You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Travel PagesSalisbury Plain
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
"The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in Jehovah shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25, ASV
The people wanted a king, so God appointed Saul to the position. He warned them that their earthbound kings would demand much from them, but they wanted to be like the other nations. They thought an earthbound king would give them power and authority in the world. They thought he would make their lives better. In asking for a king, the people rejected the true King, but they needed tangible evidence in a flesh and blood person that they had a leader to guide them.
Saul didn't do a very good job. He did as God said he would do; he demanded much from his people. The king was meant to be a mediator between God and the people, but Saul didn't really seek God's will in things. And when God sent a word for him to obey, Saul obeyed it in his own way. Take, for instance, the time when God sent Saul to defeat the Amalekites and totally destroy them because they waylaid Israel as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. They were to take nothing, but destroy everything.
I get it. It is really hard to kill a flock of sheep that could be useful to the people later. Ancient war meant looting. The winners take the spoils. However, in this story, God command no spoils. Even the sheep and oxen were to be put to death. This was not a matter of becoming a rich and prosperous nation, but a matter of obedience. Would the people trust God or would they go their own way. They decided to spare the good things found in the camp of the Amalekites. Even Saul disobeyed the Lord by keeping the Amalekite king Agad alive, a mistake that would cause problems for Israel in later generations.
The Lord spoke to Samuel and told him that He was grieved at Saul's failure. Saul did not obey the Lord's instructions and so his anointing would be removed. Meanwhile, Saul set up a monument to honor his great victory, forgetting that his strength, power and authority comes from God. Samuel went to Saul and Saul received him with joy. "Look what I did! I did what the Lord said I should do!" Yet, Samuel asked about the sheep. "Oh, we brought back the best of the flocks and herds to be sacrifices to the Lord your God," Saul answered. Notice he said, "the Lord your God."
Samuel told Saul that the Lord was displeased. "Though thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel? And Jehovah anointed thee king over Israel; and Jehovah sent thee on a journey, and said, Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of Jehovah, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah?" 1 Samuel 15:17-19, ASV
Saul still thought he did what was right. He thought keeping some of the sheep and oxen and the life of Agad would benefit the people and honor God. Saul did evil because he disobeyed God. Worst of all, when Saul finally confessed his failure, he said, "I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of Jehovah, and thy words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."
Saul isn't alone among God's people. We all, at some time in our lives, have obeyed the wrong voices because of fear. We ignore God's commands and do what we think is right because they make more sense. We look at this story of Saul and think it is ridiculous to destroy the sheep and oxen when they could be used as food for God's people. Such a waste! But God calls us to a life of obedience. We don't know how our choices will affect the future, as Saul's choice to spare Agad affected God's people in future generations. So, let us remember to fear God more than men, to listen to His Word and stand by it, obeying His commands as we dwell in this world. When we do we will be rewarded not by our own accomplishments, but by God's blessing.
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"Jehovah, remember for David All his affliction; How he sware unto Jehovah, and vowed unto the Mighty One of Jacob: surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids; until I find out a place for Jehovah, a tabernacle for the Mighty One of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it in Ephrathah: we found it in the field of the wood. We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool. Arise, O Jehovah, into thy resting-place; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priest be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David's sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. Jehovah hath sworn unto David in truth; He will not turn from it: of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon thy throne for evermore. For Jehovah hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for his habitation. This is my resting-place for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests also will I clothe with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame; but upon himself shall his crown flourish." Psalm 132, ASV
I love Abby Scuito. I realize that she is a fictional character, of course, played by actress Pauley Perrette on the television show NCIS. Abby is a forensic scientist and is often credited with finding the minutest detail that leads to the capture of the bad guy. The forensics can reveal microscopic evidence that would never be found by the human eye or reason. She uses modern scientific techniques and technology to give the rest of the team exactly what they need to get their job done. Of course, Abby is just part of a team and it takes them all to solve the crimes. Also, it is fictional; real forensic scientists have reported that some of the things you see on those criminal investigative shows are more advanced than the actual abilities in today's world, but it is fun to watch as Abby do such amazing work.
She's adorable, too. Her attitudes and activities might seem a little strange, perhaps even contradictory. She is incredibly intelligent and yet almost childlike in her vision of the world. She sleeps in a coffin and bowls with a bunch of nuns. She wears gothic clothes but has a farting hippo that gives her comfort when she is stressed. She wears multiple tattoos on her body and a smile on her face. She practically mainlines caffeine in the form of a drink called Caf Pow but she seeks peace through healthy living both physically and spiritually. The character was created to be a contradiction and Pauley Perrette plays it well.
Abby is devoted to her job. She seemingly runs like the energizer bunny, especially when there is something about the case that has her worried or concerned. She wants to find the answer at any cost, even the cost of rest. When Tony DiNozzo was accused of murder, Abby refused to sleep until the case was solved. Unfortunately, the forensics all pointed to Tony, which upset her very much. She was afraid that she couldn't trust the forensics because she knew that Tony could not have done the crime, but every detail pointed to him. In the end she discovered that he was framed by a lab assistant who used his own knowledge of forensics and his access to the lab to get back at Tony for something in the past.
Abby could not stop working in that show. She was in her lab constantly, drinking Caf Pow until her body just couldn't handle it any longer. At one point she was awakened, having fallen asleep at a lab table in the middle of another test. She jumped off the chair and went a little crazy. "I can't sleep, I have to save Tony." She refused to stop until she did. Unfortunately, our brains need to rest and our flesh can't go one forever. Exhaustion can make the work even harder. That good night sleep reboots your system, giving you a fresh mind. The greatest discoveries are not discovered when we work our bodies and brains until they break, but when we have the capability to see it all with clear eyes and minds.
Sometimes the best ideas come to us in the shower. I saw a post on Facebook today about just that subject. It was a list of twenty brilliant things people thought of when their mind wandered as they took a shower. It is an amazing list of thoughts, like Your shadow is a confirmation that light has traveled nearly 93 million miles unobstructed, only to be deprived of reaching the ground in the final few feet thanks to you." Or "The person who would proof read Hitler's speeches was literally a grammar Nazi."
Abby would appreciate the next one: "Go to bed, you'll feel better in the morning" is the human version of "Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?" Abby, who depends on computer technology for so much of her forensics understands the importance of keeping her equipment well-tuned. Perhaps she should listen to the story of David. David promised God that he would not rest until God had a Temple in which to reside. God had a different plan; it would be David to build that Temple, but David's son would.
Sometimes we refuse to give up or rest because we think we are alone in our work. God reminds us that we are part of a team; we all have a role. The most important thing is to realize that we must at times rest or we will be no good for any of it. We have to stop, let others take the lead, trust that the truth will win. We have to shut off for a little while so that we can reboot to a new, fresh day and see things more clearly. David continued to work to prepare for the Temple, but he learned that all things come together in God's time and way. So, too, should we. We can rest because God is good.
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
Scripture on this page taken from the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible which belongs to the public domain. Some scripture on this site taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
As you may be aware, I also write a weekly devotional on Wednesday called "MIDWEEK OASIS." For those of you who are familiar with lectionary scripture sources, MIDWEEK OASIS is based on the texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text. We are now using the lectionary for our A WORD FOR TODAY texts. This devotional is posted on Wednesday, at both A WORD FOR TODAY and at MIDWEEK OASIS.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes