Bible reading for Sept 1.
I Samuel 25.
"Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand!" (1 Samuel 25:33)
LADY WISDOM. Samuel dies, and the story continues with David. David is committed to not taking personal vengeance nor working salvation (deliverance) by his own hand (vv 26, 33). But here he is en route on a murderous rampage, and is stopped by a worthy woman, who is married to a worthless man. Nabal's property, along with much of Judea, was being protected by David and his troops (vv 16, 21). So, a gift of support would have been proper. Nabal, whose name means "fool" -- whether he got this at birth, later in life, or used mainly behind his back -- acted with arrogance. His wise and beautiful wife Abigail intercedes with David. She appeals to his conscience and his commitment to not take vengeance but to trust God for deliverance (Rom 12:17-21). David is won over by her, and after Nabal's natural-but-timely death she becomes David's wife. Abigail truly displayed the character of the lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8:1-21. However, David in the tradition of ancient near-eastern kings is beginning to take more wives, against God's command in Deuteronomy 17:17. For David, and especially Solomon after him, this will bring bad consequences.
REFLECT. I am thankful to be married to a woman who is wise and discerning. Her words have disarmed me many times when I wanted to say something harsh or do something rash, something I would regret later. If you have a spouse who is wise, give thanks daily for God's gift to you in your mate! If you are looking for a mate, don't put physical beauty first in your list, but hear what Proverbs says, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (31:30 NIV)
1 Corinthians 6.
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:11)
LAWSUITS. The Apostle Paul is continuing to address the various problems in the church at Corinth. Most of these problems are traceable to a poor understanding of God's work of salvation in Christ -- what the cross means, how it humbles us, how we are changed, and what life in the Spirit looks like. Again, they were acting like people in the world, going to court against each other (vv 1-8). In my years as a pastor I saw on several occasions Christians who got into business partnerships together, which later failed and resulted in serious quarreling. A godly mentor once told me that when he gave or loaned money to people he never expected it back. He said, "You need to be willing to walk away with a loss. Never fight over money." Very wise words!
IMMORALITY. Before addressing the matter of sexual immorality Paul reiterates the fundamental difference between God's people and the world (vv 9-12). The unrighteous -- he lists their practices -- will not inherit the kingdom of God (vv 9-10). Those who have in faith come to Christ are washed, sanctified, and justified (v 11). There is now a different approach to the use of the body (vv 12-13). The body belongs to the Lord and will one day be raised to eternal life (vv 13-14). Paul makes an appeal for sexual purity based upon our union with Christ and that our bodies are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (vv 15-20). He concludes, "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (vv 19b-20).
REFLECT. As Christians we need to realize how much our situation has changed. We are forgiven, cleansed, justified, and heirs of God's kingdom. We belong to the Lord. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Now we view life differently, including our business dealings and our sexuality. Are these two areas -- money and sex -- sometimes difficult for you to keep under the lordship of Christ? What truths in this passage will help you live more for the glory of God?
Image credit. Photo by Kit Casinillo on Unsplash.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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