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There seems to be so many sides to David,it's amazing.He called Saul father and the words he spoke seem filled with pain.David didn't seem angry at Saul,just deeply hurt.He didn't act in anger even when Saul was close by...anger would have led him Kill Saul.
Yet in the case of Nabal,David doesn't seem so humble any more.I would presume a godly man would protect others not so they'd pay him back,rather would look to God for his needs.True,hospitality was expected in those days,it may have even been a custom to invite people during a time of feasting.Nabal should have been filled with gratitude that David who had fought so many battles for the Lord had protected his sheep yet David should have let God avenge the wrong doing but he set out furious to kill him.Then women become a problem.David doesn't ever mention his wife Michal,when Abigail becomes a widow he marries her as well as Ahinoam so David now lives with 2 women and has a third wife somewhere.Ramona mentioned not forsaking the gathering of believers in an email and here I see the consequences of running with the wrong crowd.His men urged him to kill Saul,maybe(just guessing)they also incited him against Nabal.David God had said was a man after his own heart yet here I see a man who is really far from perfect and honestly,no woman's dream husband.
Prayer life:personally I have heard of being in the Lord's presence,fullness of Joy,great experiences.For me,sometimes it takes a lot of faith to keep on keeping on in prayer.There are times that I wonder if there's something I'm doing wrong.I've heard about prayer time being a time when you talk to god and God talks back.Well faith is the evidence of things not seen...prayer for me is just talking,hoping against hope that I'm not just speaking to myself and that someday I too can be part of that fullness of joy that comes from being alone in God's presence and not emotional joy that comes from a good worship song during service.

A:

God bless you richly. Your desire to persevere though these doubts haunt you attests to your honesty and sincerity.

Interesting the verse you cited. In our study of Ephesians last night, that very verse was discussed at length regarding our faith: The "substance" of things hoped for and the "evidence" of things not seen.

Our pastor's son has a tee shirt that says something like: It is not faith if you can see it. :) A simple axiom that really delivers the punch, eh?

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Okay, now on to today's text:

It was interesting to me that God shows us the true humanity of the people in His word, the Bible. I recall being a kid when western movies were the "rage," and one of my 7-year-old friends asked his mother: "When do cowboys go to the bathroom?"

Is there any other time that an opportunity could have arisen for David to find King Saul ALONE?

I liked how Mike explained how this was a test for David--one that Saul had failed: The test of humility, eh? I mean, Saul would have certainly used this occasion to boost his own ego and brag about his prowess, but David trusted God. That is how I WANT to live my life, and I really want to not be seeking validation or recognition for things. A truly humble person recognizes it is God who elevates, and all the more when we allow Him to get all the glory.

Such a brief eulogy for Samuel. I would like to have known more about that precious Saint! He began at such a young age apart from the nurturing love of his mother. He was probably raised in strict "LAW" by Eli. We know that at a very early God summoned him when he called to him and Samuel thought it was Eli calling him.

It seems we only got a glimpse of his ministry when God told him to annoint Saul as king, and then later he then was sent to Jesse and annointed David.

Nabal and Abigail ~

I wondered how Abigail ended up with such an evil man, and I guess because I am so influenced by Paul when he says women are to respect their husbands that, well-- she didn't. She said his name meant "fool," which it probably (most certainly--the Bible says so!) did--but why would a mother name her child "Fool?" and then she made it clear she had no respect for the man; maybe rightly so, and certainly she showed immense wisdom in counselling David in her apology (women are so manipulative, aren't we?), and this resulted in David doing "the right thing." Nevertheless, I have to wonder if she was as disrespectful to David after he married her.
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http://archaeopundit.blogspot.com/

We know that Echnaton (=Akhenaten, who is King Saul) obtained a Queen of the Amazons from around the Black Sea as his wife (this was Nefertiti). She was the HITTITE QUEEN. Indeed, when Saul died, it was Nefertiti, under the name Ankhesenamun (= Ahinoam, A(nkh)-he-noam) who asked for a Hittite son to be King of Egypt:

"According to Hittite history, it was during the seige of Carchemish that Suppiluliumas received a message from widowed Queen Ankhesenamun, asking him for one of his sons to be king of Egypt."

Nefertiti was the wife of Echnaton (neo-Egyptological Akhenaten), both wrongly transcribed. Echnaton is actually King Saul of the Bible. Echnaton is Ish-Naton "father Nathan" and his (i.e. Saul's) son Jonathan is "young Nathan", Jo-Naton, so that these were Nathan Sr. and Nathan Jr. One could also view the names as being old (n)Aton and young Aton. Nathan in Hebrew means "gift of God" and compares to Adonis or Adonija.

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Certainly David did not marry the same Ahinoam of Jezreel that Saul married; maybe Ahinoam was a common name of the time?


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On to John:

So many times I hear skeptics say: "But Jesus never claimed to be God," and those who have gotten into cults where they believe that Jesus is not truly God. This text is definitely a "keeper," as it leaves no wiggle room for those skeptics. Of course, I realize our "world view" influences our beliefs, but this is pretty much a proof text, isn't it?

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Psalms:

I love the Lord for He heard my voice--show me an idol that we make that can do that!

Oh, the confidence we have when we believe the Lord's word and know that He hears our voice, that when we cry out to Him for mercy, He sees and hears us.

I wondered why the death of His saints was precious in the sight of the Lord, and then I thought of the bliss heaven will bring, and how being in the presence of the Lord would be exceedingly joyful--but on further meditation on this verse I realized that the death of His saints means the LIFE of Christ is lived within us!

Oh to have the mind of Christ! To live is Christ; to die is gain!

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Wisdom in the Proverbs! The Holy Spirit imparts wisdom to us, and Jesus graciously left this earth to send us the Holy Spirit.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Praise God and Hallelu Yah!

I attended a Leadership Summit with John Bevere and he related the submissiveness and servanthood of David to our lives today. Our own reactions towards our Prime Ministers or Presidents and to our bosses at our respective jobs. I thought it was quite challenging what JB preached but by re-reading the encounter between Saul and David I can truly admire the humility that David displays. How true is it that in today's society we criticise our leaders, sometimes seeking to break them down to seek revenge. In the example of David we should acknowledge God's sovereignty and leave it all up to God. It is a true test of our own surrender to God. Our human nature goes against humility and servanthood. We believe in standing up for our rights no matter who or what we trample along the way. If in todays reading we read that David had killed Saul I am sure that we would have accepted this outcome entirely. David would have stood up for his rights by killing Saul and in the process gain immediate recognition as King. Very tempting indeed! Instead he chose to put his own life at risk by confronting Saul in total humility, acknowledging him as his King..."Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground..."(1 Samuel 24:8) David is not judgemental of Saul's wrongdoings instead he leaves it all in the hands of The LORD..." May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.(1 Samuel 24:12-13) A true example of faith in God!
May the Lord almighty help us surrender to Him by teaching us humility and servanthood during our earthly existence.

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44
When we are in sin we become illogical, irrational and unreasonable. Here we see a picture of a man who marshals all the resources available too him and channels all his energy to pursue a personal grudge. The pursuit of David in reality is a fight against God. Saul’s response to David after David shows him that he had the ability to take his life, lets us know that Saul knew just like God had anointed him king, God had removed the kingship from him and given it to David.

Saul had a “beef” with God. I believe no matter what our excuse or justification we put forth when we rebel against rightful leadership, spiritual or political, we are fighting against God. The lawlessness and crime committed against people, family friends or foe, is are puny attempt to fight against God.

There are clear contrasts between David’s response to Saul’s physical pursuit against him to take his life, and Nabal’s insult: one wanted to harm his body, the other harmed his feelings. Saul pursued David for years; Nabal’s insult came by way of messenger and probably took a couple of minutes to convey. How do we respond to a “slight?” Do we muster up a greater desire to carry out revenge and retaliate when we are insulted then when confronted with the possibility of direct physical harm? Thank God for the people who are placed in our paths to speak reason into our lives. If David had been allowed to continue on his path to destroy Nabal and all of his servants, he would have become as corrupted as Saul. That thought gives me great pause to think as well as give me a greater understand of, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

John 10:22-42
It annoys me to no end when people ask me a question, pretending to want information, then turn and challenge the answer given. I’m not talking about a test situation but people pretending that they don’t know something but in reality they are setting you up. Jesus went thought this experience daily, religious leaders asking only to try and trick Him but never could. I don’t know about you but I think I would give up doing that after the first year, and surly after the second, or would I?

Jesus had already told them previously that they were like their father, the Devil and he never gives up. The trickery didn’t work and not only could they not trap Him, they couldn’t even arrest Him because it wasn’t His time.

I love the last two verses of this reading because it shows that there is a “remnant” that adhered to and clung to Jesus because they honestly took the words of the Prophets, the words of John the Baptist and measured Jesus by them and found He measured up.


Psalm 116:1-19
1 I love the LORD because he hears
and answers my prayers.

In the book of First John the writer pens this statement, 19 We love Him, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) For me that is a true statement not based on theology but based on my own experience. When I first came to faith it wasn’t because someone had dragged me to church. Like Saul I was in deep rebellion of God. I hated anything and everything that smacked of Church, Jesus, God and any and every religion. Church folk had so scarred me that by the time I was sixteen I had pronounced God dead. It is a good thing that God didn’t take orders from me.

Almost twenty years latter I found myself in total despair but that didn’t change my mind it only opened it to a challenge I received, “You can spend all day debating whether or not there is a God. The only way you are going to really find out is to try some of His commands and see if they work. If they don’t throw everything out in the trash, if they do then keep it.” I tried and I kept. I love God because I know deep down in the very fiber of my being that He loves Me.

Psalm 34
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
Proverbs 15:20-21
We try to justify, quantify and rationalize unacceptable behavior, but the writer of Proverbs lays all that raunchy disrespectful rebellious behavior on “sin” and the "i" that is in the middle of it all.

Apparently Saul laid his robe to the side when he entered the cave to relieve himself and later felt genuinely sorry for the way he treated David, but during this temporary moment of sanity he should have repented, made a guilt offering, and put people and procedures into place to protect himself from any returning evil influences. There will always be times when we are overcome by ego (or evil forces) but there will also always be lucid moments when we’ve realize what we’ve done and what we should do. During these times we will be fully judged. David also teaches us today that an important time to resist the temptation to do wrong is when it’s most difficult and that a man of faith never seeks revenge. The referenced old proverb says that only a wicked man would do evil against any other person in any situation. David was not honoring Saul but respecting his position and God’s anointing. He gave and kept his word even to a person he knew could not be trusted. One of the core problems in America is that we have forgotten the difference between honor and respect (my youngest son’s school is littered with foolish posters reading, “Honor means respect” and “You cannot get respect unless you give it”). Saul deserved and received respect even though he was not honorable and very disrespectful himself. David dedicates the matter of his relationship with Saul to the Lord, for God alone could settle the matter and bring about justice (fair is what you deserve while just is what you need).

Jewish tradition has it that Samuel wrote the books of Judges and Samuel (v 10:25 verifies that he wrote something) with the prophets Gad and Nathan adding the information concerning the years following Samuel’s death (starting today). Compare Nabal’s wealth (with 3,000 sheep) with Job, the richest of his time (with 7,000 sheep), in Job 1:2. Sheering season was traditionally a time of open hospitality (2 Sam 13:23-24), which Nabal violated. In the previous chapter, David diffused Saul’s anger by first diffusing his own. In this chapter, it takes Abigail’s sensitivity to calm David by not only asking for forgiveness but also attempting to correct her husband’s blunder (atonement is that which can bring two parties back to being “at one”). Moreover, she reminds David to leave vengeance in God’s hands (clearly it is not at all easy to remember life’s lessons from one day to the next). And God does take care of the matter (“becomes like a stone” is a common Aramaic idiom meaning Nabal had a heart attack or stroke and became paralyzed). Some commentators note a similarity between Nabal and Saul. Each is hostile to David, against advice of family, and eventually struck down by God (not David), being condemned by their own evil actions.

The Feast of Dedication (or renovation) was celebrated for eight days in December and thus about two months have pasted since yesterday’s last line. This festival celebrates the Maccabean restoration of the temple 3 years after Antioshus Epiphaces desecrated it in 167BC (as prophesized in Daniel 11:31) and it is know today as the Feast of Lights or Hanukkah. Jesus once more clearly states that he is the Messiah AND that He and God are one. The Jews yet again try to stone Jesus for being a false prophet (as per Lev 24:14-16). Many have interpreted the line “You are Gods” to suggest that we were intended to be equal with God in power and authority, but this verse is only using OT terminology that judges are to exercise judicial sovereignty. Jesus is making the point by quoting Psalm 82:6 about judges who violate the law that if divine authority had been applied by God to mere men administering his law and word, there could be neither blasphemy nor folly in its application to the incarnate Son of God himself (making the legitimacy of His case again rest on the trustworthiness of scripture). John 10:35 and Psalm 82:6 provide that all who “are sons of the Most High” (“to whom the word of God came”) are appointed for the unique task of administering His law and word to the people. Jesus again escapes (as in v 8:59).

The use of the Hebrew word elohim in Psalm 82:6 is simply describing authority. Many have provided extensive explanations for the origin of the word, but the etymology of the word Elohim is prehistoric and therefore unknown. Much can be determined, however, from its usage. For example, many have also hinted that since it is spelled in the pural that there must be many gods, but the word in some 2000 cases is always used with singular adjectives and verbs (except for polytheistic pagans like the Philistines in 1 Samuel 4:8). Moreover, while Genesis often refers to God as elohim, it quickly changes to using Yahweh Elohim (that is, “Lord God”). Dr. Jean Astruc suggested back in the eighteenth century that this meant that Moses had used two sources to compose Genesis. Others have suggested our God is merely one of many that blessed Abraham for choosing Him. Astruc (et al.) failed to notice, however, a clear pattern that the Bible uses Yahweh whenever stressing a personal relationship with God and Elohim to denote creator or authority. Jethro, for example, uses Yahweh to describe how much greater a (Yahweh) God that loves and cares for His people is over an impersonal (elohim) creator without feeling. Elohim conveys the more philosophically oriented concept while Yahweh describes a more personal and ethically oriented view. Exodus 6:3 notes God saying, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.” The resolution to this seeming contradiction of some 150 uses of the name Yahweh during the patriarchal period is to be found in a technical point of Hebrew grammar, known as beth essentiae, in the phrase “by my name.” This phrase meant that while Abraham, Isaac and Jacob heard and used the name Yahweh, it was only in Moses’ day that the realization of the character, nature and essence of what that name meant became clear. “By the name” is better translated “in the character [or nature] of Yahweh [was I not known].”

Our Psalm today tells about deliverance from the brink of death (from being ignorant or “simple” in v 6) and a vow and payment for praising the Lord audibly before the people of faith. These words seem to point prophetically to how we are to die and give up earthy limitations (Matthew 10:38-39; Mark 8:34-35; and, Luke 17:27, 33). The Psalm is read after the third cup of wine, which brings to mind God’s cup of salvation. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Physical death is when the body is carried to the cemetery to await bodily resurrection at the time of Rapture (1 Thess 4:14-17) and the soul is carried to “Abraham’s Bosom” (Luke 16:22 and 23:43) as opposed to a spiritual death of separation from God in this life (Ephesians 2:1) as well as the “second death” of being thrown into the lake of fire with death and hell after the second resurrection (Rev 20:14).

Six words that validate the Old Testament

Verification of Old Testament

Part of John 10:35
"-and the Scripture cannot be broken-"

Words spoken by Jesus that authenticate the Old Testament.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were from the time shortly before Christ. They authenticated the Old Testament copies of 1000 A.D. Almost an exact match.

So Jesus saying the content of the Old Testament is valid, authenticates the Old Testament we read today.

Of course the interpretation is up debated from time to time, but the content (text) is the "WORD" of God.


John 10

The Good Shepherd

Literal translation:
"I am the shepherd, the good one..."

good (gk.kalos) means excellent, preeminent, lovely, beautiful.

"I am the shepherd, the excellent preeminent, lovely, beautiful one."

In John 6 Jesus is greater than Moses, In John 8 Jesus is greater than Abraham, Here in John 10 Jesus says he is the preeminent shepherd. Thus Jesus is greater than David.

In addition there is a claim to deity. Psalm 80 calls God the Shepherd of Israel. The Jew knew that the true excellent Shepherd was God.

vs. 11
...The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Foreshadowing crucifixion, but the word of note here is "life". Greek has two words for life:
bios - just the breathing part of life
zoe - the circumstances of life

But John uses "psuche" for life it means a man's soul,the total man inside.

The Good shepherd poured out his soul for his sheep, and Matthew uses the same word for life in Matt 20:28. Jesus did not just die on the cross, he gave his comlpete being, everything he had for us.

"The good shepherd lays down his life FOR the sheep."

"For" is Gk.huper. Means in behalf of, for the sake of. For their sake, for our sake he died on the cross.

Vs. 14
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— "

Every "know" in this chapter is Gk. ginosko. It is the same know as Matt 7:23. It is the intimate, personal knowledge of one antoher, symbolized by the coupling of man and wife, two as one. That is how Jesus knows his sheep, how the Father and He know each other, and if we are saved how we are to know Christ and He us.
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John 10:26-28
"but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

John 10:16
"I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."

These passages are really the first I can recall that emphasize my belief in election and the security of salvation.

His sheep will hear his voice and follow. Other sheep (Gentiles) will also hear and follow forming one flock. Other sheep will not follow because they are not His sheep. You must be His sheep to hear and follow Jesus. No one can snatch one of His sheep out of His hand.

"and they shall never perish....of my hand." gives me assurance in my salvation. Not having to worry about that, I can concentrate on my growth as a Christian.

If one does not believe in "election" that is ok by me. I just say to people: "Fine, WHOMSOEVER WILL."

I do not think the picture of the Trinity was very a proper.

Anonymous - great feedback! I actually agree. I'll get it updated in the next day and be a bit more sensitive on the images going forward. Thanks! -Mike

I rather liked the painting and the symbolism in it, except for the bodiless cherubs -- they WERE kinda weird :)

Today's reading was quite powerful. I had a bit of time yesterday and wrote these comments on my blog.

http://www.randalmatheny.com/blog/daily_bible_commentary/oyb_reading.html

How is your prayer life these days? Do you believe God bends down and listens to your prayers? And answers them? Will you pray as long as you have breath? ~ I love to pray! It brings me so close to God! I defenitly believe that God bends down to listen to my prayers. Sometimes my prayers are so strong and intense that I can feel His prescense ... deep, eh? God has answered a lot of my prayers already and I believe that He will continue answering them. He made a promise to the people that reach out to Him and I do believe that! If I didn't believe that, I shouldn't pray.
That's why todays Psalms are so powerfull, especially verses 1 & 2 "I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!"

haha...forgive my immaturity, but today i read the passage my friend told me about laughing, he said: David walked in on Saul taking a dump! lol.
I love 1 Samuel...i am seeing why David is called a man after God's own heart. I love reading about him and also reading his words in the psalms, they go together.
Some verses that stand out:
John 10:27-29: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."
This is soooo comforting!! and i have experienced this. Just like in that skit thing on my page, the girl was struggling, but the God figure had her by a rope and didnt let her go! Even wen I die, i know I will be with Him. I am eternally secure and belong to Him! wat an amazing honor!
I love this Psalm too! awesome! "For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling"
I love proverbs: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother."
I have been the fool and it hurt me more then anyone, i despised my parents and i was a fool! now i bring my father joy. I know i would bring my mom joy if she were here today.
Foolishness is sinful living. disobedience. this isnt the same as being silly, goofy, etc... as I kinda sense that this verse could be interpreted.

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