WEEK 38, Day 6, Saturday, 24 September 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 24 September 2022:

Listen to J. Vernon McGee’s comments on 1 Samuel 29 — https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?id=4703&rel=mcgee_j_vernon/1sa

1 Samuel 29:9 — And Achish answered David and said, ‘I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God’.

In his deceitfulness, David misrepresented God before an unbeliever. Tragic.

1 Samuel 29:1 – So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

“Having described Saul’s final rejection by the Lord at En-dor (1 Sam. 28), the author of 1 Samuel returns to David in today’s passage. Remember that when last we saw him, David had settled in Philistine territory at Ziklag, a town the Philistine king Achish had given to him. Achish was fond of David because he would go on military raids and bring spoil back to the king. David had managed to deceive Achish, convincing the king that he was attacking Israelites when he was really defeating enemies of Israel such as the Amalekites. Achish was so impressed with David that he told the son of Jesse to come fight alongside him (27:1–28:2).

Of course, this put David into a predicament. Though he was on the run from Saul, he was no friend of the Philistines long term. His response to Achish was deliberately ambiguous, for all he said was that Achish knew what David was capable of doing (28:2). That was enough to convince Achish that David was on his side, but it meant that David was in danger of being found out, for surely this future king of Israel would not fight against his own people when pressed. David needed a way out of this predicament.

God providentially gave David a way out, as we see in today’s passage. Achish was impressed with David, but the other Philistine leaders complained about his presence. They could not be convinced that he was on their side even though Achish vouched for him. The Philistines believed that he would fight against them, for after all, he was known for his daring exploits against Philistia (29:1–5).

Achish told David to go home and not to worry about fighting alongside him, and David turned away from traveling with the Philistines. He would not be fighting alongside them or against them on this occasion (vv. 6–11). The important thing to grasp here is how the Lord brought this all to pass. God is not mentioned in the narrative, but He does not have to be in order for us to see His hand in this episode. The Lord has been present explicitly throughout David’s life thus far, so there is no reason to think He would suddenly be absent. Also, Scripture sometimes does not mention God explicitly in order to highlight the invisible hand of His providence. The book of Esther is perhaps the best example of this. Finally, this is the way God often works in our lives. We see Him operating behind the scenes, quietly directing our lives, rarely announcing His work in a spectacular fashion.

God’s providence can be likened to an invisible hand. The Lord is always moving in our lives, but often we do not discern His work until after the fact. He is guiding and directing all things for our good and His glory, but He does not always announce His presence with great acclaim. As His people, we can be sure that He is working for our benefit even when He seems absent.” (Ligonier Ministries)

Psalm 109:4 – In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.

When God called you to minister to a sinful world, He knew that sinners would treat you sinfully. When you love imperfect people as God commanded, they will treat you imperfectly. Taking a beating for the sake of that love is how you “take up our cross” and follow Jesus.

Don’t focus on your enemies, focus on God. Don’t worry about your enemies – pray.

Psalm 109:21 – But you, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!

The psalmist understood that God would act for Himself, not merely for the psalmist. God’s goal is to reveal Himself and to bring glory to Himself, not to the delivered one. Live a life that will reveal God’s love and faithfulness.

Psalm 109:27, 28 – Let them know that this is your hand; you, O Lord, have done it! Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!

Your faith grows when you see God work in your life. God’s work in your life is your testimony to others. Walk in the faith that you have so that God can strengthen your faith every time you see Him act in your life. If you only trust in your own understanding and walk in your own strength, you will never see God do what only He can do, and your faith will not grow.

Psalm 109:28 — Let them curse, but you will bless!

Our hope, joy, and fate rests with the LORD, not men.

Psalm 109:30 – With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.

As our readings have taught several times today, God’s goal is to reveal Himself. When you proclaim God, you become an agent of His purpose. When you walk with Jesus and reveal the blessings of Jesus in your life, you will grow in spiritual strength, and God will use your life more and more in accordance with His purpose. If you are faithful with little, you will be given much.

Psalm 109:30 — With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.

Mature faith is able to “give great thanks” to the LORD in the midst of suffering, crisis, and chaos.

Proverbs 24:1 — Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.

Be very careful who you admire, who you seek to emulate, who you partner with, and who you befriend. Don’t let personality, popularity, prestige, talent, or skill blind you to the character flaws in others. If Jesus isn’t the center of their life and their priority, they will lead you astray. How many times have you heard a Christian say about an ungodly friend, “…but (s)he is really nice.” “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Cor 15:33) 1 Timothy 1:5 says, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” A person with an impure heart, a guilty conscience and an insincere faith cannot love you as you would desire, no matter how fun or interesting they are to be around for a time.

Proverbs 24:5 — A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.

Intellectual strength is greater than physical strength; emotional strength is greater than intellectual and physical strength; and spiritual strength is greater than them all.

Proverbs 24:10 — If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Strength is built before you need it. Adversity reveals what you have built over time. Challenges prove what you are really made of.

Proverbs 24:11, 12 – Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

We will be held accountable for not speaking out against sin.

Proverbs 24:16 — …for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
Everyone falls, but God empowers His people to overcome.

Proverbs 24:17, 18 – Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.

We are on a mission of reconciliation. God has called us to love and forgive our enemies, regardless of what they do to us, always hoping for their salvation from our hearts. If we rejoice in their punishment, we demonstrate that we do not have the heart of Jesus, that we don’t fully appreciate the grace we have received, and that Jesus is not truly the Lord of our hearts.

Proverbs 24:19-20 — Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

Oftentimes, the wicked seem to prosper, but God will bring all things into final judgement.

Proverbs 24:27 – Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.

Prioritize productivity over leisure.

Proverbs 24:32 — Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.

Truth is self-evident, it reveals itself. You can learn much by watching the consequences of others’ actions.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 24 September 2022: With your mouth, give great thanks to the Lord today and praise Him in the midst of the crowd. (Psalm 109:30) See how this affects you, how the crowd responds, and how God works in the midst of others.

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