HA Daily Devotions: July 13th – July 26th

 

Monday July 13th - David the Shepherd Boy

Read: 1 Samuel 16:7 

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’

Reflect: Saul is still on the throne. Samuel anoints David as King. David was the youngest of seven brothers; his father was Jesse. Imagine being just an ordinary shepherd one minute and then being chosen as King? We often look at how pretty, stylish or confident others are and compare ourselves to them. This is not how God looks at us. He looks at our hearts and loves us and can use us. There is no one like us, we are unique.

Pray: Thank you God that you know me and love me. Help me to be humble, loyal and trust you in all the things of my life. I desire to be someone after Your heart, Lord. Amen

 

Tuesday July 14th - A tormented Soul
Read: 1 Samuel 16:21-23
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armour-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, ‘Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.’ 23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Reflect:  When Saul asked David to be in his service, he obviously didn’t know that David had been secretly anointed king.  Saul was being tormented by an evil spirit, so a good musician was called upon to play the harp, to sooth Saul’s frantic mind. It was David! Meanwhile God was preparing David for future responsibilities. He had to wait a long time.

Pray:  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life. Amen       Psalm 143.8.

 

Wednesday July 15th - An Impossible Victory?
Read: 1 Samuel 17:45 & 49
45 David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 
49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Reflect: Goliath towered over the small boy David. David was fearless and knowing God was with him, won the victory. This was not done by human effort! Jesus won the victory on the cross; his death and resurrection. He took our sin and forgave us. Imagine…we worship a God who is fighting our battles for us!

Pray: Dear King Jesus, I thank you that you hold all my anxieties and fears in your hands. Please help me to show others who think you are weak and irrelevant, just how amazing you are. Give me courage to share this with them. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Thursday July 16th - Best Friends
Read: 1 Samuel 18:3
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

Reflect:  This was a truly wonderful friendship. It is one of the deepest and closest recorded in the Bible. Their friendship was based on Commitment to God, not just each other. Perhaps you have a long standing friendship you can give thanks for? 

Pray: What a friend we have in Jesus

           All our sins and grief to bear.

           What a privilege to carry,

           Everything to God in prayer. 

           Thank you for our relationship Father,

           Amen.

 

Friday July 17th - Revenge?
Read: 1 Samuel 22:1  
“David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam.” 

Reflect: Jonathan was such a loyal friend to David. He helped protect him from Saul, who was jealous of David’s success and faith in God. Saul was on a mission to murder David. He ran away and ended up in a cave in Adullam, where his family and men joined him. David had many opportunities of revenge against Saul, but never did, as he respected the position he held as God’s anointed King.  It was not right to strike down a man that God had placed on the throne.

1 Peter 3:8-9
Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. (Msg)

Pray: Forgive me Lord for the times when I have held bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart towards others; when I have reacted in ways that weren’t Christ-like. Show me the way of love, so I can freely bless. Amen.

 

Saturday July 18th - Courage not cowardice
Read: 1 Samuel 24:16-18 
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, ‘Is that your voice, David my son?’ And he wept aloud. 17 ‘You are more righteous than I,’ he said. ‘You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord gave me into your hands, but you did not kill me.

Reflect: It might have been easier if David had killed Saul. Saul was bad news; he was relentless as he hunted David down, day after day. But David did what was right. His courage and deep love for Saul prevented him from taking the wrong action. He didn’t take the easy way out as might have been expected. He loved God.

Pray: Dear God, give me the courage to take my eyes off the difficulties of life and to unreservedly anchor my faith in You. And Lord, from this day forward, as I step out into the unknown future, may I have the courage to put my hand into Your hand and not to fear, knowing that You will never fail me nor forsake me. Thank You, in Jesus' name, Amen.


Sunday July 19th -
Honest emotions
Read: 2 Samuel 1:11-12
11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

Reflect: David was rewarded for his patience and consistent faith in God. Though at the death of Saul and Jonathan, and other soldiers of Israel, there was genuine sorrow and loss. They were not ashamed to grieve.

It is not a sign of weakness to express emotions such as grief. God knows our hearts.

Pray: Almighty God, source of all mercy and giver of comfort;
Deal graciously with those who mourn, that,
casting all their sorrow on you,
they may know the consolation of your love;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

King David: Successes & Struggles

Monday July 20th King of Judah
Read: 2 Samuel 2:2-4
David asked, ‘Where shall I go?’  ‘To Hebron,’ the Lord answered.
So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

Reflect: David had waited patiently to become King of Judah. There were many struggles to get there.  Have you ever waited a long time for something you were promised?  How did your faith in Jesus help you? Did God’s word and prayer hold you up? Perhaps the prayers of others sustained you?  Take a moment to reflect and give thanks.

Pray:
God of wisdom, I call upon You and know that You will answer me and tell me the great and unsearchable things that I do not know. I thank You for divine understanding that reveals to me the things that I do not understand. I pray for patience and understanding in all areas of my life: my workplace, my home, my relationships, in all things. I thank You for allowing me to see things like You do. Amen. (Jeremiah 33.3)

 

Tuesday July 21st - Fixing what is broken…
Read: 2 Samuel 2:17
17 
The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men.

Reflect: While David was crowned King of Judah, Saul’s son, Ishbosheth was crowned King of Israel. There was constant tension between the North and South. A war broke out between them, many lives were lost; the men of Israel were defeated.  A struggling and tense relationship is a source of immense emotional pain. Faith is a powerful thing, and appealing to God for the health of your relationship can have amazing results. If this is you, the power of prayer may be just what you need.

Pray: Lord, my relationships have become difficult. There is tension and unease. There’s resentment. I feel that I have nowhere to turn.

Please let there be peace. Grant us the kind of peace that only you can give, Lord, and help us to feel at ease with one another. Help us to seek compromise rather than struggling with one another in order to “win.”  Thank you, Father. Amen

 

Wednesday July 22nd - Success and Gratitude
Read: 2 Samuel 5:3-4 
When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years.

Reflect: David: King now of Israel! This was his third time of being anointed King; once by Samuel the Prophet, when he was a mere shepherd boy, once when he was made King of Judah and lastly as King of Judah.

Do you find that God has strengthened you while you waited patiently for the unfolding of his plans for you? Take a moment to remember his goodness and help in that time.

Pray: Lord, thank you for the goodness in my life. When I wake each morning, I praise Your name. You have given me life that is filled with beauty, and the breath in my lungs is a gift from You. I pray that You will fill my day with love and sustenance. And may I remember at the end of each day, to thank you for all that has been placed in my life. In Your precious name I pray these things. Amen

 

Thursday July 23rd - Eyes fixed on Jesus
Read: 2 Samuel 11:2-4
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman washing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

Reflect: David should have left the roof of the palace as soon as he saw Bathsheba. He was full of lust for her.  The results were devastating. The prophet Nathan had already predicted the consequences of this sin.  What might he have done to overcome this? He could have turned to God at this point and prayed for help or prayed a memorise verse from the bible (1 Cor. 10.13). Friends are also there to assist us when things get tough for us.

Pray:
Today could be a struggle God.
Be my confidence, my assurance, the words that I speak.
Be my freedom, my guide.
With you my Lord, I can keep my head above water and
Fix my eyes fixed on you Jesus. You will help me find a way out. I thank you, Amen.

Friday July 24th - Guilt and Turmoil
Read: 2 Samuel 12:13 & 2 Samuel 13:21
13 Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

Reflect: God forgave David for sleeping with another man’s wife. But the consequences of that were, his child would die. When we confess our sins, we are forgiven and we are purified, though sometimes we have set irreversible things in motion.  If that wasn’t bad enough Amnon, David’s firstborn son had abused his half-sister and then rejected her. David did not punish him.  David wrote a song about all the unfortunate events that took place. He did not turn away from God.

Pray:  Psalm 51 (David’s psalm of repentance)
1Have mercy upon me, O God,

According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. I ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

 

Saturday July 25th - Rebellion
Read: 2 Samuel 15:10
10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, ‘As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, “Absalom is king in Hebron.’’

Reflect: Absalom, David’s other son would have made a good King, but he lacked the inner character and qualities of a good leader. Unlike his father David, he kept on sinning and not seeking God’s forgiveness. As God’s children we need boundaries and discipline. When we feel that we want to stray or rebel, Gods love and presence brings us back to freedom.

Pray:
Dear Lord, help us never to forget that the safest place in a fallen world is to remain in the centre of Your will, no matter where we are, who we are with or what circumstances may seem to be looming on the horizon.
I pray, that I may stay in the centre of your perfect will each day of my life, and that I may walk worthy of my calling and live in a way that is pleasing to You. Amen

 

Sunday July 26th Song of Praise
Read:  2 Samuel 22:1-4
David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

‘The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour –
    from violent people you save me.

‘I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and have been saved from my enemies.

 

Reflect: Though David’s life brought successes and struggles, he always came back to his first love, God. He wrote and sang songs revealing the truths about God. Can you think of several characteristics you would use to describe God? Why don’t you include them in the following prayer?

 

Pray: Father God, we give you thanks and praise for your amazing grace.  You are (…place your words here…). We thank you for giving us your son to die and rise again for us. We thank you Holy Spirit for the love, peace and life you give us. We ask for more of you each and every day. Amen!