Audio Daily Bible Study

— To hear Brian Hardin read today’s Scripture selection, click here and then click the audio button in the top right. —————————————————————————–

1 Samuel 20-21
Jonathan Protects David
20 David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What did I do wrong? How have I sinned against your father so that he wants to take my life?”

2 Jonathan said to him, “No, you won’t die. Listen, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without telling me. So why would he hide this matter from me? This can’t be true.”

3 But David said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor with you. He has said, ‘Jonathan must not know of this, or else he will be grieved.’” David also swore, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, there is but a step between me and death.”

4 Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”

5 So David told him, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon, and I’m supposed to sit down and eat with the king. Instead, let me go, and I’ll hide in the countryside for the next two nights. 6 If your father misses me at all, say, ‘David urgently requested my permission to go quickly to his hometown Bethlehem for an annual sacrifice there involving the whole clan.’ 7 If he says, ‘Good,’ then your servant is safe, but if he becomes angry, you will know he has evil intentions. 8 Deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought me into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I have done anything wrong, then kill me yourself; why take me to your father?”

9 “No!” Jonathan responded. “If I ever find out my father has evil intentions against you, wouldn’t I tell you about it?”

10 So David asked Jonathan, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”

11 He answered David, “Come on, let’s go out to the countryside.” So both of them went out to the countryside. 12 “By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will sound out my father by this time tomorrow or the next day. If I find out that he is favorable toward you, will I not send for you and tell you? 13 If my father intends to bring evil on you, may God punish Jonathan and do so severely if I do not tell you and send you away so you may leave safely. May the Lord be with you, just as he was with my father. 14 If I continue to live, show me kindness from the Lord, but if I die, 15 don’t ever withdraw your kindness from my household—not even when the Lord cuts off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” 16 Then Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord hold David’s enemies accountable.” 17 Jonathan once again swore to David in his love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; you’ll be missed because your seat will be empty. 19 The following day hurry down and go to the place where you hid on the day this incident began and stay beside the rock Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows beside it as if I’m aiming at a target. 21 Then I will send a servant and say, ‘Go and find the arrows!’ Now, if I expressly say to the servant, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you—get them,’ then come, because as the Lord lives, it is safe for you and there is no problem. 22 But if I say this to the youth, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you!’ then go, for the Lord is sending you away. 23 As for the matter you and I have spoken about, the Lord will be a witness between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the countryside.

At the New Moon, the king sat down to eat the meal. 25 He sat at his usual place on the seat by the wall. Jonathan sat facing him and Abner took his place beside Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul did not say anything that day because he thought, “Something unexpected has happened; he must be ceremonially unclean—yes, that’s it, he is unclean.”

27 However, the day after the New Moon, the second day, David’s place was still empty, and Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why didn’t Jesse’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?”

28 Jonathan answered, “David asked for my permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Please let me go because our clan is holding a sacrifice in the town, and my brother has told me to be there. So now, if I have found favor with you, let me go so I can see my brothers.’ That’s why he didn’t come to the king’s table.”

30 Then Saul became angry with Jonathan and shouted, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you are siding with Jesse’s son to your own shame and to the disgrace of your mother? 31 Every day Jesse’s son lives on earth you and your kingship are not secure. Now send for him and bring him to me—he must die!”

32 Jonathan answered his father back: “Why is he to be killed? What has he done?”

33 Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan to kill him, so he knew that his father was determined to kill David. 34 He got up from the table fiercely angry and did not eat any food that second day of the New Moon, for he was grieved because of his father’s shameful behavior toward David.

35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the countryside for the appointed meeting with David. A young servant was with him. 36 He said to the servant, “Run and find the arrows I’m shooting.” As the servant ran, Jonathan shot an arrow beyond him. 37 He came to the location of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, but Jonathan called to him and said, “The arrow is beyond you, isn’t it?” 38 Then Jonathan called to him, “Hurry up and don’t stop!” Jonathan’s servant picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 He did not know anything; only Jonathan and David knew the arrangement. 40 Then Jonathan gave his equipment to the servant who was with him and said, “Go, take it back to the city.”

41 When the servant had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone Ezel, fell facedown to the ground, and payed homage three times. Then he and Jonathan kissed each other and wept with each other, though David wept more.

42 Jonathan then said to David, “Go in the assurance the two of us pledged in the name of the Lord when we said: The Lord will be a witness between you and me and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went into the city.

David Flees to Nob
21 David went to the priest Ahimelech at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, “Why are you alone and no one is with you?”

2 David answered the priest Ahimelech, “The king gave me a mission, but he told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on or what I have ordered you to do.’ I have stationed my young men at a certain place. 3 Now what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever can be found.”

4 The priest told him, “There is no ordinary bread on hand. However, there is consecrated bread, but the young men may eat it only if they have kept themselves from women.”

5 David answered him, “I swear that women are being kept from us, as always when I go out to battle. The young men’s bodies are consecrated even on an ordinary mission, so of course their bodies are consecrated today.” 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, for there was no bread there except the Bread of the Presence that had been removed from the presence of the Lord. When the bread was removed, it had been replaced with warm bread.

7 One of Saul’s servants, detained before the Lord, was there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, chief of Saul’s shepherds.

8 David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t even bring my sword or my weapons since the king’s mission was urgent.”

9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there isn’t another one here.”

“There’s none like it!” David said. “Give it to me.”

David Flees to Gath
10 David fled that day from Saul’s presence and went to King Achish of Gath. 11 But Achish’s servants said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Don’t they sing about him during their dances:

Saul has killed his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands?”

12 David took this to heart and became very afraid of King Achish of Gath, 13 so he pretended to be insane in their presence. He acted like a madman around them, scribbling on the doors of the city gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 “Look! You can see the man is crazy,” Achish said to his servants. “Why did you bring him to me? 15 Do I have such a shortage of crazy people that you brought this one to act crazy around me? Is this one going to come into my house?”

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

John 9
The Sixth Sign: Healing a Man Born Blind
9 As he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. 4 We must do the works of him who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 After he said these things he spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.

8 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” 9 Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.”

He kept saying, “I’m the one.”

10 So they asked him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight.”

12 “Where is he?” they asked.

“I don’t know,” he said.

The Healed Man’s Testimony
13 They brought the man who used to be blind to the Pharisees. 14 The day that Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Then the Pharisees asked him again how he received his sight.

“He put mud on my eyes,” he told them. “I washed and I can see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a sinful man perform such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 Again they asked the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he opened your eyes?”

“He’s a prophet,” he said.

18 The Jews did not believe this about him—that he was blind and received sight—until they summoned the parents of the one who had received his sight.

19 They asked them, “Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

20 “We know this is our son and that he was born blind,” his parents answered. 21 “But we don’t know how he now sees, and we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he’s of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jews, since the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed him as the Messiah, he would be banned from the synagogue. 23 This is why his parents said, “He’s of age; ask him.”

24 So a second time they summoned the man who had been blind and told him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”

25 He answered, “Whether or not he’s a sinner, I don’t know. One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!”

26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

27 “I already told you,” he said, “and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?”

28 They ridiculed him: “You’re that man’s disciple, but we’re Moses’s disciples. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses. But this man—we don’t know where he’s from.”

30 “This is an amazing thing!” the man told them. “You don’t know where he is from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to him. 32 Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

34 “You were born entirely in sin,” they replied, “and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

Spiritual Blindness
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, and when he found him, he asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?” he asked.

37 Jesus answered, “You have seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 “I believe, Lord!” he said, and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.”

40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and asked him, “We aren’t blind too, are we?”

41 “If you were blind,” Jesus told them, “you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 113-114
Psalm 113
Praise to the Merciful God
1 Hallelujah!
Give praise, servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
2 Let the name of the Lord be blessed
both now and forever.
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting,
let the name of the Lord be praised.

4 The Lord is exalted above all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God—
the one enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the trash heap
8 in order to seat them with nobles—
with the nobles of his people.
9 He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 114
God’s Deliverance of Israel
1 When Israel came out of Egypt—
the house of Jacob from a people
who spoke a foreign language—
2 Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel, his dominion.

3 The sea looked and fled;
the Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills, like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Jordan, that you turned back?
6 Mountains, that you skipped like rams?
Hills, like lambs?

7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool,
the flint into a spring.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 15:15-17
15 All the days of the oppressed are miserable,
but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great treasure with turmoil.

17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened ox with hatred.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved

Courageous Wisdom, Day 3

Today’s reading is drawn from Proverbs 23:15-16.

Observation

In this proverb, God reveals what brings him pleasure: people who live with wise hearts and who speak what is right.

Notice that shrewd minds do not please God. Neither do talents, successful businesses or large ministries. The bottom line is that he delights in people who are wise in heart and have the courage to speak what is right.

Application

Making wise decisions and speaking what is right will not win us any popularity contests. It may even be contested by those closest to us, but we must still take time to consider the situation, ponder it deeply and make decisions that will be the best for all involved.

Courage to stand up for what is right sometimes seems in short supply, but it is abundant in those who refuse anything less than God’s best. Here is the prerequisite: a deep desire to do what is best, regardless of the emotional trauma the soul must endure in pressing forward, anticipating push-backs and possible rejections. No one likes it when their faults are exposed or they are called to change. But following God includes handling confrontation and disagreement in a godly manner.

Prayer

Father, give me the courage to be wise, to be committed to each person’s best in my life, and in return, to feel your pleasure and delight.

Bible Gateway

God Is Light, Day 19

Today’s reading is drawn from 1 John 3:1-10.

God’s Story

The Spirit inspires the apostle John to write a letter to believers, likely to believers who lived in a number of places. John has heard, seen and touched the Word of life — Jesus — and he is spreading the news of the here-and-now eternal life that Jesus offers to all who believe in him.

God is absolute light — void of darkness. In that light, our dark sin is exposed; but if we walk with him in the light, confessing our sins to him, Jesus’ blood will cleanse us from sin. We are to avoid sin as fiercely as possible, but when we do sin, Jesus advocates for us.

We will be able to recognize true believers because they will live like Jesus did — obeying God’s commandments. God is love, and his commandments can be summed up in one word: love. Even though we aren’t required to keep God’s commandments for salvation, a Jesus-like, love-filled life is the mark of a believer.

False teachers have arisen who are leading believers astray. John warns that anyone denying that Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh is not from God and should not be followed.

We are God’s children, born of God. We will get to see Jesus in all his glory, and we should live purely to prepare ourselves for that incredible moment.

The King’s Heart

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). There is not a speck of darkness in God, not a spot of injustice or unkindness. God can never be cruel, unjust or unloving.

“God is love,” John later explains (1 John 4:8). He is pure love. That means that God always has the purest and best intentions in every situation; everything he does is a work of love.

We never need to question God’s motives or his heart — he is always good, kind and loving. There is no safer place to put our trust. So while we may not understand a situation or how it’s going to turn out, we can always trust God’s heart. And then, on the other side of the situation or perhaps in the fullness of God’s kingdom, we will see that God was acting with pure goodness — as he always is and can only be — all along.

Insight

John mentions the “world,” and how we’re not supposed to love it (see 1 John 2:15), throughout his letter. He isn’t referring to the earth as we know it — the earth is God’s good, but broken, creation. He’s referring to the people and human systems that stand in opposition to God.

Bible Gateway