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!

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.

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 6:41 – 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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Daily Encouragement

May 7 – Elkanah: not quite Abraham… not quite Isaac

May 7
1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalm 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29

I Samuel 1:2 – In case you think the Bible is endorsing polygamy, see what I Samuel 1:6-7 says about the immediate results in this situation, and consider the social context of Judges (hint: it involves a lot of sins), as well as what we see in the next verse.

I Samuel 1:3 – If we interpret as Barnes suggests, the Israelites were down to one feast as opposed to Exodus 23:14 and Exodus 34:23 that say three times.

I Samuel 1:8 – Like many men today, Elkanah offered his wife advice that did not help.

I Samuel 1:10 – Psalm 113:9 says the LORD will give the barren children. Unlike Sarah (Genesis 16:2), Hannah did not take things into her hands. She knew there were promises she could claim (Exodus 23:26, Deuteronomy 7:14). But like Isaac, she intreated the LORD (Genesis 25:21). She knows what happened to Manoah (Judges 13:5), and was claiming that scenario. However, if her husband had read the Torah, would he have responded like Isaac and intreated the Lord instead of his reply in I Samuel 1:8, and instead of letting his wife suffer alone?

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 1:14 – Eli did not have the gift of discernment. He couldn’t tell the difference between prayer and drunkenness. He couldn’t tell that his kids were sons of Belial (I Samuel 2:12), that the people abhorred the offering (I Samuel 2:17) until he was very old (I Samuel 2:22). He couldn’t honor God above his sons (I Samuel 2:29), and could barely recognize the voice of the LORD (after the third try!) (I Samuel 3:8).

John 5:8 – In I Samuel 2:8 that we read earlier today, Hannah said that the LORD lifteth up the beggar. Jesus lifted up this certain man who no longer needed to beg.

John 5:14 – In Luke 17:15, we see only one of the ten lepers came back to thank Jesus, and that leper received salvation in addition to healing (Luke 17:19). This man didn’t even get what Jesus was saying (John 5:7), and didn’t thank Jesus (John 5:9), and didn’t know Jesus name (John 5:13), and possibly couldn’t recognize Jesus (Jesus approached him, he didn’t approach Jesus – John 5:14). Interestingly Jesus tells him the same thing He told the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11).

Psalm 105:45 – God funded His people, delivered His people, fed His people, watered His people, provided lands for His people, and all He asks is obedience!

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Daily Encouragement

May 6 – God is merciful even to a Moabitess

May 6
Ruth 2:1-4:22
John 4:43-54
Psalm 105:16-36
Proverbs 14:26-27

Ruth and Boaz

Ruth 2:3hap – is an interesting concept.  Ruth happened to go to Boaz’s fields. The lot happened to fall on Jonah (Jonah 1:7). The casting of the lot is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33). Wealth doesn’t come to the lucky, it is of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8:18). Nothing happens by coincidence, if God cares about the birds of the air – He cares about you! (Matthew 6:26).

Ruth 2:12 – Naomi refers to the LORD bringing grief 4 times. Ruth seemed more familiar with the generic name of God than the personal name of the God of Israel (YHVH, in most English Bibles as the LORD). But Boaz and his crew knew the name of the LORD. And Boaz recognizes her trust in this God she barely knows, the LORD God of Israel.

Ruth 4:7 – The kinsman redeemer is a great motif of how Jesus redeemed us. John MacArthur shares this truth in a sermon – here’s a highlight that answers the question from yesterday.

Moabite people were, by God, shut out from the assembly of those who worshiped Him. Shut out, as it were, from redemption because of their iniquities. Turn to Isaiah 56… verse 1…prophet writes, “Thus says the Lord…this is from God…’Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, keeps his hand from doing any evil.’ Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from His people.’

Ruth 4:12Chuck Missler points out the background of this prophecy:

In Genesis 38, Tamar had married Judah’s firstborn son, Er, who died without having any children. Under Mosaic law, Judah was expected to provide Tamar a brother to raise up issue and failed to do so.1 Tamar then resorted to posing as a prostitute and Judah unknowingly got her pregnant. When confronted with the evidence, he confesses that his sin was greater than hers.2 Tamar gives birth to two sons, Zarah and Pharez. Both are, of course, illegitimate. The Torah provides that a bastard results in being cast out of the congregation for 10 generations.3 The strange remark in Ruth 4:12 was, in fact, a prophecy: the tenth generation from Pharez was none other than David. And to emphasize this, the book closes with David’s genealogy: [Ruth 4:18-22]


John 4:46 – This nobleman was possibly Chuzah, husband of Joanna that we met earlier.

John 4:50 – This nobleman had more faith than Naaman (2 Kings 5:11-12).

Psalm 105:24 – Throughout the Bible we see constant pointing back to the Patriarchs and the message of the Torah. The foundational message of sin and consequence, obedience and blessing, foreshadowing the Savior thru messengers like Joseph and Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18).

Proverbs 14:27 – Take a minute and see what the Bible says about the Fear of the LORD. Or listen to this from Patch the Pirate.

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Daily Encouragement

May 5 – Judges to Ruth: Sin, Sin, and Yet More Sin!

May 5
Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22
John 4:4-42
Psalm 105:1-15
Proverbs 14:25

Judges 21:3 – Why? Perhaps they are asking the wrong question….

Judges 21:19 – Depending on how we read into the word “annual”, this could be problematic. Deuteronomy 16:16 requires that three times a year all the men must come to the feasts. Are they down to just one feast a year?

Ruth 1:1 – More sin. Deuteronomy 28:15 warns that disobedience results in curses, including the ground (Deuteronomy 28:18). The answer to judgment is not fleeing (does Jonah come to mind?). Elimelech died and God declared that death was a punishment for sin (Deuteronomy 28:26). Mahlon and Chilion took wives of the people (general prohibition against intermarriage in Deuteronomy 7:3, specific prohibition against in Deuteronomy 23:3).

Ruth 1:9 – Ever notice how people living in open sin can still tell you “God bless you!”? While Naomi wanted to wish them Godspeed as they returned to idolatry, that is not permitted (2 John 9-11). While Naomi had an emotional affinity with her daughters-in-law, she should care about not just their next 50 years, but their next 5 million years.

Ruth 1:16 – Naomi realizes the LORD is chastening her (Ruth 1:21). Naomi knew better than to go to Moab, but still went, and lost all that were close to her. Ruth, on the other hand, is responding to what little light she was given, willing to repay the kindness of her mother-in-law with lifelong loyalty, willing to learn about this deity that her mother-in-law has been disobeying. Will the LORD God of Israel who has declared against the family of Ruth (Deuteronomy 23:3) exercise his judgment or will he show mercy? Stay tuned!


John 4:7 – Speaking of women with non-traditional backgrounds, the LORD Jesus had a divine appointment (John 4:4) with a woman who didn’t just have a sinful pedigree, she had a sinful personal history (John 4:18).

John 4:26 – Similar to his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus did not tell large groups that He was Messiah, but only select individuals. Jewish legal code required there be multiple witnesses to each event. Thus Nicodemus and this woman could not form the two witnesses because they were testifying to separate events.

John 4:35 – It’s harvest time! Who can you share Jesus with today?

Psalm 105:9-11 – Some people say God is done with Israel. But God made an everlasting covenant to give them the Land of Canaan. Today, we are but a few decades into the fulfillment of that promised that sat unfulfilled for almost two thousand years.

Proverbs 14:25 – From John Gill:

he “delivers souls”; men, not one man only, but many; a whole family, or more, in danger of being ruined;

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