1 Samuel 12:1-13:23 + John 7:1-30 + Psalm 108:1-13 + Proverbs 15:4
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Old Testament - I like First Samuel 12 verse 7 today when Samuel says this to the Israelites: "Now stand here quietly before the LORD as I remind you of all the great things the LORD has done for you and your ancestors" Just like the Israelites needed reminding all the great things God has done, we need reminding today as well. We are a forgetful people. I honestly believe reading God's Word, the Bible, each day is a great way to "remember" all that God has done for each of us and our spiritual ancestors. I know that I need this daily reminder... How about you?
Verse 23 is intriguing when Samuel says - "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right." It sounds like if Samuel stopped his prayers for the Israelites, he would be sinning. Interesting. What about us today? Does God call us at times to pray for others? And if we do not respond to this call and do not pray for others, are we sinning? Interesting food for thought. I guess it's just a safer bet to continue praying for others! :)
In 1 Samuel 13 we see Saul's disobedience toward God, through his impatience. I wonder again about us today - are we patient people? Or are we impatient? Do we wait on God when things are not moving as quickly as we would like them to...? Should we be waiting on God or trying to hurry things up like Saul did...? Below is a painting by artist Guye Rowe of Samuel rebuking Saul from today's readings:
Bible.org's commentary on our First Samuel readings today titled "Renewing the Kingdom" is at this link and commentary titled "Saul Sacrifices His Kingdom" is at this link.
New Testament - Hmmm... I found John chapter 7 verse 12 intriguing today as it said this about Jesus - "There was a lot of discussion about him among the crowds. Some said, "He's a wonderful man," while others said, "He's nothing but a fraud, deceiving the people."" Does this verse sound familiar to you at all? Maybe like something we would hear about Jesus or Christianity in our modern world today? "Jesus & Christianity is wonderful. Jesus & Christianity is nothing but a fraud, deceiving people." Times really have not changed much have they?
Jesus' words in verse 17 are powerful - "Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own." I like that - if we want to do the will of God, we will know whether Jesus' teaching is from God or is his own. Do you want to do the will of God? When you read Jesus' teachings in John, do you know that his teaching is from God?
I will say this - I am so transformed when I read Jesus' words in the Gospel of John. I don't know what it is about this Gospel.... but for some reason the words speak to me at a deep spiritual level. Certainly when I read the words of Jesus in the other Gospels, or when I read any other words in the Bible, I know they are true words and I know they are feeding me spiritually. But... there's something about the Gospel of John. It is such a blessing to me. It makes me want to cry with joy! Really...
Bible.org's commentary on John chapter 7 readings today titled "Jesus in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles" is at this link.
Psalms - I love Psalm 108 verse 1 today: "My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my soul!" Is your heart confident in God? Do you sing God's praises? Is your soul awake? Or does your soul need a wake up call? Where do you suppose you can find that wake up call for your soul? The Bible? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? God? Will you answer the call today? Will your soul wake up?
Proverbs - I also love Proverbs 15 verse 4 today - "Gentle words bring life and health."
Worship Video: John 7:12 reminded me of the Casting Crowns song "Every Man:"
Do you believe there is hope for every man (and woman)? Click here for Hope!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." Proverbs 15:4 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your tongue produces gentle word to others in your life - words that are a tree of life. Pray that you would never speak with a deceitful tongue, which crushes the spirit of others.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on our Proverb today, do you bring life and health to those around you each day with gentle words? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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1 Samuel 12:1-13:23
It appears to me that Samuel is asking Israel to examine his character so that they can judge the integrity of his ministry to them and the truth of his words. Since a false witness breathes out lies, if Israel finds anything amiss in his dealings with them, then what he is about to tell them has no weight as truth.
Samuel rehearses in all of Israel’s hearing how God has dealt with them and delivered them even when they are unfaithful to God. Even in their unfaithfulness, God gives them their hearts’ desire, Saul. In translations other than the NLT you can clearly see the play-on-words God uses to describe their newly appointed king and Israel’s relationship with him, the one that God picked. Remember that in Hebrew Saul means “Desired.”
13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the LORD has set a king over you. (NKJ)
God has set Saul over them as king, but Israel picked him! So remember as we read on about Saul, what they wanted they got. Saul’s character reflects the desire of Israel’s heart. The Apostle Paul states this very thing in the first chapter of the Book of Romans (24).
Some have debated and searched for understanding of the first verse of chapter 13, what is that number and what does it mean. In my English translation of the Jewish Bible, The Tanakh, it says two years. In a conversation I had with a Jewish scholar about this uncertainty we kind of came to an interesting possibility about this verse. There are two types of leadership, spiritual, one appointed by God, and political, one appointed by man. Saul’s reign as king of Israel in the eyes of God was two years; however his political leadership over Israel was 42 years.
When we come to the thirteenth verse of this chapter, we find this,
13 "How foolish!" Samuel exclaimed. "You have disobeyed the command of the LORD your God. Had you obeyed, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your dynasty must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already chosen him to be king over his people, for you have not obeyed the LORD's command."
Note that this Word doesn’t say that the Lord will choose a king but that he has already chosen one!
There is a political agenda then there is God’s. Which one will we as Christians pursue, God’s or ours?
There are a lot of things to chew on in this section of John, but I am drawn to three things near the end of our reading.
1) The Religious Leaders, and we do too; use an unequal form of “judging.” They and we judge ourselves by our intentions but we judge others by their behavior. Jesus brings to them their objections about Him healing on the Sabbath when they “work” on that same day to adhere to the Law of Moses (note Jesus didn’t say God’s law) to do circumcision. If they consider what Jesus did, heal, work then what they do is also work. (21-24)
2) They question whether or not Jesus could be the Messiah because no one is bothering him even though they are aware a “hit” has been placed on his life. Has leadership accepted Him? If they have maybe He is. Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”
3) In the beginning of the chapter we read that Jesus stayed in Galilee, going from village to village staying out of Judea because leadership was looking to kill Him, yet in the thirtieth verse it states:
30 …but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.
God’s will is always played out in the fullness of time.
Saul needed the 411 of this chapter of Psalms. He could have used that 13th verse,
With God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.
Life and death is in our tongues.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | May 11, 2023 at 07:47 PM