Today’s Reading: 1 Sam 30:1–31:13, 1 Pet 2:18–25, Ps 132:1–18
Today’s Theme: Be Courageous
Today’s theme is about us taking courage in God and His word. Be courageous because we can trust God to back up His word.
1 Samuel 30:1–31:13
Take courage in the Lord
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6 (ESV)
The people were so greatly distressed that they were talking about stoning David. We can learn so much from David’s response in this trying time, David strengthened himself in the Lord.
When we are going through distressing times we should turn our eyes to God, not the people around us who may be a part of the same trial we are going through, we can’t help each other, so we should turn our eyes to the Lord and encourage ourselves in Him.
Paul encourages us in Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
Ask God about it
And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 1 Samuel 30:8 (ESV)
David does not display foolhardy courage, his response is measured. He does not just run into battle, he takes time to seek God and boldly acts on God’s word.
We must not have confidence in the flesh, we are totally dependent on God and should ask God about the things we do. It is important that we press forward in courage, but only with God’s guidance and covering.
Paul goes on to encourage us in Ephesians 6:18, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”.
But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor. 1 Samuel 30:10 (ESV)
The trials of life can leave us feeling exhausted, worn out and burnt out. However, if the Lord is our source of strength then we will always have strength, because the Lord gives an endless supply.
Jesus encourages us that in Him, we will never thirst, in John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Jesus encourages us in Matthew 11:28–29 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Do not allow exhaustion to engulf you today, trust the Lord to strengthen and sustain you.
Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. 1 Samuel 30:19 (ESV)
God had answered David’s prayer in verse 8, David acts in faith on this word and recovers all that the enemy stole.
God intends for us to recover all that the enemy has taken from us, but to do this we need to act in faith on His word.
This was the theme of the year, 8 years ago (2007).
Take courage for all of us
Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.” 1 Samuel 30:24 (ESV)
We are called to take courage by taking the Lord at His word and acting in faith according to that word. This will bring success, but we must guard against taking the glory for ourselves, leading to pride, arrogance, selfishness, unkindness and will ultimately lead to bondage and death.
As we press forward in the confidence and courage the Lord provides, we do not do so in our own strength or pride, we must do so in the Spirit and so maintain a humble and kind spirit.
Your breakthrough is not just for you. As the body of Christ we are gifted for each other, not for ourselves, we are blessed to be a blessing.
If God has given you victory in an area share the spoils with your brothers and sisters, in the body of Christ. For example, Paul teaches in Galatians 6:6 “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.”
Fight and win the battle for the whole team.
Risk it all for the Lord
all the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 1 Samuel 31:12 (ESV)
The men of Jabesh-gilead were valiant men, they laid their lives on the line and rode all night to see the royal family honoured.
We should have a zeal for God too, a fire that burns in our belly to go all night for the Lord if we need to. Be prepared to stay up late or get up early, be prepared to risk it all for the honour of the King.
Paul commends those who risked their own lives for the sake of the mission, in Romans 16:4, “who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.”
1 Peter 2:18–25
Take courage at work
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 1 Peter 2:18 (ESV)
Both our places of employment and the work that we do in ministry, should be done with submission to those over us, which will sometimes take courage, especially if those over us are unjust.
Ask God for the courage to be a good, submissive worker today. We should do all our work as unto God.
Our courageous King
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:22–23 (ESV)
Jesus courageously suffered for us, when He was reviled He did not retaliate and that takes a lot of courage. Jesus bore our sin in His body, on the cross, which was a horrific way to die and again took a lot of courage.
Jesus’ courage was in His Father, the just Judge. We must follow in the footsteps of our courageous King, knowing that our suffering is not in vain. We entrust ourselves to Him, this will give us the courage we need to endure.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
Jesus did not die for our sins so that we would live like spineless cowards, capitulating to the ways of the world and bowing to the slave master of sin’s lying promises.
We are called to come and courageously die to sin and live a righteous life. Read the verse again, that is what it says. Jesus bore our sin so that we could actually die to sin and live in righteousness.
Do not be a coward today, be courageous by not giving in to sin.
“This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. Psalm 132:14 (ESV)
The Land of Israel is very special to God, we must take courage as we support Israel in advocacy and pray for and challenge them to embrace Jesus as the Messiah.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 Peter 2