Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Welcome to Day 115 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Samuel 30, David fought the Amalekites and retrieved all the plunder taken from Israel. Note that he inquired of the Lord before he fought this battle. (Always a good idea…)
1 Samuel 31, all three of Saul’s sons were killed and Saul is wounded, then throws himself on his own sword to avoid torture and humiliation… This wraps up the book of 1 Samuel.
1 Chronicles 10 recounts the death of Saul and Jonathan in very similar language as 1 Samuel 31.
Matthew 12, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, picking heads of grain and healing on the Sabbath. Jesus is accused of healing by the power of Satan (I mentioned this in yesterday’s blog…) The Jewish leaders begin asking for a sign and trying to trap him. In Matthew 11 Jesus mentioned Sodom, today it’s Nineveh… Jesus says of himself that he is greater than Solomon and Lord of the Sabbath.
v 46 “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.””
Knew it was coming… Saul’s death. I had forgotten that Jonathan died as well. I find I get so wrapped up in these stories that my heart sinks when I read, “Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died. 6 So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.” 1 Chronicles 10:4
It’s ironic to me that Saul and Jonathan were killed by Philistines… whom David had singlehandedly routed when he killed Goliath.
Jesus is now really stirring things up, breaking the Sabbath by picking grain as they walked along. Then he is asked if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. What a ridiculous question, to which Jesus asked them if they had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t they pull it out? (Thereby breaking the Sabbath!)
Then, to be accused of casting out demons by the power of Satan… (Every time I type “Satan” I want to type “Stan.” lol) Which Jesus dismisses as a ridiculous notion that would make no sense at all…
He tells them, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Another translation says it this way, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”)
That is true for all of us. We always have a choice. I can choose to bless people or curse people. I can choose to build others up, or tear them down.
The Jewish leaders were full of jealousy toward Jesus, and all they really wanted to do was get rid of him.
There were a few that recognized Jesus for who he was, Nicodemus in John 3, and Joseph of Arimathea who was a “prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” Mark 15:43. They got it. Most didn’t…
It’s so easy to look backward, knowing what we know, to ask how Saul could be so bitter toward David, or how the Jewish leaders could not see past their own jealousy to see Jesus as the Messiah. Or how the people could see all the miracles Jesus did and simply walk away, not believing…
I think it’s important to remember, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” To learn from what I am reading, to apply it to my life. Most of it is cautionary for me… Don’t be hard-hearted like Pharaoh, jealous like Saul, judgmental and legalistic like the Pharisees, Sadducees and the teachers of the law.
Note to self. (Have you noticed, I make a lot of notes to self?)
Be more like Jonathan who recognized God’s anointing on David, who was a faithful friend.
What always strikes me is that the church really is a family. To the point Jesus almost (if not obviously) insults his mother, Mary and his brothers by stating that “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Pointing to his disciples!) Ouch.
Lord, I really, really don’t want to end up like Saul or the Pharisees… It’s only by your grace every day that I can stay on the right path.