One Step Forward, and Two Backward" is at this link and commentary titled "Finding God's Will, Any "Witch" Way You Can" is at this link.
New Testament - Today in John chapter 11 verse 35 we read the shortest verse in the Bible – “Jesus wept.” Though this may be the shortest verse, I do not believe it is small in meaning. What does it say to you that Jesus wept? What does it mean to you that Jesus wept? I love this verse because to me it shows Jesus’ humanity (while at the same time he is divine). During his time living as a man on earth, Jesus experienced the full range of emotions that you and I experience today. Jesus was tempted. (though, unlike us, he did not give into temptation and sin ever) Jesus was joyful. Jesus was angry. Jesus loved. Jesus wept. Knowing this about Jesus, does this help you to realize that you can approach Jesus with absolutely any situation in your life that you might be struggling with? Do you believe that Jesus will understand you if you are weeping? Do you believe that Jesus will rejoice with you when you are rejoicing? I do. “Jesus wept” says so much to me about who Jesus was, is, and forever will be. Jesus wept.
Psalms - Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the Psalms - and the shortest chapter in the entire Bible. This Psalm is said to basically be one long Alleluia. :) Actually verse 1 has an important piece to it - "Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth." This demonstrates that God was very interested in the salvation of the Gentiles and all the nations in the Old Testament. And not just in the New Testament as we get to the book of Acts. This was part of the plan all along...
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 15 verse 22 we read – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Wow. . . this verse really is convicting for me on a couple of levels. The first thought for me is God – and how often (or not often) do I pray to God for counsel on my plans for my life? Truthfully, not enough. I pray to God daily – but it’s usually pretty brief. I believe God wants us to come to him often in prayer asking for guidance and counsel on our plans. Imagine that – with God as an adviser on our plans, do you think they might succeed?? :) Secondly, I think about community – other people. And I think about, first of all, am I in community? Am I in a community of people that I know well and that know me? And if so, am I consulting this community on my life plans? Am I allowing people I know and love to advise me on my life? Think this would be wise? How about you – do you pray often to God for counsel and leading in your life plans? Are you in community with others that you know well and that know you? And do you consult this community with your plans and ask for their advice?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!