Seek Refuge

People are surprised when I tell them that I am housebound. They see it as a prison. I view it as a sanctuary protecting me from the allergens that make my life miserable!

1 Samuel 23:7, “When it was reported to Saul that David had gone to Keilah, he said, ‘God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself by entering a town with barred gates.'”

Christian Standard Bible

I am not trapped. I am protected and safe. (I do leave for 4 hours a week to attend church.)

1 Samuel 23:16, 17, “Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David at Horesh and encouraged him in his faith in God, 17) saying, ‘Don’t be afraid, for my father Saul will never lay a hand on you. You yourself will be king over Israel, and I’ll be your second-in-command. Even my father Saul knows it is true.'”

Christian Standard Bible

Jonathan encouraged David in David’s faith in God. Did Jonathan have faith in God? Would things have worked out differently if he had?

Psalm 57:1, “Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, for I take refuge in you. I seek refuge in the shadow of your wings until danger passes.”

Christian Standard Bible

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Terror Spread

Saul was not the only one who did whatever he wanted. Jonathan took on an army garrison without telling his commanding officer and father, King Saul.

1 Samuel 14:1, “That same day Saul’s son Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, ‘Come on, let’s cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.'”

Christian Standard Bible

Talk about tempting God!

This rebellious heart could be why God disqualified him as the next king. (What have I missed out on because of a rebellious heart?)

Jonathan was good at giving commands but not good at waiting for a command. He was a horrible leader! How do I know? No one was following him. He did this secretly.

1 Samuel 14:3, “…But the troops did not know Jonathan had left.”

Christian Standard Bible

Jonathan did not go on this mission by faith.

1 Samuel 1:6, “…Perhaps the Lord will help us.”

Christian Standard Bible

1 Samuel 15:15, “Terror spread through the Philistine camp and the open fields to all the troops. Even the garrison and the raiding parties were terrified. The earth shook, and terror spread from God.”

Christian Standard Bible

Speaking of terror, in my last post I wrote about the terror of God falling on us. Then we will be in unity. And that it was a sin to forget to pray.

Then I forgot to pray. What!?!

When I realized my mistake, I felt a little terror from God. I rectified it.

1 Samuel 14:19, “…So Saul said to the priest, ‘Stop what you’re doing.'”

Christian Standard Bible

Saul didn’t think he had time to seek God. Just like I thought I didn’t have time to pray. I had to make time. Today, I prayed before I read.

Jonathan lived under Saul’s curse because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be to hear the command, see 1 Samuel 14:24.

Dear Lord,

Show me anything that could bring a curse in my life.

Amen

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The People

Saul had been crowned king. Not everyone was thrilled. He went back to work for his father. Then a crisis came.

Nahash the Ammonite, wanted to gouge out the right eye of everyone in Jabesh-Gilead and make them his servants. The messengers came to Gibeah, Saul’s hometown, and told the terms to the people, and they all wept.

1 Samuel 11:5, “… ‘What’s the matter with the people?’…”

Christian Standard Bible

Saul had separated himself from everyone. He didn’t see individuals, his friends, or his family; he saw “the people.”

Do my political representatives see me? Or am I just part of a crowd referred to as constituents?

1 Samuel 11:6, “When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on him, and his anger burned furiously.”

Christian Standard Bible

God was angry! Was Saul?

What would have happened if the Spirit of God had not touched Saul? Would he have sent the men of Gibeah home? Would he have said, “Sorry, some of you are going to die? It’s going to hurt and you will never recover your sight?”

Dear God,

I pray that Your Spirit will suddenly come powerfully on our politicians.

Amen

Our politicians are asking for unity. The Bible showed us how to get unity.

1 Samuel 11:7, “…the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.”

Christan Standard Bible

It was easy to pray for the Spirit of God to fall on the politicians. It is harder to pray for the “terror of the Lord” to fall on me!

1 Samuel 12:23-24, “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. 24) Above all, fear the Lord and worship him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things he has done for you.”

Christian Standard Bible

I must pray for them, or I sin against the Lord. I must teach the “good and right way,” or I sin against the Lord.

What is the “good and right way?”

  1. Fear (respect) God.
  2. Worship Him.
  3. Be faithful to Him.
  4. Worship Him wholeheartedly.
  5. Remember the great things He has done.

How did Saul do?

1 Samuel 13:9, “So Saul said, ‘Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.’ Then he offered the burnt offering.”

Christian Standard Bible

  • He did not fear or respect God. Only the priests could offer burnt offerings.
  • He was impatient and wouldn’t wait on Samuel. Why? His army was deserting him. His trust was in his army, not God.
  • Worshipping irreverently is not worship. Just as it is not my place to try to “lead worship” from the congregation, it was not Saul’s place to offer a burnt offering.
  • Saul didn’t remember the great victory over Nahash and the Ammonites, see 1 Samuel 11:11.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the great thing you did for me yesterday. After 16 months battling facial hives, the dermatologist found the trigger – air-born eucalyptus from my vaporizer and diffuser. Thank you for the great improvement after one treatment. I know you are healing me because the treatments were supposed to take two weeks! I am humbled and grateful.

Thank you for the fruit from my suffering. While I was at the dermatologist’s office, David took his Bible to “The Vine,” (a coffee shop), and ordered breakfast. When he finished reading, a young man came over and asked some questions.

When I get to heaven, I will meet that young man. He may ask me if the pain, suffering, embarrassment, and humiliation were worth it.

I will say, “Yes!”

Thank you for forgiving me when I tried to lead worship from the congregation. I will never forget the humiliation I felt when You pointed it out to me.

Thank you for loving me even when I am too embarrassed to love myself.

Thank you for teaching me.

Thank you for never giving up on me.

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen!

©2009-2021 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Customary Rights of the King

(I spent the last 2 weeks in bed on a liquid diet fighting a nasty infection. I will share my favorites from that time.)

1 Samuel 8:9, “Listen to them, but solemnly warn them and tell them about the customary rights of the king who will reign over them.”

Christian Standard bible

The prophet Samuel listed the king’s customary rights:

  1. He will put your sons in chariots, on horses, or running in front of chariots.
  2. Your sons will become army commanders.
  3. Your sons will farm for him.
  4. Your sons will make weapons of war and the equipment for his chariots.
  5. Your daughters will become perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
  6. He can take your best fields, vineyards, and olive orchards.
  7. He can take a tenth of your grain and vineyards.
  8. He can take your servants, the best of your cattle and donkeys.
  9. He can take a tenth of your flocks.
  10. He can make you his servant.

1 Samuel 8:18, “When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you on that day.”

Christian Standard Bible

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February 2021 Chapters

  • 1 – 1 Samuel 16; Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 17
  • 2 – 1 Samuel 18, 19; Psalms 58, 59
  • 3 – 1 Samuel 20, 21; Psalms 56, 34
  • 4 – 1 Samuel 22; Psalms 52, 36, 37
  • 5 – 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 63; 1 Samuel 24; Psalms 57, 142, 7
  • 6 – 1 Samuel 25, 26; Psalm 16
  • 7 – Psalms 17, 22, 54; 1 Samuel 27
  • 8 – 1 Samuel 28-30; Psalm 35
  • 9 – Psalm 109; 1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10; 2 Samuel 1, 2
  • 10 – 2 Samuel 3-5
  • 11 – 1 Chronicles 11, 12; Psalm 133; 1 Chronicles 14
  • 12 – 2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13, 15, 16
  • 13 – Psalms 24, 26-29, 96, 101, 103
  • 14 – Psalms 104-106
  • 15 – Psalms 108, 123, 124, 131; 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 1
  • 16 – Psalm 86; 2 Samuel 8; 1 Chronicles 18; Psalm 60; 2 Samuel 9, 10
  • 17 – 1 Chronicles 19; 2 Samuel 11, 12; Psalm 51
  • 18 – Psalms 25, 32, 38-41
  • 19 – Psalms 69-71; 1 Chronicles 20; 2 Samuel 13
  • 20 – 2 Samuel 14, 15; Psalm 9
  • 21 – Psalms 10-13, 31, 55
  • 22 – 2 Samuel 16; Psalms 3-6, 8, 64
  • 23 – 2 Samuel 17, 18; Psalms 61, 62
  • 24 – 2 Samuel 19, 20  
  • 25 – 2 Samuel 21, 22; Psalm 18
  • 26 – Psalms 19-21, 65-68
  • 27 – Psalms 138-141, 143-145  
  • 28 – 2 Samuel 23, 24; 1 Chronicles 21 

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One Thing is Necessary

I’m overwhelmed. The hives spread down my neck and onto my chest. I debated making a doctor’s appointment. (I’m on the waiting list at 2 doctor’s offices.)

Then I got a text saying a loved one requires emergency surgery. I forgot about the hives!

I took my Bibles and the vaporizer to the office. I would rather spread my Bibles and notebook out on the kitchen table but I can’t maintain the humidity level for my skin.

I needed wisdom and comfort that can only be found in the Bible.

I texted 4 verses to my loved one: 2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7; and Isaiah 41:10.

Luke 10:42, “But one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Christian Standard Bible

“Too often we expect that delighting in God’s Word should come naturally. We wonder if there’s something wrong with us when we don’t long to open the Scriptures as much as we long to check our social media. …When our circumstances get rocky, the Bible is our firm foundation. …So, cling to God’s word. Work hard to understand it. …And on the hard days, don’t give up. Persevere in your study even when you aren’t delighting, because you know that it saves your life and gives you life.”

Email from Maggie at wellwateredwoman.com

The surgery was a success!

©2009-2021 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

He Calls His Own

My grandson Gideon had a rough evening. None of my normal strategies worked. The way he pushed the pacifier to the right side of his mouth made me suspect teething.

When David got home, Gideon smiled at him, but then started fussing again.

David pulled up the song, “The Blessing” on his phone. When Gideon heard it he stopped crying and looked over at David.

He relaxed, took his bottle, and fell fast asleep.

Why did that song calm him? It is the song his daddy sings to him. He thought he was hearing his dad’s voice.

John 10:3, “The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

Christian Standard Bible

It calms me when I hear God’s voice. He calls my name and leads me.

“Blessed are the ears that gladly receive the pulses of the Divine whisper, and give no heed to the many whisperings of this world. (3-1-1)”

“Principles of a Centered Life,” compiled and with notes by Michael Phillips

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One of These Little Ones

It’s Gideon day! The day he spends the evening with me while his parents work with the youth.

A year ago, I would be there, too. I would cook in the Cafe, run up to the adult service to practice and play, and then return to wash dishes.

Sometimes, I feel like I am not ministering at all! That’s not true.

Matthew 18:10, “See to it that you don’t despise one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of my Father in heaven.”

Christian Standard Bible

The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. These hives that are keeping me home are not from God.

But God is working for my good. He knew Gideon would need care on Wednesday nights. The hives that closed the door to playing and helping in the Cafe, opened a door to take care of Gideon.

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Salted with Fire

This 16-month battle with hives seems to last forever! But I see a little improvement every day.

Remembering that I went for three years without Prednisone brings comfort.

As my Grandma W. used to say, “This too shall pass.”

Mark 9:49, “For everyone will be salted with fire.”

Christian Standard Bible

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The Things That Come Out

Yesterday our grandson Gideon was dedicated to the Lord. After church, David and Derek bought pizzas and Laura got Chinese.

David ordered white sauce in hopes that I would not have a reaction. We ate the leftovers for supper.

Mark 7:15, “Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

Christian Standard Bible

I moved the vaporizer to the bedroom and closed the door. I accidentally left the humidity gauge in the office.

My face started burning. Then my neck broke out. Was it the cheese from the pizza?

Feeling uncomfortable, I searched for the humidity gauge. The humidity was too high as was the temperature. I shut the vaporizer off and opened the door.

Do I watch my heart as closely as I watch the humidity gauge?

How many times have I said something jokingly at another’s expense and regretted it?

Lord, forgive me.

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