Day 191 July 10
1 Samuel 10:17-27
17 Samuel summoned the people to the LORD at Mizpah. 18 Then he told the Israelites: “This is what the LORD God of Israel says: I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the Egyptians’ power and from the power of all the kingdoms that oppressed you. 19 But today you’ve rejected your God who saved you from all your troubles and difficulties by saying, ‘No! Appoint a king over us!’ So now assemble yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and clans.”
20 Then Samuel brought all the Israelite tribes forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected. 21 Next Samuel brought the tribe of Benjamin forward by its families, and the family of Matri was selected. Samuel then brought the family of Matri forward, person by person, and Saul, Kish’s son, was selected. But when they looked for him, he wasn’t to be found. 22 So they asked another question of the LORD: “Has the man come here yet?”
The LORD said, “Yes, he’s hiding among the supplies.” 23 They ran and retrieved Saul from there, and when he stood up in the middle of the people, he was head and shoulders taller than anyone else.
24 “Can you see the one the LORD has chosen?” Samuel asked all the people. “He has no equal among the people.” Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
25 Samuel then explained to the people how the monarchy should operate and wrote it in a scroll and placed it in the LORD’s presence. Then Samuel sent every person back to their homes. 26 Saul also went back to his home in Gibeah. Along with him went courageous men whose hearts God had touched. 27 But some despicable people said, “How can this man save us?” They despised Saul and didn’t bring him gifts, but Saul didn’t say anything.
Nahash the Ammonite king had been severely oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He gouged out everyone’s right eye, thereby not allowing Israel to have a deliverer. There wasn’t a single Israelite left across the Jordan River who hadn’t had their right eye gouged out by the Ammonite king Nahash. But seven thousand people had escaped from the Ammonites’ power and fled to Jabesh-gilead.
Comment: promise from God and threats from the Ammonite king. Will God’s fulfillment be stopped? (The answer is no, threats do not stop God’s promises.)
I Corinthians 2
1-2 You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.
3-5 I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.
6-10 We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text:
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
10-13 The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
14-16 The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
Comment: Paul says, no one else has seen this but YOU have: the Spirit of God at work among you! God lets us in on what He is thinking. How can we ignore such blessing?
1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.
4 Lord, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways the Lord will banish with the evildoers. Peace be on Israel.
Prayer: surrounded by your power, what will my heart say? Amazing Grace! Amen.