May 21 – Daily Notes – Amanda

sitting at feet

Mary, in every story she’s mentioned in, is completely devoted to Jesus. Nothing seems to be able to separate her from spending time with her Lord. In today’s John reading she’s even criticized for being too extravagant towards Jesus. Don’t hear Jesus’ reply as saying we shouldn’t serve and care for the poor. Instead, hear his reminder that our devotion to Christ should be paramount. If that is true, good works will be a given.

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13:

  • 1-6 – While David and the men were away from their villages, Negeb and Ziklag, the Amalekites, a perpetual enemy of the Israelites, took all the women and children captive. David’s men were furious with him when they returned. As a point of connection, the Amalekites were the people Saul was supposed to destroy completely but didn’t, which was why he was rejected as king.
  • 7-8 – David, unlike Saul, is faithful in asking God what he wants him to do before he does anything.
  • 9-25 – David’s men who were too exhausted stayed behind and didn’t fight. Interesting that Scripture refers to the men who, after their victory, didn’t want to return the exhausted men’s property to them, “wicked and worthless.” These were greedy men who wanted the credit for their hard work and to punish those who couldn’t fight that particular battle. David did not go for their proposition.
  • 1-7 – As was prophesied, Saul and all his sons died in one day. The Philistines seem to be in complete power at this point.
  • 8-10 – Because the Philistines couldn’t capture Saul alive, they torture and dishonor his corpse.
  • 11-13 – Normally burning a body would be seen as shameful, but it may have been done so the Philistines could not find him and take him back. The bodies weren’t completely burned because, later, David takes Saul and Jonathan’s bones and buries them in their family burial plot.

John 11:54-12:19:

  • 1-8 – This story is mentioned when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead even though it is written to have occurred after that. Mary is known for her devotion to Jesus and has great reason to be considering he raised her brother from the dead. Many people question why Judas’ comments are dismissed since they sound pretty valid, but he actually had no intention of helping the poor with the money. He wanted it himself.
  • 12-15 – Though brief in this gospel, the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, is one of few stories included in all four gospels. “Hosanna” means “save us”. The people of Jerusalem, who will soon have him killed, cry out for Jesus to save them. The donkey colt fulfilled a prophesy of the Messiah.

Psalm 118:1-18:

  • 5-6 – Cause and effect. I cry out to the Lord. The Lord comes through. I now have increased faith in God’s protection for me. This is how our faith should work yet we so often forget the great things he does for us.
  • 18 – A great perspective! Sometimes we endure consequences, but this doesn’t mean that God has forsaken or rejected us.

Proverbs 15:24-26:

  • 25 – Pride normally means we rely on ourselves but wisdom tells us the Lord is the only one we can rely on. Everything else crumbles.

January 15 – Daily Notes – Amanda

Genesis 31:17-32:12:

  • 24 – This seems like an odd instruction.
  • 34-35 – This is yet another instance in Jacob’s story where lies and deceit seem to be effective. Clearly Jacob’s story is meant to show us how God can use imperfect people for his glory and our good. Rachel’s excuse is pretty ingenious – she uses the one excuse that men are universally afraid of.
  • 45-49 – The pile of rocks was used as a divider between Jacob’s land and Laban’s.
  • 6-7 – Jacob had every reason to be afraid. He had stolen Esau’s blessing and tricked him out of his birth right. The last time Jacob heard anything about Esau it was that Esau wanted to kill him and that’s why Jacob had to go to Laban in the first place.
  • 12 – Jacob reminds God of the covenant he made with the Israelites that was now extended through Jacob.

 

Matthew 10:26-11:6:

  • 28 – It is easy to allow our fear of man to overcome our devotion to God.
  • 34-37 – This should not be taken as Jesus’ desire to separate families, but instead, Jesus’ desire for people to be devoted to him above all else. It is easy to be devoted to Jesus in certain areas but to hold other areas of our lives back from him.
  • 38-39 – “Bearing a cross” is often trivialized as a minor issue or inconvenience. Roman’s used the cross as a humiliating punishment. To truly take up your cross, you must be willing to give yourself completely to the cause of Christ no matter what social, financial, or permanent consequences you face. It is also interesting to think about how Christ made this comment long before he was actually crucified. No one knew yet that he would live this out literally.
  • 2-3 – John the Baptist wanted to confirm that Jesus was actually the Messiah because he hoped that would mean his release.
  • 4-6 – By quoting Isaiah, which he does again in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus knows that John will recognize that he quotes all of it but that “prisoners are set free.” John would not be set free from prison before death.

 

Psalm 13:1-6:

  • Here David is clearly in deep distress but still is able to end his psalm of lament with speaking of God’s trustworthiness, salvation, and worthiness to be praised. This is not always easy to do, but David is a great example of how to.