Happy Christmas everyone.
Anyone hoping for a comfortable and pleasant set of readings at Christmas time won’t find them in the passages we have this year. In 1 Samuel David is on the run from Saul and the 5 chapters this week read like an adventure book with stories of hide outs in caves, near death experiences, David faking being a madman and at the end of it all he ends up with multiple wives. Other than making for compelling reading what are we to learn about who God is and how we can follow David’s example in seeking after God’s heart? One of the things that struck me most was how clear God’s voice is to David. In chapter 23 when David hears the voice of God saying to save the people from Keilah from Philistines. He and his men are scared, but David asks God again and God confirms his word. David then saves the people and God (again) comes true on his promises. And even straight after this when Saul hunts after him, David’s first port of call is to speak to the Lord. In every decision, he includes God.
There is so much that we could take out of our New Testament readings from 1 & 2 Peter. They are rich books and we could look in detail in each section and take things that apply to us as disciples today. There was one thing that stuck out to me through all the richness. That your inner self is what is of worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3.4). Yes, this is in a section written to “wives” but the same goes for “husbands” (‘Husbands, in the same way be considerate with your wives…’ v7) but this is a theme that runs through all of the readings in 1 and 2 Peter we have this week. Check out 1 Peter 2.17, 3.8, 4.1, 5.5 and 2 Peter 1.8 and notice how all of these verses point to what your inner life should be like. What God has done for us in Christ deserves a response, and it is not in how we perform or look, but about the response of our heart.
Some questions to think through as you read this week:
- Are you involving God in all of your decisions, like David?
- 1 Peter assumes the life of faith is done in community (look at all the “one-anothers”). As you prepare for a new year how can you live your life of faith in deeper community in the church?
- Out of the characteristics listed in 2 Peter 1, which do you need to grow in the most?