Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 5:3, 10, 12

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 5:3, 10, 12
"So all the elders of Israel came to the king of Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel.
And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.
And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

I cried when I read that David was finally anointed king over Israel. I wonder if the people did too?  Finally Israel has a righteous king. I pondered on how David grew great. First he knew it was the Lord that had done this for Israel's sake, not David's. That would leave you with a lot of humility. Then in verses 19 & 23 it says "David inquired of the Lord" and in verse 25 "David did so, as the Lord had commanded him."  This shows David obedience and faithfulness to the Lord's will. I love David these are the traits I would want too.

Day 847

Friday, July 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 4:10-11

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 4:10-11
"When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?

Once again someone tries to kill an "enemy" of David thinking to gain his favor. I pondered on how right David's response was to kill those that murdered, even more so when it was to get gain. For the peace of the land this needed to be done. I read several articles on the church's position of murderers. I couldn't help but reflect on that fact that this was something David himself eventually had an issue with.

"And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land.
(Doctrine & Covenants 42:79)

"We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense; that murder, treason, robbery, theft, and the breach of the general peace, in all respects, should be punished according to their criminality and their tendency to evil among men, by the laws of the government in which the offense is committed; and for the public peace and tranquility all men should step forward and use their ability in bringing offenders against good laws to punishment."
(Doctrine & Covenants 134:8 - declaration of belief regarding governments and laws)

Day 846


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 3:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 3:1
"Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker."

I pondered on how doors opened up to strength the house of David. The ripple effect of one single false claim against Abner turned his loyalty to David, and weakened Saul's son Ish-bosheth support.

This make me think of this scripture

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."  (Alma 37:6)

David in his youth was anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel. Over the years David must have wondered how it would all happen. After Saul's death David inquired of the Lord on where to go and was told Hebron. From there he was made king of Judah. I pondered on times when I know things are going to happen just not how they will happen. What I have to do is just trust in the Lord and the plan as it is given me. The Lord always has a better plan that what I can envision.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Day 845

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 2:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 2:1
"And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? and he said, Unto Hebron."

Saul is dead and I love how David doesn't just take the crown and bracelet that were brought to him and claim the kingdom. He turned to the Lord. He doesn't move until the Lord answers him and instructs him on the course he needs to take. I pondered on no matter the trial or task ahead of me this should be my first course of action too.

Day 844

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 1:10, 14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 1:10, 14-15
"So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?
And David called on of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died."

I sat puzzled for a while and wondered why David had the young Amalekite killed that brought the news of Saul and Jonathan's death and the defeat of Israel to him. The Amalekite tells him that he slew Saul after Saul leaned upon his spear and was yet still alive. Well now it made sense to me why some parts of this story said Saul killed himself and others that he was slain. The slayer knew Saul was about to die.  So again why did this man have to also die?

I think it must be because the Amalekite did it for gain. I'm not sure one could ever slay another for mercy. He then took Saul's crown and bracelet and brought them to David. There must have been a motive thinking he would have favor with the next king. In looking at the footnotes I see my impressions were right.

"When one told me, saying, behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:"  (2 Samuel 4:10)

Day 843

Monday, July 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 31:13

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 31:13
"And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days."

In this chapter it records the death a Saul and his 3 sons, including Jonathan. What stood out to me was how the men that recovered their bodied, fasted an incredibly long seven days after burning and burying their bones. I have fasted for others to be healed but I never thought of fasting after someone died. Recently, I had started fasting for joy, just in gratitude for all the Lord has done for me. I needed nothing else, just held my monthly fast for the joy of it, and I was filled with joy. But fasting for sorrow, and mourning that had not occurred to me. Yet, now I see it has always been in the scriptures. I would imagine if I can fast for joy to have joy, that one in mourning could fast to find comfort and peace. One could fast for another in mourning so they would be comforted.

As I pondered more on this new thought I realized I felt absolutely no sorrow for the death of Saul. I did for Jonathan, but not Saul. I was rather done with Saul. You know that's not really the right way to feel about any person. Maybe if I felt that way about someone's death that I would very much need to fast to be in the right frame of mind in the matter. In the case of Saul maybe I would need 7 days to right myself with fasting. It did make me wonder if there are parts of the story of Saul that are missing from the bible.

Day 842

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 30:8, 16

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 30:8, 16
"And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah."

I pondered on timing. How it does works for our advantage when we trust in the Lord. David first went off to battle with the Philistines to fight against Israel. A tender mercy of the Lord is that the Philistine leaders sent him back to the land he had been given. When David arrives at home he finds the town burned and their families taken captive. David then turns to the Lord and inquires on what to do. He is told to pursue and all would be recovered. Then he happens upon a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite. He had been left behind 3 days prior because he became ill. From this encounter David is able to learn it was the Amalekites that raided their town and took their families captive. The servant then leads them to where they are camped. Upon arrival they find the Amalekites in the middle of celebrating. They are eating, drinking and dancing. Not really good activities prior to being attacked. With this advantage David and his men are able to slay the Amalekites and recover their families and all the spoils of their enemy.

If David hadn't been sent back from going to battle with the Philistines, his family would have been long gone and probably not recoverable upon his return. He wouldn't have meet the person that could tell them who had burned the city and taken their families captive. He also wouldn't have meet the enemy when they had full bellies, drunk with wine and energy spent with dancing.

I pondered on why the Lord couldn't have sent David back home in time to protect their family and city. Then I realized he would have meet the enemy in their prime and might not have been victorious over defending them. Neither would he have benefited from the enemies spoils of war gathered from raiding other towns.

No, the timing of this was perfect. As hard as this whole situation was for everyone involved, it showed that the Lord would still bless them in the end.  

Day 841

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 29:8-9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 29:8-9
"And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to battle."

The Philistines are going up to battle against Israel. When they discovered that David and his men are coming with them to fight, they tell Achish to make him return back to the land he had given him. Interesting that they didn't just kick David and his men out of their land completely.

What I see here is a tender mercy of the Lord. David has fled Israel because of Saul. He has been faithful to the man that took him in. Now he was showing his loyalty by being willing to take up arms to defend the land with them. That must have broken his heart to think of fighting against Israel. Now the Philistines are impressed to make him return back to the land where he has been residing among them.

I sat and pondered on times I have been asked to do things I didn't want to do. But, I knew it was right to agree to do so, so I said I would with a heart willing to serve. Then the thing was called off, changed or told I was no longer needed. I have always felt it was a tender mercy of the Lord.

Day 840

Friday, July 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 28:15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 28:15
"And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answered me no more, neither by prophet, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do."

I do not believe for a minute that it is Samuel speaking to Saul in this chapter. After pondering on this, this is some of what I see.

The Philistines come up to battle against Israel and when Saul saw them "he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled".  Fear is a tool of the adversary, so I can tell the condition of Saul's heart.  Samuel was now dead so Saul couldn't turn to him. He inquired of the Lord and He answered him not, neither by dreams, Urim or prophets. This is my first clue that if the Lord was going to speak to Saul he would have done it through the tools given for such communication.

So what does Saul do now? He looks for a woman with a familiar spirit. That is what led him to the witch of Endor, seeking a revelation from Samuel. Which is wrong on so many levels. This witch then calls up Samuel. She saw gods ascending out of the earth. I pondered on the times Heavenly Father, the Lord, and angels have appeared to men. They come from above, the heavens, I cannot recall any time they came from below. The only thing that crawls from the pit below is Lucifer or his followers. This is what the witch of Endor saw.

This witch of Endor was a follower of Satan. She had no power to bring Samuel from the grave for all that is there is a rotting corpse. Samuel was a righteous prophet of God and his spirit is residing in paradise awaiting the resurrection. She was not calling him down from heaven. She has no power or authority to do so. What she called from the pit was some being cast out into hell.

Then as I go over the words this false Samuel speaks I think about Satan's ability to quote scriptures. To give 99% truth and the 1% percent lie that leads us down to hell. Of course he knows what Saul has been told in the past by the Lord and Samuel. All that Satan is doing is leading Saul to absolute defeat and despair. Saul is so afraid at this point his strength is gone, and he is sore afraid. I thought again on great spiritual experiences, like Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and how afterwards he is left with no strength, but soon recovers. There was no despair but enlightenment. Saul had none of that.

So why did Satan appear to Saul as Samuel? I think it was a great desire to have Saul despair to the point he would take his own life. There was not one word of repentance and needing to turn his heart back to God. He wanted Saul to have no hope and just give up. If Samuel had been sent from God to speak to Saul there would have been chastisement, but also a call for repentance. Isn't that exactly what happened to Saul in the New Testament, that became a new man named Paul?  Seeking revelation through darkness will only brings darkness. If it was from God there would be hope.

Day 839

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 27:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 27:1, 4
"And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him."

I read this chapter several times over. I cannot tell if the spirit led David or not.  All I can tell is that escaping to the land of the Philistines more than likely preserved his life. All I could think of is Doctrine & Covenants 122:7-8

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wade after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."

Day 838

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 26:12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 26:12
"So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them."

I was struck by the words "deep sleep". I had heard of the Lord causing a deep sleep before, but I wondered how many actual references in the scriptures there are. There are 18 references to deep sleep. I read all of them.

It seems the Lord can use a deep sleep to blind the wicked from his righteous work. He can also use it to bring visions of the night. He's used it as a tool for the righteous to flee, or for them to achieve his errand. He even used it when he removed one of Adam's ribs.

This made me think of this verse.

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:37)

Since I was a child I have always said my prayers before going to bed at night. I could never fall asleep without doing so. What a comfort it is to me to know the Lord will watch over me while I am sleeping.

Day 837

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 25:21

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 25:21
"Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good."

Such an interesting "coincident" for me to read this story tonight after just having a very similar experience happen to me minutes before reading this. I had helped someone in need for a very long time, and I thought our relationship one I could ask a favor. Especially now that they were in a good place. Sadly, I saw a side of them I didn't realize existed. I could not believe the words that came from their mouth. I begged their pardon for asking and said it was fine, it was totally their decision.

I would be lying if I said it was not somewhat grieved a little inside. I had the thought "Why is it ok to have me help and support them, but not ok to ask for support in return?"  I asked myself if I would have invested so much time and effort in helping them in their want, if I knew how they would feel in my small need? No, I did what I needed to do because I loved them and they needed me. I would do it all again, and will probably have the same opportunities in the future. My behavior would not change either way.

Seeing that I had other resources I don't know why I felt to ask them. It just felt like the right thing to do. When I needed help I just thought of them. Maybe from this experience they needed to learn something about themselves. More than likely I needed to learn more about me. After-all there are no coincidences.

As I sat reflecting on all this I realized it was a good experience for me to go through. I could see growth in myself in how I react. Years ago I would have fumed and been angry and never wanted to help them ever again. I would have held a grudge for a very long time. I have none of that now inside of me. Yes, I had a moment of pain, honestly I cannot expect anyone to do things for me when they don't want to. I have no idea what may be going on in their life right now. I might think them in a good place, but obviously they are not. I am so grateful to the Lord that I have other resources to turn to.

Day 836

Monday, July 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 24:5-6

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 24:5-6
"And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.
And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord."

I'm a little confused, how is Saul the Lord's anointed when in 1 Samuel 15:26 it says "And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel." Would that not void out his anointing?

Right after this Samuel was lead by the Lord to David and anointed him.

"Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." (1 Samuel 16:13)

So if Saul is rejected of the Lord to be king over Israel and David has already been anointed, then why was David told not to stretch his hand against Saul?

As I pondered this over I think the difference is the Lord may have rejected Saul as king of Israel, but the people had not. Wouldn't this be similar to the 10th Article of Faith?
"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

I went back in the scriptures to the time when both Saul and David were anointed by Samuel. The people of Israel had no knowledge of it. The Lord may have chosen, but the people had not yet accepted him. Right now the people did not know David was anointed by Samuel to be the next king. So I think David is in the position of honoring the laws of his land. Saul is still their king. He is honoring his office or position, even if you cannot honor the man.  What does that say about my day when there are people that imply, maybe wish, to kill my president?  You may not love the man, but you must respect the office. To do otherwise, would it not bring you under the condemnation of God?

Day 835

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 23:26-27

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 23:26-27
"And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
"But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land."

This scripture made me think of Doctrine and Covenants 109:25
"That no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself;"

While Saul was intent on killing David he left the land open to the invasion of the Philistines. Was he not the Philistines prey as David  was for Saul? The hunter becomes hunted. This tells me that when I going chasing after what I shouldn't, the enemy will come in through the back door. You simply cannot prosper when you are fighting against God.

Day 834

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 22:2, 22

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 22:2, 22
"And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard."

I had a really hard time reading this chapter and shed many tears. I just saw how crazed Saul was, and was determined to kill David. He went as far as having 85 priests killed, all because one gave bread and a sword to David, and inquired of the Lord for him. When Saul first commanded his servants to kill the priests of the Lord they refused. Then Doeg the Edomite carried out this horrific deed. It only takes one wicked person to carry out the evil words of another.

I just sat and mourned for the priests, for David, for his family. All those that were distressed, because I could see such a thing coming in my day. The freedom of religion is on shaky ground. Insanity abounds. How quick people take offense, and how quickly they justify their actions in response. I see how out of control Saul is, and I can see how out of control anyone without the Lord can become. I pondered on the importance of the gathering of the saints, and who my safeguard truly is.

Day 833

Friday, July 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 21:4, 6

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 21:4, 6
"And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away."

I followed the footnote for "hallowed bread" and it took me to Moroni 4:3 which is the sacramental prayer on the bread. Then I see that this was also called the shewbread that only the priest are allowed to eat. I hadn't put it together until now that the shewbread was connected to the sacrament bread. It so makes sense because the law of Moses points to Christ and the elements of the sacrament represent the body of Christ. I have something new to ponder on during the sacrament. For now I went to Luke 6 and read what Christ said about shewbread.

Day 832

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 20:31-33

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 20:31-33
"For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.
And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done?
And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David."

Wow, this didn't make sense. Saul anger is kindled against Jonathan because he was protecting David. He then says to Jonathan that as long as David lives you won't have a kingdom. Trying to turn Jonathan against David by tempting him with gain. Then Saul tries to throw a javelin to smite him. Well that only means he tried to kill Jonathan too. If Saul was so worried about Jonathan inheriting the kingdom after him, then that made no sense. I feel that Saul was just plain mad or insane at this point. His jealousy of David has made him totally out of control. It actually made me ponder on the increase of murder suicides I have seen in the news. People have just plain gone mad. Why is that? It's just like what I read yesterday they are possessed as was Saul with "an evil spirit, which was not of the Lord".

This also made me reflect on a conversation we had in family scripture reading the other day. We discussed illness and how many times in the New Testament Christ cast out an evil spirit to heal them. The story that stands out to me is in Mark 9 where the father asks Christ to heal his son, after the other apostles were unable to. What he describes as his son's condition sounds like epilepsy. When asked if he believes the father says "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

"When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him."  (Mark 9:25)

This just makes me wonder how much illness has a root of an evil or foul spirit effecting a person? How much mental illness is really the spirit leaving and an evil one taking its place. I know I won't have an answer to this in my lifetime. But, there must be a reason why Christ cast out evil spirits to heal people, even when it's a condition we think of medicine controlling today. Which do I have more faith in medicine or Christ?  How is one to know the balance? I have to think it is only by having the spirit to be with me. I have to take care to not make the spirit leave and have an evil one take its place. I must have faith in Christ to be healed, so I must have faith in Christ to not have the evil overtake me. I have no idea on the balance regarding illness, but I do know how different issues I once had changed, when I turned to the Lord to be healed.

Day 831

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 19:9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 19:9
"And the evil spirit from the Lord  [which was not of the Lord] was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand."

Multiple times I have read in Samuel the words "and the evil spirit from the Lord".  Each time it just didn't sit right with me. I would turn to the footnote and see the JST (Joseph Smith Translation). It read's instead " the evil spirit which was not of the Lord".  In my heart I know the JST is correct. It is not possible for an evil spirit to come from the Lord. The spirit of God can withdraw from a person, and in its place an evil spirit will reside. It is the person himself that opened himself up to this condition. The Holy Spirit will not reside with the unclean. If the spirit won't reside there then an evil spirit will take up residence. Saul throughout these chapters is full of an evil spirit and he seeks to kill David. That is not of the Lord.

This reminds me of the 8th Articles of Faith
"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

Day 830

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 18:5, 14-15, 30

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 18:5, 14-15, 30
"And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.
Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by."

I noticed in this chapter that four times it says David "behaved himself wisely".  Saul wanted nothing more than to take David down. It was ever so important that David "behaved himself wisely".

It made me think of times when I have felt a great need to "behave myself wisely".  Being careful in word and deed, to not give offense or take offense by the actions of others. They have wanted nothing more than to find fault, use it as an opportunity against me, and take me down. Many times the warning has come to me to just remain silent, and let them pass.

The only way it is possible to behave myself wisely in these situations has been to draw near to the Lord and walk by the spirit. I have felt that armor of protection around me, and absolute peace in the storm because the spirit was with me. All I needed to do was listen to the spirit and I would be safe. As this world has grown increasingly darker, and the insanity of political correctness abounds, I have had the impression to "behave myself wisely" more and more.  I can see now that it was because David "behaved himself wisely" that the Lord was with him.

Day 829

Monday, July 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 17:11

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 17:11
"When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid."

This is the familiar bible story of David and Goliath. What struck me this time was seeing the root of Israel's problem. It wasn't how big and strong Goliath was, it was that they had come to fear man and not the Lord. Saul had lost the spirit, and when the spirit leaves you are left with fear. Fear is a powerful crippling tool of the adversary. It is just as dangerous as pride. If Saul had been full of pride instead, he would have also been defeated in battle against Goliath. What was needed more than anything was fear of the Lord, and the humility to be lead by the spirit. That is exactly what David did. He knew he was a shepherd boy, and the tools he had God would make great in his sight. That is how a sling and rock brought down the mighty Goliath in battle. I should never fear the tools at my disposal, when the Lord can use them for his good. The Lord will always make what I have good enough to accomplish what needs to be done. I just need to move forward in faith.

Day 828

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7
"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

I found it interesting as I read this familiar verse that the Lord specifically mentions not looking at the height or stature of a man. Saul from his shoulders and upward was higher than any of the people. It made me think of when I have seen people called to new positions over the years. The person in the new calling never seems to physically resemble the person that previously held that position. Neither are their previous callings any indication either.  I wonder if that is a way of God reminding us of what he said to Samuel in finding a new king. There is no set criteria, the only criteria is where the person's heart is before the Lord.

Later in this chapter as the spirit withdraws from Saul, and he is troubled by an evil spirit, he looks for someone to play the harp to comfort him. It's interesting that those around him think of David, who unknown to them and Saul, has been anointed the next king. So as the mantle fails from one king to another it's interesting that others are also draw to this obscure shepherd boy.

Day 827

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 15:22
"And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."

Samuel tells Saul the voice of the Lord. He is to smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have and spare nothing. He is to slay both men, women, infants and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. What does Saul do?  He spares Agag the king of the Amalekites, and they destroy only the vile and refuse of the animals. All that they saw good they kept, and justified themselves by saying they would sacrifice to the Lord. This went against the commandment of God. Just because I think I want to do a good thing doesn't mean I can break the laws of God. The ends do not justify the means.

I pondered on how this fits my day. It would be like not paying a full tithing, holding back from the Lord. Then justifying myself and saying before the Bishop I had paid a full tithe in order to get a temple recommend. Then I go to the temple to do work for my deceased ancestors, when I was not worthy to do so. Thinking somehow the ends would justify the means. Saul was rejected by the Lord and told he was no longer to be king. For me if left unrepentant, I would lose my eternal exaltation. I would not become a king or queen, or priest of priestess in the eternal mansion of my Father.

Day 826

Friday, June 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 14:24, 37

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 14:24, 37
"And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.
And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day."

As I read this chapter I see one disaster after another. Yes, Israel defeated the Philistines that day, but it had nothing to do with Saul. There was a reason that God did not answer him.

For Saul had cursed anyone that eat that day. It was a forced fast, not to turn their hearts to the Lord and strengthen them, but to avenge Saul's enemies. The motive was wrong. Outwardly it may have appeared to be a means the Lord uses to bless his people, but that is not where their hearts were. Then when the men find honey upon the ground they wouldn't eat it, because they feared Saul's oath. Once again they were fasting not because they feared the Lord, it was because of the fear of what Saul would do to them.

Saul's son Jonathan was not aware of the oath; for he had been off on the Lord's errand. So, he ate the honey and was enlightened, or refreshed from being tired. He is told by others of his father's oath and he says his father has troubled the land. Because of the hunger the men are under when they see the spoils of the Philistines, they slaughter the animals and eat it with the blood. Which is against the law of Moses. So in a way Saul caused the men to sin in this.

Saul doesn't see his roll in all this, he thinks it is others that have sinned. So when he seeks counsel of God in going down against the Philistines he is not answered. Saul then tries to find out who sinned to cause the Lord not to answer him. He then finds out his son Jonathan had eaten the honey and says he must die. It is only because of the voice of the people that Jonathan is rescued. For they recognized that Jonathan had been lead by the Lord in defeating the Philistines that day.

So what I pondered on was how when my motives are wrong, and I try to pass off what I am doing as a thing of God, when it isn't, no good will come of it. Not only do I sin, but I will cause others to sin. Sin will build upon itself, because this path only takes me further from God. The other thing I saw was the placing of blame. The first person I must look at as the cause of something happening is myself. I must see my roll in things. What disaster could have taken place for Saul and Jonathan if the people had not stopped it. It would have never gotten to that point if Saul had looked to himself as the root of the problem in the first place.

Day 825

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 13:9, 13

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 13:9, 13
"And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou has not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever."

Saul is up against the Philistines and Israel is so terrified they hide themselves in caves, thickets, rocks, pits and high places. Saul waits the appointed seven days by Samuel for him to come and offer burnt offerings. When Samuel doesn't come Saul gathers the people and offers up the sacrifices himself. This is something Saul had no priesthood authority to do. It may look like he was trying to do a good thing, but when you do not have authority from God to act in such a manner it is an offense. Even worse to gather the people and have them join in this sin too. When you violate priesthood principles it will bring anguish and sorrow into your life. It really is a foolish thing to think you can act in God's name when you have no authority from God to do so. Just because you want a blessing you cannot just name it and say you have it, when you have no authority to do so.  

Day 824

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 12:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 12:14-15
"If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:
But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers."

Samuel is telling Israel that even though they rejected the Lord their God that is their King, the Lord still set a king over them. He lays out the condition that their relationship with a king would work. If they still fear, serve, obey the Lord and keep his commandments. If they in turn rebel against God the Lord's hand would be against them. I pondered on how this is the relationship God has always had with his people. No matter who our leader or ruler is we are still to obey God's laws. I could not help but ponder on what has become of all the nations of the world. We all have rebelled against God. Is there any wonder of the daily terror I see before us? History repeats itself, because man always think they know more than God. We worship ourselves and not Him.

Day 823

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 11:6

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 11:6
"And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly."

Saul comes to the rescue of the men of Jabesh when the Ammonites had came up against them. I pondered on how Saul could do nothing without the Spirit of God coming upon him. The wisdom and inspiration to first know how to have all the children of Israel come together to fight, and then how to win the battle only came from the Lord.

Day 822

Monday, June 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 10:1, 6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 10:1, 6-7
"Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee."

I pondered on how Saul was anointed to his calling by a prophet. I could liken this to being set apart in my callings at church. The Lord is giving Saul, like he gives me, every opportunity to succeed in his calling. The spirit would guide him to do what was right for those that he had stewardship over. Samuel even says to the children of Israel "ye have this day rejected your God."  This is why they are receiving a king. Yet, God is giving their king every opportunity to bless His people. How merciful is that. How merciful it is to make weak things strong, becoming greater than themselves, a new man. The gifts are given to fulfill callings, it is up us to use the gift given for good.

Day 821

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 9:2, 17

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 9:2, 17
"And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake of thee of! this same shall reign over my people."

Israel had rejected the Lord and wanted no more judges but a king. I pondered on how even though they had rejected Him, the Lord still looked for the best among all the children of Israel to be their king. He was giving them someone that had all the potential to bless the people. I pondered on how many times the Lord gave me good gifts, even when I didn't deserve them. He gave me opportunities that I never took advantage of. Continually he wants to bless me. Its only me that has turned away from them.

Day 820

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 8:7, 21-22

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 8:7, 21-22
"And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.
And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city."

Samuel is getting old and his sons that were made judges did not walk in his ways. Now the people ask that Samuel give them a king to judge them, like other nations. I pondered on how the wickedness of once God's people can turn others into forbidden paths. The poor example of Samuel's sons made the people justify themselves in becoming like other nations, and rejecting their God. Samuel was told by the Lord to give them what they wanted for they had rejected him. What the people wanted would be a cursing and not a blessing to them. I sat and pondered on how I wouldn't want to see such a thing in my day. Sometimes God can give us what we ask for, when it is absolutely what we deserve. What we deserve may not be a good thing. I truly want to deserve good gifts and not bad ones.  

Day 819

Friday, June 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 7:12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 7:12
"Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

This chapter is the source for my most favorite hymn. I just had to sit and listen to it again. It just fills every part of my soul. These words are me.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I've come
And I hope by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Day 818

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 6:19-20

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 6:19-20
"And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.
And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us?"

So it wasn't simply because the Philistines mocked God by putting the ark of the covenant in their god Dagon's temple. It was that they looked at what they were not suppose to look at. Namely looking into the ark. You simply cannot play with or treat lightly sacred things. This made me think of what happened to my daughter. As she was preparing to go to the temple before her mission, she called me into her bedroom. There on her computer screen was a website that showed all of the temple endowment. She had been reading and studying it there and wanted to ask me questions. Of course, this was an anti-mormon website, that totally twisted what was very sacred. What I witnessed grieved me to no end. This is not how you are introduced to the things of God. Why did she even think this was the right thing to do? You can never unsee it from the light you were first introduced to it by. It would be forever tainted. I told her this was sacred and not to be discussed in this manner and for her to leave it alone. She never did, trying to find answers to questions of light by looking into the darkness will make you lose your way. Eventually you love Satan more than God. Watching what happened to her broke my heart. But, it has been a powerful lesson to me on how to handle sacred things.

If I'm searching the internet for a faith promoting story I've heard, and find its on an anti-mormon website I won't read it there, even if it's the only place to be found. I have found sitting in darkness there, trying to see the light, only hurts my soul. When I am obedient to staying away from anti-mormon sites the Lord has greatly compensated me for it. I see the story of the Philistines taking the ark and putting in their god Dagon's temple exactly what I see apostates doing on their anti-mormon websites. Then they take it many steps forward to darken the minds of others in various ways. All this brings is destruction to their souls.

Day 817

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 5:2, 11

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 5:2, 11
"When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagaon, and set it by Dagon.
So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there."

I had to sit and ponder a bit on this chapter. At first it sounded like there was power in the ark that caused destruction. I know a thing doesn't have power but God does. The ark of covenant's power came from the Lord's presence residing there. I thought about temples dedicated to the Lord and then desecrated like the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples were. If they fall out of the hands of God's people then the Lord won't reside there. They are not sacred places anymore. So what was happening with the ark when it fell into the wrong hands?

Then I began to see what the Philistines did, they mocked God. They took the ark of God and put it in the house of their god Dagon. The first morning the image of Dagan, part man and fish, was found laying on its face. They put it back again. Then the next morning it was on its face again with its hands and head cut off, and only a stump of Dagan left. Then the Philistines decided to move the ark of the God of Israel and disaster is met wherever it goes.

It appears God's spirit had not left the ark, like I would expect with a desecrated temple. The Lord was showing the Philistines his power because they mocked him. This power was to their destruction. It was only by them not mocking or treating lightly what was holy that they could be removed from God's wrath.

Day 816

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 4:3, 17-18

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 4:3, 17-18
"And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.
And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.
And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: of he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years."

Eli and his two sons died, immediately following Phinehas' wife died in childbirth. The house of Eli is purged as the Lord had revealed to Samuel. I pondered on how a people could know they were smitten by their enemies because of their disobedience to the Lord, then turn around and think the ark would save them. They worshiped the ark more than the Lord. No wonder it was removed from them. I pondered on how you can take sacred things and worship them as idols, when you lose the true meaning of what they represent.

It made me ponder on how people still search for the ark of the covenant today. I hope they never find it. For I fear people today would worship the ark and not the Lord if they ever did find it. It would come to their utter ruin. People don't need an ark, because Christ came and fulfilled the law. He is the one to save us. My hope and trust needs to be in Him.    

Day 815

Monday, June 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 3:9-10

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 3:9-10
"Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth."

As I was reading this familiar story I happened to recall the times I have heard my name called out. And yet, there was no one there. I know I am not alone in having such a thing happen. Our family has at times remarked on such behavior. I have experienced being woken up from a sound sleep, both in the middle of the night and during my afternoon naps, hearing my name called out. Sometimes it has been accompanied by a rapid patting of my foot. Like someone telling me it's time to get up!

I can never fall back to sleep when it happens. Having been left with the impression that someone wants me to get back to work right now. From that I have assumed, but never inquired, that the person calling my name needed their temple work done. I simply get up and get to work on my family history no matter the hour. It was only now I realize I never assumed it was the Lord calling my name. The next time I experience such a thing I will assume it is His voice and say "Speak, Lord for thy servant heareth." Then I will work as he directs me. For I have been very much like Samuel in looking for Eli when my name has been called. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but what if there was more?

Day 814

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 2:3

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 2:3
"Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed."

I pondered on how just speaking words is an action. What comes out of my mouth is judged as if I actually did the deed. I had never thought of it in that light. I think this might also apply to the thoughts of my mind. Words I speak only to myself. I have been sorely tempted to have pride in one area. Every time I am tempted in my mind to think I did some great thing I feel the spirit telling don't even go there. For I know it is not me but the Lord that accomplishes these things. I have felt a change within me by not allowing these prideful thoughts entertain my mind. For I know by sad experience, what I entertain in my mind will soon come out of my mouth. Thoughts, words and action will all follow each other.

Day 813

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 1:17-18

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 1:17-18
"Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad."

This is the story of Hannah and her son Samuel. When Eli the priest told her to go in peace the Lord would grant her petition, the sign of her faith was in her actions. She went her way, eat and was sad no more. I pondered on how all this happened before Hannah even conceived Samuel. The only evidence she had that it would take place is the spirit telling her it was so. I have known that feeling. The spirit has told me something and I have had the joy of it even before it happens. That is walking in faith and trusting in the Lord.

Day 812

Friday, June 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 4:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 4:14-15
"And the woman said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him."

After the relative that had first rights of marry Ruth refuses Boaz then marries her. He raises up seed to her dead husband and his family. So Naomi now has a grandson. As Ruth says these words to Naomi she is prophesying. These are more than words meant for Naomi. For from this line will come the Savior, the restorer of life, the nourisher, and redeemer. Never was a child more cherished. Never would the earth know a line that showed greater love for humankind.

Day 811

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 3:18

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 3:18
"Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day."

I really love how Naomi now tries to take care of Ruth, advising her in how to have Boaz marry her. After all was done now she had to sit still and wait. I thought about how that is so like what I have needed to do. I do all the Lord tells me and then I have to leave the rest in his hands. Not really knowing how it will work out, but that the way it works out will be the Lord's way.

Day 810

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 2:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 2:11-12
"And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust."

The story of Ruth, and how Boaz sees her is so touching. I have no idea of her beauty, but I can see that what Boaz recognized in her is a beautiful soul. He sees her good works, and faith. What he does to support Ruth and Naomi by having his reapers leave extra for her tells of his good heart too. No wonder the line of David and then Jesus Christ come from them.

Day 809

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 1:16-17

Today's Favorite Verse: Ruth 1:16-17
"And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."

These are such beautiful words. I always thought it showed how much Ruth loved her mother-in-law Naomi. She could not dear to part with her, and see her left all alone. This time while reading these words I felt something different. They were spoken because Ruth loved the Lord with all her heart. She had been converted to Naomi's faith and her God. She would forsake all her family just to be with God's people. She loved Naomi too for she was part of her conversion. Where Naomi would go would only be where God's people were. How many countless converts have followed these same words and example as Ruth once having been converted.

Day 808

Monday, June 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 21:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 21:2-3
"And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;
And said, O Lord God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?"

I could feel their sorrow. I pondered on my own when a family member has willfully rebelled and turned their back upon the Lord. Have I not also gone to the house of the Lord and grieved for them. Have I not also left my sorrow there, turning it over to the Lord to carry it for me. This whole shifting of the wheat and tares is painful. Especially when you see them doing it to themselves. As Israel lost one tribe that day, I pondered on how it is becoming one of each house for us today. How we long to have no empty places at the table of the Lord.

Day 807

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 20:26-28

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 20:26-28
"Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord.
And the children of Israel inquired of the Lord, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days,
And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the Lord said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand."

The husband of the women that was slain by the men in Gibeah of Benjamin told the chiefs of children of Israel what had happened. They were all united together that the men in Gibeah that had done this evil should be delivered up. When they went to the tribe of Benjamin to have this happen they refused to give the men up. What happened next is several sore battles and Benjamin was winning. After the battles the children of Israel gather and ask the Lord if they should still go up against their brothers in battle. The Lord tells them yes, and they went to battle and lost again. With more weeping and fasting they approach the Lord again and ask if they should go up to battle again. This time not only are they told yes, but that the Lord would deliver them into their hands. This time they have a plan on how to overtake them and it works.

So why didn't they succeed the first time the Lord told them to still go up to battle? I think it was to humble Israel and have them learn to rely completely on the Lord. I have experienced failures when I knew the Lord wanted me to do something. Only to find the lesson was in the failure and not the supposed thing I thought to be the outcome. Then with new understanding that thing could be done the Lord's way, if it was even still required at all.

Day 806

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 19:30

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 19:30
"And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds."

The sins mentioned of Sodom and Gomorrah paled in comparison to this chapter. I sat and thought about the progression of sin and how this most debased of sins leads to even greater sins. Until man has lost completely all sense of natural affection and human decency. Is this where we are headed? If I just look at the news headlines, this is where we already are. It made me sick to my stomach. I am so grateful I am also reading the Book of Mormon every day, because yesterday's and today's verses in the Old Testament have not brought any light into my life, nor filled my soul. It has just witnessed to the depravity of man. I get enough of this in the evening news. I know these are hard things to bare. I know God lets man wallow in his own vomit for a time, then his vengeance comes upon them. These chapters are a voice of warning.

Day 805

Friday, June 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 18:18,30-31

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 18:18,30-31
"And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of captivity of the land.
And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh."

I read this chapter over and over again trying to figure out what was going on. I could feel no light in it. In reading the scriptures that didn't make sense. Then I realized what I was reading, it was the story of how the children of Dan turned to idolatry. How horribly sad, they had the house of God in Shiloh, yet they went after idols instead. At first I thought they took them and would melt down the idols for their silver. Instead it was to set them up and worship them themselves. I don't even know which was worse in the first place. Ever person in this story had some major issues going on. No wonder I could find no light with the examples they presented.

Day 804

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 17:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 17:6
"In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

I sat thinking that I wouldn't want to live in such a period. Then I realized in a way I already do. Society as a whole no longer worships the ultimate King. When man rejects the boundaries of God or become laws unto themselves, there is chaos. Peace has left the earth. It's interesting that this chapter speaks of money and silver, and the making and worshiping of idols. Micah even purchases a priest. So he's basically trying to buy the favors of all the gods out there. Israel is in an utter state of apostasy and priestcraft is had among its people. I pondered on the great apostasy after Christ's apostles left the earth. How Christ's Church has been restored and is upon the earth once more. Yet, the world as a whole is still in a state of apostasy, if they have not heard or accepted it. Both conditions can be present at the same time.

Day 803

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 16:28

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 16:28
"And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my eyes."

I do believe Samson was conditionally given the gift of great physical strength. I feel really bad that he instead chose to use this gift to his own devices. If he had served the Lord instead of himself the outcome would have been so different. The downfall of Samson was his uncontrollable lust for undesirable women. Women that betrayed him for a price. His story demonstrates the penalty of breaking the law of chastity, and where it leads you.

I know this verse has Samson calling on the Lord to give him strength one last time. I don't think the Lord did it to avenge the loss of Samson's eyes though. In away I feel Samson took his own life, the ultimate defiance of God's will for his life. With his suicide he also took out 3,000 Philistines. I think defeating the Philistines was God's purpose for his life. The problem is Samson did things his way and not the Lord's way. If Samson had worked with the Lord maybe he could have lead a great army against the Philistines, and killed those same 3,000. I am sure the Lord would have given him strength to have been victorious over them. He could have been a marvelous example of the power of the Lord. I wondered if he could have been another Ammon (Alma 17). Samson's story is a great example of predestination, yet still having our agency to choose.

Day 802

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 15:7, 11

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 15:7, 11
"And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them."

I'm really trying to find some good in Samson. Sadly, I just feel like its a story of what goes horribly wrong when a nation does evil in the sight of God, and he begins the process of cleaning house. Samson had a purpose and probably some good moments, because he was a judge of Israel for twenty years. Though in honesty I would not want him as my judge. The people probably chose him because of his great physical strength. His presence offering them a sense of protection. It's possible they were even drawn to his prideful words and reckless ways. What is probably more likely is I'm missing parts of the story.  All I can sit here and do is relate what I am reading to the scenes that have been going on around me. This just doesn't look good.

Day 801

Monday, June 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 14:4, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 14:4, 19
But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house."

The story of Samson is very interesting. As a child I thought of him with his great physical strength as a powerful bible story. Reading his story this time I find it all rather sad. The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and were handed over to the Philistines for forty years. Now it was time for the Lord to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines, and he did so with Samson.  He gave Samson great potential including physical strength if he was obedient to one thing, not cutting his hair.

Throughout this chapter I see how Samson made choices because it pleased him, not because they were right or the spirit told him. The only time the spirit came upon him was to make him physically strong. He appears to be lead by his temptations. I am sure the Lord knew all about what Samson would do in these different situations. That is exactly why he would be a means to punish the Philistines. It made me wonder what a leader Samson could have been if he had put all his strength into serving the Lord, and doing good. Samson never lost his agency to choose. I just think he chose poorly. Yet, I can likely this to leaders that we have in our time. The Lord has them in place for a purpose. Just because someone has been put there as our leader doesn't mean it is necessarily to do good. They may be a means to punish the people that have forgotten the Lord.

Day 800

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 13:17-18

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 13:17-18
"And Manoah said unto the angel of the Lord, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour?
And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?"

I was sitting in the celestial room of the temple when I read this. I was in a place where this verse took on new meaning. I had much to reflect on but probably not anything I wish to share. I just love seeing things taught in the temple written plainly in the scriptures, that the world has lost all meaning of. Only eyes that see, and ears that hear will understand what is in plain sight. It is only through reading the scripture and attending the temple that my eyes are slowly opening up. I find that rather humbling and amazing all at the same time.  

Day 799

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 12:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 12:1
"And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire."

As I read this chapter, which in the end 42,000 Ephraimites are killed, and wondered why?  It all started in this first verse. The men of Ephraim were offended that they were not invited to join in battle against the children of Ammon. Which actually they were asked but they didn't answer the call when it came. Which may explain some guilt going on too. For the perceived offense they think they have a right to threaten to burn the Gildeadites homes. How do you even get to the point to think that is ok?

I sat and pondered on how serious a thing it is to take offense, because of the actions of another. Once you are offended you can take things totally out of control. So I pondered on when I have been offended and what caused it. It was sadly really easy for me to do, because it happened the other day. I realized the times I have been offended is when I am full of pride. When I am in a more humble state I don't become offended by others actions. So even before I get to the state of being offended I have to loose my humility, and go into the realm of pride. When I am offended there far more serious things going on in the background. I have a constant battle with my pride. It is extremely important for me to setup checkpoints to monitor myself and catch it at the loosing humility stage where the slippery slop downward all begins.

Day 798

Friday, June 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 11:30-31, 34-35

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 11:30-31, 34-35
"And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son or daughter.
And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back."

So I sat a little horrified that Jephthah vow meant that he now offered his daughter up as a burnt offering. His daughter because she knew this was her father's vow to the Lord agreed that it needed to be done. I didn't get it, the Lord doesn't require human sacrifices. What about what happened with Abraham and Isaac?  At least there an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham, and a ram appeared to be sacrificed in Isaac's place.

So what is the difference between these two stories? With the test of Abraham the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac. Then after being tested in his obedience the Lord required it no more. With Jephthah he made the vow on his own in the exchange for his safe return. I think the problem was Jephthah challenged the Lord, where Abraham didn't. It makes me wonder if the spirit even inspired Jephthah to make that vow? He may have just done it on his own, not thinking of its possible implications. That makes me really think about how serious it is to make deals with the Lord. I know when I was younger I used to do that. I haven't done that in many years. I certainly don't think its a good idea now. That's not how God works. I do things simply because I love him, and have faith that he will bless me if I am seeking to do his will.

Day 797

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 10:13-14

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 10:13-14
"Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.
Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulations."

The children again did evil in the sight of the Lord, by going after other gods. They served Him no longer. Finally he tells them I will deliver you no more. I sat horrified at the thought of being told that. Then I realized I won't be told such a thing if I remain faithful to the Lord. He cannot deliver a people that do not love him.

I reflected on how people can turn to other gods, that will not save them, and then call on the Lord when the price of their sins are at the door. False gods cannot save, they bring false pleasures that consume and destroy. What a contrast of what the Lord can do for me.

Israel appears to humble themselves, repent "and they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." (Judges 10:16)

The reference for grieved in HEB is "at the end of patience, exasperated". It does not sound like God accepted what they did. I think they had an outward appearance of turning to him but their hearts were still far from him. Sitting on the fence ready to turn to the right or the left, to whatever god will save them. I remember sitting on such a fence, there is no comfort or peace in such a position. The only thing there is, is continual dread of what the future will bring. Only with a face and heart turned to God, forsaking all others, is there internal peace.

Day 796

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 9:56-57

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 9:56-57
"Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal."

This chapter was little to much after having a broken heart over the senseless murders and attacks upon the innocent going on throughout the world. Israel was living in trying times, and so do I. What is the root of the problem? It is abandoning God and worshiping evil.

"And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him."  (Helaman 12:3)

The wicked will pry upon the innocent, until they pry upon themselves. All I can do is leave justice in the hands of the Lord. I have no doubt he will revenge the innocent. His hand will protect his people if we only remember him.

Day 795

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 8:33-34

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 8:33-34
"And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.
And the children of Israel remembered not the Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:"

Israel desired Gideon to be their king. Gideon refused and said "the Lord shall rule over you".  Then for 40 years during the time of Gideon the country was in quietness. When he dies Israel goes back to whoring after other gods.

In 40 years they would have a generation that would have no living memory of what the Lord had done for them. I can tell already the cycle will begin of hard times for Israel. In a way it is for the sake of the rising generation that these lessons need to be learned. They must come to know for themselves to trust in the Lord. History does repeat itself because man does not always live in faith and trust in the Lord. I pondered on how one day this cycle will be done.

Day 794

Monday, May 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 7:2
"And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me."

Gideon's army was 32,000 strong as it was coming up to battle against the Midianites. Then the Lord tells Gideon to reduce their numbers. For that large of an army would tempt them to say they did it of themselves. In the end there was only a tithe of 300 men remaining. In the end they succeeded. I pondered on how they succeeded by relying on the Lord. I reflected on various scripture stories of the weak being made strong. I also thought of the times I have plead to the Lord to give me strength that was not my own, in order to accomplish what was needful. Then I was strengthen to do things I was otherwise not physically able to. I have also seen help come to assist in answer to my prayer.

I reflected on a time when I was given strength that lasted over several days. When the days job was done I would make it to my car and drive home. Then complete exhaustion would hit me, and I could barely walk into the house. I was left physically drained, and in terrible pain. Yet the next day somehow I could do it all over again. The miracle of it all left me in amazement. I knew the only reason I was given the strength beyond my own was simply to assist another in greater need. I would be crippled in pain at home, but in their home I had a strength and energy that was not my own.  I knew I had experienced a miracle because I trusted the Lord to help me do what was required in order to serve him. I have come to learn that when I put my trust in the Lord, and give it my all to serve him, he will make me strong enough to finish the task.

The thought now occurs to me, maybe that's why my physically strength has been reduced. Simply so the Lord could show me what wonderful things he can do for me, when I serve him.

Day 793

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 6:10
"And I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice."

I pondered on the connection between not obeying the Lord and  fear. I would not fear other people's gods or them if I only feared the Lord. Which means to reverence the Lord and serve only him. Having fear is my first sign I am straying from what I need to do. Obeying the Lord has only brought peace. I have found over time that when I start to have fear or panic, that something is amiss in my life. Once I draw back to the Lord the fear leaves me and peace fills my heart. I can be in the middle of sore trials or during times when I should be happy, and found it matters not the circumstance. The root of fear is always the same.

Day 792

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 5:3
"Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel."

This verse made me think of Doctrine & Covenants 25:12

"For my soul deligheth in the song of the heart; ye, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

I love to sing the hymns at church. I am trying so hard to memorize them. I remember a story told me long ago of prisoners of war that  would sit for hours trying to recall scriptures or hymns from their memory. It would bring them comfort and peace. Just last Sunday as I was singing the hymns that story came to my mind, and once again tonight. I want to never be left without access to my scriptures or my hymns. No one could ever take them from me if I have treasured them up in my heart and mind. Even if I became blind and deaf I would find comfort in hearing them in my mind and recalling all these sweet words. I know the Lord loves the hymns, they are like prayers to him. That is the music I wish to sing.

Day 791

Friday, May 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."

I did a little research to understand how Deborah was called a prophetess. From this chapter I figured she was some type of judge, because people came to her for judgment. I then read this in the March 2014 Ensign article "Faith and Fortitude Women of the Old Testament".

We read in Judges 2:7 that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua.” However, the Israelites then began to forget the Lord, and the next 200 years were characterized by periods of apostasy and repentance. During this time, individuals known as judges, chosen either by the Lord or by the people, served to deliver the Israelites from their ever-present enemies.

Deborah was one of these judges, the only woman recorded in scripture to serve in this capacity. She was a prophetess, judge, and deliverer. In her role as prophetess, Deborah did not hold the priesthood or possess ecclesiastical keys but enjoyed the gift of prophecy in a more general sense (see Revelation 19:10).

Deborah and the Israelite captain Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and then sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (see Judges 4–5). Deborah’s courage and faith inspired the Israelites so that they enjoyed a 40-year period of peace."

So it appears that during a period of apostasy the people chose Deborah for their judge. She obviously was a righteous woman. She prophesized that a women, later identified as Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, would be the one to kill Sisera. I pondered on how during periods of apostasy it may not mean everyone has apostatized. With her being selected it reminded me of how in the Book of Mormon I have examples of righteous, faithful men chosen to lead the people. Even thought the people were in apostasy they selected Mormon to be a chief captain at the tender age of 16.

I knew there was a scripture in the Book of Mormon that mentioned that they chose their chief captains because they were righteous men. I couldn't find it, but I did find this in Jarom 1:7

"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance."

I find it rather interesting that during periods of apostasy people will still strive to have righteous people be their leaders. Doesn't mean it always happen, but people still look for them. In this case the people selected Deborah. I'm sure they could see in her great wisdom to judge them, even if they didn't recognize where the source of that wisdom came from.

Day 790

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 3:1, 4
"Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canann;
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses."

Why were not all the nations driven out of the land Israel was to inherit? It was so the Lord could prove them. To see if they could leave alone these other nations and not worship their gods. What did the children of Israel do? They let their children marry into the other nations, then they served their gods. Soon they forgot the Lord and war broke out again.

This all made me think of the quote "Be in the world but not of the world", which is shortened from Jesus great Intercessory Prayer in John 17:11, 14-15.

"And now I am no more in the word, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil."

That's just part. I sat and read the whole Intercessory prayer and wept. What beautiful promises if I do not become part of the world. Oh, to have such depths of humility as the Savior prayed to the Father. All that he did to bless me. How small a price it is for me to stay out of the world, and how great the benefits. I do like the side I am on. The only pain I have is seeing those that were once not part of the world join it.

Day 789

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 2:12, 17, 19
"And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger."
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord, but they did not so.
And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."

I have seen all of this happening right now before my eyes. I see people wanting easy wealth and supposed happiness, all they have to do is think positive and by the "law of attraction" it will come to them. They have come to accept the "other gods" around them. The scriptures and prophets have never taught such things. In time they "cease not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way", and forget the Lord.  Seeking their own will and not God's will in their life. These "other gods" teach to become full of pride, and for them to become a god unto themselves.

"And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;"  (Judges 2:20)

I would not want the Lord's anger hot against me, but I know if I begin to worship "other gods" this is exactly what will happen. It grieves my heart to see the elect being deceived. How careful I need to be to not follow. The bible contains the Lord's warnings and he continues to warn through living prophets today. If he has not taught a doctrine or law through his prophets then it is not of him. It is very simple, the Lord does not twist his scriptures and reveal truths through those that do not worship him. The gospel is pure and there is harmony and consistency in all the Lord teaches. The Lord is very clear about what his laws are, and that knowledge brings peace to my heart. How grateful I am for the scriptures and living prophets to help guide my way.

Day 788

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2

Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 1:1-2
"Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
And the Lord said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand."

In the chapter not all the cities are taken, The Canaanites remain in parts of the land. I wondered why?  What I think I am seeing is that when Judah went with a tribe to fight those in the land, they were successful. When the tribe went on their own they were not. What I pondered on is that even if I am told of the Lord to do something, if I don't do it in the manner he has said then it will come to naught. I must rely on the Lord for everything. Man's understanding is foolishness.

Day 787

Monday, May 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 24:15
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

I pondered on how every day I do not choose to serve the Lord is one step closer into Satan's grasp. I cannot straddle the fence. I am either with him or against him. The conscience decision needs to be to choose the Lord and serve him all the days of my life.

Day 786

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 23:6
"Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;"

I pondered on if I felt courageous for keeping the commandments. I simply don't. When I was younger and there was peer pressure it was harder, and probably took more courage to do what was right. I reflected on a time when it took all my courage to stand up for my beliefs, but I learned after doing what was needed it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I gained a lot from that experience which I have shared with others to give them strength. Today I don't feel it takes courage at all to do what is right. I guess because I really don't care what others think about me. Their opinions are only that, their opinions and they have no baring on me. Just like what they do has no baring on me. There must be a physical and spiritually maturity that has taken place. I am grateful for both happening at the same time.

Day 785

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 22:25-27
"For the Lord hath made Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no part in the Lord: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the Lord.
Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice:
But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord."

The tribe of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh inherited land on the opposite side of the Jordan. This meant they were also farther away from the tabernacle in order to worship.  To remember the Lord they built an altar. At first the other children of Israel thought they had left the Lord, and were not worshiping God. Probably afraid they had gone to worship false idols. After they inquired as to its meaning they were pleased.

What this made me sit and ponder on is how I don't always know why a person does what they do. You cannot assume the worst when you don't understand. It is best to seek understanding first directly from them. Then counsel can be given if needed, or understanding will come. This story is a great example of that.

Day 784

Friday, May 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 21:43-45
"And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
And the Lord gave the rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass."

This just made me cry for Israel. How long had they wandered and now they came to rest. All that God had said had come to pass. I reflected on how when one trial is over, there is a moment of peace. Then the next lesson of life comes, and the cycle begins. Through it all the one constant is, the Lord will be with me, if I am with him.

Day 783

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 20:2-3
"Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out of you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood."

I pondered on the whole city of refuge for the slayer that kills by accident. Giving protection from the avenger of blood. I pictured what it must have been like to accidentally cause someone's death. I've know people that experienced a child running out in front of their car and killing them. The turmoil and guilt they felt over such a thing. They were definitely innocent. Yet in the law of Moses taking a life would mean your life. Someone in the family of the deceased had the right to avenge their blood. I thought about how they also would stone a person back then for picking up sticks on the sabbath day. What is the difference in this case about taking the person's life?

I think the difference is their innocence. The protection was given to a person that was innocent, so their life would not be shed. If the law of Moses was to point to the ultimate sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, then the only innocent life to be shed was his. Not only would he protect the innocent, he would protect the avenger from shedding the innocent blood too. I reflected on how just and merciful that was.

Day 782

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 19:49-50
"When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:
According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein."

As I was reading this chapter full of places and names I know nothing about, these thoughts kept running through my mind. "I know nothing about these places. They mean nothing to me. How is this important to me?"  Then I saw that it wasn't, it was important to them. Just like the place I call home is important to me. Even the prophet Joshua needed a place to call home, and he was given such a place. I searched the scriptures for any more mention of Joshua's inheritance Timnath-serah. I found only one reference in Joshua 24:30. This was the place he was buried, his final resting place.

Day 781

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 18:1
"And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them."

One of the definitions of subdued is "to bring (land) under cultivation". It made me sit and ponder on how I have seen land around the temples flourish and bloom, and populations build up when they are there. There was hardly anything here in American Fork when our temple was first built. Since then the area has grown. I sat and pondered on how Israel probably experienced the same thing when their tabernacle that served as a temple found a resting place.

Day 780

Monday, May 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 17:14-15
"And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto?
And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee."

This made me smile. I could not help but think of "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.."
(Luke 12:38 and Doctrine & Covenants 82:3)

Day 779