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1 Samuel 20:1–21:15 (LEB)

Jonathan Supports David over Saul

20 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah and came and said before Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my guilt and what is my sin before your father that he is trying to kill me? And he said to him, “Far from it! You will not die! Look, my father does not do anything large or small unless he reveals it to me. Why should my father hide this thing or anything from me?” Then David took an oath again and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he thought, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he worry.’ But as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, surely there is merely a step between me and death!” Then Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you wish, I will do for you.” David said to Jonathan, “Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should certainly sit with the king to eat. You must send me away so that I can hide myself in the field until the third evening. If your father misses me at all, then you must say, ‘David earnestly asked from me to run to Bethlehem his city, for the yearly sacrifice is there for all the clan.’ If he says ‘Good,’ it will mean peace for your servant; but if he is very angry, know that he has decided to do me harm. So you must show loyal love to your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh with you. But if there is guilt in me, then kill me yourself! But why should you bring me to your father?” Then Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I know for certain that my father decided evil should come upon you, would I not have told it to you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if what your father answers you is harsh?” 11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out to the field.” So the two of them went out to the field.

12 Then Jonathan said to David, “Yahweh the God of Israel is my witness that I will question my father by this time the day after tomorrow. And look, if he is well disposed toward you, will I not send word to you and disclose it to you? 13 So may Yahweh punish Jonathan and more if my father decides to do you harm and if I fail to disclose it to you and send word to you that you can go safely. And may Yahweh be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 And not while I am still alive, will you not show the loyal love of Yahweh with me, that I may not die? 15 And do not cut off your loyal love from my family forever, not even when Yahweh exterminates each of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May Yahweh call the enemies of David to account.” 17 And Jonathan again made David swear an oath, because he loved him; for with the love of his soul he loved him.

18 Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you will be missed, for your seat will stay empty. 19 On the third day you must go down quickly and go to the place where you hid yourself on the day all this started and remain beside the stone Ezel. 20 I will shoot three arrows to the side as if I were shooting at a target. 21 Then I will send word to my servant, ‘Go, find the arrows!’ If I clearly say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring it,’ then come, for it means peace for you. And there is no problem, as Yahweh lives. 22 But if I say this to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ go, for Yahweh has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter about which you and I spoke, look, Yahweh is between you and me forever.”

24 So David hid himself in the field. When the new moon came, the king was seated at the feast. 25 The king sat at his seat as before, the seat by the wall, and Jonathan got up, and Abner sat beside Saul, but David’s place was empty. 26 But Saul said nothing on that day, for he thought, “Something happened to him. He is not ceremonially clean; surely he is not clean.” 27 And then on the next day, the second day of the new moon, that David’s place was empty. So Saul asked Jonathan his son, “Why did the son of Jesse not come either yesterday or today to the feast?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission from me to go up to Bethlehem. 29 He said, ‘Send me away, please, for our clan sacrifice is in the city, and my brother commanded me to be present. So then, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me slip away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the table of the king.” 30 Then Saul became angry at Jonathan and said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse is alive on the earth, you and your kingdom will not be established! So then, send and bring him to me, for he will surely die!” 32 But Jonathan answered his father Saul and said to him, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. So Jonathan knew that his father had decided to kill David.

34 Jonathan got up from the table enraged, and did not eat on the second day of the new moon because he was upset about David, because his father had disgraced him. 35 And then in the morning Jonathan went out to the field for the appointment with David, and a young boy was with him. 36 He said to his servant, “Run, please find the arrows that I am shooting!” The boy ran, and he shot the arrow to pass over him. 37 When the boy came up to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called out after the boy and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 Then Jonathan called out after the boy, “Quick, hurry, do not linger!” And Jonathan’s servant collected the arrows and came to his master. 39 But the boy did not know anything about this; only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to his servant and said to him, “Go, bring them to the city.” 41 The boy left, and then David got up from the south side, and he fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed each other and wept together, but David wept the most. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn, the two of us, an oath in the name of Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring forever.” Then he got up and left, and Jonathan went into the city.

David Encounters the Priests of Nob

21 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and he said to him, “Why are you alone and there are no men with you?” So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘No one must know anything about this matter on which I am sending you, with which I have charged you and the servants.’ ” So I have arranged to meet with my servants at a certain place. Now then, what do you have at hand? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever is here.” The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread here at hand; there is only holy bread, but only if the young men have kept themselves from women.” David answered the priest and said to him, “Indeed, women were held back from us as it has been when I’ve gone out before. And the things of the young men are holy when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will the things be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which was removed from before Yahweh, in order to set hot bread there on the day when it was taken away.

Now there was a man from the servants of Saul on that day, detained before Yahweh, whose name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds. David asked Ahimelech, “Is there not at your disposal a spear or a sword? For I took neither my sword nor my weapons with me because the king’s matter was urgent.” So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the valley of Elah is here, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take it for yourself, then take it, for there is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

David Flees to Achish in Gath

10 So David got up and fled on that day from the presence of Saul, and he came to Achish the king of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Is it not for this one that they sang in the dances, saying, ‘Saul killed his thousands, but David his ten thousands?’ ” 12 David took these words seriously and felt severely threatened by Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be mad in their presence. He made scratches on the doors of the gate and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see a madman! Why did you bring him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen that you have brought this one to act like a madman before me? Should this one enter my household?”


1 Peter 1:1–12 (LEB)

Greeting

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen who are residing temporarily in the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

A New Birth to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, into an inheritance imperishable and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, in which you rejoice greatly, although​ now for a short time, if necessary, you are distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more valuable than gold that is passing away, but is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom, although you​ have not seen, you love; in whom now you believe, although you​ do not see him, and you rejoice greatly with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining the goal of your faith, the salvation of your​ souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace meant for you sought and made careful inquiry, 11 investigating for what person or which time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he​ testified beforehand to the sufferings with reference to Christ and the glories after these things, 12 to whom it was revealed that they were serving not themselves but you with reference to the same things which now have been announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels desire to look.


Psalm 121:1–122:9 (LEB)

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;

whence will my help come?

My help is from Yahweh,

maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;

he who protects you will not slumber.

Look, he will not slumber and he will not sleep—

he who protects Israel.

Yahweh is your protector;

Yahweh is your shade at your right hand.

The sun will not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

Yahweh will protect you from all evil;

he will protect your life.

Yahweh will protect your going out and your coming in

from now until forever.

Jerusalem the Site of God’s Presence

122 A song of ascents. Of David.

I rejoiced in those who said to me,

“Let us go to the house of Yahweh.”

Our feet are standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem—

Jerusalem that is built

as a city that is joined together,

where the tribes go up,

the tribes of Yah as a testimony for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of Yahweh.

For there the thrones sit for judgment,

thrones of David’s house.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May those who love you be at ease.

May peace be within your walls,

security within your palaces.”

For the sake of my brothers and my friends,

I will say, “Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of Yahweh our God,

I will seek your good.


July 12: Eternal Hope (Rebecca Van Noord)

July 12

We don’t often realize where we put our hope. We can seek sustenance, energy, or relief in the most transient, innocuous things—from our morning coffee to a vacation we’ve been anticipating for months. These things are not bad in themselves, but if they constantly serve as minor fixes in our daily lives, they can shift our focus. We can end up trading God’s help for caffeine and a few days in the sun.

The trouble arises when we fail to see the complexity in our motives. The psalmist helps us look beyond what seems comforting and shielding: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains; whence will my help come? My help is from Yahweh, maker of heaven and earth” (Psa 121:1). The psalmist uses the hills and mountains to point us beyond what we can see to the true source of help and protection. These stationary shields seem to offer protection, but God is the true source of help and refuge in our often chaotic circumstances. He is constantly present—“your shade at your right hand” (Psa 121:5).

In his letter to the churches in Asia Minor, Peter addresses the “various trials” the early church faced (1 Pet 1:6). He encourages the church members to endure trials and persecution, telling them they are “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5). In the midst of trial, their faith in the resurrected Christ gave them the ultimate security and strength (1 Pet 1:4). They had hope through suffering.

We think of trials on a grand scale—sickness and persecution. But we need to meet even daily trials with this same eternal hope. We need to constantly find relief, energy, and hope in God.

Where do you seek relief, energy, and hope?


Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.


Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.