~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13 ~ John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18 ~ Proverbs 15:24-26
Old Testament - We finish the book of First Samuel today! Second Samuel is up tomorrow! First Samuel chapter 29 verse 8 read a bit strange to me - ""What have I done to deserve this treatment?" David demanded. "Why can't I fight the enemies of my lord, the king?"" It seemed odd, at first read, that David would say this. Commentaries suggest that David may have purposefully made an ambiguous statement here, such that Achish (and maybe us) would think he was referring to Achish - when perhaps he was referring to God or Saul. With David's madman acting and wisdom, this ambiguous type statement with another meaning would not be surprising...
In First Samuel 31 today we read about the death of Saul. At the very end Saul did what he always did - took things into his own hands. Relied on himself. Fell on his own sword. Perhaps sometimes in our lives today we are not so different from Saul. Maybe we try to take things into our own hands. Rely on ourselves. But hopefully never fall on our own swords... We should instead be leaving things in God's hands and relying fully on God.
Bible.org's commentary on today's First Samuel readings titled "From “Playing Both Ends Against the Middle” to “Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place”" is at this link and "From Tragedy to Triumph" is at this link and "Saul's Death Wish" is at this link.
New Testament - John 12 verse 10 jumped out at me today - somehow I hadn't really noticed this verse before - "Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus." Lazarus was raised from the dead and they wanted him dead again... sad... The miracle had caused many to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Not surprising that those in that day who were against Jesus would also be against those close to Jesus. Think there might be some correlation in this regard in our world today? Is it possible that the closer we get to Jesus, the more the Enemy might come up against us in various ways? It cannot defeat us with God on our side. But it may come after us.
I like verse 19 today! "Then the Pharisees said to each other, "We've lost. Look, the whole world has gone after Jesus!"" Unfortunately it was a bit of an exaggeration at that time and the 2,000 years following. But maybe in the future? How are you part of the Great Commission today?
An image is below for verse 15 (originally from Zechariah 9:9) - ""Don't be afraid, people of Israel. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt."
Psalms - I came across a very interesting speculation on Psalm 118! Zondervan's commentary suggested that Jesus and the disciples sung this psalm/hymn at the end of the Last Supper. Matthew chapter 26 verse 30 tells us - "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Adds a bit of a new dimension to this Psalm, no? The reason for this speculation is because this is the final Psalm in the Egyptian Hallel of Psalms 113 through 118. These Psalms were used in Jewish liturgy at the great religious festivals of Passover, Tabernacles, Dedication, Weeks, New Moon. At Passover Psalm 113 & 114 were sung before the meal and Psalms 115 - 118 were sung after the meal. Perhaps, even after the Last Supper by Jesus and the disciples?
Verse 8 in this Psalm stands out to me - "It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people." Kind of strong words I know... but what do you think? Might people, on occasion, let you down or disappoint? Will God?
Proverbs - Proverbs 15 verse 24 is a beautiful meditation - "The path of the wise leads to life above; they leave the grave behind." Are you on the path of the wise?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!