Today's Readings: 1 Samuel 23 | Isaiah 66 | Matthew 11
Reading 1 - 1Sa 23
David saved Keilah (men of his own tribe) from the Philistines, but then found himself, with his men, in a walled town. To Saul this was a splendid opportunity to capture or kill David -- it was so much easier than hunting him in the open wilderness. And the men of Keilah, mindful of what had happened at Nob (1Sa 22:18,19), were disposed to seek Saul's friendship by betraying David to him (1Sa 23:7). Divine counsel by Urim and Thummim saved the situation (vv 9-12). David had no desire to be encircled, because the last thing he wanted was to have to fight against "the Lord's anointed". And so (directed by divine counsel?) he cleared out.
What helps to explain the attitude of the men of Keilah is the fact that they were Calebites, as also were the men of Ziph (1Ch 4:16,19). Their disreputable link with Nabal (see 1Sa 25) evidently counted for more than their honorable descent from the courageous and faithful Caleb. The men of Ziph likewise attempted a betrayal (1Sa 23:19); had it not been for the providence of God (1Sa 23:27) they would have succeeded.
Reading 2 - Isa 66:23
" 'From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,' says the LORD" (Isa 66:23).
"There is an evident counterpart to the Mosaic monthly institution in the blessed age that is coming with the advent of the saints to power. It is 'from one new moon to another', as well as from Sabbath to Sabbath, that all flesh appears in the temple courts to worship. It is 'every month' or once a month, that the Apocalyptic wood of life (the saints) yields its fruit for the healing of the nations (Rev 22:2), and it is 'according to his months' that the literal tree on both sides of the temple river yields its fruit 'whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed... the fruit thereof shall be for meat and the leaf thereof for medicine' (Eze 47:12). There will be no monotony in a state of things in which the whole population is roused with the advent of every new moon in the heavens to a special service of worship and praise, and a special distribution of healing and blessing. The prospect of the Kingdom is a prospect of an endless succession of joyful activities" (Robert Roberts, "Law of Moses" 198).