What The Bible Really says 2018 – Day 81: 1 Samuel 9-10; Acts 8

1 Samuel 9-10; Acts 8

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The following text is from the English Standard Version.

1 Samuel 9-10

There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth.
And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, ”Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.”
And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin, but did not find them.
When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, ”Come, let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.”
But he said to him, ”Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.”
Then Saul said to his servant, ”But if we go, what can we bring the man? For the bread in our sacks is gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?”
The servant answered Saul again, ”Here, I have with me a quarter of a shekel of silver, and I will give it to the man of God to tell us our way.”
(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, ”Come, let us go to the seer,” for today’s ”prophet” was formerly called a seer.)
And Saul said to his servant, ”Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
As they went up the hill to the city, they met young women coming out to draw water and said to them, ”Is the seer here?”
They answered, ”He is; behold, he is just ahead of you. Hurry. He has come just now to the city, because the people have a sacrifice today on the high place.
As soon as you enter the city you will find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat. For the people will not eat till he comes, since he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now go up, for you will meet him immediately.”
So they went up to the city. As they were entering the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.
Now the day before Saul came, the LORD had revealed to Samuel:
‘Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”
When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD told him, ”Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.”
Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, ”Tell me where is the house of the seer?”
Samuel answered Saul, ”I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind.
As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s house?”
Saul answered, ”Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
Then Samuel took Saul and his young man and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, who were about thirty persons.
And Samuel said to the cook, ”Bring the portion I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Put it aside.”’
So the cook took up the leg and what was on it and set them before Saul. And Samuel said, ”See, what was kept is set before you. Eat, because it was kept for you until the hour appointed, that you might eat with the guests.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
And when they came down from the high place into the city, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep.
Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul on the roof, ”Up, that I may send you on your way.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.
As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, ”Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, ”Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.
When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, ”What shall I do about my son?”’
Then you shall go on from there further and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine.
And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand.
After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying.
Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.
Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.
When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them.
And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, ”What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
And a man of the place answered, ”And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, ”Is Saul also among the prophets?”
When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.
Saul’s uncle said to him and to his servant, ”Where did you go?” And he said, ”To seek the donkeys. And when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel.”
And Saul’s uncle said, ”Please tell me what Samuel said to you.”
And Saul said to his uncle, ”He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found.” But about the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel had spoken, he did not tell him anything.
Now Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah.
And he said to the people of Israel, ”Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’
But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses, and you have said to him, ‘Set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands.”
Then Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot.
He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found.
So they inquired again of the LORD, ”Is there a man still to come?” and the LORD said, ”Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage.”
Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.
And Samuel said to all the people, ”Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, ”Long live the king!”
Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home.
Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went men of valor whose hearts God had touched.
But some worthless fellows said, ”How can this man save us?” And they despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

Acts 8

And Saul approved of his execution.And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.
But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.
And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.
For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
So there was much joy in that city.
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, ”This man is the power of God that is called Great.”
And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
saying, ”Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
But Peter said to him, ”May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
And Simon answered, ”Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ”Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.
And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship
and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
And the Spirit said to Philip, ”Go over and join this chariot.”
So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ”Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, ”How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: ”Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, ”About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ”See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
See Footnote
And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

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