Don't miss today's reading! We learn we can receive protection from satanic deception as well as direction from God as David did (I Sam. 25:32-33,39; 26:22-24) as we stay faithful and respect biblical principles (26:8-12). Nabal, a wicked landowner, dies; David marries his widow Abigail; Saul's pursuit of David.
Verse for Today:
Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah (I Sam. 25:1).
Samuel was one of the greatest spiritual giants in Israel's history and is listed as one of the heroes of the faith (Heb. 11:32), but just one sentence records the death of this grand, old prophet at this treacherous time in Israel's history. Because of Saul, David could not attend the funeral; instead he went down to the wilderness of Paran (I Sam. 25:1). The Israelites were now without spiritual leadership. But the all-wise God, who controls the universe, always knows what is best.
We are tempted at times to think that death has come at the wrong time, especially when a child is left without a mother, or when children die at a young age. Familiar as we are with death, the ways of God regarding it often seem strange to us. But, without a doubt, God never abandons His children. By faith He leads us to look beyond our grief and trust in His wisdom and His tender love to comfort our broken spirit. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (I Thess. 4:18).
Death for the Christian is a promotion from this world's suffering to a welcome home by our wonderful Lord. Soon, God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Rev. 21:4).
At times we all need comfort. This is especially true during experiences of distress and grief when a loved one dies. Those of us who have lost loved ones know what a word of compassion can mean. As we see others suffering, let us also remember that our Heavenly Father has commanded: Comfort . . . My people (Is. 40:1).
Last, but not least, the death of loved ones makes heaven all the more precious for we who remain. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Ps. 116:15). The words of our Savior are most comforting: Let not your heart be troubled. . . . I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1,3).
Thought for Today:
For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thess. 4:16).
By Abigail's efforts to make peace between David and Nabal (I Sam. 25:21-28). God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Cor. 5:19).
25:3 churlish =harsh, cruel, rude; 25:14 railed on =insulted; 25:15 were conversant with =associated with; 25:21 requited =returned, repaid; 25:27 blessing =gift; 25:28 a sure house = lasting dynasty; 25:29 bound in the bundle of life =safe in the care of the Lord; 26:5 in the trench =inside the barricade; 26:7 bolster =headrest, pillow; 26:15 kept =guarded; 26:24 set by =valued; 27:1 coast =territory; 27:10 road =raid; 27:11 manner =behavior.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Linda Witmer • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Country: Ecuador (13 million) in South America, crossed by the equator • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal His will and fill you with His Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18).
Optional Reading: Acts 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:9-10