Through the Bible – Day 102

Bible text(s)

People join David

1When David escaped from the town of Gath, he went to Adullam Cave. His brothers and the rest of his family found out where he was, and they followed him there. 2A lot of other people joined him too. Some were in trouble, others were angry or in debt, and David was soon the leader of four hundred men.

3David left Adullam Cave and went to the town of Mizpeh in Moab, where he talked with the king of Moab. “Please,” David said, “let my father and mother stay with you until I find out what God will do with me.” 4So he brought his parents to the king of Moab, and they stayed with him while David was in hiding.

5One day the prophet Gad told David, “Don't stay here! Go back to Judah.” David then left and went to Hereth Forest.

Saul kills the priests of the Lord

6Saul was sitting under a small tree on top of the hill at Gibeah when he heard that David and his men had been seen. Saul was holding his spear, and his officers were standing in front of him. 7He told them:

Listen to me! You belong to the Benjamin tribe, so if that son of Jesse ever becomes king, he won't give you fields or vineyards. He won't make you officers in charge of thousands or hundreds as I have done. 8But you're all plotting against me! Not one of you told me that my own son Jonathan had made an agreement with him. Not one of you cared enough to tell me that Jonathan had helped one of my officers rebel. Now that son of Jesse is trying to ambush me.

9Doeg the Edomite was standing with the other officers and spoke up, “When I was in the town of Nob, I saw that son of Jesse. He was visiting the priest Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10Ahimelech talked to the LORD for him, then gave him food and the sword that had belonged to Goliath the Philistine.”

11Saul sent a message to Ahimelech and his whole family of priests at Nob, ordering them to come to him. When they came, 12Saul told them, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub.”

“Certainly, Your Majesty,” Ahimelech answered.

13Saul demanded, “Why did you plot against me with that son of Jesse? You helped him rebel against me by giving him food and a sword, and by talking with God for him. Now he's trying to ambush me!”

14“Your Majesty, none of your officers is more loyal than David!” Ahimelech replied. “He's your son-in-law and the captain of your bodyguard. Everyone in your family respects him. 15This isn't the first time I've talked with God for David, and it's never made you angry before! Please don't accuse me or my family like this. I have no idea what's going on!”

16“Ahimelech,” Saul said, “you and your whole family are going to die.”

17Saul shouted to his bodyguards, “These priests of the LORD helped David! They knew he was running away, but they didn't tell me. Kill them!”

But the king's officers would not attack the priests of the LORD.

18Saul turned to Doeg, who was from Edom, and said, “Kill the priests!”

On that same day, Doeg killed eighty-five priests. 19Then he attacked the town of Nob, where the priests had lived, and he killed everyone there—men, women, children, and babies. He even killed their cattle, donkeys, and sheep.

Only Abiathar escapes from Nob

20Ahimelech's son Abiathar was the only one who escaped. He ran to David 21and told him, “Saul has murdered the priests at Nob!”

22David answered, “That day when I saw Doeg, I knew he would tell Saul! Your family died because of me. 23Stay here. Isn't the same person trying to kill both of us? Don't worry! You'll be safe here with me.”

David refuses to kill Saul

David rescues the town of Keilah

1One day some people told David, “The Philistines keep attacking the town of Keilah and stealing grain from the threshing place.”

2David asked the LORD, “Should I attack these Philistines?”

“Yes,” the LORD answered. “Attack them and rescue Keilah.”

3But David's men said, “Look, even here in Judah we're afraid of the Philistines. We will be terrified if we try to fight them at Keilah!”

4David asked the LORD about it again. “Leave at once,” the LORD answered. “I will give you victory over the Philistines at Keilah.”

5David and his men went there and fiercely attacked the Philistines. They killed many of them, then led away their cattle, and rescued the people of Keilah.

6-8Meanwhile, Saul heard that David was in Keilah. “God has let me catch David,” Saul said. “David is trapped inside a walled town where the gates can be locked.” Saul decided to go there and surround the town, in order to trap David and his men. He sent messengers who told the towns and villages, “Send men to serve in Saul's army!”

By this time, Abiathar had joined David in Keilah and had brought along everything he needed to get answers from God.

9David heard about Saul's plan to capture him, and he told Abiathar, “Let's ask God what we should do.”

10David prayed, “LORD God of Israel, I was told that Saul is planning to come here. What should I do? Suppose he threatens to destroy the town because of me. 11Would the leaders of Keilah turn me over to Saul? Or is he really coming? Please tell me, LORD.”

“Yes, he will come,” the LORD answered.

12David asked, “Would the leaders of Keilah hand me and my soldiers over to Saul?”

“Yes, they would,” the LORD answered.

13David and his six hundred men got out of there fast and started moving from place to place. Saul heard that David had left Keilah, and he decided not to go after him.

Jonathan says David will be king

14David stayed in hideouts in the hill country of Ziph Desert. Saul kept searching, but God never let Saul catch him.

15One time, David was at Horesh in Ziph Desert. He was afraid because Saul had come to the area to kill him. 16But Jonathan went to see David, and God helped him encourage David. 17“Don't be afraid,” Jonathan said. “My father Saul will never get his hands on you. In fact, you're going to be the next king of Israel, and I'll be your highest official. Even my father knows it's true.”

18They both promised the LORD that they would always be loyal to each other. Then Jonathan went home, but David stayed at Horesh.

David escapes from Saul

19Some people from the town of Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Your Majesty, David has a hideout not far from us! It's near Horesh, somewhere on Mount Hachilah south of Jeshimon. 20If you come, we will help you catch him.”

21Saul told them:

You've done me a big favour, and I pray that the LORD will bless you. 22Now please do just a little more for me. Find out exactly where David is, as well as where he goes, and who has seen him there. I've been told that he's very cunning. 23Find out where all his hiding places are and come back when you're sure. Then I'll go with you. If he is still in the area, or anywhere among the clans of Judah, I'll find him.

24The people from Ziph went back ahead of Saul, and they found out that David and his men were still south of Jeshimon in the Maon Desert. 25Saul and his army set out to find David. But David heard that Saul was coming, and he went to a place called The Rock, one of his hideouts in Maon Desert.

Saul found out where David was and started closing in on him. 26Saul was going around a hill on one side, and David and his men were on the other side, trying to get away. Saul and his soldiers were just about to capture David and his men, 27when a messenger came to Saul and said, “Come quickly! The Philistines are attacking Israel and taking everything.”

28Saul stopped going after David and went back to fight the Philistines. That's why the place is called “Escape Rock”.

29David left and went to live in the hideouts at En-Gedi.

David lets Saul live

1When Saul got back from fighting off the Philistines, he heard that David was in the desert around En-Gedi. 2Saul led three thousand of Israel's best soldiers out to look for David and his men near Wild Goat Rocks at En-Gedi. 3There were some sheep pens along the side of the road, and one of them was built around the entrance to a cave. Saul went into the cave to relieve himself.

David and his men were hiding at the back of the cave. 4They whispered to David, “The LORD told you he was going to let you defeat your enemies and do whatever you want with them. This must be the day the LORD was talking about.”

David sneaked over and cut off a small piece of Saul's robe, but Saul didn't notice a thing. 5Afterwards, David was sorry that he had even done that, 6-7and he told his men, “Stop talking foolishly. We're not going to attack Saul. He's my king, and I pray that the LORD will keep me from doing anything to harm his chosen king.”

Saul left the cave and started down the road. 8Soon, David also got up and left the cave. “Your Majesty!” he shouted from a distance.

Saul turned around to look. David bowed down very low 9and said:

Your Majesty, why do you listen to people who say that I'm trying to harm you? 10You can see for yourself that the LORD gave me the chance to catch you in the cave today. Some of my men wanted to kill you, but I wouldn't let them do it. I told them, “I will not harm the LORD's chosen king!” 11Your Majesty, look at what I'm holding. You can see that it's a piece of your robe. If I could cut off a piece of your robe, I could have killed you. But I let you live, and that should prove I'm not trying to harm you or to rebel. I haven't done anything to you, and yet you keep trying to ambush and kill me.

12I'll let the LORD decide which one of us has done right. I pray that the LORD will punish you for what you're doing to me, but I won't do anything to you. 13An old proverb says, “Only evil people do evil things,” and so I won't harm you.

14Why should the king of Israel be out chasing me, anyway? I'm as worthless as a dead dog or a flea. 15I pray that the LORD will help me escape and show that I am in the right.

16“David, my son—is that you?” Saul asked. Then he started crying 17and said:

David, you're a better person than I am. You treated me with kindness, even though I've been cruel to you. 18You've told me how you were kind enough not to kill me when the LORD gave you the chance. 19If you really were my enemy, you wouldn't have let me leave here alive. I pray that the LORD will give you a big reward for what you did today.

20I realize now that you will be the next king, and a powerful king at that. 21Promise me with the LORD as your witness, that you won't wipe out my descendants. Let them live to keep my family name alive.

22So David promised, and Saul went home. David and his men returned to their hideout.

1 Samuel 22:1-24:22CEVOpen in Bible reader

The work of the seventy-two followers

1Later the Lord chose seventy-two other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2He said to them:

A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4Don't take along a money bag or a travelling bag or sandals. And don't waste time greeting people on the road. 5As soon as you enter a home, say, “God bless this home with peace.” 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don't move around from house to house.

8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, “God's kingdom will soon be here!”

10But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11“We are shaking the dust from our feet as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God's kingdom will soon be here!” 12I tell you that on the day of judgment the people of Sodom will get off easier than the people of that town!

Jesus continued:

13You people of Chorazin are in for trouble! You people of Bethsaida are also in for trouble! If the miracles that took place in your towns had happened in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have turned to God long ago. They would have dressed in sackcloth and put ashes on their heads. 14On the day of judgment the people of Tyre and Sidon will get off easier than you will. 15People of Capernaum, do you think you will be honoured in heaven? Well, you will go down to hell!

16My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says “No” to you is saying “No” to me. And anyone who says “No” to me is really saying “No” to the one who sent me.

The return of the seventy-two

17When the seventy-two followers returned, they were excited and said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!”

18Jesus told them:

I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20But don't be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!

Luke 10:1-20CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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