1 Samuel 29
Deuteronomy 34 – The Death of Moses. Moses was called up to the mountain where he would see the land that Israel would inherit (1-4). Moses died on the mountain but nobody knows where he was buried and the reason for that, I believe, is that if the burial place was known, people pilgrimage to the site (5-7). Moses’ death was a blow to the people because he had been their spiritual headship since leaving Egypt (8). The nation’s eyes and hope were on Joshua who was inducted into being the leader of the nation. Joshua was no Moses but then, Moses was no Joshua (9-12). Personal Notes: The difference between Jesus and Moses was that Jesus taught in the name of his Father and everything Jesus did was aimed at preparing the men to move out. The disciples were obviously frightened by the prospect of Jesus’ death just as the nation was upon Moses’ death. Yet from the loss, Joshua, Peter, and Paul arise to take the helm.
Psalms 56 – In G_d I Trust – A big question most people ask themselves in times of trouble is, “who do I trust”? It is not uncommon for people to have different opinions and each person’s opinion is right in that person’s eyes. David was caught up in this conundrum but, notice his response (1-4). When we seek to serve the Lord and make his judgment be our opinion, He makes whatever situation we are facing turn out for His glory (5-7). The thing we need to get through our thick heads is that the Lord knows what we are going through and is not blind to the pain we are facing. If we can but hold on until the storms clear, we will see the pathway He has laid and how our faith muscle has grown (8-11). Our job in the storm is, “remain obedient even if what we are told to do makes no sense” (12-13). Personal Notes: Consider the case of Paul who faced the judgment of the Jews for trusting in the Lord and being obedient to his calling. It would have been all too easy for Paul to think, “This is G-d’s people so what they are saying must be correct so maybe I’m wrong”.
Proverbs 19:19-29 Proverbs For Life. One of the many difficult lessons to learn in life is, “who do I trust”? The Devil’s lies compel us to believe fiction and reject the truth because the truth sounds so much like fiction. Consider how a wrathful person portrays himself/herself as the victim instead of the perpetrator. As saints, we want to cross the aisle to reach this “wrathful person” only to be caught up in a never-ending cycle of problems (19-21). A common need of mankind is the “need to be wanted” which compels people to seek connections and refuse to hear bad things about the person they are listening to (22). It is not uncommon for people to fear icons like actors and athletes by holding them to standards for which they cannot possibly attain so when the icon fails, our faith is shattered. If our faith is in anything or anyone other than the Lord, we are in for heartache (23-24). Dealing with troublemakers and scoffers is important because the longer they are allowed to carry on, the more potential there will be for others to follow in that person’s path (25-29). Personal Notes: We are given the responsibility for controlling what goes on in our life. Part of that responsibility is carefully reviewing the background of the people we hire to be our counselors.
Acts 22 – Paul’s Defense. Paul defended himself by telling his story. To get the people onboard, Paul spoke in Hebrew which is the language of the Old Testament (). At one point he was a Pharisee which was the strictest sect in Judaism. From his youth, he was indoctrinated in the beliefs of his teacher Gamilea (3-4). Paul’s salvation experience on the Damascus road amazed the people probably because they had been raised hearing about Moses’ experience on the mountain. The crescendo, deflating, and aggravation were when he mentioned the vile word “gentiles” (22-24). Paul would have been flogged except for the fact that he was a Roman Citizen (25-29). Personal notes: Misunderstandings keep people apart which is the goal of the Devil. Consider how “differences of opinion” kept the Jews from speaking to the Samaritans and vice versa (). By going to the Gentiles, Paul was seen as a traitor when he was actually healing the wounds between the people groups.
1 Samuel 29 – The Philistines Reject David. The Israeli army gathered at Jezreel to go into battle against Philistia (1). David and his 600 men went into battle to fight against Israel under the auspices of Achish which drew the ire of the other kings of Philistia (2-3). The problem the kings had with Achish and David was that there was always the probability that David would switch sides in the middle of the battle (4). Remember, David had been run out of Israel by Saul and Achish welcomed David and his men. Despite what the other kings felt, David was loyal to Achish and would have gladly fought alongside him and the armies of Philistia (5). Achish understood the logic of his fellow kings despite how he felt personally about David (6-11). Personal Notes: There is a point to be made about pushing people out of our lives.