Devotionals

  • May 15: Wise King

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 3-4, Psalm 108, Mark 14:1-11, 2 Corinthians 12:11-21 2 Samuel 3-4: It is a long civil war, and bloody. David is growing stronger and stronger, the house of Saul weaker and weaker (3:1). But within that house of Saul, Abner is himself growing stronger in gaining power over the people and the army (3:6)—so much so that Abner is able to take one of Saul’s concubines (3:7), a statement of political control over Saul’s inheritance. Ish-Bosheth, the notional king of Israel and Saul’s son, plaintively raises an objection. But when Abner refuses to listen (3:8-10), there is nothing that Ish-Bosheth can do for he is afraid of Abner (3:11). How much the fear of man plagues the house of Saul. Abner now goes over to David. He sends messengers to him (3:12), and David (wisely) insists that if Abner is to come to his side…

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    May 14: Civil War

    By Josh Moody

    by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 1-2, Psalm 107, Mark 13:32-37, 2 Corinthians 2:1-12 2 Samuel 1-2: The story now, for obvious reasons, focuses on David. Saul is dead, and David is in camp after his victory over the Amalekites (1:1). Three days later he hears of Saul’s defeat and the death of Saul and Jonathan (1:2-4). The story is told to him by an Amalekite, who claims to have seen it himself, and also to have struck down Saul with his own hand (1:5-10). The likelihood is that the Amalekite is lying; we know from earlier in the story that Saul killed himself (1 Samuel 31:4). But this Amalekite thinks that he will ingratiate himself to David by telling him this lie; little does he understand David. For David to have supported the killing of the Lord’s anointed would put his own life in danger. And so wisely, he views this…

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    May 13: Rising and Falling

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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    May 12: The Witch

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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    Sermon Video: The Greatest Chapter in the Greatest Letter in the Greatest Book Ever Written

    By Josh Moody

    Below, on May 8, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “The Greatest Chapter in the Greatest Letter in the Greatest Book Ever Written" from Romans chapter 8. This sermon concluded the series "Confident," giving a final summary look at Romans 8. It reminds us that for those who have trusted in Christ, there is no condemnation and no separation, leading us to ask "so then," "for then," and "what then?" Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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    May 11: Two Trajectories

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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    May 10: God the Stronghold

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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    May 9: On the Run

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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    May 8: God Wins

    By Josh Moody

    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: ...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand. (17:46-47) The purpose of David’s amazing victory is not to teach us that there…

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    May 7: Obey God

    By Josh Moody

    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…

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