Romans 15:1-13; 1 Samuel 27; 1 Samuel 28; Psalm 70

Romans 15:1-13

Pleasing Others, Not Ourselves

1 Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. 2 Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up. 3 For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me. 4 For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope. 5 Now may the God of endurance and encouragement grant you agreement with one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.

Glorifying God Together

7 Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises to the fathers, 9 and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. As it is written: Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles, and I will sing psalms to Your name. 10 Again it says: Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people! 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; all the peoples should praise Him! 12 And again, Isaiah says: The root of Jesse will appear, the One who rises to rule the Gentiles; in Him the Gentiles will hope. 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Samuel 27

David Flees to Ziklag

1 David said to himself, "One of these days I'll be swept away by Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape immediately to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will stop searching for me everywhere in Israel, and I'll escape from him." 2 So David set out with his 600 men and went to Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath. 3 David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal's widow. 4 When it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. 5 Now David said to Achish, "If I have found favor with you, let me be given a place in one of the outlying towns, so I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?" 6 That day Achish gave Ziklag to him, and it still belongs to the kings of Judah today. 7 The time that David stayed in the Philistine territory amounted to a year and four months. 8 David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. From ancient times they had been the inhabitants of the region through Shur as far as the land of Egypt. 9 Whenever David attacked the land, he did not leave a single person alive, either man or woman, but he took flocks, herds, donkeys, camels, and clothing. Then he came back to Achish, 10 who inquired, "Where did you raid today?" David replied, "The south country of Judah," "The south country of the Jerahmeelites," or "Against the south country of the Kenites." 11 David did not let a man or woman live to be brought to Gath, for he said, "Or they will inform on us and say, 'This is what David did.' " This was David's custom during the whole time he stayed in the Philistine territory. 12 So Achish trusted David, thinking, "Since he has made himself detestable to his people Israel, he will be my servant forever."

1 Samuel 28

Saul and the Medium

1 At that time, the Philistines brought their military units together into one army to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, "You know, of course, that you and your men must march out in the army with me." 2 David replied to Achish, "Good, you will find out what your servant can do." So Achish said to David, "Very well, I will appoint you as my permanent bodyguard." 3 By this time Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his city, and Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land. 4 The Philistines came together and camped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and trembled violently. 6 He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him in dreams or by the Urim or by the prophets. 7 Saul then said to his servants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her." His servants replied, "There is a woman at Endor who is a medium." 8 Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes and set out with two of his men. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said, "Consult a spirit for me. Bring up for me the one I tell you." 9 But the woman said to him, "You surely know what Saul has done, how he has killed the mediums and spiritists in the land. Why are you setting a trap for me to get me killed?" 10 Then Saul swore to her by the Lord: "As surely as the Lord lives, nothing bad will happen to you because of this." 11 "Who is it that you want me to bring up for you?" the woman asked. "Bring up Samuel for me," he answered. 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, and then she asked Saul, "Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!" 13 But the king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" "I see a spirit form coming up out of the earth," the woman answered. 14 Then Saul asked her, "What does he look like?" "An old man is coming up," she replied. "He's wearing a robe." Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed his face to the ground and paid homage. 15 "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" Samuel asked Saul. "I'm in serious trouble," replied Saul. "The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He doesn't answer me any more, either through the prophets or in dreams. So I've called on you to tell me what I should do." 16 Samuel answered, "Since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy, why are you asking me? 17 The Lord has done exactly what He said through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David. 18 You did not obey the Lord and did not carry out His wrath against Amalek; therefore the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will also hand Israel over to the Philistines along with you. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and the Lord will hand Israel's army over to the Philistines." 20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was terrified by Samuel's words and was also weak because he hadn't had any food all day and all night. 21 The woman came over to Saul, and she saw that he was terrified and said to him, "Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me [to do]. 22 Now please listen to your servant. Let me set some food in front of you. Eat and it will give you strength so you can go on your way." 23 He refused, saying, "I won't eat," but when his servants and the woman urged him, he listened to them. He got up off the ground and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a fattened calf at her house, and she quickly slaughtered it. She also took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. 25 She served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Afterwards, they got up and left that night.

Psalm 70

A Call for Deliverance

For the choir director. Davidic. To bring remembrance.

1 God, deliver me. Hurry to help me, Lord! 2 Let those who seek my life be disgraced and confounded; let those who wish me harm be driven back and humiliated. 3 Let those who say, "Aha, aha!" retreat because of their shame. 4 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation continually say, "God is great!" 5 I am afflicted and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.
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