June 8

2 Samuel 16:1-2 (NIV) 1When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine. 2The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the desert."

Remember Ziba? He was Saul's servant. David appointed him and his family to be servants of Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. After all the kindness and mercy that David showed Mephibosheth, he turned on him, hoping to inherit Saul's throne. Ziba was loyal to David. David's young children and wives needed animals to ride so that they could keep up. Ziba provided them and food to nourish them all on the journey. What David could not prepare on the short notice with his sudden flight, God provided from an unlikely source. We can know that when we are in the middle of calamity, God will provide.

It seemed unjust that Ziba and family had been freed when Saul died and then turned back into the servants of Saul's family. Nevertheless, they humbly submitted. Now they are free again. All Israel was choosing sides. Will you side with the Usurper or with the true King? The Usurper promises position and power, but he cannot deliver. You will find real freedom with hardship if you follow the true King. Your service will be rewarded for He is just and genuinely appreciative.

Consider: Every day we are tempted to succumb to the Enemy. He promises what he cannot deliver. Follow the true King, even when it is difficult.

June 8

John 4:34-36 (NIV) 34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.

When Jesus stopped at Jacob's well, the disciples went to buy food. When they returned Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman. The woman went to share her testimony to the town's people, and they came out to hear Jesus for themselves. Many of them believed that Jesus was the Savior of the world. This is the first time during Jesus' ministry that people realized that the Messiah had not come for the Jews alone.

The disciples tried to get Jesus to eat the food they had purchased, but Jesus told them that He had food that they did not know about. They wondered if someone else had brought Him something. Here again we have the physical misinterpretation applied to the spiritual. Jesus saw the world in analogies, and His Spirit filled disciples will also see the world in that light.

Then Jesus explained to them that His food was doing the will of God and completing His work He was assigned. He was so absorbed in sharing the light of the Gospel with these receptive people that food was the last thing on His mind. This spiritual work was a much greater priority than eating. He illustrated the need by having the disciples see the people that had come to hear Him as a crop of ripe grain. From planting to harvest is usually four months, but Jesus is saying the planting and the harvest of souls had come together. The Samaritan woman shared her testimony. That was the planting. Now her people have come to believe in Jesus. That is the harvest. Jesus is saying, "Look, we must be busy earning heavenly wages for work in the ripe field. We can harvest in joy and share our joy with the One that planted. How can you think about food at a time like this? This work is a more satisfying food." Look around you. The fields are ready for harvest. Are you too absorbed earning your "daily bread"?

Remember: If an opportunity is before you, leave everything else and work the field.