Bible in 365 Days – Day 108

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Samuel 26
  • 1 Samuel 27:1-7
  • 1 Chronicles 12:1-7
  • 1 Samuel 27:8-12
  • 1 Samuel 28-29
  • 1 Chronicles 12:19
  • Psalms 56

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Chronicles 12:1-2 NLT

The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle. All of them were expert archers, and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.

 

Observation (s):

  1. The additional men who joined David, while he was hiding from Saul at Ziklag, were relatives of Saul.

    The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.

  2. The men were all skilled in warfare.

    The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle. All of them were expert archers, and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right.

Application:

It is the most incredible thing! David was Saul’s proclaimed enemy yet his relatives joined David’s camp. Saul’s own relatives defected to David’s camp! These were men skilled in warfare who went on to fight beside David in battle. Check this out! David did not have to lift a finger to convince them to join his army. Saul’s relatives sought him out and joined him voluntarily, without prompting! How amazing is that?!

When you are righteous and allow your steps to be ordered by the Lord, you will find even your enemy’s relatives in your corner, ready and willing to fight for your cause. Abide in God’s corner and watch His orchestrations.


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Chañel

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Bible in 365 Days – Day 102

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Chronicles 9:35-39
  • 1 Samuel 13:1-5
  • 1 Samuel 13:19-23
  • 1 Samuel 13:6-18
  • 1 Samuel 14

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Samuel 13:5-13, 14:6 NLT

The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear. 

Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.

Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?”

Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.”

“How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

“Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

 

Observation (s):

  1. When the Israelite army saw the situation that they were in, they allowed fear to consume them and some of them abandoned the pending fight.

    The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore! They camped at Micmash east of Beth-aven. The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead. Meanwhile, Saul stayed at Gilgal, and his men were trembling with fear.

  2. When Saul saw that his men were abandoning the army, instead of waiting for Samuel to offer the sacrifice, per God’s commands, he allowed fear and impatience to rule and offered the sacrifice himself.

    Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.

    Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?”

  3. Despite the men’s abandonment, Jonathan, Saul’s son, still believed that the Lord could win the battle.

    “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

     

Application:

God has proven to us that He did not require a large number of men or resources to win battles. When God is on your side, your victory is determined by the authority of God not the size of your army. There is no safety for your enemies in their large numbers.

Some of the men in Israel’s army forgot the times, like Gideon and the 300, when God proved himself. Instead, they focused on the Philistine numbers and the seemingly impossible situation. This focus stoked their fears and they deserted their brothers. Saul was also impacted negatively by the desertion of men. He placed his victory in the size of his army and so, when his men deserted, he switched to trying to rush God. His fear and disobedience cost him his throne. Unlike his father, Jonathan’s attitude to the desertion was different. He pressed on and kept his focus on God and His reputation, knowing that God can still provide a victory even with a few men.

Are you in a fight? Don’t focus on the enemy or the seemingly impossible situation. Don’t focus on the quantity of your resources. Be a Jonathan, focus on God. Nothing can hinder Him from gaining the victory.


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Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 96

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Focus Chapters:

  • Judges 19-21

 

Standout Verse(s):

Judges 20:18-25, 27-30, 35 NLT

Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, “Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?”

The Lord answered, “Judah is to go first.”

So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah. Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin. But Benjamin’s warriors, who were defending the town, came out and killed 22,000 Israelites on the battlefield that day.

But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day. For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord until evening. They had asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?”

And the Lord had said, “Go out and fight against them.”

So the next day they went out again to fight against the men of Benjamin, but the men of Benjamin killed another 18,000 Israelites, all of whom were experienced with the sword.

The Israelites went up seeking direction from the Lord. (In those days the Ark of the Covenant of God was in Bethel, and Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron was the priest.) The Israelites asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?”

The Lord said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

So the Israelites set an ambush all around Gibeah. They went out on the third day and took their positions at the same place as before.

So the Lord helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin’s warriors, all of whom were experienced swordsmen.

 

Observation (s):

  1. The first time Israel went up to fight Benjamin, as directed by God, they lost 22,000 of their men.

    Before the battle the Israelites went to Bethel and asked God, “Which tribe should go first to attack the people of Benjamin?”

    The Lord answered, “Judah is to go first.”

    So the Israelites left early the next morning and camped near Gibeah. Then they advanced toward Gibeah to attack the men of Benjamin. But Benjamin’s warriors, who were defending the town, came out and killed 22,000 Israelites on the battlefield that day.

  2. Despite their loss on the first day, Israel went up to fight again a second time, per God’s directive. This time they lost 18,000 men.

    But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day. For they had gone up to Bethel and wept in the presence of the Lord until evening. They had asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again?”

    And the Lord had said, “Go out and fight against them.”

    So the next day they went out again to fight against the men of Benjamin, but the men of Benjamin killed another 18,000 Israelites, all of whom were experienced with the sword.

  3. Israel sought God following their second loss. Per his directive, they went up to fight a third time. This time they defeated Benjamin.

    The Israelites asked the Lord, “Should we fight against our relatives from Benjamin again, or should we stop?”

    The Lord said, “Go! Tomorrow I will hand them over to you.”

    So the Israelites set an ambush all around Gibeah. They went out on the third day and took their positions at the same place as before.

    So the Lord helped Israel defeat Benjamin, and that day the Israelites killed 25,100 of Benjamin’s warriors, all of whom were experienced swordsmen.

     

Application:

We tend to give up too easily. At the first sign of obstacles, some of us throw in the towel. We toss our faith and forget that God was the one who had led us on our path to our fight.

Israel’s reaction when faced with the challenge of defeating Benjamin has a lot to teach us. Can you imagine suffering defeat twice when God had been the one to tell you to go fight? It must have been hard and humiliating and devastating to suffer such heavy losses, yet Israel stuck to their guns. At each loss, they sought God, confirmed his directions, encouraged each other and got back into the fight. Eventually, on the third try they gained the victory.

God’s guidance is not the guarantee of an easy win. Don’t lose faith if you experience losses on your first few tries. If God has brought you to it, He will surely bring you through it. Take a page out of Israel’s book, encourage yourself and get back into the fight. Your victory is surely coming.


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Bible in 365 Days – Day 92

DAY 92 .png

Focus Chapters:

  • Judges 7-8
  • Judges 9:1-21

 

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Judges 7:9-11 NLT

That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.”

 

THE REACTION

Judges 7:13-15 NLT

Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!”

His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”

When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!”

 

Observation (s):

  1. God knew of Gideon’s fears and prepared assurances in advance.

    That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.”

  2. Members of the Midianite camp were aware that Gideon would win, before he was.

    Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!”

    His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”

  3. God’s assurances were all that Gideon needed to believe, thank God for the victory and be propelled into action.

    When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!”

     

Application:

God’s proactive response to Gideon’s fear is so reassuring. His understanding of Gideon was so in-depth that He prepared external reassurances, for Gideon, before Gideon even realized he needed them. Can you imagine that? God accomplished so much with one dream:

  1. God sent a Midianite man, the enemy, a dream and its interpretation ahead of schedule.
  2. God knew when and where the conversation regarding the dream would occur and positioned Gideon to be at the right place to receive what He needed.
  3. The enemy believed that Gideon would win before Gideon believed what God had assured him of.

Through one move, God was able to strike out Gideon’s fear and strike fear in the enemy. That’s a masterful divine orchestration!

Are you fearful about the fight that God has directed you to? Rest assured that you are directed by a masterful Divine Orchestrator! God knows you well and preemptively prepares for your fears and fight. He understands you and makes the necessary preparations to assure you! If God has said it, it will come to pass. Priase God for your victory and head into the fight!


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Chañel

Birthday Countdown – Reflections (Part 1)

Reflections 1.png

Today is the first day of April. April 1st marks the countdown to my 26th birthday. I’ve decided to slate this period (from now to the big day) as a season of reflection. Today, on reminiscing about some of the horrible seasons that I overcame, I feel incredibly grateful.

Recently, I had a conversation, with a friend about some of the seasons I’ve gone through. The conversation made me realize something important. My past difficult seasons prepared me for future, more difficult, seasons. For example, dealing with a horrible breakup while attending university full-time and working part-time taught me how to handle my business despite emotional trauma. This experience prepared me for a season in my professional life where I was required to handle a difficult professional scenario while dealing with health, family and emotional difficulties. Despite the difficulties and emotional toils, I fought hard and soared! I now feel incredibly grateful for the hardships of my difficult seasons. The future benefits outweigh the past hardships.

I also feel a sense of assurance. God prepared me for something that I didn’t even know that I needed to be prepared for and through it all, He held my hand. I will echo, once again, I am grateful.


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Chañel

 

Bible in 365 Days – Day 76

DAY 76

Focus Chapters:

  • Deuteronomy 16: 18-22
  • Deuteronomy 17-20
  • Deuteronomy 21:1-9

 

Standout Verse(s):

Deuteronomy 20:1, 20:8 NLT

“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!

“Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’

 

Observation (s):

  1. The Israelites were expected to cast aside fear and trust that God, who delivered them from Egypt, would be with them in their fights against large armies.

    When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!

  2. The officers were instructed to send home any soldier who was fearful. This was to prevent these soldiers from striking fear in the hearts of their comrades.

    “Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’

     

Application:

Fear is contagious and crippling. Do not entertain it. When you step, into a battle orchestrated by God, do not be afraid. Do not give fear the power to cripple you. The armies and resources of your opponent may be great but God is greater. Rest assured and move in faith, knowing that God is with you and will fight for you.

Finally, be careful of the persons you entertain during and before your battle. If they are fearful, they are contagious! You may just find yourself entertaining and struggling with a spirit of fear.

Cast aside the weight of fear and put your trust in God.


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Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 36

Focus Chapters:

  • Exodus 13-15

Standout Verse(s):

THE ACTION

Exodus 14:10-12 NLT

As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”

THE REACTION

Exodus 14:13-14 NLT

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Observation (s):

  1. In the moment when the Israelites lives were at stake, they looked back and yearned for their enslavement in Egypt, believing that slavery there was better than dying in the wilderness.

    They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”.

  2. Moses made himself an example. He behaved in the manner that he requested from the Israelites. He stifled his fears, stood still and watched God.

    But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”.

Application:

I can’t swim but I love the water as long as I am in control. I started learning to swim a few months ago. On my first try, I was told to turn on my back and float while my sister supported me. My first few attempts resulted in me thrashing around and panicking, making it more difficult for me or my sister to handle the situation. Panicking meant I was no longer in a position to hear and respond to her instructions. It took me a while to be still and calm, knowing that my sister supported me and had my back.

It is hard to be calm and watch God in the middle of a dangerous situation, especially when you know what is at stake if the danger overcomes you. For the Israelites, their lives were at stake and like many of us, their initial reaction was to panick and start looking back at moments when they were “safer”. In that moment, they were willing to go back to the situation and labels that God had delivered them from. In that moment they focused on the big stakes instead of the bigger God who is on their side and fighting for them.

I want to be like Moses. The stakes are big but God is bigger. Having already seen God’s power, he had only two reactions:

  1. He placed his fears under subjection.
  2. He was calm and still enough to hear God and act upon His instructions.

What will your reaction in danger be? Will you be still and watch God fight for you?

XOXO,
Chañel