Too Close to the Enemy

1st Samuel 25-27

1 Samuel 27 7 NIV

It was difficult to decide where to focus today’s devotion, with so many options to choose from today’s reading.  I finally settled on the story recorded in 1 Samuel 27.

 

Saul had been chasing David for years, trying to kill him.  Finally, David decided the only way to be safe would be to move into enemy territory. So David and his 600 men (and their families) went to Gath, a prominent Philistine city.

 

King Achish knew Israel’s King Saul had been trying to kill David for years, so King Achish welcomed David.  He probably thought, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

 

During David’s time in Philistine territory, it seems to me that David was very deceptive.  First, he asked King Achish to give David and his men a town of their own to live in. David’s excuse was that they didn’t deserve to live in the royal city with the king.  I think David actually requested this so the king couldn’t see what David and his men were really doing.

 

They got their own town, Ziklag, about 25 miles away from Gath, which they used for their base of operations for raiding surrounding towns.  They would attack a town, kill every person, and take all the plunder. The towns they attacked were either under King Achish’s control, or allied to King Achish.  But David would tell King Achish, “We attacked Israel again today. That’s where we got all this stuff.” This happened repeatedly.

 

Verse 12 tells us that Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly.  Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”

 

I’ve heard people say that they love this story because David was so deceptive. While it is an interesting story, we should never use this example from David’s life as a role model.  It is never ok to lie, and it isn’t good to glorify those who do. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:37, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

 

Even though David got away with this for a while, eventually, there were consequences.  If you do something similar, there will also be consequences. So I challenge you today, be honest in all your dealings with everyone.  Remember Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

 

–Steve Mattison
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+25-27&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Psalm 17, 35, 54 & 63 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

Godly Listening

1 John 4

Can YouHearHimNow_

I listen to the radio when I drive. I have three stations that I rotate between, depending on when there are commercials. In an attempt to avoid commercials, I flip between those stations in search of music. If there is music on one of those stations, I’ll listen to it instead.

 

Some of you may gravitate towards talk show hosts or only listen to news and traffic alerts on the radio. You may skip the radio altogether and instead plug your phone in for a completely customized driving playlist. Perhaps, you listen to your GPS, because it tells you where to go.  

 

Needless to say, we all choose what we listen to in the car. In fact, I can make that sentence even simpler:

 

We all choose what we listen to.

 

You see, we have a choice to make.

 

You can choose to listen to the world – to it’s lies and it’s deceptions. Or, you can choose to listen to God – to His truths.

 

1 John 4:4-6 says, “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world. Therefore, what they say is from the world and the world listens to them. We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.”

 

You have a choice to make. Will you listen to the words of men or the words of God? The choice is yours.

 

– Madison Cisler

The Fruit of Deception

Hosea 10-14

hosea 10

Tuesday, April 11

But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors.     (Hosea 10:13)

 

I don’t have a lot of upper body strength.  Never have.  The rope climbing unit in gym class was the worst.  I had one teacher who thought it might help me to start higher up the rope, so he lifted me onto his shoulders and had me grab on.  There I hung.  (And not for very long.)  Same weak arms, just higher up.  So depending on my own strength isn’t going to happen.

I also do not have any soldiers at my disposal, warriors to send out to do my bidding.  Would be cool, but I imagine none of you do, either.  So I guess we can overlook this verse, yes?

Unless….

Unless there are other things that we might be tempted to depend on.  Things we might rely on above God and His word.

A professor, maybe?

Scientists?

A boyfriend or girlfriend?

Your feelings?

Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.  (Hosea 14:9)

Are you stumbling on the Word of God?  Do you have trouble reconciling it with what you are being told or what you “know”?

Maybe you have “eaten the fruit of deception”?

I pray regularly that if my understanding is wrong, that God would correct me.  I ask Him to show me where I’m wrong.  Sadly, though my arms are weak, my ego is strong, and it’s been hard to admit that at times I’ve been mistaken.

Make that your prayer today.  Ask God to show you if you’ve been deceived.  And be willing to act on what He shows you.

-Susan Landry