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The Bible In A Year: Day 128

1 Samuel 30-31
Psalm 135-138
Acts 14

1 Samuel 30-31

David and his men are returning from being dismissed by the lords of the philistines when they discover that while they were gone, their home city had been pillaged. The Amalekites had raided the city and set it on fire, but they had captured all the women and children to lead off into slavery. David and his men immediately set out after the Amalikites and catch up to them, they then do battle and recover every single person who was captured in their town, and David leads them all home safely.

Back at the battlefield, things weren’t going well for Israel. First they get pushed back and then Saul’s sons fall in battle, followed by Saul falling on his own sword to prevent capture by the enemy.

The next day the philistines are combing the battlefield, to plunder the bodies of the fallen, they find Saul and his family dead. They take their bodies and desecrate them, and then put them on display on their city walls. Some of the men from Jabesh hear of this and go retrieve the bodies for proper burial.

So ends the tragic reign of Saul. He reigned over Israel for 40 years, and was sometimes good, sometimes bad, depending on his ever changing mood and whims. Had he been more consistent in his desire to serve and please God he may have established an everlasting lineage in his name like eventually happened with David, but he didn’t. Saul did what Saul felt like in the moment, and it cost him dearly.

Acts 14

Paul and Barnabas movie on from the town they previously preached in, where he announced that the Gospel would now go to the gentiles. And they arrive in another city where they immediately go to the synagogue to preach the good news. This was always Paul’s pattern and while the gentiles seemed to either accept the gospel or just reject it passively, the Jews either accepted it or became enraged.

Both groups had an equally positive reaction for those called to salvation, but the negative reactions were much stronger among the Jews and they made a ruckus in the first city and they had to leave to another town.

Upon arriving in Lystra, Paul sees a man with clubbed feet and orders him to stand. When the crowds see this man, that they’d all recognize as being the person crippled since birth, now leaping around, they went into a frenzy. Apparently they thought that Paul and Barnabas were the gods Zeus and Hermes in human form. But they proclaimed this in Lycaonian so the two apostles didn’t quite pick up on it right away.

News of the Olympian gods visiting their city makes its way to the temple of Zeus and his priests come to the city gates to offer sacrifice of bulls to Paul and Barnabas. It’s at this moment that they understood what the people had been saying, and now realized they thought them to be pagan gods. This distressed them terribly and they tore their robes.

Paul runs into the crowd and delivers a sermon against paganism and how he is only a man, but urges them to turn from the useless worship of idols and worship the true God instead. Eventually they’re convinced he’s not a god, so they stone him in the streets and drag him out of the city. Of course Paul’s not dead, but they thought he was.

Being an apostle was a tough job sometimes.

Tomorrow’s Readings:
2 Samuel 1-2
Psalm 139-140
Acts 14

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