July 15: Reframe It
1 Samuel 26:1–27:12; 1 Peter 2:1–12; Psalm 128:1–129:8
“ ‘Too often they have attacked me from my youth.’ Let Israel say, ‘Too often they have attacked me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me’ ” (Psa 129:1–2). As these verses show, sometimes problems can be solved by simply reframing the issue at hand.
Peter makes a “reframing” move in his first letter. He could have focused on the people’s sin and their general need to repent, but then their attention would be on the problem, not solving it. So he shifts the focus: “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn infants long for the unadulterated spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up to salvation” (1 Pet 2:1–2). Peter calls them to approach their relationship with Christ like a newborn would milk. They must make Christ such a priority that He becomes something they need and long for. And as they long, their sinful behavior will be resolved.
Similarly, Peter addresses the people’s conflict with their culture as an opportunity for God to make them strong, like the stones used to build strong foundations: “And you yourselves, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:5).
We can always choose where to place our attention. Often, we turn our attention toward preventing something (sin) at the cost of actually doing something good (growing in the Lord). If we keep our focus on our relationship with Christ, we can rise above our circumstances and find victory. “The blessing of Yahweh be upon you. We bless you in the name of Yahweh” (Psa 129:8). Reframing our lives makes way for blessing—it gives God room to do transformative work.
What is God asking you to reframe? Where is your focus?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Again the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah before Jeshimon? Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, for to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, whic his before Jeshimon by the wayside. Now David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into wilderness. (For David had sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.) Then David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched, and when David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner which was his chief captain, (for Saul lay in the fort, and the people pitched round about him.) Then spake David, and said to Ahimelech the HIttite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the host? Then Abishai said, I will go down with thee. So David and Abishai came down to the people by night: and behold, Saul lay sleeping within the fort, and his spear did stick in the ground at his head: and Abner and the people lay round about him. Then said Abishai to David, God hath closed thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore, I pray thee, let me smite him once with a spear to the earth, and I will not smite him again. And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can lay his hand on the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? Moreover David said, As the Lord liveth, either the Lord shall smite him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord keep me from laying mine hand upon the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take now the spear that is at his hand, and the pot of water, and let us go hence. So David took the spear and the pot of water from Saul’s head, and they got them away, and no man saw it, nor marked it, neither did any awake, but they were all asleep: for the Lord had sent a dead sleep upon them. Then David went unto the other side, and stood on the top of an hill a far off, a great space being between them. And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Hearest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered, and said, Who art thou that cryest to the King? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a man? and who is like thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy Lord the King? for there came one of the folk in to destroy the king thy lord. This is not well done of thee: as the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master the Lord’s anointed: and now see where the King’s spear is, and the pot of water that was at his head. And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O King. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus persecute his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in thine hand? Now therefore, I beseech thee, let my Lord the King hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him smell the savor of a sacrifice: but if the children of men have done it, cursed be they before the Lord: for they have cast me out htis day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve no other gods. Now therefore let not my blood fall to th eearth before the face of the Lord: for the King of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as one would hunt a partridge in the mountains. Then said Saul, I have sinned: Come again, my son David: for I will do thee no more harm, because y soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have done foolishly, and have erred exceedingly. Then David answered, and said, Behold the King’s spear, let one of the young men come over and tet it. And let the Lord reward every man according to his righteousness and faithfulness: for the Lord had delivered thee into mine hands this day, but I would not lay ine hand upon the Lord’s anonted. And behold, like as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes: so let my life be set by in the eyes of the Lord, that he may deliver me out of all tribulation. Then Saul said to David, Blessed art thou, my son David: for thou shalt do great things and also prevail. So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place. And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: is it not better for me that I save myself in the land of the Philistines, and that Saul may have no hope of me to seek me anymore in all the coasts of Israel, and so escae out of his hand? David therefore arose, and he, and the six hundred men that were with him, went unto Achish the son of Maoch king of Gath. And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he, and his men, every man with his household, David with his two wives, Abigail the Jezreelite, and abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. And it was told Saul David was fled to Gath: so he sought no more for him. And David said unto Achish, if I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me aplace in some other city of the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the head city of the kingdom with thee? Then Achish gave him Ziklag that same day: therefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines, was four months and certain days. Then David and his men went up, and invaded the Gershurites, and the Girzites, and the Amalekites: for they inhabited the land from the Amalekites: for they inhabited the land from the beginning, for the way, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt. And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took sheep, and oxen, and asses, and camels, and apparel, and returned and came to Achish. And Achish said, Where have ye been a roving this day? And David answered, Against the South of Judah, and against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites. And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, and say, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while that he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines. And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people of Israel utterly to abhor him: therefore he shall be my servant forever. 1 Samuel 26:1–27:12
- Wherefore, laying aside all maliciousness, and all guile, and dissimulation, and envy, and all evil speaking, As newborn babes desire that sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby, Because ye have tasted that the Lord is bountiful. To whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious. Ye also as lively stones, be made a spiritual house, an holy Priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I put in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect and precious, and he that believeth therein, shall not be ashamed. Unto you therefore which believe, it is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone to stumble at, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, unto the which thing they were even ordained. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a people set at liberty, that ye should show forth the virtues of him that hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, Which in time past were not a people, yet are now the people of God: which in time past were not under mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which fight against the soul, And have your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that they which speak evil of you as of evil doers, may by your good works which they shall see, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:1–12
- Blessed is every man that feareth the Lord, and walketh in his ways. When thou eatest the labors of thine hands, thou shalt be blessed, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine on the sides of thine house, and thy children like the olive plants round about thy table. Lo, surely thus shall the man be blessed, that feareth the Lord. The Lord out of Zion shall bless thee, and thou shalt see the wealth of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel. They have oftentimes afflicted me from my youth (may Israel now say) They have oftentimes afflicted me from my youth: but they could not prevail against me. The plowers plowed upon my back, and made long furrows. But the righteous Lord hath cut the cords of the wicked. They that hate Zion, shall be all ashamed and turned backward. They shall be as the grass on the house tops, which whithereth afore it cometh forth. Whereof the mower filleth not his hand, neither the gleaner his lap: Neither they which go by, say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you, or, We bless you in the Name of the Lord. Psalm 128:1–129:8