1 Samuel 23:15-29
Deuteronomy 31:1-13 – Joshua to Succeed Moses. The Parashat Vayielech is read every 7th seven or 49 years at the Feast of Booth’s “Pentecost” (9-15, The Parashat). Moses was not going with the nation into the new land so the baton would be passed over to Joshua Moses’ Aid to Camp or 2nd in command. While Moses’ journey was ending, it was a new chapter for the nation (1). The Lord had promised that He would send an Angel to lead the nation but “I Am” would not go because the nation would get destroyed for its duplicity (Exodus 23:20-21). The people were to follow the angel’s directions to the letter which required faithfulness and obedience. The people were not fear the nations being removed from the land no matter how big or imposing they were (2-6). Joshua was brought before the people and the authority given to Moses was passed down to Joshua (7-8).
Psalms 50:1-15 – G-d Himself is Judge. Zion, or the City of David, became the “one place” when David brought the judgment seat into the city (2 Samuel 6). All of the people in Jerusalem and those in the cities beyond were invited to the festival (1-2). The two stone tablets on which the law was inscribed were inside of Ark. It was from the law that the people were judged (3-4). To the faithful in the community, the Ark’s arrival was good news (5-6). In the preceding years, the people were under the illusion that “sacrifice” pleased G-d not understanding that it is obedience that pleases G-d more than anything we can possibly offer (7-8). G-d is a Spirit and so those who worship Him must do it in spirit and in truth. For this reason, He does not get hungry nor does He thirst or get sleepy (9-15, John 4:24).
Proverbs 15:1-13 – The Tone of Our Voice and the Sound of Our Heart. The tone of our voice tells a lot about our character. Being proud or arrogant propels people from our lives whereas a gentle tongue breaks a bone of contention (1-2, 4). Whatever we think, say, or do the Lord sees and it is from that viewpoint that we are either judged or condemned (3). As children, we have all received instruction that seemed to be “utter foolishness” only to find out in time how right the parent was and how wrong we were (5-6). As parents, our reward is rarely given in this lifetime but when the children walk in obedience to the Lord, it reflects well on the parent; equally, disobedience and sin are embarrassing. In America and around the world today, people point out other people’s flaws but when it comes to people pointing fingers at us, we run for cover (7-10). The Lord has seen Heaven and he has seen Hell because of that, he knows where our lives are heading if we do not change course. Equally, he knows why we are disobedient, what all of our triggers are, and contributing illnesses and diseases. Yet, He loves us and cares for us (11-13).
Acts 16:25-40 – The Philippian Jailer Converted. About the midnight hour, Paul and Silas were in prayer when an earthquake occurred which shook the prison foundation (25-26). The reason the jailer was about to kill himself was that when a prisoner escaped on your watch, the jailer would face a fate worse than death (27, Commentary). Paul and Silas could have escaped but then they would be fugitives from the law and it would have tainted their witness. As it was, the jailer upon hearing the prisoners were still in their cells, asked how he could be saved (28-30). The jailer then took the two men to his house to clean their wounds and the whole family got to hear what Paul and Silas had to say (31-34). In the morning the elders of the community in a magnanimous gesture told the jailer to release the two men. The problem was, Paul was a Roman citizen which gave him the right to a trial before being beaten (35-37, Roman Legal Procedure). The magistrate had no power to pass judgment so he lost the case and had to apologize and escort Paul and Silas out of prison (38-39). Before leaving the area, Paul and Silas stopped at Lydia to encourage the brethren (40).
1 Samuel 23:15-29 – Saul Goes in Search for David. The wilderness of Ziph was in the hill country in the seventh district of Judah (15, Ziph). Jonathan took his life in his hands when we went to strengthen David’s resolve. The brotherly love between David and Jonathan was not controlled by Saul’s anger, it was strengthened (16-18). The Ziphites, David’s relatives, were willing to hand him over to Saul for a possible reward. David did not know the Ziphites but had worked to help the community where he could (19-20, Reward). When Saul said “may you be blessed by the Lord …” he was using a cliché sort of like saying “Praise the Lord” when your heart is not in union with the Lord (21). Saul told the representatives to get an accurate layout of where David is hiding and then report back (22-24). Thinking he had the upper hand, Saul went to the hill country hoping for victory only to find himself chasing David around the mountain. The chase continued until the report that the Philistines were invading Israel (25-27). Upon hearing of the Invasion, Saul and his army broke off the chase and went to defend Israel. The Hebrew word for “Rock of Escape” or “Rock of Separation” is “Selahammahlekoth” (28). Ein Gedi is an oasis in the desert (29, Ein Gedi).