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2 Samuel 6, 1 Chronicles 13, Psalm 60 and Acts 23


2 Samuel 6: 6-10, 1 Chronicles 13: 7-13 (MEV)
When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen had stumbled. The Lord became angry against Uzzah, and God struck him down on the spot for his irreverence. He died there beside the ark of God.
David became angry because of the outburst of the Lord against Uzzah; that place is called Perez Uzzah to this day.
David feared the Lord that day, and he thought, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” So, David did not allow the ark of the Lord to be brought to him in the City of David. Instead, David redirected it to the house of Obed-Edo
m the Gittite.

I have read/heard this passage so many times. I think every time that instinctively I would have done the same thing. We have read over and over how God’s laws need to be followed to the letter. No exceptions. But still, wasn’t this a little harsh, after all he was trying to protect the ark. That was his job, or was it? God was not angry with Uzzah, He was angry against him. Against means God was in opposition to what Uzzah was doing. Maybe they forgot how to transport the ark, but God told them specifically that it was to be carried, not placed on a cart, even if it was new, or pulled by oxen. If there were no oxen, they wouldn’t have stumbled, because the cart wouldn’t have hit a ditch, therefore Uzzah would not have been struck dead.

It reminds me of the first day I let my son drive to school. I told him “no other kids in the car, straight there and straight back” That afternoon I got a call that my son was in an accident. He didn’t listen to the rules. He said,” She missed the bus, what was I supposed to do, just let her sit there?” His heart was in a good place, but his head was not. He disobeyed and therefore suffered the consequences. Thankfully it was the car that was killed that day. Uzzah was trying to do the “right” thing too, he was protecting the ark, just not in the right way!

God’s rules are for our benefit. They are made out of love. They are made for our protection, and for our safety. We may not always feel the love, or feel like listening to them, or even remember them, but none the less they exist, and they existed that day. And unfortunately, though they thought they were honoring God that day singing and dancing with all their might, they forgot the most important honor that God sought: Obedience, obedience in how to transport the ark. David must have gone home and read up on it, because when he brought the ark from Obed-Edom’s house to the City of David, the ark was being carried (v13).

It is always good to learn from our mistakes, but it is better not to make them in the first place, our pain and hardship that comes from one moment of disobedience could be a price we are not willing to pay, had we known beforehand.

Psalm 60: 9-12 (MEV)
Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me into Edom? You, O God, have You not cast us off? And You O God, did not go out with our armies. Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is worthless. Though God we will do valiantly, for He will tread down our enemies.

Sometime it feels that God is not with me, that He is displeased with me, that He is far away. I heard Dr. Phil say this week that feelings are not facts, and as soon as we realize that, the easier it will be to overcome our feelings.
Another reason I may not feel the closeness of God is because I have moved, not God. Perhaps I get so comfortable with God’s help that I no longer realize that I have shifted to doing things in my own strength and power, or perhaps with the help of others. It is when my focus shifts from God, to me, that God may pull back and let me go forward without Him. Unfortunately, David was in a battle when he realized God wasn’t with him. I could be in a battle as well, just as fierce but in a different way. But just as quickly as I turn my focus back on God, and start to do things His way, I will begin to feel His presence again. No, it may not be a warm fuzzy feeling that we sometimes get, but it may be wisdom to change the way I approach something or perceive it differently to enable me to have victory over it because I see it from a different perspective. God will give me victory over circumstances, but only if I do it His way and not my way. When will I learn to go to God first, instead of when all my other options have proven ineffective? Also, I must learn to be patient and wait for God’s timing. I think that is the hardest thing to learn. As we read the scriptures, we learn these small techniques to help us along the way. Small in action, but hard as heck to do!

Acts 23:1-2 (MEV):
Paul looked at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” The high priest Ananias ordered those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.

My mother must have been the high priest in our home. She was always striking me on the mouth when I said something offensive to her. No one likes to hear someone saying something against their beliefs. Paul had a good grounding in the Word and a strong belief system. In Chapter 20 :22-24, Paul knew that imprisonment and afflictions awaited him, but did not let it deter him. No matter what, Paul was going to testify about the gospel of the grace of God.

In 1 Chronicles 10:14a, it says Saul died because of his unfaithful deeds against the Lord, because of his failure to keep the word of the Lord, and because he sought to consult the spirit of divination but did not seek the Lord.

Acts 23:10
When much dissension arose, fearing that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, the commander ordered the soldiers to go down and take him from them by force and bring him into the barracks.

Acts 23: 23
Then he summoned two centurions and said,” Prepare two hundred infantrymen, seventy mounted soldiers, and two hundred light infantrymen with spears to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night. And provide mounts so Paul may ride and take him safely to Felix the governor.

Even I can see the difference in how God responds to those who obey his commands and those who do not. Saul could have repented and changed his way, but the power went to his head. He wanted to be the greatest, so God handed him over to his enemies. Paul, on the other hand, started out as Saul, but learned from the error of his ways. Saul became Paul and never looked back. He did not waver in his faith, nor in his teaching of the truth. The Way became his way, his focus! Therefore, God rescued him over and over so that he could continue preaching the Word and bringing people into the kingdom. It is hard, and sometime dangerous to share our faith with others, but if I have a faith that is unshakable, I will have the courage and the boldness of Paul not to let it deter me.

Dear Most Holy God, your ways are higher than the world’s ways by a long shot. The world says Christians are weak and use You as a crutch, but that is not true. It is hard to obey all your standards. It is hard to stand out and be separate. But please allow your Holy Spirit to help me each step of the way. I don’t want to go anywhere without You by my side. I long to be under the umbrella of your protection. Please help me O God to walk close to you each step of my day! In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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2 Sam 3-5; 1 Chronicles 12; Psalm 122; Acts 22

17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.”

I Chronicles 12:16 ESV

David made an honest evaluation of each person he accepted into his circle. They didn’t need to earn their way in or be some stepping stone for his kingdom or his personal rise to power. If they came with a pure heart, he welcomed them. He trusted God’s wisdom to help him lead and discern, and he was not blinded even by close family ties.

Everyone loved David. They flocked to him.

36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people.

2 Samuel 3:36 ESV

He could do no wrong. His approval rating was at an all time high, and he was yet to rule the whole of Israel.

22 For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God. . . 38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king.

I Chronicles 12:22, 38 ESV

In the midst of all of this attention and devotion, David displays a humility that makes no logical sense, from human thinking. He was on a roll. His power and influence kept rising. Nearly everyone around him deferred to his perspective and opinion. However, when I evaluate his response to all this regard from God’s perspective, it makes perfect sense. David’s sold out devotion to God shined through brilliantly in those early years of his reign. He loved God whole-heartedly and recognized every victory as His, every blessing as coming from Him, and all that David ruled over was merely entrusted to him by God.

Some of the most challenging places to remain humble and in reliance on God are on the mountain-top experiences of life. I would say becoming the king of God’s chosen people would be a pretty thrilling accomplishment. And yet, David takes it in stride, trusting that he is following God’s plan and simply being obedient and faithful.

This simple shepherd-boy-become-king definitely had his priorities in order.

Lord, show me how to be humble in every situation. How to graciously walk through success as well as how to patiently endure trials. Whether You walk with me through a pleasant pathway or a rough valley, help me trust that Your way is best. May I honor you with my whole-heart as David clearly learned from a young age. In Jesus name, Amen.

Erin (6intow)

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I Samuel 30-31; I Chronicles 10; Acts 20

And when he had taken him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. And David struck them down from the twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought it all back. David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, ‘This is David’s spoil.” (I Samuel 30:16-20 ESV)

David wasn’t perfect. There are many examples in the Bible of his mistakes. But he was a man after God’s own heart. He pursued God’s ways. When he fought the Amalekites and won, it was because God was on his side. Saul, on the other hand, had been influenced by the idolatry of his numerous wives. When fighting the Philistines things did not go as well for him.

The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and mistreat me.’ But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died. Thus Saul died; he and his three sons and all his house died together. And when all the men of Israel who were in the valley saw that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them.” (I Chronicles 10:3-7 ESV)

Saul felt trapped and desperate. He asked his armor-bearer to kill him. When he wouldn’t, he took his own life. This led to the armor-bearer taking his own life and the trend continued. What a contrast in the endings of both battles.

Many years later, the apostle Paul addresses the elders of Ephesus, giving them advice on how to live through the fire.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:18-32 ESV)

When trials come our way, we have choices to make. Do we press on and fight the good fight of faith or do we fall on our swords? Are we on high alert, using keen discernment as the events unfold or do we get captured by the wolves? I pray we all choose well.

~Kellie

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1 Sam 26-27; 1 Chronicles 8; Acts 18

When a church leader of a large congregation had a moral failure and had to leave his church and the ministry, I read a blog about the incident. The writer of the blog — another well-known Christian leader — wondered who would take his place and what new large church would step up into the limelight. It struck me that we are consumed by hero worship and size even in Christian circles. Yet, the church moves forward more by those we’ll never know than by the stars of church work. In fact in the USA there are 450,000 protestant churches. Only 1,500 of them are 2,000 and over. Yet that’s who we focus on.

Wonder where I am going with this based on today’s passages? Well the pages mention those that are either in the background or helpers to those that are leading.

1 Samuel 26, Then David asked Ahimelech the Hethite and Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, “Who will go with me into the camp to Saul?” “I’ll go with you,” answered Abishai.

Engraving of “David and Abishai at Saul’s Camp” published in “The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation” Published by Charles Foster in 1883. The engraving is now in the public domain.

Here we see a man by the name of Abishai who immediately volunteered to accompany David on a dangerous mission. He was David’s nephew, and we see him come and go in David’s life. He was an accomplished warrior and leader, but his name does not come to our lips immediately when we think of great people in the Old Testament. Without Abishai David would not have been the leader he was.

When we read the Acts 18 passage we see four people mentioned… Paul, Apollos, Aquilla and Priscilla.

Acts 18: 26 He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue. After Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately. 

Much is made of Apollos’ speaking ability and the number of people he preached to. We are introduced to Aquila and Priscilla and from that time on the record refers to them as Priscilla and Aquila. He was the one that sort of brought up the rear of the ministry. In fact I think of Aquila as being the glue that made have held that ministry together.

Each person who belongs to God has a specific mission in His Kingdom. Did you know that research shows that a visiting family/person to your church decides whether to come again based on their first ten minutes on your church property? So 90% of those attending your church have decided whether they are returning without even hearing the preacher preach or perhaps even the worship team lead on song. It’s the person who cuts the grass, the greeter at the door, the usher handing out bulletins, the people that brew the coffee are the most important people to those visitors at your church.

The roles in God’s Kingdom that are behind the scenes or in a serving position are the most important just like Abishai and Aquila were in days gone by. If you are one of those important people in your ministry don’t say, “I just do this..” Confidently share with people your role in God’s Kingdom movement.

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1 Samuel 23-24; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 54; Acts 16

1 Samuel 23-24(NKJV) I see here a man who truly loves and depends on The Lord for his every move…David never did anything without asking God’s opinion even when the situation seemed pretty straightforward. He never judged by the seeing of his natural eyes or by the hearing of his natural ears and as a result he averted danger and also prevented bloodshed. That is the secret to our success today as Children of God. Do we rush into things or do we ask The Holy Spirit our personal Helper and Teacher to help and teach us what to do always?

1 Chronicles 6 (NKJV) In a nutshell we see God staying true to His promise to the children of Israel. A long list of the land that he promised to give every tribe is listed here. If you have ever had any doubts in God’s faithfulness let this verse encourage you. Faithful is God who has promised us in His word and He will do it and bring it to past

Psalm 54(NKJV) This scripture was probably David’s prayer when Saul sought to take his life. Verse 1 reminds me of the scripture “the name of the Lord is a strong Tower the righteous run into it and are saved. The question we all need to answer is where do we turn to when trouble is all around us? Do we run to God.or to man? David always turned to God and He was never let down…I learn here that I must have the same mindset and do the same thing too!!

Acts 16(NKJV) Once again here we see the Holy Spirit at work leading and directing the Apostles and giving them specific instructions. We can also see a good example of how we should react when trials and tribulations come our way….we need to give God thanks like Paul and Silas did even when in chains believing that because God is the Almighty He can remove hindrances and bring a solution

In Christ BM

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