Highlights In Today's Reading:
Samuel dies while David is still in danger of being killed by Saul who had said to his son Jonathan: As long as the son of Jesse (David) liveth . . . thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die (20:31). Read how he and his 600 men survived in "enemy" territory.
David realized he must leave the area and go where Saul could not reach him. Jonathan Saul's son arose, and went to David. . . . And he said unto him, Fear not . . . my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel. . . . And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house (23:16-18). Then Saul . . . having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, (went) to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph (26:2) and David discovered Saul as he lay sleeping (26:7). Then said Abishai . . . let me smite him. . . . And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? . . . The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed (26:8-9,11). David's nephew, Abishai, urged him to destroy Saul assuming that God hath delivered thine enemy into thy hand (26:8). Furthermore, he reasoned, it would further the cause of God, since David had already been anointed king.
However, David knew he was still under Saul's authority. David would not seize the throne like a rebel initiating an insurrection.
The Church exists as the bodily representative of Christ on earth and its future depends upon its recognition of God's authority over it. Church leaders such as ministers, pastors, or elders are directly responsible to God for what they preach and allow to be taught in their pastoral care. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17). The Church's future depends upon recognition of Christ's authority. There are many "Abishai" Christians today who seize the opportunity to enter into rebellion, backbiting, backstabbing, and literally killing the influence and effect of a man of God in order to justify their own rebellious spirit. The disobedient are traveling in the pathway of Saul and their own spiritual suicide.
The Christian's submission to authority is to go beyond the Church, for the Word says: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God (Romans 13:1). Therefore, we are to: Be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Titus 3:1).
Thought for Today:
Many churches suffer because people regard the worldly influence of a wealthy church member more than the God given authority of a spiritual pastor.
By Abigail's efforts to make peace between David and Nabal (I Samuel 25:21-28). God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Corinthians 5:19).
25:3 churlish =rude, harsh, cruel; 25:14 railed =insulted; 25:15 conversant with =associated with; 25:21 requited =returned; 25:28 a sure house =a lasting dynasty; 25:29 bound in the bundle of life =a metaphor meaning David received the Lord's protection; 26:7 bolster =headrest, pillow; 27:10 road =aid; 27:11 so will be his manner =was his custom or policy.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs Henrine Anding • Staff: Beth Carlton • Country: Kuwait (2 million) in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and English • Some religious freedom • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).
Optional Reading: Acts 10
Memory Verse for the Week: I Samuel 17:47