Author Topic: Bible Pathways  (Read 39823 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1050 on: March 30, 2012, 08:40:18 am »
Read Judges 20 – 21
Highlights:

War against Benjamites; their defeat; wives for the remaining Benjamites.
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judg. 21: 25).

God should have been accepted as King over his people. Each time Israel forsook God as King, they were defeated by every nation God would have given into their hands.

Their disregard for the Commandments of God left them powerless. The moral decline and spiritual decay that prevailed in the nation was the result of every man doing that which was right in his own eyes (21:25). The way of a fool (one who despises wisdom) is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Prov. 12:15).

Since they often forgot to recognize God as their Ruler, they were left without an earthly leader from the death of Samson until Samuel. This situation is pointed out four distinct times, in those days there was no king in Israel (Judg. 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).

A man's conscience can only be a true guide when he is being led by the Word of God. But when we ignore God, as did the chosen nation, man is without a true guide on his journey through life. When the Word of God is ignored, people enthrone "self" and soon turn to the immoral conduct of their sin nature.

Today we see a growing indifference to holiness similar to that which existed in the days of the judges. We have redefined acts of sin with pleasant-sounding terms. Adultery is now called "having an affair." Homosexuality is replaced with "gay and lesbian," or "alternative lifestyles." Fornication is casually referred to as "live-in lovers." The purpose of this is always the same — to remove the sense of guilt for violating the moral Law of God, as well as to make everyone feel comfortable doing what is right in His (their) own eyes (21:25). However, we must hate and expose sin, but show mercy and kindness as we pray for and confront the sinner.

In the midst of anarchy and unbelief, God always has a faithful remnant who withstand the pressures and pleasures of sin and live to please Him. What precious assurance comes to us as we face our problems! He has never failed His faithful ones, in the past, and His promises for the future are secure. As we are faithful to His Word, we are strengthened by His Spirit.

Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck (I Tim. 1:19).

Thought for Today:

Man was not created to be master of his own will; and without God, his life will be misdirected.
Christ Revealed:

As our Deliverer (Judg. 20:26-28). As we pray and seek the Lord's will, He delivers us from all evil forces. Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God (Gal. 1:3-4).
Word Studies:

20:5 forced, raped; 20:6 lewdness and folly, sinful, shameful disgrace; 20:13 children of Belial, evil perverts; 20:34 sore, fierce; 20:35 smote, struck down; drew the sword, were experienced soldiers; 20:41 amazed, terrified; 20:42 turned their backs, retreated, fled; 20:43 trode them down, overtook them; sunrising, east; 20:45 gleaned, cut off; 20:46 fell, died; men of valour, valiant warriors; 21:13 call peaceably, proclaim peace.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA) • Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Heb. 4:12).
Optional Reading: John 21

Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:16
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1051 on: March 31, 2012, 08:23:41 am »
Read  Ruth 1 – 4

Highlights:

Famine in Bethlehem which prompted Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons to move to Moab; death of Elimelech and their two sons; return of Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehem; Ruth gleans in Boaz's field; marriage of Boaz and Ruth. (Their son, Obed, was the father of Jesse, King David's father.)
Why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (Ruth. 1:21).

All Israel knew that Moses had warned that failure to serve, honor, and worship the Lord would result in famine. If ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these Commandments. . . . ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you. . . . and I will make your heaven as iron (yielding no rain) (Lev. 26:14-19). But there is no evidence that the people in Bethlehem repented or prayed for rain.

Because of the famine in the promised land, Elimelech and his family left Bethlehem in search of a more prosperous country. They decided to cross the Jordan River and sojourn in the heathen land of Moab — a people upon whom God had pronounced a curse (Num. 25:1-3; Amos 2:1-3).

What seemed to have begun as a temporary sojourn became permanent, for they dwelled there about ten years (Ruth 1:1-4). During that time their sons married Moabite women.

Elimelech (whose name means "my God is King") and his sons never again enjoyed the promised land. All three of them died and were buried in Moab. God was no longer King of this family that failed to trust God for "bread" in Bethlehem. Naomi (whose name means "pleasantness") was left empty with nothing worth living for.

Bitter over all the disappointments, heartaches, and deaths, Naomi returned to Bethlehem. Her reason for returning was not because of any repentance for leaving the promised land, but she had heard that Bethlehem was again prosperous.

It appeared to Naomi that the Lord is gone out against me (1:13), but it was actually the divine providence of God. Little could she realize that Ruth, the Moabitess, would be in the ancestry of the Messiah as the great-grandmother of King David.

The Book of Ruth should give the most despondent, defeated person confidence to return to God and trust Him. In our most bitter experiences, God is seeking to bring forth Christ in our life.

We have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will (Eph. 1:11).

Thought for Today:

Why are so many people so prone to blame God for their problems?
Christ Revealed:

Through Bethlehem (Ruth 2:4; 4:11), which means “House of Bread.” Jesus, the Bread of Life, satisfies the spiritual hunger of all who come to Him. Then Jesus said unto them . . . I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger (John 6:32-35).
Word Studies:

1:1 sojourn, temporarily live; 1:16 Intreat, Ask; 1:19 moved, stirred, concerned; 2:2 glean, gather leftover; corn, grain; 2:8 fast by, close to; 2:9 touch, molest, annoy; 2:14 sufficed, satisfied; 2:15 reproach, hinder; 2:16 of purpose, deliberately; 2:19 where wroughtest thou, where did you find so much; 2:20 kinsmen, near relatives who had the right to redeem; 3:3 raiment, best attire; 3:4 mark, notice; 3:8 afraid, startled; 3:15 vail, cloak, shawl; 3:18 finished the thing, made good his promise; 4:4 advertise, give you notice; 4:5 of the hand of, from; 4:6 mar mine own inheritance, endanger my heirs; 4:7 changing, transferring ownership of land.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Mark Begich (AK), Rep. Dennis A. Cardoza (CA), Rep. Barney Frank (MA), Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA) and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (VT) • Country: Zimbabwe (11.2 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and Shona • Limited religious freedom • 59% Christian; 35% Traditional; 2% Muslim; 4% nonreligious/other • Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with boldness and seek His grace and mercy (Heb. 4:16).
Optional Reading: Acts 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:16

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!


Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1052 on: April 01, 2012, 02:22:27 pm »

Read I Samuel 1 – 3
Highlights:

Hannah's prayer for a child; her vow to God; birth of Samuel; God warns Eli; God calls Samuel.
And the Word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. . . . And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of His words fall to the ground. . . . the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the Lord (I Sam. 3:1,19,21).

It was a time when every man did that which was right in his own eyes — meaning did as they pleased with no regard for the Word of God (Judg. 17:6; 21:25). Samuel and the two sons of Eli grew up together in Shiloh, performing their duties in the Tabernacle. Hophni and Phinehas were indifferent to the Word of God, but Samuel grew in favor with the Lord because he let none of His words fall to the ground (I Sam. 3:19). This means that Samuel considered all of the Word of God important. He did everything the Lord commanded him to do. Samuel was careful to do the Lord's will. Like Samuel, we may live in the midst of evil, but we can shine as lights — holding forth the Word of Truth in our perverted generation.

The spiritual condition during that time can be seen in the immoral conduct of the priest's family. Eli was slack in disciplining his children (3:12-13). His vision began to wax dim, spiritually as well as physically. He was blind to his responsibilities (3:2; compare 2:26).

The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the Word of God and His presence among them, had been at Shiloh since Joshua placed it there about 450 years earlier. But the general indifference to the will of God prevailed. Consequently, the Word of the Lord was precious (3:1) — meaning, there was seldom a prophetic revelation because the Word of God was seldom referred to in those days. There was no open vision — meaning, the Word of God was not clearly understood, and therefore little was known of the will of God.

The reason the Word of the Lord was not clearly understood is the same reason it is not clearly understood today. We cannot understand the Word of God and will not if we never read the Bible with a desire to know and then do His will. We cannot keep His Commandments if we do not know what they are. In the hectic pace of twenty-first-century America, countless thousands of words fill our minds every day from the newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, and internet. Consequently, there is a serious neglect of setting aside time to read the Only Written Word from God to mankind.

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom (Col. 3:16).

Thought for Today:

Through the power of the Word, the Christian can face even the most hopeless situation.
Christ Portrayed:

By Samuel who grew in favor with God and men (I Sam. 2:26). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).
Word Studies:

1:6 sore, without mercy; 1:16 daughter of Belial, sinful woman; 2:1 horn, strength; is enlarged, rejoices greatly; 2:8 the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, God alone sustains and upholds the earth; 2:10 His King . . . His Anointed, Messiah; this is the first reference to Jesus' coming by the title Messiah; 2:13 in seething, being cooked; 2:15 sodden, boiled; 2:29 Wherefore kick ye, Why do you rebel?; 2:31 cut off thine arm, break your strength; 3:18 every whit, everything.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • Government Officials: Assoc. Justice Samuel A. Alito • Country: Albania (3.1 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Albanian and Greek • Newly opened to evangelism • 41.5% Christian; 39% Muslim; 18.5% non-Religious/Other; .2% Baha'i; .01% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for ways to share His love with others (Heb. 6:10).
Optional Reading: Acts 2

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1053 on: April 02, 2012, 09:10:46 am »
Read I Samuel 4 – 7

Highlights:

Israel defeated by the Philistines; Ark of God taken; Eli's death; Samuel judges Israel.
And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and . . . serve Him only: and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines (I Sam. 7:3).

Twenty years had passed since the Philistines had defeated Israel and carried away the Ark of God. Prior to that, the Israelites had declared war against the Philistines without having direction from God. Consequently, they were defeated.

After their defeat, they remembered that the presence of the Ark of the Covenant had always meant victory. Therefore, they brought it from Shiloh to the battlefield. They assumed that by having the Ark in their possession, God would protect them from their enemies, but the defeat was even greater, and 30,000 Israelites died in battle. They had taken the Ark to the battlefield, but they had not repented of their sins or sought the Lord's will. If God had permitted Israel to win the war while they disregarded His will, it would eventually have been a greater national calamity than being defeated by the Philistines.

While Eli was priest, God used Israel's defeats to transfer His authority to Samuel. After a period of twenty years, all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord (7:2). Samuel appealed to the people to put away their idols and serve Him only (7:3).

When Israel was again threatened by war with the Philistines, Samuel offered a sacrifice and prayed. God intervened, and the Philistines were so badly defeated that they did not attack Israel again during Samuel's lifetime.

One's confession of faith may be as bold as the great shout (4:5) that accompanied Phinehas and Hophni when they brought the Ark into Israel's camp before they were slain. But the triumphant faith of Samuel is experienced by those who worship the Lord . . . only.

Just as the Ark in itself could not save Israel, neither could sacrifice or mere formality in worship take the place of inward obedience. This is why many Christians are suffering defeat; they are more concerned with outward things being right than they are in permitting God to control their lives.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10).

Thought for Today:

Serving the Lord acceptably requires single-hearted love for Him.
Christ Revealed:

Through the rock called Ebenezer, which means the stone of help (I Sam. 7:12). Jesus is our Rock of salvation; our help comes from Him (Ps. 18:2; 121:2). I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13).
Word Studies:

4:1 pitched, encamped; 4:9 quit yourselves like men, be courageous and exercise all the strength you have; 4:12 his clothes rent . . . earth upon his head, signs of great sorrow; 4:19 travailed, gave birth; 5:6 emerods, tumors, hemorrhoids; 6:2 diviners, fortune-tellers; 6:6 had wrought wonderfully, did mighty things; 6:7 milch kine, heifers, milk cows; 6:8 coffer, chest; 6:14 clave, split; 7:3 strange, foreign, false; 7:10 discomfited them, confused them in a panic.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Helen Porter • Government Officials: Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (GA) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME) • Country: Algeria (31.5 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Opposition to the Gospel is intense • 96.7% Muslim; 3.02% non-Religious; .29% Christian; .01% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that it is by the blood of Christ that we have access to God in prayer (Heb. 10:19).
Optional Reading: Acts 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1054 on: April 03, 2012, 08:13:39 am »
Read I Samuel 8 – 11
Highlights:

Samuel's evil sons; Israelites ask for a king; Samuel anoints Saul; Saul defeats the Ammonites.
And ye have this day rejected your God, who Himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto Him, Nay, but set a king over us (I Sam. 10:19).

Samuel and the judges who ruled the nation of Israel desired to please God — their invisible King. These judges were chosen by God and received direction from Him. However, Israel openly rejected Him as King. Although the people would not consider idol worship and would strongly deny that they had rejected the Lord, yet it was the solemn response of God to Samuel that they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them (8:7). They persistently asked to have a king such as other nations, that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles (8:20).

The Lord, not the people, knew what was best for the Israelites, but the nation insisted, Nay; but we will have a king over us; go out before us, and fight our battles (8:19-20). This decision represented a rebellion against God.

Samuel called a national assembly at Mizpeh and again warned the people of their serious mistake in demanding a king. Saul looked like a king and the people were satisfied with his external appearance. But although he was blessed with many spiritual gifts, he was more intent on pleasing people than on pleasing God. He was a symbol of the spiritual weakness of the nation.

Saul represents the counterfeit Christian who is proud, worldly, and undisciplined (Matt. 16:24). As is often the case, the spirit of self in Saul was a mixture of much that was right, but only so far as it pleased him. Saul is a warning that self-will ends in failure.

The motive that brought about the kingdom of Saul is also representative of popular Christianity without Christ. Desiring to be like the majority has caused many to ignore the Bible and seek counsel from others. Such people compromise the commands of God and destroy their usefulness to Him. God leaves the choice to us to accept or reject His leadership. Without the guidance of God, we will soon be defeated by the temptations that confront us each day.

God gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king (Acts. 13:20-21).

Thought for Today:

Unless we confess and forsake our sins, we will face eternal consequences.
Christ Portrayed:

Through Samuel who faithfully served Israel as judge (I Sam. 8:1,3), prophet (8:10-18; 9:6,9,19,27; 10:1-9), and priest (8:10,21; 10:8). Jesus was the Prophet promised through Moses (Deut. 18:15); He is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14); and one day He will judge all mankind: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
Word Studies:

8:3 lucre, money gained dishonestly; 8:9 protest solemnly, object seriously; 8:12 ear, plow; 9:2 goodly, handsome; 9:7 spent, used up; 9:16 captain, leader since God was the true King; 9:26 spring of the day, dawn, the first coming of light; 10:1 vial, a container; 11:1 encamped against, put his forces in position to attack.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Iva Jo Swinsburg • Staff: Dan Murton • Country: Andorra (78,000) in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain • Major languages: Catalan and French • Official freedom of religion • 94% Christian; 4% non-Religious; .6% Muslim; .9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a true heart in assurance of faith (Heb. 10:22).
Optional Reading: Acts 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1055 on: April 04, 2012, 09:11:26 am »
Read I Samuel 12 – 14:23

Highlights:

Samuel reproves the Israelites for ingratitude; war with the Philistines; Saul's burnt offering sacrifice; Jonathan smites the Philistines.
Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel (I Sam. 13:1-2).

Following Saul's first battle, his noble character was revealed when he confessed: For to day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel (11:13). But after one year's reign, pride replaced what had once appeared to be a humble spirit.

Saul soon became a symbol of what the people actually wanted — a king like all the other nations had (8.5). He chose him three thousand men for his personal protection and for Israel's defense. He followed the custom of other monarchs who maintained a standing army for their prestige as well as unexpected attacks. But it was a dishonor for Israel whose invisible King had all the hosts of heaven at His command.

The three thousand men were an impressive bodyguard for Saul, but this act of distrust exposed a mixture of pride and lack of faith in God. God alone had protected and guided the Israelites since Abraham's call over a thousand years earlier.

Had Saul recalled the past protection and power that God had provided when Israel prayed, and humbly acknowledged the Lord as his source of strength, his faith would have increased and fear of the future would have vanished. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the Law of faith (Rom. 3:27).

After Saul had shown his real character, God delivered the people by just two men: Jonathan and his armor bearer — that He might reveal to Saul how little He needed his strength or any human wisdom, and how all-sufficient God was to those who trusted Him. Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (I Cor. 1:26-27).

Just as pride leads to unbelief and ignoring the Word of God, faith comes from submission to the Word of God — and surrendering one's life to doing His will is dependent upon reading His Word. As we humbly acknowledge His Word as our source of strength, our faith is increased in measure.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:16).

Thought for Today:

A true servant of the Lord willingly follows his Master's instructions.
Christ Revealed:

By Samuel the intercessor (I Sam. 12:23). Right now Jesus is interceding for believers. It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).
Word Studies:

12:4 taken ought, received a bribe; ought, anything; 12:21 vain, worthless; 13:10 salute, welcome, greet; 13:17 spoilers, raiders; 13:20 share . . . coulter . . . mattock, agricultural tools; 13:21 goads, iron points used to prod animals; 14:8 discover ourselves, let ourselves be seen; 14:16 melted away, scattered in all directions; 14:20 discomfiture, confusion.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Sen. Richard G. Lugar (IN) • Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects • Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism • 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Heb. 10:23).
Optional Reading: Acts 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1056 on: April 05, 2012, 09:56:37 am »
Read I Samuel 14:24 – 16

Highlights:

Saul commanded to destroy Amalekites; his disobedience; Saul rejected as king; David anointed king.
Samuel also said unto Saul . . . hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. . . . Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all. . . . But Saul and the people spared Agag . . . and would not utterly destroy them (I Sam. 15:1,3,9).

Influenced by the prophet Samuel at the beginning of his reign, Saul served the people as a servant of God. But it wasn't long before his decisions were calculated to heighten his own prestige.

After Saul's apparent success in defeating the Amalekites, he proudly announced: I have performed the Commandment of the Lord (15:13). However, the Command to utterly destroy all had been very plain. But, because it pleased the people, Saul had spared all the choice property. Once again it appears Saul used his own discretion and diplomacy in order to win the goodwill of the people.

This is the second time Saul used the excuse of desiring to sacrifice to the Lord, but in both instances, it was a matter of self-exaltation.

Pride held a firm grip upon his heart when he admitted that he feared the loss of popularity if he insisted that the people utterly destroy all, so he obeyed their voice (15:24).

Saul wanted Samuel's blessing, but if he had to make a choice between that or maintaining his popularity, he would go on his way without Samuel's approval.

There is nothing so subtle or so destructive to our spiritual growth as pride. Pride and self-will inevitably divert the Christian's attention away from the principle of obedience. Doing almost all of what God commands is the same as being completely disobedient.

Like Saul, it is possible to have selfish motives for obeying God and try to convince ourselves and others that we are serving the Lord. By reading all the Bible, our failure through ignorance to obey Him, will be exposed, whereas it might otherwise go unnoticed. For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).

Nothing but the Word of God can expose the magnitude of our pride; and only Christ, the Living Word, can cast it out.

Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5).

Thought for Today:

Pride always goes before a fall.
Christ Revealed:

Through David's name (I Sam. 16:13) which means beloved. David is a type of Jesus, whom the Heavenly Father called My beloved Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35).
Word Studies:

14:24 adjured, threatened under oath; 14:31 smote, struck down; 14:41 perfect lot, right answer; 14:47 took the kingdom, took possession; vexed, harassed; 14:52 sore, fierce, severe; 15:29 repent, change His mind; 15:32 delicately, fearfully; 16:18 comely, handsome.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Rodney Heikkila and Thursday Morning Prayer • Government Officials: Rep. Peter T. King (NY) and Rep. Reid J. Ribble (WI) • Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and local dialects • Religious freedom • 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for the privilege of assembling with other Christians each week (Heb. 10:25).
Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1057 on: April 06, 2012, 09:19:20 am »
Read I Samuel 17 – 18

Highlights:

David defeats Goliath; Jonathan's loyalty to David; Saul's plot against David.
And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands (I Sam. 17:47).

It is no accident that the Lord permitted the Philistines to once again unite their forces to conquer His people. It is also no accident that the giant Goliath challenged the Israelite army to send him a man and settle the battle between the two armies.

King Saul could have been the first to challenge and defeat Goliath and join the Hebrew heroes who by faith subdued kingdoms . . . obtained promises (Heb. 11:33). Saul was an example of the lack of faith which existed throughout the nation.

It was also during this crisis we discover why God did not choose Eliab, David's oldest brother, to be anointed king. He had earlier said to Samuel: I have refused him (I Sam. 16:7). At this time of testing Eliab could see nothing but the giant backed by a huge army.

In contrast to both Saul and Eliab, young David considered the giant insignificant compared to the ability of the Living God to protect His people. David had braved dangers in caring for his father's sheep; therefore, he could say with confidence: The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine (17:37).

Saul seemed satisfied to sit on his throne, let David fight his battle, and offer his advice on how to win. Nothing seems more natural to some people than getting someone else to do what should be their responsibilities — of course, the way they think it should be done. As David faced Goliath, there was no hesitancy when he shouted: I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied (17:45).

David used only a sling and a stone to defeat Goliath. He learned through experience to trust in God. Each day's experiences are designed of God to prepare us for what lies ahead. Then comes the time when, by faith, we fulfull His purpose.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt. 25:23).

Thought for Today:

Faith is developed one day at a time as we continue to rely on the Lord.
Christ Portrayed:

By Jonathan, who stripped himself of his royal robes and made a covenant, promising all that he had to David (I Sam. 18:3-4). Knowing the will of God, Jesus cast off His heavenly robes and took upon Him the form of a servant . . . and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).
Word Studies:

17:6 greaves, leg armor; 17:18 take their pledge, bring back news of how they are doing; 17:20 trench, camp; 17:22 carriage, baggage, supplies; 17:31 rehearsed, reported; 17:39 assayed, tried, attempted; proved, tested, tried; 17:40 a scrip, his small pouch; 17:43 staves,  sticks; 17:53 spoiled, looted; 17:56 stripling, youth; 18:9 eyed, kept his eye upon David with suspicion, envy, and jealousy; 18:11 avoided, escaped; 18:27 tale, number.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy (Dr. John A. Hash's mother) • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Joseph Courtney (CT), Rep. Michele M. Bachman (MN), and Rep. Tim Walz (MN) • Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 1.5% Muslim; 1% Jewish; 2.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the Lord in prayer and He will bless your efforts (Heb. 11:6).
Optional Reading: Acts 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1058 on: April 07, 2012, 09:03:38 am »
Read I Samuel 19 – 21

Highlights:

Saul seeks to kill David; Jonathan's covenant with David; David flees to Achish, king of Gath.
And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David (I Sam. 19:1).

Following David's victory over Goliath, he became very popular with the people. As David gained prestige in the nation, King Saul became obsessed with jealousy. He set out to destroy David at any cost.

Saul manipulated the circumstances of David's life to expose him to the Philistines, hoping that they would kill him. Over a period of time, everyone in Israel became aware that King Saul was seeking to destroy David. But, as time progressed, it also became clear that God continued to guide David, even using two of Saul's children, his son Jonathan and his daughter Michal, to protect him.

After Saul had hurled a javelin at David's heart on a second occasion, David fled to his home where he was pursued by Saul's officers and was saved only by the strategy of his loving wife, Michal, who let David down through a window (19:12).

Saul had become so obsessed with jealousy that he tried to involve his son, David's closest friend, to murder him. But, Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause? (19:4-5).

Saul eventually confessed that David was chosen of God (24:20). But, blinded by self-interest, he was driven from one desperate act to another. Saul faced the fierce and powerful Philistine armies without the skillful ability of David and without the blessings of God. The ultimate end of his obsession to destroy David ended in his suicide after he was wounded in battle.

Like Saul many have brought about their own downfall while attempting to destroy another. When we are controlled by pride, we no longer recognize the sovereign right of God to arrange the affairs of earth and to rule the heart of every man.

But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6).

Thought for Today:

To some people, worldly popularity and power appear as a dazzling giant prize to gain at any price.
Christ Portrayed:

By David, who, as a servant of Saul, suffered at the hands of the one whom he served (I Sam. 19:1,10-11). Jesus suffered at the hands of the ones He came to serve and to save. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must . . . suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Matt. 16:21).
Word Studies:

19:9 played with his hand, played music on the harp; 19:13 bolster, headrest; 20:2 but that he will shew it me, without first telling me; 20:12 sounded, questioned; 20:26 not clean, ceremonially defiled (Lev. 15; Num. 19:11); 20:30 confusion, dishonor, shame; 20:33 javelin,  spear; 21:4 hallowed bread, Showbread, sacrificial bread to be eaten only by priests (Ex. 25:30; Matt. 12:3-4).
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Robert A. Brady (PA), Gov. Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. (CA), and Gov. Mitch Elias Daniels (IN) • Country: Armenia (3.8 million) southwest Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Armenian and Russian • Religious freedom • 78.5% Armenian Apostolic Church; 3.3% Muslim; .05% Protestant; 17.7% Atheist/Agnostic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who are in adverse circumstances (Heb. 13:3).
Optional Reading: Acts 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1059 on: April 08, 2012, 12:54:44 pm »
Read I Samuel 22 – 24

Highlights:

David's escape to Adullam; eighty-five priests slain; David spares Saul's life.
And Saul called all the people together to war . . . to beseige David and his men (I Sam. 23:8).

Saul made a great mistake when he said: God hath delivered him (David) into mine hand (23:7). It shows how man can be deceived in his interpretation of providential events when he is not in subjection to God.

Such a misinterpretation of circumstances is more than poor judgment; it is the result of the god of this world who hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (II Cor. 4:4). Saul was so determined to have his own way that he gave no thought to the wishes of a sovereign God. When Saul ordered Doeg to murder all the priests who lived at Nob, a short distance from his home in Gibeah, he destroyed his only source of spiritual guidance.

When David knew that Saul planned to kill him, he did not know which way to turn. The friends he had once trusted turned against him. The way seemed to be more uncertain each day, but he continued to pray for guidance (I Sam. 23:10-12). Our all-wise heavenly Father often allows us to experience times of deep distress in order to develop a greater faith in Him.

At times, our circumstances seem to make us think that God does not care; but, like David, we can be confident in His unchanging, eternal Word. He does care, and He stands ready to answer our call for help when we are in submission to Him.

We have the honor to receive guidance as God speaks through His Word. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God (James 1:5; Ps. 25:9). We can consult the lively oracles (Acts 7:38; II Tim. 3:16) for our guidance and look to the indwelling Holy Spirit for revelation of His will to our hearts (John 16:13). We have the advantage of reading His Word — the wisdom that never errs. And it is our privilege to wait on the Lord daily for both strength and wisdom with the utmost confidence in the Lord's protection and direction despite the most adverse of circumstances. Pity the people who know very little about the Bible and, consequently, do not know which way to turn when a crisis occurs.

As you become familiar with the Scriptures, you can be a great encouragement to someone — providing spiritual counsel and being an intercessor in prayer for others' needs.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4).

Thought for Today:

We can praise God; the victory is the Lord's who giveth us the victory (I John 5:4).
Christ Revealed:

By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Sam. 24:10-13). Christ refused to become King of Israel. When Jesus . . . perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed (John 6:15).
Word Studies:

22:4 hold = stronghold, safe place; 22:17 footmen = guards; 22:18 fell upon = attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned = I am to blame for; 23:9 practised mischief = planned harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand = encouraged his faith; 23:22 where his haunt is = where he is hiding; subtilly = craftily; 23:26 compassed = were encircling; 24:3 sheepcotes = where sheep were kept; to cover his feet = to take a nap; 24:4 privily = unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed = persuaded, restrained; 24:11 skirt = corner.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. David Wu (OR) • Country: Australia (19 million) an island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans • Major languages: English and native languages • Religious freedom • 40% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 3% Orthodox; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be content with and thankful for the things you have (Heb. 13:5).
Optional Reading: Acts 9

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25

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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!