1 Samuel 27; 1 Samuel 28; 1 Samuel 29; Luke 13:1-22

1 David said to himself, "One of these days Saul will kill me. The best thing for me to do is to escape to Philistia. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israel, and I will be safe." 2 So David and his six hundred men went over at once to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 David and his men settled there in Gath with their families. David had his two wives with him, Ahinoam from Jezreel, and Abigail, Nabal's widow, from Carmel. 4 When Saul heard that David had fled to Gath, he gave up trying to find him. 5 David said to Achish, "If you are my friend, let me have a small town to live in. There is no need, sir, for me to live with you in the capital city." 6 So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag, and for this reason Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived in Philistia for sixteen months. 8 During that time David and his men would attack the people of Geshur, Girzi, and Amalek, who had been living in the region a very long time. He would raid their land as far as Shur, all the way down to Egypt, 9 killing all the men and women and taking the sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and even the clothes. Then he would come back to Achish, 10 who would ask him, "Where did you go on a raid this time?" and David would tell him that he had gone to the southern part of Judah or to the territory of the clan of Jerahmeel or to the territory where the Kenites lived. 11 David would kill everyone, men and women, so that no one could go back to Gath and report what he and his men had really done. This is what David did the whole time he lived in Philistia. 12 But Achish trusted David and said to himself, "He is hated so much by his own people the Israelites that he will have to serve me all his life."
1 Some time later the Philistines gathered their troops to fight Israel, and Achish said to David, "Of course you understand that you and your men are to fight on my side." 2 "Of course," David answered. "I am your servant, and you will see for yourself what I can do." Achish said, "Good! I will make you my permanent bodyguard." 3 Now Samuel had died, and all the Israelites had mourned for him and had buried him in his hometown of Ramah. Saul had forced all the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel. 4 The Philistine troops assembled and camped near the town of Shunem; Saul gathered the Israelites and camped at Mount Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was terrified, 6 and so he asked the Lord what to do. But the Lord did not answer him at all, either by dreams or by the use of Urim and Thummim or by prophets. 7 Then Saul ordered his officials, "Find me a woman who is a medium, and I will go and consult her." "There is one in Endor," they answered. 8 So Saul disguised himself; he put on different clothes, and after dark he went with two of his men to see the woman. "Consult the spirits for me and tell me what is going to happen," he said to her. "Call up the spirit of the man I name." 9 The woman answered, "Surely you know what King Saul has done, how he forced the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel. Why, then, are you trying to trap me and get me killed?" 10 Then Saul made a sacred vow. "By the living Lord I promise that you will not be punished for doing this," he told her. 11 "Whom shall I call up for you?" the woman asked. "Samuel," he answered. 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed and said to Saul, "Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul!" 13 "Don't be afraid!" the king said to her. "What do you see?" "I see a spirit coming up from the earth," she answered. 14 "What does it look like?" he asked. "It's an old man coming up," she answered. "He is wearing a cloak." Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed to the ground in respect. 15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me? Why did you make me come back?" Saul answered, "I am in great trouble! The Philistines are at war with me, and God has abandoned me. He doesn't answer me any more, either by prophets or by dreams. And so I have called you, for you to tell me what I must do." 16 Samuel said, "Why do you call me when the Lord has abandoned you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you what he told you through me: he has taken the kingdom away from you and given it to David instead. 18 You disobeyed the Lord's command and did not completely destroy the Amalekites and all they had. That is why the Lord is doing this to you now. 19 He will give you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will join me, and the Lord will also give the army of Israel over to the Philistines." 20 At once Saul fell down and lay stretched out on the ground, terrified by what Samuel had said. He was weak, because he had not eaten anything all day and all night. 21 The woman went over to him and saw that he was terrified, so she said to him, "Please, sir, I risked my life by doing what you asked. 22 Now please do what I ask. Let me fix you some food. You must eat so that you will be strong enough to travel." 23 Saul refused and said he would not eat anything. But his officers also urged him to eat. He finally gave in, got up from the ground, and sat on the bed. 24 The woman quickly killed a calf which she had been fattening. Then she took some flour, prepared it, and baked some bread without yeast. 25 She set the food before Saul and his officers, and they ate it. And they left that same night.
1 The Philistines brought all their troops together at Aphek, while the Israelites camped at the spring in Jezreel Valley. 2 The five Philistine kings marched out with their units of a hundred and of a thousand men; David and his men marched in the rear with King Achish. 3 The Philistine commanders saw them and asked, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" Achish answered, "This is David, an official of King Saul of Israel. He has been with me for quite some time now. He has done nothing I can find fault with since the day he came over to me." 4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said to him, "Send that fellow back to the town you gave him. Don't let him go into battle with us; he might turn against us during the fighting. What better way is there for him to win back his master's favor than by the death of our men? 5 After all, this is David, the one about whom the women sang, as they danced, "Saul has killed thousands, but David has killed tens of thousands.' " 6 Achish called David and said to him, "I swear by the living God of Israel that you have been loyal to me; and I would be pleased to have you go with me and fight in this battle. I have not found any fault in you from the day you came over to me. But the other kings don't approve of you. 7 So go back home in peace, and don't do anything that would displease them." 8 David answered, "What have I done wrong, sir? If, as you say, you haven't found any fault in me since the day I started serving you, why shouldn't I go with you, my master and king, and fight your enemies?" 9 "I agree," Achish replied. "I consider you as loyal as an angel of God. But the other kings have said that you can't go with us into battle. 10 So then, David, tomorrow morning all of you who left Saul and came over to me will have to get up early and leave as soon as it's light." 11 So David and his men started out early the following morning to go back to Philistia, and the Philistines went on to Jezreel.
1 At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God. 2 Jesus answered them, "Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did." 6 Then Jesus told them this parable: "There was once a man who had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went looking for figs on it but found none. 7 So he said to his gardener, "Look, for three years I have been coming here looking for figs on this fig tree, and I haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it go on using up the soil?' 8 But the gardener answered, "Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig around it and put in some fertilizer. 9 Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down.' " 10 One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. 11 A woman there had an evil spirit that had kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, "Woman, you are free from your sickness!" 13 He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God. 14 The official of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, so he spoke up and said to the people, "There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!" 15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath. 16 Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept in bonds for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?" 17 His answer made his enemies ashamed of themselves, while the people rejoiced over all the wonderful things that he did. 18 Jesus asked, "What is the Kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? 19 It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and plants it in his field. The plant grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make their nests in its branches." 20 Again Jesus asked, "What shall I compare the Kingdom of God with? 21 It is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with a bushel of flour until the whole batch of dough rises." 22 Jesus went through towns and villages, teaching the people and making his way toward Jerusalem.
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