Day 149 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. David wins over King Saul. Abigail pleads with David. Jesus is questioned by Pilate.
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1 Samuel 24
1 Samuel 25
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1 Samuel 24
David Shames Saul
After Saul had chased the Philistines away, some people
told him, “David is in the desert area near En Gedi.”
2 So Saul chose 3000 men from all over Israel and began searching for David and his men. They looked near Wild Goat Rocks. 3 Saul came to some sheep pens beside the road. There was a cave near there, so Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were deep inside that same cave. 4 David’s men told him, “This is the day the LORD told you about when he said, ‘I will give your enemy to you, and you can do whatever you want to him.’”
So David crawled closer and closer to Saul. He cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. But Saul didn’t notice what had happened. 5 Later, David felt bad about what he had done. 6 He said to his men, “I pray that the LORD never lets me do anything like that to my master again. I must not do anything against Saul, because he is the LORD’s chosen king.”* 7 David said these things to stop his men. He would not let them hurt Saul.
Saul left the cave and went on his way. 8 Later, David came out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!”
Saul looked back. David bowed down with his face to the ground to show his respect. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen when people say, ‘David plans to hurt you’? 10 You can see with your own eyes that is not true. The LORD put you within my grasp today in the cave, but I refused to kill you. I was merciful to you. I said, ‘I won’t hurt my master. Saul is the LORD’s chosen king.’ 11 Look at this piece of cloth in my hand. I cut off the corner of your robe. I could have killed you, but I didn’t. Now, I want you to understand this. I want you to know that I am not planning anything against you. I did nothing wrong to you, but you are hunting me and trying to kill me. 12 Let the LORD be the judge. I hope the LORD will punish you for the wrong you did to me, but I won’t fight you my- self. 13 There is an old saying: ‘Bad things come from bad people.’
“I haven’t done anything bad, and I won’t hurt you. 14 Why are you chasing me anyway? Should the king of Israel be out chasing someone no more important than a dying dog or a little flea? 15 Let the LORD be the judge. Let him decide between you and me. He will support me and show that I am right. He will save me from you.”
16 When David finished speaking, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul began crying loudly 17 and said, “You are right, and I am
wrong! You were good to me, even though I have been bad to you. 18 You yourself said it when you told me about the good things you did. The LORD put my life in your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 Does anyone ever catch his enemy and then let him go unharmed? It just doesn’t happen! May the LORD reward you for being so good to me today. 20 Now I know that you will become the new king. You will rule the kingdom of Israel. 21 Now make a promise to me with an oath using the LORD’s name. Promise that you will not kill my descendants, even after I die. Promise me that you will not erase my name from my father’s family.”
22 So David made this promise to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home. But David and his men went back up to the fortress.
1 Samuel 25
David and Nabal the Fool
Samuel died. All the Israelites met together and mourned his death. They buried him at his home in Ramah.
Then David moved to the desert of Maon. 2 A very rich man lived there. He owned land near the town of Carmel. He had 1000 goats and 3000 sheep, whose wool he was cutting in Carmel. 3 This man’s name was Nabal.‡ He was from Caleb’s family. Nabal’s wife was named Abigail. She was a wise and beautiful woman, but Nabal was a mean and cruel man.
4 David was in the desert when he heard that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. 5 David sent ten young men to talk to Nabal. He told them, “Go to Carmel. Find Nabal and give him greetings from me. 6 This is what you should say to him:
“May you and your family be well and all that you own be well. 7 I heard that you are cutting wool from your sheep. Your shepherds were with us for a while, and we did nothing wrong to them. We never took anything from your shepherds while they were at Carmel. 8 Ask your servants and they will tell you this is true. Please be kind to my young men. We come to you now, at this happy time. Please give these young men anything you can. Please do this for me, your friend* David.”
9 David’s men went to Nabal and gave him the message. 10 But Nabal said, “Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? There are many slaves who have run away from their masters these days. 11 I have bread and water, and I have the meat I killed for my servants who cut the wool from my sheep. But I won’t give them to men I don’t even know.”
12 David’s men went back and told him everything that Nabal had said. 13 David told them, “Put on your swords.” So they all put their swords on, and so did David. About 400 men went with David while 200 of them stayed with the supplies.
Abigail Prevents Trouble
14 One of Nabal’s servants spoke to Nabal’s wife Abigail. The servant said, “David sent messengers from the desert to meet our master, but Nabal was rude to them. 15 These men were very good to us while we were out in the fields with the sheep. David’s men were with us the whole time, and they never did anything wrong to us. They did not take anything from us. 16 His men protected us night and day. They were like a wall around us—they protected us while we were with them caring for the sheep. 17 Nabal was foolish to say what he did. Terrible trouble is coming to our master and all his family. You need to think of something to do.”
18 Abigail quickly gathered up 200 loaves of bread, two full wine bags, five cooked sheep, about 17 kilogrammes† of cooked grain, 1 kilogramme‡ of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs. She put them on donkeys. 19 Then Abigail told her servants, “Go on. I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband.
20 Abigail rode her donkey down to the other side of the mountain. She met David and his men coming from the other direction.
21 David was saying, “I protected Nabal’s property in the desert. I made sure not one of his sheep was missing. But it was all for nothing. I was good to him, but he has paid me back with insults! 22 I swear, I will not let even one man in Nabal’s family live until tomorrow morning.”
23 Just then Abigail arrived. When she saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down with her face to the ground in front of him. 24 Abigail fell at his feet and said, “Sir, please let me talk to you. Listen to what I say. Blame me for what happened. 25 I didn’t see the men you sent. Sir, don’t pay any attention to that worthless man, Nabal. His name means ‘Foolish’, and that is what he is. 26 The LORD has kept you from killing innocent people. As surely as the LORD lives and you as well, may your enemies and anyone else who wants to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 Now, I am bringing this gift to you. Please give these things to your men. 28 Please for- give me for doing wrong. I know the LORD will make your family strong because you fight his battles. I know that you will never be guilty of doing evil. 29 If someone chases you to kill you, the LORD your God will save your life. But he will throw away your enemies like a stone from a sling. 30 The LORD promised to do many good things for you, and he will keep his promises. He will make you leader over Israel. 31 So don’t do anything that would make you guilty of killing innocent people. Please don’t fall into that trap. Please remember me when the LORD blesses you.”
32 David answered Abigail, “Praise the LORD, the God of Israel. Praise God for sending you to meet me. 33 God bless you for your good judgment. You kept me from killing innocent people today. 34 But really, it is the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you. As surely as he lives, if you hadn’t come to me when you did, it would have been too late. Not one man in Nabal’s family would have lived until tomorrow morning!”
35 Then David accepted Abigail’s gifts. He told her, “Go home in peace. I have listened to your request, and I will do what you asked.”
36 Abigail went back to Nabal, who was in the house. He had been eating like a king, and he was drunk and feeling good. So Abigail told Nabal nothing until the next morning. 37 The next morning,
Nabal was sober, so his wife told him everything. He had a heart attack and became as stiff as a rock. 38 About ten days later, the LORD gave him a stroke and Nabal died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the LORD! He judged Nabal to be wrong for insulting me and kept me from doing something wrong. The LORD made Nabal pay for what he did.”
Then David sent a message to Abigail to ask her to be his wife. 40 His servants went to Carmel with this message, “David sent us to get you. He wants you to be his wife.”
41 Abigail bowed down with her face to the ground. She said, “I am willing to be your slave woman, even if it is only to wash the feet of my master’s servants.”
42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and brought five of her maids with her. They followed David’s messengers, and Abigail became David’s wife. 43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both Ahinoam and Abigail were his wives. 44 David was also married to Saul’s daughter Michal, but Saul had taken her away from him and had given her to a man named Palti, son of Laish. Palti was from the town named Gallim.
Peter Lies Again
(Matt. 26:71-75; Mark 14:69-72; Luke 22:58-62)
25 Simon Peter was standing by the fire, keeping himself warm. The other people said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of the followers of that man?”
Peter denied it. He said, “No, I am not.”
26 One of the servants of the high priest was there. He was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. The servant said, “I think I saw you with him in the garden!”
27 But again Peter said, “No, I was not with him!” As soon as he said this, a cockerel crowed.
Jesus Is Brought Before Pilate
(Matt. 27:1-2,11-31; Mark 15:1-20; Luke 23:1-25)
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas’ house to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early in the morning. The Jews would not go inside the palace. They did not want to make themselves unclean, because they wanted to eat the Passover meal. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and asked, “What do you say this man has done wrong?”
30 They answered, “He is a bad man. That is why we brought him to you.”
31 Pilate said to them, “You take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”
The Jewish leaders answered, “Our law says he should be killed. But your law does not allow us to execute anyone.” 32 By saying this they showed how Jesus would die the way he said he would.†
33 Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He called for Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did other people tell you about me?”
35 Pilate said, “I am not a Jew! It was your own people and their leading priests who handed you over to me. What have you done wrong?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not the kind that this world knows. If it were, my servants would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom is not from here.”
37 Pilate said, “So you are a king.”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.”
38 Pilate said, “What is truth?” Then he went out to the Jewish leaders again and said to them, “I can find nothing against this man. 39 But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you during the Passover festival. Do you want me to free this ‘king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a rebel.)
15 Mount Bashan is a great mountain, a mountain with many high peaks.
16 With so many peaks, Bashan, why are
you jealous of Mount Zion?
That is where God has chosen to live. The LORD will live there forever.
17 With his millions of chariots,
the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.
18 You, LORD, went up to that high mountain,
leading a parade of captives.
You received gifts from people,* even those who turned against you.
You, LORD God, went up there to live.
19 Praise the Lord!
Every day he helps us with the loads we must carry.
He is the God who saves us. Selah
20 He is our God, the God who saves us. The Lord GOD saves us from death.
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