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“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 10: AUGUST 1
RUTH 1 – 1 SAMUEL 19:24
For those of you who want to keep track of our physical progress during the read-through, we are now approximately one-third of the way through the Old Testament and about one-quarter of the way through the entire Bible. Not sure if that qualifies us for any prizes, but at least we’re on schedule!
- Very interesting that the lineage leading to David (and then on to Jesus) involved a convert. Ruth was not a child of Israel, but she’d married one and then remained with Naomi (her Israeli mother-in-law) even after the death of her husband. Ruth didn’t have to stay with Naomi; she was under no obligation, but she wanted to serve God, and so of her own free will left her Moabite people and heritage behind and remained with the Israelites.
- God is very clear in scripture that those who willingly choose to serve him are the same in his eyes as the children of Israel. He puts no difference between his genetic children and his adoptive children. On the other hand, the children of Israel (or by extension, Christians) who turn their back on God are no longer part of the family. God draws a clear line between those who free-willingly serve him, regardless of their heritage, and those who refuse to serve him, regardless of their heritage. Jesus talks extensively about this in the gospels, but the concept is already clearly delineated in the OT.
- Nice to see the rise of some good guys in this reading (Samuel, David, Jonathan) and somewhat of a return to order for the Israelites. A nation without a good strong leader is like sheep without a good strong shepherd, as we saw in yesterday’s chaotic and violent reading. Unfortunately, though, Saul wasn’t entirely up to the task of being king, since he had a problem with following God’s orders. He said he’d do what he was supposed to do, and then he’d veer off on his own course, doing what looked good in his eyes and in the eyes of the world rather than following God’s explicit directives.
- Samuel genuinely loves Saul and has his hands full trying to keep him on track. But even with Samuel’s constant interventions, Saul’s disobedience ultimately cost him God’s Spirit, which is a death sentence right there. Even so, Saul lived on for a while, plagued by a demonic spirit, just as the disobedient Israelites in the wilderness lived on for a while after being told they weren’t going to enter the Promised Land. God needed Saul to keep on being King while he was preparing David to take his place. God also used Saul as a means to test David to make sure his heart was in the right place and that he would be obedient under every situation. As Samuel mentions, “to obey is better than sacrifice”.
- The story of David and Goliath is one of the Bible’s most famous. It highlights David’s profound faith even as a youth, and shows how God can work through something even as flimsy as a slingshot and a stone if the person wielding them has unswerving faith. As the youngest son, David was ridiculed and dismissed by his family as inconsequential, but God, as we’re told in scripture, looks on the heart, not on the exterior. The world is almost always quick to judge and dismiss based on looks, age, wealth, education, etc., but thank God that God looks on the heart instead, so there’s hope for everyone!
- The deep friendship developing between Jonathan and David in this reading is very touching. In choosing to support and protect David rather than go along with his father (who is also his king), Jonathan demonstrates what Jesus later teaches us about the importance of doing God’s will rather than that of your family or your earthly ruler. If the two conflict, you should always choose to do the will of God, even if it means disobeying your mother and father (or local/state/federal laws).
- I love the whole Bible (as you’ve probably noticed), but I especially love reading about David. He’s just such the “whole package” – profoundly faithful and obedient to God, incredibly brave, a king, a warrior, a father, a husband, a poet, a musician, a singer, a dancer, etc.. There’s no-one else quite like him in all of scripture. Whatever he puts his mind to, he aces, and with God’s blessings. Plus, he’s really really good-looking (lol). Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but dang, that guy sure pushes all the right buttons! Can’t wait to meet him up close and personal, if and when I make it home to Heaven. I want to see him dance the dance he danced when he was leading the Ark of the Covenant into the city of David (sneak peek at tomorrow’s reading!).
I hope you’re enjoying the read-through as much as I am. I’m seeing things I hadn’t seen before, which is what always happens during a read-through (or any Bible reading). What are you seeing that you hadn’t noticed before? Feel free to leave your reflections in the comment section below.
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