"The Love and Approval of God" painting by Richard Kinney

Today: Psalms 68:28-35; John 19:28-42; John 20:1-9; 1 Samuel 29, 30 & 31

Psalms 68

“The God is Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!” Psalms 68:35

We live in a tumultuous time (as all times have been in one way or another) when various peoples struggle against each other for power. In this age of technology, many wars are being fought covertly to control our minds and bodies. We are under constant attack by the enemy whether we realize it or not.

But God is always ultimately in control. God is far more powerful than even the most ferocious power on earth. God has already defeated our enemies.

If we delve into God, He will give us strength and power too. He will open our minds and eyes to understand truth.

"It Is Finished" painting by Chris di Domizio

John 19 – It Is Finished

Jesus was completely in control of how and when He died. Even as His physical body was being broken and tortured, as His life ebbed away, Jesus was totally lucid, completely in control. He knew the exact moment when His sufferings had been enough “that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” (v.28) He knew when His torment had been sufficient to heal us by His stripes, to save us through His sacrifice.

And He said, “‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (v.30)

Lest anyone might think He didn’t really die, John describes for us how a soldier “pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (v.34) Jesus Christ was dead. John, the author of this gospel, was there. John witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ with his own eyes. We are reading a first person account of the death of our blessed Savior.

"The disciples Peter and John running to the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection" painting by Eugene Burnand

John 20 – The Empty Tomb

John speaks about himself in the third person. He is “the other disciple who had first come to the tomb [and] also entered then, and he saw and believed.” (v.8)

Can you imagine what Peter and John must have felt as they peered into that tomb and discovered it was empty? Consider the confusion, fear, agony, turmoil, despair and profound grief they had experienced over the previous three days. Imagine their emotional exhaustion, the numbness that had begun to set in at that point…

And here they were, the first two men to gaze upon the empty spot where Jesus’ dead body had lain. What must they have thought as they stood there? Confusion of course. But perhaps a glimmer of hope? The faintest beginning of understanding of what an amazing miracle had just taken place??

John “saw and believed.” (v.8)


1 Samuel 29-31

The exploits of David continue in 1 Samuel 29-31. God saved David from fighting against his own people (although David appeared to welcome the fight). God was protecting David and orchestrating his life according to His perfect plan.

David reached a low point when he and his men returned home to find their town of Ziklag had been attacked by the Amalekites and their wives, children and belongings had all been taken. The shocked and grieving people turned on David and threatened to stone him.

“But David felt strengthened in the LORD his God” (v.30:6) and God then led David on to an amazing victory over the Amalekites. Their wives and children and ALL that the Amalekites had stolen was restored to them unharmed.

And then we see the death of Saul and his sons… God Himself had avenged David for all of Saul’s treachery. God Himself had provided the pathway to David’s impending kingship.