Today: Proverbs 12:18-27; John 11:45-57; John 12:1-11; 1 Samuel 5, 6 & 7

Proverbs 12

“There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips will endure forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.” Proverbs 12:18-20

Do you speak rashly or are you a counselor of peace? What do your social media pages look like? I am guilty of speaking rashly sometimes in my comments on Facebook. Sometimes I need to hold my fingers!

"Judas" painting by Ravibandhu Vidyapathy

John 11-12

The disciples weren’t being paranoid. The religious leaders really were plotting to kill Jesus and Lazarus too. These were dangerous times for all of them.

I wonder how John knew what the religious leaders said during their council meeting when they discussed their wicked plan. It must not have been very secret. They were very publicly trying to stir up the people against Jesus and His followers. It seems to have been working because Jesus “no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews” (v.11:54) but went to a city near the wilderness where it was safer.

…until it was time for His assignment. And Jesus slowly made His way back to Jerusalem, stopping first in Bethany to visit Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. There we see John’s first mention of Judas Iscariot and learn that Judas “was a thief, and as he kept the money box, he used to steal from what was put into it.” (v.12:6)

Jesus knew all along who Judas was, that he was stealing, and that he would betray Him. But He selected Judas as a disciple anyway, and let him into the inner circle of the 12. God sometimes allows evil into our inner circles. He sometimes uses the enemy to accomplish His purposes. Satan is the temporary ruler of this world. But have no doubt, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!

1 Samuel 5-6

The story of when the ark of the covenant was captured by the Philistines is so fascinating. The ark truly was a sacred object and God’s presence followed it. When the Philistines put the ark in their temple of Dagon, God toppled the Dagon statue and severed its head and hands. No idol could stand before the presence of God! The people of every Philistine town where the ark was kept were plagued with sickness and tumors. They ended up playing hot potato with the ark for a while; nobody wanted it in their town! And finally they sent it back to the Israelites.

The Philistines didn’t follow God, but they KNEW God’s presence was with the ark and they were terrified of it. I find it so interesting that they knew all about what God had done with Moses and the Egyptians. God worked many miracles for the Israelites and EVERYONE knew about them. They had no internet or tv or newspapers, yet everyone knew. EVERYONE. God WILL be known. He makes sure of it.

1 Samuel 7

Samuel’s message to the Israelites is a message for US TODAY:

“If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts to the LORD and serve Him alone; and He will save you from the hands of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:3

God is calling to us to return to Him, to purge all of the idols from our lives and serve Him alone.