1 Sam 11-13; Psalm 38; Acts 9
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
1 Sam 11-13
Then Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, ”Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.”
But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, ”On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, and thus bring disgrace on all Israel.”
The elders of Jabesh said to him, ”Give us seven days respite that we may send messengers through all the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to save us, we will give ourselves up to you.”
When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, and all the people wept aloud.
Now, behold, Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen. And Saul said, ”What is wrong with the people, that they are weeping?” So they told him the news of the men of Jabesh.
And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.
He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, ”Whoever does not come out after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen!” Then the dread of the LORD fell upon the people, and they came out as one man.
When he mustered them at Bezek, the people of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
And they said to the messengers who had come, ”Thus shall you say to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance.”’ When the messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, they were glad.
Therefore the men of Jabesh said, ”Tomorrow we will give ourselves up to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.”
And the next day Saul put the people in three companies. And they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. And those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Then the people said to Samuel, ”Who is it that said, ‘Shall Saul reign over us?’ Bring the men, that we may put them to death.”
But Saul said, ”Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has worked salvation in Israel.”
Then Samuel said to the people, ”Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingdom.”
So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed peace offerings before the LORD, and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
And Samuel said to all Israel, ”Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you.
And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.
Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.”
They said, ”You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.”
And he said to them, ”The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, ”He is witness.”
And Samuel said to the people, ”The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your fathers.
When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
But they forgot the LORD their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them.
And they cried out to the LORD and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.’
And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.
And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the LORD your God was your king.
And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.
But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.
Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.
Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king.”
So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
And all the people said to Samuel, ”Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.”
And Samuel said to the people, ”Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.
For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
Saul was… years old when he began to reign, and he reigned… and two years over Israel.
Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent.
Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, ”Let the Hebrews hear.”
And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.
And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven.
When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns,
and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him.
So Saul said, ”Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.
As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him.
Samuel said, ”What have you done?” And Saul said, ”When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash,
I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”
And Samuel said to Saul, ”You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin.And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men.
And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.
And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual;
another company turned toward Beth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, ”Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.”
But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle,
and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.
So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them.
And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!
For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.
There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness,
I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it also has gone from me.
My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off.
Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long.
But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I said, ”Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!”
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me.
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ”Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
And he said, ”Who are you, Lord?” And he said, ”I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.
And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ”Ananias.” And he said, ”Here I am, Lord.”
And the Lord said to him, ”Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,
and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”
But Ananias answered, ”Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to him, ”Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.
For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ”Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;
and taking food, he was strengthened.For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ”He is the Son of God.”
And all who heard him were amazed and said, ”Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”
But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him,
but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him,
but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him.
And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.
There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed.
And Peter said to him, ”Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose.
And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.
In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, ”Please come to us without delay.”
So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.
But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ”Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.