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March 28 - Evening

" 'What have you done?' asked Samuel.
Saul replied, 'When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, "Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor." So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.'
'You have done a foolish thing,' Samuel said. 'You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.' "

- First Samuel 13:11-14

Saul’s Fear of Men and Manipulation of God

Saul was facing a growing threat from the Philistines who were boldly assembling their forces at Micmash, one of Saul’s bases, was bold. Micmash was about 2 miles from Geba which was itself 2 miles from Gibeah of Saul. The terrain was rough and hilly with high peaks and sharp valleys. The forces of Israel and Philistia were separated by these deep ravines, but could visually see each other’s camps on the high hill tops. Saul’s troops had assembled with him at Gilgal and were waiting for Samuel to arrive to offer the sacrifices and call on the Lord before the battle.

Samuel’s arrival was delayed and served as a test for Saul. Would Saul follow the lead of the Lord’s prophet? Would Saul resort to the theological ignorance from the period of the judges? Would Saul foolishly treat the Lord’s sacrifice as a good luck charm like Hophni and Phinehas has done with the Ark of the Covenant? Whatever Saul’s thinking and theology were that day, it is clear he acted out of fear in an attempt to manipulate his troops. Saul put himself in the place of Samuel, and, instead of acting in obedience, Saul treated the sacrifice to the Lord as a ritual that would obligate the Lord to serve Israel in the battle.

Samuel arrived immediately and called Saul’s theology and his application foolish. Saul’s failure in this area cost him his kingship, his dynasty and his relationship with Samuel, the prophet of the Lord.
Archaios (Gr) – Old (Eng) – archaios is a Greek word that means “original” and “ancient.” Archaios is built on the Greek word arche which means “beginning. Archaios can be found in Matthew 5:21; Acts 15:21 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Do I trust God is present and working in my life?
Or, do I feel I need to manipulate people and circumstances to accomplish God's will?
I will not live in fear and, so depend on manipulation, but I will live by faith and depend on God.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Wisdom and insight


Spiritual growth
Government spending

This is a fragment from the decoration from the Herodian Temple Mount. This could be part of the original Robinsons's arch decoration. It was found and is now located at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount under Robinson's arch.
Details of the locations mentioned by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 2:10; 2:18 and 47:4.

Someone to Quote

"When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it's very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it." 
- Tony Rothman, physicist

Something to Ponder

PNEUMA (πνευµα) is the Greek word for spirit, breath or wind. The Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit – is a person and the third member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is not an object, a power or a personification. The Scriptures reveal that the Holy Spirit has intelligence and a will, exhibits feelings, demonstrates all the divine attributes, and is active in the work of deity including the work of salvation and empowering believers with spiritual gifts.

Here’s a Fact

Ezekiel 8:14 mentions the Jewish women who sat by the north gate of the Temple in Jerusalem “mourning for Tammuz” on September 17, 592 BC (Ezekiel 8:1). The worship of Tammuz was popular among women from 2500 BC through Ezekiel’s day. This is documented in a text dating from 300 BC. (Details here and here.)


"Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse." - Proverbs 28:6

Coach’s Corner

Living is more of an art form than it is a science or a mathematical formula.

Ezekiel 8:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz.
Ezekiel 8:1
New International Version (NIV)
Idolatry in the Temple
In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there.
Matthew 5:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’
Acts 15:21
New International Version (NIV)
21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Jeremiah 2:10
New International Version (NIV)
Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,     send to Kedar and observe closely;     see if there has ever been anything like this:

Jeremiah 2:18
New International Version (NIV)
Now why go to Egypt     to drink water from the Nile? And why go to Assyria     to drink water from the Euphrates?

Jeremiah 47:4
New International Version (NIV)

For the day has come     to destroy all the Philistines and to remove all survivors     who could help Tyre and Sidon. The Lord is about to destroy the Philistines,     the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.
1 Samuel 7
New International Version (NIV)

So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.
Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah
Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.
When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.
10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
13 So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines. 14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. 16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the Lord.
Joshua 21
New International Version (NIV)
Towns for the Levites
21 Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribal families of Israel at Shiloh in Canaan and said to them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that you give us towns to live in, with pasturelands for our livestock.” So, as the Lord had commanded, the Israelites gave the Levites the following towns and pasturelands out of their own inheritance:
The first lot came out for the Kohathites, according to their clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. The rest of Kohath’s descendants were allotted ten towns from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and half of Manasseh.
The descendants of Gershon were allotted thirteen towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
The descendants of Merari, according to their clans, received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun.
So the Israelites allotted to the Levites these towns and their pasturelands, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
From the tribes of Judah and Simeon they allotted the following towns by name 10 (these towns were assigned to the descendants of Aaron who were from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because the first lot fell to them):
11 They gave them Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), with its surrounding pastureland, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 12 But the fields and villages around the city they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
13 So to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Libnah, 14 Jattir, Eshtemoa, 15 Holon, Debir, 16 Ain, Juttah and Beth Shemesh, together with their pasturelands—nine towns from these two tribes.
17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave them Gibeon, Geba, 18 Anathoth and Almon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.
19 The total number of towns for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.
20 The rest of the Kohathite clans of the Levites were allotted towns from the tribe of Ephraim:
21 In the hill country of Ephraim they were given Shechem (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Gezer, 22 Kibzaim and Beth Horon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.
23 Also from the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.
25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands—two towns.
26 All these ten towns and their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.
27 The Levite clans of the Gershonites were given:
from the half-tribe of Manasseh,
Golan in Bashan (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Be Eshterah, together with their pasturelands—two towns;
28 from the tribe of Issachar,
Kishion, Daberath,
29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, together with their pasturelands—four towns;
30 from the tribe of Asher,
Mishal, Abdon,
31 Helkath and Rehob, together with their pasturelands—four towns;
32 from the tribe of Naphtali,
Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Hammoth Dor and Kartan, together with their pasturelands—three towns.
33 The total number of towns of the Gershonite clans came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.
34 The Merarite clans (the rest of the Levites) were given:
from the tribe of Zebulun,
Jokneam, Kartah,
35 Dimnah and Nahalal, together with their pasturelands—four towns;
36 from the tribe of Reuben,
Bezer, Jahaz,
37 Kedemoth and Mephaath, together with their pasturelands—four towns;
38 from the tribe of Gad,
Ramoth in Gilead (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Mahanaim,
39 Heshbon and Jazer, together with their pasturelands—four towns in all.
40 The total number of towns allotted to the Merarite clans, who were the rest of the Levites, came to twelve.
41 The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands. 42 Each of these towns had pasturelands surrounding it; this was true for all these towns.
43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

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