April 9

Read I Samuel 25 -- 27

In Today's Reading:

Death of Samuel; Nabal, a wicked landowner, dies; David marries his widow Abigail; Saul's pursuit of David

Samuel was one of the greatest spiritual giants in Israel's history and is listed as one of the heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11:32), but just one sentence records the death of this grand, old prophet. The all-wise God, who controls the universe, knew what was best at this treacherous time in Israel's history. Samuel died, and all Israel gathered together to mourn for him; they buried him by his home in Ramah. Because of Saul, David could not attend the funeral; instead he went down to the Wilderness of Paran (I Samuel 25:1).

We are tempted at times to think that death has come to the wrong person or 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 may seem strange to us. But, without a doubt, God never abandons His children. He leads us to look beyond our grief and trust in His wisdom and His tender love to comfort our broken spiritJesus assures us: Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me (John 14:1).

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 encouraged us to: Comfort, comfort My people! says your God (Isaiah 40:1).

Last, but not least, the death of loved ones makes heaven all the more desirable for us who remain. In the sight of the LORD the death of His faithful ones is costly (precious) (Psalms 116:15).

Death for the Christian is a promotion from this world's suffering to a welcome home by our wonderful Lord. Soon, He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will exist no longer; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).

Christ Revealed:

By Abigail's efforts to make peace between David and Nabal (I Samuel 25:21-28).In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:19).

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Artur Davis (AL) · Country: Uzbekistan (24 million) central Asia · Major languages: Uzbek and Russian · Limited religious freedom due to Islamic influence · 68% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox; .5% Protestant/Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the guidance of the Lord (Proverbs 8:17).

Optional Reading: Acts 10

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 2:5