Daily Encouragement

May 31 – Nicodemus takes a public stand

May 31
2 Samuel 17:1-29
John 19:23-42
Psalm 119:129-152
Proverbs 16:12-13

2 Samuel 17:23 – Why was Ahithophel so bitter against David? From ATS:

Ahithophel seems to have been the grandfather of Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 23:34, compared with 2 Samuel 11:3.

2 Samuel 17:27 – When David felt like everyone abandoned him, it was so good to be refreshed by true friends. A friend in need is a friend indeed!


John 19:39 – Nicodemus is only mentioned in the Gospel of John. He met with Jesus at night in John 3, and urged caution among the chief priests and Pharises in John 7. Now he brings about 70 pounds of myrrh and aloes. From If714:

This teaching Nicodemus learned coming in the secrecy of the night would greatly transform his life. In John 19 we see a very different Nicodemus, who was once afraid to come to Jesus in the day. Here he brought a mixture of aloes and myrrh to Jesus’s grave. Nicodemus was no longer afraid of what others thought of him or his reputation as a Pharisee. Jesus’ grave was under heavy guard following His death. The Pharisees wanted to make sure the disciples did not try to steal Jesus’s body and claim that He resurrected. It would have been well known that Nicodemus went to His grave. That day Nicodemus was bold in his faith of Christ. He denied his own rights to a reputation and submitted everything to Christ.

Psalm 119:136 – Many a parent has wept over their children’s sins after it was too late to redirect them. In today’s reading their is weeping not just over others sins but crying unto the LORD (Psalm 119:145).

Psalm 119:147-148 – Where do you start and end your day?

Proverbs 16:12-13 – Do these verses only apply to royalty like Queen Elizabeth? We are told that we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). We shall reign as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). Let us act like the princes in training that we are, for our Father is the King of Kings!

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Daily Encouragement

May 30 – Fog of War? The frenzied exit from Jerusalem

May 30
2 Samuel 15:23-16:23
John 18:25-19:22
Psalm 119:113-128
Proverbs 16:10-11

2 Samuel 15:25 – From Matthew Henry:

David is very careful for the safety of the ark. It is right to be more concerned for the church’s prosperity than our own; to prefer the success of the gospel above our own wealth, credit, ease, and safety. Observe with what satisfaction and submission David speaks of the Divine disposal. It is our interest, as well as our duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in the will of God, whatever befalls us. Let us see God’s hand in all events; and that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us see all events in God’s hand.

2 Samuel 15:30 – Almost 1,000 years later someone else went up the mount Olivet, sweating drops of blood. David and Jesus both prayed to God on that mountain.

2 Samuel 16:4-5 – “Fog of War” is a phrase that applies. Ziba seems to be a devout follower of David, but then we read in 2 Samuel 19:24-30 Mephibosheth’s account. Interestingly it is difficult to tell what really happened. We hear Ziba’s account here, and Mephibosheth’s account later. David doesn’t seem to sure either and just tells them to split the land (2 Samuel 19:29), but Mephibosheth anticipates the wisdom of Solomon and tells David that Ziba can take it all. Or is Mephibosheth just glad to be alive? Either way David made a good call on the important issues (sending the Ark back, not killing anyone rashly, and building an informer network in Jerusalem).

Meanwhile Shimei bashes David, David spares him, then we’ll see Shimei along with Mephibosheth later (2 Samuel 19:16).

2 Samuel 16:22 – This action with the concubines of David is seen as a political statement, and possibly what Islamic ‘zina’ refers to. Zina (adultery punished by stoning) requires 4 witnesses, and depending on the school of thought, the witnesses must be to the very explicit act. Very rarely does one have 4 witnesses to a generally private act, so possibly Mohammed was referring to the political implications of such an act, seeking to prevent one of his sons from rebelling in like manner to Absalom.

John 18:30 – Not exactly a clear charge that the prosecutors have before the judge Pilate.

John 18:33 – In John’s account he does not record the Jews accusing Jesus of claiming to be King of the Jews.

John 18:36 – Jesus challenges Pilate’s jurisdiction. Pilate is only worried about terrestrial threats to Roman domination, and Jesus is not an earthly threat.

John 18:40 –  A great movie on Barabbas was produced by Unusual Films called Wine of Morning.

John 19:7 – Just a week earlier they shouted Hosanna. Now they have rejected His claim to be the Son of God. They rejected him six separate times (John 18:40, John 19:6, John 19:7, John 19:12, John 19:15a, John 19:15b).

Psalm 119:113 – The law is my love (Psalm 119:119, Psalm 119:127), my hope (Psalm 119:114), my safety (Psalm 119:117), and my instruction (Psalm 119:124).

Proverbs 16:11 – Don’t tell the Freedom from Religion Foundation, but virtually every state has government officials on government payroll doing the work of the LORD, a very religious task!

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Daily Encouragement

May 29 – Man proposes, but God disposes

May 29
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22
John 18:1-24
Psalm 119:97-112
Proverbs 16:8-9

2 Samuel 14:3 – Interesting contrast between God’s Words to Nathan to David, and Joab’s words to the woman of Tekoah.

2 Samuel 14:5 – Today with Secret Service protection, we’re not used to commoners having direct access to a high ranking government official. Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, was directly accessible by anyone who wanted to talk to him:

One aspect of White House life that made family life particularly difficult for the Lincolns was the mansion’s open-door policy to the public, war notwithstanding. Virtually from Lincoln’s first day in office, a crush of visitors besieged the White House stairways and corridors, climbed through windows at levees, and camped outside Lincoln’s office door “on all conceivable errands, for all imaginable purposes.”

Neither custom nor security precautions shielded the president from his voraciously demanding public. Office-seekers were the biggest drain on the presidents time and energy—among them, his wife’s own relatives—crowding the hallways all the way down the front stairs in an endless effort to importune him for lucrative government appointments.

2 Samuel 15:6 – Today it’s hard to imagine such intense intra-family feuds, that Absalom would seek to steal the hearts of Israelites away from his father. We don’t see Prince William trying to fight for the crown of his grandmother from Prince Charles. But as recently as World War I we saw close relatives at war:
And at the center of this stage stood three cousins, King George V of Great Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, whose complicated family relationships partly fueled the international animosity that led to the horrors of The Great War.
2 Samuel 15:8 – Ever notice how cavalier the leadership was to invoke God’s name in an act of subterfuge? Not just a generic term like El (God), but His covenant name YHWH (LORD). Saul swore by the LORD to the witch (1 Samuel 28:10), and David swore by the LORD to kill the rich man who took the poor man’s lamb (2 Samuel 12:5). Several of these may fall under violations of the Third Commandment.
2 Samuel 15:21 – Interesting that Ittai the Gittite was more loyal to David than his own son and his trusted counselor Ahithophel.
John 18:1 – Much of Jesus’ special times were east of Jerusalem in the area of the Mount of Olives.
John 18:15 – The Gospel writers hint at many of the political connections of the group. Even though John was part of Jesus’ inner circle, he still had connections/access to the palace of the high priest. John was the one who had access enough to get Peter into the courtyard.
John 18:21 – Jesus was invoking his “5th Amendment” – except the rabbinic right against self-incrimination pre-dated the US Constitution’s 5th Amendment by a few thousand years.
Psalm 119:97 – A great song based on this verse and this section of Psalm 119 is “Lord, How I Love Thy Law.”
Psalm 119:105 – The classic verse on the guiding of Scripture. Too often we keep the lamp on the shelf and walk in darkness.
Psalm 119:112 – Have you inclined your heart this way?
Proverbs 16:9 – The phrase “Protestant Wind” brings to mind some of the  protections in England. But on this side of the pond, the amazing protection of George Washington from Captain Patrick Ferguson, or when he had four bullet holes in his coat and two horses shot out from under him. Man proposes, but God disposes.

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Daily Encouragement

May 28 – The High Priestly Prayer

May 28
2 Samuel 13:1-39
John 17:1-26
Psalm 119:81-96
Proverbs 16:6-7

2 Samuel 13:3 – Shimeah (Shammah in 1 Samuel 16:9) was passed over by the LORD. His son, Absalom, Tamar, and Amnon’s evil cousin had shifting loyalties. He helps Amnon rape his half sister, and then appears to side with Absalom (2 Samuel 13:32).


2 Samuel 13:15 – So much of what passes for “love” is just “lust” that doesn’t bring people together.

2 Samuel 13:29 – Nathan warned David that the sword shall not depart from his house (2 Samuel 12:10). Once sin begins in a family it can often spread.

John 17 – This chapter is known as the High Priestly Prayer.  John MacArthur did an 8 part series on this prayer. Friends of Israel recently discussed this on the radio.

In this passage He prayed for three things: Himself, His disciples, and believers in Him. How amazing is that? If you are a believer in Jesus, He prayed for you!

We’ll learn that the mission of Jesus our High Priest is to glorify God in His life, His ministry, His sacrifice, His resurrection, and His ascension. All that Christ did was designed to glorify God. As Jesus prays for His disciples we’ll learn that He prayed for their safety. That they would not stray from what was about to come. He is praying that they too, just like He prayed for Himself, would glorify God in all they do.

John 17:21 – I recently heard a message at an event on unity. The speaker didn’t go into detail on what we were united in, just that we were all together. That wasn’t unity in doctrine, rather unity in mere proximity.  We must be united in the truth (John 17:17). Sometimes people will separate from us because of their love for the world (2 Timothy 4:10). Sometimes we are commanded to separate (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Psalm 119:81 – How much do you desire the Word? Does your soul yearn for it? Do you eyes look for it (Psalm 119:82)? Do you delight in it (Psalm 119:92)? Do you seek it (Psalm 119:94)?

Psalm 119:89 – The center verse of Psalm 119’s 176 verses emphasizes the eternal settled nature of the Word of the LORD. That Word is given to us – will we read it and heed it?

Psalm 16:7 – You can have peace with everyone if you have peace with the most important one first!

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Daily Encouragement

May 27 – Thou art the man!

May 27
2 Samuel 12:1-31
John 16:1-33
Psalm 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5

English: Nathan advises King David

2 Samuel 12:7 – “Thou art the man.” This is the only time this phrase is found in the Bible. What was the great sin David had done? “Thou hast despised me” (2 Samuel 12:10). What David had done in secret would be made known publicly (2 Samuel 12:12, Luke 8:17). And now because “the enemies of the LORD [have occasion] to blaspheme” (2 Samuel 12:14).

2 Samuel 12:24 – “and the LORD loved him.” God chastens, but God forgives.

2 Samuel 12:28 – The king that stayed home in days of battle, now gathered the people for battle. Joab, not always known for his ethics, was loyal though to David.

John 16:2 – One of the people Jesus is talking about is Saul of Tarsus.

John 16:8 – The three duties of the Holy Spirit – conviction of sin (the greatest sin is not loving the LORD {Jesus}), righteousness (the one whose righteousness can pay the penalty of sin, and the coming judgment.

John 16:33 – We can rejoice because Jesus has overcome the world!

Psalm 119:72 – Would you rather have thousands of gold and silver or the law of God?

Proverbs 16:5 – Pride is an abomination to the LORD. Is it an abomination to us?

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