Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday May 7th - PamJ

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 30-31; Luke 24:1-35

Today in Samuel, we read about David destroying the Amalekites.

In Chapter 30, David and his men return to Ziklag only to find it burnt down & the women & children & everyone else had been carried off by the Amalekites.

4Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.

Afterwards David's men were very bitter about the loss of their families, even wanting to stone him -

6But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

He recognized his need for the Lord and his first instinct was to turn to God to seek guidance. The Lord instructed David to take his men & chase after the Amalekites. Along their journey, they found an Egyptian who was a slave to the Amalekites and was left behind. David & his men fed him so he could regain his strength and led them to the Amalekite camp. They slaughtered all but 400 men who escaped on camels.

David got back everything that had been missing and turned towards home. Once at Besor Brook, some of David's men thought the 200 men who were too tired to move on to fight the Amalekites beforehand did not deserve nor earn their share of the plunder brought back.

David said, 23"No, my brothers! Don't be selfish with what the Lord has given us. He has kept us safe and helped defeat the enemy... We share and share alike." David knew that the success came from the Lord and blessed others with the blessings (plunder) he had received with help from the Lord, even sharing it with leaders of Judah & leaders of towns where David & his men had been.

In Chapter 31, we see the death of Saul. The Philistines now attacked Israel, killing Saul's sons - Jonathan (David's good friend), Abinab & Malkishua, also wounding Saul in the process. Saul groaned in pain to his armor bearer, asking to kill him, yet his armor bearer would not. So Saul took it into his own hands and fell on his own sword, killing himself.

In Luke 24, we see the resurrection. That early Sunday morning, Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary mother of James (& others apparently too) went to the Jesus' tomb taking with them the spices they had prepared & found the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb! Confused as to why, two men appeared in dazzling robes saying 6"He has risen from the dead!" The women rushed back to tell the disciples but they didn't believe them. Peter ran to the tomb to look for himself though.

That same day two followers of Jesus were walking to Emmaus when Jesus (disguised as to make the two unaware of who he was) began walking beside him.

In this message, it is said that Emmaus was 7 miles from Jerusalem and 'far enough to get away from the misery and confusion of Jerusalem.'

Filled with their sadness, they assumed this man walking with them didn't know of the crucifixion & missing body of the prophet Jesus & that He was reported alive! Jesus said to them, 4"Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things efore entering his time of glory?" and continued quoting passages from what scripture had said about Himself.  They listened but didn't truly hear Him.

The two followers begged Jesus to stay with them, as it was getting dark and late. Mathew Phillips said of this moment, 'I imagine a view of Jesus’ face before he turns back to them, a small smile breaking: his disciples were slow to believe, but at least they were kind to him—a stranger—and that was a lesson he had worked hard to teach.'

So they sat down to eat. Jesus asked a blessing upon the bread, gave it to them & at once they could see that they were in the presence of Jesus! And in that moment, He disappeared. We aren't told why he disappeared in that moment but we can learn from his vanishing that 'you can’t nail Jesus down in one place any better than you can nail him up on a cross.' [from here]

The two men noted how their hearts felt warm when speaking to Jesus along their walk. At once, they set off back to Jerusalem to report their story.

Mathew Phillip also says, 'God is present with us and shall always be, but it seems we can only feel it when we don’t expect to and often we only recognize the feeling as we look backwards, like the disciples who remembered the burning in their hearts as he spoke to them. Maybe there’s a place for you where you’ve felt the hand of Jesus touch you before, but going back there again won’t necessarily bring the same old feelings. We can’t make God fit our schedule. So we search for ways to feel the presence of Christ and to celebrate him.'

He is there always and especially when we need Him the most even if we don't happen to see that it is Him, He will fill our hearts and renew our spirit so that we might share his good news with others.

Tomorrow's passage: 2 Samuel 1-2; Luke 24: 36-53


TammyIsBlessed said...

The part about David sharing the plunder with the men who had been too tired to continue on till the end reminds me of the parable in the NT about the man who paid all the workers the same, no matter what time they had started working that day.

So true that we can often only see the hand of God working in our lives as we look back, instead of right in the moment. All the more reason to simply trust that He IS there, even if we think we can't feel Him.

Miriam said...

I thought of that parable too, Tammy. I also noticed that David turned to God and found strength in Him. I haven't remembered that often enough this week, as we go through this time of stress and uncertainty with my husband's depression and changes in medication. I've been praying for him and for wisdom for the doctor, etc. but still trying to manage everything else on my own. You'd think I'd know better than that by now!

Pamela said...

"They listened but didn't truly hear Him." Good point. Unfortunately too true in my own life sometimes too.