1 Samuel 14:1-52 ~ John 7:31-53 ~ Psalm 109:1-31 ~ Proverbs 15:5-7
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Old Testament - Interesting First Samuel readings today! Jonathan was quite brave going to the Philistine camp like he did. Verse 6 was impressive: "Jonathan said to his armor bearer. "Perhaps the LORD will help us, for nothing can hinder the LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!"" Fortunately God helped him with an earthquake and what looked to be some unique strength in verse 13: "So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell back as Jonathan and his armor bearer killed them right and left."
Then, Saul seems to be having some power & ego & oath issues in today's readings... First he makes and oath that the men cannot eat until evening - not so wise when in the midst of battle. Then he says in verse 39 - "I vow by the name of the LORD who rescued Israel that the sinner will surely die, even if it is my own son Jonathan!"" Well... it was Jonathan. Fortunately the people were smarter than Saul and saved Jonathan. Below is a painting by the artist C.F. Vos of Saul on this day of battle in today's readings:
Bible.org's commentary on our First Samuel readings today titled "Saul Fights the Philistines" is at this link.
New Testament - John chapter 7 verses 37 & 38 are powerful verses for each of us to meditate upon - ""Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow from the heart of those who believe in me." Wow... these are powerful words from Jesus. And so true. I know that I have been very spiritually thirsty in my life in the past and Jesus has most certainly quenched that thirst in my life. And I do believe that rivers of living water flow from the heart of those that believe in Jesus. This is the Holy Spirit, which indwells within us when we are in relationship with God through Jesus. This living water flowing from our hearts - the Holy Spirit - is an intriguing topic. I know different folks experience the Holy Spirit in different ways. I do hope that each of us do tangibly experience the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives each and every day. I do know there are some days where I really sense and experience the Holy Spirit in my heart and life. And there are some days where I may not - but I don't believe the Holy Spirit has departed. It's more likely that I'm just caught up in the hustle / bustle of this life and focused on the flesh / world and not the Spirit. Do you believe that rivers of living water will flow from the heart of those that believe in Jesus? Are you thirsty?
Interesting to see Nicodemus come up in today's readings in verses 50 & 51 - "Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, then spoke up. "Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?" he asked." Think Jesus' conversations with Nicodemus in John chapter 3 changed Nicodemus' life forever? Remember that John 3:16 is in that chapter - imagine being the person actually hearing that from Jesus himself! Oh my goodness... hard to imagine. I gotta believe that Nicodemus - a Pharisee - was now a Believer... Not surprising that he's defending Jesus in these verses today. Below is a beautiful painting by artist John La Farge from the year 1880 recalling recalling the "Visit of Nicodemus to Christ" from John 3:
Bible.org's commentary on today's (and yesterday's) John chapter 7 readings titled "Jesus in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 109 verse 4 in the NIV we read these words of David – “I am a man of prayer.” Wow. I like that. And I’m not sure I can honestly say that about myself right now. Sure, I will roll out of bed and offer up some prayers. Yeah, I’ll try to say a prayer before meals. And yes, I’ll pray briefly before going to sleep. Oh yeah, maybe in church once a week too I’ll offer up some prayers. But, for me to say “I am a person of prayer” would probably not be truthful. Ouch. Don’t worry – I’m not beating myself up too badly over it. But - if I really want to realize that God is holy and a Rock and if I really want to love God and other people, then I have a hunch that being a person of prayer is a critical part of the equation. I don’t think that prayer is so much talking to God as it is really slowing down and listening to God. Sure, it’s a conversation, but I think in our fast pace world today we would do well to really slow down in prayer and listen to God. Listen for that still small voice within our hearts leading us to God’s kingdom and glory and peace. It’s there. I think it takes prayer to really hear it oftentimes. How about you? Are you a person of prayer? Do you want to be a person of prayer? When you pray, do you talk more or listen more to God? Do you want to live your life as a person of prayer?
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 109 titled "A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked" is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 15 verse 5 today makes me think about the godly discipline our Heavenly Father gives us... - "Only a fool despises a parent's discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise."
Worship God: Much of today's readings reminded me of the song "We Fall Down." (we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus) Here's Chris Tomlin's version of this song:
Do you fall down at the feet of Jesus? Click here and Fall!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV
Love Your Neighbor: Teen Challenge
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Are you learning from God's discipline of you? Or, do you despise God's discipline at times? Which is the better road to go? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!