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).

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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

193px-Adullam,_the_hilltop_ruin
Ruin of Adullam

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 10:4 – 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.”

Sunset_2007-1
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.

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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?

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 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.

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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Daily Encouragement

May 14 – What did Jesus write in the ground?

May 14
1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
John 8:1-20
Psalm 110:1-7
Proverbs 15:8-10

I Samuel 15:6 – Who were the Kenites?

This tribe, as may be inferred from the fact that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1), is called a Kenite in Jdg 1:16, was an offshoot from the Midianites. The services done to Israel by Jethro and his son Hobab (Exodus 18; Numbers 10:29-32) led to a firm alliance. The Kenites accompanied the Israelites on their march as far as Jericho (Jdg 1:16), and then went and dwelt among the Amalekites in the desert to the south of Judah. They are mentioned again in 1 Samuel 27:101 Samuel 30:29, as the friends of Israel. Famous among the Kenites was Jael, whose husband Heber had migrated into northern Palestine (Jdg 4:11); and the Rechabites who belonged to this tribe (1 Chronicles 2:55) long preserved the nomad habits of their ancestors (Jeremiah 35:7-10). (Cambridge Bible)

I Samuel 15:9 – Who was a descendant of Agag? Esther 3:1 says Haman was. Our good friend Dexter Penwell has these observations:

Saul’s failure to kill all the Amalekites resulted in many things later on. 1. The man who brought David the crown of Saul, and who falsely said he killed Saul was an Amalekite. 2. The men who burned Ziklag & took the families and goods of David’s men were Amalekites (there were 400 that even escaped David at that time (That was at the time of Saul’s death.) 3. Haman was an Agagite. So, he would not have been alive to try and kill all the Jews at the time of Esther.

I Samuel 15:11 – That’s compassion…. Samuel cried all night about Saul’s disobedience.

I Samuel 15:13 – Saul insists he performed the LORD’s commands, and again in I Samuel 15:20.

 Rather than owning up to his sin, Saul tries to justify his actions. (1 Sam 15:15)….David took ownership of his sin rather than making excuses. However David describes in detail the thoughts and emotions he was experiencing during this time in a beautiful song, Psalm 51. (JustinDeeter)

I Samuel 15:7 – Patch the Pirate wrote a song based on this verse, God Sees the Heart.

I Samuel 16:18 – We think of David as a quiet shepherd boy, but he had a reputation for developing the talents that God had given him.

English: The Adulterous Woman–Christ Writing upon the Ground

John 8:6 – I believe it was Tony Evans who gave what I consider the best answer to what Jesus wrote in the ground. He thinks that Jesus wrote out Leviticus 20:10, which requires that the “adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” If they caught the adulteress “in the very act” (John 8:4) then there must have been an adulterer there in the very act, as if to say – why are we stoning the woman but not the man? Obviously they knew who the man was! So then Jesus says to the Pharisees – “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7). Was he referring to sin in general? Maybe. But we know that they left not en mass, but “one by one” from the eldest to the youngest. (John 8:9). Why would they leave one by one? They came in one group, but leave individually? What did Jesus do that changed their behavior? He wrote in the ground (John 8:8). Was he writing out all their sins? Possibly, but that would take a while. Or was he just writing down something that would stick out strongly? Perhaps names like Sapphira, Berenice, and Salome. The names of the women that they had committed adultery with. By John 8:10, there were no witnesses to the crime which broke Deuteronomy 17:6 (requirement of two witnesses, Jesus reiterates it in John 8:17). And the witness must be the first one to cast a stone (Deuteronomy 17:7). Jesus was not abrogating Mosaic law – he was fulfilling Mosaic law. As a non-witness he was forbidden under Mosaic law from stoning her.

John 8:12 – This is the 2nd “I AM” saying of John – browse the entire list here (Back to the Bible).

John 8:20 – The Pharisees were a bit gun shy after He exposed them (John 8:9).

Psalm 110:1 – Who is David’s Lord that is different from the LORD (Matthew 22:44)? Who is the priest for ever after the order of Melchizidek (Psalm 110:4 / Hebrews 7:17).

Proverbs 15:8 – This echoes what we read today in I Samuel 15:22.

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Daily Encouragement

May 13 – Springs of Living Water!

May 13
1 Samuel 14:1-52
John 7:31-53
Psalm 109:1-31
Proverbs 15:5-7

I Samuel 14:3 – The High Priest’s Uncle Ichabod – we’ve met him earlier.

I Samuel 14:6 – This is an incredible verse – The King’s son decides to go rogue. He invites his bodyguard and the bodyguard isn’t afraid to die (I Samuel 14:7). Is it faith in the LORD or just loyalty to his liege? Maybe just the later but the bodyguard would see how God would provide! Can God provide? Let’s look up some cross references on I Samuel 14:6.

I Samuel 14:24 – While Saul had good intentions, his actions made it easier for Israel to commit a worse sin (I Samuel 14:32). We’ve seen earlier that eating blood was forbidden for the Israelites!

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Where can we find springs of living water? Only thru Jesus!

John 7:45 – Why have ye not brought him? Jesus is superior to the plans and schemes of man. He willingly laid down His life.

Psalm 109:22 – Deliverance is available only to those who acknowledge they are poor and needy.

Psalm 109:27 – Deliverance is soli deo gloria!

Proverbs 15:6 – True treasure is found in the house of the righteous!

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Daily Encouragement

May 12 – Obey the Lord, Serve the Lord, Keep His Law. 131x.

May 12
1 Samuel 12:1-13:23
John 7:1-30
Psalm 108:1-13
Proverbs 15:4

I Samuel 12:5 – If we are going to speak for God, we must make sure that nobody can accuse us of wrong.

I Samuel 12:14 – 38 times in the Old Testament we see emphasized the need to obey the voice of the LORD. Obedience brings blessing. Disobedience brings judgment. (If you don’t know what God wants you to do – memorizing the Ten Commandments is a great way to start!)

I Samuel 12:20 – Obedience conveys a parent-child relationship, but serve implies a master-slave relationship. 68 times in the Old Testament it refers to serving the LORD. The very name Adonai (Hebrew) or Kurios (Greek) translated Lord (lower case) means Master. While He has adopted us as sons (Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5), sonship is only for those who have called upon Him as their Lord/Master (Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21). Samuel reiterates this in I Samuel 12:24.

English: Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Released under new license, CC-BY-SA 3.0

I Samuel 13:14 – Just a seemingly slight disobedience (and completely rationalizable) but it cost Saul the kingdom. How much does your sin cost you?

I Samuel 13:16 – Interesting that Saul followed Samuel unto Gibeah.

John 7:19 – Jesus uses the phrase “keep the law.” In addition to Obey the Lord, Serve the Lord, we have 25 references in the Old Testament to Keeping the Law.

Psalm 108:2 – This is a difficult command for me – to awake early. But there is blessing to those who arise early to seek the Lord! (Psalm 63:1).

Psalm 108:5 – This is the 4th time in the Psalms we see this phrase (Psalm 21:13, Psalm 57:5, Psalm 57:11).  May we sing Be Thou Exalted, forever and ever!

Proverbs 15:4 – Yet another verse about the tongue – and we’re not even to James!

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Daily Encouragement

May 11 – Why was Jesus teaching cannibalism?

 

May 11
1 Samuel 10:1-11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3

I Samuel 10:2 – Rachel died around 1900 BC, we’re now at 1050 BC.

I Samuel 10:9 – “He gave him such virtues as were fitting for a king.” per Geneva Bible.

I Samuel 10:26 – After reading thru the gross sins of Judges, the failure of the sons of Eli and of Samuel, it’s refreshing to hear of the men “whose hearts God had touched.”

I Samuel 11:13 – Often when we think of King Saul, we think of his wild later years, but we forget that he started out merciful and grateful to the LORD.

Gilgal_from_Bible
English: The Gilgal today

I Samuel 11:15 – What’s significant about Gilgal? The kingdom was renewed where Joshua entered the land 350 years earlier (Joshua 4:19). Gilgal was the first Passover in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:10), and Joshua’s base of operations (Joshua 9:6, Joshua 10:6, Joshua 10:15, Joshua 10:43, Joshua 14:6). The angel of the LORD descended first in Gilgal (Judges 2:1).

John 6:43 – Yesterday we read how the Jews murmured. 9 times in the Gospels does someone murmur. Throughout the OT we read of the problem of murmuring.

John 6:53 – Jesus seems to be deliberately provoking His audience. In multiple times in the Old Testament not to mention the New Testament (Acts 15:20, 15:29, Acts 21:25). God clearly prohibits eating blood. Jesus used a difficult analogy to Nicodemus when He talked about Being Born Again (John 3). Now – he’s provoking the audience with an idea of cannibalism when He urges them to be Eating the Living Bread (John 6). Jesus is fulfilling the almost 1,500 year old Mosaic Code that pointed to Him. What was different from the blood of Jesus compared to the blood of every other creature on the earth? It was the blood of the New Testament (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20). His blood was shed on the cross (John 19:34). It is by faith in His Blood that we have a propitiation (Romans 3:25). We are justified by His Blood (Romans 5:9). We have Redemption through His Blood (Ephesians 1:7, I Peter 1:19, Revelation 5:9). We are made nigh by His Blood (Ephesians 2:13). We have peace through the Blood (Colossians 1:20). We are purged by the Blood (Hebrews 9:14). We have boldness by the Blood (Hebrews 10:19). We are sanctified by His Blood (Hebrews 13:12). We are cleansed by the Blood (1 John 1:7). We overcame by the Blood (Revelation 12:11). And yes, we are washed in the Blood of the Lamb! (Revelation 1:5). Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb?

Psalm 107:8 – Let us give thanks (Psalm 107:1), and say so! (Psalm 107:2), and praise Him! (Psalm 107:8). By the way if you memorize this verse it counts 4x (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, and 31). If a teacher in school repeats something – it’s usually because it will be on the test. Let’s pass God’s test!
Proverbs 15:1 – So many times when we’re tempted to fight back (either verbally or on Facebook), remember this verse!

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