July 12: Eternal Hope
1 Samuel 20:1–21:15; 1 Peter 1:1–12; Psalm 121:1–122:9
We don’t often realize where we put our hope. We can seek sustenance, energy, or relief in the most transient, innocuous things—from our morning coffee to a vacation we’ve been anticipating for months. These things are not bad in themselves, but if they constantly serve as minor fixes in our daily lives, they can shift our focus. We can end up trading God’s help for caffeine and a few days in the sun.
The trouble arises when we fail to see the complexity in our motives. The psalmist helps us look beyond what seems comforting and shielding: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains; whence will my help come? My help is from Yahweh, maker of heaven and earth” (Psa 121:1). The psalmist uses the hills and mountains to point us beyond what we can see to the true source of help and protection. These stationary shields seem to offer protection, but God is the true source of help and refuge in our often chaotic circumstances. He is constantly present—“your shade at your right hand” (Psa 121:5).
In his letter to the churches in Asia Minor, Peter addresses the “various trials” the early church faced (1 Pet 1:6). He encourages the church members to endure trials and persecution, telling them they are “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:5). In the midst of trial, their faith in the resurrected Christ gave them the ultimate security and strength (1 Pet 1:4). They had hope through suffering.
We think of trials on a grand scale—sickness and persecution. But we need to meet even daily trials with this same eternal hope. We need to constantly find relief, energy, and hope in God.
Where do you seek relief, energy, and hope?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what sin have I committed before thy father, that he seeketh my life? And he said unto him, God forbid, thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing great nor small, but he will show it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? he will not do it. And David swore again and said, Thy father knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes: therefore he thinketh, jonathan shall not know it, lest he be sorry: but indeed, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul requireth, that I will do unto thee. And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, tomorrow is the first day of the month, and I should sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the fields unto the third day at even. If thy father make mention of me, then say, David asked leave of me, that he might go to Bethlehem to his own city: for there is a yearly sacrifice for all that family And if he say thus, It is well, thy servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, be sure that wickedness is concluded of him. So shalt thou show mercy unto thy servant: for thou hast joined thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee, and if there be in me iniquity, slay thou me? for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? And Jonathan answered, God keep that from thee: for if I knew that wickedness were concluded of my father to come upon thee, would not I tell it thee? Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? how shall I know, if thy father answer thee cruelly? And Jonathan said to David, Come and let us go out into the field: and they twain went out into the field. Then Jonathan said to David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have groped my father’s mind tomorrow at this time, or within this three days, and if it be well with David, and I then send not unto thee, and show it thee, The Lord do so and much more unto Jonathan: but if my father have mind to do thee evil, I will show thee also, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee as he hath been with my fahter, Likewise I require not whiles I live: for I doubt not but thou wilt show me the mercy of the Lord, that I die not. But I require that thou cut not off thy mercy from mine house forever: no, not when the Lord hath destroyed the enemies of David, every one from the earth. So Jonathan made a bond with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord require it at the hands of David’s enemies. And again Jonathan swore unto David, because he loved him (for he loved him as his own soul,) The said Jonathan to him, Tomorrow is the first day of the month: and thou shalt be looked for, for thy place shall be empty. Therefore thou shalt hide thyself three days, then thou shalt go down quickly and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself, when this matter was in hand, and shalt remain by hte stone Ezel. And I will shoot thee arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. And after I will send a boy, saying, Go, seek the arrows. If I say unto the boy, See, the arrows are on this side thee, bring them, and come thou: for it is well with thee, and no hurt, as the Lord liveth. But if I say thus unto the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee, go thy way: for the Lord hath sent thee away. As touching the thing which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me forever. So David hid himself in the field: and when the first day of the month came, the king sat to eat meat. And the king sat, as at other times upon his seat, even upon his seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. And Saul said nothing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, though he were clean, or else because he was not purified. But on the morrow which was the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday nor today? And Jonathan answered unto Saul, David required of me, that he might go to Bethlehem. For he said, Let me go, I pray thee: for our family offereth a sacrifice in the city, and my brother hath sent for me: therefore now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me go, I pray thee, and see my brethren: this is the cause that he cometh not unto the king’s table. Then was Saul angry with Jonathan, and said unto him, Thou son of the wicked rebellious woman, do not I know, that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thy confusion, and to the confusion and shame of thy mother? And Saul cast a spear at him to hit him, whereby Jonathan knew, that it was determined of his fahter to slay David. So Jonathan arose from the table in a great anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was sorry for David, and because his father had reviled him. On the next morning before Jonathan went ot into the field, at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him. And he said unto his boy, Run now, seek the arrows which I shoot, and as the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. And when the boy was come to the place where the arrow was that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the boy, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? And Jonathan cried after the boy, Make speed, haste and stand not still: and Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. But the boy knew nothing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. Then Jonathan gave his bow and arrows unto the boy that was with him, and said unto him, Go, carry them into the city. As soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of a place that was toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept both twain, till David exceeded. Therefore Jonathan said to David, Go in peace: that which we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and between thy seed, let it stand forever. And he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city. 1 Samuel 20:1–21:15
- PETER an Apostle of JESUS CHRIST, to the strnagers that dwell here and there throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father unto sanctification of the Spirit, through obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance immortal and undefiled, and that withereth not, reserve in heaven for us, Which are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, which is prepared to be showed in the last time. Wherein ye rejoice, though now for a season (if need require) ye are in heaviness, through manifold tentations, That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto your praise, and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance immortal and undefiled, and that withereth not, reserved in heaven for us, Which are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, which is prepared to be showed in the last time. Wherein ye rejoice, though now for a season (if need require) ye are in heaviness, through manifold tentations, That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth (though it be tried with fire) might be found unto your praise, and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom ye have not seen, and yet love him, in whom now, though ye see him not, yet do you believe, and rejoice with [joy] unspeakable and glorious, Receiving the ends of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of the which salvation the Prophets have inquired and searched, which prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, Searching when or what time the Spirit which testified before of Christ which was in them, should declare the sufferings that should come unto Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they should minister the things, which are showed unto you by them which have preached unto you the Gospel by the holy Ghost sent down from heaven, the which things the Angels desire to behold. 1 Peter 1:1–12
- I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains, from whence my help shall come. Mine help cometh from the Lord, which hath made the heaven and the earth. He will not suffer thy foot to slip: for he that keepeth thee, will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel, will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shadow at thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in from henceforth and forever. I rejoiced when they said to me, We will go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand in thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city, that is compact together in itself: Whereunto the Tribes, even the Tribes of the Lord go up according to the testimony to Israel, to praise the Name of the Lord. For there are thrones set for judgment, even the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: let them prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy places. For my brethren and neighbors’ sakes, I will wish thee now prosperity. Because of the House of the Lord our God, I will procure thy wealth. Psalm 121:1–122:9