Search:
test

May 13: Rising and Falling

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 29-31, Psalm 106:24-48, Mark 13:14-31, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 1 Samuel 29-31: It makes sad reading—but at least by contrast God’s king is being exemplified as the right man for the job. Meanwhile, as Saul is leading an army that is about to suffer a heavy defeat, David is dismissed from the army of the enemies of Israel (1 Samuel 29). They don’t trust him, for good reason, as David has not really switched sides. He is sent away, and as he goes, he discovers that Ziklag, and their women and children, have been taken captive by the Amalekites (30:1-3). You get the sense these are dangerous times in which to live in Israel. You must lock your house turn on an alarm system, and not let your children play outside for fear of some abuser passing by. When God’s authority is flouted, then evil powers attempt to take...

Continue Reading

May 12: The Witch

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 26-28, Psalm 106:1-23, Mark 13:1-13, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 1 Samuel 26-28: The great denouement is coming—and it will not be a pretty sight. First, David again spares Saul’s life (26:5-12). When he has the chance to kill him, he does not, and Saul once more blesses David and says that David will be successful (26:25). Nonetheless, David begins to despair that he will ever fully escape from Saul (27:1). And so David makes the radical decision to go live with the enemies of Israel and seek their protection (27:1-2). He makes apparent peace with Achish at Gath (27:5-7), though actually David uses his time there to continue to pursue armed aggression against the enemies of Israel (27:8-12). David is hiding in the land of the enemies, to seek protection from the king who is out for his own blood, while at the same time secretly attacking the enemies. It...

Continue Reading

May 11: Two Trajectories

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 24-25, Psalm 105, Mark 12:35-44, 2 Corinthians 10 1 Samuel 24-25: Saul, back from his pursuit of the Philistines (he has run them off from their raid we presume), starts out again in pursuit of David (24:1-2). It is exhausting work running from God’s purpose—first one way, then another, each equally futile. Saul, in a moment that must have caused great hilarity to all, “relieves himself” in the cave where David and his men are hiding (24:3). The text puts it politely, but Saul was definitely exposed in more way than one. David sneaks up on him, cuts a corner off his robe, discarded to the ground or lying around his feet, and brings it back to show his men (24:4). Suddenly mortified by what he has done, the heart of David is shown again (24:5). He has touched the Lord’s anointed (24:6)! However badly he is being treated,...

Continue Reading

May 10: God the Stronghold

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 21-23, Psalm 104, Mark 12:28-34, 2 Corinthians 9 1 Samuel 21-23: David is now on the run, and remarkable stories of God’s rescue of David are told. First of all, David takes the bread of the Presence, the special consecrated bread (21:3-6)—an event referenced by Jesus in support of his disciples (Mt. 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5). He also takes Goliath’s sword (21:8-9). However, one of Saul’s servants is there, sees David (21:7), will report this to Saul (22:9-10), and Saul (through his servant Doeg) will enact fearful vengeance on the priest, and the priesthood, who had thus helped David (22:11-19). When one priest escapes and comes to David, by great contrast with Saul, David protects the priest (22:20-23). While Saul had alienated the prophetic class and the priestly class, claiming authority over these realms in addition to his kingly role, David recognizes and honors these appointments of...

Continue Reading

May 9: On the Run

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 19-20, Psalm 103, Mark 12:13-27, 2 Corinthians 8 1 Samuel 19-20: Saul is determined to kill David (19:1)—jealous of him, and suspecting that God had called David to be king in his place. Jonathan, however, is best of friends with David, and has made a covenant of support for David. This situation set up, the drama unfolds. First, Jonathan persuades his father to relent from his jealousy towards David (19:4-6). But then the jealousy returns, and Michal (David’s wife) lets David escape through their bedroom window in the middle of the night (19:12). David has become a fugitive. Saul pursues him and then—in a truly bizarre set of miraculous circumstances—David is protected by the soldiers in pursuit of him falling into a prophetic worship experience of some kind (19:20-21). Even Saul has the same experience when he pursues David (19:22-24). This, if nothing else, is proof that gifts of...

Continue Reading

May 8: God Wins

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 17-18, Psalm 102, Mark 12:1-12, 2 Corinthians 7 1 Samuel 17-18: One of the most famous stories in the Bible—David and Goliath—is about to ensue (1 Samuel 17). The basics of the narrative are familiar enough to many: a young sheep boy stands up against the enemy of God’s people, a giant of a man called Goliath, and defeats him. What is sometimes less well understood is the intended lesson. In fact, though, the narrator makes the point of the story crystal clear himself through the words of David: ...

Continue Reading

May 7: Obey God

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 15-16, Psalm 101, Mark 11:27-33, 2 Corinthians 6 1 Samuel 15-16: Samuel gives Saul fresh instructions from God (15:1-3). Saul performs these instructions—to a point. But then he and the people keep back the best of the spoil along with Agag, the king (15:7-9). Was Agag spared because he cut some kind of deal which led to more spoil? At any rate, God’s people as an agent of divine vengeance in this Old Testament theocratic system did not act according to what God had commanded (15:10-11). Saul blames the people (15:15). He excuses his action by the fact that he is going to have a sacrificial feast to God. Samuel, warned already by God, and having spent a night interceding for Saul, cannot believe his ears and replies with the famous words: “to obey is better than sacrifice” (15:22). Saul says, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the...

Continue Reading

May 6: Follow God

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 14, Psalm 100, Mark 11:12-26, 2 Corinthians 5 1 Samuel 14: Jonathan, Saul’s son, decides to take matters into his own hands (v. 1). He is a man of initiative and of faith, and decides that the right policy at this time, where it appears that Saul and the other leaders are being passive, was to beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission. Saul is “staying in the outskirts” with some of the other leaders, talking, thinking (v. 2-3); Jonathan takes a risk. Jonathan and his armor bearer have a “sign” that they think up for discerning whether God will be with them in their bold endeavor (v. 8-10)—they know they need God’s support (if not that of the leaders who are not doing anything about the enemy). Discerning God’s support (v. 12), they boldly attack. And the suddenness of their onslaught, like a pebble beginning a landslide, starts...

Continue Reading

May 5: Fear God

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 11-13, Psalm 99, Mark 11:1-11, 2 Corinthians 4 1 Samuel 11-13: Saul’s first steps now as king begin to go better. When he hears the threats coming from the Ammonites (11:5), the Spirit of God comes upon Saul (11:6), and he rallies Israel to his standard, marches against the Ammonites and defeats them (11:7-11). Having won this battle, Saul has also won the popularity conquest (momentarily), and the people then suggest he kills those who had not supported Saul initially when he became king (11:12). Saul, wisely it seems, will have none of that for that was the day when the LORD had worked salvation (11:13). Samuel takes the people to Gilgal to renew the kingdom, to renew their commitment to the king (11:14-15). Samuel, with the kingdom now it appears established, gives his farewell address where he “calls the question” as to whether he has ever behaved reprehensibly...

Continue Reading

May 4: Hiding

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 9-10, Psalm 98, Mark 10:35-52, 2 Corinthians 3 1 Samuel 9-10: We now meet Saul (9:1-2). His father is rich, and he is handsome and taller than anyone else (9:2). What could possibly go wrong? From the beginning we get the sense that externally he was the “obvious” king type. But was his heart with God? We are introduced to Saul as he is on an errand which has gone wrong (9:3-4). He cannot find the donkeys. Saul does not appear to be the sort of person who knows how to find his way. He meets Samuel, and Samuel has been told before by God that he will arrive (9:15-17). And Samuel anoints him king (10:1). The Spirit of God comes upon Saul (10:10), according to Samuel’s signs (10:6-7), and the famous question is asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” (10:11). Saul is now not an externally impressive leader;...

Continue Reading