Day 226 – August 14
1 Samuel 29
The Philistines assembled all their forces at Aphek, and the Israelites camped by the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers went out marching in units of hundreds and thousands, David and his soldiers were in the rear with Achish. 3 “Who are these Hebrews?” the Philistine commanders asked. “That’s David,” Achish told them, “the servant of Israel’s King Saul. He’s been with me a year or so now. I haven’t found anything wrong with him from the day he defected until now.”
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish. “Send the man home!” they told Achish. “He can go back to the place you gave him, but he won’t go with us into battle. Couldn’t he turn against us in the middle of the fight? How better to please his former master than by taking the heads of our soldiers? 5 After all, this is the same David people sing about in their dances,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
but David has killed his tens of thousands!’”
6 So Achish summoned David and told him, “As surely as the LORD lives, you are an upstanding individual. I would very much like you to serve with me in the army because I haven’t found anything wrong with you from the day you came to me until now. But the rulers don’t approve of you. 7 So go back home now, and go in peace. Don’t do anything to upset the Philistine rulers.”
8 “But what have I done?” David asked Achish. “What wrong have you found in me, your servant, from the day I came to you until now? Why shouldn’t I go and fight the enemies of my master the king?”
9 “I agree,” Achish answered David. “I think you’re as good as one of God’s own messengers. Despite that, the Philistine commanders have ordered, ‘He can’t go into battle with us.’ 10 So get up early in the morning, both you and your master’s servants who came with you, and return to the place I gave you. Don’t worry about this negative report, because you’ve done well before me. Now get up early in the morning and leave as soon as it is light.”
11 So David and his soldiers got up early in the morning to go back to Philistine territory, but the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
Gospel of Luke 2:21-35
21 When eight days had passed, Jesus’ parents circumcised him and gave him the name Jesus. This was the name given to him by the angel before he was conceived. 22 When the time came for their ritual cleansing, in accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (23 It’s written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.”) 24 They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.[a]
25 A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He was righteous and devout. He eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he wouldn’t die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Led by the Spirit, he went into the temple area. Meanwhile, Jesus’ parents brought the child to the temple so that they could do what was customary under the Law. 28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,
29 “Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
30 because my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
32 It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and a glory for your people Israel.”
33 His father and mother were amazed by what was said about him. 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “This boy is assigned to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that generates opposition 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your innermost being too.”
Comment: Simeon’s words: a light to the nations (another word for Gentiles) must have startled Joseph and Mary. In their time the light of God was just for the Israelites. However they had experienced so many changes: a virgin birth, an adoptive father, dirty shepherds, surprising angels who knew their names, Simeon in the Temple, why not Gentiles too! Now we move to the words of Paul again, to the churches in Philippi, in the land of the Gentiles.
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Comment: this is my favorite book of Paul’s writings. He writes as a pastor to his beloved people: “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and insight.”
Prayer: in your loving wisdom you set us a firm foundation for life, thank you! Amen.