Day 211 July 30
1 Samuel 20:1-24
David fled from the camps at Ramah. He came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father that he wants me dead?”
2 Jonathan said to him, “No! You are not going to die! Listen: My father doesn’t do anything big or small without telling me first. Why would my father hide this from me? It isn’t true!”
3 But David solemnly promised in response, “Your father knows full well that you like me. He probably said, ‘Jonathan must not learn about this or he’ll be upset.’ But I promise you—on the LORD’s life and yours!—that I am this close to death!” 4 “What do you want me to do?” Jonathan said to David. “I’ll do it.”
5 “Okay, listen,” David answered Jonathan. “Tomorrow is the new moon, and I’m supposed to sit with the king at the feast. Instead, let me go and I’ll hide in the field until nighttime.[b] 6 If your father takes note of my absence, tell him, ‘David begged my permission to run down to his hometown Bethlehem, because there is an annual sacrifice there for his whole family.’ 7 If Saul says ‘Fine,’ then I, your servant, am safe. But if he loses his temper, then you’ll know for certain that he intends to harm me. 8 So be loyal to your servant, because you’ve brought your servant into a sacred covenant[c] with you. If I’m guilty, then kill me yourself; just don’t take me back to your father.”
9 “Enough!” Jonathan replied. “If I can determine for certain that my father intends to harm you, of course I’ll tell you!”
10 “Who will tell me if your father responds harshly?” David asked Jonathan.
11 “Come on,” Jonathan said to David. “Let’s go into the field.” So both of them went out into the field. 12 Then Jonathan told David, “I pledge by the LORD God of Israel that I will question my father by this time tomorrow or on the third day. If he seems favorable toward David, I will definitely send word and make sure you know. 13 But if my father intends to harm you, then may the LORD deal harshly with me, Jonathan, and worse still if I don’t tell you right away so that you can escape safely. May the LORD be with you as he once was with my father. 14 If I remain alive, be loyal to me. But if I die, 15 don’t ever stop being loyal to my household. Once the LORD has eliminated all of David’s enemies from the earth, 16 if Jonathan’s name is also eliminated, then the LORD will seek retribution from David!”
17 So Jonathan again made a pledge to David because he loved David as much as himself. 18 “Tomorrow is the festival of the new moon,” Jonathan told David. “You will be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, go all the way to the spot where you hid on the day of the incident, and stay close to that mound. 20 On the third day I will shoot an arrow to the side of the mound as if aiming at a target. 21 Then I’ll send the servant boy, saying, ‘Go retrieve the arrow.’ If I yell to the boy, ‘Hey! The arrow is on this side of you. Get it!’ then you can come out because it will be safe for you. There won’t be any trouble—I make a pledge on the LORD’s life. 22 But if I yell to the young man, ‘Hey! The arrow is past you,’ then run for it, because the LORD has sent you away. 23 Either way, the LORD is witness between us forever regarding the promise we made to each other.” 24 So David hid himself in the field.
1 Corinthians 14:1-19
It is love, then, that you should strive for. Set your hearts on spiritual gifts, especially the gift of proclaiming God’s message. 2 Those who speak in strange tongues do not speak to others but to God, because no one understands them. They are speaking secret truths by the power of the Spirit. 3 But those who proclaim God’s message speak to people and give them help, encouragement, and comfort. 4 Those who speak in strange tongues help only themselves, but those who proclaim God’s message help the whole church.
5 I would like for all of you to speak in strange tongues; but I would rather that you had the gift of proclaiming God’s message. For the person who proclaims God’s message is of greater value than the one who speaks in strange tongues—unless there is someone present who can explain what is said, so that the whole church may be helped. 6 So when I come to you, my friends, what use will I be to you if I speak in strange tongues? Not a bit, unless I bring you some revelation from God or some knowledge or some inspired message or some teaching.
7 Take such lifeless musical instruments as the flute or the harp—how will anyone know the tune that is being played unless the notes are sounded distinctly? 8 And if the one who plays the bugle does not sound a clear call, who will prepare for battle? 9 In the same way, how will anyone understand what you are talking about if your message given in strange tongues is not clear? Your words will vanish in the air! 10 There are many different languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 But if I do not know the language being spoken, those who use it will be foreigners to me and I will be a foreigner to them. 12 Since you are eager to have the gifts of the Spirit, you must try above everything else to make greater use of those which help to build up the church.
13 The person who speaks in strange tongues, then, must pray for the gift to explain what is said. 14 For if I pray in this way, my spirit prays indeed, but my mind has no part in it. 15 What should I do, then? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray also with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing also with my mind. 16 When you give thanks to God in spirit only, how can ordinary people taking part in the meeting say “Amen” to your prayer of thanksgiving? They have no way of knowing what you are saying. 17 Even if your prayer of thanks to God is quite good, other people are not helped at all.
18 I thank God that I speak in strange tongues much more than any of you. 19 But in church worship I would rather speak five words that can be understood, in order to teach others, than speak thousands of words in strange tongues.
Comment: oh that we all would consider this first: to make greater use of our gifts in order to build up the church. But, it is love that we should strive for. Thank you Paul!
I call to you, LORD; help me now!
Listen to me when I call to you.
2 Receive my prayer as incense,
my uplifted hands as an evening sacrifice.
3 LORD, place a guard at my mouth,
a sentry at the door of my lips.
4 Keep me from wanting to do wrong
and from joining evil people in their wickedness.
May I never take part in their feasts.
5 Good people may punish me and rebuke me in kindness,
but I will never accept honor from evil people,
because I am always praying against their evil deeds.
6 When their rulers are thrown down from rocky cliffs,
the people will admit that my words were true.
7 Like wood that is split and chopped into bits,
so their bones are scattered at the edge of the grave.
8 But I keep trusting in you, my Sovereign LORD.
I seek your protection;
don’t let me die!
9 Protect me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those evildoers.
10 May the wicked fall into their own traps
while I go by unharmed.
Prayer: Precious Lord, take my hand; lead me on and help me stand this day. Amen.