Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18 – 21; Psalm 59

Here in today’s reading, is a great challenge! It begins with some Israelites valuing David over Saul. Can you imagine David’s bewilderment at Saul’s out bursts of anger towards him, wondering what he has done wrong, when he has faithfully with the Lord’s help been fighting the battles to defend God and Saul’s honour? As Jonathan said to his father, “He has put his life at risk for us!” Similarly, do we value what our Lord Jesus did in laying down His life for us, so that we might have life even more abundantly?

The key to this passage seems to be jealousy! It’s sad to pause and look around us to see the very real and painful results of jealousy, especially when it happens in families! Jealousy can destroy so much good in our lives and chase the closest and most loyal people away from us. Be careful not to allow your eyes, ears or mind rest too long on what others have as it will become the seed of jealousy planted in our lives. On the other hand, it is beautiful to see how God is always protecting David! I wonder if David ever paused to look up to God with a heart full of thanksgiving, knowing that he had just successfully dodged another one of Saul’s flying spears! (Not once but more than once!) My verse for this visit in Hong Kong has been Psalm 121:4 – “indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (I have a feeling that one of those words for sleep or slumber in Chinese, is “doze,”) So I feel comforted that my heavenly Father hasn’t dozed off – because that could be serious if there are flying spears around! Especially ones flung at me by my enemy, the Devil!

Jonathan, David’s true friend is willing to put his life on the line for David, in standing up for Him more than once. This gives me courage to stand up for my closest friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the world in which I live today even though it has rejected Him as Lord and King and down-graded Him to just a religion!

Did you enjoy the Psalm, which David wrote, as he pours out his feelings and emotions to His loving Lord? Mixed in with the confusion and nervousness of not knowing what will happen, glimmers the quiet hidden faith of his heart in the One whose love is called “an unfailing loving-kindness!”

And so David departs for “parts unknown,” followed by a little band of followers who have decided that without David, ‘life is not worth the living!’ Jonathan sorrowfully turns back to the city, to the enemy king’s palace, where things may seem more comfortable, but in reality much more empty and unsatisfying without his friend, David. If called to sacrifice, either the comforts of life or ‘my David,’ hopefully, my priorities will be in the right place! For Jonathan, it would have been much safer with David, (even being chased by Saul) than being ‘safe’ in a place where the world seems to offer everything, but stability and peace! Hopefully God will be so real to me in life, that there will be no need to agonize over the choice of either this world or the challenge of following my loving Saviour! What about you? Is God becoming real in a way that having a relationship with Him is more important than the comforts of this world? Is the stability and peace he gives worth the sacrifice to follow Him on a path riddled with spears thrown at you from God’s enemies? Are you beginning to understand, as David did, that ‘greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world’? God has promised through Moses that we will inherit the land; the kingdom of God. He also has promised through Joshua that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Are you ready today to take up the challenges of another ordinary day in order to live it in an extraordinary fashion so we can enjoy the fulfillment of all that God has promised in our lives and experience Him in a very real way?

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