"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 19-21

The VALUE of SEEKING GUIDANCE to END DISPUTES: Then a wise woman cried out from the city, "Hear, Hear! Please say to Joab, 'Come nearby, that I may speak with you.'" When he had come near to her, the woman said, "Are you Joab?" He answered, "I am." Then she said to him, "Hear the words of your maidservant." And he answered, "I am listening." So she spoke, saying, "They used to talk in former times, saying, 'They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,' and so they would end disputes. I am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?”...Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. (2 Sam 20:16-19, 22)

Sheba was the leader of the Benjamite faction that rebelled against David and the tribe of Judah after the death of Absalom (20:1–2). David’s troops forced Sheba and his army to retreat to the city of Abel, which they then besieged (20:14–15). Abel of Beth Maachah was a city in the extreme north of the territory occupied by Israel, just west of Dan in the tribal territory of Naphtali. It was a city famous for its wise people, and fortunately there was a wise woman who averted a city-wide destruction by her wisdom!

As Joab laid siege to the city and was about to batter down the walls of the city, this wise woman called down to Joab and asked him why he was going to destroy a “mother in Israel” (a city of influence and respect) that had always been proverbial for its wisdom. The citizens had done nothing to deserve the city’s destruction. When Joab explained that he was simply after the rebel leader, Sheba, who was hiding inside, this wise woman convinced the people in the city to kill Sheba by themselves and end the bloodshed (20:16–22).

This unnamed woman in her wisdom withstood King David’s foremost general Joab and convinced him of his error - then determined a solution - then convinced her neighbors as to the proper course to take - then accomplished what Joab had not been able to do, and saved her entire city from destruction. She is the third of such women who saved a city/people from destruction, the first being the unnamed women who dropped a millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull (Judges 9:50–55), and the second being Abigail who saved her entire household from destruction (1 Sam. 25:18–35).

This is what the wise woman had told Joab while she was negotiating for a settlement: “They shall surely seek guidance at Abel and so they would end disputes”. There is great value of seeking guidance to end disputes, and we should also follow the peaceful way of ending a quarrel through negotiations, a win-win situation for all parties involved. This way we will be called as God’s sons as well: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt 5:9).

Let’s pay close attention to what Jesus has said concerning this matter: "Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace" (Luke 14:31-32).

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