The Breaking Heart

“And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.” 2 Samuel 15:13 (KJB)

How does one respond when they get news from a messenger that their son has schemed against them, and is taking over your business or the kingdom?  How does King David respond when the son he loves, has greatly indulged in allowances of grief, murdering his brother, and all, has brought him back to Jerusalem?

No one of us would like getting this kind of news.  We all like good news.

Why would something like this happen to a king whose heart was like unto God’s heart?  Remember what David did?  He slept with a soldier’s wife; a warrior who was one of the top 37 men in his forces; then had him murdered on the battlefield.  God’s word to him was that he would not die because of his sin but their would be chaos in his family (2 Samuel 12:11), and this is now happening.

There is however for you and me a good message of hope and salvation; if we will hear it.  Jesus Chris the Son of God, God the Son has died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again.  That hope does not end there, however.  He is returning and all the kingdoms of men will fall before him.

Why do we worry?  Why do we fear?  Let us stand strong and faithful to God, His Son, and His word.

God, King,and Country

“And Uriah said unto David, ‘The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.”  2 Samuel 11:11 (KJB)

Uriah was a Hittite (verse 3) who had become a faithful and loyal follower of Jehovah.  You will notice the very first thing he mentions to the King is “The ark…”  You will note also his heart for the people, the men on the battle field sleeping in tents.

He has been called by the King to aid in covering the king’s sin with his wife Bathsheba.  I am just going to point out the heart and mind of Uriah the Hittite.

Uriah is an often overlooked character in the story of King David.  He had evidently chosen to follow Jehovah or YaHWeH.  He is also named as one of the king’s top men in 2 Samuel 23:29. He was a soldier of the Lord and of the King. He was faithful to God, King and country.

Uriah’s king failed him; but his God did not.  God never fails, and he  honors those who stand with Him. David had the man murdered in an elaborate scheme to cover his own sin.

We as Christians can always stand with God and what is right according to His word and His law.  We can remain loyal to our nations leaders when they follow the law of our nation, and live by them.  We can be loyal to our nation as it follows the way and will of God.  Our first citizenship is in heaven (Ephesians 2:19;  Philippians 3:20).

Let us be faithful and true to God and country, and thus to our leaders as they follow the Lord and are faithful to Him and to the law.  The King of all kings is Jesus Christ. Let us remember the words of Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as rivers of water: He turneth whithersoever He will.”

Be Courageous; Be Strong

Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. 2 Samuel 10:12 (KJB)
“Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.” 2 Samuel 10:12 (NKJB)

I share the other translation to give more clarity of what the phrase “…Let us play the men for our people…” is meaning.

The Ammonites had hired the Syrians to help them fight against Israel.  Joab; the general of Israel’s military, and Abishai his brother were commanding two garrisons of troops. Abishai was to fight the warriors of Ammon, and Joab the warriors of Syria.  Israel was greatly outnumbered.  The troops of Israel needed to hear their commander give words of encouragement, and strength.

Today is the Lord’s Day;  not the Day of the Lord.  Let us who are in Christ Jesus be faithful to attend the worship of our Lord and Savior with brothers and sisters in Christ at our local Church where the word of God is expounded, the cross of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection are proclaimed, and His name lifted high for all to see and hear.

In the places where Christ is exalted, and the word explained, and proclaimed there will be courage and strength for all who will hear.  Folks, we are in a battle.  The enemy of God is all around us.  The deniers of God and His Son are plenteous.  They are mean, vicious, and are of their father the devil.

This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice in it and be courageous and strong in the faith of the Lord Jesus.

Blessed By The Presence

“And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.” 2 Samuel 6:11 (KJB)

When God is present in an individual’s life that individual is blessed by God.  When that person is blessed by God their whole family is also blessed by Him.

The ark of the covenant was the presence of God as Israel journeyed through the wilderness for forty years.  Is still, during David’s reign, as David conquers Jerusalem, and calls it the “City of David”.

I do not know about you but I enjoy, appreciated, and I am thankful everyday for the blessings of God.  What we must love though is not the blessings, but the Blesser.

Kind David, in a hurry, decided to move the ark to Jerusalem, and did not seek out the proper mode of transportation.  He chose rather to move it the same way it was moved the last time it was moved; and that was the Philistine way – on a cart pulled by cows (1 Samuel 6:4-12).  God’s people must always seek to do things in God’s prescribed order.  Because of David’s grave error Uzzah died.

Until David discovered the God-way of moving the ark Obed-Edom and his family were greatly blessed by God’s presence.

The ark is a material object made of wood and gold, with the mercy seat resting atop it made of solid gold.  The wood represents the perfect, sinless, guiltless man, and the gold is a picture of His Deity.  It is an Old Testament picture or type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  And HIs presence among His people.

When Jesus came and gave Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world, paying our sin debt to God, He has made it possible for Adamkind to be in the very presence of God, and He with us.  Every moment of every day He is present with us.

Be blessed by the presence of God in your life through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is God the Son.

The Battles Within

“…The LORD shall reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness.” 2 Samuel 3:39 b  (KJB)

There are battles within kingdoms of men. There are battles which occur within each individual man and woman.

King Saul had died in the battle with the Philistines by falling on his own sword, for fear that the enemy would mistreat him if he were taken alive.  David had been chosen as King of Judah, but the other tribes were still being led by the General of Saul’s army, and he had appointed the young son of Saul, Ishbosheth, as king.  That is an inside battle.  A nation at war against itself.

Abner had been murdered by Joab, David’s General, because Joab because in a battle between the two factions Abner had killed Asahel Joab’s brother.  Joab killed Abner in hatred, revenge, and at a time David had made peace with Abner.  It was not the act of King David.  It was the act of a vengeful Joab.

Joab’s act was a wicked act against God and King David.  The words of David in the Scripture of 2 Samuel 3:39 are words that are just and right.

Again the reader is reminded that there are consequences to our actions.  Good from good.  Evil from evil.  We all reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  We need; all of us who take a breath of air; need to flee to the cross of  Jesus Christ where, there alone, our sin debt is paid in full.

“The LORD shall repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

Our hope; mine and yours; lies in the death, the burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Sleeping

Shiloah Baptist Church

Please read 1 Samuel 26 – 28…

“So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.” 1 Samuel 26:12 (KJB)
“For they were all asleep because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them.” 26:12b (NKJB)

As you can see King Saul was caught in one of those vulnerable situations we mentioned yesterday.  It does not seem that there is any more vulnerable time than when we are sleeping.  We need sleep for our bodies to recuperate, and renew for a new day.

The account of these words are such that we can learn about the sleep that occurs here.

David and Abishai – brother of Joab – were in Saul’s camp while…

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Vulnerable Situations

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading 1 Samuel 23 – 25 for today…

“And he said unto his men, ‘The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 24:6 (KJB)

King Saul was out to kill David.  He saw David as a threat to his being king, and especially to his kingdom, what was going to end. However, God had already made the decree (1 Samuel 13:13-14), and given the kingdom to another.

In the background of the story we find the King relieving himself in a cave.  David and his men are hiding in the cave and David’s men encourage him to take Saul’s life; but he will not strike the LORD’S anointed.

David is the other whom God has chosen to have the ongoing, even eternal kingdom, and he has…

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Stay With Me

Shiloah Baptist Church

Today’s reading is from 1 Samuel 20 – 22…

“Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” 1 Samuel 22:23 (KJB)

This utter hatred for David in King Saul began due to Saul’s rebellious heart (1 Samuel 15:10-23).  Because of that rebellion God gives the kingdom to another, who is David.  Rebellion against God.  Jealousy against the “Better man”.  Let us learn.

Saul has cowered in fear because of a giant, and turns with rage against one of his own who has done nothing more than be his faithful servant.

In the first two verse of chapter 22 we read of the type of men who served with David and followed him – people in distress, people in debt and could not pay, and the discontented.  They were not the rich and famous of the…

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That all the Earth May Know

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading for this Resurrection Sunday is 1 Samuel 17 – 19…

“…That all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” 1 Samuel 17:46 (KJB)

This is the story of David and his defeat  of the Philistine giant Goliath who was defying the army of God – Israel – thus defying God Himself.  David loved God.  God especially loved David.

David was determined that Goliath was as good as dead, with no head.  He was especially determined that “All the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”  David’s faith is inspiring, and gives us courage to face whatever lies ahead.  Unlike King Saul who sat in his tent shaking in his sandals.

Something everyone needs to understand about faith is is that faith is not believing something so strongly  that we make it so; it is believing that what God says and directs us…

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When the Preacher Goes Home

Shiloah Baptist Church

Please read 1 Samuel 14 – 16…

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” 1 Samuel 16:13 (KJB)

Saul had proven himself to be a disobedient, arrogant king.  He rejected the word of the LORD and more. A king who would be god himself; so GOD chooses another.  Saul’s kingdom would end with him: there would be no dynasty.

The Scripture text for today is on the day of the anointing of a young shepherd as the next king of Israel – David.  Saul would not have a dynasty.  His son Jonathan, nor any other would carry it onward. David’s descendants would reign in Israel forever on the throne of Israel.  God sought out a man “After My own heart”…

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The Issue of Anger

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading today from 1 Samuel 11 – 13…

“And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.” 1 Samuel 11:6 (KJB)

The person who is never angry never truly loves.  I can just about hear some readers here saying, “Wait just one minute.” In a tone of anger probably.

Reading the text from Scripture above caused me to think about anger.  I have heard some say that anger is bad.  I certainly cannot agree with that statement because God is angry with evil everyday (Psalm 7:11); Jesus was angry at least twice at the temple – the first time early in His ministry (John 2:14) and the second time, possibly in His final week before He was crucified (Matthew 21:12).

I heard a pastor a few years ago say, “You can tell the character of a man by what makes…

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Serve the LORD Only

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading today from 1 Samuel 5 – 7…

“And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve Him only: and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.’
Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.” 1 Samuel 7:3-4 (KJB)

When a people group or one person get away from God that group or person needs to return to the Lord.  The people of Israel had drifted away from God and worshiped false gods of the people of the land that they had won.

These were snares and thorns to their lives; from loving God the LORD, and being blessed by Him.  There is no mixing of…

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He Trembled for the Ark of God

Shiloah Baptist Church

Please read 1 Samuel 2 – 4 for today’s reading…

“And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.”  1 Samuel 4:12-13 (KJB)

The ark of God for the children of Israel was the presence of God in their midst. They had, sadly, gotten to the state of mind that it was more an object of superstition; a rabbit’s foot; than it was the presence of God.  Yet Eli’s heart trembled for the ark of God.  It had been carried onto a battlefield which was going to be lost to the Philistines, and…

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Going Home with the King

Shiloah Baptist Church

Please read 1 Samuel 8 – 10 for today…

“And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched. But the children of Belial said, ‘How shall this man save us?’ And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.” 1 Samuel 10:26-27 (KJB)

I will let the words of Alexander MacLaren speak for today devotion…

The ‘manner of the kingdom,’ which Samuel wrote and laid up before the Lord, was probably not the same as ‘the manner of the king’ (1Sa_8:9-18), but a kind of constitution, or solemn statement of the principles which were to govern the monarchy. The reading in 1Sa_10:26 should probably be ‘the men of valour,’ instead of ‘a band of men.’ They were brave men, ‘whose hearts God had touched.’ Now that Saul was chosen by God, loyalty to God…

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Give Your Child Away

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading today from Ruth 2 – 1 Samuel 1…

“And she said, ‘Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.’ And he worshipped the LORD there.” 1 Samuel 1:26-28  (KJB)

Give your child away?  Really!  Is this for real?  It is real, but not in the sense of giving them to someone who is going to mistreat them, and not love them, or to leave them without instruction for life.

Not too many mothers would give the child they had plead with the LORD for back to Him as Hannah did. Her husband was Elimelech.  Of course, this is…

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The Consequences

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 2 Samuel 12:7-12 (KJV)

David was a shepherd boy when God revealed to him that He had chosen him to be the next king of Israel.  Anointed by the prophet Samuel and by God he had a heart for God, and he loved the word of God, and His way.

David was a man, however, with many of the temptations that plague the rest of us.  He was now the king, was still at home when he probably should have been with his men on the battle field, and he had an unguarded moment.  “Unguarded” in his mind.  Distracted by his authority, his power, his kingdom.  It happens even to the best of men when they drop their guard.

Nathan the prophet confronted David with a sheep story (2 Samuel 12:1-6), and David was furious about a man stealing a poor man’s sheep.  Nathan being God’s messenger says, “You are the man.”  He had taken another man’s wife; killed the man, and now David the king was going to pay a price.

Here  is food for thought for the rest of us:  There will be a payday someday, for all the sins we have done.

There is forgiveness for our sin through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son; but more times than not there are still consequences that come from that sin.  David’s children went bad.  A sword of death came against David’s family.  There was grave and grevious bitterness, anger in the family.

No one of us are without consequences for our sin.  Our call in those consequences, suffering in them, is to grow in the LORD and be faithful every day after, and through them all.

What We Want

Many times we people – all who were made by God in His image and likeness want what we want, and we want it now.  Nothing has changed since the Garden of Eden, and the fall of Adam and Eve; at least in the matter of our wants.

When it comes to leadership of kings, presidents, or despots we all have our own idea of who or what we want to lead us.  The same was true in the day of the Judges, and God raised up a judge and a prophet by the name of Samuel.  He was a man who had the heart of God, and was jealous for God; and by that I mean he did not want the people to trust anyone else but God; neither did he want anything else for himself.

The verses we look at today are of when the people decided they wanted a king… “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” was their cry (1 Samuel 8:5).  “Like all the nations” is the key phrase which should cause us to see the ire or Samuel.  They wanted a king so they could be like the surrounding nations.  Hear the word of the LORD…

“But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken Me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:6-9 (KJV)

Sometimes God gives us what we want, even when He knows what it will do to us.  Sometimes God gives His children a million dollars, and they end up losing it all because they did not have the wisdom to know what to do with it; but they wanted it.  Sometimes God saves the life of a child gravely injured in an accident, but the child is alive only not living on his/her own strength; they got what they wanted.

In the case above the king that was chosen was to show them the manner of king that would reign over them, and that would be Saul.  Saul turned his back on God.  He eventually hated even David a shepherd boy who would be God’s appointed king, and of whom Jesus Christ would be an heir to the throne.

My heart and mind has determined that I want what God wants for me; and I will be perfectly content and at peace with that.  What about you?  It can start by calling on the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son for salvation.  Do so today.

Dealing With Division

Dealing With Division

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 20:1-2 (KJV)

The king was experiencing the chastening of the LORD. He had been driven out of Jerusalem by his son Absalom. Absalom had been slain while hanging in an oak tree by his hair. Now, upon David’s return to the city there is a rabble rouser, a trouble maker, a division maker who speaks against the king, and calls for Israel to follow him.

There are always divisions in life. What is the reason for them in the life of a Christian? First of all they can be a source of God’s chastisement; secondly, they can be a source of strengthening one’s faith; third, they can be a way of showing the good from the bad, separating the sheep from the goats.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son spoke of divisions when he said,

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

Sheba ended up being beheaded by a woman; at least his head was delivered by her (vv. 14-22). In the times of division, like David, the Christian must stand firm, believe the Lord, and trust that He will have His way in our life’s situation; and He will be glorified.

Pride and a Mule

Pride and a Mule

“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.” 2 Samuel 18:9 (KJV)

Absalom a strong, prideful, vain son of David was set on having the kingdom of Israel. Even if it meant killing his father, and whomever it took to do it; he was going to have it.

Absalom had a head of hair; so much that when he cut it once a year he would have it weighed (2 Samuel 14:26), and it weighed, by our measure, about 5 pounds of hair.

The mule was the ride of the royal family (13:29), and was a source of endurance, strength, and agility in riding and battle. In my opinion they are not a real pretty animal, but they are strong.

Absalom was prideful, even vain about his hair. If that be the case, and due to his rebellious acts, against God, and his father king David, then, he was literally caught up, and left hanging by his own vanity, and pride. The mule of strength and endurance went on his way. God has a way of dealing with pride (Proverbs 16:18).

A message for all of God’s people: Pride and vanity is not the source of our strength, endurance or victory. God through His Son Jesus Christ is. He is the one who gives the mule strength and endurance, and He is the one who gives us the victory.

Loyal to the King

Notes from a recent message preached at Shiloah Baptist Church.

Loyal to the King
“Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? Return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? Seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.” 2 Samuel 15:19-22 (KJV)

There is much that could be said for loyalty. It should probably be left to someone who knows more about such things, but here are my thoughts, and a short study of the matter.

Loyalty is shown in Ittai the Gittite. He is relatively new to serving king David, and he finds himself the servant of a king who is now losing, or seems to be losing his throne of the kingdom. The king’s own son, Absalom has turned against his father. This is a part of the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy (2 Samuel 12:11), and it is God’s judgment upon David for his adultery and murder of Uriah.

We see Ittai rewarded by David later in chapter 18 verses 2, 5, and 12 he is mentioned as being the commander over one third of the army of David, with Joab and Abishai.

David gives Ittai freedom to leave and return to his own, but he stays with David, in flight from his own son.

Now, how many people would stay with a falling king when they see his kingdom crumbling around them? Some might think, “Only a fool would do such a thing”. Ittai shows that he is trusting the GOD of David; he even calls Him by His name Jehovah [YHWH]. He is faithful to God, and loyal to king David, despite the circumstances.

The Son of David, King Jesus deserves our faithfulness, and our loyalty. He has not failed us. He has died for us, carried our sins away in His burial, and risen victoriously over sin, death, hell and the grave. Call on His name, believe Him and be delivered from all you sins.

I Will Show You Kindness

The following are notes from a recent message preached at Shiloah Baptist Church

I Will Show You Kindness
“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)

The son of Jonathan; David’s best and dearest friend; comes before David the king at his direction, and bows before him in fear and out of humility.

The king’s first word, after speaking his name is, “Fear not…”. Mephibosheth is crippled from a childhood accident while being carried by an adult (2 Samuel 4:4), fell and left him crippled. He sees himself as unworthy of the king’s attention; a dead dog.

In this moment is seen the mercy and grace of God. David knew of these. He himself was a recipient of both. He displays them both. In the name of Jonathan he gives all the lands back to Mephibosheth which had belonged to Saul.

Mephibosheth was also at David’s table continually.

O, the grace and mercy of God shown to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. In His name, for His name’s sake we are made “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

Ruling in the Fear of God

“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although He make it not to grow.” 2 Samuel 23:1-5 (KJV)

David realizes that the words he is receiving and giving to the reader are the inspired revelation from God. They are words for every nation, people and tongue.

David also knew that he had failed as a king to be just and righteous in the eyes of God; yet God had made an “everlasting covenant” with him, and he knew that the Messiah of Israel would be the ultimate fulfillment of that promise. The Messiah is Jesus the Christ, Son of David, Son of God, God the Son, and the Son of Man; the Rock of Israel.

In receiving the words of God David heard, as do we, that if a man is to be a ruler he must rule in the “fear of God”. “God” is “‘Elohim” the fullness of the Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This type of king is only the One who has come as a baby in a manger, died on the cross for our sins, was raised again bodily from the grave, and is returning as the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

All the kingdoms of men fail. None can stand before the Holy and Just King. Also see Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21.

Dealing with Division

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 20:1-2 (KJV)

The king was experiencing the chastening of the LORD. He had been driven out of Jerusalem by his son Absalom. Absalom had been slain while hanging in an oak tree by his hair. Now, upon David’s return to the city there is a rabble rouser, a trouble maker, a division maker who speaks against the king, and calls for Israel to follow him.

There are always divisions in life. What is the reason for them in the life of a Christian? First of all they can be a source of God’s chastisement; secondly, they can be a source of strengthening one’s faith; third, they can be a way of showing the good from the bad, separating the sheep from the goats.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son spoke of divisions when he said,

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

Sheba ended up being beheaded by a woman; at least his head was delivered by her (vv. 14-22).  In the times of division, like David, the Christian must stand firm, believe the Lord, and trust that He will have His way in our life’s situation; and He will be glorified.

One’s Pride; One Mule

“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.” 2 Samuel 18:9 (KJV)

Absalom a strong, prideful, vain son of David was set on having the kingdom of Israel. Even if it meant killing his father, and whomever it took to do it; he was going to have it.

Absalom had a head of hair; so much that when he cut it once a year he would have it weighed (2 Samuel 14:26), and it weighed, by our measure, about 5 pounds of hair.

The mule was the ride of the royal family (13:29), and was a source of endurance, strength, and agility in riding and battle. In my opinion they are not a real pretty animal, but they are strong.

Absalom was prideful, even vain about his hair. If that be the case, and due to his rebellious acts, against God, and his father king David, then, he was literally caught up, and left hanging by his own vanity, and pride. The mule of strength and endurance went on his way.  God has a way of dealing with pride (Proverbs 16:18).

A message for all of God’s people: Pride and vanity is not the source of our strength, endurance or victory. God through His Son Jesus Christ is. He is the one who gives the mule strength and endurance, and He is the one who gives us the victory.

Loyalty to the King

“Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? Return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? Seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.” 2 Samuel 15:19-22 (KJV)

There is much that could be said for loyalty. It should probably be left to someone who knows more about such things, but here are my thoughts, and a short study of the matter.

Loyalty is shown in Ittai the Gittite. He is relatively new to serving king David, and he finds himself the servant of a king who is now losing, or seems to be losing his throne of the kingdom. The king’s own son, Absalom has turned against his father. This is a part of the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy (2 Samuel 12:11), and it is God’s judgment upon David for his adultery and murder of Uriah.

We see Ittai rewarded by David later in chapter 18 verses 2, 5, and 12 he is mentioned as being the commander over one third of the army of David, with Joab and Abishai.

David gives Ittai freedom to leave and return to his own, but he stays with David, in flight from his own son.

Now, how many people would stay with a falling king when they see his kingdom crumbling around them? Some might think, “Only a fool would do such a thing”. Ittai shows that he is trusting the GOD of David; he even calls Him by His name Jehovah [YHWH]. He is faithful to God, and loyal to king David, despite the circumstances.

The Son of David, King Jesus deserves our faithfulness, and our loyalty. He has not failed us. He has died for us, carried our sins away in His burial, and risen victoriously over sin, death, hell and the grave. Call on His name, believe Him and be delivered from all you sins.

The High Cost of Sin

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14 (KJV)

What does it cost? Men may wonder the cost of a new gun, a new truck, a new boat, or maybe a new house. What does sin cost.

I have heard comments such as; “It will not hurt anyone but me; so what is the big deal”. I think people who say such a thing simply are not thinking. Sin is like a seed we sow; there will be a harvest to reap; and the harvest of sin is deadly. Just ask David.

David was guilty of adultery, and the murder of Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. He saw her. He sent for her. He sinned with her. (See 2 Samuel 11:1-5). He was judged and found guilty.

It has been said by other men of God, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; sin will leave you longer than you want to stay; and sin will cost you more than you can ever pay.”

Moses said to the Reubenites, and the Gadites if they failed to go through on the deal about their inheritance being on the East side of Jordan, “Be sure your sin will find you out”. We cannot hide from sin.

David was found out. I have been found out when I have sinned. God knows your sin. You are guilty and worthy of death. Your family will pay the price. Your friends will pay the price.  My sins and yours cost God the death of His only Son.

There is a cost for sin. It is death (Romans 6:23). There is however forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ our Lord.

David’s sin cost him the peace of his family. What is sin costing you? Find peace with God, through the forgiveness of sin through the death of Jesus Christ.

For Your Father’s Sake

“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)

The son of Jonathan; David’s best and dearest friend; comes before David the king at his direction, and bows before him in fear and out of humility.

The king’s first word, after speaking his name is, “Fear not…”. Mephibosheth is crippled from a childhood accident while being carried by an adult (2 Samuel 4:4), fell and left him crippled. He sees himself as unworthy of the king’s attention; a dead dog.

In this moment is seen the mercy and grace of God. David knew of these. He himself was a recipient of both. He displays them both. In the name of Jonathan he gives all the lands back to Mephibosheth which had belonged to Saul.

O, the grace and mercy of God shown to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. In His name, for His name’s sake we are made “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

Cart to Disaster, and Learning

“And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart…
…And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:3, 6-7 (KJV)

David desired to move the ark of God to Jerusalem. He neglected to check with God to find the proper way to move it (1 Chronicles 15). Instead he had just chosen to follow the pattern of the Philistines (1 Samuel 6).

The ark of God represents the presence, power and glory of God. God has intended to live in the hearts and lives of His people. The people of God cannot carry His presence, power and glory the way the enemy of God would – on a cart, a new cart even. It must be carried by the priests; on their shoulders; bearing the full weight.

The priests of God are all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The priesthood of every believer – “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Himself being our High Priest before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:14-16). Any priesthood other than the priesthood of every believer, follower of Jesus Christ is a farce.

Christian, be faithful in showing forth the presence, power and glory of God. The Father has made this possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The King Who Delivers Israel

“And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.” 2 Samuel 3:17-18 (KJV)

Abner was king Saul’s general; and he wanted Saul’s dynasty to continue despite what God had said of David. He set up Saul’s son Ishbosheth as king of Israel (2:8-11), and evidently Ishbosheth was a weakling in Abner’s eyes (3:6-11), and not a leader.

Abner’s motive is not revealed; though it was most likely from God for what ever the motive may have been.

He does remember the word of the LORD concerning David, and then calls Israel to follow David as their king.

We must remember as Christians today, that God’s word is true. It is verbally inspired, it is infallible, and it is inerrant; and there is nothing which can ever stop God from fulfilling every word of this book.

One day, Jesus; the Son of God, the Son of David, will sit on David’s throne, and reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. That same Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose from the grave that all who would believe in Him might live and reign eternally with Him. Will you believe?

The Gift of the LORD

“And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.” 1 Samuel 30:21-25 (KJV)

In our reading today we read of David being directed to leave the Philistines due to their attacking king Saul and Israel. It was really a God thing.

When David and his men return to Ziklig, they find the city burned, their property, wives, and children missing. David’s men are set to stone him; he encourages himself in the LORD, and prays for God’s direction.

There is a lesson here for us all. Some of the men are weak from war, and being without much to eat, and cannot go on to bring back their stuff. They stay behind and guard the stuff they have; and David and six hundred of his men continue on to retrieve their stuff.

God rewards them with victory over the Amalekites who had destroyed Ziklag, taken their stuff, and their families with more stuff. Some of the evil hearted, underhanded ones of David’s men wanted to keep it all to themselves and not share with those who kept the other stuff they left behind. David would not hear of it.

David says, “Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us” acknowledging that the LORD had given them the victory. He was awarding victory to all of his men; not just those who had gone to the fight.

In the battle Jesus Christ fought alone on the cross, and won, showing the victory in His bodily resurrection He shares the spoils of that battle with all who will believe in Him. Now that is a great reward.

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Christians we do every Sunday. Let us never forget He lives; even each day that we live, and move and have our being.

Against the LORD’S Anointed

“And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.” 1 Samuel 26:9-12 (KJV)

For a second time David is merciful to the man, the king of Israel who is pursuing him; in order to kill him. David is merciful. One can only be merciful if they are forgiving.

David was merciful and forgiving because he himself had received much mercy and forgiveness.

David’s man Abishai wanted to kill the king, and be done with him. David saw a way to get the king’s attention instead, and make a clear point.

We have all received the mercy of God. We can see it everyday. The One who made us, keeps us, holds us, and offers us His glorious salvation. God in His mercy could destroy every evil man, or woman in an instant; but instead offers them grace; giving them yet more mercy with each moment they, or we live.

You are alive today because of God’s mercy. You can live in eternity with Him by His grace which is revealed in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection. Receive His forgiveness today.

Lift not your hand against God’s anointed.

Submission to the King

“And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? Wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father’s house.” 1 Samuel 24:16-21

King Saul had shown hatred for David. He hated him because God’s hand was on David, giving him victories over the enemies of Israel, and protection from them. Even Saul had been David’s enemy; yet the LORD protected him.

David had a chance to kill the king (24:1-8), but he would not kill the LORD’S anointed king; and even felt guilty because he had cut off his “skirt”. O how Christians today need to be careful when speaking of the leadership God has given us in our nations. We do need to remember that just as king Saul was anointed by God as a means of discipline for Israel; so too are many leaders of the world today.

When a nation turns its back on God He gives us godless, jealous, careless leaders. Leaders who will lead into further godlessness.

Saul did, however, in this instance submit to God’s will and plan for Israel. Yet, he later returns to seeking David’s life. Saul does acknowledge David as the future king of Israel (v. 20).

The plans and schemes of kings, or mankind, can never over rule the will and plan of God. One day King Jesus will return and set up His kingdom on earth; will rule and reign in justice, and mercy. That is a day I look forward to. Looking upon my Lord and Saviour, bowing before Him in worship, adoration and praise.

Safeguard with the King

“And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD’S priests. And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house. Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” 1 Samuel 22:20-23 (KJV)

It would be very helpful to your understanding to read at least chapters 21 -22 of this reading.

King Saul had become very jealous of David. He was one of those who desired credit even if he did not do it, because he was the leader; he was the king.

Saul had ordered the death of the LORD’S priest, about 85 of them, because they had aided David with bread and a sword. One of the priests escapes and goes to David. Abiathar, and David provides him safety.

David is basically not running from the king because he fears him. David does not desire to kill king Saul. He is the Lord’s anointed king for the time. God will handle that problem in His own timing.

With David being protected by the Divine power of God, there is no safer place to be than with David and his men.

There is a place of safety for you today. That place is in the hands, and the heart and mind of the Son of David. The soon coming; soon to reign King Jesus.

Stripped of the Robe

“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” 1 Samuel 18:1-4 (KJV)

Following the defeat of Goliath, by God through David, king Saul acknowledges David, and Jonathan does as well.

We are told that Jonathan “was knit with the soul of David”; then, in an act of great humility the son of the king takes off the royal robe he wears, and gives it to David.

This is a clear recognition of David’s anointing as the next king of Israel.

When it comes to places of service, which is that of a king, president, prime minister, or a pastor; there is no place for arrogance, pride, or domination.  It is a place of service.  Any leader who dominates is not fit for the office which he/she serves.  King Jesus is fit for the office.  He has given the ultimate price – His life.

That is what one must do to be right with God; realize that apart from Him we are doomed, and strip ourselves of our rights, and privileges; and yield our all to the One who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again. He is our King. King Jesus, Son of the Living God.

A Prophet of the LORD

“And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 3:19-21 (KJV)

At this point of time with the people of Israel God is not pleased with those who are the spiritual leaders of the nation. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phineas who were very immoral with them and treated the Lord and His offerings with contempt. This was so even to the point of the judgment of death, the taking of the ark of the covenant by the Philistines; and the departure of the “glory of God” from Israel (4:10-22).

Before this judgment came upon them the LORD provided them a prophet, Samuel. The word of the LORD came to Samuel. He was not familiar with the voice of God, and needed instruction. The LORD God still reveals Himself through the word of the LORD.  The LORD will do nothing accept He reveal through His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).  His Word speaks quite clearly to all who will read it, believe it and heed it; an today.

His Living Word is Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. The crucified, buried, resurrected, and coming again King of kings and Lord of lords.

The glory of God may be gone from the nation, but not from His prophets, and His faithful people. Believe His word. Believe God. Believe His Son.

Flame of the LORD

Flame Of The LORD

2 Samuel 11:6-17

In this story of the fall of king David is also the story of a man who was faithful, to God, to his wife, to his country and to his king. In this event in the life of David, Uriah is a contrast to David, and gives those of us who aren’t born into a godly home, or godly atmosphere some hope.

It is very likely that Uriah, being a Hittite; had come to believe and trust in the God of Israel and David; and had given himself to the service of God, the people and the king. His name means, “Flame of Jah”, thus the title to the message being “Flame Of The LORD”. Oh, that the Christian of today had the fire of Uriah.

I. URIAH WAS FAITHFUL; THEY KNEW WHERE HE WAS (vv. 3, 6).

A. “It is 10-O-Clock. Do you know where your children are?”

B. Uriah was known as a good soldier, even a “mighty” soldier (23:39).
1. He is called one of David’s “thirty mighty men” (23:8-39).

C. God is faithful; He will always be faithful to His Word, His will, His children and His promises.

“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (KJV)

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck…” 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (KJV)

II. URIAH WAS OBEDIENT TO THE KING’S COMMANDMENT TO RETURN HOME (v. 7).

A. Uriah was probably wondering about the purpose of his being called back to Jerusalem.
1. He may have thought, “The king desires that I get some rest and relaxation”, but his heart had no desire for it.

B. Uriah was obedient to the king’s call.

C. Christian, let us who have been called by our King, hear His voice, do His bidding and when He calls us home do so with the earnestness of this hero of Jerusalem, Israel and Judah.
1. We can rest assured that when our King Jesus calls us to His home He will not have some devious intent in His heart and mind.

III. URIAH WAS LOYAL TO THE KING AND ALL THE OTHER SOLDIERS WHO WERE FAITHFULLY FIGHTING THE BATTLES (vv. 8-13).

A. He is not only loyal to his king, but loyal and faithful to the other soldiers who are not getting the call from the king that he received.
1. Uriah would have made a good United States Marine Corp Officer or soldier. “Semper Fi” or “Always Faithful” is the motto of the Marine Corp, and that seems to have been Uriah’s creed as well.

B. Uriah would not go home to his wife, his heart was on the welfare of the king and his troops on the field.
1. The good soldier is thinking about the safety of the others, and their leader and nation.
2. The heart of Uriah at this point in time puts the heart of king David to shame.

C. David jumped headlong into this adulterous relationship with Uriah’s wife, because he was not doing what he should have been doing.
1. The first verse of chapter eleven includes the following words, “at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah.
2. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”

IV. URIAH IS FAITHFUL TO GOD, HIS WIFE, HIS COUNTRY AND HIS KING EVEN UNTO DEATH – CARRYING HIS OWN DEATH WARRANT (vv. 14-17).

A. King David upon realization that he would not convince Uriah to get home anytime soon; sent a death warrant by Uriah’s own hand to the General in the field – Joab.
1. Unknowingly, most likely, Uriah takes the hand written message written by the hand of the king that would cause him to die.

B. We have a Savior who was faithful to His Father; all the way to Jerusalem; all the way to Calvary; all the way to the cross; all the way to the tomb; and all the way to His glory which He had with the Father from the beginning (John 17:5).
1. We by faith in Him and His finished work on the cross put on His righteousness, His garments, and take on the characteristics which led Him to the obedient, faithful, loving life that led to His cross; His place of death and dying for the sins of the world.

C. Uriah means “Flame of Jah” or “Flame of the Lord”, and surely he was the flame of God burning in Israel when the “man after God’s own heart” had plunged into darkness of sin.

D. Oh, Christian when we see a brother or sister in Christ; who has plunged headlong into sin; whether they be a church leader, leader’s wife, or the man or woman in the pew; that is the time to be the “Flame of the LORD”. (Galations 6:1-2)
1. Stand as an example of faith and light, be faithful to God, and don’t let the darkness of sin pull you in and down.
2. Jesus said, “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?” Luke 12:49 (KJV). His Holy Spirit within His followers are the possessors of that Fire; and that Fire possesses us as well. Let us walk in the light of that flame.

Day 21 – Your Sin Will Find You Out

The title above comes from the Law of Moses (Numbers 32:23); however, as I read the chapters from 2 Samuel 12 – 24 that is what they were dealing with in king David.

As we read chapter 11 yesterday it showed us of David’s sin he tried to hide, and keep between himself, and the woman who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  David saw her; when he should have been on the battle field with his men.  He sent for her; and he sinned with her.  They were both guilty of sin.  David alone is guilty of the murder of Uriah.  Yet, we find David to be a man “after God’s own heart”.  David should have died; yet due to his repentant heart God was merciful, spared his life, yet sent great torment into his family.

Had David gotten so secure in his victories on the battle field that he overlooked the battle of his own heart?  It almost seems that way.  He seems almost ignorant of his sin until he is confronted by Nathan, a prophet, who tells him a parable of sorts, and David immediately recognizes injustice in someone else; yet the prophet tells him,

“Thou art the man.” 2 Samuel 12:7 (KJV)

Guilty of sloth; Guilty of Adultery; and guilty of murder.  David had grown slothful in his duties as a king of that day; but it seems that the “Sweet Psalmist of Israel” (23:1) had also grown slothful in the Word and Spirit of God; else he would have heard God in the quiet recesses of his heart, calling his name.  “David, David, David.  You are treading on dangerous ground.  Open your eyes David.  Be ye holy; for I Am holy.”

The prophet Nathan tells David,

“Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.  Thus saith the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.  For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’  And David said unto Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said unto David, ‘The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.  Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.'” 2 Samuel 12:10-13 (KJV)

As we read the final chapters of Second Samuel we find the prophecy of Nathan is fulfilled.  Sexual sin and rebellion becomes prominent in David’s house.  David’s and Bathsheba’s baby dies; Amnon one of David’s sons rapes a half sister (chapter 13) and Absalom kills him – much strife in the family.  Absalom flees Jerusalem, and eventually returns only to try a take over of the kingdom.

The snares and traps of sin are grievous in anyone’s life.  We can all be sure that law of Moses is true.  “Your sin will find you out.”  We can also be assured that there is a Redeemer who came from God.  He is the Son of God, and the Son of David.  He is the Righteous One.  The one and only Divine Son of God.  He, Jesus Christ, paid the price of ransom for the lost, condemned, dying souls of men.

Your sins are known by God.  You have been found out.  You have sinned and come short of God’s glory.  Come to the One and only One who can cleanse you, forgive you and give you eternal life.  His name is Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 20 – Kings Rise and Fall

The reading today was from 1 Samuel 29 thru 2 Samuel 11.  Quite interesting reading of wars, strife, the death of one king and his family; the rise of a new king, and his fall.

We see battles where people are killed.  People of Israel are destroyed by foreign kings, and by their own people.  The Bible does not “paint” us a very pretty picture of Israel, nor of mankind  in general.  That is what is so clearly a god thing concerning Scripture.  We can see clearly what we are as people.  Yet, we see that we are not without hope.  Sometimes battles are not men against men; but, rather man against himself.  Most of us if we are honest first with ourselves have inner wars and strife which we must win, before we can win the outer battles of life.  We see that in both of these kings which we look at today – Saul and David.

In chapter 29 Achish king of the Philistines goes to war against Saul and Israel.  David has befriended Achish and is about to go to war with him against Saul; but God has other things in mind.  The princes of  the Philistines reject David for fear that he could turn on them, and fight for Saul.  Achish sends David back to Ziklag where they are living with their families; and there they find the camp has been invaded by Amalekites, their women taken captive, and their goods taken as booty, and tens burned with fire.  David’s men are practically ready to stone him (30:6).

Do you not just love the heart of David?  He does not boil with rage, and run after the invaders blindly; but rather goes and seeks the face of God concerning the matter;

“And David enquired at the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.'” 30:8 (KJV)

He pursues the Amalekite raiders, found them, freed his people, recovered their goods, and we are told that “David recovered all (30:19).

King Saul and his sons, including Jonathan, are killed in the battle against the Philistines.  David’s honor is maintained throughout all this ordeal with Saul.  Remember Saul has hated David since “David killed his  ten thousands and Saul his thousands” (18:7).  Saul is now dead, and there are those who would seek David’s favor by taking the honor of killing an enemy of David.

In 2 Samuel we are told of a man who is an Amalekite who tells David, that he killed Saul (1:8-10).  David is not pleased,  and we read,

“And David said unto him, ‘How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD’S anointed?’  And David called one of the young men, and said, ‘Go near, and fall upon him.’ And he smote him that he died.  And David said unto him, ‘Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, ‘I have slain the LORD’S anointed.'” 2 Samuel 1:14-16

In my understanding I see David not desiring the death of Saul, but rather his repentance and restoration to God.  Saul was God’s first anointed king of Israel.  Though he was what others including myself  might call a rascally king; he was still God’s anointed, and that is how David viewed him and why David refused to lift a hand against him.  Even to the point of distributing justice to those who claimed to have killed Saul.

David now rises to the position of God’s anointed king.  He still honors the king Saul’s son Jonathan by remembering him through Mephibosheth, and giving him all the lands of Saul (chapter 9).

The final chapter of today’s reading ends with this sentence,

“But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” 11:27b

God has promised David that He will establish his throne forever (7:12-17).  This forever kingdom will be one day realized in the return of Jesus Christ to earth to establish His eternal kingdom; Jesus will rule and reign forever and forever, just as GOD had promised.

The fall of king David is not the end of God’s promise to Him.  It is not David’s goodness, his power or prowess in war, his character, his wit, or any of his works for which God rewards him; it is the grace of God that makes David’s heart;  “after God’s own heart”.

You may have fallen, but God’s promises are still true.  His grace is sufficient to redeem you, and to reclaim you.  King’s do rise and fall.  “Commoners” do as well.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 19 – Kings of Honor and Kings of War

The reading for Day 19 was 1 Samuel 15 – 28, much about the fall of king Saul; yet also about the rise of a man after God’s own heart.

Saul began his reign as the chosen, anointed king of Israel, chosen by God.  His heart was right, humble, and honorable.  He seemed not to be grasping for power, nor leadership, but was content working for and with his father keeping donkeys.

We have all heard the phrase, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” and we can see an element of that in Saul.  He seems intent of doing the “right thing” without obedience to God.  A for instance; when God had given him commandment to go and “utterly destroy” the Amalekites (15:3) here is what he did,

“And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.  And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.”  1 Samuel 15:7-9 (KJV)

Some might argue, “Well, he was at least partially obedient”.  That is not much argument.  Obedience is carrying out the command to the letter, which Saul did not do.  No matter what his intent was he sinned against God and the kingdom was removed from him and given to another.

Saul was a man, after this that had much fear in his reign.  He himself was fearful.  He was afraid of a little giant challenging the army of God (chapter 17).

Then a youth who was a shepherd boy who was not afraid of lions and bears heard the giant bragging of his abilities and powers against the God of Israel.  He became angered by this, and took up the challenge himself.  With nothing but a sling, five stones and most of all his faith in God he faced the giant Goliath, and God gave David the victory that day.

David had already been anointed king to take Saul’s place.  When Saul saw this he was jealous and enraged by David, hating him and trying to kill him.  There is no honor in king Saul; only jealousy and fear and hatred.  He no longer loves God, God’s Word, nor His plan for himself or Israel.

Even Jonathan, kings Saul’s son recognized David as the future king of Israel,

“And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.  And he said unto him, ‘Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth. And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.”  23:16-18

Jonathan was more a man of honor than was his father.  He was not afraid of David being king.  He honored David and he honored God.  David was that man after God’s own heart.  This was the king which God has used to bring the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to save us from our sins.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 18 – God in the Box

We have some Christian leaders today saying to us, that God is bound to answer our prayers, answer our demands, and so forth; maybe not in so strong a fashion but many times in more subtle ways.  One thing we need to realize as Children of our GOD is that God is obligated to us in no fashion.  God is obligated to Himself, and His Word.

In my reading this morning (1 Samuel 1 – 14) I read of the dark sins of the sons of Eli, and the faith of a woman named Hannah.  Hannah is actually the first mentioned in the historical account of the last Judge of Israel.  Hannah received from God the son she requested, and she kept her word with God, giving Samuel to the LORD all his days.

The Ark of the covenant was given to give the people of Israel the assurance that God was in their midst.  The tribes, as they journeyed through the wilderness were arranged so that the tabernacle was in the midst of the camps.  When they arrive in the promised land the tabernacle is set up in Shiloh, and there is where all the offerings are to be made.

The people however had began to think of the Ark as the source of all their need.  As long as the Ark was with them, then, they could live anyway they chose, do anything they liked, give God worship on the Sabbath day, and the Ark would always be their power and means of escape and deliverance from their enemies.  That is not any more clearly seen than in chapter 4,

“And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.'”  1 Samuel 4:3 (KJV)

The Philistines are destroying them in battle.  They call for the Ark to be brought into their camp; and they are about to learn a very hard and fast lesson.  At the end of this battle the two sons of Eli – Hophni and Phineas – are killed, the army of Israel is defeated and the Ark of God is taken (4:10-11).

What God desires of His people is to know that He is with them wherever we are.  We do not need a box, a set of beads, an idol.  For those who have called on the name of the Father through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross we have the abiding presence of God within us.  Yet, I know that there are certainly times we do not feel His presence.  We have His assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  There are times, however, that we do stray from Him.

The problem with Israel at that time was they were engulfed in rebellion.  Their spiritual leadership was defying the commandments of God.  God had sent messengers to Eli to correct his sons, yet the abominations continued.  Thus, the penalty was death, and the capture of the Ark of God.

O, how miserable a lot we can be when we think we can live as we please; in rebellion against God; and think that we can still have power with Him.  That is probably the greatest weakness of the present generation of God’s people in Christ.  We model the world “to try and win the world”; rather than model Christ and let His Spirit convict and convince the world of His love, mercy and grace.

When Saul had been chosen as king of Israel, and anointed as king by Samuel we hear these words,

“And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.” 10:7

Samuel had given Saul some signs; events and people he would meet on his return journey home.  That is when he tells him these words.  He is telling Saul “Do whatever comes to heart and mind” and for this reason: “For God is with you”.  The Spirit of God came upon Saul and he prophesied.  We are not told what he preached, but he preached the Word of God for sure.

When we are right with God walking in His Spirit we will do what comes from God to please God.  The Spirit of God will not do anything that goes against God, His character, or His Word.  We do not have God in a box; however, the Christian has Christ within to do what ever the Spirit of the Lord leads us to do.  And that will be to honor and glorify God

-Tim A. Blankenship