Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15: 1 Samuel 17 – 18:4; Psalm 111; Proverbs 15:11; John 8:21-30



Overview

            1 Samuel: The Philistines assembled their army to attack Israel’s army. The giant, Goliath, came out and taunted the Israeli army calling for a one-on-one fight with him. Whoever was killed, his people would serve the victor’s people. Saul and his men were afraid.
            Jesse sent David with supplies to his brothers who were in the army. When he arrived, Goliath came out again and defied Israel. David asked what would be done for a person who killed Goliath. David learned that Saul would enrich the person, give him his daughter, and let his family be tax free.
            David’s brother was angry with him thinking he came only to watch the battle. But Saul sent for David. David explained how he had killed a lion and a bear and God would give Goliath into his hand. Saul clothed David in his armor but it didn’t fit, so David went out against Goliath with a sling and rocks. He killed Goliath then cut off his head with his own sword. The Philistines fled and Israel pursued them. David took the head to Jerusalem and kept Goliath’s armor.
            Saul found out who David was and Saul took him into his service. Saul’s son Jonathan and David became best friends forever. Jonathan gave David his robe and his armor.
            Psalm: The Psalmist praises the Lord and promises to do so openly. He does this because of the Lord’s character and his provision for his people. People who delight in his works ponder them because he has done them to be remembered. His works and character are steadfast forever. The Lord also provides redemption and keeps his covenant forever. Fearing the Lord is the start of wisdom and following his principles displays good understanding.
            Proverbs: God knows what is happening in hell and even in our hearts.
            John: Jesus again tells the Pharisees he is going away. They will look for him but die in their sins so that they can’t come where he is going. The Pharisees wonder if Jesus is going to commit suicide. Jesus explains more telling them that they will die in their sins because they don’t believe in him. Jesus says he has much about them to judge. The Father who sent Jesus is true and Jesus tells what he has heard from the Father. They still don’t understand. So, Jesus tells them they will lift up the Son of Man and then know he is Jesus. Jesus doesn’t do anything on his own authority but on the Fathers. He always does what is pleasing to the Father. Many believed him.

What Stood Out

            1 Samuel: “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Sam 17:45).
            Psalm: “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them” (Ps 111:2 NIV).
            Proverbs: “Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord — how much more the hearts of men” (Prov 15:11 NIV).
            John: “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

Insight

            1 Samuel: The contrast between Saul and David is emphasized in the account of David defeating Goliath. Saul and his men were afraid. They were looking on the outward circumstances that seemed impossible for them. Saul had already seen the way the Lord had helped him in previous battles but his one giant was keeping him from trusting God. His prior disobedience resulted in the Spirit leaving him and he was on his own. In his own power, he was frightened and unable to do anything.
            David immediately recognized the reality of the situation. Goliath was defying God’s army. He was looking at the circumstance from a God-perspective and not a human one. Because the Spirit had come upon him, he had the faith to do battle with Goliath. He knew that this was going to bring glory to God and the whole earth would know that God is in Israel.
            We should face all out circumstances with the same God-perspective. Whether it is times of hardship or ease, we should be conducting our lives to glorify God. We must do this by faith because, without faith, it is impossible to please him (Heb 11:6).
            Psalm: Everything the Lord has done, whether it is in the Old Testament, the New and since the Bible has been written are things what we should remember. If we delight in God then we should delight and ponder or study what he has done. As we do, we will learn about his character, how holy and awesome he is. We will gain understanding about his provision for us, especially in our redemption from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then we should respond in open praise before all people. Then the whole earth will know that Jesus is God and salvation comes from no one else.
            Proverbs: The Lord is omniscient. The devil may make plans to battle the Lord, but God knows it even before he plans it. If God knows this about the devil, how much more does he know what is in our hearts. That’s the reason we need to trust Jesus for our salvation. What lies in our hearts is death and destruction until we are saved. Even then, we still have propensity to sin so we need to remember he know us and we can call upon him at any time for help to avoid sin.
            John: Until the Lord opens a person’s spiritual eyes, he simply can’t understand the basics of the Gospel. Some key elements are presented in this short discourse between Jesus and some Pharisees. The very first thing we must understand is that we are sinners and dying in our sins is an eternal death. We can’t be with Jesus after death if we are still in our sins. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus will die in his sins.
            That not only makes it imperative that we believe but that we tell others about Jesus. This one passage doesn’t tell the whole story because believing in Jesus is more than believing he once walked he earth. It is believing all that he taught about himself, including his being God and his sacrificial death to take away the sins of the world. It includes believing that he is raised from the dead, which proves our sins have been forgiven when we turn to him in faith and repentance.

Application

            I need to think more about the Lord’s great works. Doing that helps me to look at all circumstances from a God-perspective instead of a human one. Everything is much clearer that way and there is no need to be afraid of anything.

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