Read the Bible | April 21st
1 Samuel 30
David's Wives Are Captured
 Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire  and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way.  And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.  Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.  David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.  And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David.  And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”  So David set out, and the six hundred men who were with him, and they came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed.  But David pursued, he and four hundred men. Two hundred stayed behind, who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor.
 They found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink,  and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. And when he had eaten, his spirit revived, for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights.  And David said to him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.  We had made a raid against the Negeb of the Cherethites and against that which belongs to Judah and against the Negeb of Caleb, and we burned Ziklag with fire.”  And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.”
David Defeats the Amalekites
 And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.  And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled.  David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives.  Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all.  David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, “This is David's spoil.”
 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the brook Besor. And they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near to the people he greeted them.  Then all the wicked and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may lead away his wife and children, and depart.”  But David said, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us.  Who would listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike.”  And he made it a statute and a rule for Israel from that day forward to this day.
 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD.”  It was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir,  in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa,  in Racal, in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, in the cities of the Kenites,  in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach,  in Hebron, for all the places where David and his men had roamed.
1 Samuel 31
The Death of Saul
 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.  And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.  The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers.  Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.  And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.  Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.  And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. And the Philistines came and lived in them.
 The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.  So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people.  They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.  But when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul,  all the valiant men arose and went all night and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there.  And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.
The Coming of the Kingdom
 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed,  nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.  And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.  For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.  But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.  Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building,  but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back.  Remember Lot's wife.  Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.  I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left.  There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”  And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”