Thursday 28 February, 2013

1 Samuel 14:15-23

15 Then panic struck the whole Philistine army. It struck those who were in the camp and the field. It struck those who were at the edge of the camp. It also struck those who were in the groups that had been sent out to attack Israel. The ground shook. It was a panic that God had sent. 16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in the land of Benjamin saw what was happening. They saw the Philistine army melting away in all directions. 17 Then Saul spoke to the men who were with him. He said, “Bring the troops together. See who has left our camp.” When they did, they discovered that Jonathan and the young man who was carrying his armor weren’t there. 18 Saul said to the priest Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God.” At that time it was with the people of Israel. 19 While Saul was talking to the priest, the noise in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to him, “Stop what you are doing.” 20 Then Saul and all of his men gathered together. They went to the battle. They saw that the Philistines were in total disorder. They were striking each other with their swords. 21 At an earlier time some of the Hebrews had been on the side of the Philistines. They had gone up with them to their camp. But now they changed sides. They joined the people of Israel who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Some of the people had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim. They heard that the Philistines were running away. They quickly joined the battle and chased after them. 23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the fighting continued on past Beth Aven.

This passage demonstrates faith by contrasting Jonathan’s actions and Saul’s actions. Jonathan shows his faith in God by Cialis by mail putting his life at risk and “stepping out” where he believed God was leading him. He is rewarded by seeing God perform a miracle in defeating the Philistines in such a way that it showed that God, not Saul or even Jonathan, was the victor.

Saul starts to seek God to see if they would be able to win the battle, but then asks the priest to “withdraw his hand” because he was too impatient to wait for an answer.

How often do I rush into something of my own volition rather than wait for God’s leading or his answer?

Lord, help me to honour you by stepping out when you say to, but not jumping

in impatiently. Holy Spirit help me to truly “Hang on every word you say”.

Written by Megan Cornell

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Wednesday 27 February, 2013

1 Samuel 13:23-14:14

23 A group of Philistine soldiers had gone out to the pass at Micmash. 14 1 One day Jonathan, the son of Saul, spoke to the young man who was carrying his armor. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s go over to the Philistine army camp on the other side of the pass.” But he didn’t tell his father about it. 2 Saul was staying just outside Gibeah. He was under a pomegranate tree in Migron. He had about 600 men with him. 3 Ahijah was one of them. He was wearing a sacred linen apron. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub. Ahitub was the son of Eli’s son Phinehas. Eli had been the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. 4 Jonathan planned to go across the pass to reach the Philistine camp. But there was a cliff on each side of the pass. One cliff was called Bozez. The other was called Seneh. 5 One cliff stood on the north side of the pass toward Micmash. The other stood on the south side toward Geba. 6 Jonathan spoke to the young man who was carrying his armor. He said, “Come on. Let’s go over to the camp of those fellows who aren’t circumcised. Perhaps the Lord will help us. If he does, it won’t matter how many or how few of us there are. That won’t keep the Lord from saving us.” 7 “Go ahead,” the young man said. “Do everything you have in mind. I’m with you all the way.” 8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then. We’ll go across the pass toward the Philistines and let them see us. 9 Suppose they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you.’ Then we’ll stay where we are. We won’t go up to them. 10 But suppose they say, ‘Come up to us.’ Then we’ll climb up. That will show us that the Lord has handed them over to us.” 11 So Jonathan and the young man let the soldiers in the Philistine camp see them. “Look!” said the Philistines. “Some of the Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men in the Philistine camp shouted to Jonathan and the young man who was carrying his armor. They said, “Come on up here. We’ll teach you a thing or two.” So Jonathan said to the young man, “Climb up after me. The Lord has handed them over to Israel.” 13 Using his hands and feet, Jonathan climbed up. The young man was right behind him. Jonathan struck the Philistines down. The young man followed him and killed those who were still alive. 14 In that first attack, Jonathan and the young man killed about 20 men. They did it in an area of about half an acre.

I love this story – I am so impressed with Jonathon’s

absolute trust in God’s power to overcome the enemy and also with the armour bearer’s unquestioning followership. The scene is laid out clearly in this passage – the 2 men – leave the security of their camp to address the issue of the enemy. As they go Jonathon continues to declare the power of God over the enemy – and the unnamed armour bearer continues to follow his leader.

What a great reminder of what we are called to do. We are called to have absolute trust in God’s ability to overcome our enemies and we are wise to be like Jonathan and declare this over our situations.

We are also called to be good followers – like the armour bearer. Firstly, we follow Christ – with absolute certainty of His authority and His power. Secondly, we are called to follow our leaders – those whom God has given authority over us. Following, like the armour bearer – supporting and covering them, having their back.

Oh God – continue to work in me – fill me with your power so that I can be this kind of a follower. I choose to rely on Your power to deal with my enemies. I declare that (v.6)  “ nothing can hinder the Lord.” I put my trust in you Lord Jesus and follow you wholeheartedly.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

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Tuesday 26 February, 2013

1 Samuel 13:16-22

16 Saul and his son Jonathan were staying in Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. What was left of the army was there with them. At the same time, the Philistines camped at Micmash. 17 Three groups of soldiers went out from the Philistine camp to attack Israel. One group turned and went toward Ophrah in the area of Shual. 18 Another went toward Beth Horon. The third went toward the border that looked out over the Valley of Zeboim. That valley faces the desert. 19 There weren’t any blacksmiths in the whole land of Israel. That’s because the Philistines had said, “The Hebrews might hire them to make swords or spears!” 20 So all of the people of Israel had to go down to the Philistines. They had to go to them to get their plows, hoes, axes and sickles sharpened. 21 It cost a fourth of an ounce of silver to sharpen a plow or a hoe. It cost an eighth of an ounce to sharpen a pitchfork or an axe. That’s also what it cost to put new tips on large sticks that were used to drive oxen. 22 So not one of Saul’s or Jonathan’s soldiers had a sword or spear in his hand when he went out to battle. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had those weapons.

The Philistines were smart.  They had denied the Israelites, who were an ‘occupied’ nation, the right to swords and spears and even the means of making them through blacksmiths.  This meant that the Israelites had to even go the Philistines for their tools to be sharpened, for which the Philistines charged them an exorbitant price!

This is part of the nature of the enemy’s work in our life.  The enemy restricts our access to what is necessary

for our lives, and then charges exorbitantly for it, while eliminating our capacity to defend ourselves.

So good questions from this passage are:

Where have I accepted the lie of the enemy that I cannot overcome in a situation?

Where have I let go the means of my defence – God’s Word and prayer?

Where is the enemy robbing me – in time, treasure and talent so that I cannot fulfil the calling on my life?

Applying this passage to our lives may cause us to squirm but ensuring that the enemy, the devil, doesn’t gain advantage over us by us believing his lies is crucial!

Father I pray that you would help me to lowest price viagra overseas see the schemes the enemy has against me which rob me of all that you are and do in my life!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Tuesday 26 February, 2013

1 Samuel 13:16-22

16 Saul and his son Jonathan were staying in Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. What was left of the army was there with them. At the same time, the Philistines camped at Micmash. 17 Three groups of soldiers went out from the Philistine camp to attack Israel. One group turned and went toward Ophrah in the area of Shual. 18 Another went toward Beth Horon. The third went toward the border that looked out over the Valley of Zeboim. That valley faces the desert. 19 There weren’t any blacksmiths in the whole land of Israel. That’s because the Philistines had said, “The Hebrews might hire them to make swords or spears!” 20 So all of the people of Israel had to go down to the Philistines. They had to go to them to get their plows, hoes, axes and sickles sharpened. 21 It cost a fourth of an ounce of silver to sharpen a plow or a hoe. It cost an eighth of an ounce to sharpen a pitchfork or an axe. That’s also what it cost to put new tips on large sticks that were used to drive oxen. 22 So not one of Saul’s or Jonathan’s soldiers had a sword or spear in his hand when he went out to battle. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had those weapons.

On the day of battle, Saul and his army are apparently paralyzed and impotent against the massive army of the Philistines and their strategic raiding parties.

Raided and plundered by the enemy, Israel was in no state to win the battle, much less defend their own territory.

All this because of Saul’s falling back into flaws of character, strongly rooted in fears and insecurities.

This passage reminds me of how important it is that I continually allow God to work on and grow my character in true godliness and righteousness.

Saul could have been a different kind of leader. The Spirit of God had come upon him and changed him before. But he fell back into fear, because of unmastered weakness within himself, with the result of compromising his calling and ultimately affecting his nation detrimentally.

God, teach me well from the life of Saul. Reveal in me my character flaws and places of compromise and darkness, and lead me by your Holy Spirit into Christ’s light and righteousness. And help me keep myself there. In the words of Ps 139:23-24,

“Search me, God, and know my Cialis generic sale heart…lead me in the way everlasting.”

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Monday 25 February, 2013

1 Samuel 13:1-15

1 Saul was 30 years old when he became king. He ruled over Israel for 42 years. 2 He chose 3,000 of Israel’s men. Two thousand of them were with him at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel. One thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. Saul sent the rest back to their homes. 3 Some Philistine soldiers were stationed at Geba. Jonathan attacked them. The other Philistines heard about it. Saul announced, “Let the Hebrew people hear about what has happened!” He had trumpets blown all through the land. 4 So all of the people of Israel heard the news. They were told, “Saul has attacked the Philistine army camp at Geba. He has made Israel smell very bad to the Philistines.” The people of Israel were called out to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 The Philistines gathered together to fight against Israel. They had 3,000 chariots and 6,000 chariot drivers. Their soldiers were as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash. It was east of Beth Aven. 6 The men of Israel saw that their army was in deep trouble. So they hid in caves and bushes. They hid among the rocks. They hid in pits and empty wells. 7 Some of them even went across the Jordan River. They went to the lands of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal. All of the troops who were with him were shaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, just as Samuel had told him to. But Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal. And Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the friendship offerings.” Then he offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as Saul finished offering the sacrifice, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “I saw that the men were scattering. I saw that the Philistines were gathering together at Micmash. You didn’t come when you said you would. 12 So I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down to attack me at Gilgal. And I haven’t asked the Lord to show us his favor.’ So I felt I had to sacrifice the burnt offering.” 13 “You did a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You haven’t obeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. If you had, he would have made your kingdom secure over Israel for all time to come. 14 But now your kingdom won’t last. The Lord has already looked for a man who is dear to his heart. He has appointed him leader of his people. That’s because you haven’t obeyed the Lord’s command.” 15 Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. Saul counted the men who stayed with him. The total number was about 600.

The most glaring point in this passage is King Saul’s disobedience and the consequential loss of his kingdom.  Sadder still is the fact that God is going to find a new king – a man after His own heart.  Saul is not that man.

We need to look at why Saul was disobedient.  King Saul had demanded his men rise in revolt against the Philistines and they were very much outnumbered.  Saul’s army was hiding, fleeing and, at best, trembling with fear.  All very understandable under the circumstances.  It can’t have been easy to hold your nerve when your men are diminishing in number around you.  Saul knew his help was to come from God, he even waited the appointed number of days for Samuel to come but then he took matters into his own hands.  He felt pressured and needed to act so he did the offering himself, knowing it to

be wrong.  Did Saul trust God enough in the face of dire circumstances?  Could he hang on when things didn’t go as expected?

Like Saul we usually know to look to God for help.  Can we trust Him fully though when things go from bad to worse or when the timing of an event or circumstance is prolonged?  It’s so easy to want to do something, to meddle, in effect.  It is harder to trust and be patient but this is often the response God wants from us.

Dear Lord,  help me to trust in your goodness and faithfulness. Please give me strength and patience when I’m tempted to take matters into my own hands.  Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

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Sunday 24 February, 2013

1 Samuel 12:1-25

1 Samuel spoke to all of the people of Israel. He said, “I’ve done everything you asked me to do. I’ve placed a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. But I’m old. My hair is gray. My sons are here with you. I’ve been your leader from the time I was young until this very day. 3 “Here I stand. Bring charges against me if you can. The Lord is a witness. And so is his anointed king. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Have I cheated anyone? Have I beaten anyone down? Have I accepted money from anyone who wanted special favors? If I’ve done any of those things, I’ll make it right.” 4 “You haven’t cheated us,” they replied. “You haven’t beaten us down. You haven’t taken anything from anyone.” 5 Samuel said to them, “The Lord is a witness against you this very day. And so is his anointed king. They are witnesses that I haven’t taken anything from any of you.” “The Lord is a witness,” they said. 6 Then Samuel said to the people, “The Lord appointed Moses and Aaron. He brought up out of Egypt your people who lived long ago. 7 Now then, stand here. I’m going to remind you of all of the good things the Lord has done for you and your people. He is a witness. 8 “After Jacob’s family entered Egypt, they cried out to the Lord for help. The Lord sent Moses and Aaron. They brought your people out of Egypt. They settled them in this land. 9 “But the people forgot the Lord their God. So he gave them over to the powerful hand of Sisera. Sisera was the commander of the army of Hazor. The Lord also gave the people of Israel over to the powerful hand of the Philistines and the king of Moab. All of those nations fought against Israel. 10 “So the people cried out to the Lord. They said, ‘We have sinned. We’ve deserted the Lord. We’ve served the gods that are named after Baal. We’ve served the goddesses that are named after Ashtoreth. But save us now from the powerful hands of our enemies. Then we will serve you.’ 11 “The Lord sent Gideon, Barak, Jephthah and me. He saved you from the hands of your enemies, who were all around you. So you lived in safety. 12 “But then you saw that Nahash, the king of Ammon, was about to attack you. So you said to me, ‘No! We want a king to rule over us.’ You said it even though the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king you have chosen. He’s the one you asked for. The Lord has placed a king over you. 14 “But you must have respect for the Lord. You must serve him and obey him. You must not say no to his commands. Both you and the king who rules over you must follow the Lord your God. If you do, that’s good. 15 But you must not disobey him. You must not say no to his commands. If you do, his powerful hand will punish you. That’s what happened to your people who lived before you. 16 “So stand still. Watch the great thing the Lord is about to do right here in front of you! 17 It’s time to gather in the wheat, isn’t it? I’ll call out to the Lord to send thunder and rain. Then you will realize what an evil thing you did in the sight of the Lord. You shouldn’t have asked for a king.” 18 Samuel called out to the Lord. That same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all of the people had great respect for the Lord and for Samuel. 19 They said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for us. Pray that we won’t die because we asked for a king. That was an evil thing to do. We added it to all of our other sins.” 20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel replied. “It’s true that you have done all of those evil things. But don’t turn away from the Lord. Serve him with all your heart. 21 “Don’t turn away and worship statues of gods. They are useless. They can’t do you any good. They can’t save you either. They are completely useless. 22 “But the Lord will be true to his great name. He won’t turn his back on his people. That’s because he was pleased to make you his own people. 23 “I would never sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. I’ll teach you to live in a way that is good and right. 24 “But be sure to have respect for the Lord. Serve him faithfully. Do it with all your heart. Think about the great things he has done for you. 25 But don’t be stubborn. Don’t continue to do what is evil. If you do, both you and your king will be swept away.”

It’s amazing how God can bring out good even when we make poor choices. Here the Israelites insisted God give them a king like all the other countries. Talk about peer pressure. They wanted to look “normal”. God had a different way but they wouldn’t listen. Samuel reminded them of some of the other times buy levitra on sale online when they hadn’t listened and how badly things had gone.

It is so easy for us to focus on what we want and how we want things to happen. Consequently we can miss the different thing God wants to do.

In this

chapter the Israelites got a very clear reminder that God expects them to listen but they also heard from a compassionate God who was willing to work with the new approach. Samuel told them what they had to do – to stick with God – to listen to God – to worship God. It’s easy to get too busy and not have time to spend with God but it is so worthwhile and we might just learn something amazing – every time.

Lord God help us to remember to turn to you each day. It is so easy to just do all we have to do and then fall in bed having missed out on time with you again. Help us to put you first.

Written by Therese Manning

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Saturday 23 February, 2013

1 Samuel 11:1-15

1 Nahash was the king of Ammon. He and his army went up to Jabesh Gilead. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. All of the men of Jabesh spoke to Nahash. They said, “Make a peace treaty with us. Then we’ll be under your control.” 2 Nahash, the king of Ammon, replied, “I will make a peace treaty with you. But I’ll do it only on one condition. You must let me put out the right eye of every one of you. I want to bring shame on the whole nation of Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days to report back to you. We’ll send messengers all through Israel. If no one comes to save us, we’ll hand ourselves over to you.” 4 The messengers came to Gibeah of Saul. They reported to the people the terms Nahash had required. Then all of the people sobbed out loud. 5 Just then Saul was coming in from the fields. He was walking behind his oxen. He asked, “What’s wrong with the people? Why are they sobbing?” He was told what the men of Jabesh had said. 6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came on him with power. He burned with anger. 7 He got a pair of oxen and cut them into pieces. He sent the pieces by messengers all through Israel. They announced, “You must follow Saul and Samuel. If you don’t, this is what will happen to your oxen.” The terror of the Lord fell on the people. So all of them came together with one purpose in mind. 8 Saul brought his army together at Bezek. There were 300,000 men from Israel and 30,000 from Judah. 9 The messengers who had come were told, “Go back and report to the men of Jabesh Gilead. Tell them, ‘By the hottest time of the day tomorrow, you will be saved.’” The messengers went and reported it to the men of Jabesh. It made those men very happy. 10 They said to the people of Ammon, “Tomorrow we’ll hand ourselves over to you. Then you can do to us what seems best to you.” 11 The next day Saul separated his men into three groups. While it was still dark, they broke into the camp of the Ammonite army. They kept killing the men of Ammon until the hottest time of the day. Those who got away alive were scattered. There weren’t two of them left together anywhere. 12 The people said to Samuel, “Who asked, ‘Is Saul going to rule over us?’ Bring those people to us. We’ll put them to death.” 13 But Saul said, “We won’t put anyone to death today! After all, this is the day the Lord has saved Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come on. Let’s go to Gilgal. There we’ll agree to have Saul as our king.” 15 So all of the people went to Gilgal. There, with the Lord as witness, they agreed to have Saul as their king. There they sacrificed friendship offerings to the Lord. And there Saul and all of the people of Israel celebrated with great joy.

This is King Saul at his finest. He takes charge of the situation and rallies the men to fight

back against their enemies resulting in a tremendous victory.

After their victory some of the men wanted to  seek revenge on the men who didn’t believe in Saul and didn’t support him from the beginning. But Saul refuses, saying “No one will be put to death today, for this day the Lord has rescued Israel.” Not only does Saul refuse to take revenge, he gives credit to the Lord for the victory in battle.

Unfortunately, this is a contrast to the sad end that we read about later in Saul’s leadership as King. His humble leadership eventually turns to pride and ultimately leads to his downfall.

None of us are immune from the temptation of pride. May we continually remind ourselves of God’s grace and goodness to us. Anything good that we accomplish, any victories whether small or great, are won by God’s grace and power working in our lives.


Written by Shelley Witt

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Friday 22 February, 2013

1 Samuel 10:9-27

9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart. All of those things happened that day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a group of prophets met Saul. Then the Spirit of God came on him with power. He prophesied along with them. 11 Those who had known Saul before saw him prophesying with the prophets. They asked one another, “What has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also one of the prophets?” 12 A man who lived in Gibeah answered, “Yes, he is. In fact, he’s their leader.” That’s why people say, “Is Saul also one of the prophets?” 13 After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place to worship. 14 Later, Saul’s uncle spoke to him and his servant. He asked, “Where have you been?” “Looking for the donkeys,” he said. “But we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel.” 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me what Samuel said to you.” 16 Saul replied, “He told us the donkeys had been found.” But Saul didn’t tell his uncle that Samuel had said he would become king. 17 Samuel sent a message to the people of Israel. He told them to meet with the Lord at Mizpah. 18 He said to them, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Israel, I brought you up out of Egypt. I saved you from their powerful hand. I also saved you from the powerful hand of all of the kingdoms that had beaten you down.’ 19 “But now you have turned your backs on your God. He saves you out of all of your trouble and suffering. In spite of that, you have said, ‘We refuse to listen. Place a king over us.’ “So now gather together to meet with the Lord. Do it tribe by tribe and family group by family group.” 20 Then Samuel had each tribe of Israel come forward. The tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 Next he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward, family group by family group. Matri’s group was chosen. Finally Saul, the son of Kish, was chosen. But when people looked for him, they realized he wasn’t there. 22 They needed more help from the Lord. So they asked him, “Has the man come here yet?” The Lord said, “Yes. He has hidden himself among the supplies.” 23 So they ran over there and brought him out. When he stood up, the people saw that he was a head taller than any of them. 24 Samuel spoke to all of the people. He said, “Look at the man the Lord has chosen! There isn’t anyone like him among all of the people.” Then the people shouted, “May the king live a long time!” 25 Samuel explained to the people what the king who ruled over them should do. He wrote it down on a scroll. He placed it in front of the Lord in the holy tent. Then he sent the people away. He sent each of them to their own homes. 26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah. Some brave men whose hearts God had touched went with Saul. 27 But some evil people who wanted to stir up trouble said, “How can this fellow save us?” They looked down on him. They didn’t bring him any gifts. But Saul kept quiet about it.

I find this passage deeply challenging; maybe a little distressing.

It’s possible for me to have a new heart from God yet be gripped with fear and hide among the baggage.  It’s possible for me to be filled with the Holy Spirit and exhibit spiritual gifts yet lose it all later in life (16:14).  It’s possible to “stand head and shoulders above everyone else”, be anointed to lead and slay giants yet become disqualified and have my calling be given to someone else (ch 17).

In this passage God gave Soul a new heart.  When I became a Christian God gave me a new heart also.  Sometime I forget though that it’s my responsibility to take good care of this new heart.  It’s my job to protect, strengthen and guard it at all times so that it doesn’t get cold, hard and polluted.

Fortunately, the One who gives new hearts also provides the resources I need to take good care of it.  He is the one who gives me “the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph 6:14) through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – protection that I need to leave on at all times.  He is the one that gives “the peace to guard your heart and your mind” (Phil 4:7) that I need with me constantly.  He is the one who will “strengthen my heart”(1 Thes 3:13) if I just allow Him.  For all this protection I need just to come to Him and ask.

Lord, please don’t let what happened to Soul happen to me.  I humbly pray before you

and ask that you would forgive me for abusing this new heart that You have given me.  Please help me take hold of all the resources You’ve generously provided. Help me keep my heart safe and healthy so I can walk with You and serve You all the days of my life.  Thank you.

Written by Boudy van Noppen

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Thursday 21 February, 2013

1 Samuel 9:27-10:8

27 As they were on their way down to the edge of town, Samuel spoke to Saul. He said, “Tell the servant to go ahead of us.” So the servant went on ahead. Then Samuel continued, “Stay here awhile. I’ll give you a message from God.” 1 Then Samuel took a bottle of olive oil. He poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him. He said, “The Lord has anointed you to be the leader of his people. 2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men. They will be near Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They’ll say to you, ‘The donkeys you have been looking for have been found. Now your father has stopped thinking about them. Instead, he’s worried about you. He’s asking, “What can I do to find my son?”’ 3 “You will go on from Zelzah until you come to the large tree at Tabor. Three men will meet you there. They’ll be on their way up to Bethel to worship God. One of them will be carrying three young goats. Another will be carrying three loaves of bread. A third will be carrying a bottle of wine. It will be a bottle that is made out of animal skin. 4 The men will greet you. They’ll offer you two loaves of bread. You will accept the loaves from them. 5 “After that, you will go to Gibeah of God. Some Philistine soldiers are stationed there. As you approach the town, you will meet a group of prophets. They’ll be coming down from the high place where they worship. People will be playing lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps at the head of the group. The prophets will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come on you with power. Then you will prophesy along with them. You will become a different person. 7 “All of those things will happen. Then do what you want to do. God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. You can be sure that I’ll come down to you there. I’ll come and sacrifice burnt offerings and friendship offerings. But you must wait there for seven days until I come to you. Then I’ll tell you what to do.”

Samuel knows that Saul is the one that God has appointed to be King, but Saul does not! So Samuel sits Saul down, after Saul had stayed the night with him, to “give him a message from God”, in secret.

The first thing Samuel does is anoint Saul with oil, telling him that he has been anointed by God to be the ruler of Israel. I can imagine Saul’s reaction!  ‘But I just came to you looking for my donkeys”! I am sure that he questioned Samuel’s words. But Samuel then goes on to give Saul a list of quite specific events that were going to occur and what he was meant to do in each of the situations.

I think that these events (which came to pass) were there to confirm to Saul that Samuel’s words really were from God – Saul really had been anointed by God to be King over Israel. And even if no one else except for Samuel and Saul were aware of this, it didn’t matter – God had


I know there have been times in the past where God has whispered something ‘in secret” to me. And whilst I have been open to the things of God, I may have been unconvinced that things could really come about.  And then I have watched how God has orchestrated events such that it is obvious that what He spoke to me about was cialis for real. I just needed to remain open to what He was doing prednisone medicine and obedient to whatever He called me to do – even if I was a little dubious at the time!

Lord, may I always remain open and obedient to your moving.

Written by Ps. Jen Irving



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Wednesday 20 February, 2013

1 Samuel 9:1-26

1 There was a man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. Kish was a very important person. He was the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror. Zeror was the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 Kish had a son named Saul. Saul was a handsome young man. There wasn’t anyone like him among the people of Israel. He was a head taller than any of them. 3 The donkeys that belonged to Saul’s father Kish were lost. So Kish spoke to his son Saul. He said, “Go and look for the donkeys. Take one of the servants with you.” 4 Saul and his servant went through the hill country of Ephraim. They also went through the area around Shalisha. But they didn’t find the donkeys. So they went on into the area of Shaalim. But the donkeys weren’t there either. Then Saul went through the territory of Benjamin. But they still didn’t find the donkeys. 5 When Saul and the servant who was with him reached the area of Zuph, Saul spoke to him. He said, “Come on. Let’s go back. If we don’t, my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.” 6 But the servant replied, “There’s a man of God here in Ramah. People have a lot of respect for him. Everything he says comes true. So let’s go and see him now. Perhaps he’ll tell us which way to go.” 7 Saul said to his servant, “If we go to see the man, what can we give him? There isn’t any food in our sacks. We don’t have a gift for the man of God. So what can we give him?” 8 The servant answered Saul again. “Look,” he said. “I’ve got a tenth of an ounce of silver. I’ll give it to the man of God. Then maybe he’ll tell us which way to go.” 9 In Israel, prophets used to be called seers. So if a man wanted to ask God for advice, he would say, “Come on. Let’s go to the seer.” 10 Saul said to his servant, “That’s a good idea. Come on. Let’s go and ask the seer.” So they started out for the town where the man of God lived. 11 They were going up the hill toward the town. Along the way they met some young women who were coming out to get water from the well. Saul and his servant asked them, “Is the seer here?” 12 “Yes, he is,” they answered. “In fact, he’s just up ahead of you. So hurry along. He has just come to our town today. The people are going to offer a sacrifice at the high place where they worship. 13 As soon as you enter the town, you will find him. He’ll be there until he goes up to the high place to eat. The people won’t start eating until he gets there. He must bless the sacrifice first. After that, those who are invited will eat. So go on up. You should find him there just about now.” 14 They went up to the town. As they were entering it, they saw Samuel. He was coming toward them. He was on his way up to the high place. 15 The Lord had spoken to Samuel the day before Saul came. He had said, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man. He is from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people Israel. He will save them from the powerful hand of the Philistines. I have seen how much my people are suffering. Their cry for help has reached me.” 17 When Samuel saw a man coming toward him, the Lord spoke to Samuel again. He said, “He is the man I told you about. His name is Saul. He will govern my people.” 18 Saul approached Samuel at the gate of the town. He asked Samuel, “Can you please show me the house where the seer is staying?” 19 “I’m the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go on up to the high place ahead of me. I want you and your servant to eat with me today. Tomorrow morning I’ll tell you what’s on your mind. Then I’ll let you go. 20 Don’t worry about the donkeys you lost three days ago. They’ve already been found. But who are all of the people of Israel longing for? You and your father’s whole family!” 21 Saul answered, “But I’m from the tribe of Benjamin. It’s the smallest tribe in Israel. And my family group is the least important in the whole tribe of Benjamin. So why are you saying that to me?” 22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the room where they would be eating. He seated them at the head table. About 30 people had been invited. 23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you. It’s the one I told you to put to one side.” 24 So the cook went and got a choice piece of thigh. He set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat it. It was put to one side for you for this special occasion. We’ve saved it for you ever since I invited the guests.” And Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 They came down from the high place to the town. After that, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of Samuel’s house. 26 The next day they got up at about the time the sun was rising. Samuel called out to Saul on the roof. He said, “Get ready. Then I’ll send you on your way.” So Saul got ready. And he and Samuel went outside together.

This passage speaks to me on so many levels. I love the fact that God uses a couple of lost donkeys to bring Saul and Samuel together, so that the future king can be anointed. I’m challenged and reminded that God is powerfully and intentionally at work in the midst of our everyday lives…. we just need to keep our eyes open to see what He’s up to!

And what about the fact that Saul and the servant spend three days looking for the donkeys, and THEN decide to go to the man of God for help… that sounds so familiar! Why do I wait until I’ve exhausted my energy and ideas before I ask God for help! Lord, please help me to remember you as soon as I have ‘lost my donkeys.’ Thank you that you promise to answer me, and to generously supply wisdom as I come to you in faith.

In order to access God, Saul goes through God’s servant Samuel. In preparing to visit Samuel Saul wants a gift to offer the man of God. What a comparison with our own situation. We can freely approach God without need of payment of Cialis from india any kind. Saul faced some obstacles to getting God’s help and yet he pursued it anyway. How much easier is it for me to draw upon God’s help when I cialis online am at a loss?

The last thing that really stands out to me in this passage is Saul’s sense of his own inferiority. Saul feels he is a nobody, and yet God is not concerned with his status, simply his availability. I SO need to be reminded that God doesn’t need me to generic cialis be a superwoman… His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Written by Beth Waugh

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