Psalm 25, 26 - Day 366 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Psalm 26:1-12
Commentary: The opening verse contains the three basic elements of the psalm and sets out, in summary form, the essence of the psalm as a whole: (1) prayer: “Judge me, O Lord”; (2) affirmation: “for I have walked …”; (3) certainty: “I shall not slip.” These three themes are taken up and developed in the subsequent verses of the psalm; (1) prayer: vv 2, 9–10, 11b; (2) affirmation: vv 3–8, 11a; (3) certainty: v 12.
Craigie, P. C. (1983). Psalms 1–50 (Vol. 19, p. 225). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application; In his desperation, David declares his innocence and pleads for God to vindicate him of any wrongdoing. The psalms model for us the words to use to express our emotions of joy, hope, depression, frustrations, anger, etc.
Prayer: Lord, I come to Your altar, singing a song of thanksgiving...
1 Samuel 31 - Day 365 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: 1 Samuel 31:1-13
Observation: Saul, his 3 sons, and many of the Israelite troops were slaughtered by the Philistines. The next day, when the Philistines went out to plunder the dead, they found Saul and cut off his head and hung his body on the wall of the city of Beth-shan.
Application: The mighty warriors of Jabesh-gilead traveled through the night and retrieved Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth-shan and gave them a proper burial. No one deserves to be treated how the Philistines dealt with Saul and his sons.
Prayer: Lord, may Your justice be served...
1 Samuel 30 - Day 364 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: 1 Samuel 30:1-8
Observation: David and his men returned home to Ziklag and discovered that their town was destroyed and that their families were kidnapped by the Amalekites.
Application: Who do you turn to in times of trouble? In his time of desperation, David found strength in the Lord his God (verse 6).
Prayer: Lord, be merciful to me...
1 Samuel 29 - Day 363 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: 1 Samuel 29:1-11
Observation: As the Philistine army mobilized to engage the Israelites, the Philistine rulers reprimanded King Achish for bringing David with him.
Application: If you're in a relationship with God then you can trust Him with your life. When a golden opportunity disappears before your eyes, trust that God has something better for you.
Prayer: Lord, Your servant is listening for Your instructions...
1 Samuel 28 - Day 362 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: 1 Samuel 28:15-17
Commentary: In desperation, Saul sought to learn the future by necromancy even though he himself had prohibited such practices and even though the dead spirit he sought was his old nemesis, Samuel. His contradictory behavior continues to the end of the chapter when he eats under pressure after he had at first refused to eat. He risked his life by going to see a woman who lived behind the enemy lines, and he placed her life in danger as well. He listened to her and to his servants, but he did not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Though the woman listened to the voice of Saul, she was, by the king’s own decree, free from any guilt in this matter.
Saul got his last interview with Samuel, clothed as usual in his prophetic garb. When the old prophet rose from the underworld, his appearance impressed the woman as that of gods. Since the one who presented himself was Samuel, she knew her secretive guest must be none other than Saul. Samuel repeated the denunciations first reported in chap. 15, and announced that they were being fulfilled in current events. Moreover, the king and his two sons would die on the morrow.
Saul admits in this incident what the reader has long known—that God has departed from him. When the woman offers the king a last royal meal, it is an empty gesture. He has death in him, and all hope of kingship is irretrievably lost.
Klein, R. W. (1983). 1 Samuel (Vol. 10, pp. 273–274). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Application: Desperate men often make reckless decisions. True to his nature, Saul continued to make bad decisions because the Lord no longer answered him. Sadly, the solution was for him to repent of his sins.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner...