Day194 July 13
1 Samuel 12:13-25
13 “So now, here is the king you chose, the one you asked for. Yes, the LORD has put a king over you! 14 If you will fear the LORD, worship him, obey him, and not rebel against the LORD’s command, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the LORD your God—all will be well. 15 But if you don’t obey the LORD and rebel against the LORD’s command, then the LORD’s power will go against you and your king to destroy you.
16 “So now take a stand! Look at this awesome thing the LORD is doing. 17 Isn’t the wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. Then you will know and will see for yourselves what great evil you’ve done in the LORD’s eyes by asking for a king.”
18 Samuel called upon the LORD, and God sent thunder and rain on that very day. Then all the people were in awe of the LORD and Samuel. 19 All of them said to Samuel, “Please pray for us, your servants, to the LORD your God so we don’t die because we have added to our many sins the evil of asking for a king.”
20 But Samuel answered the people, “Don’t be afraid. Yes, you’ve done all this evil; just don’t turn back from following the LORD. Serve the LORD with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn aside to follow useless idols that can’t help you or save you. They’re absolutely useless! 22 For the sake of his reputation, the LORD won’t abandon his people, because the LORD has decided to make you his very own people. 23 But me? I would never sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. I will teach you what is good and right. 24 Just fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Look at what great things he has done for you! 25 But if you continue to do evil, then both you and your king will be destroyed.”
Comment: the simple rule of life: obey God’s way. It really is not that simple until you read Samuel’s line: “Yes, you’ve done evil, just don’t turn back from following the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 4:1-13
Here is how you should think of us. We serve Christ. We are trusted with God’s secret truth. 2 Those who have been given a trust must prove that they are faithful.
3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court. I don’t even judge myself. 4 I don’t feel I have done anything wrong. But that doesn’t mean I’m not guilty. The Lord judges me.
5 So don’t judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord returns. He will bring to light what is hidden in the dark. He will show the real reasons why people do what they do. At that time each person will receive praise from God.
6 Brothers and sisters, I have used myself and Apollos as examples to help you. You can learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Don’t go beyond what is written.” Then you won’t be proud that you follow one person instead of another.
7 Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you brag as though you did not?
8 You already have everything you want, don’t you? Have you already become rich? Have you begun to rule as kings? And did you do that without us? I wish that you really had begun to rule. Then we could rule with you!
9 It seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of a parade. We are like men sentenced to die in front of a crowd. We have been made a show for the whole creation to see. Angels and people are staring at us.
10 We are fools for Christ. But you are so wise in Christ! We are weak. But you are so strong! You are honored. But we are looked down on! 11 Up to this very hour we are hungry and thirsty. We are dressed in rags. We are being treated badly. We have no homes. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When others call down a curse on us, we bless them. When we are attacked, we put up with it. 13 When others say bad things about us, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the world’s garbage. We are everybody’s trash.
Comment: unlike Paul I tend to complain and resist when others look down on me, or I’m hungry or thirsty, or someone says something bad about me. Perhaps I should think more about Paul’s suggestion to be a fool for Christ, garbage if need be.
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—peace be on Israel.
Prayer: may we be your servants this day, filled with your Spirit to be your faithful disciples. Amen.