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Bible Pathways 4/9/05

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 (see Hebrews 11:32), but just one sentence records the death of this grand, old prophet at this treacherous time in Israel's history. Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. Because of Saul, David could not attend the funeral; instead he went down to the wilderness of Paran (I Samuel 25:1). The Israelites were now without spiritual leadership. But the all-wise God, who controls the universe, knew what was best.


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 often seem strange to us. But, without a doubt, God never abandons His children. He leads us to look beyond our grief and to trust in His wisdom and in His tender love to comfort our broken spirits. Jesus said: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).


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 (Revelation 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 commanded Israel: Comfort . . My people (Isaiah 40:1) and for Christians, Paul was led to write: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (II Corinthians 1:3-4).


Last, but not least, the death of loved ones makes heaven all the more desirable for we who remain. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). The words of our Savior are most comforting: Let not your heart be troubled. . . . I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1,3).


Word Studies:


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 = raid; 27:11 so will be his manner = was his custom or policy.


Christ Revealed:


By Abigail's efforts to make peace between David and Nabal (I Samuel 25:18-28). God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:19).


Prayer Needs:


Pray for Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord; He will give you peace and strength (Daniel 10:19).


Optional Reading: Acts 10


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:15



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