Through the Bible – Day 98

Bible text(s)

Israel defeats the Philistines

16Saul's lookouts at Geba saw that the Philistine army was running in every direction, like melted wax. 17Saul told his officers, “Call the roll and find out who left our camp.” When they had finished, they found out that Jonathan and the soldier who carried his weapons were missing.

18At that time, Ahijah was serving as priest for the army of Israel, and Saul told him, “Come over here! Let's ask God what we should do.” 19Just as Saul finished saying this, he could see that the Philistine army camp was getting more and more confused, and he said, “Ahijah, never mind!”

20Saul quickly called his army together, then led them to the Philistine camp. By this time the Philistines were so confused that they were killing each other.

21There were also some hired soldiers in the Philistine camp, who now switched to Israel's side and fought for Saul and Jonathan.

22Many Israelites had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim. And when they heard that the Philistines were running away, they came out of hiding and joined in chasing the Philistines.

23-24So the LORD helped Israel win the battle that day.

Saul's curse on anyone who eats

Saul had earlier told his soldiers, “I want to get even with those Philistines by sunset. If any of you eat before then, you will be under a curse!” So he made them swear not to eat.

By the time the fighting moved past Beth-Aven, the Israelite troops were weak from hunger. 25-26The army and the people who lived nearby had gone into a forest, and they came to a place where honey was dripping on the ground. But no one ate any of it, because they were afraid of being put under the curse.

27Jonathan did not know about Saul's warning to the soldiers. So he dipped the end of his walking stick in the honey and ate some with his fingers. He felt stronger and more alert. 28Then a soldier told him, “Your father swore that anyone who ate food today would be put under a curse, and we agreed not to eat. That's why we're so weak.”

29Jonathan said, “My father has caused you a lot of trouble. Look at me! I had only a little of this honey, but already I feel strong and alert. 30I wish you had eaten some of the food the Philistines left behind. We would have been able to kill a lot more of them.”

31By evening the Israelite army was exhausted from killing Philistines all the way from Michmash to Aijalon. 32They grabbed the food they had captured from the Philistines and started eating. They even killed sheep and cows and calves right on the ground and ate the meat without draining the blood. 33Someone told Saul, “Look! The army is disobeying the LORD by eating meat before the blood drains out.”

“You're right,” Saul answered. “They are being unfaithful to the LORD! Hurry! Roll a big rock over here. 34Then tell everyone in camp to bring their cattle and lambs to me. They can kill the animals on this rock, then eat the meat. That way no one will disobey the LORD by eating meat with blood still in it.”

That night the soldiers brought their cattle over to the big rock and killed them there. 35It was the first altar Saul had built for offering sacrifices to the LORD.

The army rescues Jonathan

36Saul said, “Let's attack the Philistines again while it's still dark. We can fight them all night. Let's kill them and take everything they own!”

The people answered, “We will do whatever you want.”

“Wait!” Ahijah the priest said. “Let's ask God what we should do.”

37Saul asked God, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you help us win?”

This time God did not answer. 38Saul called his army officers together and said, “We have to find out what sin has kept God from answering. 39I swear by the living LORD that whoever sinned must die, even if it turns out to be my own son Jonathan.”

No one said a word.

40Saul told his army, “You stand on that side of the priest, and Jonathan and I will stand on the other side.”

Everyone agreed.

41Then Saul prayed, “Our LORD, God of Israel, why haven't you answered me today? Please show us who sinned. Was it my son Jonathan and I, or was it your people Israel?”

The answer came back that Jonathan or Saul had sinned, not the army. 42Saul told Ahijah, “Now ask the LORD to decide between Jonathan and me.”

The answer came back that Jonathan had sinned. 43“Jonathan,” Saul exclaimed, “tell me what you did!”

“I dipped the end of my walking stick in some honey and ate a little. Now you say I have to die!”

44“Yes, Jonathan. I swear to God that you must die.”

45“No!” the soldiers shouted. “God helped Jonathan win the battle for us. We won't let you kill him. We swear to the LORD that we won't let you kill him or even lay a hand on him!” So the army kept Saul from killing Jonathan.

46Saul stopped hunting down the Philistines, and they went home.

Saul fights his enemies

47-48When Saul became king, the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Edomites, the kings of Zobah, the Philistines, and the Amalekites had all been robbing the Israelites. Saul fought back against these enemies and stopped them from robbing Israel. He was a brave commander and always won his battles.

Saul's family

49-51Saul's wife was Ahinoam, the daughter of Ahimaaz. They had three sons: Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchishua. They also had two daughters: the elder one was Merab, and the younger one was Michal.

Abner, Saul's cousin, was the commander of the army. Saul's father Kish and Abner's father Ner were sons of Abiel.

War with the Philistines

52Saul was at war with the Philistines for as long as he lived. Whenever he found a good warrior or a brave man, Saul made him join his army.

Saul disobeys the LORD

1One day, Samuel told Saul:

The LORD made me choose you to be king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the LORD: 2“When the Israelites were on their way out of Egypt, the nation of Amalek attacked them. I am the LORD All-Powerful, and now I am going to make Amalek pay!

3“Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”

4Saul sent messengers who told every town and village to send men to join the army at Telaim. There were two hundred and ten thousand troops in all, and ten thousand of these were from Judah. Saul organized them, 5then led them to a valley near one of the towns in Amalek, where they got ready to make a surprise attack. 6Some Kenites lived nearby, and Saul told them, “Your people were kind to our nation when we left Egypt, and I don't want you to get killed when I wipe out the Amalekites. Leave here and stay away from them.”

The Kenites left, 7and Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur, which is just east of Egypt. 8Every Amalekite was killed except King Agag. 9Saul and his army let Agag live, and they also spared the best sheep and cattle. They didn't want to destroy anything of value, so they only killed the animals that were worthless or weak.

The LORD rejects Saul

10The LORD told Samuel, 11“Saul has stopped obeying me, and I'm sorry that I made him king.”

Samuel was angry, and he cried out in prayer to the LORD all night. 12Early the next morning he went to talk with Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to Carmel, where he had a monument built so everyone would remember his victory. Then he left for Gilgal.”

13Samuel finally caught up with Saul, and Saul told him, “I hope the LORD will bless you! I have done what the LORD told me.”

14“Then why,” Samuel asked, “do I hear sheep and cattle?”

15“The army took them from the Amalekites,” Saul explained. “They kept the best sheep and cattle, so they could sacrifice them to the LORD your God. But we destroyed everything else.”

16“Stop!” Samuel said. “Let me tell you what the LORD told me last night.”

“All right,” Saul answered.

17Samuel continued, “You may not think you're very important, but the LORD chose you to be king, and you are in charge of the tribes of Israel. 18When the LORD sent you on this mission, he told you to wipe out those worthless Amalekites. 19Why didn't you listen to the LORD? Why did you keep the animals and make him angry?”

20“But I did listen to the LORD!” Saul answered. “He sent me on a mission, and I went. I captured King Agag and destroyed his nation. 21All the animals were going to be destroyed anyway. That's why the army brought the best sheep and cattle to Gilgal as sacrifices to the LORD your God.”

22“Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the LORD really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn't want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. 23Rebelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshipping idols or asking them for advice. You refused to do what God told you, so God has decided that you can't be king.”

24“I have sinned,” Saul admitted. “I disobeyed both you and the LORD. I was afraid of the army, and I listened to them instead. 25Please forgive me and come back with me so I can worship the LORD.”

26“No!” Samuel replied, “You disobeyed the LORD, and I won't go back with you. Now the LORD has said that you can't be king of Israel any longer.”

27As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the edge of Samuel's robe. It tore! 28Samuel said, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today, and he will give it to someone who is better than you. 29Besides, the eternal God of Israel isn't a human being. He doesn't tell lies or change his mind.”

30Saul said, “I did sin, but please honour me in front of the leaders of the army and the people of Israel. Come back with me, so I can worship the LORD your God.”

31Samuel followed Saul back, and Saul worshipped the LORD. 32Then Samuel shouted, “Bring me King Agag of Amalek!”

Agag came in chains, and he was saying to himself, “Surely they won't kill me now.”

33But Samuel said, “Agag, you have snatched children from their mothers' arms and killed them. Now your mother will be without children.” Then Samuel chopped Agag to pieces at the place of worship in Gilgal.

34Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah. 35Even though Samuel felt sad about Saul, Samuel never saw him again.

The Lord chooses David to be the next king

The LORD was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel.

1 Samuel 14:16-15:35CEVOpen in Bible reader

A dying girl and a sick woman

40Everyone had been waiting for Jesus, and when he came back, a crowd was there to welcome him. 41Just then the man in charge of the Jewish meeting place came and knelt down in front of Jesus. His name was Jairus, and he begged Jesus to come to his home 42because his twelve-year-old child was dying. She was his only daughter.

While Jesus was on his way, people were crowding all around him. 43In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors, but none of them could make her well.

44As soon as she came up behind Jesus and barely touched his clothes, her bleeding stopped.

45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

While everyone was denying it, Peter said, “Master, people are crowding all around and pushing you from every side.”

46But Jesus answered, “Someone touched me, because I felt power going out from me.” 47The woman knew that she could not hide, so she came trembling and knelt down in front of Jesus. She told everyone why she had touched him and that she had been healed straight away.

48Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace!”

49While Jesus was speaking, someone came from Jairus' home and said, “Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher any more?”

50When Jesus heard this, he told Jairus, “Don't worry! Have faith, and your daughter will get well.”

51Jesus went into the house, but he did not let anyone else go with him, except Peter, John, James, and the girl's father and mother. 52Everyone was crying and weeping for the girl. But Jesus said, “The child isn't dead. She is just asleep.” 53The people laughed at him because they knew she was dead.

54Jesus took hold of the girl's hand and said, “Child, get up!” 55She came back to life and got straight up. Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were surprised, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

Luke 8:40-56CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.8
Follow us on: