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

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1 Samuel 27

1 David said to himself, "One of these days Saul will sweep me away. The best thing for me to do is to make sure that I escape to Philistine territory. Then Saul will give up looking all over Israel for me, and I'll escape from him."
2 So David went with his 600 men to King Achish of Gath, Moach's son.
3 David and his men stayed with Achish in Gath. Each one had his family, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail (who had been Nabal's wife) from Carmel.
4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he didn't search for him anymore.
5 David said to Achish, "If you will permit me, let me have a place in one of the outlying towns so that I can live there. Why should I live in the royal city with you?"
6 So Achish immediately gave him Ziklag. (This is why Ziklag still belongs to the kings of Judah today.)
7 David stayed in Philistine territory for one year and four months.
8 Then David and his men went to raid the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. (They lived in the territory which extends from Telaim to Shur and Egypt.)
9 Whenever David attacked the territory, he left no man or woman alive. He also took sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing and returned to Achish.
10 Achish would ask, "Whom did you raid today?" And David would answer, "the Negev in Judah," or "the portion of the Negev where the descendants of Jerahmeel live," or "the portion of the Negev where the Kenites live."
11 He did not bring a single man or woman back to Gath alive. He thought, "They could tell Achish what I [really] did." This was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.
12 And Achish believed David. Achish thought, "He has definitely made his own people in Israel despise him. He'll be my servant from now on."

1 Samuel 28

1 At that time the Philistines had gathered their army to fight against Israel. Then Achish said to David, "You need to know that you and your men will be going with me into battle."
2 "Very well," David responded to Achish, "you will then know what I can do." "Very well," Achish told David, "I will make you my bodyguard for life."
3 Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his hometown Ramah. (Saul had rid the land of mediums and psychics.)
4 The Philistines assembled and camped in Shunem. Saul also assembled the whole Israelite army, and they camped at Gilboa.
5 When Saul looked at the Philistine army, he was very afraid--terrified.
6 He prayed to the LORD, but the LORD didn't answer him through dreams, the Urim, or prophets.
7 Saul told his officers, "Find me a woman who conjures up the dead. Then I'll go to her and ask for her services." His officers told him, "There is a woman at Endor who conjures up the dead."
8 After disguising himself by putting on other clothes, Saul left with two men and came to the woman that night. He said to her, "Please consult with a dead person for me. Conjure up the person I request."
9 The woman told him, "You know that Saul rid the land of mediums and psychics. Why are you trying to trap me and have me killed?"
10 But Saul took an oath in the LORD's name, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, you will not be harmed if you do this."
11 "Whom should I conjure up for you?" the woman asked. "Conjure up Samuel for me," he answered.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly and asked, "Why did you deceive me? You're Saul!"
13 "Don't be afraid," the king said to her. "What do you see?" "I see a god rising from the ground," the woman answered.
14 "In what form?" he asked her. She answered, "An old man is coming up, and he's wearing a robe." Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul knelt down with his face touching the ground.
15 Samuel asked Saul, "Why did you disturb me by conjuring me up?" Saul answered, "I'm in serious trouble. The Philistines are at war with me, and God has turned against me and doesn't answer me anymore--either by the prophets or in dreams. So I've called on you to tell me what to do."
16 Samuel said, "Why are you asking me when the LORD has turned against you and become your enemy?
17 The LORD has done to you [exactly] what he spoke through me: The LORD has torn the kingship out of your hands and given it to your fellow Israelite David.
18 The LORD is doing this to you today because you didn't listen to him or unleash his burning anger on Amalek.
19 For the same reasons the LORD will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And then the LORD will hand Israel's army over to the Philistines."
20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was frightened by Samuel's words. He also had no strength left, because he hadn't eaten anything all day or all night.
21 The woman came over to Saul and saw that he was terrified. "I listened to you," she told him, "and I took my life in my hands when I did what you told me to do.
22 Now please listen to me. I will serve you something to eat. Eat it so that you will have strength when you leave."
23 But he refused. "I don't want to eat," he said. Nevertheless, his officers and the woman kept urging him until he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.
24 The woman immediately butchered a fattened calf that she owned. She took flour, kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread.
25 Then she served it to Saul and his officers. They ate and left that [same] night.

1 Samuel 29

1 The Philistines assembled their whole army at Aphek, and Israel camped at the spring in Jezreel.
2 The Philistine leaders were marching by with their companies and regiments. David and his men were marching in the rear with Achish.
3 The Philistine officers asked, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" Achish asked the Philistine officers, "Isn't this David, the servant of King Saul of Israel, who has been with me now for a year or two? I've found nothing wrong with him from the day he defected until now."
4 But the Philistine officers were angry with Achish. "Send the man back," the Philistine officers told him. "Return him to the place you assigned him. He shouldn't go with us into battle. He shouldn't [be allowed to] become our enemy during the battle. Is this man going to try to regain his master's favor? He'll do it with the lives of our men!
5 Isn't this David of whom people sing in dances: 'Saul has defeated thousands but David tens of thousands'?"
6 Then Achish called David and told him, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, you are a dependable man. I consider your campaigning with me a good thing, because I've never found anything wrong with you from the day you came to me until now. But the rulers don't approve of you.
7 So leave peacefully without doing anything to displease the Philistine rulers."
8 "What have I done?" David asked Achish. "What have you learned about me from the time I came to you until now? Why shouldn't I fight your enemies, Your Majesty?"
9 Achish answered David, "I admit that in my judgment you're as good as God's Messenger. However, the Philistine officers said, 'He shouldn't go into battle with us.'
10 Get up early in the morning with Saul's servants who came with you, and go to the place I have assigned to you. Don't worry about the unkind words, because I still approve of you. Get up in the morning, and leave when it's light."
11 Early the next morning David and his men returned to Philistine territory, while the Philistines went to Jezreel.

Luke 13:1-22

1 At that time some people reported to Jesus about some Galileans whom Pilate had executed while they were sacrificing animals.
2 Jesus replied to them, "Do you think that this happened to them because they were more sinful than other people from Galilee?
3 No! I can guarantee that they weren't. But if you don't turn to God and change the way you think and act, then you, too, will all die.
4 What about those 18 people who died when the tower at Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more sinful than other people living in Jerusalem?
5 No! I can guarantee that they weren't. But if you don't turn to God and change the way you think and act, then you, too, will all die."
6 Then Jesus used this illustration: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on the tree but didn't find any.
7 He said to the gardener, 'For the last three years I've come to look for figs on this fig tree but haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up [good] soil?'
8 "The gardener replied, 'Sir, let it stand for one more year. I'll dig around it and fertilize it.
9 Maybe next year it'll have figs. But if not, then cut it down.'"
10 Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the day of worship.
11 A woman who was possessed by a spirit was there. The spirit had disabled her for 18 years. She was hunched over and couldn't stand up straight.
12 When Jesus saw her, he called her to come to him and said, "Woman, you are free from your disability."
13 He placed his hands on her, and she immediately stood up straight and praised God.
14 The synagogue leader was irritated with Jesus for healing on the day of worship. The leader told the crowd, "There are six days when work can be done. So come on one of those days to be healed. Don't come on the day of worship."
15 The Lord said, "You hypocrites! Don't each of you free your ox or donkey on the day of worship? Don't you then take it out of its stall to give it some water to drink?
16 Now, here is a descendant of Abraham. Satan has kept her in this condition for 18 years. Isn't it right to free her on the day of worship?"
17 As he said this, everyone who opposed him felt ashamed. But the entire crowd was happy about the miraculous things he was doing.
18 Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What can I compare it to?
19 It's like a mustard seed that someone planted in a garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds nested in its branches."
20 He asked again, "What can I compare the kingdom of God to?
21 It's like yeast that a woman mixed into a large amount of flour until the yeast worked its way through all the dough."
22 Then Jesus traveled and taught in one city and village after another on his way to Jerusalem.