TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 2:12-26
TO CHEW ON: "Meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord....And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people." 1 Samuel 2:21, 26
Do you think it’s possible to live as a Christian in a neighborhood where you have no friends who love Jesus? What about in a school where people tease you if they find out you read the Bible, or in a family where you’re the only one who trusts in God and prays?
You would expect for little Samuel, the tabernacle, where people came to worship God, would be the easiest place in the world to get to know God. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was a place full of rebellion, disobedience and sin.
The trouble was not with Eli, the old priest, but with his sons. They had no respect for God and pretty much did as they pleased. They demanded offering meat before it was ready and had sex with the servant girls who worked near the Tabernacle. Even after Eli scolded them, they didn’t change.
Meanwhile Samuel was growing up. Every year he got stronger and taller. Every year his parents...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 16:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "Then he (Moses) said to Korah and all his followers: 'In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him.'” Numbers 16:5
The Israelites had refused to trust God to help them enter Canaan. Now they were doomed to live as nomads for 40 more years. They weren’t happy and it didn’t take long before rebellion broke out again.
This time Korah, one of the Levites (the tribe which took care of the holy things in the tabernacle) was the ringleader. One day he came with friends and 250 leaders to confront Moses. “Who said you should be the boss over us? We’re just as good as you are and God chose us too.”
“Let’s have a test,” Moses replied. “Tomorrow God will show whom He has chosen to be the leader.”
The next day Moses and Aaron came with their censers and stood outside the Tabernacle. Korah and his friends and fellow leaders came too. All the rebellious leaders stood with him, their censers full of burning incense.
Then Moses explained to them...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Chronicles 16:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9
When Asa had been king for a long time, Baasha the King of Israel blocked the border between Israel and Judah.
1. The last time King Asa was faced with a problem (2 Chronicles 14:11) he had: (choose the correct answer):a] asked for help from Egypt.b] asked for help from God.
2. This time he (2 Chronicles 16:2):a] asked for help from Ben Hadad of Aramb] asked for help from God.
Shortly after that, the prophet Hanani came to him and asked, “Why did you make your own plan instead of asking for God’s help? Didn’t God help you in your fight against Cush? God is always looking out to help anyone who depends on Him. What you did was foolish. From now on you’ll always be at war.”
What Hanani said made Asa so angry, he put Hanani in prison.
After that Asa stubbornly refused to ask for God’s help with anything. A few years later when he got a disease in his feet, he only went to doctors. He ignored God completely....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!'Then Samuel said, 'Speak for your servant is listening.'” 1 Samuel 3:10
One night after everyone had gone to bed, Samuel heard Eli call him. Because Eli was very old and blind, Samuel helped him with many things and was used to coming when Eli called. Now Samuel jumped out of bed and ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.”
“No I didn’t,” answered Eli. “Go back to bed.”"Eli and Samuel" Original oil painting © 2001 by Darlene Slavujac Thau
A few minutes later, Samuel thought he heard Eli call his name again, and again he jumped out of bed to see what Eli wanted. Again Eli sent him back to bed.
When this happened a third time, Eli thought of something. Maybe this was God wanting to speak to Samuel. So he said, “Go and lie down. If He calls you a third time say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’”
So Samuel went back bed. Sure enough, in a few minutes the voice came again, “Samuel! Samuel!”...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 15:17-26
TO CHEW ON: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
Samuel came to Saul one day to give him a new job from God. He was to fight Israel’s old enemy, the Amalekites. After the battle was over, Samuel gave him plain instructions not to let any person or animal escape alive.
Saul’s army won easily. Then they did as Samuel told them and destroyed all the people. But they kept the best cattle and Saul saved the life of king Agag.
After the battle God talked to Samuel. “Saul hasn’t carried out my instructions,” He said.
So Samuel went to find Saul. When Saul saw him he was all smiles. “I did exactly what God told me to,” he said.
“Then what are the sounds of sheep and cattle I hear?” Samuel asked.
“The soldiers kept those,” Saul said. “They’re planning to sacrifice these animals to God. I destroyed all the people just like you told me to. I only kept Agag the king.”
But Samuel wasn’t fooled by the Saul's excuses. “God wants...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 17:15-20
TO CHEW ON: "But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, 'Do not do as they do.' " 2 Kings 17:14,15
Israel was in big trouble. It was about thirty years and five kings after Jeroboam II. Shalmaneser king of Assyria had discovered that Israel’s present king Hoshea had secretly made a pact with Egypt. When Hoshea stopped paying the tax that Shalmaneser demanded, he arrested King Hoshea and took him to an Assyrian prison.
Then his army went through the countryside, rounding up the people. When they came to Samaria, the gates were locked. But Shalmaneser had all the time in the world. His army camped outside the city and waited for the people inside to surrender.
The Samaritans hung on for three years. But finally, desperate for food and water, they surrendered. In no time Shalmaneser had rounded up all those people...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 36:1-26
TO CHEW ON: "The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes." Jeremiah 36:24
“I’m sure the people will change their ways when they hear all this,” Baruch said, as he put the final touches on the scroll.
God had told Jeremiah many months before to try another way to get the people to listen. “You write down all the things I’ve told you,” God told him. “Then read them to the people. When they hear about the judgments that are coming, surely they’ll change their ways.”
Jeremiah had hired Baruch as his secretary. He had spoken the things God had said to him, while Baruch wrote them on a scroll. It was slow work and took a long time. But finally they were done.
On a day when many people were in Jerusalem, Baruch read Jeremiah’s words at the crowded temple courtyard. Micaiah heard them. He hurried to a room where the king’s officials were gathered. “You’ve got to hear this!” he told them.
They invited Baruch to read Jeremiah’s scroll. After he finished they said, “This is serious. We’d better make sure the king hears this!”
On a cold winter...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Numbers 14:1-12, 20-23
TO CHEW ON: "Not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it." Numbers 14:23
When the twelve spies came back from Canaan, only two thought they could conquer the people and move in. The ten others saw only walled cities and fierce, tall people. They were afraid and refused to trust God and Moses.
When the people in the camp heard their report, they started to grumble and cried, “We don’t want to die in a war. We want to go back to Egypt. We want a new leader.”
Joshua and Caleb tried to change the peoples’ minds. “The land is wonderful,” they said. “God isn’t afraid of those people. If He is with us, those people should be afraid.”
But the people wouldn’t change their minds. Instead they ganged up on Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua. “Let’s kill them!” they shouted, and began picking up stones....
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