Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 115

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcome to Day 115 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 30, 31; 1 Chronicles 10; Matthew 12 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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

S cripture

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.””

O bservation

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…

A pplication

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.

P rayer

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.



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9 thoughts on “Day 115

  1. Lisa Green on said:

    Life, laying it down for another. Jonathan is such an example to me of how to be. He knew David was to be king and not himself. He loved him truly like a friend Jesus talks about. He laid down his rights and actually gave up his own life. All he did and then it’s recorded in a sentence, Saul and his three sons died…. He was prepared and made an oath with David for his family. He was also a very wise man.

    Another piece that struck out to me was how David honored all his men after the victory at war. He shared the spoil with the men who were weary and stayed back with the baggage as well as the men who fought with him. It was not about position or who did what- all were included.

    Lord may I continue to grow like both of these men with hearts that are like Yours- practically in my daily life.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    There is so much injustice in this life. Although God gives us justice many times the final answer for justice is Matthew 12:20 a bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out till He leads justice to victory. Liked it so much I looked it up in a simpler translation. He does not crush the weak or quench the smallest hope. He will end all conflict with His final victory.
    Lord thank you for Your justice. It may not always arrive when I think it should, but help me remember it always comes. You will set all things right. When the unfair happens help me remember Your justice.

  3. Marcia zecchini on said:

    Sorry folks. Didn’t mean to be anonymous.

  4. 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

    Although I’ve read this chapter many times, today is the first time the “unforgiveable sin” really stuck out. I’m very familiar with “all sins are forgiven”, so this really vexed me a bit. I read a couple of different translations to get some frame & context. What I realized is a single denouncement isn’t unforgiveable, but the persistent slander & rejection of the Holy Spirit, which also means that you acknowledge the Holy Spirit exists (which is the hard part for most) and then continue to speak against and reject the Holy Spirit. When I first read this I thought of Paul (previously known as Saul) in Acts 9. Once he realized the Lord was real and the Holy Spirit came upon him, he accepted. Had he rejected the Holy Spirit and continued on his rampage against the church I think that would have been an example of the unforgiveable sin.

    Anyone else have a different take on this?

    • What I get out of this is rather simplistic, that is, don’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The trick is knowing what constitutes this. Here in particular, Jesus is speaking about calling the works of God to be of Satan. I have friends who become “intoxicated with the spirit”. I have researched it and prayed about it and am convinced that it is not by the spirit of God that they are becoming intoxicated, so I spoke out against it. By doing so, was I blaspheming the Holy Spirit? I am sticking to my guns since I can not find biblical reference to it and scripture frequently speaks against intoxication.

    • Anonymous on said:

      I’ve heard it said this way… What sin is not covered by Jesus’ blood? All sin is covered by his blood, so rejecting Christ would be the unforgivable sin… This is not in conflict with what Shane wrote. This would be another form of that same mindset.

  5. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Matthew 12:17-21

    “He did this so as to make come true what God had said through the prophet Isaiah:

    18
    Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
    the one I love, and with whom I am pleased.
    I will send my Spirit upon him,
    and he will announce my judgment to the nations.
    19 He will not argue or shout,
    or make loud speeches in the streets.
    20 He will not break off a bent reed,
    nor put out a flickering lamp.
    He will persist until he causes justice to triumph,
    21 and on him all peoples will put their hope.”

    I love you, Jesus, for who you are.

  6. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

    Comparison to Saul who would have panicked and done who knows what. Sadly, I am more like Saul who initially panics and tries to figure out how to pacify the situation. David goes on to inquire of the Lord who confirms that he should attack. I find the things that don’t go well are the things that I don’t pray about. Praying is how we get a download of what we should be doing (or not doing) assuming we leave room to listen and not just rattle on our list of wants and needs.

    “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.”

    I prefer healthy fruit, not rotten fruit. It takes time to grow a tree so it can bear fruit. We need to make sure the soil is good and keep weeds and grass from overtaking it. If it starts to lean one way, especially when it is young, we need to tie it to keep it straight. We need to stay with it and nurture it and not move on to the next tree. God does all the hard work and we have to rely on Him to provide sun and rain.

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