Strengthen yourself in the Lord!

In a bind? In a tough spot? In a situation? Turn to God to be your strength and to strengthen you! Allow Him to meet you right where you are at and help you! Allow Him to grant you wisdom for the very situation so that you can move forward in His blessing and guidance to complete the work He has for you to do!

Today’s reading from 1 Samuel speaks right into this situation…

Descendants of Benjamin

1Benjamin fathered Bela his firstborn, Ashbel second, Ahrah third, 2Nohah the fourth, and Rapha fifth. 3Bela’s sons were: Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4 Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, 5 Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. 6These were the sons of Ehud—the heads of clans of the inhabitants of Geba, who were taken captive to Manahath: 7Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he took them captive and fathered Uzza and Ahihud. 8Shaharaim fathered children in the country of Moab after divorcing his wives Hushim and Baara. 9By his wife Hodesh he fathered Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10Jeuz, Sachiah and Mirmah. These were his sons, family leaders. 11By Hushim he fathered Abitub and Elpaal. 12The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod with its villages; 13Beriah and Shema, leaders of the clans living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. 14Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, 15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16Michael, Ishpah, Joha were sons of Beriah. 17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber 18Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were sons of Elpaal. 19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were sons of Shimei. 22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothiah, 25Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26Shamsherai, Shechariah, Athaliah 27Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri were sons of Jeroham. 28These were leaders of the clans listed in their genealogies. These lived in Jerusalem. 29Now the father of Gibeon dwelt in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maacah, 30and his firstborn son was Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31Gedor, Ahio and Zecher 32and Mikloth who fathered Shimeah. They lived with their relatives in Jerusalem, opposite their relatives. 33Ner fathered Kish and Kish fathered Saul. Saul fathered Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 34Jonathan’s son was Merib-baal and Merib-baal fathered Micah. 35Micah’s sons: Pithon, Melech, Taarea and Ahaz. 36Ahaz fathered Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah fathered Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri fathered Moza, 37Moza fathered Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38Azel had six sons and these were their names: Azrikam, Bocru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan—all these were sons of Azel. 39The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush second, and Eliphelet third. 40Now the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons—150. All these were descendants of Benjamin.

–from 1 Chronicles 8

What if someone took everything you loved and owned? What if they burned down everything that they didn’t take? What would you do? How would you respond? What if 1/3 of the people who were going out with you were too tired to go all the way? How would you respond?

Raid on Amalek

1Now it came to pass, when David and his men returned to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2taking the women in it captive, young and old, without killing anyone, but carried them off as they went their way. 3So when David and his men came to the town, behold, it was burned with fire—and their wives, their sons and their daughters had been taken captives. 4Then David and the troops with him lifted up their voice and wept until they there was no more strength in them to weep. 5Even David’s two wives were taken captive—Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow. 6So David was in a serious bind, for the troops were calling for his stoning, for all the troops were bitter of soul, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in Adonai his God. 7Then David said to Abiathar the kohen son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I pursue after this raiding band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue! For you will surely overtake and you will surely rescue!” 9So David went, he and the 600 men with him, and came to the Wadi Besor, where those left behind remained— 10for 200 men stayed behind because they were too exhausted to cross Wadi Besor. Yet David pursued, he and the other 400 men. 11Then they found an Egyptian in the open field and brought him to David, gave him bread to eat and water to drink, 12and they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two cakes of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came back to him, for he had eaten no bread and drunk no water for three days and three nights. 13Then David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?” “I am a young Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite,” he said. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I fell sick. 14We made a raid in the Negev of the Cherethites, and on Judah, and on the Negev of Caleb; also we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15Then David asked him, “Will you lead me to this raiding band?” “Swear to me by God that you won’t kill me or deliver me into my master’s hands,” he said, “and I will lead you to this marauding band.” 16So he led him down, and behold, they were scattered over all the area, eating, drinking and feasting because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17David attacked them from the twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who rode on camels and fled. 18So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 19There was nothing of theirs missing, whether young or old, sons or daughters, spoils or anything else that had been carried off—David recovered everything. 20David took all the flocks and the herd that they had driven ahead of the other cattle, so they said, “This is David’s spoil.” 21When David reached the 200 men—who had been too exhausted to follow David and were left at Wadi Besor—they came out to meet David and to meet the men with him, so David approached these people and greeted them. 22But all the wicked men and worthless fellows among those who accompanied David said, “Because they did not accompany us, we shouldn’t give them any of the spoil that we’ve recovered, except every man may take his wife and his children and leave.” 23“You must not do so, my brothers with what Adonai has given us,” David said. “It is He who has protected us and gave into our hands the raiding band that attacked us. 24Who would listen to you in this matter? The share of him who went down to the battle is to be the same as that of him who remained by the baggage. They will share alike.” 25So it has been from that day forward—he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26When David arrived at Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Look, a blessing for you from the spoil of the enemies of Adonai,” 27to those in Beth-el, Ramoth-Negev, Jattir, 28Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29Racal, to those in the towns of Jerahmeelite, to those in the towns of the Kenites, 30Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31Hebron and to all the places where David and his men had roamed.

–from 1 Samuel 30

You are invited! You are wanted! Will you go? Will you participate? Will you be humble and go? Will you be too proud and busy and miss out on what is most important?

Invitation to the Wedding Feast

1Yeshua answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who made a wedding feast for his son. 3He sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they wouldn’t come. 4Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “Look, I’ve prepared my meal. My oxen and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 5“But paying no attention, they went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest grabbed his servants, humiliated them, and killed them. 7Now the king became furious! Sending his troops, he destroyed those murderers and set fire to their city. 8“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9So go into the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find to the wedding feast.’ 10And those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to look over the guests, he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12‘Friend,’ he said to him, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was silent. 13Then the king said to his servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

–from Matthew 22

Don’t be tricked! Don’t be fooled! Allow God to direct your steps and your words!

A Trap about Paying Taxes

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might trap Him with a word. 16And they sent to Him some of their disciples, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are honest and teach the way of God in truth. And what others think doesn’t concern You, for You do not look at men’s appearance. 17Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Yeshua, knowing their wickedness, said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20And He said to them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21“Caesar’s,” they said to Him. Then He said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22And hearing this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Religious Leaders Ask a Tricky Question

23On that day, Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Yeshua and questioned Him, saying, 24“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If someone dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his widow and father children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died; and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26In the same way also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28So in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 29But answering, Yeshua said to them, “You’ve gone astray, because you don’t understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living!” 33When the crowds heard this, they were astounded at His teaching.

The Greatest Mitzvot

34But the Pharisees, when they heard that Yeshua had silenced the Sadducees, gathered together in one place. 35And testing Him, one of them, a lawyer, asked, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah?” 37And He said to him, “‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Yeshua Overturns the Arguments

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they say to Him. 43“Then how is it,” He says to them, “that David by the Ruach calls him ‘Lord’? 44For he says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’ 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word. Nor did anyone dare from that day on to question Him any longer.

–from Matthew 22






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