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March 26 - Evening

"Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 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....
When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba.  But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, 'You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead  us, such as all the other nations have.'
But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us,' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord."

- First Samuel 7:15-17; 8:1-6

A Call for Monarchy


Samuel traveled a 30 mile circuit between Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah to guide and instruct Israel. Samuel’s time as judge (guide, teacher, counselor, governmental advisor, etc.) of Israel was a time of spiritual growth and advancement as a culture. Although limited due to the momentous ignorance and theological chaos of this period, Samuel’s time of leadership was a time of great improvement compared to the times of the other judges.

Samuel built an altar at Ramah, most likely to replace the fallen Tabernacle, which was near the high place of Gibeah.

As Samuel grew old it appears there was no new judge and no new anointing for a leader on the horizon, so Samuel appointed his own sons to fulfill the responsibilities. But, his sons were unjust and used their position for personal gain.

An ostracon dated from the period of the Judges was found in Khirbet Qeiyafa, a city in Judah, which contains a Hebrew inscription that seems to capture the age of corrupt judges, oppressed people and elders who established a monarchy for their society. The text on this ostracon seems to confirm the biblical account of the final days of Samuel and the early days of King Saul. The Hebrew text has been translated to read:

Do not oppress, and serve God…despoiled him/her The judge and the widow wept; he had the power Over the resident alien and the child, he eliminated them together The men and chiefs/officers have established a king He marked 60 [?] servants among the communities/habitations/generation.
(Details here, here, here and here. Photos.)
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Energeo (Gr) – Effective Work (Eng) – energeo is a Greek word that means “to put forth power,”
“be operative,” and “to work.”
Energeo refers to work released in power that accomplishes its goal.
This word
energeo is used by Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:6; Galatians 2:8 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
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Am I a trustworthy messenger?
Do I serve and benefit those who send me?
I will be faithful to the message and the purpose of the one who sends me.



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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




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Personal

Finances

Church

Be a light in the darkness
Private property
Cameroon



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Inside David's palace and the Royal residence of the Kings of Judah. (Details)
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Details showing the street running from the Pool of Siloam up past the southwest corner of the Temple Mount, along the west wall of the Temple Mount and up to the northwest corner of the Temple Mount. (click on image for larger size)
See this street:
- at the Pool of Siloam
- the steps leading up from the Pool of Siloam
- underground in the gutter
- at the SW corner under Robinson's Arch here
- at the NW corner in the Western Wall Tunnels...here




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Someone to Quote

"But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic monotony that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." 
- G.K. Chesterton

Something to Ponder

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John Wyclif (1324-1384)
• Morning Star of Reformation
• A Saxon, studied at Oxford.
• He had several major appointments including one from the king.
• One of the king’s chaplains.
• In 1374 Wyclif went for the king to negotiate peace with France and to meet with the Pope’s agents on filling church positions in England.
• Returned to England speaking of religious reform.
• Preached in Oxford and London against the Pope’s secular sovereignty.
• In one of his tracts Wyclif called the Pope: - “the anti-Christ"
- "the proud, worldly priest of Rome" - "most cursed of clippers and cut-purses.”
• Tried for heresy in 1378
• He began to translate the Scriptures into English (which was illegal).
• He organized traveling preachers to take his message around the country.
• He rejected: - transubstantiation, - priestly absolution in the confessional, - and indulgences.
• His followers were called ‘Lollards’ and were arrested.
• He suffered a stroke in 1382 that left him partially paralyzed.
• While saying mass in his church he was struck again with paralysis and died two days later on Dec. 29, 1384.
• Wyclif was said to have lit a fire that would never go out.
• 94 years later, in 1478, the church dug up his bones, burnt them and threw the ashes in a river .

Here’s a Fact

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In Acts 21:16-30 Paul is accused and his life threatened for bringing a Gentile into the inner court of the Temple in Jerusalem which was reserved only for Jewish men. Archaeologists have found two slabs of stone inscribed with inscriptions forbidding the entrance of Gentiles. One stone has the following in a seven line inscription:
NO FOREIGNER IS TO GO BEYOND THE BALUSTRADE AND THE PLAZA OF THE TEMPLE ZONE WHOEVER IS CAUGHT DOING SO WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME FOR HIS DEATH WHICH WILL FOLLOW
Josephus describes it this way in his writings: "Proceeding across this [the open court] towards the second court of the temple, one found it surrounded by a stone balustrade, three cubits high and of exquisite workmanship; in this at regular intervals stood slabs giving warning, some in Greek, others in Latin characters, of the law of purification, to wit that no foreigner was permitted to enter the holy place, for so the second enclosure of the temple was called." - (Jos. War 5, v, 2; cf. Jos. War 6, ii, 4; Jos. Antiq. 15. xi, 5; Philo Leg. 212) 
Paul alludes to this “barrier, dividing wall of hostility” in Ephesians 2:14.
(Details here and here)

Proverb

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"Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison."
- Proverbs 26:6

Coach’s Corner

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Escape the feeling of being overwhelmed by doing something. Move towards the end instead of merely staring motionless.

Ephesians 2:14
New International Version (NIV)
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
2 Corinthians 1:6
New International Version (NIV)
If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
Galatians 2:8
New International Version (NIV)
For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
1 Samuel 3
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Calls Samuel
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
Joshua 14-15
New International Version (NIV)
Division of the Land West of the Jordan
14 Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel allotted to them. Their inheritances were assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, as the Lord had commanded through Moses. Moses had granted the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan but had not granted the Levites an inheritance among the rest, for Joseph’s descendants had become two tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. The Levites received no share of the land but only towns to live in, with pasturelands for their flocks and herds. So the Israelites divided the land, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Allotment for Caleb
Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)
Then the land had rest from war.
Allotment for Judah
15 The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south.
Their southern boundary started from the bay at the southern end of the Dead Sea, crossed south of Scorpion Pass, continued on to Zin and went over to the south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it ran past Hezron up to Addar and curved around to Karka. It then passed along to Azmon and joined the Wadi of Egypt, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. This is their southern boundary.
The eastern boundary is the Dead Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan.
The northern boundary started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan,
went up to Beth Hoglah and continued north of Beth Arabah to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. The boundary then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor and turned north to Gilgal, which faces the Pass of Adummim south of the gorge. It continued along to the waters of En Shemesh and came out at En Rogel. Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim). 10 Then it curved westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), continued down to Beth Shemesh and crossed to Timnah. 11 It went to the northern slope of Ekron, turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah and reached Jabneel. The boundary ended at the sea.
12 The western boundary is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
These are the boundaries around the people of Judah by their clans.
13 In accordance with the Lord’s command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah—Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 14 From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites—Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the sons of Anak. 15 From there he marched against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher). 16 And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 17 Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.
18 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?”
19 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, according to its clans:
21 The southernmost towns of the tribe of Judah in the Negev toward the boundary of Edom were:
Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur,
22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iyim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain and Rimmon—a total of twenty-nine towns and their villages.
33 In the western foothills:
Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Sokoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim)—fourteen towns and their villages.
37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpah, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Kabbon, Lahmas, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah and Makkedah—sixteen towns and their villages.
42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Akzib and Mareshah—nine towns and their villages.
45 Ekron, with its surrounding settlements and villages; 46 west of Ekron, all that were in the vicinity of Ashdod, together with their villages; 47 Ashdod, its surrounding settlements and villages; and Gaza, its settlements and villages, as far as the Wadi of Egypt and the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
48 In the hill country:
Shamir, Jattir, Sokoh,
49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon and Giloh—eleven towns and their villages.
52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) and Zior—nine towns and their villages.
55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah and Timnah—ten towns and their villages.
58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth and Eltekon—six towns and their villages.
60 Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim) and Rabbah—two towns and their villages.
61 In the wilderness:
Beth Arabah, Middin, Sekakah,
62 Nibshan, the City of Salt and En Gedi—six towns and their villages.
63 Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.

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