1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
2 Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.
Reflection: Here again we see the value of praising the Lord, with the phrase “Praise the Lord”, which also means “Hallejujah”. The clear focus here is in putting our focus on the Lord and all of His benefits. Maybe if we spent more time focusing on God’s adequacies, we would focus less on our own sense of inadequacy. As we get caught up in praising God, our focus becomes less about us and more about Him! It reminds us of this vital truth, our worth comes from Him not in our trying to produce more stuff!
1 Samuel 20:18-21:9
18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. 22 But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. 23 And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.” 24 So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat. 25 He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan,[a] and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.” 27 But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?” 28 Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.” 30 Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? 31 As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!” 32 “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. 33 But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David. 34 Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David. 35 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, 36 and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. 39 (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.” 41 After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.
Reflections: Here we see the continued evolving relationship between David and Jonathan. Saul gets more and more enraged, as he senses the two are colluding and his kingdom is slipping away. Instead of trying to understand the situation and seeing where he might have gone wrong, he tries to throw a spear at him, showing he is completely out of control. David and Jonathan hatch a plan to reunite and have a tearful reunion. David, the man after God’s own heart, has been given a confidant that can help him through the valleys in his life.
Do you have a brother or sister in Christ that you can share your innermost struggles? I know from experience by some of the men God has brought alongside of me and my ministry and the struggles how important they are. It is great both receiving this kind friendship and giving it. If you don’t have a friend like this, pray for God to reveal someone for you.
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Reflection: Here we see the organic nature of evangelism. A person meets Jesus and then shares her faith with the people she knows. They are curious and want to see and meet Jesus. When they seek him they find him. Simple and it worked, so much so that 50% of the world became Christians by the 3rd century. So if that is the process, I question many of the evangelism strategies and programs that we try to come up with today to convince someone they should be a Christian? The best plan is to take a disciple who lives out and shares why Jesus has changed their life. It is proof that Jesus is real and following him really works!
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:2
We thank you for your goodness, mercy, love and grace. May we embody our gratitude in our interactions with others! How may we and how have we served you today? Grant us an ever-present sense of gratitude that we may respond faithfully to the love shown us in Christ. Amen.