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04/19/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 28-31 & Psalm 18

1 Samuel 28:4-8   4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or

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04/18/2018 — Psalm Chapters 17, 35, 54, and 63

Once again we see these Psalms written during the time David was being pursued.  In these I denote a recurring pattern. First David recognizes who God “is” and raises his words in praise.   For example   Psalm 63:2-5 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary     and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is

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04/17/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 25-27

Chapter 27 contains an episode in the life of David that seems to foreshadow another much more familiar relationship in his life — Bathsheba and Uriah. 1 Samuel 27: 10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the

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04/16/2018 — Psalms Chapters 56, 120, and 140-142

As we read these chapters I hope you were able to keep them in context, knowing from 1 Samuel what David was enduring when these Psalms were written — his being pursued by Saul, a man who David fears and, yet, respects as chosen by God. I do not doubt that at these times David

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04/15/2018 — Psalm Chapters 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

Now, realizing what David was encountering in the last 4 chapters of 1 Samuel (chapters 21-24) can you not but better relate to his pleas and praise in these Psalms?  All four contain references to Saul’s pursuit and David’s dilemma.  But these passages really drew my attention. Psalm 27: 4-6 One thing I ask from

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04/14/2018 – 1 Samuel Chapters 21-24

These chapters contain as much “action” as any four chapters in scripture.  I think a  fascinating study would be to lay-out a map of the area and trace David and Saul’s journeys as Saul “pursues” and David “eludes!” And I hope you noticed that one of the reasons that David successfully eluded Saul was his

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04/13/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 18-20 and Psalm 11 & 59

First, I hope you are enjoying the way the readings place the Psalms closely with the events in David’s life.  I enjoy “perspective” and this method helps me greatly. David is certainly blessed in multiple ways by the Lord but what struck me today is the gift he received of his friendship with Jonathan.  We

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04/12/18 — 1 Samuel Chapters 15-17

These chapters introduce us to King David and contain many marvelous examples of the Lord’s will being fulfilled.  The passages also contain a verse that at first perplexed me and may cause you to reflect: 14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. My

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04/11/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 13-14

Just in yesterday’s reading today I see another similarity in the lives of Moses and Saul. Exodus 21: 11-12 states:  11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. 12But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because

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04/10/18 — 1 Samuel Chapters 9-12

In chapter 10 I see an already anointed Saul remind me of another Bible hero, Moses.  Just as Moses continued to try to avoid the Lord’s direction to lead the nation of Israel we find Saul: 22 So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”  And the Lord said, “Yes, he

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04/09/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 4-8

These chapters lead us to the end of “judges” ruling Israel.  They also provide other examples of the nation’s failure to follow the Lord and of the Lord’s unending loyalty to His people. For example in Chapter 4:1-4 we see the nation lose His ark of the covenant Now the Israelites went out to fight

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04/08/2018 — 1 Samuel Chapters 1-3

I should have mentioned it yesterday during our study of Ruth, but over the next several weeks we will be reading some of our most memorable Bible histories.  I think at least one reason we remember these narratives is that for the most part (not in all cases) they present Biblical heroes in the way

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04/07/2018 — The Book of Ruth

In two days of readings we go from one of the most horrid episodes in the Nation of Israel (Judges 19-21) to one of the most beautiful, the story of Ruth. We can find a spiritual lesson in nearly every verse but there is one emotionally charged verse I will focus on today: Ruth 1:16  

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04/06/2018 — Judges Chapter 19-21

To me this may be one of the most horrible episodes in the history of the Nation of Israel — adultery, sexual deviancy, murder and dismemberment are all included.  In fact when you read these chapters you wonder how much worse morality could have been in Sodom and Gomorrah. The description of these events is

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04/05/2018 — Judges Chapters 16-18

So, we left off yesterday with my wondering how this man of apparent spiritual failings could be used by God.  Well, I think we are all familiar with the episode of Samson and Delilah (of course if not you can watch the 1949 Cecil B. DeMille movie …)  At the very end of Samson’s life

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04/04/2018 Judges Chapters 13-15

OK — now when you think of the Judges you probably do not think first of Tola (Judges 10:1-2)  But you do probably think of the focus of today’s reading — Samson. As I read through these verses there was not much about Solomon that struck me as his particularly being a man of God

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04/03/2018 — Judges Chapters 10-12

Wow — in these chapters are two of what I think are the “highest” and “lowest” events in the lives of the Judges.  The highest — in Chapter 11:1-10 when Jephthah, the son of a prostitute and exile from his family is approached by the elders of Gilead to lead them in their fight against

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04/02/2018 — Judges Chapters 8-9

We see, again, in these passages that even great leaders take actions that have terrible results.  From Judges 8:26-27: 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on

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04/01/2018 — Judges Chapters 6-7

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.  25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and

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03/31/18 — Judges Chapters 3-5

In these chapters we see the actual introduction of several of the “judges.”  But, unfortunately, each judge arises at the failure of the Israelites to follow God’s will. 7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The anger of the

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