Monday, July 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 14:30-31

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 14:30-31
"Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
The Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?"

Absalom wants to see his father king David. He kept asking Joab to come see him so he could ask to be sent to the king. Finally, Absalom gets desperate enough that he burned Joab's field to get him to come to him. Not a very nice thing to do but it was effective.

What this made me think about is how sometimes the issues I have before me aren't really the issue. It's something else the Lord is trying to tell me or get my attention on in the matter, or just get me to move in another direction. I will have a trial and while getting through that trial I have been given greater blessings instead. Sometimes the field is on fire because its the only way to get my attention.

Day 856

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 13:14-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 13:14-15
"Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.
Then Amnon hated her exceedinghly; so that he hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise be gone."

It was a pretty terrible thing that Amnon did to his sister Tamar. What I noticed though was his behavior afterwards toward her. He acted like he had a right to hate her. This hatred was driven by his guilt, yet he didn't want to acknowledge his actions in this. He made it the victim's fault. It was anyone else's fault but his. He could not even acknowledge what he had done was wrong. It made me think now things never change. I see this behavior still happening today.

Day 855

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 12:14

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 12:14
"Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

Because of David's sin with Bathsheba, the illegitimate child born from that union was to die. I do not mourn for the child, for it was taken into the bosom of the Lord. It was David and Bathsheba that would suffer for the loss of their child. I pondered on why that needed to be. I think with the eye for an eye, mosaic law that they lived under that sign needed to be given, that David would not prosper in wickedness. Even the enemies of the Lord could not say that God was not being just in this matter. It gave no rise to scorn. It made me think of Uzzah that touched the ark of the covenant to steady it and died for it, because he was not a Levite. God had to show a stiffnecked people there were penalties for breaking his commandments. The child did not suffer, it was his parents that did. David lost his eternal exaltation. Yet at the end the Lord is pleased with David and Bathshebe and their new son Solomon. Eventually the Savior's mortal line would come through them.

Day 854

Friday, July 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 11:1

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 11:1
"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."

The is the story of David and Bathsheba, and how he tried to cover his sin to the point he has her husband Uriah killed in battle.  For this David lost his exaltation. What I pondered on is where it first went all wrong for him. I kept working my way backward in the story. Until I was back to verse one. "But David tarried still at Jerusalem."  David wasn't where he was suppose to be. It says this was "at the time when kings go forth to battle".  If David had been doing what he was suppose to be doing he never would have slipped down the slop he should have never gotten on. There is protection in being were I need to be, and doing as I am suppose to be doing. The Lord will be with me, and the spirit will be my guide if I am doing as he would have me do.

Day 853

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 10:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 10:2
"Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon."

I didn't recall any mention of Nahash showing kindness to David. I then searched the scriptures and couldn't find that answer. All I can think is this must have happened during the time that Saul persecuted David and he fled to the land of the Philistines. I thought it rather sad that David's motives were not taken at face value. That instead princes of the children of Ammon have to cast doubt and suspicion. This all made me think about how nations can never get along if we cannot stop war long enough to trust but verify.  

Day 852

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 9:1, 3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 9:1, 3
"And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?
And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him?  And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet."

This is just so touching and sweet that David wants to honor the house of Saul for the sake of his love for Jonathan. Then he finds that Jonathan did have a son, who was also lame. David then promises to take care of him, and that he is eat at his table continually.

I pondered on how David's impression to remember his friend, were timely in caring for the needs of Jonathan's son. How important it is for me to be listening and make inquires as the spirit directs. You just never know if they will lead you to someone in need.

Day 851

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 8:11

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 8:11
"Which also king David did dedicate unto the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;"

Dedication made me think of the law of consecration. In the Scripture Study Helps I found this on the subject.

"To dedicate, to make holy, or to become righteous. The law of consecration is a divine principle whereby men and women voluntarily dedicate their time, talents, and material wealth to the establishment and building up of God's kingdom."

I remembered reading these quotes in my "Starting and Growing My Business for Self-Reliance" manual (pg 9). I had to go find them and record them because I didn't want to forget them. It had really struck me when I read them.

"The Lord has the power to help us become self-reliant. He has said "Behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles" (2 Nephi 27:23). As we dedicate, or consecrate, our efforts in our businesses to the holy purpose of becoming self-reliant, the Lord will guide us through inspiration. As we show our faith by listening for and obeying promptings, the Lord will do His miracles and make more out of our efforts than we could ever do on our own."

"To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes."  (D. Todd Christofferson)

Day 850

Monday, July 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 7:20, 22

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 7:20, 22
"And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant.
Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears."

This made me ponder on those moments when I say my prayers and am at a loss of what to say. God knows my heart, my trials, my desire, and my needs. I feel it rote to tell them to Him. When I try it seems so hollow.  In such moments I have found what I need to do is tell my God how great thou art. It's not so much a prayer of thanks because my prayers of thanks are just focusing on me and what I have received. Instead these prayers just worship God and acknowledge all that he had done. How wondrous and glorious he is. Truly praises to a God and King. I have seen my prayers that don't even reach the ceiling, turn to prayers the reach the heavens. I am learning to be grateful when I feel like my prayers are hollow, because that is when I change them to acknowledging God's great works, and the contrast could not be any greater. My God always acknowledges he has heard me.

Day 849

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 6:6-7

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 6:6-7
"And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God."

I couldn't figure out why Uzzah had to die for steading the ark. He was trying to protect it? Then I read the footnotes and found this.

"Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever."
(1 Chronicles 15:2)

Uzzah must have not been a Levite, and not authorized to carry the ark, and put his hand on it. His death was a consequence for disobedience. It was very powerful lesson for all of Israel. They are still living the law of Moses and have clearly been warned of these things. Sacred things must be handled with care. It made me think how I cannot treat the things of the temple lightly too.

Day 848

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