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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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.

Justin Deeter

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

I Ssamuel 15:22 – Here’s a memory verse song for this verse:

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). From Earl Martin:


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!

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

1 Samuel 12:24 – Here’s a memory song to help you memorize this verse!

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.

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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Daily Encouragement

May 10 – Disappointments in Every Reading

May 10
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27
John 6:22-42
Psalm 106:32-48
Proverbs 14:34-35

I Samuel 8:3 – Wasn’t this the issue with Eli’s kids? Sadly this happened to Billy Sunday’s children as well. From Rick Grubbs:

“Billy Sunday was the most famous and successful evangelist of the early 1900’s. He was a flamboyant professional baseball player who met Christ at Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. Within a few years he had formed a very successful crusade team which captured media attention all over the country. He is remembered as a colorful preacher who not only led multitudes to Christ, but also led the fight against ending prohibition. Billy Sunday would be considered a success by almost any standard. Yet he lamented, “The great tragedy of my life is that though I have led thousands to Christ, my own sons are not saved.” Indeed his sons mocked their father’s ministry and were drunks with horrible family lives, one of whom ended his life by suicide. It was the practice of the Sundays to leave their children in the care of a nanny while they pursued their ministry. Maybe we should note that fact as we discern what truly is redeeming the time. “

I Samuel 8:5 – As prophesied in Deuteronomy 17:14

I Samuel 8:15 – A king that only took 10% of our vineyards and sheep? Our kings take 31%.

I Samuel 9:16 – Even though Saul would sin greatly, he was still sent by God and anointed.

John 6:38 – From Earl Martin:


John 6:41 – Relying on human logic, the people searched for Jesus. Jesus said you just want another earthly dinner – get an eternal dinner! They want works of God – Jesus says just believe on me. They want a sign (more dinner), He discourages them by saying they don’t believe. At the end they refuse to believe He is from heaven, because they still rely on human logic.

Offering to Molech (illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster)

Psalm 106:37 – Speaking of unbelieving people, this verse tells us where sin leads to: sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols. But note Psalm 106:43 – Many times did he deliver them! Why? Because of the multitude of His mercies (Psalm 106:45). Let us rejoice with the Psalmist and say Amen, Hallelujah (English: Praise ye the LORD!) (Psalm 106:48).

Proverbs 14:35 – We’ve seen today what sin does to a people. And the Israelites are not the only people to slaughter their children… over 60 million since Roe v. Wade.

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Daily Encouragement

May 9 – When the Philistines understand God better than the Israelites

May 9
1 Samuel 5:1-7:17
John 6:1-21
Psalm 106:13-31
Proverbs 14:32-33

The broken Dagon statue in the Temple of Ashdod in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1Sam 5: 1-5 – Merian’s Iconic Biblicae, Frankfurt 1625-30)

I Samuel 6:3 – The Philistine priests were wiser than the Israelite priests – they knew they had sinned and needed reconciliation.

I Samuel 6:6 – Apparently word got around about the Egyptians.

I Samuel 6:15 – Scholars have noted the differences between the Israelites and the Philistines in Beth-Shemesh by their diet.

I Samuel 7:12 – Have you raised an Ebenezer?

John 6:14-15 – After which miracle did they want to make him King? Not His baptism (John 1:32), identification as the Lamb of God (John 1:36), the cleansing of the temple (John 2:15), his dialogue on salvation with a leading Pharisee (John 3:36), confronting the Samaritan woman (John 4:39), Jesus theological dialogue with the Jews in Jerusalem (John 5:19-47), but only when they had a good meal (John 6:13). What did Jesus know about the crowd?…..

Psalm 106:13 – Just like Israelites of old, “they soon forgat his works” (re-iterated in Psalm 106:21). Yes the crowd that wanted to crown Him King would cry Crucify! (John 19:15).

Proverbs 14:32 – From the Pulpit Commentary:

even in the greatest danger the good man loses not his trust in God. It is like Job’s word (if our reading is correct, Job 13:15), “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him;” and the psalmist, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Thus the Christian martyrs went joyfully to the stake, and gentle women and little children smiled on the sword which sent them home

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Daily Encouragement

May 8 – Whose Voice is that?

May 8
1 Samuel 2:22-4:22
John 5:24-47
Psalm 106:1-12
Proverbs 14:30-31

I Samuel 2:35 – Deuteronomy 18:15 foretold the LORD raising a prophet, now the LORD is promising to raise up a priest!

Painting of Samuel Reading to Eli the Judgments of God Upon Eli’s House

I Samuel 3:7 – Vic Eliason, founder of VCY America, would often share this passage with young men who were considering ministry. Many think God is calling them to ministry when it’s maybe just their mother or grandmother that thinks it would be good to have a preacher in the family. There are many voices calling out today – it is crucial to learn how to discern God’s voice from the other voices. Ministry is hard – if God isn’t calling you, it is easy to give up when the going gets tough. 71% of Missionaries who leave the field, do so for a preventable reason. But if God has called you – He will provide strength and resources when the going gets tough.

I Samuel 4:21 – Ichabod, an appropriate name for the time of judgment when the people have confronted the priest (I Samuel 2:23), the man of God confronted the priest (I Samuel 2:27), and the LORD himself sends a message via a young boy (I Samuel 3:12).

John 5:39 – The Scriptures are not primarily a moral textbook although you can learn a lot about right and wrong. The Scriptures are about the Savior of the World, the LORD Jesus Christ! Jesus continually points back to the Torah (John 5:46) saying that Moses is writing about Him.

Psalm 106:6-7 – What was the great sin of the fathers of Israel? Ingratitude. The LORD had delivered them from their slaveowners and they wanted to return. We see a theme – our LORD has delivered us from the slave master called Sin, and we keep running back to our old master. All we need is to obey.

Proverbs 14:31 – How do we show honour to our maker? By showing mercy to the poor. While some call this the “social gospel” – they usually stop with just the social part and not the gospel. It’s exciting to see some incredible ministries like Pacific Garden Mission providing 1,500 hot meals daily, as well as clothing, shelter, and powerful gospel preaching in Chicago; and Covenant Mercy Mission that distributes two million dollars of food annually with powerful gospel preaching in New York City.

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