Daily Encouragement

Daily Encouragement

May 24 – Davidic Ethics vs. Utilitarianism

May 24
2 Samuel 4:1-6:23
John 13:31-14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32

2 Samuel 4:11 – David brings in a higher ethical standard. Instead a form of utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest number, and what could be more utilitarian than assassinating one individual to save the lives of hundreds of soldiers – we read about this in John 11:50 and will read John 18:14), David advances a Torah-based ethical system (Deuteronomy 24:16).

The City of David was immediately south of the Temple Mount. This is what it looked like in the apostle’s day. (2 Samuel 5:7)

2 Samuel 5:13 – David had been doing so well, and now he violates Deuteronomy 17:17. Thankfully he listens to God in 2 Samuel 5:19 and 2 Samuel 5:23.

2 Samuel 5:21 – David follows Moses’ pattern from 450 years ago (Exodus 32:20)

2 Samuel 6:3 – David sins again (Numbers 4:5-15), and Uzzah dies (2 Samuel 6:7) as God warned (Numbers 4:15). Strangely David is unfamiliar with Moses’ commands (2 Samuel 6:9).

2 Samuel 6:16 – This is Michal, the daughter David sinned by remarrying (as we read earlier).

John 13:34 – Moses gave 613 commandments, summarized into 10. Micah 6:8 summarized it into 3. Jesus boiled it down to two in Matthew 22:37-40. And because it is difficult to judge another’s love for God, it is best demonstrated by love for one another.

John 14:2 – A great promise, and set to music by Earl Martin. JW Pepper has a great song based on John 14:1-3 as well:

John 14:6 – Jesus is the way of life (Acts 2:28), the way of salvation (Acts 16:17), the source of instruction (Acts 18:25-26), alleged heresy (Acts 24:14), the way of peace (Romans 3:17), the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2), the way of righteousness (2 Peters 2:21).

Psalm 119:18 – A great prayer to pray before studying God’s law.

Psalm 119:23 – How should we treat the Word? Meditate therein, Delight therein (Psalm 119:24), and talk of it (Psalm 119:27).

Proverbs 15:32 – Correction is never easy to take, but it saves your soul and gives understanding!

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Daily Encouragement

May 23 – Ethics & War

May 23
2 Samuel 2:12-3:39
John 13:1-30
Psalm 119:1-16
Proverbs 15:29-30

2 Samuel 2:22 – Reading about the drama within the battle may sound a bit absurd. But an understanding of ethics comes into play. At first one may think that it’s just a matter of “doing the right thing,” but “doing the right thing” depends on one’s responsibilities. A lawyer’s job is not to determine legal guilt and punishment, his job is to represent the interest of his client, and ensure that the justice system does not become biased against the presumed guilty, and that even if his client is guilty, that the prosecution has adequately proved its case. Similarly, a soldier’s job is not to decide the relative merits of the parties in the battle, but to obey them that have the rule over him (Romans 13). Abner warned Asahel twice because while Asahel was fast, Abner was better in hand-to-hand combat. And Abner likely knew Joab was vengeful and unethical as a military commander (1 Kings 2:5).

2 Samuel 3:13 –  Is this a violation of Deuteronomy 24:4? Coffman thinks so:

Young pointed out that what David did (by taking Michal back as his wife) was against God’s law. “According to the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, David could not legitimately receive his wife back after her marriage to Paltiel.”[17] This action must therefore be reckoned among the shameful sins of this “man after God’s own heart.” There was only one way in which David was entitled to be so-called, and that lay in his absolute refusal to love and trust any other god except the Lord God. Even when condemned for his gross and lustful sins, David continued to confess his unworthiness, seek God’s forgiveness, and pledge again to walk in the paths of righteousness.

2 Samuel 3:28 – While some think of war as “entirely unethical” – it is clearer to say that there are ethics of war, and as feared, Abner was murdered by Joab for effectively self-defense. Even in war, honor is the code.

John 13:1 – How touching is it that even when Jesus knew He would die – He still loved His disciples unto the end.

John 13:14 – Are we supposed to be engaged in footwashing today? From A Manual of Church History:

There is no indication in the New Testament, or in the Christian literature of the first three centuries, that our Lord was understood to have instituted an ordinance [feet-washing] by the acts and words under consideration [in John 13].Feet-washing was a common and needed act of hospitality in Palestine at the time, and the teaching that Christ intended to convey was the manifestation of the spirit of brotherly love in acts of humble service. . . The earliest reference to the ceremonial use of feet-washing is in the canon of the synod of Elvira (A.D. 306) where it is condemned

Psalm 119:1 – Welcome to the longest Psalm in the Bible. Organized into 8 verse stanzas in an alphabetical (Hebrew) array, this passage is home to the richest descriptions of the Word of God in the Bible. Verses talk about the law (v.1), testimonies (v.2) ways (v.3) precepts (v.4, 5), commandments (v.6), judgments (v.7), and statutes (v.8).

Psalm 119:9 – How can we change? Heeding God’s Word, and hiding God’s Word (Psalm 119:11).

Proverbs 15:29 – A great way to make sure your prayer is heard by God is to repent.

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Daily Encouragement

May 22 – Different Types of Hearers

May 22
2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
John 12:20-50
Psalm 118:19-29
Proverbs 15:27-28

2 Samuel 1:8 – Did the Amalekite kill Saul or did Saul kill Saul? From GotQuestions:

The clear answer from the biblical text is that Saul killed himself and that the Amalekite’s story was a fabrication. The biblical text records the story the Amalekite gave but does not affirm it as true….

This would be the correct order of events: Saul is wounded in battle and then kills himself by falling on his own sword. An Amalekite comes across his dead body and takes his crown and armlet. The next day, the Philistines find Saul’s body, behead him, strip him of his armor, send the report, and fasten his body to the wall of Beth Shan (1 Samuel 31:10).

2 Samuel 2:1 – Good things happen after a king “enquires of the LORD.”

Brooklyn Museum – The Gentiles Ask to See Jesus (Les gentils demandent à voir Jésus) – James Tissot

John 12:24-26 – Listening to Jesus must have been difficult. Fruit comes from dying. Loving life loses it. Hating life keeps it. Servants are honoured. The Eternal will die (John 12:34). The God who opened the eyes of the blind (Matthew 9:30). But He blinded the eyes of the seeing (John 12:40).

John 12:37 – Notice the different groups. The uncircumcised outsider Greeks wanting to learn (John 12:21). The Hebrew crowd who saw miracles but didn’t believe (John 12:37). The chief rulers who believed but didn’t confess (John 12:42-43). Very few fall into the category of a vocal believer.

Psalm 118:24Bob Jones Academy performed the song based on this verse:


Psalm 118:28 – A great blend of the immanence of God and the transcendence of God.

Psalm 15:28 – Interesting parallel to Proverbs 10:19.

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Daily Encouragement

May 21 – Twisted Loyalties

May 21
1 Samuel 29:1-31:13
John 11:55-12:19
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 15:24-26

I Samuel 29:8 – Loyalty is good, but when the enemies of your boss are God’s people, there’s a problem. Thankfully God worked in the hearts of the Philistines to kick David out of the army (I Samuel 29:4).

I Samuel 30:9 – Thankfully David is back to talking to the LORD!

I Samuel 30:23 – David is reminding the troops, they did not get the victory by their strength, but by the LORD’s provision.

The Roman Ruins of Bet-Shean

I Samuel 31:12 – Why did the men of Jabesh-Gilead rescue the bodies of Saul and his sons? In I Samuel 11:11, Saul delivered the men of Jabesh-Gilead from the Ammonites who would only accept surrender upon them surrendering their right eyes.

John 12:3 – Imagine if Mary said, “I can do this next time Jesus passes thru town.” If God lays something on your heart, do it today!

John 12:10 – This is one of the funniest verses in the Bible… Didn’t they think Jesus might raise him again?

Psalm 118:5 – Praise the LORD for when He has delivered you from distress.

Proverbs 15:26 – Are you getting the idea that God hates sin?

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Daily Encouragement

May 20 – The king dies for the witch, the man who died walked free.

May 20
1 Samuel 26:1-28:25
John 11:1-54
Psalm 117:1-2
Proverbs 15:22-23

I Samuel 26:1 – The last time we saw Saul, he declared that David was more righteous (I Samuel 24:17), would be king (I Samuel 24:20), and obtained a pledge from David to protect his descendants (I Samuel 24:22). Now the Ziphites would had been egging Saul on previously (I Samuel 23:19), are egging him on again.

I Samuel 26:6 – Interestingly that while the Hittite people God would drive out, He speaks well of individual Hittites: Ephron (Genesis 23:10), Ahimelech (I Samuel 26:6), and Uriah (2 Samuel 23:39)

I Samuel 26:25 – While some of Saul’s benedictions were empty, this one is true.

I Samuel 27:1 – Gad had previously warned David to remain in the land of Judah. David does not appear to have consulted the LORD about his decision to escape to the Philistines.

I Samuel 28:10 – Ironic that the king commanded by the LORD to execute witches (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10), swares by the LORD to protect the witch. Instead of the witch dying, Saul would die (I Samuel 28:19).

John 11:35 – Nobody understood Jesus. His disciples forgot John 10:18 and were afraid of the Jews. They didn’t understand his saying (John 11:12). They weren’t sure what to say but that didn’t stop them from talking (John 11:16). Martha believed in the resurrection afar off but did she really believe that Jesus was the resurrection (John 11:24).  Mary’s understanding was limited by her human knowledge that death was irreversible (John 11:32). Martha was trying to stop Jesus from working (John 11:39).

Painted tile detail from St Paul’s church in Knightsbridge which shows Jesus calling Lazarus from the grave. Because He is the Lord of Life, Lazarus – despite having been dead for 4 days – comes forth, and is given his life. Likewise, Jesus calls us from the living death of sin to new life in Him through the grace of baptism and the Holy Spirit.

John 11:53 – After Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead, the religious leaders determined to put Jesus to death. But what he planned was for a purpose He knew not of (John 11:51).

Psalm 117:1 – My family had a Christmas tradition of each of us reciting a verse or passage of Scripture. Hoping for the presents that followed, we were dismayed when my grandfather asked “What is the longest Psalm in the Bible”? “Psalm 119” was the reply. He then started: “Psalm 117….” and quoted the shortest Psalm in the Bible. Just two verses but calling us to Praise the LORD because of His merciful kindness for us, and His eternal Word.

Proverbs 15:22 – As someone would remind me on the importance of a second opinion, “wise is the counsel of many.”

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