Today's Readings: 1 Samuel 19 | Isaiah 63 | Matthew 8
Reading 1 - 1Sa 19:16
"But when the men [sent by Saul] entered [looking to arrest David while he lay in his sickbed]"...
...they found he was escaped from their grasp...
"there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats' hair" (1Sa 19:16).
Here is an easy echo of the familiar New Testament incident: "They came to the place where he lay" -- this time the New Testament "David", or "Beloved", or "Anointed" -- but THEY FOUND NO BODY!" (Mat 28:6; John 20:2,6-8)
Reading 2 - Isa 63:4
"For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come" (Isa 63:4).
"Redemption" is the Hebrew "gaal". A "gaal" or "kinsman-redeemer" was responsible for protecting the extended family's interests, often by redeeming property that had been sold outside the family. However, his responsibilities extended beyond financial concerns. He was also responsible for avenging the shed blood of a family member (see Num 35:19-27; Deu 19:6-12). In this verse, where vengeance is a prominent theme (note the previous line), it is probably this function of the family protector that is in view. The LORD pictures himself as a blood avenger who waits for the day of vengeance to arrive and then springs into action on behalf of his "kinsman"!
Reading 3 - Mat 8:14,15
"When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him" (Mat 8:14,15).
"It is no light thing to take a man from his home and wife and family and livelihood to become a... preacher... This healing of Peter's mother-in-law guaranteed enthusiastic support. From this day forward, Peter need never look over his shoulder wondering how his wandering life... was regarded by the folks at home" (Harry Whittaker, "Studies in the Gospels" 123).