Highlights In Today's Reading:
When Saul learns of David seeking help from the priests, his anger becomes uncontrollable. Don't miss David and Saul's encounter at the cave in Engedi.
Saul never was more deceived than when he said of David: God hath delivered him into mine hand (23:7). His comment exposes how easily we can be deceived by our interpretation of providential events when we are not in subjection to God and His Word. Such misinterpretations arise not merely from ignorance but from the god of this world (who) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (II Corinthians 4:4). A similar deception was made by the Egyptian army at the Red Sea when they said of Israel: They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in (Exodus 14:3).
Israel's life as well as ours remind me of a poem that a blind elderly lady shared with me more than 60 years ago: I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith, and love, and every grace; Might more of His salvation know, And seek, more earnestly, His face. 'Twas He who taught me thus to pray, And He, I know, has answered prayer! But it has been in such a way, As almost drove me to despair. I hoped that in some favored hour, At once He'd answer my request; And by His love's constraining pow'r, Subdue my soul, and give me rest. Instead of this, He made me feel The hidden evils of my heart; Let all the angry pow'rs of hell Assault my soul in every part. Yea more, by His own hand He seemed Intent to aggravate my woe; Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, Blasted my hopes, and laid me low. Lord, why is this, I trembling cried, Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death? “'Tis in this way, the Lord replied, I answer prayer for grace and faith. These inward trials I employ, From self, and sin, to set thee free; Blast all thy schemes of earthly joy, That thou may'st find thy all in Me.” This poem was written by John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace." He was once an infidel and slave trader. By the mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, he was saved and called to preach the Gospel which he had formerly tried to destroy.
At times, because of our circumstances, we may think that God does not care; but, our all-wise Heavenly Father often allows all of us to experience deep distress in order to develop in us a greater faith in Him. He does care, and He stands ready to answer our call when and if it is His will.
Perhaps at that moment you too are discouraged and walking in darkness. Regardless of circumstances, like David, set your confidence in the unchanging, eternal, Word of God.
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the Name of the Lord (Isaiah 50:10).
Thought for Today:
Trusting God's Word sets us free from the chains of doubt and fear. Then saith He to Thomas . . . be not faithless, but believing (John 20:27).
By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Samuel 24:10-13). Christ refused to become King of Israel. When Jesus . . . perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a King, He departed (John 6:15).
22:4 hold =stronghold, safe place; 22:10 victuals =provisions; 22:18 fell upon =attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned = I am to blame for; 23:9 practised mischief =plotted evil or harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand =encouraged his faith in God; 23:22 his haunt =where he is hiding; 24:3 sheepcotes =where the sheep were kept; to cover his feet =to take a nap; 24:4 privily =unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed =persuaded, restrained; 24:19 go well away =get away safely.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Clarita Talbot • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Rep. David Wu (OR) • Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Gilbutese • Religious freedom • 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Have faith in God's Word (John 4:49-53).
Optional Reading: Acts 9
Memory Verse for the Week: I Samuel 17:47