June 10 - Romans 15.1-13, 1 Samuel 27-28 and Psalm 70
Please Others, Not YourselvesRomans 15 We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. 2Instead, we should all please other believers for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. 3For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture says, "The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me." 4Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us. 5And may God, the source of patience and encouragement, enable you to have the same point of view among yourselves by following the example of Christ Jesus, 6so that all of you together may praise with one voice the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel to the Gentiles7Accept one another, then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you. 8For I tell you that Christ's life of service was on behalf of the Jews, to show that God is faithful, to make his promises to their ancestors come true, 9and to enable even the Gentiles to praise God for his mercy. As the scripture says,
"And so I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing praises to you."
10Again it says,
"Rejoice, Gentiles, with God's people!"
"Praise the Lord, all Gentiles;
praise him, all peoples!"
12And again, Isaiah says,
"A descendant of Jesse will appear;
he will come to rule the Gentiles,
and they will put their hope in him."
13May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
David among the Philistines1 Samuel 27 David said to himself, "One of these days Saul will kill me. The best thing for me to do is to escape to Philistia. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israel, and I will be safe." 2So David and his six hundred men went over at once to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3David and his men settled there in Gath with their families. David had his two wives with him, Ahinoam from Jezreel, and Abigail, Nabal's widow, from Carmel. 4When Saul heard that David had fled to Gath, he gave up trying to find him.
5David said to Achish, "If you are my friend, let me have a small town to live in. There is no need, sir, for me to live with you in the capital city." 6So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag, and for this reason Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7David lived in Philistia for sixteen months.
8During that time David and his men would attack the people of Geshur, Girzi, and Amalek, who had been living in the region a very long time. He would raid their land as far as Shur, all the way down to Egypt, 9killing all the men and women and taking the sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and even the clothes. Then he would come back to Achish, 10who would ask him, "Where did you go on a raid this time?" and David would tell him that he had gone to the southern part of Judah or to the territory of the clan of Jerahmeel or to the territory where the Kenites lived. 11David would kill everyone, men and women, so that no one could go back to Gath and report what he and his men had really done. This is what David did the whole time he lived in Philistia. 12But Achish trusted David and said to himself, "He is hated so much by his own people the Israelites that he will have to serve me all his life."
1 Samuel 28 Some time later the Philistines gathered their troops to fight Israel, and Achish said to David, "Of course you understand that you and your men are to fight on my side."
2"Of course," David answered. "I am your servant, and you will see for yourself what I can do."
Achish said, "Good! I will make you my permanent bodyguard."
Saul Consults a Medium3Now Samuel had died, and all the Israelites had mourned for him and had buried him in his hometown of Ramah. Saul had forced all the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel.
4The Philistine troops assembled and camped near the town of Shunem; Saul gathered the Israelites and camped at Mount Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was terrified, 6and so he asked the LORD what to do. But the LORD did not answer him at all, either by dreams or by the use of Urim and Thummim or by prophets. 7Then Saul ordered his officials, "Find me a woman who is a medium, and I will go and consult her."
"There is one in Endor," they answered.
8So Saul disguised himself; he put on different clothes, and after dark he went with two of his men to see the woman. "Consult the spirits for me and tell me what is going to happen," he said to her. "Call up the spirit of the man I name."
9The woman answered, "Surely you know what King Saul has done, how he forced the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel. Why, then, are you trying to trap me and get me killed?"
10Then Saul made a sacred vow. "By the living LORD I promise that you will not be punished for doing this," he told her.
11"Whom shall I call up for you?" the woman asked.
"Samuel," he answered.
12When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed and said to Saul, "Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul!"
13"Don't be afraid!" the king said to her. "What do you see?"
"I see a spirit coming up from the earth," she answered.
14"What does it look like?" he asked.
"It's an old man coming up," she answered. "He is wearing a cloak."
Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed to the ground in respect.
15Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me? Why did you make me come back?"
Saul answered, "I am in great trouble! The Philistines are at war with me, and God has abandoned me. He doesn't answer me any more, either by prophets or by dreams. And so I have called you, for you to tell me what I must do."
16Samuel said, "Why do you call me when the LORD has abandoned you and become your enemy? 17The LORD has done to you what he told you through me: he has taken the kingdom away from you and given it to David instead. 18You disobeyed the LORD's command and did not completely destroy the Amalekites and all they had. That is why the LORD is doing this to you now. 19He will give you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will join me, and the LORD will also give the army of Israel over to the Philistines."
20At once Saul fell down and lay stretched out on the ground, terrified by what Samuel had said. He was weak, because he had not eaten anything all day and all night. 21The woman went over to him and saw that he was terrified, so she said to him, "Please, sir, I risked my life by doing what you asked. 22Now please do what I ask. Let me fix you some food. You must eat so that you will be strong enough to travel."
23Saul refused and said he would not eat anything. But his officers also urged him to eat. He finally gave in, got up from the ground, and sat on the bed. 24The woman quickly killed a calf which she had been fattening. Then she took some flour, prepared it, and baked some bread without yeast. 25She set the food before Saul and his officers, and they ate it. And they left that same night.
A Prayer for Help
LORD, help me now!
2May those who try to kill me
be defeated and confused.
May those who are happy because of my troubles
be turned back and disgraced.
3May those who make fun of me
be dismayed by their defeat.
4May all who come to you
be glad and joyful.
May all who are thankful for your salvation
always say, "How great is God!"
5I am weak and poor;
come to me quickly, O God.
You are my savior and my LORD--
hurry to my aid!
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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