Reading #1 – Deuteronomy 20
Reading #2 – Psalms 115
Reading #3 – Proverbs 7
Reading #4 – Luke 7
Reading #5 – 1 Samuel 17
Deuteronomy 20 – Regulations Concerning War. One of the most basic tenants of war is, “Do not be afraid.” One of the other tenants is, “be sure you have all that you need so that you are prepared (Luke 14:25-34).” The nation was about to engage in a lengthy war for Canaan. G_d had given them the land but it would cost them dearly and test the metal of their faith. He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory (3-4)!” The Egyptian army just like the nations Israel would face had chariots that would carry the men into battle. While this would be a reason to see this as a weak point for the people, G_d admonishes the people to trust him. Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God. Those nations will fall and collapse, but we will rise and stand firm. Give victory to our king, O LORD! Answer our cry for help (Psalms 20:7-9).
1 Samuel 17 – David and Goliath. Of all the biblical stories told in Sunday school, the one that resonates the most is David versus Goliath. The reason is that it brings in two opposite poles and the victory should have been in favor of Goliath yet, it was Goliath’s confidence in his size and the strength of his weapons that brought about his demise. David hit him with a stone that knocked him out temporarily and the giant’s weapons finished the battle. As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes (24-25)!” Saul should have been the one to fight the giant because he too was a tall man. David’s brothers Eliab, Shimea, and Abinadab were also tall and strong. Yet, these men like all of Israel shook at the sight of the giant and ran away from him. The defining difference between David and his brothers and Saul was his trust in the G_d he served (45).
Psalms 115 – Praise the Lord (Continued). Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness (1). In every battle we face, our mindset should always be “To G_d be the glory”. If we overvalue or under-value our weapons, we can become afraid or become proud. In the same way, when we see the enemy of our soul, we can become afraid of him and shake in his presence or become arrogant and make sport of him both ends of the spectrum bring us to defeat. O Israel, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield. O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield. All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield (9-11).
Proverbs 7 = Warnings Against Adultery. In comic presentations, it is the tendency to present the enemy of our soul as this character in a red suit with a spear in his hands. The thing is, he never presents himself that way because he would frighten off anyone who follows him. He does come across as the “fun person who offers the good stuff. “ You will notice though, that the gifts look innocuous but the receiver never gets the gift, he or she gets what they did not expect “something worse”. So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life (21-23).
Luke 7 – Faith of the Centurian. This gentile did more on Israel’s behalf than they did for themselves. The Roman Centurian had been taught about the “gods of Rome” mainly the divinity of the Emporer. But this man heard about the works that this crazy Carpenter’s son had been doing so when faced with his servant becoming ill, the man sent a delegation to ask for Jesus to heal him. When a man or woman rises under the power of G_d to do great works and honors the person who sent them, people will flock to the person no matter who he or she is or where they came from. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed (Mark 16:17-18). The part about Jesus that drew the people was that he was the same person with the same viewpoints whether he dined with the Pharisees or with publicans. Jesus not only honored the two great commandments, he lived them out no matter who he was with.