Daily Encouragement

May 20 – The King Died for the Witch and the Man Who Died Walked Free

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

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

1 Samuel 26:6 — It’s interesting that while God would drive out the Hittite people, He speaks well of individual Hittites: Ephron (Genesis 23:10), Ahimelech (1 Samuel 26:6), and Uriah (2 Samuel 23:39).

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

1 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.

1 Samuel 28:10 — Ironic that the king who was commanded by the LORD to execute all the witches (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10) now swears by the LORD to protect a witch. Instead of the witch dying, Saul would die (1 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 sayings (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 from afar, 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. Interestingly, what Caiaphas planned to happen was for a greater purpose that he didn’t know about (John 11:51).

Psalm 117:1 — My family had a Christmas tradition where each of us would recite a verse or passage of Scripture. We were surprised one Christmas 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 they are 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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