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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Daily Encouragement

May 4 – Just when you thought Judges couldn’t get any worse…

May 4
Judges 19:1-20:48
John 3:22-4:3
Psalm 104:24-35
Proverbs 14:22-24

Judges 19:12 – It would not be until 2 Samuel 5:6-10 that David’s armies would capture Jerusalem and it would become an Israelite city.

Judges 19:15 – No man would show him hospitality. (We see hospitality encouraged in Isaiah 58:6-7, Matthew 25:35, Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2, 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 5:9-10, Titus 1:8, and 1 Peter 4:9). While no command of the Torah mandates hospitality (only the New Testament does!), the patriarch Job clearly practiced it (Job 31:32).


Judges 19:22 – These were Benjamites (Judges 19:16) speaking almost exactly what the Sodomites spoke to Lot (Genesis 19:5).

  • Belial sons of Gibeah: “Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.”
  • Sodomites: “bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

Judges 19:24 –  Lot offered his two daughters to the Sodomite mob (Genesis 19:8), the Ephraimite offers his daughter and the Levite’s concubine.

Judges 20:2 – Mizpeh is Jephthah’s hometown.

Judges 20:48 – 65,000 people died in this first Civil War of Israel. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

John 3:30 – Seven words that make a great life verse.

Psalm 104:34 – How often do you meditate on the LORD?

Proverbs 14:23 – As Patch the Pirate said, Your walk talks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks!

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Daily Encouragement

May 3 – Ten Shekels and a Shirt

May 3
Judges 17:1-18:31
John 3:1-21
Psalm 104:1-23
Proverbs 14:20-21

Judges 17:3 – What commandment was violated? Interestingly this commandment was repeated 8 additional times in the Torah. No wonder God told His people to read the Word! (Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 17:19, Deuteronomy 29:9).

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

Judges 17:10 – Paris Reidhead preached a famous message on Ten Shekels and a Shirt.

Judges 17:13 – Welcome to modern pluralism. We have a house of gods (Judges 17:5), and are glad to add some of Christianity so we don’t offend the LORD of the Bible.

Judges 18:20 – A Levite who should know the law is delighted by tribal affinity but not horrified by violating God’s law. Interestingly the next time the word teraphim is used in the Bible is Hosea 3:4 where God compares Gomer’s adultery to the actions of this Levite.

John 3:1 – The gospels have little good to say about the Pharisees. However in Luke 11:37, and Luke 14:1 we see Pharisees inviting Jesus for a meal, but here we see a Pharisee coming to Jesus to learn. After Nicodemus is thoroughly confused (John 3:9). While we wonder at the fear of Nicodemus that led him to come to Jesus by night (sounds like Gideon?), we need to recognize that Jesus was letting Nicodemus know a secret, not of his doctrine (John 18:20), but of his identity (Matthew 9:30, Matthew 16:20, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:43-44, Mark 4:10-12, Mark 5:43, Mark 7:36, Luke 5:14). If He was to be publicly identified as the Messiah before He had fulfilled the prophecies of Messiah, He would be rightly condemned as a blasphemer. Thus He could not tell His identity to more than one potential adversary (Deuteronomy 19:15), until the hour was come (John 12:23).

John 3:16 – From Hal Leonard, the choral version of John 3:16

John 3:18 – From Earl Martin:

Psalm 104:2Almighty, Unchangeable God is a “meditation” on the theme of Psalm 104. From the Herbsters:

Proverbs 14:21 – An interesting application of the observation of Proverbs 14:20.

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Daily Encouragement

May 2 – Samson’s Sad Story

May 2
Judges 15:1-16:31
John 2:1-25
Psalm 103:1-22
Proverbs 14:17-19

Judges 15:6 – What type of society says that property damage is worthy of the death penalty? Mosaic law provides for the death penalty in only one type of Eighth Commandment Sin – kidnapping (Theopolis Institute has a great analysis – however I’m not endorsing their Federal Vision Theology).

Judges 15:11 – Not only do the Philistines have their values flipped (property over people), but three thousand men of Judah know not who their ruler is. The Torah records in Exodus 15:18 that the LORD shall reign for ever and ever! The Philistines are not to reign over the Israelites per Deuteronomy 15:6.

Judges 15:15 – God provides in spite of Samson breaking his Nazarite vows.

V0034292 Samson carries the gates of Gaza up to the mount of Hebron.
Samson carries the gates of Gaza up to the mount of Hebron. Etching by J. Taylor after F. Verdier, 1698.

Judges 16:1 – Dave Benoit preached a great message on parenting from Samson.

  • Seeking the wrong type of wife (Judges 14:2)
  • Parents counsel was disregarded (Judges 14:3)
  • While a judge, goes to a harlot (Judges 16:1)
  • Doesn’t learn from Judges 14:17 (Judges 16:16)
  • Ends up buried by his parents (Judges 16:31)

John 2:1 – Jesus began his ministry quickly – after the temptation in the wilderness, he comes back by John the Baptist and takes Simon, Andrew, Philip, and Nathanael to Galilee, avoiding the hub of Jerusalem and settling into the Galilee.

John 2:8 – Jesus takes over the job of the ruler (King), in a few verses he cleanses the temple as priest (John 2:17), and then prophesies of his death (John 2:19).

Psalm 103:1 – This verse is set to music in a familiar tune (CBC Choir Opener version, Gaither version) followed by a verse from 1 Samuel 12:24 and other passages. SoundForth’s song “From Everlasting to Everlasting” is based on Psalm 103.

Proverbs 14:17 – Interesting word study on anger – God has a right (or perhaps a responsibility) to be angry.

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Daily Encouragement

May 1 – The Lamb of God


May 1
Judges 13:1-14:20
John 1:29-51
Psalm 102:1-28
Proverbs 14:15-16

Judges 13:2 – Exodus 23:26 and Deuteronomy 7:13-14 promises fruitfulness to the people, the land, the crops, even the cattle – if we obey (Deuteronomy 7:12). But God can make the barren woman into a joyful mother of children (Psalm 113:9).

The Sacrifice of Manoah

Judges 13:8 – Manoah is asking God for advice on child rearing. God sends the angel again to Manoah, and the angel repeats the message. But God had already told them how to raise a Nazarite in Numbers 6:2-21.

Judges 14:9 – Numbers 6:6 warned about dead bodies, but the boy raised by Biblically illiterate parents broke his vow and didn’t tell his parents.

John 1:29 – John is the only Gospel writer who records John the Baptist’s declaration of Jesus to be the Lamb of God. Later in Revelation John writes about the Lamb who was slain (Revelation 5:6) who was Worthy (Revelation 5:12-13). The Lamb was glorified in Revelation 7:9-10, and the blood of the Lamb was the power to overcome (Revelation 12:11). Throughout Revelation we read about the Lamb, that was foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

As the hymn says, O Lamb of God, I Come.

Psalm 102:1-11 – Most of us would say this is a needlessly long prayer. Won’t God always hear His people? Luke 11:8 uses a great word – “importunity.” Shameless insistence. A “proper prayer” won’t be heard (Luke 18:11). But a shameless prayer intreating the Lord from someone humble will be heard (Psalm 57:15). Daniel’s prayer was held up for 21 days (Daniel 10:13), but Daniel kept praying.

Psalm 102:12-22 – Following 11 verses of begging, we have 11 verses of blessing the LORD. Eternal, Memorable. Merciful. Fearful. Glorious. Builder. Hearer. Praiseworthy. High above the earth. Deliverer. Master.

Proverbs 14:15Trust, but verify.

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Daily Encouragement

April 30 – Family Tension in Judges

April 30
Judges 11:1-12:15
John 1:1-28
Psalm 101:1-8
Proverbs 14:13-14

Judges 11:2 – We’ve seen the family tension between Gideon’s concubine’s son and his other sons (Judges 9:5), and now Gilead’s family problems because of his son with a harlot. National success starts with success in the home!

Judges 11:14 – Land disputes in the Holy Land… sounds familiar…

Deutsch: Der siegreiche Feldherr Jephta begegnet seiner Tochter (1661)

Judges 11:35 – Did Jephthah offer his daughter as a human sacrifice? Tim Chaffey argues that it is unfortunately very likely. Solomon warns against breaking vows (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5).

John 1:1 – Was Jesus really God ? Not just a great teacher, but Elohim – the same God that created the World (John 1:3 says yes). Was He the same as YHWH – the covenant making God that made and fulfilled His promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses? A great comprehensive book on this topic is Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ.

John 1:12 – The common teaching of the world today is that God is panentheistic, and has 6.7 billion children. Only those that believe on His name have the power to become the sons of God. Are you a son of God?

From Earl Martin:

Psalm 101 – What is your personal commitment to holiness?

  • Behavior and walk (Psalm 101:2)
  • Eyes and work (Psalm 101:3)
  • Companions (Psalm 101:4)
  • Tongue and attitude (Psalm 101:5)
  • Toleration (Psalm 101:7)

Proverbs 14:13 – Satisfaction is the goal not just in customer service, but in “self-actualization.” What does the Bible say about being satisfied?

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Daily Encouragement

April 29 – Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord!

April 29
Judges 9:22-10:18
Luke 24:13-53
Psalm 100:1-5
Proverbs 14:11-12

Judges 9:45 – “Salting the city” was a way to curse a city.

Judges 9:56 – Proverbs 26:27 and Ecclesiastes 10:8 talk about this.

Judges 10:6-7 – Those who forsook the LORD bring His anger. If you don’t incur God’s anger – you are not His son (Hebrews 12:8). We don’t forsake the LORD today by spending more time in TV, leisure, sports, eating, drinking, shopping, etc than with our LORD, or do we?

Judges 10:14 – Jeremiah echoes this verse centuries later in Jeremiah 2:28. Moses warned that God would say this in Deuteronomy 32:37.

Luke 24:27 – We’ve made it thru Moses – have you seen in the Torah the things concerning Jesus?

Luke 24:45 – Let’s be sure to pray that Jesus would open our understanding as well that we can understand the Scriptures!

Luke 24:47 – Repentance and Remission – God will forgive us if we call to Him!

Psalm 100:1-3 – Patch the Pirate has done a great job of putting this to music (word perfect)!



Proverbs 14:12 – Jeremiah 17:9 reiterates the warning of trusting your heart.

salvationWhich way?

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Daily Encouragement

April 28 – Gideon, Abimelech, and Shechem

April 28
Judges 8:18-9:21
Luke 23:44-24:12
Psalm 99:1-9
Proverbs 14:9-10

Judges 8:27John MacArthur says Gideon’s intentions were good with this ephod:

This was certainly a sad end to Gideon’s influence as he, perhaps in an expression of pride, sought to lift himself up in the eyes of the people. Gideon intended nothing more than to make a breastplate as David did (1 Chr. 15:27) to indicate civil, not priestly, rule. It was never intended to set up idolatrous worship, but to be a symbol of civil power. That no evil was intended can be noted from the subduing of Midian (v. 28), quietness from wars (v. 28), and the fact that idolatry came after Gideon’s death (v. 33), as well as the commendation of Gideon (v. 35).

Judges 8:30 – Even though Gideon did not want to be king (Judges 8:23), he should have hearkened to the command of Deuteronomy 17:17.

Judges 9:1 – We have secular records referencing Lab’ayu the King of Shechem that indicate collaboration between the Israelites and the Shechemites. From the Associates for Biblical Archaeology:

A number of the Amarna Letters indicate that the Shechemites were working with the habiru/Israelites to expand their territory. Since Lab’ayu was a third generation ruler (EA 253), there was continuity in leadership from the time of the conquest. This could account for a continuing relationship between the Shechemites and the Israelites/habiru. We have three letters from the king of Shechem (EA 252-254). In one letter, Lab’ayu has a somewhat defiant tone, much different than the letters from the other city states (EA 252; Campbell 1965: 195-196; Hess 1993: 99) This, coupled with the fact that Shechem was fortified during this period, suggests that Shechem was somewhat independent of Egyptian control and was pursuing its own best interests.

Luke 24:6 – He Is Risen!

Psalm 99:1 – The LORD is not just a friend, but He is our reigning monarch! What does it mean when it says to let the people tremble? “ragaz: to be agitated, quiver, quake, be excited, perturbed.” Throughout this Psalm we are commanded to tremble, be moved, praise Him, exalt Him, and worship Him.

Proverbs 14:9 – What do Americans think about sin? From Gallup:


  • a record high 73% believe divorce is morally acceptable
  • a record high 69% believe premarital fornication is morally acceptable
  • a record high 57% believe doctor-assisted suicide is acceptable
  • a record high 36% believe pornography is acceptable
  • a record low 58% believe the divinely-instituted death penalty is moral.

Coincidentally, those dissatisfied with the moral climate of America is at a record low.

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