1 Samuel 26:1-28:25 + John 11:1-54 + Psalm 117:1-2 + Proverbs 15:22-23
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Old Testament - In First Samuel 26 David completes the 3 "tests" of obedience, as discussed in yesterday's post, by once again not killing Saul when he had the opportunity. Verses 9 through 11 again show David's character when he and Abishai had snuck into Saul's camp and Abishai offered to kill Saul - ""No!" David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD's anointed one? Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die in battle or of old age. But the LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But I'll tell you what--we'll take his spear and his jug of water and then get out of here!""
Interesting... in First Samuel 28 Saul bans mediums - wise - and then becomes desperate for one - unwise... The medium seems to get quite freaked out that she has called up Samuel. Commentaries suggest that she is used to calling up satanic / demonic forces. She (possibly) connected to Samuel somehow here and was freaked out by it. And Samuel tells Saul exactly what he probably knows in his heart. God has left him - a long time ago - because of his disobedience. Consulting a medium is just one more disobedient act in a string of them. I pray that no one reading this consults mediums or does tarot cards or gets into palm readings or any of that garbage. It is spiritually dangerous and risky to get into any of that. Unfortunately, I know that things like "tarot card reading parties" are somewhat popular today. I have been invited to them and have not gone - and told the hosts why I was not attending. Please avoid this spiritually risky stuff. It is no joke dangerous. Below is a painting by Benjamin West from the year 1777 titled "Saul and the Witch of Endor":
Bible.org's commentary on today's First Samuel readings titled "The Second Time Around" is at this link. Commentary titled "One Step Forward, and Two Backward" is at this link and commentary titled "Finding God's Will, Any "Witch" Way You Can" is at this link.
New Testament - Today in John chapter 11 verse 35 we read the shortest verse in the Bible – “Jesus wept.” Though this may be the shortest verse, I do not believe it is small in meaning. What does it say to you that Jesus wept? What does it mean to you that Jesus wept? I love this verse because to me it shows Jesus’ humanity (while at the same time he is divine). During his time living as a man on earth, Jesus experienced the full range of emotions that you and I experience today. Jesus was tempted. (though, unlike us, he did not give into temptation and sin ever) Jesus was joyful. Jesus was angry. Jesus loved. Jesus wept. Knowing this about Jesus, does this help you to realize that you can approach Jesus with absolutely any situation in your life that you might be struggling with? Do you believe that Jesus will understand you if you are weeping? Do you believe that Jesus will rejoice with you when you are rejoicing? I do. “Jesus wept” says so much to me about who Jesus was, is, and forever will be. Jesus wept.
Bible.org's commentary on today's John chapter 11 readings titled "Dealing with Death" is at this link and "The Raising of Lazarus" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the Psalms - and the shortest chapter in the entire Bible. This Psalm is said to basically be one long Alleluia. :) Actually verse 1 has a very important message - "Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth." This demonstrates that God was very interested in the salvation of the Gentiles and all the nations in the Old Testament. And not just in the New Testament as we get to the book of Acts. This was part of the plan all along...
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 15 verse 22 we read – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Wow. . . this verse really is convicting for me on a couple of levels. The first thought for me is God – and how often (or not often) do I pray to God for counsel on my plans for my life? Truthfully, not enough. I pray to God daily – but it’s usually pretty brief. I believe God wants us to come to him often in prayer asking for guidance and counsel on our plans. Imagine that – with God as an adviser on our plans, do you think they might succeed?? :) Secondly, I think about community – other people. And I think about, first of all, am I in community? Am I in a community of people that I know well and that know me? And if so, am I consulting this community on my life plans? Am I allowing people I know and love to advise me on my life? Think this would be wise? How about you – do you pray often to God for counsel and leading in your life plans? Are you in community with others that you know well and that know you? And do you consult this community with your plans and ask for their advice?
Worship Video: Psalm 117 reminds me of Michael W. Smith's "A New Hallelujah!"
Do you sing Alleluia? Click here and sing!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Jesus wept." John 11:35 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray in thanksgiving that Jesus wept like we weep. Pray in thanksgiving that Jesus knows pain and joy, as we do. Pray in thanksgiving that Jesus is our High Priest who like us was tempted in every way, but never sinned, and intercedes on our behalf before the Father.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: I read an interesting commentary today related to Jesus weeping in John. The commentary basically said that while we have recorded in Scriptures that Jesus wept, we don't have anywhere recorded in Scriptures that Jesus laughed. I had never thought about that before! The commentary went on to say that they are sure Jesus laughed and had a great sense of humor. But I find that fascinating to think about - that it's not recorded that Jesus laughed. Why do you suppose this is? Do you think Jesus laughed? 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.
p.s. #2 - Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.s. #3 - I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
Two men, on the outside they don’t seem to be different; however, on the inside one has a heart after God, the other’ heart is focused on himself and covered in pride. Both of these men have sin in their lives, both of these men have “missed” it; yet one repents and turns back to God the other doesn’t. One is at war with God the other is at peace. If one were to look at the entire life of both of these men, I think Saul would come up smelling like a rose, while David would be severely condemned. However, the difference can be found in the heart. David wanted to please God Saul wanted to fight Him. Saul fought to keep his name in the limelight by any means necessary; David lifted up God’s name.
Death, necromancers (the witch at Endor), familiar spirits and mediums.
I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and go back and read Jesus’ reply to the Sadducees (Sad-to-sees) who gave Jesus that crazy scenario about the woman who married and outlived seven brothers (Matthew 22:23-29; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40). The bottom line is this, those that die a physical death, in Christ even before Christ physically came upon the earth (Samuel et all) are not dead in God’s sight.
But Jesus replied to them, You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor God's power. For in the resurrected state neither do [men] marry nor are [women] given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. But as to the resurrection of the dead--have you never read what was said to you by God, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead but of the living! [Exod. 3:6.] (Matthew 22:29-32 AMP)
As far as man is concerned now, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are long dead but Jesus reminds us that God spoke of them as being in the hear and now. God said I am the God of … Not I was the God …. We, I believe, in my humble opinion have the wrong understanding of what death is. Cessation of life is not death; being removed from the presence of God is death. We are made in the image of God and God is Spirit not flesh. Who we are, is not who and what we are in “flesh” but in spirit. Our spirits our born again, not our flesh. Our flesh will be redeemed and put back together again in a form that will be incorruptible, like Jesus’, when Jesus comes again.
The witch/medium of Endor had no plans or inclination of bring up Samuel that is why she screamed. She wasn’t expecting the real Samuel. Remember Jesus’ story of Lazarus and the rich man? (Luke 16:19-31). Each of them recognized each other, Abraham, Lazarus and the rich man AFTER DEATH but they were not dead; however, the Rich Man had a location problem, he was in the wrong location removed from the Presence of God. .
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna). (Matthew 10:28 AMP)
When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw at the foot of the altar the souls of those whose lives had been sacrificed for [adhering to] the Word of God and for the testimony they had borne. They cried in a loud voice, O [Sovereign] Lord, holy and true, how long now before You will sit in judgment and avenge our blood upon those who dwell on the earth? [Gen. 4:10; Ps. 79:5; Zech. 1:12.] Then they were each given a long and flowing and festive white robe and told to rest and wait patiently a little while longer, until the number should be complete of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-11 AMP)
Also something to think about, if death, physical death is so atrocious for the believer, why would Samuel be upset to be called back into the land of the physical living. He said that they had disturbed him.
This is not what I had initially decided to focus on, but reading the posts led me down this path.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Someone, I’m sorry I can’t remember who, asked about Jesus being the first raised from the dead when others, like Lazarus in the John reading had been brought back to life. Well again, we need to be clear on what “death” Jesus is talking about. Yes, Jesus brought back people from the dead, and by the way so did the prophets Elijah and Elisha; however, all those folks died a physical death, again. Jesus was the only one who came back to physical life but will NEVER die a physical death again. Those who are His will also be clothed with a body that will be eternal and incorruptible when He returns.
Oops! I forgot about the witches; familiar spirits and mediums.
Each of these things deal with death, something that well, scares us to death. We don’t know what is on the other side; however, God has told us what He has prepared for us but He left no solid proof. That is why we operate by faith. Witches, familiar spirits and mediums allege to tell us what God won’t. This is the same thing that happened in the Garden, “Did God say …?” We are enticed into this realm of demonic activity because deep down inside we believe God is keeping us in the dark, He’s pulling a fast one. It’s not demonic because it’s spooky and eerie; it is demonic because it is in the realm of Satan. I think I stated this before, There are only two Kingdoms; The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Satan. Everything in the Kingdom of Satan is demonic. In the Kingdom of God, Jesus is Lord; In the kingdom of Satan, Satan isn’t Lord—self is Lord.
Here is something to think about, what is a medium. It is someone who alleges to stand between the living and the dead. The problem is that anyone who operates in these modes are DEAD, spiritually dead. If Believers, God’s folk—His people, go to one of these to find out “stuff,” they are talking to dead folk (spiritually dead) about well dead folk (physically dead and possibly spiritually dead also). There is someone who stands between the living and the dead and it ain’t no medium it is Jesus Christ.
Familiar spirits are those demonic spirits that have hung around your family, region, country through the ages and know everything about you. That’s why they are familiar and you are comfortable with them being around. If someone or something gives you a “word” you best know how that “word” lines up with the Word. We are suppose to walk by faith not by our senses, feelings and emotions.
Witches are just necromancers; folks hanging around dead stuff and dead folk. Why if Jesus is the Truth and the Life, why would we want to rub shoulders and elbows with death when we have Life?
And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you, Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? (Isaiah 8:19 AMP)
What we are really concerned about our loved ones who we may or may not see in heaven, bottom line. But guess what, when you get to heaven, if those folks are saved you will see them; if not, you won’t remember. There will be no tears shed in heaven.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | May 19, 2023 at 09:54 PM