Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 18 September 2022:
1 Samuel 23:10-13 — Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O Lord, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the Lord said, “He will come down.” Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will surrender you.” Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go.
This passage reveals some very important principles for our lives: We cannot make good decisions simply from our limited perceptions and understanding. We must go to God for answers to our important questions, questions that only He can answer. God gives us a choice to obey Him or not. Either way, there are definite consequences. If we trust in ourselves and ignore the counsel of God, it will lead to destruction. David sought answers from God concerning what might happen in Keilah. God tells David that Saul will come down and the people of Keilah will surrender David into Saul’s hands. So, David leaves and lives. First, if David hadn’t consulted God, he would have been killed – “He will come…. They will surrender you.” Second, David’s fate was not predetermined but depended upon His response to God’s word. Had David not listened to God, he would have died. David had decisions to make. The Bible is clear that there is predestination (God has a plan that will happen), but there is debate about what exactly is predetermined. It would appear that God’s predetermined plan accommodates our freedom to choose as well as the consequences of our choices. Some believe that concepts of “free will” challenge the Sovereignty of God. I believe that, in His Sovereignty, God has given us freedom to choose, and our choices have consequences which don’t alter God’s overall plan. When I tell my kids to take out the trash, they have choices to make, whether and how they will obey. One way or another though, the trash is going to get taken out. Consider what Mordecai said to Esther as she struggled with her perilous decision to approach the king or not on behalf of the Jews: “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this (Esther 4:14)?” God’s plan is at work. We must choose whether or not we will listen to Him, obey Him, and follow Him or go our own way and suffer the consequences. If we choose to be a part of God’s plan, we have to listen to what He is telling us through Bible study and prayer. We then have to do what He says, one decision at a time, day-by-day.
1 Samuel 23:17 – And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.”
No man can alter what God has intended. Even Saul knew his fate was inevitable though he continued to pursue David in futility. Don’t blindly follow your own dream or plan in pride. You will have to choose between what you want and what God wants for you.
1 Samuel 23:21 – And Saul said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, for you have had compassion on me.”
Those who oppose the will of God will still claim that they are being blessed by God in their sin. Jesus said that we must worship both in spirit and in truth.
1 Samuel 23:26, 27 — As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.”
God can arrange circumstances to protect His servants.
Psalm 107:1, 2, 8 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Psalm 107 is a powerful testimony of God’s Love and Majesty. This psalm is a celebration of God’s grace by the redeemed, those who were lost, wo saw no real meaning or hope in life and were empty inside (vs 4-9); those who were trapped and suffering because of their sinful lives (v 10-22); and those who were over their heads in life and saw no escape from disaster and ruin (v 23-32). If you have been saved by Jesus, you can certainly appreciate this psalm; and if you have been saved by Jesus then say so! Proclaim your salvation to as many as you can! Be like the psalmist and praise His Name today and every day.
Psalm 107:6 — Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
This phrase is repeated four times in this psalm, repeated for emphasis to get your attention. If you will cry out to the LORD, from a genuinely repentant and submissive heart, He will deliver you from your distress. If you have yet to be delivered, perhaps you have not truly repented or cried out – “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:3-4) “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24)
Psalm 107:9 – For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Only Jesus can satisfy the longing of your soul. If you feel empty in any area of your life, turn to God to be filled.
Psalm 107:43 – Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.
Be wise and meditated deeply upon this Psalm today, and learn to be eternally grateful to the Lord, continually joyful, and content with what God has given you.
Psalm 108:2, 3 – I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples.
Pray for a love for God that is so powerful your first desire in the morning is to be with Him in fellowship that is so powerful it is all you want to talk about with others.
Psalm 108:13 – With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
Let God worry about your enemies and your troubles. Focus your attention on Him, and let Him do what you cannot do anyway.
Proverbs 18:1 – Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
Unfriendliness comes from selfishness. There is no such thing as a Christian loner. Godliness is by definition relational. If you are trying to “do your own thing, you lack good judgment.
Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Gossip changes the fiber of who you are like food changes the makeup of your body.
Proverbs 18:9 – Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
Carelessness and complacency destroy and are ungodly.
Proverbs 18:13 – If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
A person who interrupts is the fool mentioned in verse 18:2 who cares only about his own opinions and who is not really interested in listening or understanding.
Proverbs 8:1-5 — Wisdom cries out to all; the truth is self-evident; it reveals itself through very observable consequences revealed in the lives of countless people around us. But pride can blind and deafens us. Pride is foolishness. Humility is honorable and leads to life.
Proverbs 8:10,11 – Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
Wisdom is our most precious asset in life. How badly do you want it? Pay attention, and God’s word will tell you have you can get wisdom for free. What did you learn from you readings today about how to be wise?
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
To love God is to hate evil. If you don’t hate evil, you have a love problem.
Proverbs 8:22-31 — When we walk in wisdom, we tap into the power of all Creation and open ourselves up for the blessings of the Creator.
Proverbs 8:35 – For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord.
Wisdom, with its foundation of the Fear of the Lord, is the key to life.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 September 2022: “Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.” (Psalm 107:43) Psalm 107 is a powerful testimony of God’s Love and Majesty. Be wise and meditate upon this chapter today. The more you appreciate God’s love for you and His mercy and grace bestowed upon you, the more you will love others, forgive others, give to others and desire the same love in their lives. The better you know Jesus, the more you will trust Him, desire to please Him, get excited about Him, proclaim Him, and live for Him.