Posts Tagged king david

Route 66 – January 4

Noah-Ark-at-AraratHere’s today’s reading list:

GENESIS 8:1-10:32
MATTHEW 4:12-25
PSALM 4:1-8
PROVERBS 1:20-23

I am amazed by the story of Noah. It’s so hard to take it in. How bittersweet it must have felt for Noah to realize that God honored him above all others and saved only he and his family to restart mankind.

In Matthew, Jesus just had the encounter with satan in the wilderness and now is preparing to begin his ministry on earth.

Today’s Psalm is actually a song written by David. I sure wish I had the chord chart!

Keep reading along. We’re going through the entire Bible in a year!

Peace,

e

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Déjà vu – 1 Samuel 19

Is it just me or didn’t we just read this?

Here’s a section from chapter 18:

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Here’s a section from chapter 19:

9 But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

As any intelligent man would, David finally learns the king’s palace is not the safest place for him to hang out.

How sad for Saul that even his own children have fallen in love with the one he has come to despise and wants to kill. How sad for Saul that his own children aid his enemy. How sad that God has left Saul. He must be the loneliest king on record.

I love the next part – where Saul finds out where David is hiding and sends men to get him. They come near to where David is with Samuel, and God gets all over them and they all get the spirit of prophesy and go back to tell Saul. Twice more, Saul sends more men with the same result.

Finally, Saul figures he’s going to have to do this himself. But, the same thing happens to him.

22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” “Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said. 23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

God is in control, Saul. When will you learn? Are you so blind? God’s will is going to be accomplished, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

How many times do I forget this? Is there anything I can do to change the outcome? Better to keep my eyes on Him and enjoy the ride.

peace,

e

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David’s Drama Begins… 1 Samuel 18

I think it’s interesting about how Jonathan “became one spirit” with David. One translation says “their souls were knitted together.” We aren’t told what exactly drew him to David, but it’s easy to see that David was admired by many because of his deeds. It says elsewhere that he is a handsome young man. And his impressive victory with a giant was enough to impress anybody. But, something about how Jonathan’s dad, Saul, was speaking to David really clinches the deal for Jonathan and they become kindred spirits. I wonder what kind of father Saul was to Jonathan. Saul seems very self-serving, so I wonder if Jonathan ever received such words of praise from his father. Perhaps this is one of the things that drew Jonathan to David.

This chapter begins the growing suspicion of Saul towards David. Saul starts to fear for his throne, although David clearly gives no indication that is what he’s after. As a matter of fact, David’s humility is clearly demonstrated by his remarks in verse 18:

“But David said to Saul, ‘Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law?'”

Anyone interested in the throne would surely have seen that to marry a king’s daughter was the next logical step. Saul seems to miss this particular nuance, however, and his paranoid suspicions continue.

It’s interesting to note that although David was promised Saul’s daughter Merab in marriage, on the day she was to be given to David, she was instead given to Adriel. This was an act of great injustice, and accordingly this marriage was cursed by God, and the children from the marriage, were cut off by God (see 2 Samuel 21:8,9).

The other interesting thing I see is the method Saul was using to get rid of David. He was apparently thinking that by giving him a wife would distract him and he’d be more likely to be killed in battle. And, he kept sending him to battles that must have been seemingly impossible to win. Finally, Saul told David to bring him back 100 Philly foreskins! An odd request, for sure. But, for David to kill 100 of the enemy? Well, God blessed and he returned to the king with 100 Philly tubesteaks. (sorry)

Anyway, do you notice that the same tactics Saul used with David are later what David will use against Uriah? Never noticed that before.

The bottom line for me in all this is to keep my eyes on the Lord. Seeking His will, and only His will, is the only thing that’s going to keep me from making a mess out of things. Things are starting to fly apart in David’s world, but David seems to not be distracted. He is humble, not self-seeking, and is concerned about obeying the Lord. Therefore, the Lord blesses everything he does – even if the odds are stacked against him.

Lord, I want to keep my eyes on you only. Help me to serve you, not myself, today.

peace,

e

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Matthew 1 – Who’s Your Audience?

Geneaology of Jesus - Matthew 1

The Genealogy of Jesus

I find it interesting that Matthew presents the genealogy of Jesus in the fist part of his book. Matthew’s focus in writing was to reach those of Jewish background, specifically Jewish converts to Christianity.

I read in my study Bible about why this was important, and I’m sure some of you have heard this before. But, I thought it important enough to pass on this morning.

“Matthew is very concerned to present Jesus as the son of David…Moreover, he carefully arranges the generations in each of the three groups so that they number fourteen. Not only is this an especially sacred number, because it is twice seven or sabbath, but, more important, it is the numerical equivalent of the name of David, the Great King! That is, the Hebrew letters which spell the name of David (and which also stand for numbers in hebrew) add up to fourteen. this intricate arrangement of the genealogical table can hardly be accidental. It is matthew’s way of emphasizing that jesus is the promised Son of David, fulfilling the Messianic prophesies.”

Seems Matthew had a thing for special meanings, maps and numbers – as you may have seen in David Murrow’s book, “The Map“.

The message for me lies in how Matthew found his audience and presented his testimony in a language they could understand. It makes me rethink who is “my audience” for my testimony. What am I doing to present the gospel in a language they can understand? Am I even thinking about that? I am now!

Blessings!

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 17 – The LORD frustrated their plans

The saga of David continues – an amazing story (that should be a movie, if you don’t mind me saying!)

In this chapter, we see that no matter how they tried to kill him, God protected David – in spite of all that David had done. Because of his heart and because he cried out for forgiveness, the Lord remained faithful. This is not to say that David’s sin didn’t cause consequences for him and his family (and the whole nation!). Au contraire! It did. Just like sin does for us today. But, the encouragement from this chapter is that God will still protect us.

Look at verse 14:
14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.

See that? “For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel…”

God made the “good advice” from Ahithophel irrelevant with confusion from Husai the Arkite. As a result, the plans to kill and overthrow David were undone.

If God is for us…

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 10 – Hanun’s very bad day

The message I received today from this chapter is to be careful with whom I form alliances.

King David was sending a peaceful delegation to express his sorrow to the Ammonites since their king had died. Years earlier the king had showed kindness to David.

However, some of the Ammonite nobles whispered to the king’s son, Hanun, that David was only sending men to spy on them so they could overthrow them.

Listening to this evil counsel, Hanun seized David’s men and humiliated them and sent them back with half-shaven beards and hospital gowns. Not a wise move.

Ultimately, this led to war.

Now, Hanun hired soldiers from Aramea, Rehob, Zobah, Maacah and Tob.

…and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. [b] He also struck down Shobach the commander of their army, and he died there. 19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.

It might have been better for those who came to fight for Hanun to stay home that day.

Better yet, this could have all been avoided had Hanun not listened to his nobles with their suspicious whispers.

I think it all goes back to asking God before doing anything – which we see David doing, especially in his early years.

Lord, help us to follow the path you have for us today – not listening to gossip or our own paranoid or selfish whispers. You ordain our steps, Lord. Help us to seek your counsel for each decision.

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 9 – Grace for a dead dog

Love this story of grace.

In chapter 9 of 2 Samuel, we see David reaching out to “the house of Saul” – yes the same Saul who spent the last weeks an months of his life trying to kill David. It was for the sake of Saul’s son, Jonathan, of course.

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

He found that Jonathan had a son who was crippled in both feet and what’s worse, a horrible name: Mephibosheth.

Anyway – David granted this young man land and servants and livestock and invited him to eat at the king’s table.

9 Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

Can you imagine what Phibby was thinking? One day, he’s a “dead dog” and the next, he’s a wealthy land owner dining at the king’s table.

Sounds a lot like my story when God got a hold of me!

Thank God for His grace.

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 6 – Dance Until Your Clothes Fall Off

This is a great chapter in David’s story.

First, they’re returning the Ark to Jerusalem – just as it should be, right?

Then, the wheel on the cart falls off and the men innocently try and catch the ark and stop it from falling on the ground. Oops – not supposed to touch the ark – and they’re killed. God’s mad.

So, David thinks – it’s too risky to bring the Ark into Jerusalem! So, he leaves it at Obed-Edum’s pad for 3 months. During that time, Mr. Edum gets blessed along with his entire household as a result of the Ark being there.

So, now David thinks – perhaps I SHOULD bring it back home. And he does.

If they’d only have listened to God in the first place, none of this would have had to happen.

Now – my favorite story in this chapter is about David’s wife Michal. She saw him dancing around, praising God like he just didn’t care. She looked out the window and saw everyone gawking at him, making a fool of himself (in her mind). But, David was dancing before God “with all his might” and didn’t care what anyone thought.

When he got back home, she told him what a fool she thought he was – and she was cursed at that instant and never was able to have children.

I love David’s response to Michal:

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

I guess this chapter is all about motives. What was David’s motive for bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem? Did he think it was best because he wanted to please God? Or, did he just bring it there so he and his household could be blessed like Mr. Edum?

When Michal commented as she did at David, was she thinking about how much David loved God and was trying to please God? Or, was she more concerned with what others thought about her husband?

The encouragement here for me is to keep my eyes on pleasing God – and not worry about what anyone else is thinking. Are you willing to be “even more undiginfied” and humiliated to honor and praise God?

peace,
e

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2 Samuel 22 – Remember that song…?

Verse 1 of this chapter says:

1 David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

This is a bit confusing to me. Are we going back in time to when David actually sang this song? I take this to mean that David, after many chapters of doing “his own thing”,  remembers a song that he wrote way back when King Saul was pursuing him, trying to kill him. While I’m delighted to see David remember God and remember a song he used to sing, the impact is not the same. It’s not like he’s singing to the Lord a new song. He can only remember the words of a song from days gone by. But, at least he’s singing to the Lord (that’s a good step in the right direction).

These verses stood out to me as I read the song (how I wish I could have sheet music to go with these words):

25 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

27 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

28 You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.

Rewards – according to cleanness. Faithfulness to the faithful. Blamelessness to the blameless. Pureness to the pure. Salvation to the humble. God calls us to be obedient, righteous, clean and pure. Without these, life is always more difficult. Wrong choices in weak moments remove rewards, faithfulness from God.

David’s story still reminds me that once I take my eyes off God, it gets ever-increasingly difficult to get back to the “good ol’ days”. Much better to remain righteous and clean and pure, never taking our eyes off God. Even if we sin, which God knows we will, we MUST turn back immediately, like David did in his younger years. Better still, we should never stop praying about EVERYTHING so we don’t end up in a situation like David did.

e

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2 Samuel 12 – Guilty

Guilty.

David has sinned before God. This caused the commission of other sins to cover up. Now David, a man after God’s own heart, is wracked with guilt. We can see in Psalm 32:3-4 some of what he is going through:

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

If that weren’t enough, God sends Nathan with a message:

I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.  I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.  Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ “

The consequences of David’s choices are mounting. Not only did a woman get pregnant, her husband die, his army given reason to doubt his integrity, but now we see in this chapter the innocent son, born from David’s sin is going to die. All the guilt is more than David can bear.

David is quick to repent. And, God is faithful to forgive. Yet, the consequences remain. David’s actions will affect not only him, but his family for generations to come.

David was not looking for this to happen. He was looking for a moment of pleasure. He didn’t need another wife. He didn’t need more children. I’m sure if he would have thought it through a bit more, he would have made different choices.

The lesson to learn here is to keep our eyes on God. If we’re serving Him and keeping our eyes on Him, then we won’t see Bathsheba bathing in the moonlight. We’ll probably be off to war with the other kings. We can’t let our guard down – not even for a moment. Sin will destroy all we’ve been working to hard to accomplish. A moment of weakness can ruin the plans God has for us. He will turn what the enemy planned for evil into something good – but we’ll miss the original blessings God has for us.

Keeping my eyes on Him today…
e

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