Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear what you are supposed to do? Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear how you are supposed to respond? Do you have an obedient heart so that you don’t go and do something that you will later regret? What if someone was out to get you and they showed up in your hiding spot? How would you respond? What if someone was trying to hurt you and they showed up where you were but didn’t realize it? Would you just act out or would ask God? Would you go too far or would you hold back? Would you be obedient to God’s wisdom and direction? Would you go it your own way?
Today’s reading begins with David playing hide and seek with Saul as Saul tries to hunt him down to kill him…
David Hides and Saul Seeks
1Then they reported to David saying, “Look, the Philistines are raiding Keilah and they are plundering the threshing floors.” 2So David inquired of Adonai saying, “Shall I go and attack those Philistines?” Adonai said to David, “Go, attack the Philistines and deliver Keilah.” 3But David’s fellow men said to him, “Look, we’re afraid here in Judah; how much more so if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces?” 4Once again David inquired of Adonai, and Adonai answered him saying, “Arise! Go to Keilah, for I am going to deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 5So David and his fellow men went to Keilah and fought against the Philistines, drove off their livestock and inflicted a great slaughter on them. Thus David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah. 6It came about, when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he came down with an ephod in his hand. 7Now when Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, Saul said, “God has delivered him into my hand! For he shut himself in by entering a town with barred gates.” 8So Saul summoned all the troops for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his fellow men. 9Now David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him, so he said to Abiathar the kohen, “Bring the ephod.” 10Then David said, “Adonai, God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul intends to come to Keilah to destroy the town because of me. 11Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as Your servant has heard? Adonai God of Israel, I pray, tell Your servant.” “He will come down,” Adonai said. 12Then David asked, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my fellow men into the hand of Saul?” “They will surrender,” Adonai said. 13Then David and his fellow men, about 600, got up and left Keilah, and went wherever they could go. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he stopped the pursuit. 14So David stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness, remaining in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul searched for him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. 15By now David was aware that Saul would come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Choresh. 16Then Saul’s son Jonathan arose and went to David at Choresh and strengthened him in God. 17“Don’t be afraid,” he said to him, “because my father Saul will never find you. You will be king over Israel and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul recognizes that.” 18Again they cut a covenant before Adonai. David remained at Choresh, but Jonathan went home. 19Then some of the Ziphites went up to Saul in Gibeah, saying, “Isn’t David hiding with us in the strongholds at Choresh, in the hill of Hachilah which is south of Jeshimon? 20Now therefore, O king, come down whenever it is a desire of your soul to come down—our part will be to deliver him into the king’s hand.” 21“May you be blessed of Adonai,” Saul said, “for you have taken pity on me. 22Go now, make more sure, investigate and scout out his place where he usually goes and who has seen him there. For I have been told that he is very cunning. 23Look around and see in which of all the hiding places he has been hiding, and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you. If he is in the area, I will search him out among all the clans of Judah.” 24Then they got up and went to Ziph ahead of Saul. But David and his men were then in the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah, to the south of Jeshimon. 25So when Saul and his men began the search, David was informed. Then he went down to the rocky area and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. On hearing this, Saul pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26Then, while Saul was advancing on one side of the mountain, David and his men were on the other side of the mountain. David was hurrying to elude Saul. Meanwhile Saul and his men were closing-in on David and his men to seize them. 27But a messenger came to Saul saying, “Hurry and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” 28So Saul had to return from chasing after David, and go to engage the Philistines. Therefore they called that place the Rock of Separation. 29From there David went up and stayed in the strongholds of En-gedi.
–from 1 Samuel 23
And now how would you respond? What if Saul showed up in your hiding spot? Would you react too harshly? Would you resist the temptations? Would you act in a way to glorify God? Would you take heed of what your conscience tells you? Will you respond righteously?
David Spares Saul at En-gedi
1Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him saying, “Look, David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” 2So Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the mountain goats. 3When he came across the sheepfolds along the way where there was a cave, Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were already sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. 4So David’s men said to him, “Look, it’s the day Adonai spoke to you about, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, so you may do to him as seems good in your eyes.’” Then David crept and cut off the corner of Saul’s robe stealthily. 5But afterward, David’s conscience bothered him for cutting off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6So he said to his fellow men, “Adonai forbid that I should do such a thing to my lord, Adonai’s anointed, stretching out my hand against him—for he is Adonai’s anointed.” 7So David persuaded his fellow men with these words and did not let them rise against Saul. Then Saul left the cave and went on his way. 8David also rose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out after Saul saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and prostrated himself. 9Then David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words saying: ‘Look, David intends you harm’? 10Look, today your own eyes should see how Adonai delivered you today into my hand, in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but my eye had pity on you, and I said: ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is Adonai’s anointed.’ 11Moreover, my father, see! Yes, look at the corner of your robe in my hand! For in cutting off the corner of your robe, yet not killing you, you should know and realize that there is no evil or rebellion in my hand. I haven’t sinned against you, even though you are lying in wait for my life, to take it. 12May Adonai judge between me and you, and may Adonai avenge me of you, but my hand will not be against you. 13As the old proverb goes, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’—but my hand will never be on you. 14Whom has the king of Israel come after? Who are you chasing? A dead dog? A single flea? 15May Adonai be judge and decide between me and you! And may He see and plead my cause and vindicate me against you.” 16Now when David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son, David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept aloud. 17Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done good to me, while I have done evil to you. 18You’ve told today how well you’ve dealt with me, for Adonai had delivered me up into your hand, yet you did not kill me. 19For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away on a good road? May Adonai reward you with good in return for what you have done to me today. 20Now behold, I know for certain that you will be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will rise in your hand. 21Swear now to me by Adonai that you won’t cut off my descendants after me, and that you won’t wipe out my name from my father’s house.” 22So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
–from 1 Samuel 24
What would you have done? How would you have responded? How would that have turned out? Would it have been all about you? Would it have given God any of the glory?
Put your trust in God! Allow Him to be your helper! Will you allow the truth to set you free?
Surely God is My Helper
1For the music director, on stringed instruments, a contemplative song of David, 2when the Ziphites came and said to Saul: “Is not David hiding himself among us?” 3O God, save me by Your Name, vindicate me by Your might. 4O God, hear my prayer, listen to the words of my mouth. 5For strangers have risen up against me. Violent men seek after my soul. They do not set God before them. Selah 6Surely God is my helper. My Lord is the supporter of my soul. 7Let evil return to my foes. Silence them with Your truth! 8I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You. I will praise Your name, Adonai, for it is good. 9For He has delivered me from all trouble, and my eye has gazed upon my enemies.
–from Psalms 54
So will you live by the truth? Will you live with character and trust in the character of God? Will you align with the character of God to become more like Him? How will you live out today? Will you use the little you have in faith and give it up to God to be able to use and multiply for the glory of His kingdom? Will you get out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus? When you are prompted to get out of the boat, will you do it? Will you take hold of the incredible opportunity and miracle of getting to walk on water? Will you trust Him? I mean fully trust Him? Will you live that way?
Yeshua’s Cousin Beheaded
1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Yeshua. 2He said to his servants, “This is John the Immerser—he has risen from the dead! Because of this, these powers are at work in Him.” 3For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, 4because John had been telling him, “It is not permitted for you to have her.” 5Although Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd because they considered John a prophet. 6But when Herod’s birthday celebration came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Immerser, here on a platter!” 9The king became sorrowful; but because of his oaths and those reclining with him, he commanded it to be given. 10And he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12John’s disciples came forth and took the body and buried it. Then they went and reported to Yeshua.
Feeding Hungry Followers
13Now when Yeshua heard this, He went away from there privately by boat to an isolated place. But when the crowds heard, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14As Yeshua came ashore, He saw a large crowd and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. 15When it became evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, “This place is isolated, and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Yeshua said to them, “They don’t need to leave—you give them something to eat.” 17“We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish,” they said to Him. 18“Bring them here to Me,” He said. 19Ordering the crowd to recline on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish; and looking up to heaven, He offered the bracha. After breaking the loaves, He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces left over. 21Now those eating were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Testing Peter’s Faith to Walk on Water
22Right away, Yeshua made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the hillside by Himself to pray. And when evening came, He was there alone. 24But the boat was already a long way from land, tossed around by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25Now in the fourth watch of the night, Yeshua came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It’s a ghost!” And they cried out with fear. 27But immediately, Yeshua spoke to them, saying, “Take courage! I am. Don’t be afraid.” 28Answering, Peter said to Him, “Master, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water to go to Yeshua. 30But seeing the wind, he became terrified. And beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Master, save me!” 31Immediately Yeshua reached out His hand and grabbed him. And He said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You really are Ben-Elohim!” 34After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Yeshua, they sent word into all the surrounding region. And they brought to Him all those who were in bad shape 36and kept begging Him that they might just touch the tzitzit of His garment—and all who touched it were cured.
–from Matthew 14