Victories and a Tragic End

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 29—31

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Again a comparison between Saul and Judas, David and Peter…David’s seeking favor from the Philistines is over, similar to Peter wanting to be on the side of Jesus’ adversaries in the courtyard with the servant girl. Both Saul and Judas ended their lives by committing suicide.

Peter and Judas both sinned. While Peter quickly repented, Judas sank deeper and deeper into guilt. David and Saul sinned, but David, like Peter, had a heart quick to return to God. Saul, on the other hand, went deeper into infidelity, and into that vice that ends so many relationships, and even lives—jealousy.

Here they are: the first and second kings of Israel. The stage is set for a long history of kings—most of them unfaithful as Saul, ending their lives in disgrace, just as he. Reflect upon yourself.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Being blameless in Thy sight 29:9
Strengthening myself in Thee 30:6
My heart returning to Thee
You alone, my God, are King

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This is the thirteenth and last week in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://www.kjaggers.com

 

Saul and Judas – David and Peter

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 26—28

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Once again, David restrains himself from killing Saul. Chapter 26, verse 13 is a foretaste of the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Saul has lost all contact with his Lord, focusing obsessively on David, instead of a passionate centering upon God. In his desperate attempt to establish contact with the spiritual world, he sinks into the forbidden practice of seeking help from a medium. Samuel indeed comes forward by the power of God, much to the fright of the medium.

David too seeks allies in the enemy, instead of in the Lord. In his impetuosity, he is like Peter, as Saul is like Judas. Sense the difference between the two—the hope in David, the despair in Saul.

When God is silent, go deeper within, not searching outside of God for cheap answers. Accept no substitutes!

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
My life precious in Thy hands 26:24
Thou never turning from me 28:15
Obeying Thy inner Voice 28:15
Take all of me—all of me.

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This is the twelfth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://www.keyway.ca

 

Always in God’s Presence

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 20—22

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Saul’s jealousy mounts to blind fury as he recklessly seeks to kill David. How similar it would in for the blind pride and jealousy of the Pharisees seeking to kill Jesus, son of David, a thousand years later!

In David’s desperate need for food, he partakes of the Bread of the Presence. The three synoptic evangelists tell of Jesus’ reference to this incident as an example of how sacred regulations yield to human need (Mt 12:3,4; Mk 2:25,26; Lk 6:3,4). Though David flees from Saul, David is ever in the Lord’s presence.

Amid the tide of Saul’s hatred, which mounts to a massacre of priests, there flows the sweetness of profound friendship between Jonathan and David. Cherish such gifts of friendship in your life. Covenant with such a friend to share the daily scriptures—a spiritual accountability that will give energy for you to walk always in God’s presence.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Loving others as myself 20:17
The Lord between you and me 20:42
Holy Bread of the Presence 21:6
With You, Lord, I’m not afraid. 22:2

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for the version for children and families.

This is the tenth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://bibleencyclopedia.com

 

Two Giants

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 17—19

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Fear shakes the hands and hearts of the Israelites as they learn about Goliath, the great giant of their Philistine enemy. He eclipses God’s presence to the people, but not for David. Confidently aware of the presence of his God, far greater than the power of any giant, David stalks closer to his enemy. A tiny stone hurled with focus is enough to make the giant drop—how like the mustard seed of last Sunday’s parable!

If fear overwhelms God’s people, another destructive emotion, once small, now a “giant,”burns away in the heart of King Saul—jealousy. The Philistines are a relatively easy match for David; however, now he spends much of his time hiding from Saul as this wicked king pursues God’s anointed, instead of God’s enemies.

“Religious”people often chew each other up by jealousy and still another giant—gossip! Reflect upon the many lessons that these chapters can stir within you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
I come in the name of God. 17:45
The battle belongs to You. 17:47
Trusting in the sling and stone 17:50
Souls united in You, Lord 18:1

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for the version for children and families.

This is the ninth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://www.chrisgibbs.net
 

A Shift in God’s Plan

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 14—16

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Samuel recedes to the background while the exploits of Saul and Jonathan against the enemies of God’s people come to the fore. The rash oath that Saul inflicts upon his people and his hoarding of the spoils of war instead of dedicating them to the Lord, prompts God to intervene again in the night to Samuel. Contrasted with the first nightly visit of the Lord to Samuel as a boy, this encounter brings anguish to the heart of Samuel and to God; God repents of having chosen Saul to be King. Listen in on the words of Samuel to Saul in 15:22-23; they are addressed to you and to me.

As the peace that comes out after a hurricane, so is chapter 16 with the beginning of the story of David. Samuel must have found some of that early joy as a boy return, as he sees God doing something similar to David as was done to him many years before. Return in prayer to the times when God spoke to your heart when you were a child.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Obeying—not sacrifice 15:22
Yielding to Your will, O God 15:23
You looking, Lord, on the heart 16:7
May Your Spirit rush on me. 16:13

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for the version for children and families.

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://airmaria.com
 

Like Samuel or Saul?

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 11—13

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

As gears out of sync in a machine, so are Saul and the Israelites. Decisions are made apart from prayer; rather they are impetuous reactions, prompted by fear, power and pride.

Alone among them completely doing the Lord’s will, is Samuel. Listen to him once again say to the people as he said to God as a boy, “Here I am”(12:3). His transparency to God makes him able to be used by God. Nothing is between him and his Lord. He lives uncontaminated by the evils that enter and gradually push their way deeper and deeper into Saul, disconnecting his heart from the Lord. Samuel, on the other hand, always holds God’s people in prayer.

Discern those inner movements that make for oneness with the Lord and those that disrupt and break away from God. As you listen to the promptings of the Spirit, are you like Samuel or Saul?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
The saving deeds of the Lord 12:7
You alone, O God, are King. 12:12
Serving you with all my heart 12:20
Turning not to useless things 12:21

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This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Today’s image courtesy of http://www.sodahead.com
 

The New King

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

1 Samuel 8—10

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The kingship has very shaking beginnings. Due to the corruption of the sons of Samuel appointed by their father to be judges over Israel, God moves to “Plan B.” The original plan had God alone as king. However, in the face of the desire of the Israelites to be like all the other nations, God complies with the people’s wishes.

Chapter 10 cites the first use of oil to anoint a king, previously used only for the sanctuary and for priests. Saul receives the inrush of the Spirit and begins to prophesy. He is indeed transformed, but not enough; watch for a stronghold of sin that remains which becomes tragedy as the rest of the book unfolds.

The final verse of the reading touches on the evil of jealousy. The question of the rebels …how like the question Satan must have asked when he looked ahead to Jesus! Is there prideful questioning going on in your life?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
You alone, King of the world 8:7
May I never forsake You 8:8
Rising to follow Your way 9:26
Holding my peace when despised 10:27

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for the version for children and families.

This is the sixth of thirteen weeks in Pentecost, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

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