Reading #1 – Mark 5
Reading #2 – Psalms 57
Reading #3 – Proverbs 16
Reading #4 – Isaiah 35
Reading #5 – 1 Chronicles 12
1 Chronicle 12 – Warriors Join David’s Army. While David was at Ziklag, Warriors from every tribe in Israel defected to David’s army. Based on the large number of warriors that came to him, it is a wonder Saul continued his tirade against David. Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said, “We are yours, David! We are on your side, son of Jesse. Peace and prosperity be with you, and success to all who help you, for your God is the one who helps you (18).” The people wanted David to be the king in place of Saul but David would have nothing to do with it. In the same way, in Jesus’ time, many flocked to listen to Jesus and they wanted him to be their king (John 6:15). David would not harm Saul even when he had the chance because Saul was still the “Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 24:6). Because David was faithful, G_d grew his army. While in Philistia, David and his men were called to battle against Saul which would have been a perfect opportunity to turn on the Philistines and gain Saul’s approval (19). Yet, David would never have turned on the Philistines because he was a guest in their land; this is called “being faithful”.
Psalms 57 – Do Not Destroy – Psalm of David. David was promised the throne of Israel/Judah in place of Saul. From his vantage point, it did not look like G_d’s promise would be fulfilled. While being hounded on every side, he could have become like a caged animal and attacked at will. Yet, he trusted the Lord and would not lose faith in Him. Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me (1-3). In utter surrender to the Lord G_d, David found the courage to face the situation and hold onto the hand of G_d through the storm. Some of the greatest victories of our life come not in times of peace but in times of trouble when the only place you can go to is your knees. No matter what the army of Saul did to David, how his life was threatened, and/or which person was telling on him, David never lost his faith in G_d. My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds (7-10). G_d has the power and authority to change seasons, bring up kings and bring them down, and/or give the land to whomsoever. The question is, “will he find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:8).
Proverbs 16 – How Shall I Live My Life? Before Samson was born, an Angel declared his birth and so Samson’s parents wanted to know “How shall we raise him (Judges 13:12)”? In this segment of Proverbs, we can derive that it is not by “telling people how to live G_dly lives” but living G_dly lives so that the seed of faith is passed along. When we live to please the Lord even our enemies are at peace with us (7); this “peace” is not the kind that serves to placate people but to live G_dly in and out of sight of the world. Living to please the Lord does not mean “just until _______ situation changes” but, “all of the days of our life. It is easy to be faithful when the wind is at our back, the right person is on the throne, and everything is “peachy keen”. It is when the storms change direction and blow across our path leaving destruction that our faith is tested. The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe (17). In life, we will need to take chances and “act on faith”. Acting on faith does not mean “everything will turn out perfect” because maybe G_d something better for us. e may throw the dice,
but the LORD determines how they fall (33).
Isaiah 35 – Hope For Restoration. Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, flowers and singing and joy will be abundant! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God (1-2). Standing by faith is never “until ___ situation changes” it is standing in faith though we cannot see a victory coming. In the early days of Ahaz’s reign, Assyria and Israel were threatening war against Judah which caused the king of Judah to fear like what happened in Jericho (Joshua 6) and he was fearful of losing the kingdom but G_d had a special message of encouragement for the fearful king: “Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm (Isaiah 7:9).” Understand this, everything G_d promises will not occur according to our timeline. For this reason, we need to grab hold of the hand of G_d and never let go. And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land (5-7). When your world is dried up and all of your dreams are crushed, it is very difficult to believe this prophecy. It is even more difficult to conceive the notion that “the ransomed of the Lord return” when no one has left the land yet. The prophecy indicates that the land will be left desolate, people will be taken captive, and the great armies will be decimated. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness (10).
Mark 5 – Jesus heals a Demon-Possessed Man. A man who lived in the caves of the Gaderens was possessed by a legion of demons. The man could not be restrained and so the people of the Gaderens were afraid of him. When Jesus arrived, the demons knew who he was and how their tenure so the fun was just about over. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me (7)!” When the people of the Gadarenes saw the man who was possessed by the demons sitting up dressed and in his right mind and what had happened to the pigs, they became fearful that they were doomed. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone (15-17). By leaving the man behind, he was able to minister to his family; from this one person, many came to the Lord just like what happened with the woman at the well (John 4). This man, the woman who was healed of a blood issue, and healing the synagog leader’s daughter are all testimonies of Jesus’ faith in the Father. The people that were healed had faith in Jesus or they would never have come to him and never been healed.