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In 1 Samuel 30, the Amalekites overtake the Israelites and capture all the wives and children and everyone is in a state of mourning. Notice the great distress David is in:
"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God."

When everything and everyone is against us, can we strengthen ourselves in the Lord like David did? By the end of the chapter, David recovers all who has been captured, and all the belongings. This is how God wants to restore us who look to Him for strength

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13

Even when we have made alliances with the “enemy” for what we think is self-preservation; even when our actions cause pain and grief to others as well as ourselves—the city of Ziklag being taken, burned to the ground and everything that was in it carried off, God stills fights our “other” enemies and restores everything that has been stolen. Interestingly enough the town/city of Ziklag was not a town that should have been possessed by the Philistines, that city was part of Judah’s inheritance that had been taken from them during the time of the Judges. (See Joshua 15:21-31 for Judah’s inheritance) Therefore, God will restore all things lost by previous generations.

There is something here that I always considered just part of the narrative, the finding of the Egyptian in the desert as David and his men chased after the Amalekites. Now I see that it points to Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. They army, like the Samaritan, was on a mission. In the King James Translations the use of the words, “by chance” describes how the priest and the Levite happened upon the man left half-dead; however, the Samaritan was on a “journey.” When we are on a journey, we will meet up with the people we are called to minister to; however, when we are traveling “by chance” we will pass folk by. Meeting up with those people and ministering to them will send us down the correct road that leads to complete restoration.

Some of the men of David’s army showed mercy to this Egyptian they found in the desert. They brought him back to David, they fed him and gave him something to drink, and they restored him. That act of kindness led them to the men they were seeking. Usually armies, especially back then, were ruthless in their pursuit. If you happened to be in there way while they were on the move, their feet, horses and chariots would crush you. What happened to the Egyptian is a clear “type” of Christ’s mercy, or the Mercy of God.

The second thing I observed, and am rethinking in a different way is Saul’s suicide. I had come to think that Saul was a coward and didn’t want to suffer the pain of a lingering death, but now I’m wondering if what he did was a continuation of his rebellion to the Word of God. Samuel had told him, the night before:

Since you did not obey the LORD and did not carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this thing to you today. The LORD will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines! Tomorrow both you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand the army of Israel over to the Philistines!" (1 Samuel 28:18-19 NET.)

My thinking is this: Did Saul fall on his sword thinking that in so doing he would place his dying, and how he died, in his own hands and defy the words spoken by the prophet Samuel. Hmmm.

It is difficult for me to understand how David could align with the Philistines. In particular, the Philistines were the very enemy David had fought, killing Goliath, and ... Hey! What happened to the Philistines being slaves to the Hebrews for having killed Goliath. Wasn't that supposed to be the challenge Goliath put forth? No honor there, I guess.

Of course, I must get some perspective here, as in reading the text (what did it take us, a week?) from the time of Saul's coronation to the end of his life, I sometimes forget he was made king at age 30 and died at age 72! A whole bunch of history took place in that 42 years, didn't it?

Okay, so maybe the Philistines WERE in bondage to the Hebrews for some time, but it doesn't seem it lasted long since there seemed to be constant conflict between them and Saul.

Do you suppose David really was planning to deceive Achish? I think God was so gracious in causing David to have to turn back, and . . .

What of the gratitude of the Philistines when they learned that David and his men had recovered all the plunder? So many blanks that are not filled in, but that would probably be "a rabbit trail," huh? I mean, God told us what it was important for us to know, and sometimes I want to know specifics that really are not that pertinent at all. hmmm.

A few days ago I expressed concern about the Psalm where it said how precious to the Lord is the death of his saints, and I get a glimpse of what that could have meant when I see the utter devastation that overtook David and his men when their wives had been captured. I think it shows how very much these women meant to these men, and "how precious" it was to me to see them weeping to the point of sheer exhaustion over their wives having been kidnapped.

I wonder what ultimately happened to that Egyptian? Think he joined up with David and his men, or went back to Egypt? Or, or... or (smile; see? I want to know the "rest of the story" )

Now, why was David so generous with his plunder of the Amalekites? "27 He sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Racal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athach 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where David and his men had roamed." Had these nations shown kindness to David and his men during the time he had been pursued by Saul?

I know, I know...I have too many questions.

I have to wonder to where the Israelites fled when the Philistines conquered Saul's army and Saul and his sons died.

I always thought Hosanna meant Praise to God, and I am delighted to learn it means Save! even though it became an expression of praise.

It seems that John's text is a little different from the other gospels in that in Matthew, Mark, and Luke Jesus told his disciples: "Mt:21:2: Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me."

"Mk:11:2: And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him."

"Lk:19:30: Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither."
Does it get any better than this? "His love endures forever!" Doesn't that song resound in your ears? Praise God for songs!

Interesting that the Psalm requires WISDOM for the "path of life to lead upward,"

and indicates that the PURE are pleasing to Him,

and yet, no requirement for the widow: He keeps the widows boundaries intact.

What amazing protection God affords those who are without providers!

His love really does endure forever, doesn't it?

I find it slightly strange that it doesn't record in this reading if David had asked the Lord when he joined the army of the Philistine....yet when he wanted to pursue the Amalekites he did.Could it be possible that David didn't ask God because he knew God may say no and that would mean a confrontation between him and king Achish.If this was the case it was due to a lack of faith not outright defiance that David didn't ask God before joining the army..
Expensive oil...The accounts of this story in different gospels make me wonder....was Mary sister of Martha and Lazarus the woman that was caught in the very act of adultery?In Luke she's called a sinful the others Mary..I have not found any conclusive verse or commentary on this but if it's so then it must really show why Mary was so grateful to Jesus and why she spared no costs in her worship of Him.
God bless you all

A couple of years ago, an author signed his book for me and wrote, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." Psalm 18:8 Now this man didn't know me although he'd grown up with my dad. (It wasn't a Christian book). I wondered if he wrote this verse for everyone, if it was his favorite verse, and then didn't give it any more thought.

Yesterday, I decided that since today is my birthday, I would choose a verse from today's reading to memorize in hopes of transforming my mind. And this verse is the one that's in boldface in the OYB! Hmmm...And what the Lord seems to be trying to teach me lately is that satan first and foremost attacks us in our own minds, it's a spiritual battle, and that being a Christian means being in an ongoing fight. And lately, I've seen how I depend too much on other people, and this is how satan can most easily render me useless to my own side. And I am not paying good enough attention to what the Lord is trying to tell me !!! Lord, help me to remember this.

Mike, I have a whole different take on 1 Samuel 29. Let’s look at the background up to this point. Saul was searching out David and his men wherever they went. They could not put down permanent roots because Saul was determined to kill David and when he did he would have killed his men also. The Israelites and the Philistines were enemies and constantly at war with each other. However, it was the Philistines that gave David and his band of 600 men shelter. Achish, king of Gath, not only gave them shelter, he even gave them their own land in Ziklag so that they could raise their families and flocks in peace. I’m of the opinion that David would have fought with King Achish and the Philistines against the Israelites that had been trying to kill him out of gratitude to Achish for all that he had done for David and his men.

However, God knew that David and his men were needed back in Ziklag immediately because in Chapter 30 we learn the Amalekites had raided Ziklag in their absence and burned the town and taken captive the women and all who were in it both young and old. If David had not returned immediately the women would have been defiled and the children disbursed among the Amalekites as slaves. As it was, Achish made him return home and with God’s blessings he and his men rescued not only the women and children, all who were young and old, but also the plunder the Amalekites had stolen from David and his men. In addition, they also took for themselves property that belonged originally to the Amalekites.

I am of the opinion that this is another case where God sometimes closes one door in our life and opens another door in its place. I feel that as Christians we will all face a door that shuts in our lives and experience a door opened in its place, which will lead us in a different direction. I think this was God’s way of using David where he was most needed at that time and using us where we are most needed today. Praise the Lord for being the doorkeeper of all that believe in Him!

God Bless!

A comment on John 12:6 There has been a lot of discussion on whether Judas would have a place in Heaven for doing God’s will and betraying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I think Jesus, himself, answered that when he said in Matthew 26:24 “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

John 12:6 gives us an insight into the character of Judas that is seldom brought up when discussing Judas. Here we learn that Judas was a dishonorable man, a thief, even before he betrayed Christ. He stole money that belonged to Jesus and the disciples; he stole money that they would have not only needed for their own livelihood but also that that would have been given to the poor. Judas was a self-centered not a Christ-centered man! We have been warned to beware of wolves that come in sheep’s clothing and Judas was one of these men. We read all the time about evangelist who steal from their congregations and workers in churches that perform unchristian acts. It is they that get the publicity when they are caught but it is the honorable in the churches that will get their reward when Christ returns! Praise the Lord!

God Bless!

But David found strength in the LORD his God.
Finally David realized that he may make plans but ultimately God has the last say.Here he was away from his people,a refugee in a pagan nation,he even thought to join their army to earn points.....Had he asked God then,no.
Here we see the Lord's enduring mercy even when we stray,even when we take wrong turns in our lives...sometimes He brings about a burning bush to get our attention,other times He allows disaster.David's men were murmuring,I guess he knew his crowd pretty well,they were the misfits of the society,the outlawed...who else could David turn to...he remembered the One who was faithful to forgive when we repent,David called out to the Lord and the Lord didn't turn away,nor did the Lord remind him of his past mistakes...True,it is better to trust the Lord than to put your trust in men....
Many times where Mary appears,there's also talk about Martha...but Mary was the one whose love for Jesus was shown in everything she did...She sat down to listen when He spoke,when Lazarus died,Martha was around Jesus but he sent for Mary..Did she listen so closely to His words that she knew that He was going to die....did she realise that she was annointing Him for His burial,the disciples didn't get it...did she?I can't help sitting at the feet of Jesus,she may have learnt something that the others missed....just my musings.She was a true worshipper,she gave something that cost her,she didn't care about the murmurings that went on while she washed Jesus feet...nothing was going to stop her from worshipping her Lord.
The jews planned to kill both Jesus and Lazarus,these were people who were supposed to have kept the Torah not just learn it...The word of God was given to them,but they ignored it,added what suited them,ignored the rest...small wonder they didn't see just how close their salvation was...How many christians today read the bible,how much more know it....the people who planned to kill Jesus knew the word,they had head knowledge of the word,yet they lived in darkness.....what happens to those who don't know the Lord's commandments,His ways...they have a form of godliness...yet.....
May the Lord have mercy on us all,may He draw us closer to His word not just to read and interprete it as we have been taught by men who in turn have been taught wronlgy by other men...May we allow the Teacher show us where we go wrong,lead us on the right path.
God bless you all

I pray daily for God's wisdom and knowledge, I hope I am on the path to the wise. I am watching and waiting as He says for us to do and I study to show myself approved unto God. I can't imagine my life without the Lord. I have no other I would choose to seek counsel or trust without doubt. I know others have let me down in the past and will in the future, it is the way of man, but I don't have to allow it to stop me from fullfilling God's will in my life. If David was a man after God's own heart with all he did in his life, surely I can see my way to follow God and know I too am in His favor.

********** ... but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. **************

Times "greatly distressed", it may seem "ridiculous" to all--- in my life .....
to follow pattern that God gives as TRUTH, to be one "after His own heart".
I choose this
and ask grace & mercy & guidance that i not take matters into my own hands,
and not be led by my own thoughts & feelings.
I've chosen to be encouraged in the Lord. And diligently seek this; w/ much prayer.

i start with the "Life Application Bible" for daily readings. It has study notes and want to share with you---- those at the close of the 1st Samuel chapter. They got me searching back for examples of David.

The notes below-

Saul faced death the same way he faced life. He took matters into his own hands without thinking of God or asking for His guidance. If our lives aren't the way we would like them to be now, we can't assume that change will come more easily later. WHEN NEARING DEATH, WE WILL RESPOND TO GOD THE SAME WAY WE HAVE BEEN RESPONDING ALL ALONG.
(emphasis mine) Coming face to face with death only shows us what we are really like. How do you want to face death? Start facing life that way now.

Consider the difference between the last judge of Israel and its first king. Saul, the king, was characterized by inconsistency, disobedience, and self-will. (shameful to say, but me)
He did not have a heart for God. Samuel, the judge, was charachterized by consistency, obedience, and a deep desire for God's Will. He had a genuine desire for God. (Lord willing, He is my advocate drawing me there!)

Saul's death was also the death of an ideal- Israel could no longer believe that having a king like the other nations would solve all their troubles. The real problem was not form of government, but a sinful king. SAUL TRIED TO PLEASE GOD BY SPURTS OF RELIGIOSITY, BUT REAL SPIRITUALITY TAKES A LIFETIME OF CONSISTENT
**************** OBEDIENCE ******************
(emphasis mine)

one one top of the other.
Like a brick, each obedient act is small in itself, but in time
the acts will pile up and a
will be built- a great defense against temptation.

Shared to bless ya'll.
Of all study notes-
these encouraged me the most.
Have a grrrr 8 week and
grace be with you to keep on keepin on diligently- in TRUTH!
your sister in Christ Jesus
our Lord & Saviour
~ susanne

Is it possible that the closer we get to Jesus, the more the Enemy might come up against us in various ways? ~ Ohhhhhhh yes!!! I especially experience this right before a breakthrough or right after a breakthrough. The enemy will try to get us off track, I don't really understand why he bothers though, I mean, he lost the battle!!! I guess, he figures that he has lost already he has nothing to lose. I don't know what he thinks. But he won't get me away from God, no way!!! Never!!! He has many many many ways to come up against us ... but he can't harm me!!! Really, no more!!! We had such great awakening/revival/healingservices the past days and I'm on fire for the Lord!!! If I compare my life now, to last year around this time (3 months before I was reborn), the difference is huge!!! He has saved me in so many ways! I am truly reborn! I'm still Mae, but I'm a totally different person! Sounds weird, eh? But I'm sure you know what I mean!

Psalm 118:8 touched me really deeply:
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in people.
Might people, on occasion, let you down? Obviously, we know the answer to this one. People will let us down. Even our closest friends and family at some point will let us down. ~ Since my rebirth I slowly get to know who my real friends are. I've lost a bunch of "friends" cause of my relationship with the Lord. Even a couple of relatives who I was close to have turn their back to me because I'm with God. However, I don't feel like they left me, but they cannot stand the truth. God's Word, the truth. They say I'm diving too deep in 'religion'. Doing all kinds of weird things (such as: talking in tongues, raising my hands to the Lord when I sing, praise Him all out loud ... I know, not weird to us), they think I follow the crowd and might loose my identity ... big mistake!!!! I don't follow a crowd! I follow Jesus!!! I'm not losing my identity, I'm getting back my true identity! I gave my life to the Lord, He's shaping and sharpening me and my heart, that will give me back my true identity. But I guess that's something their minds cannot comprehend ... I don't know. I'm walking the path of the wise, eh????? Thank you, Lord!!!!

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