Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19: 1 Samuel 24 – 25; Psalm 116; Proverbs 15:20-21; John 10:22-42



Overview

            1 Samuel: Saul continues to pursue David. Saul goes into a cave to relieve himself where David and his men are hiding. David’s men encourage him to kill Saul saying the Lord has delivered him. But David says he will not kill the Lord’s anointed. However, he does cut of a corner of his robe. When Saul leaves, David follows and calls to him and points out that he could have killed him. Since he didn’t, it proves the allegations against him are lies. He also asks God to judge between them.
            Saul then admits David is more righteous and will become king over Israel. He asks David not to cut off his offspring when he does. David swears he will not.
            Samuel died and all Israel mourned for him. David continued living in the wilderness.
            A rich man, Nabal, had sheep in the same area. When he was shearing his sheep, David sent men to ask for provisions for protecting his sheep and shepherds. Nabal was a nasty man and refused. David and his men prepared to wipe out Nabal and all that belonged to him.
            Abigail, Nabal’s wife heard about Nabal’s rebuff and loaded up a lot of provisions and took them to David. When they met, Abigail blamed herself for not seen the men David sent. She presented her gifts and asked David to spare Nabal. She said David will surely become king and defeat all his enemies, but by sparing Nabal, he will not have a guilty conscious for killing without cause.
            David blesses Abigail for keeping him from avenging himself. He thanks God for sending Abigail. David goes back sparing Nabal. Abigail goes home and God kills Nabal.
            When David hears that Nabal is dead, he asks Abigail to marry him. He also takes Ahinoam as a wife. Saul gives his wife, Michal, to another man.
            Psalm: The Psalmist says he loves the Lord and then explains why. He was about to die when he called on the Lord and he was saved from his suffering. The Lord is righteous and merciful, he takes care of simpletons and those brought low. The Lord delivered him from death, tears, and stumbling. He walks in the land of the living. He recognizes that everyone is a liar and there is no way he can repay the Lord. However, he will proclaim salvation and pay his vows. Even if he were to die, he is still in the Lord’s hand and he cares. His bonds ae loosed and he will publicly thank the lord with sacrifice and vows.
            Proverbs: A wise person, one who has understanding is a joy to his father. A fool takes joy in his ways and even despises his mother.
            John: Months later, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukah). The Jews asked him to tell them plainly if he was the Christ or not. He said he did tell them and the miracles tell them but they don’t believe because they aren’t his sheep. He knows his sheep, they listen and follow. He gives them eternal life and no one can take it away because they are in his hand and the Father’s hand. He and the Father are one.
            They start to stone him but he asks for which miracle they are stoning him. They say it is because he claims to be God. Jesus said the Scripture calls gods the ones who received the word of God. If that is true then the one the Father sent doesn’t blaspheme by saying he is God’s Son. Jesus tells them if they don’t believe him then believe the miracles so they can understand that the Father is in him and he is in the Father.
            They tried to seize him but he escaped. He then went across the Jordan where John had baptized. Many came and believed because of the miracles.

What Stood Out

            1 Samuel: “My lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord taking vengeance himself” (1 Sam 25:31).
            Psalm: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15).
            Proverbs: “A wise son makes a glad father” (Proverbs 15:20).
            John: “No one will snatch them out of my hand … no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand” (John 10:28-29).

Insight

            1 Samuel: David shows remarkable restraint by not killing Saul in the cave. However, he doesn’t show the same restraint when it comes to Nabal. He is ready to kill him and all the males in his household just because of one nasty rebuff. Saul had tried to kill David multiple time and all Nabal did was refuse to pay him back for protection. Nabal didn’t even know David had been protecting his people in the wilderness. David had respect for Saul because he was the Lord’s anointed, he had no respect for Nabal. However, the Lord protected David from his rash promise to kill Nabal by sending Abigail with provisions and some very good advice. She pointed out that killing without cause will cause grief later.
            David asked the Lord to judge between him and Saul, but he didn’t consult the Lord about Nabal. He didn’t consider that every person is put here by the Lord and the Lord is the only one that can take vengeance without guilt. It is a good thing for us to consider when we are angry with someone or circumstances aren’t going our way. The Lord is in control. He is the one who can judge impartially. When we take things into our own hands, we will only regret it later in life.
            Psalm: I’m sure the Psalmist was speaking primarily about salvation from physical death. However, this Psalm also has the metaphorical application to eternal salvation and life. The Lord preserves from stumbling (sin) and the simple. That all men are liars speaks to our need to admit our sin and come to Jesus in faith rather than in our own righteousness. When he asks, what can he give back to the Lord for his salvation, we can see that our salvation is not based on our merit. It is only on God’s mercy and nothing from ourselves. Our lives are precious to the Lord, but eventually we must all die. Our death is the door way to eternity. While it doesn’t seem to be a good thing, we can only follow Jesus through that door and it makes our death precious to the Lord.
            Proverbs: It is always good to see your kids walking with the Lord. They are a heartache when they don’t. We are commanded to teach our children and not exasperate them (Eph 6:4 NIV). However well we try to train them, we are sometimes given a fool for a child. All we can do when they are grown is to pray for them and not enable them in their folly. We need to let the Lord work in their lives even if that means bringing them to an end of themselves. I now you didn’t want to hear that, especially if you are a mother.
            John: This incident with the Jews is dramatic proof that Jesus is God and when we are saved, our salvation is secure. Not everyone is saved and that was the first thing that Jesus teaches. The Jews thought they were saved but Jesus made it clear that they were not because they were not his sheep. They didn’t believe Jesus and they wanted to kill him. That isn’t what a saved person does.
            It is easy to tell who belongs to Jesus by watching them. They do what Jesus did. They follow Jesus and live for him because they know Jesus and Jesus knows them. He holds them in his hand. The Father holds them in his hand and he is greater than all. No one can snatch us from God’s hand no matter how powerful. Some people say that we can snatch ourselves out of God’s hand, but that would mean we are greater than the Father. We can’t have it two ways. Either God is sovereign or he is not. Either he is all powerful or he is not. If he is, then we are secure in our salvation.
            People claim that Jesus never called himself God. But this is again a passage where he makes a clear claim to be God. The Jews understood exactly what he meant. He wasn’t using a figure of speech and he wasn’t simply claiming to have the same purpose as God. If that were the case then he would have explained that they misunderstood what he said. Instead he let them think that and had to escape or be stoned. That is a dramatic proof that Jesus is God.

Application

            We all like to be in control. David did and it almost cost him his reputation and integrity. I like to be in control, but I have to admit that God is really in control. Things go much smoother when I respond to difficult people or situations knowing that God is in charge.

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