Daily Encouragement

May 24 – Davidic Ethics vs. Utilitarianism

May 24
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23
John 13:31-14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32

2 Samuel 4:11 – David brings in a higher ethical standard. Instead a form of utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest number, and what could be more utilitarian than assassinating one individual to save the lives of hundreds of soldiers – we read about this in John 11:50 and will read John 18:14), David advances a Torah-based ethical system (Deuteronomy 24:16).

The City of David was immediately south of the Temple Mount. This is what it looked like in the apostle’s day. (2 Samuel 5:7)

2 Samuel 5:13 -David had been doing so well, and now he violates Deuteronomy 17:17. Thankfully he listens to God in 2 Samuel 5:19 and 2 Samuel 5:23.

2 Samuel 5:21 – David follows Moses’ pattern from 450 years ago (Exodus 32:20)

2 Samuel 6:3 – David sins again (Numbers 4:5-15), and Uzzah dies (2 Samuel 6:7) as God warned (Numbers 4:15). Strangely David is unfamiliar with Moses’ commands (2 Samuel 6:9).

John 13:34 – Moses gave 613 commandments, summarized into 10. Micah 6:8 summarized it into 3. Jesus boiled it down to two in Matthew 22:37-40. And because it is difficult to judge another’s love for God, it is best demonstrated by love for one another.

John 13:35 – From Earl Martin:

John 14:2 – A great promise, and set to music by Earl Martin. JW Pepper has a great song based on John 14:1-3 as well:

John 14:6 – Jesus is the way of life (Acts 2:28), the way of salvation (Acts 16:17), the source of instruction (Acts 18:25-26), alleged heresy (Acts 24:14), the way of peace (Romans 3:17), the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2), the way of righteousness (2 Peters 2:21).

Psalm 119:18 – A great prayer to pray before studying God’s law.

Psalm 119:23 – How should we treat the Word? Meditate therein, Delight therein (Psalm 119:24), and talk of it (Psalm 119:27).

Psalm 119:30 – From Earl Martin:

Proverbs 15:32 – Correction is never easy to take, but it saves your soul and gives understanding!

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Daily Encouragement

May 23 – Ethics & War

May 23
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30

2 Samuel 2:22 – Reading about the drama within the battle may sound a bit absurd. But an understanding of ethics comes into play. At first one may think that it’s just a matter of “doing the right thing,” but “doing the right thing” depends on one’s responsibilities. A lawyer’s job is not to determine legal guilt and punishment, his job is to represent the interest of his client, and ensure that the justice system does not become biased against the presumed guilty, and that even if his client is guilty, that the prosecution has adequately proved its case. Similarly, a soldier’s job is not to decide the relative merits of the parties in the battle, but to obey them that have the rule over him (Romans 13). Abner warned Asahel twice because while Asahel was fast, Abner was better in hand-to-hand combat. And Abner likely knew Joab was vengeful and unethical as a military commander (1 Kings 2:5).

2 Samuel 3:13 –  Is this a violation of Deuteronomy 24:4? Coffman thinks so:

Young pointed out that what David did (by taking Michal back as his wife) was against God’s law. “According to the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, David could not legitimately receive his wife back after her marriage to Paltiel.”[17] This action must therefore be reckoned among the shameful sins of this “man after God’s own heart.” There was only one way in which David was entitled to be so-called, and that lay in his absolute refusal to love and trust any other god except the Lord God. Even when condemned for his gross and lustful sins, David continued to confess his unworthiness, seek God’s forgiveness, and pledge again to walk in the paths of righteousness.

Or was it a political move?

David wanted to give himself a greater claim to Saul’s throne as his son-in-law.


2 Samuel 3:28 – While some think of war as “entirely unethical” – it is clearer to say that there are ethics of war, and as feared, Abner was murdered by Joab for effectively self-defense. Even in war, honor is the code.

John 13:1 – How touching is it that even when Jesus knew He would die – He still loved His disciples unto the end.

John 13:14 – Are we supposed to be engaged in footwashing today?

There is no indication in the New Testament, or in the Christian literature of the first three centuries, that our Lord was understood to have instituted an ordinance [feet-washing] by the acts and words under consideration [in John 13].Feet-washing was a common and needed act of hospitality in Palestine at the time, and the teaching that Christ intended to convey was the manifestation of the spirit of brotherly love in acts of humble service. . . The earliest reference to the ceremonial use of feet-washing is in the canon of the synod of Elvira (A.D. 306) where it is condemned

A Manual of Church History

Psalm 119:1 – Welcome to the longest Psalm in the Bible. Organized into 8 verse stanzas in an alphabetical (Hebrew) array, this passage is home to the richest descriptions of the Word of God in the Bible. Verses talk about the law (v.1), testimonies (v.2) ways (v.3) precepts (v.4, 5), commandments (v.6), judgments (v.7), and statutes (v.8).

Psalm 119:9 – How can we change? Heeding God’s Word, and hiding God’s Word (Psalm 119:11).

Proverbs 15:29 – A great way to make sure your prayer is heard by God is to repent.

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Daily Encouragement

May 22 – Different Types of Hearers

May 22
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalm 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28

2 Samuel 1:8 – Did the Amalekite kill Saul or did Saul kill Saul? From GotQuestions:

The clear answer from the biblical text is that Saul killed himself and that the Amalekite’s story was a fabrication. The biblical text records the story the Amalekite gave but does not affirm it as true….

This would be the correct order of events: Saul is wounded in battle and then kills himself by falling on his own sword. An Amalekite comes across his dead body and takes his crown and armlet. The next day, the Philistines find Saul’s body, behead him, strip him of his armor, send the report, and fasten his body to the wall of Beth Shan (1 Samuel 31:10).

2 Samuel 2:1 – Good things happen after a king “enquires of the LORD.”

Brooklyn Museum – The Gentiles Ask to See Jesus (Les gentils demandent à voir Jésus) – James Tissot

John 12:24-26 – Listening to Jesus must have been difficult. Fruit comes from dying. Loving life loses it. Hating life keeps it. Servants are honoured. The Eternal will die (John 12:34). The God who opened the eyes of the blind (Matthew 9:30). But He blinded the eyes of the seeing (John 12:40).

John 12:37 – Notice the different groups. The uncircumcised outsider Greeks wanting to learn (John 12:21). The Hebrew crowd who saw miracles but didn’t believe (John 12:37). The chief rulers who believed but didn’t confess (John 12:42-43). Very few fall into the category of a vocal believer.

Psalm 118:24Bob Jones Academy performed the song based on this verse:


Psalm 118:28 – A great blend of the immanence of God and the transcendence of God.

Psalm 15:28 – Interesting parallel to Proverbs 10:19.

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Daily Encouragement

May 21 – Twisted Loyalties

May 21
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 15:24-26

I Samuel 29:8 – Loyalty is good, but when the enemies of your boss are God’s people, there’s a problem. Thankfully God worked in the hearts of the Philistines to kick David out of the army (I Samuel 29:4).

I Samuel 30:9 – Thankfully David is back to talking to the LORD!

I Samuel 30:23 – David is reminding the troops, they did not get the victory by their strength, but by the LORD’s provision.

The Roman Ruins of Bet-Shean

I Samuel 31:12 – Why did the men of Jabesh-Gilead rescue the bodies of Saul and his sons? In I Samuel 11:11, Saul delivered the men of Jabesh-Gilead from the Ammonites who would only accept surrender upon them surrendering their right eyes.

John 12:3 – Imagine if Mary said, “I can do this next time Jesus passes thru town.” If God lays something on your heart, do it today!

John 12:10 – This is one of the funniest verses in the Bible… Didn’t they think Jesus might raise him again?

Psalm 118:5 – Praise the LORD for when He has delivered you from distress.

Proverbs 15:26 – Are you getting the idea that God hates sin?

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Daily Encouragement

May 20 – The king dies for the witch, the man who died walked free.

May 20
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 15:22-23

I Samuel 26:1 – The last time we saw Saul, he declared that David was more righteous (I Samuel 24:17), would be king (I Samuel 24:20), and obtained a pledge from David to protect his descendants (I Samuel 24:22). Now the Ziphites would had been egging Saul on previously (I Samuel 23:19), are egging him on again.

I Samuel 26:6 – Interestingly that while the Hittite people God would drive out, He speaks well of individual Hittites: Ephron (Genesis 23:10), Ahimelech (I Samuel 26:6), and Uriah (2 Samuel 23:39)

I Samuel 26:25 – While some of Saul’s benedictions were empty, this one is true.

I Samuel 27:1 – Gad had previously warned David to remain in the land of Judah. David does not appear to have consulted the LORD about his decision to escape to the Philistines.

I Samuel 28:10 – Ironic that the king commanded by the LORD to execute witches (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10), swares by the LORD to protect the witch. Instead of the witch dying, Saul would die (I Samuel 28:19).

John 11:35 – Nobody understood Jesus. His disciples forgot John 10:18 and were afraid of the Jews. They didn’t understand his saying (John 11:12). They weren’t sure what to say but that didn’t stop them from talking (John 11:16). Martha believed in the resurrection afar off but did she really believe that Jesus was the resurrection (John 11:24).  Mary’s understanding was limited by her human knowledge that death was irreversible (John 11:32). Martha was trying to stop Jesus from working (John 11:39).

Painted tile detail from St Paul’s church in Knightsbridge which shows Jesus calling Lazarus from the grave. Because He is the Lord of Life, Lazarus – despite having been dead for 4 days – comes forth, and is given his life. Likewise, Jesus calls us from the living death of sin to new life in Him through the grace of baptism and the Holy Spirit.

John 11:53 – After Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead, the religious leaders determined to put Jesus to death. But what he planned was for a purpose He knew not of (John 11:51).

Psalm 117:1 – My family had a Christmas tradition of each of us reciting a verse or passage of Scripture. Hoping for the presents that followed, we were dismayed when my grandfather asked “What is the longest Psalm in the Bible”? “Psalm 119” was the reply. He then started: “Psalm 117….” and quoted the shortest Psalm in the Bible. Just two verses but calling us to Praise the LORD because of His merciful kindness for us, and His eternal Word.

Proverbs 15:22 – As someone would remind me on the importance of a second opinion, “wise is the counsel of many.”

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Daily Encouragement

May 19 – A wise woman saves her husband, and God delivers her

May 19
1 Samuel 24:1-25:44
John 10:22-42
Psalm 116:1-19
Proverbs 15:20-21

I Samuel 24:1 – En Gedi is a must see on your tour to Israel. Dry cliffs but occasional waterfalls.

I Samuel 24:6 – Even when your cause seems justified – it’s never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right. Let God be judge (I Samuel 24:15).

I Samuel 25:18 – We’ve been reading in Proverbs about what wisdom looks like, now we see what it looks like. A wife interceding to save her husband by appeasing a wrathful adversary. God even delivered her from her unwise husband (I Samuel 25:38). David waited until God dealt with Nabal. If only he did the same with Uriah….

John 10:28 – Want eternal life? Go to the giver of eternal life!

Psalms 116:12 – What indeed! What is our reasonable service? Romans 12:1!

Psalm 116:15 – When an elderly relative of mine was about to pass away, one of the pastors who was with us reminded us of this verse.

Proverbs 15:21 – Relaxation and recreation are fine – but do you get your joy from folly?

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Daily Encouragement

May 18 – The Patience of the Lord!

May 18
1 Samuel 22:1-23:29
John 10:1-21
Psalm 115:1-18
Proverbs 15:18-19

The Cave of Adullam, from the Matson Photo Service

I Samuel 22:5 – Sometimes you’re hurt by people who claim to be Christians and want to swear off dealing with Christians ever again. Perhaps wanting to just deal with “honest pagans.” But even though you can be hurt again, God calls us to fellowship (Hebrews 10:25). Because no matter how much we think our situation is beyond hope – God is in control!

I Samuel 22:8 – The King of Israel is sad that “there is none of you that is sorry for me.”

I Samuel 22:18 – If Jesus was comparing the Pharisees to Doeg, Doeg had shed the blood of 85 priests who stood helplessly, and the entire city of Nob. What did the Pharisees do to the Son of God?

I Samuel 23:4 – Notice the patience of the LORD. The same God who so patient with Gideon, is patient with David. God spoke to him and promised him victory twice, even though David was afraid.

I Samuel 23:21 – Blessing people in the name of the LORD for helping you kill your loyal subject that you have made into an adversary?

John 10:1-21: Notice some of the characters in this parable:

  • The thief/robber – introduced in v.1
  • The hireling – introduced in v.12
  • The shepherd – introduced in v.2

Have you noticed the similarities between this and the parable of the wicked husbandmen (Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19)?

In John 10:10-11 we see the action. The hireling flees, the thief kills, and the Shepherd dies. Yet unlike the other parable, we are told the end of the story: In John 10:17-18 – the Shepherd rises again!

Some other takeaways from this passage:

  • John 10:8, 16 – Who you hear indicates what you are
  • John 10:9-10 – Who you follow indicates where you go

Mr. Rogers of PBS fame asked his wife before he died, “Am I a Sheep?” On the internet you have two responses (notice which incorporates more Scripture:)

John 10:4 – Young Samuel did not know His voice, but had a personal encounter with the LORD and was able to recognize His voice.

John 10:18 – Jesus is prophesying His death and resurrection, and yet His disciples that He loved did not realize this.

Psalm 115:1 – A good admonition against pride.

Psalm 115:13 – If I want God’s blessing, what should I do?

Proverbs 15:18 – Let’s be peacemakers!

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Daily Encouragement

May 17 – The Descent of Saul

May 17
1 Samuel 20:1-21:15
John 9:1-41
Psalm 113:1-114:8
Proverbs 15:15-17

I Samuel 20:13 – David’s son Solomon would discuss the behavior of kings often. Proverbs 16:14 encourages wise men to pacify their king’s wrath.

I Samuel 20:30 – This is a very strong phrase (cuss-level) used by Saul against his own son.

I Samuel 21:4 – Jesus cited this as justification for his disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28). One theory advanced on StackExchange is that Jesus is comparing the Pharisees to Doeg the Edomite.

I Samuel 21:10 – From Matthew Henry:

God’s persecuted people have often found better usage from Philistines than from Israelites. David had reason to put confidence in Achish, yet he began to be afraid. His conduct was degrading, and discovered wavering in his faith and courage. The more simply we depend on God, and obey him, the more comfortably and surely we shall walk through this troublesome world.

John 9:28 – We see the running line of authority contrast: the Jews claim Mosaic authority (which Jesus attacked by claiming Abrahamic authority). Jesus claims even greater authority (from God the Father), but the Jews claim not to know “from whence He is.”

Psalm 113:3

Psalm 113:3 – How long are we to praise the LORD? All the time!

Psalm 113:9 – God is in control of everything!

Psalm 114:7 – People are nervous to meet a Governor, a President, or the Queen of England. How much more so should we be at the majesty of the Lord, the God of Jacob! How much more should we desire to spend time with Him who asked us to call upon Him!

Proverbs 15:16 – We’ve seen the Fear of the Lord referenced before… but do we realize how valuable it is? Too often we have the wrong priorities.

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Daily Encouragement

May 16 – Are you a real follower of Jesus?

May 16
1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
John 8:31-59
Psalm 112:1-10
Proverbs 15:12-14

I Samuel 18:10 – Why is God sending an evil spirit? GotQuestions suggests it was part of God’s judgment on Saul.

First, the evil spirit was “from” the Lord in that it was allowed by God to harass Saul. Ultimately, all created things are under God’s control. It is likely that this evil spirit was part of God’s judgment upon Saul for his disobedience. Saul had directly disobeyed God on two occasions (1 Samuel 13:1–1415:1–35). Therefore, God removed His Spirit from Saul and allowed an evil spirit to torment him. Likely, Satan and the demons had always wanted to attack Saul; God was now simply giving them permission to do so.

I Samuel 18:14 – A great commendation for anyone.

English: Saul Throwing his Spear at David

I Samuel 19:24 – The sad descent of Saul from beginning humility, to arrogant appropriation of the job of the priest, to hubris, to 2 attempted assassinations of David (I Samuel 18:11),  one using the Philistines (I Samuel 18:17) which sounds a bit like what David did to Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:15), a general assassination order (1 Samuel 19:1), another specific personal assassination attempt (1 Samuel 19:10), a delegated assassination attempt (I Samuel 19:11), and the four waves of assassins he sent to Ramah (I Samuel 19:20-24).

John 8:31 – How can we be identified as disciples of Jesus? Paul reiterates the importance in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Not all who appear as real are real, from John MacArthur:

My best friend in high school, we did gospel evangelism together as high school kids.  Went away to college and declared himself an atheist.  My best friend in college, we were co-captains of the football team, was headed for seminary.  He essentially denied the faith and walked way.  One of my best friends in seminary, his father was the dean of the seminary.  After he graduated, he set up a Buddhist altar in his house.  So we all deal with this.  We all are asking the question all the time who is real?  Who is genuine?

John MacArthur

By the way, notice that this antagonistic dialogue is with the Jews which believed on him. MacArthur quotes J.C Ryle:

This is the most dangerous spiritual condition any person can ever be in where you’re halfway to Christ; inclined to Jesus, inclined to the truth about Jesus, wanting what Jesus provides and what He offers, but not willing to give in to the full demands that He lays on the sinner of repentance and faith in Him, declaration of His lordship, turning from sin toward righteousness

John MacArthur

John 8:48-51 – From John MacArthur:

Three phases appear in this dialog, and they flow through a kind of a consistent pattern.  First comes blasphemy from them.  Then Jesus speaks truth, and then He gives a gracious invitation.  So the first one: blasphemy, truth, gracious invitation.  Second one: blasphemy, truth, gracious invitation.

John MacArthur

Psalm 112:1 – Another blessing on those who obey the Lord! May you be one of those blessed!

Proverbs 15:14 – If you have free time, instead of turning on the TV set, grab a book!

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Daily Encouragement

May 15 – Put your trust in David’s God!

May 15
1 Samuel 17:1-18:4
John 8:21-30
Psalm 111:1-10
Proverbs 15:11

Golden Treasury of Bible Stories by Arthur W Spalding copyright 1954. Copyright was held by Southern Publishing Association and was not renewed. The artist for “David Defeats the Giant” is Robert Temple Ayres. obituary – www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-robert-temple-ayres…

I Samuel 17:37 – From our friend Patch the Pirate:

I Samuel 18:1 – A good choice of friends for Jonathan (Proverbs 13:20). We will see Rehoboam made the wrong choice of friends as a Prince (I Kings 12:8).

John 8:21 – A not so seeker-friendly message – “ye shall die in your sins” repeated 3x (John 8:24). These statements echo Ezekiel’s warning that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 18:18, 18:20).

Psalm 111:1 – Why praise the LORD? His works are great (Psalm 111:2), honourable (Psalm 111:3), glorious (Psalm 111:3), memorable (Psalm 111:4), powerful (Psalm 111:6), verity (Psalm 111:7), judgment (Psalm 111:7).

Psalm 111:10 – Echoed in Proverbs 9:10

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