August 5, Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 11, 12

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Saul rescues his own – doubly so. Jabesh Gilead had strong blood ties with the Tribe of Benjamin. Consider Samuel’s words to God’s Christ Saul and to God’s people – verses 12:24,25.

SJA Notes

“And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.”

Clearly Samuel knew the fickle heart of the people, and he wanted them to know the folly of crying out for a king like the other nations.

But he speaks to Israel in a very similar way as Moses did, and Joshua (who learnt from Moses).

“If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.”

Samuel is speaking God’s TRUTH to the people, just as Moses did. Just as Joshua did.

Samuel warns both the people and the king not to stray in v25,

“But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

What then for us reading this passage?

Samuel’s words still hold as much weight now as then. Fear the Lord. Serve Him. Obey His voice. Do not rebel against His commandment.

These are not just Old Testament Hebrew truths. These are spiritual life and health!

Let’s be encouraged and exhorted to grasp hold of them, wrestle with them, the practical outworking of them in our lives.

As Paul says in the first chapter of Romans, we are called to the obedience of faith for the sake of Jesus’ name among all the nations.

This is a high calling! Let us encourage one another in it as the day grows long.

* Dear Lord God,

Thank You for Your word today. Thank You for Samuel’s words to Israel, which are for us today.

Please help us to fear You with a holy and reverent fear.

Please help us to serve You with all humility.

Please help us to walk obediently under Your will, Your words to us.

Please help us to turn to You and Your commands instead of rebelling against them. Each day.

Amen.

August 5, Reading 3 – 2 Corinthians 12:1-13

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This is the only occasion where an Apostle lets you into his private spiritual experiences. This uniqueness should give us pause. The human heart is too easily impressed and led astray by the self-proclaimed spiritual experiences of those who would lead. Such experiences should be treated as we should treat those of other intimate relationships such as marriage – with a jealous privacy, modesty and respect!

SJA Notes

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We are reminded again of the worth in submission under God’s will, in the situations He places us in. Situations where we might be insulted or suffer a calamity.

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

It is an upside-down logic for any worldly understanding, because we are so far from God.

But He has come near in Jesus, and brought us near through Jesus – So that in our weakness He can be glorified. There is worth in our weakness!

Let’s be encouraged in this, and continue to wrestle with what this means for us.

* Lord God,

Thank You that even though we are weak, Your strength is shown through us.

Thank You for Jesus, our Saviour and King.

Please help us each day to be more like Him.

Please show us today from Your word what You would have us know.

Amen.