I Samuel 24: 1—25: 44 (Sunday) and 26: 1—28: 25 (today)
In chapter 24 David gives us an example of what it looks like when you don’t do what is right in your own eyes, but you honor the Lord. David shows us that he knows he is king but also knows that God puts authorities in place, and it is our job to submit to them. He will make David the official king when David has been trained. We as humans are asking for trouble when we take a position, we think God has given us, by stepping over the bodies of the one God had anointed to occupy that position until we are ready. Ask me how I know. If you think God has given you something, the best way to honor God is to wait until He officially gives it to you. If He gave you the desire, He will carry it out too.
Nabal has apparently never read Proverbs. (That is a joke, because proverbs had not been written yet.) But if he had, maybe he would have made and attempt to curb that bad temper. Abigail shows us that you must follow your husband, but you must not follow him into sin. She shows some significant bravery here. Knowing how ill-tempered he is, she serves David anyway. She is the example of how to serve the Lord despite leadership that does not honor him. She accepts the blame when she does have to, and honors David. What strikes me is that this woman had the influence over the situation to encourage or stop a war. She chose to stop a war. Nabal reaps what he sowed and dies of a heart attack. I don’t love that David takes her to add to his wife collection. Mostly because God does not ordain multiple wives. It was always supposed to be one man and one woman. But I can get behind the fact that she is supported and protected by David because of her character. (ps. Multiple wife situations are never celebrated in the bible. They always illustrate strife in the home life. Much like when a married person today brings another person into the relationship by way of an affair, porn or lust.)
In today’s reading David denies his desire again and allows Saul to live even though it would have been so easy to kill him. God even put Saul into a deep sleep! This is a faith test though. God does not want a king on the throne who will do what is right in his own eyes. This process is teaching David to wait patiently. He is so patient that he actually settles in the Philistine territory and works for the king to expand his land. It will be very interesting to see what will happen when they go to war with Israel. What side will David be on?
Good call Saul strikes again. This time he goes to a medium. Everyone in the room is so shocked by the fact that this woman actually produced a spirit that we can assume all she ever has done before is drum up some evil spirits only too happy to put on show that will distract people from who God really is. They all are instantly aware that God in his mercy has allowed Saul one more conversation with Samuel. This is just what Saul needed because from now on he is resigned to the fact that the kingdom does not belong to him.
John 10: 22-42 (Sunday) and 11: 1-54 (today)
If you are close to my age maybe you are like me and every time you see the word Hanukkah you immediately see Adam Sandler singing “Hanukkah is….the festival of lights. Instead of one day of presets we have 8 crazy nights….” I realize this is not the most spiritual of thoughts, but these are the memories I have to deal with. Memorize scripture? Oh, I am sorry Lord, my synapses are taken up by the entire Hanukkah song. But I digress.
How much more plainly can Jesus say he is the Messiah? They call him blasphemous for saying He is claiming to be God. It is a whole circular argument kind of situation! He is not saying that all the prophets were gods like the pantheon of Greco-Roman gods, He is saying they all said they were “of God” meaning they were sent by God. Jesus can’t win with them because they are not his sheep. Jesus says if you want to do the work of God, simply believe in what Jesus is doing right before your eyes. That is good news for his sheep!
My favorite part of the Lazarus story is that Martha says, “The smell will be terrible!” I love that Jesus waited enough time to leave no doubt that Lazarus was actually dead, not just mostly dead. Here is the really good news. Those who believe in Jesus, when their bodies on earth die, we can consider them only sleeping because this ain’t the end for us folks. There is so much more than just life and death on earth. The Pharisee’s can’t get over themselves long enough to realize Jesus just raised someone from the dead! Their kingdom is crumbling and instead of calling for the Savior they are calling for a quick fix to sure up their house of cards.
Psalms 116 and 117
Make a note of what stands out to you in the Psalms because I am so far over my word count for the day!
Proverbs 15: 20-23
Read the Proverbs so you don’t end up like Nabal!!!