Day 218 – August 5
1 Samuel 24
Even as Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was informed that David was in the En-gedi wilderness. 2 So Saul took three thousand men selected from all Israel and went to look for David and his soldiers near the rocks of the wild goats. 3 He came to the sheep pens beside the road where there was a cave. Saul went into the cave to use the restroom. Meanwhile, David and his soldiers were sitting in the very back of the cave.
4 David’s soldiers said to him, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he promised you, ‘I will hand your enemy over to you, and you can do to him whatever you think best.’” So David snuck up and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 But immediately David felt horrible that he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
6 “The LORD forbid,” he told his men, “that I should do something like that to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lift my hand against him, because he’s the LORD’s anointed!” 7 So David held his soldiers in check by what he said, and he wouldn’t allow them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way.
8 Then David also went out of the cave and yelled after Saul, “My master the king!” Saul looked back, and David bowed low out of respect, nose to the ground.
9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David wants to ruin you’? 10 Look! Today your own eyes have seen that the LORD handed you over to me in the cave. But I refused to kill you. I spared you, saying, ‘I won’t lift a hand against my master because he is the LORD’s anointed.’ 11 Look here, my protector! See the corner of your robe in my hand? I cut off the corner of your robe but didn’t kill you. So know now that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I haven’t wronged you, but you are hunting me down, trying to kill me. 12 May the LORD judge between me and you! May the LORD take vengeance on you for me, but I won’t lift a hand against you. 13 As the old proverb goes, ‘Evil deeds come from evildoers!’ but I won’t lift a hand against you. 14 So who is Israel’s king coming after? Who are you chasing? A dead dog? A single flea? 15 May the LORD be the judge and decide between you and me. May he see what has happened, argue my case, and vindicate me against you!”
16 As soon as David finished saying all this to Saul, Saul said, “David, my son, is that your voice?” Then he broke down in tears, 17 telling David, “You are more righteous than I am because you have treated me generously, but I have treated you terribly. 18 Today you’ve told me the good you have done for me—how the LORD handed me over to you, but how you didn’t kill me. 19 When someone finds an enemy, do they send the enemy away in peace? May the LORD repay you with good for what you have done for me today. 20 Now even I know that you will definitely become king, and Israel’s kingdom will flourish in your hands. 21 Because of that, make a solemn pledge to me by the LORD that you won’t kill off my descendants after I’m gone and that you won’t destroy my name from my family lineage.”
22 David made a solemn pledge to Saul. Then Saul went back home, but David and his soldiers went up to the fortress.
1 Corinthians 16:1-11
1-4 Regarding the relief offering for poor Christians that is being collected, you get the same instructions I gave the churches in Galatia. Every Sunday each of you make an offering and put it in safekeeping. Be as generous as you can. When I get there you’ll have it ready, and I won’t have to make a special appeal. Then after I arrive, I’ll write letters authorizing whomever you delegate, and send them off to Jerusalem to deliver your gift. If you think it best that I go along, I’ll be glad to travel with them.
5-9 I plan to visit you after passing through northern Greece. I won’t be staying long there, but maybe I can stay awhile with you—maybe even spend the winter? Then you could give me a good send-off, wherever I may be headed next. I don’t want to just drop by in between other “primary” destinations. I want a good, long, leisurely visit. If the Master agrees, we’ll have it! For the present, I’m staying right here in Ephesus. A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here. (There is also mushrooming opposition.)
10-11 If Timothy shows up, take good care of him. Make him feel completely at home among you. He works so hard for the Master, just as I do. Don’t let anyone disparage him. After a while, send him on to me with your blessing. Tell him I’m expecting him, and any friends he has with him.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The LORD is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.
Prayer: accompany us on our journey toward you this day. Amen.