Day 229 – August 17
1 Samuel 31
When the Philistines attacked the Israelites, the Israelites ran away from the Philistines, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3 The battle was fierce around Saul. When the archers located him, they wounded him badly.
4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me with it! Otherwise, these uncircumcised men will come and kill me or torture me.” But his armor-bearer refused because he was terrified. So Saul took the sword and impaled himself on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also impaled himself on his sword and died with Saul. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armor-bearer, and all his soldiers died together that day.
7 When the Israelites across the valley and across the Jordan learned that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines came and occupied the towns.
8 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons lying dead on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor, and then sent word throughout Philistine territory, carrying the good news to their gods’ temples and to their people. 10 They put Saul’s armor in the temple of Astarte, and hung his body on the wall of Beth-shan.
11 But when all the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 the bravest of their men set out, traveled all night long, and took the bodies of Saul and his sons off the wall of Beth-shan. Then they went back to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
Comment: we will leave the story of the kings of Israel and look at faith in Israel in other portions of scripture.
Gospel of Luke 3:15-38
15 The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. 16 John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” 18 With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people.
19 But Herod the ruler had been criticized harshly by John because of Herodias, Herod’s brother’s wife, and because of all the evil he had done. 20 He added this to the list of his evil deeds: he locked John up in prison.
21 When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”
23 Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. People supposed that he was the son of Joseph son of Heli 24 son of Matthat son of Levi son of Melchi son of Jannai son of Joseph 25 son of Mattathias son of Amos son of Nahum son of Esli son of Naggai 26 son of Maath son of Mattathias son of Semein son of Josech son of Joda 27 son of Joanan son of Rhesa son of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel son of Neri 28 son of Melchi son of Addi son of Cosam son of Elmadam son of Er 29 son of Joshua son of Eliezer son of Jorim son of Matthat son of Levi 30 son of Simeon son of Judah son of Joseph son of Jonam son of Eliakim 31 son of Melea son of Menna son of Mattatha son of Nathan son of David 32 son of Jesse son of Obed son of Boaz son of Sala son of Nahshon 33 son of Amminadab son of Admin son of Arni son of Hezron son of Perez son of Judah 34 son of Jacob son of Isaac son of Abraham son of Terah son of Nahor 35 son of Serug son of Reu son of Peleg son of Eber son of Shelah 36 son of Cainan son of Arphaxad son of Shem son of Noah son of Lamech 37 son of Methuselah son of Enoch son of Jared son of Mahalalel son of Cainan 38 son of Enos son of Seth son of Adam son of God.
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Comment: I love the satirical way Paul begins this hymn of praise. He begins with an “if” – if there is any encouragement, if there is (implied) any consolation, if any . . . – the rhetorical answer is “Of course there is!!” Which immediately leads to his point, “then, be of the same mind.”
Prayer: for your love, your consolation, your sympathy, your compassion, your Spirit, your Word, we thank you Lord. Amen.