April 15

1 Samuel 27–29

1 Then David said in his heart, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of continually seeking me within all the territory of Israel. So will I escape out of his hand.”

2 David arose and passed over with the six hundred men that were with him to Achish, the son of Maok, king of Gath. 3 And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow. 4 It was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer sought him.

5 David said to Achish, “If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the countryside, that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”

6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. 7 The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.

8 David and his men went up and invaded the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. For they were inhabitants of the land from of old, as you come to Shur, even to the land of Egypt. 9 So David would strike the land and would not leave either man or woman alive. And he would take the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments. And then he came back to Achish.

10 Then Achish would say, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah,” or “Against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites,” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 Now David would leave neither a man nor a woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, “Lest they should tell on us, saying, ‘Thus David has done.’” This was his practice all the days which he lived in the country of the Philistines. 12 And Achish believed David, saying, “He has surely become a stench to his people Israel. Therefore he will be my servant forever.”

Chapter 28

1 And it came about in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for war to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, “Know assuredly that you will go out with me to battle, you and your men.”

2 David said to Achish, “Surely you will know what your servant can do.”

And Achish said to David, “Therefore I will appoint you my bodyguard for life.”

3 Now Samuel died and all Israel mourned him, and they buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed the mediums and the necromancers from the land.

4 Then the Philistines gathered themselves together. And they came and camped in Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6 Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams, or by lots, or by prophets. 7 Then said Saul to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

And his servants said to him, “There is a woman who is a medium in Endor.”

8 So Saul disguised himself, put on other clothes, and he went with two of his men. And they came to the woman by night and he said, “Please divine for me by a spirit, and bring up for me whom I will name to you.”

9 The woman said to him, “Listen, you know what Saul has done, how he has eliminated the mediums and necromancers from the land. Now why are you laying a trap for my life to cause my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment will happen to you for this thing.”

11 Then said the woman, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.”

13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”

And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a divine being ascending out of the earth.”

14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?”

And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a robe.”

And Saul perceived that it was Samuel. And he kneeled with his face to the ground and bowed himself.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you roused me to bring me up?”

And Saul answered, “I am greatly distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me any longer by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have called you that you might make known to me what I should do.”

16 Then said Samuel, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. The Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor, David. 18 As you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 And moreover, the Lord will deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

20 Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground because he greatly feared the words of Samuel. Also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all day and all night.

21 The woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified. And she said to him, “Listen, your handmaid has obeyed your voice. I have taken my life in my hand and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 22 Now therefore you also, please obey the voice of your maidservant and let me set before you a piece of bread, and eat so that you may have strength when you go on your way.”

23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.”

But his servants, and also the woman, urged him and he listened to them. So he arose from the ground and sat on the bed.

24 Now the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she hurried and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 She brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.

Chapter 29

1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, and the children of Israel were camping by the spring which is in Jezreel. 2 The lords of the Philistines were advancing by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were advancing in the rear with Achish. 3 Then the princes of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?”

And Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years? And I have found no fault in him since the day of his desertion to this day.”

4 But the princes of the Philistines became angry with him. And the princes of the Philistines said to him, “Make this man return and let him go again to his place which you have appointed him. He will not go down with us in battle, lest he might be an adversary to us in the battle. For with what could he make himself acceptable to his master, if not with the heads of these men? 5 Is this not David, whom they sing for in dances saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,

and David his ten thousands’?”

6 Then Achish called David and said to him, “As the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the camp has been pleasing in my sight. For I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day. However, you are not acceptable in the eyes of the lords. 7 Therefore now, return and go in peace, that you do not displease the lords of the Philistines.”

8 David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And what have you found in your servant, from the day which I came before you to this day, that I may not come and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

9 And Achish answered and said to David, “I know that you are pleasing in my sight like an angel of God. However the lords of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us in battle.’ 10 Therefore rise up early in the morning with your master’s servants who have come with you. And when you have risen early in the morning and it is light, then depart.”

11 So David and his men rose early to depart in the morning and return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

Luke 13:1–22

1 There were present at that time some who told Him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all men living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

6 Then He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came and looked for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the vinedresser of his vineyard, ‘Now these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it deplete the soil?’

8 “He answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you shall cut it down.’”

10 He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years and was bent over and could not straighten herself up. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 Then He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and glorified God.

14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and said to the people, “There are six days in which men ought to work. Therefore come and be healed on those days, but not on the Sabbath day.”

15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead it away to water it? 16 Then should not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has bound these eighteen years, be loosed from this bondage on the Sabbath?”

17 When He said this, all His adversaries were ashamed. And all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

20 Again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in sixty pounds of meal until all of it was leavened.”

22 Then He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.