At King Street Church, we believe that the Word of God is vital to a growing walk with Jesus.  We make reading the Bible a priority at our church with a new Bible Reading Plan every year.  It is our desire that the church body would read the Scriptures together, and come to a ever-deepening understanding of God’s purpose and plan for our lives.  We welcome others around the world to join us in this quest! 

If you would like to hear messages that focus on biblical teaching, visit us at www.kingstreetchurch.com.   

2019 Focus

Our new Bible Reading Program for 2019 will feature readings each day from the Old and New Testament  as well as a reading from Psalm or Proverbs. In addition our pastoral team is providing directives and questions that will lead you in a deeper study experience each day. The first time you encounter a new book we will be including a short video from the Bible Project to help provide context.  Over the course of the year, we believe that you will see growth in your spiritual walk as you discover new truths about Christ!

Ways to Read

  • – Subscribe via the sign box below to receive daily emails
  • – Text DAILY to 717.210.5729 to receive the readings and questions via a text message
  • – Visit 2019.kingstreetchurch.com daily to read the passage and respond to the questions. 

 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

2 SAMUEL 13-14

1 In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.
Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.
Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man.
He asked Amnon, “Why do you, the king’s son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
“Go to bed and pretend to be ill,” Jonadab said. “When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.’”
So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.”
David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.”
So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it.
Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.  “Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him.
10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom.
11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”
12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing.
13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.”
14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.
15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”
16 “No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.”  But he refused to listen to her.
17 He called his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight and bolt the door after her.”
18 So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore.
19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.
20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.
21 When King David heard all this, he was furious.
22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.
23 Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there.
24 Absalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his attendants please join me?”
25 “No, my son,” the king replied. “All of us should not go; we would only be a burden to you.” Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go but gave him his blessing.
26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us.”  The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?”
27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons.
28 Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.”
29 So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.
30 While they were on their way, the report came to David: “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.”
31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn.
32 But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom’s express intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar.
33 My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.”
34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled.  Now the man standing watch looked up and saw many people on the road west of him, coming down the side of the hill. The watchman went and told the king, “I see men in the direction of Horonaim, on the side of the hill.”
35 
Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; it has happened just as your servant said.”
36 As he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his attendants wept very bitterly.
37 Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son.
38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years.
39 And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.

2 SAMUEL 14 

1 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom.
So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead.
Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth.
When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!”
The king asked her, “What is troubling you?” She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead.
I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him.
Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.”
The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.”
But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.”
10 The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.”
11 She said, “Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.”  “As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.”
12 Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” “Speak,” he replied.
13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son?
14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.
15 “And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request.
16 Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from God’s inheritance.’
17 “And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’”
18 Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.” “Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said.
19 The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant.
20 Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.”
21 The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”
22 Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.”
23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.
24 But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.
25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him.
26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.
27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face.
29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come.
30 Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32 Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!”’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”
33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom. 

PROVERBS 15:21-27

21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!
24 The path of life leads upward for the prudent
to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead.
25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.
26 The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but gracious words are pure in his sight.
27 The greedy bring ruin to their households,
but the one who hates bribes will live.

2 CORINTHIANS 7

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one.
I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you.
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—
yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.
10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.
13 By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.
14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well.
15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.
16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.

2 Samuel 13-14 – In chapter 11, David fell in love (or lust) with a woman he should not have. Here in chapter 13, David’s son Amnon does the very same thing. Any connection?

Proverbs 15:21-27 – Why is it so important to run your plans past wise advisors? (v. 22) Is this something you do regularly? Is this something you should start doing today?

2 Corinthians 7 – God wants us to purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. (v. 1). This involves confession, repentance, forgiveness and commitment. Take a moment right now to do this in light of a particular sin that has been plaguing you.

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Friday, May 24, 2019

2 SAMUEL 11-12

1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.
When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”
11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate.
24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”
25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord. 

2 SAMUEL 12

1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.
The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,
but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!
He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.
I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.
Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.
12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”
13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”
15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.
16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.
17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’
23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him;
25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.
26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel.
27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply.
28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”
29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it.
30 David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city
31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

PROVERBS 15:15-20

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway.
20 A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother.

2 CORINTHIANS 6

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Paul’s Hardships

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;
in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;
known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;
10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.
12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.
13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.

Warning Against Idolatry

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
17 Therefore, “Come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
18 And, “I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Samuel 11-12 –  Inactivity and a lack of being where he was supposed to be ultimately got David into the trouble that we find him getting into here in chapter 11. Do you find this to be a problem in your own life? What can you do about it?

Proverbs 15:15-20 – Better a little with love, than a lot with turmoil. (v. 16) Why?

2 Corinthians 6 – Do you have a child or grandchild that is currently dating an unbeliever—or perhaps you yourself are? Do you think Paul is just giving his opinion in verse 14—or is this more of a command? Why is Paul so strong on this? What are you willing to do about it?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2 SAMUEL 9-10

1 David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” “At your service,” he replied.
The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.  David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.
10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 
13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

2 SAMUEL 10

1 In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king.
David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites,
the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?”
So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away.
When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.”
When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maakah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.
On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men.
The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maakah were by themselves in the open country.
Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans.
10 He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites.
11 Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you.
12 Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”
13 Then Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and they fled before him.
14 When the Ammonites realized that the Arameans were fleeing, they fled before Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab returned from fighting the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.
15 After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they regrouped.
16 Hadadezer had Arameans brought from beyond the Euphrates River; they went to Helam, with Shobak the commander of Hadadezer’s army leading them.
17 When David was told of this, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan and went to Helam. The Arameans formed their battle lines to meet David and fought against him.
18 But they fled before Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also struck down Shobak the commander of their army, and he died there.
19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore. 

PROVERBS 15:8-14

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;
the one who hates correction will die.
11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord—
how much more do human hearts!
12 Mockers resent correction,
so they avoid the wise.
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

2 CORINTHIANS 5

Awaiting the New Body

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,
because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.
For we live by faith, not by sight.
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

2 Samuel 9-10 – These two chapter’s feature David extending his kingdom, which included his active involvement in the battles. Why do you think God wants us to know these details?

Proverbs 15:8-14 – Do you smile very much? (v. 13) If not, why not?

2 Corinthians 5 – How does this chapter put our entire lives into perspective? Seriously—read this chapter again, and ask God to show you the Upper Story in light of the many difficulties you face in your Lower Story.

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

2 SAMUEL 7-8

1 After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him,
he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?
I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.
Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you have gone,and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.
10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning
11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.  “‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:
12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.
15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:  “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord.
21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?
24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised,
26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.
28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

2 SAMUEL 8

1 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.
David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.
Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at the Euphrates River.
David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.
When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them.
He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.
From Tebah and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.
When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer,
10 he sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze.
11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued:
12 Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13 And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.
16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder;
17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary;
18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

PROVERBS 15:1-7

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
A fool spurns a parent’s discipline,
but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
but the income of the wicked brings ruin.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
but the hearts of fools are not upright.

2 CORINTHIANS 4

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.
12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

2 Samuel 7-8 – Why was God so content to live in a tent for so many years (2 Sam 7:6)?

Proverbs 15:1-7 – These seven verses have a lot to say about lips, tongues and words. Why is this such an important topic?

2 Corinthians 4 – This chapter is PACKED with amazing truth and encouragement. If you’re in danger of losing heart (verses 1 and 16), take a few minutes right now and memorize verses 16-18. It will do your heart a world of good.

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Monday, May 20, 2019

2 SAMUEL 3-4

1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
Sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.
During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul.
Now Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, “Why did you sleep with my father’s concubine?”
Abner was very angry because of what Ish-Bosheth said. So he answered, “Am I a dog’s head—on Judah’s side? This very day I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven’t handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman!
May God deal with Abner, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath
10 and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and establish David’s throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba.”
11 Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
12 Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, “Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you.”
13 “Good,” said David. “I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Michal daughter of Saul when you come to see me.”
14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, “Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins.”
15 So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish.
16 Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back.
17 Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king.
18 Now do it! For the Lord promised David, ‘By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’”
19 Abner also spoke to the Benjamites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole tribe of Benjamin wanted to do.
20 When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men.
21 Then Abner said to David, “Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
22 Just then David’s men and Joab returned from a raid and brought with them a great deal of plunder. But Abner was no longer with David in Hebron, because David had sent him away, and he had gone in peace.
23 When Joab and all the soldiers with him arrived, he was told that Abner son of Ner had come to the king and that the king had sent him away and that he had gone in peace.
24 So Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why did you let him go? Now he is gone!
25 You know Abner son of Ner; he came to deceive you and observe your movements and find out everything you are doing.”
26 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern at Sirah. But David did not know it.
27 Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.
28 Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before the Lord concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner.
29 May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”
30 (Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)
31 Then David said to Joab and all the people with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and walk in mourning in front of Abner.” King David himself walked behind the bier.
32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb. All the people wept also.
33 The king sang this lament for Abner: “Should Abner have died as the lawless die?
34 Your hands were not bound, your feet were not fettered. You fell as one falls before the wicked.” And all the people wept over him again.
35 Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!”
36 All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them.
37 So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner.
38 Then the king said to his men, “Do you not realize that a commander and a great man has fallen in Israel this day?
39 And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me.May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!”

2 SAMUEL 4

1 When Ish-Bosheth son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel became alarmed.
Now Saul’s son had two men who were leaders of raiding bands. One was named Baanah and the other Rekab; they were sons of Rimmon the Beerothite from the tribe of Benjamin—Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin,
because the people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim and have resided there as foreigners to this day.
(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became disabled. His name was Mephibosheth.)
Now Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest.
They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rekab and his brother Baanah slipped away.
They had gone into the house while he was lying on the bed in his bedroom. After they stabbed and killed him, they cut off his head. Taking it with them, they traveled all night by way of the Arabah.
They brought the head of Ish-Bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who tried to kill you. This day the Lord has avenged my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.”
David answered Rekab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble,
10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news!
11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!”
12 So David gave an order to his men, and they killed them. They cut off their hands and feet and hung the bodies by the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-Bosheth and buried it in Abner’s tomb at Hebron.

PROVERBS 14:22-28

22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is deceitful.
26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for their children it will be a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.
28 A large population is a king’s glory,
but without subjects a prince is ruined.

2 CORINTHIANS 2

So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you.
For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?
I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy.
For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely.
The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient.
Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.
10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,
11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Ministers of the New Covenant

12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me,
13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.
15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?
17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. 

2 Samuel 3-4 – 2 Samuel 3:1 describes how David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. Make a case (in your mind) for how this actually started way back in the story of David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17).

Proverbs 14:22-28 – Why do you think the “fear of the Lord” is such a repeated topic in the Proverbs? What does this phrase mean to you? What do you think it meant to Solomon?

2 Corinthians 2 – What are some specific ways that we spread the aroma of Christ everywhere we go? (v. 14)

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

2 SAMUEL 1-2

1 After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days.
On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.
“Where have you come from?” David asked him. He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”
“What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.” “The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”
“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit.
When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’
“He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.
“Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’
10 “So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”
11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them.
12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?” “I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.
14 David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
15 Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died.
16 For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’”
17 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan,
18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar):
19 “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel. How the mighty have fallen!
20 “Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.
21 “Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields.  For there the shield of the mighty was despised, the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.
22 “From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
23 Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and admired, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
24 “Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.
25 “How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
27 “How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”

2 SAMUEL 2

1 In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The Lord said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail,the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
David also took the men who were with him,each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns.
Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul,
he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him.
May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.
Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.”
Meanwhile, Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.
He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel.
10 Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David.
11 The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon.
13 Joab son of Zeruiah and David’s men went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat down on one side of the pool and one group on the other side.
14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.” “All right, let them do it,” Joab said.
15 So they stood up and were counted off—twelve men for Benjamin and Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, and twelve for David.
16 Then each man grabbed his opponent by the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent’s side, and they fell down together. So that place in Gibeon was called Helkath Hazzurim.
17 The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men.
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle.
19 He chased Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he pursued him.
20 Abner looked behind him and asked, “Is that you, Asahel?” “It is,” he answered.
21 Then Abner said to him, “Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
22 Again Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?”
23 But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and as the sun was setting, they came to the hill of Ammah, near Giah on the way to the wasteland of Gibeon.
25 Then the men of Benjamin rallied behind Abner. They formed themselves into a group and took their stand on top of a hill.
26 Abner called out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?”
27 Joab answered, “As surely as God lives, if you had not spoken, the men would have continued pursuing them until morning.”
28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the troops came to a halt; they no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore.
29 All that night Abner and his men marched through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, continued through the morning hours and came to Mahanaim.
30 Then Joab stopped pursuing Abner and assembled the whole army. Besides Asahel, nineteen of David’s men were found missing.
31 But David’s men had killed three hundred and sixty Benjamites who were with Abner.
32 They took Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men marched all night and arrived at Hebron by daybreak. 

PROVERBS 14:15-21

15 The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.
16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.
21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

2 CORINTHIANS 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise to the God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.
Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Paul’s Change of Plans

12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.
13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that,
14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you first so that you might benefit twice.
16 I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.
17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?
18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.”
20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,
22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
23 I call God as my witness—and I stake my life on it—that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.
24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.  

2 Samuel 1-2 – What statement was David making when he ordered the death of the man who killed King Saul? (2 Samuel 1:15) Why was it important for David to send this message?

Proverbs 14:15-21 – What is the difference between being “simple,” and being “prudent”?

2 Corinthians 1 – What does Paul have to say about comfort in verses 3-8?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

1 SAMUEL 31

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa.
The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua.
The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.
Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.
When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him.
So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.
When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.
The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people.
10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them.
13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

PROVERBS 14:8-14

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.
10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief.
14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
and the good rewarded for theirs.

1 CORINTHIANS 16

The Collection for the Lord’s People

Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

Personal Requests

After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia.
Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go.
For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.
But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost,
because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.
11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
14 Do everything in love.
15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters,
16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it.
17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you.
18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.

Final Greetings

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1 Samuel 31 – What does the way that King Saul died have to say about the way that he lived?

Proverbs 14:8-14 – Verse 12 is an oft-quoted proverb. What is the “way that appears to be right” that Solomon is talking about? What makes it seem to be so right?

1 Corinthians 16 – Paul has some pretty strong words for the person who does not love the Lord. (v. 22) Why do you think that is? And what do you think he means by “cursed”?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Friday, May 17, 2019

1 SAMUEL 29-30

1 The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel.
As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish.
The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish replied, “Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”
But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men?
Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”
So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you.
Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”
“But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’
10 Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave in the morning as soon as it is light.”
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1 SAMUEL 30

1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it,
and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.
Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him,
and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind.
10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat—
12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?” He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago.
14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?” He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah.
17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled.
18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives.
19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.
20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were.
22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the Lord has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us.
24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.”
25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.
26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies.”
27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir;
28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa
29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites;
30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak
31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed. 

PROVERBS 14:1-7

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:35-58

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”
36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.
41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.
48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.
49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—
52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

1 Samuel 29-30 – In 1 Samuel 30:24, David declares “the share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went into battle.” What does this say about David’s heart—and what does this law teach us?

Proverbs 14:1-7 – What, according to verse 4, is the key to productivity?

1 Corinthians 15:35-58 – What is the difference between a physical body and a spiritual body?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

1 SAMUEL 27-28

1 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”
So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath.
David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal.
When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”
So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.
David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.
Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites.  (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.)
Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.”
11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.
12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.”

1 SAMUEL 28

1 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”
David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.” Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa.
When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.
He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said.
So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”
But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”
11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” “Bring up Samuel,” he said.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”
13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.”
14 “What does he look like?” he asked. “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.
15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” “I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy?
17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David.
18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.
19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”
20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.
21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do.
22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”
23 He refused and said, “I will not eat.”  But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.
24 The woman had a fattened calf at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast.
25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

PROVERBS 13:19-25

19 A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.
20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
23 An unplowed field produces food for the poor,
but injustice sweeps it away.
24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content,
but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-34

The Resurrection of Christ

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.
28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?
31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

1 Samuel 27-28 – Here in 1 Samuel 28, Saul sinks to his all-time low by paying a visit to a medium (think crystal balls and tarot cards). What I find especially fascinating is that it worked! Samuel is conjured up from the dead! What does this story tell us about how real these “dark arts” really are?

Proverbs 13:19-25 – What are the benefits of walking with the wise? (v. 20) What does it look like for you—practically speaking—to do this?

1 Corinthians 15:1-34 – What is the gospel?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

1 SAMUEL 25-26

1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.
A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel.
His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail.She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.
While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.
So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name.
Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!
“‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’”
When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.
10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.
15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.
16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them.
17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”
18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them.
21 David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good.
22 May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground.
24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.
25 Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent.
26 And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal.
27 And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.
28 “Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live.
29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.
30 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel,
31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”
32 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me.
33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.
34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”
36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak.
37 Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone.
38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife.
40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.”
41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”
42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife.
43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives.
44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

1 SAMUEL 26

1 The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?”
So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David.
Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there,
he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.
Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.
David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” “I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.
So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?
10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.
11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”
12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.
13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them.
14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?”  Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”
15 David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king.
16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the Lord’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”
17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?”  David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.”
18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of?
19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant’s words. If the Lord has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the Lord! They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’
20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”
22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.
23 The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.
24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”
25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”  So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

PROVERBS 13:13-18

13 Whoever scorns instruction will pay for it,
but whoever respects a command is rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.
15 Good judgment wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.
16 All who are prudent act with knowledge,
but fools expose their folly.
17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:26-40

Good Order in Worship

26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.
28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.
30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.
32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.
33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.
35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?
37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.
38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.
39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way. 

1 Samuel 25-26 – Abigail is an unexpected heroin. She sees the folly of her husband, and takes things into her own hands. What are some lessons we can learn from her life?

Proverbs 13:13-18 – Take note of all of the blessings of humility & obedience: life; good favor; healing; honor; and good things! What are you doing today to “respect the commands of the Lord”—with the promise of gaining these blessings?

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 – Why is Paul so concerned about the church being “built up”? (v. 26) What are you doing to build up the church?

Select a verse from today’s passage, and memorize it. Write it on a card where you can look at it throughout the day. Hide God’s Word in your heart.

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