Monthly Archives: May 2021

2 Samuel 15-17; Psalms 3, 63; Romans 1

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself.

2 Samuel 16:9-14 ESV

David’s life seems to fall into three phases as I read through Scripture. The first phase, through young adulthood, shows his heart for God, his time of growing and learning to rest in His strength, and his patience as he waits for his reign to begin. These are not easy years, but they are years of growing in wisdom and faith and he relies heavily on God through every challenge. Then he enjoys years of great success. David becomes king and has many children, especially many sons, he seems victorious on every battlefield, and the people love him as Israel is united under his crown. Finally, he begins to reap the consequences of bad choices and falls prey to an occasional tendency to be a people-pleaser.

This final phase is where we find him today. Conflict in his home and around it, and curses from a member of the house of Saul, his long time adversaries.

Do you remember who Abishai is? He is David’s nephew. Joab, Asahel, and Abishai were David’s nephews and were some of his strongest supporters for many years. This might or might not be accurate historically, but I always picture them having a sweet relationship from David at a young age. It wouldn’t surprise me if David was the fun uncle growing up, the one they always clamored to sit by at family holidays and climbed all over every chance they got. Might be a stretch, but it helps me make sense of their passionate allegiance to him as he becomes king.

So, it was only natural for Abishai to want to go chop off Shimei’s head when he was threatening his beloved uncle, King David. David stops him, distancing himself from these harsh remarks. Abishai has much more to learn from his uncle’s wisdom. David considers that these curses might actually be given out of obedience to God!

I don’t think that has ever been my thinking when I was the object of an attack or criticism — maybe God told them to be mean to me!

Despite the challenges to his reign, David shows his heart is still chasing hard after God and he is still trusting God to fight his battles.

O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill.

Psalm 3:1-4 ESV

These were not easy days for David, but he continually cried out to God for strength and protection. Spiritual growth and learning never end. After years of seeing God come to his aid, he again lays it all out to Him in prayer. He chooses to follow. Faithfulness, determination, perseverance. David’s life was not easy, but it was continually surrendered and re-surrendered to His God and King.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.


for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:3,7-8 ESV

And God was right there. Not even a breath away. Lifting David’s head, satisfying, helping, protecting.

For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:7 ESV

David lived by faith, and in doing so he lived out what that should look like for me.

What living by faith is not — seeking man’s praise, experiencing a smooth journey, having no enemies, a one time decision.

What living by faith is — chasing hard after God daily, being genuine in prayer, trusting God when His plan is not evident, letting challenges and accusers push me closer to God, and coming to God for every need, including refreshment when the road is hard.

Lord, help me to keep my heart solely for You. Show me where I might be holding something back from You today. Help me to make each step by faith and trust Your plan when the waters are choppy, when adversaries speak out, when the way seems less clear. Help me to live by faith. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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2 Samuel 13-14; Acts 28

17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”(Acts 28:17-20 [NIV]).

The Apostle Paul finally reaches Rome. There he begins to share the gospel with many. And while being under guard no less. Paul has embraced his hardship to see the gospel spread throughout the known world.

What do we see when we confront difficulty and challenge or even set back? Do we see something we must endure, or do we see it as a way to spread the gospel.

Let me ask you a few questions (hopefully not stepping on anyone’s toes).

  • When COVID 19 hit were you more concerned about getting together and worshiping again with friends and fellow believers, or seeing how you could in the name of Jesus help those that were being hurt by the pandemic?
  • When your car breaks down alongside the road are you more concerned about the trouble and delay it is causing you or excitement who God may send your way who may need Him?
  • Are you excited about helping a neighbor in need or put out by the football game you’re missing?

These questions are convicting for me as well. Let’s follow Paul’s example and have gospel lenses on all the time – in the good and bad circumstances of life – and see what God can do through our reactions.

Father God, please bring people our way who need you even if that inconveniences us. Give us gospel eyes for your honor and glory. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!

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2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20; Psalm 51, 32; Acts 27

Two renditions of the same story:

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1, NLT)

In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, Joab led the Israelite army in successful attacks against the land of the Ammonites. In the process he laid siege to the city of Rabbah, attacking and destroying it. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. (1 Chronicles 20:1, NLT)

Second Samuel continues on to the story of David and Bathsheba. When he wasn’t where he should have been, doing what he should have been doing, the fertile ground for sin awaited. I’m not talking about Bathsheba, but David’s own choices. The story of one thing leading to another ends in multiple tragedies and repentance.

Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. (2 Samuel 11:2-4a, NLT, emphasis added)

When I think of David, I think of a man who loved God. I think of his many talents and skills. I think of his courage and faith. I think of his victories.

First Chronicles 20 continues this way:

Then David went to Rabbah and removed the crown from the king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and he found that it weighed seventy-five pounds. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. (1 Chronicles 20:2, NLT)

First Chronicles doesn’t read like a journey into David’s heart and struggle. It just tells the historical war facts. The pairing of these two books shows such a great contrast. As I move from first paragraph to second in this book, the blank space separating the two symbolically speaks of so much more.

Grace.

When I think of God, I think of grace. I think of His great power and creativity. I think of His attention to detail and wisdom. I think of His love for us–to give us all choice: to choose Him, to follow Him, and to return to Him when we’ve strayed. Choices sometimes carry painful consequences, but I am reminded there’s another story larger than my own and a God on the throne with love and grace enough for everyone.

God, what do you see when you look at me?

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there. (Psalm 51:1-6, NLT)

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalm 32:6-9, NLT)

That blank space between 1 Chronicles 20:1 and 20:2, I fill it with this sweet, divine relief:

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight! (Psalm 32:1, NLT)

Father God, you are the safest place for my deepest thoughts. Hiding place. Protector. You give guidance and advice. How wonderful–what joy!–that I can turn to you honestly and completely and you receive me. Thank you for grace.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Samuel 9-10; 1 Chronicles 18-19; Psalm 89; Acts 26

2 Samuel 9-10 David showed in these verses a demonstration of kindness to Mepheboseth (Saul’s grandson) and restored all Saul’s land to him & gave him the privilege to eat at his table for the rest of his life and to David it didn’t matter that Mepheboseth was crippled because David was full of compassion for him and knowing the bond he had had with his father Jonathan. These are the types of actions that earned David the intimacy with God making him refer to him as “a man after my heart” . This also gives up to me and should give hope to all that even in situations where it is obvious you are at a disadvantage and it appears you have been forgotten when God decides to remember you, favour will find you wherever you are like it David found Mepheboseth in Jesus name

1 Chronicles 18-19 David knew the source of his victory, he depended on God for direction and as a habit would ask God’s opinion before going into battle and the bible says in these chapters and the ones above that God gave David victory wherever he went. So it is of no surprise he made a habit of dedicating the “spoils” of war to God and God did give him more and more victory. These chapters list David’s victories God gave him in battle..a lesson for us too that if we seek God’s leading and depend on Him always we are sure to have constant victory like David and if we honour God like David did then we move to a place of trust in the eyes of God and victory would not be alien to us.

Psalm 89; David glorifies and praises God, thanking him for His promises & kindness, his protection. At the later end of this psalm though it seems something went wrong and God was angry with David letting him fall into shame and embarrassment…David then reminds God of His earlier promises and appeals to Him to rescue him, this is the type of bond David had with God that gave him the boldness to appeal to God and remind him of His promises..may we also walk in the reality of such intimacy with God

Acts 26 Paul defends himself before Agrippa and Festus. Challenging the Jews using the scriptures. What came to mind here is unlike Jesus who never defended himself Paul did. This means there in some circumstances God will and does expect you to defend yourself while in others He expects you to be silent like Jesus. It takes the Holy Spirit to give us discernment to know which is appropriate for each situation we may find ourselves

In Christ BM

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II Samuel 7-8; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 132; Acts 25

I once heard a Bible teacher refer to 2 Samuel 7 as one of the most pivotal passages of Scripture for understanding God’s plan of salvation.  Without it (and the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 17), the rest of the Bible and the Christian life don’t make sense.  God made a covenant, a sovereign promise, with David that one of his descendants would reign in Israel forever.  This promise was partially fulfilled in the short term when King Solomon, David’s son, built the temple his father had dreamed of building.  But then Solomon’s sin brought God’s judgment, dividing the nation of Israel and removing David’s sons as rulers for a time.  However, despite the failures of David’s family, God kept his promise.  In fact, God said when—not if!—David’s son sinned, he would be punished, but God’s love would for him would not change.  

But God wasn’t just concerned with David’s short-term desire to build a temple.  As always, God had a long-term plan.  The Davidic Covenant was also eternal.  In fact, God used the word “forever” three times in the passage.  And when God says “forever”, all of eternity will be impacted.  The reason this passage is so pivotal—and the most beautiful part for me (as you!) as a believer—is that because God’s covenant was eternal, I am also a recipient of the promise made to David.  God’s perfect, long-term plan included a Savior from the line of David, who would be the sacrifice for my sins.  Right now, He reigns in heaven and, one day, He will return to reign on earth forever.  Because I have acknowledged that Christ is the only payment for my sins and have accepted His gift of salvation, I will live forever with Him in the everlasting kingdom promised to David in 2 Samuel.

Later in the passages, David rejoices over God’s promises to him.

Therefore, you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (2 Sam 7:22, I Chron. 17:20, ESV)

And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. (I Sam 7:28; I Chron 17:26, ESV)

In Psalm 132: 11-18, the writer reiterates God’s promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7. 

There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.  His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine. (Ps. 132: 17-18, ESV)

It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around:  the same mercy and faithfulness that God promised to David, He promises to me.  God promised David’s descendants would rule forever.  Because of one of those descendants, Jesus Christ, I have the hope of eternal life.  God will protect me like he protected David.  His goodness will shine in my darkness no matter how deep.  He will defeat my enemies, and I will receive the Crown of Life.  The promises God made to David were made for me.  The promises God fulfilled for David will also be fulfilled for me.

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