Sunday, April 2, 2023


Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 30-31

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Around 1100 BC, the Canaanite city of Beit She’an (modern name) was conquered by the Philistines, who used it as a base of operations for further penetrations into Israel. During a battle against King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa, the Philistines prevailed. 1 Samuel 31:10 states that the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of “Beth Shan.” Historians believe that event took place in 1004 BC. The ruins seen here are from the Greco Roman period. The hill in the background is the tel of Beth Shan. The fortified city centre was built on the highest ground, and the destruction of the city, again and again through the centuries, raised the hill as they rebuilt the cities many times on top of the ruins of the old cities.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: 1 Samuel 30:6b, 24

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God…For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.

How do we react under pressure? Perhaps we can learn from David today. Not only did David grieve over his personal loss, he was deeply concerned over the bitterness of his men. David could’ve pleaded innocence and claimed it wasn’t his fault. He could’ve become bitter against God. Instead David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Because of God’s strength, David was able to react with a generosity of spirit, not unlike the landowner in the parable Jesus told. Let’s think about it and read Matthew 20:1-16.
Saul’s reaction to defeat was to take his own life. It might have been so very different. Saul’s failure to take time to hear from God and obey Him when he did know God’s instructions brought him and his family to a most sad end. Even Jonathan, Saul’s son, who was a loyal, loving, faithful friend of David’s, suffered because of his father. The consequences of poor decisions are far-reaching.


Lord God, please guide me in my decisions. I need You so very much to show me how to react in a way that would please You and bless others. Holy Spirit, I ask for You to fill me for this new day with Your wisdom and with the manifestation of the character of Jesus, in whose Name I pray, Amen!


I’ve read several lines written by Hilda Schnell, which expresses how I’m feeling just now. Here are the last lines: “Your unfailing, unconditional love compels the eyes of my spirit to look up, beyond my faltering steps, and gross weakness, to Your indomitable strength.” I need God’s strength, not just for big challenges but for the little things as well. I was disturbed as I exited the parking lot, following the service at a large church we attended. While I was waiting to get in line, I heard a lady yelling at the man in the car in front of her. He was very patiently waiting for other cars to pass in front of him, and her reaction may have indicated that she needed to go back into church and pray a little longer. I should’t be so judgemental, I know. I’ve been tempted to do the same from time to time. She may have been under pressures that I know nothing about. As I sat there waiting, I prayed for her for the growth of that fruit of the Spirit known as “patience,” and then, thinking about my own reactions, I prayed for myself too.

Yours for becoming more like Jesus in our reactions,


4 thoughts on “Sunday, April 2, 2023

  1. So, so beautiful is the Lord our God. Thank You, Father. Everything good and pure comes from You.

    Some additional thoughts from Michael Youssef this morning:

    “In one of His final interactions before His death, Jesus compassionately extended eternal life. As He openly prayed for the forgiveness of His killers, Jesus sparked an internal transformation in the criminal next to Him. In humility, the criminal said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (v. 42). In the midst of great suffering and torment, our Savior did not allow His own pain and circumstances to distract Him from the cries of faith from a repentant sinner. Jesus knew that this was the very reason He was hanging on that cross. Just as He was not too preoccupied to minister to this criminal, He is never too busy for our concerns.

    Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being there to hear my cries for help. I cannot fathom how You care for me, but I trust Your Word and thank You that I can boldly come before Your throne, knowing that You hear my prayers. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

    “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise'” (Luke 23:43).”

  2. Thank You Lord. I am so happy to know that Your promises are true. I agree with David’s Mainse prayer. Blessings on all today as we enter the Easter season. Amen

  3. I found this reading on the conquest of Beit She’an by the Philistines and King Saul’s defeat to be quite intriguing. It’s fascinating to think about how ancient civilizations waged war and the tactics they used. It’s also interesting to consider the significance of the Philistines using Beit She’an as a base of operations and how that may have impacted their success in further penetrating Israel.

    But what struck me the most was the description of King Saul’s body being hung on the walls of Beth Shan. It’s a brutal and gruesome image that speaks to the brutality of war and the lengths to which people will go to defeat their enemies. It also made me wonder about the psychological impact that seeing such a sight would have on those who witnessed it. How would it have affected the morale of the Israelite army and the people of Israel as a whole?

    Overall, this reading emphasizes the harsh realities of ancient warfare and the devastating consequences that come with it. It’s a reminder of the importance

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