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One Year Bible: Day 139 - 1 Samuel 2:27-4:22; John 11:1-44; Psalm 64:1-10

In the days of Samuel’s youth, “the word of the Lord was rare” (1 Samuel 3:1). Nevertheless, “the lamp of God had not yet gone out” (1 Samuel 3:3). God began to do a new work, with Samuel at the very heart of it. This new work was like a “resurrection”, out of the ashes came life – “Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out” (John 11:43-44). This is the kind of thing that God was doing in Samuel’s day: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle” (1 Samuel 3:11). The results of such a mighty work of God are described in Psalm 64:9-10: “All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what He has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in Him; all the upright in heart will glory in Him!”

One Year Bible: Day 138 - 1 Samuel 1:10-2:26; John 10:22-42; Psalm 63:1-11

“Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:13). They “sinned against the Lord” – “they did not listen to their father’s rebuke” (1 Samuel 2:25). God is calling us back from this way of living. He is showing us the better way – “the boy Samuel continued to grow … in favour with the Lord” (1 Samuel 2;26). It’s the way of listening to the Lord – “Speak, for Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). In Proverbs 29:1, there’s a very challenging word of warning: “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Such words of warning are also found in the New Testament.  Jesus said, “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 2:29). Our response to such words is not to attempt to give ‘the perfect answer’ to the question, “What is the blasphemy against the Spirit”? We are to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).   John the Baptist …

One Year Bible: Day 137 - Ruth 3:1-4:22; John 9:35-10:21; Psalm 62:1-12

The book of Ruth ends by locating Ruth within the family tree of David, the shepherd-king. He, in his turn, forms part of the family tree of Christ, “the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11), the “King of kings” (Revelation 19:16). David, the shepherd of Israel, pointed away from himself to Christ, “the Good Shepherd” who “lays down His life for the sheep … only to take it up again” (John 10:11,17). The words of David point us to Christ – “He alone is my Rock and my Salvation” (Psalm 62:2).

One Year Bible: Day 136 - Ruth 1:1-2:23; John 9:1-34; Proverbs 12:8-17

Difficult situations can be turned around to glorify God (John 9:3). The story of Ruth is the story of mourning turned to rejoicing. In John 9, we have darkness turned into light, blindness to sight. This is the story of “amazing grace” – “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see” (John 9:25). The story of Ruth is a story of blessing – “He who works his land will have abundant food” (Proverbs 12:11). The story of the blind man is the story of “a truthful witness giving honest testimony” (Proverbs 12:17).

One Year Bible: Day 135 - Judges 20:1-25; John 8:31-59; Psalm 61:1-8

The  book of Judges ends on a very sad note: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit (or “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”)” (Judges 21:25). The sadness doesn’t come from the political situation – “no king”. It comes from the moral and spiritual situation – people doing as they pleased with respect for the authority of God and His Word. In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders refused to crown Jesus as King of their lives. When He spoke to them of the truth which could set them free, they said that they didn’t need to be set free (John 8:32-33). Persisting in their unbelief, they confronted Jesus: “Who do you think you are?” (John 8:53). Israel had times when there was “no king”. They had times when there was a king. We now have a King who is greater than all Israel’s kings. Jesus is the King of kings. He is “enthroned in God’s presence for ever” (Psalm 61:7).

One Year Bible: Day 134 - Judges 18:1-19:30; John 8:12-30; Psalm 60:5-12

In Judges, we read of idolatry and adultery. Into this kind of situation comes the Lord’s warning – “if you do not believe that I am He, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). There is much resistance to the Gospel. There will, however, be those who believe – “Even as He spoke, many believed in Him” (John 8:30). In a situation full of many temptations, we must learn to say, with the Psalmist, “Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies” (Psalm 60:11-12). The problems are great. The Lord is greater. There are many difficulties. With the Lord on our side, we will be victorious – victors in Christ.

One Year Bible: Day 133 - Judges 161-17:13; John 7:45-8:11; Psalm 60:1-4

Samson “killed many more when he died than while he lived” (Judges 16:30). The chief priests and Pharisees were anxious to bring Jesus in – to destroy Him. Little did they realize that His death was to be His greatest victory. Even when His people are at a very low ebb, God does not abandon them. His purpose is restoration – “for those who fear You, You have raised a banner” (Psalm 60:4). Jesus was brought low. He was raised again. We may be brought low. We will be raised again.