Apparently there are certain concepts that escape us if not repeated at least a thousand times. Proverbs seems to think so. Yet again, in today’s reading, we are reminded that wisdom is shown when we are patient and slow to act or speak. Foolishness is rash and fast moving and fails to think things through. I know I could stand to hear this message on repeat. How about you?
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11:
- 11-16 – It seems very harsh to us that David kills the young Amalekite who, seemingly, was merciful to a dying Saul. David had deep regard for Saul as the anointed one of God and did not see it as the Amalekite’s job to kill him.
- 1 – David was faithful in seeking God’s guidance before he would make moves.
- 4 – David is now officially king over Judah. He needed for Saul and his sons to die and to be anointed. Now both have happened.
- 4-7 – The men of Jabesh-gilead were the ones who took Saul’s body back from the Philistines after the Philistines tortured and dishonored it. David greatly appreciated this because it was honoring to God’s anointed, Saul.
- 8-11 – One son of Saul was still alive, Ish-bosheth. A portion of the Israelites follow Ish-bosheth as their king, but the majority follow David.
- 23-24 – Jesus knew that in order to conquer sin and for his mission to multiply, he had to die.
- 29 – This is the second recording of God speaking audibly directly to or about Jesus. The first is during his baptism.
- 34-36 – The people could not understand how he could be the Christ and die since their law said the Christ would live forever. They couldn’t reconcile the two. Jesus simply encourages them to follow him while he’s still there.
- 42-43 – A very convicting passage. Too often we care more about what others think than what pleases God.
- 22 – This verse is later applied to Jesus. He was rejected, but ultimately our faith was built on him.
- 24 – A popular, very quotable verse reminding us that each day is a gift from God and should be given back to him with praise.
- 28 – The continual theme in Proverbs of wisdom being slow and thoughtful is repeated here.
You’ve heard this story 1,000 times, but don’t skim over it. David and Goliath is told as a children’s story most often because we can be brave and that’s good stuff. But listen to the dialogue. What is David’s reasoning for facing a giant against all odds? Who was this David kid anyway? Take the time to read this story like it was the first time.
1 Samuel 17:1-18:4:
- 4 – Some say Goliath may have been up to 9 feet tall.
- 26-27 – David was most concerned that the Philistines were opposing God’s army, the Israelites. He couldn’t believe or stand this type of offense.
- 38-40 – It seems that Saul is trying to do all he can for David. Certainly he felt like it might look bad on him to send a young boy out to be killed by a veteran warrior who was also a giant.
- 45-47 – David went to battle in the name of the Lord with every confidence that the Lord would sustain and proper him against Goliath.
- 1-4 – Jonathan was Saul’s son but became David’s best friend. Theirs is one of the greatest stories of friendship in all of Scripture.
- 23-24 – Just like us, the people who lived when Jesus did also needed to believe that he was the Son of God and Savior of the world.
- This Psalm lists off a number of reasons why God is great and worthy to be followed and praised. It gives hope to believers and reminds us of the lengths God will go to in order to care for his people.
- 10 – Proverbs 1:7 also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This makes sense considering God leads us into protection and good things. To fear and obey him would obviously help us make wise decisions.
- Sheol was the name of the place people thought the dead went. Abaddon was a angel said to be in charge of an army of locusts. He is also mentioned in Revelation.
Just like us, the Israelites struggled to retain memories of the good things God had done for them. They needed to be continually reminded of specific instances of God’s faithfulness. In today’s psalm, the psalmist recounts a series of time where God proved himself faithful and that faithfulness in the past gave hope to the original readers and can give hope to us as well. We serve a faithful God.
- 1-2 – The Israelites were commanded to not go through their fields and pick up the leftovers but to leave them for widows and travelers. This is exactly what Ruth is taking advantage of.
- 8-10 – Boaz essentially guarantees Ruth’s safety and provision.
- 6-18 – Though the language is somewhat suggestive that Ruth and Boaz had a sexual encounter, the language is just uncertain enough that you can’t say either way with any confidence. Maybe she did simply sleep at his feet all night after a kind, generous conversation. Either way, it was scandalous in their culture that she stayed the night with a man who was not her husband.
- 1-6 – Women, like land, were considered property. Ruth came along with the land since she had no male relative to marry.
- 7 – The phrase, “now this was custom in former times,” makes it clear that this story was told to people years later when customs had changed.
- 11-12 – Rachel, Ruth and Boaz, Perez, Tamar, and Judah are all part of Jesus’ lineage listed in the first chapter of Matthew.
- 17 – This lineage is listed to show Ruth’s connection to David and eventually to Jesus. It is significant that Ruth was not an Israelite so we know that gentiles were part of Jesus’ background.
- 47-54 – Jesus frequently rewards people who believe without having seen a miracle or been told specifically who he is.
- 54 – Though John’s gospel doesn’t enumerate all of Jesus’ miracles, clearly the writer wanted the readers to recognize that this was Jesus’ second miracle in a particular place.
- “The fear of the Lord” is an interesting concept. Fear can be replaced with the word “awe”. When we stand in awe or reverence of something, we hold great respect for it. This fear or awe should lead us to obedience. Because of that, when we fear the Lord and it leads to obedience, we are fully protected by the Lord and can have confidence in that.
Though we often complicate it and make things far more difficult than they should be, Jesus gives us one job as his parting words – go and make disciples. So that’s it – tell other people about Jesus and help them follow him.
- God cares about the details.
- It is significant that women were the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection and disappearance from the grave. Women’s testimonies did not count in court.
- 11-12 – The chief priests immediately try to discount the account of Jesus’ resurrection. At the time Matthew was written, the rumor they started was still being spread.
- 18-20 – This is known as The Great Commission. This passage is used as reason for evangelism.
- 11 – “Fear of the Lord” refers to a type of awe and respect.
1:7 – “Fear of the Lord.” When the biblical writers talk about fear of the Lord, what they mean is a healthy respect for something serious, the way a gun-owner might fear the lethal power of his gun or a horse-trainer might respect the strength of the horse.