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All the Strength of Heaven

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 22

Scripture Focus: And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. (1 Samuel 22.2)

Devotional Thought: The rift between David and Saul was growing, and many marginalized people found their way into David’s circle:

· In distress… This comes from a root word that means to be constrained or oppressed. Romans 6, tells us that those who serve sin are slaves to sin. But, through Jesus “sin shall not be your master.”

· In debt… Not only are we in bondage to our sins, we all are in debt for our sins. It is a debt we cannot hope to pay. But, Jesus has paid the price by his death on the cross!

· Bitter in soul… Bitterness of soul comes when our circumstances rule over us. Yet, we do not need to reside in our bitterness. Jesus offers us a way that we can rise above the circumstances that hold us down.

What did these distressed, indebted, and bitter souls do? They "gathered to him." One of those who came to David was Abiathar, the son of the priest whom Saul had killed, due to his helping out David. David said to him, “Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.” Those were bold words! David had only a ragtag militia against Saul’s organized military. Yet, he was confident that he could protect not only himself, but also Abiathar. Why? Because he had been given a promise by God himself. David wasn’t bragging about his military might. He was confident in the promises of God. You can be, too, for all the strength of heaven is on your side!

Prayer: Lord, in my distress... Lord, in my debt... Lord, in my bitterness... I come to you. Thank you for giving me a safe haven, a final payment, and a place of refuge. I receive your grace with gladness of heart. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 81.1-7

1 Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.

4 For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob. 5 He made it a decree in Joseph when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a language I had not known: 6 “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. 7 In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

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