1 Samuel 30:1-20 – Worst Nightmare

Read 1 Samuel 30:1-20

A closeup of a pile of ash and burnt up wood

David and his men faced their worst nightmare when they arrived home and found a burned-out village and that their wives and children were gone. Thankfully, they didn’t come home to dead bodies, too. There was hope they were alive.

David’s men were furious and blamed David for this misfortune. It was time for David to turn to God rather than try and take matters into his own hands. He called for the ephod from the priest so he could be sure the word was truly from God. And God said, “Go!”

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1 Samuel 28:1-25 – When Desperation Sets In

Read 1 Samuel 28:1-25

A mug with phrase on it: worry less, live more

Saul must have still be hopeful that God would change his mind and help him. Saul had relied on God’s direction for a long time before he made his costly blunder. He was hoping for a forgiving God. God is forgiving, that is not the problem. God is true to his word, and he told Saul what would happen if, and Saul didn’t believe it then either.

We hear that Saul had banned mediums from the land, yet he was able to find one. She was at least trying to abide by the law, but Saul was desperate. He needed an answer. The battle was looming and he needed a word from God.

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Isaiah 44:1-5 – Abundance

Read Isaiah 44:1-5

What does abundance mean to you? Is it having more than you need or just enough? Where do you see abundance in your life?

In our reading today, God is assuring the people that he will provide for them. They will have what they need. “For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields.” If you’ve ever been extremely thirsty, like after running a race or when working in the hot sun, you know that sweet sensation that water passing your lips can bring. When your thirst is quenched, you’ve probably even exclaimed, “Ahhhhh!” Am I right?

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Isaiah 7:1-9 – Watch Out, King!

Read Isaiah 7:1-9

Have you ever “trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm?” Having grown up in Iowa, I remember watching many a tree shake in a storm or be left bare from those gusty winds of fall. But even more extreme would be the derecho winds that blew across the state of Iowa a month ago uprooting trees that have been there forever, decimating crops, and causing havoc over hundreds of miles. Now that is fear! When I think of such intense fear, I can think of a few times when I was left shaking. Those are not memories I want to spend a lot of time dwelling on to be sure. But it does give us an idea of how King Ahaz was feeling when he learned about the attack. These other leaders were ganging up on Ahaz. What do you think he was really feeling?

We see again how God was ready to intervene for his people. He enlisted Isaiah to bring a message to the king. God’s message was to tell King Ahaz to “stop worrying.” Sure, those two kings were plotting against him, but they were “burned-out embers.” In other words, they weren’t strong enough to compete with Judah despite their plans to invade and overthrow King Ahaz. I had to smile at the language God used to describe them.

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Proverbs 12:21-28 – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Read Proverbs 12:21-28

There are so many great truths and promises in today’s reading. I would love to talk about working hard, or telling the truth, or how the way of the godly leads to life. Instead, we’ll reflect on something we all do or have done. Worry.

Why do we sometimes consume ourselves with worry? Do we think that the outcome will change if only we worry more? On the contrary, I believe we are more apt to change things if we trust more. When we can let God handle it, it’s in much better hands. Don’t you agree?

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