Category Archives: 2 Samuel

How to get right with God

“David asked the Gibeonites, ‘What shall I do for you?  How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?’” 2 Samuel 21:3.

“After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.”  2 Samuel 21:14.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 21-23, and 1 Thessalonians 1.

David knew that something was wrong.

Saul had abused the Gibeonites after the Israelites had sworn that they would spare them.

Now David, wanting to please God, chose to try making things right.

If we expect to be blessed by God, we must have our spiritual act together.

We can have sins of commission (things we do) and omission (things we should have done).  If our prayers are genuine then we will be reminded of either and/or both of those sins.

Information is one thing but action can be another.

One of the best prayers is, “Lord, what do You want me to do or not do?”  We’re asking God to reveal places our corrections are essential.

If I know that something needs changing and choose to ignore action then God becomes remote.  David knew that to be blessed by God, things had to be made right with the Gibeonites.

I’ll spare the details (they’re Old Testament gory) but things were made right.  Then comes the wonderful verse, “After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land.”

I cannot carry known sin.  I must recognize it, confess it, and if needed, do something about it.  Short of that, I’m going to lose a close relationship to God.

“Lord, You are a great God.  Forgive me for carrying sin’s burden so often.  Wash me, I beg. What do you want me doing and/or not doing?  I crave to know this so that I can get things right with You.  Help me, Father.”

St. Lucia

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To err is human, to forgive is divine

“So the king (David) said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’  And the king promised him on oath.”  2 Samuel 19:23.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 19-20, Psalm 55, and Matthew 28.

Shimei, remember him?  He was the cursing, mud-slinging, rock-thrower David encountered as he abandoned Jerusalem ahead of Absalom.

At that time, David’s companions wanted to behead him but David prevented it.

Shimei has now comes to senses and realizes that David should be the king.  He begs for forgiveness and pledges his allegiance to David.

But David’s companions have not forgotten Shimei’s previous behavior and want him killed.  Again, David spares Shimei’s life.

David displays the highest level of role-model behavior in this episode.

Most of us have been injured in one form or another in the past.  We remember what happened and we carry a grudge whether verbally, internally, or both.  We can’t let the issue go.  They were wrong and we feel the hurt.

David, could well have felt the same way.  He had reasons to hate/destroy Shimei.  He chose not to.

We must be the same way.  We must let go of the hurts of our past.  Carrying them becomes a burden we don’t need to carry.

God has every reason to hate/destroy us.  We are sinners; past, present, and future.  BUT His love for us overrides His justice and He found a way for the burden of our sins to be removed.  We are in the clear as Shimei now was.  The person (David) that Shimei sinned against now promised that it would be so.

“Lord, thank You for lifting my sins from me and taking them on Yourself.  What a Savior!  You have saved me from the ultimate consequence of my sinfulness.  I am in the clear on Judgment Day.  Hallelujah!”

We are forgiven.  God took care of our sin problem.  We must live accordingly.

 

 

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God only knows

“’Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to.  It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.’”  2 Samuel 16:11-12.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 15-16, Psalm 32, and Matthew 25.

I love to read the Bible for myself.  Why?  I often catch things that give me a better sense of how to live and how not to live.

It is easy to be filled with stereotypical imagery.  An example is in today’s story about David and Shimei.

David is fleeing Jerusalem because Absalom has become more powerful (so David thinks) than he is.  There is no communion, by David, with God.  He is resigned to a live away from Jerusalem.

Then he is confronted by Shimei.  This guy curses David and throws things at him and lives to tell the story!  David’s fellow travelers want to behead Shimei but David won’t let them.  Why?  David believes that Shimei is speaking the words of God against him.

Understand that David has had instances (Think Bathsheba) before in which God has been angry with him.

The point I’m drawing from this is that David realizes that God will do what He wants to do.  He tosses forward the possibility that because God sees David’s misery He will remember His covenant with David.  David, however, is not certain of it.

I have mentioned before the 6-year-old in my church community with Stage 4 cancer.  The situation is miserable to say the least.  What will God do?  He knows about Ellie.  He has heard the petitions on her behalf made by many in my church.  Yet we don’t know the mind of God.  He’s infinite.  We’re finite.

David seems to grasp those truths in today’s story.  “It may be that God will….,” is what David says.  David is trusting God to get it right.  He leaves the details to the God he loves.  And we must do the same.

“Lord, You do indeed know best.  You are trustworthy.  Forgive me for trying to script what You should do.  You are infinite.  You will get things right.  I rest in You.”

Do you think that God doesn’t know what to do about your “situation?”  He knows better than you or I ever will.  Trust Him to get it right.

St. Lucia

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Lust

“….by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord….” 2 Samuel 12:14.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading:  2 Samuel 11-12, Palm 51, and Matthew 23.

David and Bathsheba.

How could he have done such a thing?

Someone else’s wife.  And David already had plenty of wives.

If you read 2 Samuel 11-12 you will discover how lengthy the slippery slope became after David impregnated Bathsheba.

We read the story and think, “That was then. Couldn’t happen to me.”  Wrong!  But there, nowadays, except for the grace of God go I.”

We MUST understand that, according to New Testament Scripture, if we lust with our eyes we commit adultery in our hearts.

The opportunities to lust are everywhere.  How can they be escaped?  You would almost have to be deaf and blind.

I use my computer every day.   I read plenty of news articles and sports articles.  What I have found is that the articles by themselves are okay because I have chosen them.  It’s what is on the sidebars that lure me to go where lustful temptations are a near certainty.  Sometimes it’s curiosity.  Sometimes it’s nothing better to do.  Sometimes it’s foolish confidence in my own ability to look and not lust.  Whatever the “sometimes” is, I will occasionally enter and always regret doing it.

I am sure that David would have insisted that lusting after someone else’s wife was wrong BEFORE he saw Bathsheba.  But seeing turned to lust which led to this verse (2 Samuel 11:27): “But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.”

I will only be able to please God if I am totally committed to doing what He wants.  When I choose, I lose.  I have good intentions.  I know Scripture.  But apart from Him, I will mess up big-time.

“Lord, guide my choices.  I commit to You.  Forgive me entering places that stoke lust.  Prick my conscience when I approach the threshold of such places so that I will turn back and not tarnish my love for You.  I love You, Father.”

We cannot enter places where the opportunities to lust abound.  Adultery, by the NT standard, awaits us there.

St. Lucia

 

 

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Fix the wrong

“After that, God answered prayer….” 2 Samuel 21:14.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 21-23, and 1 Thessalonians 1.

God knows what His followers are doing.  How often do we think otherwise?

“Wrong” does not have a size.  It is just plain wrong.  It is also wrong done against God.

Israel had done something wrong many years earlier and it had not been dealt with.  Three successive years of famine finally got David’s attention and he asked God what needed to be done.

David, many times the good role model, learned what the problem was and took care of it.

The closer I am to God the more sin bothers me.  I feel uncomfortable.  I feel troubled.  I can’t rest on it.  And I think that this reaction is great.  Sin must be dealt with at once.

How many believers carry sin and wonder why their relationship with God is thrown off?

One of the best things a believer can do is to ask God to point out sin that hasn’t been dealt with.  Things pop in there pretty fast!  We can still continue to minimize the sin but for the believer it just won’t leave our consciousness.

However, once sin is dealt with there is a peace that is amazing.  There still may be trouble.  The others involved may not be so sunny about our attempts at reconciliation but that isn’t the point.  The point is that we have gotten clean with God.  We can now move on with Him unencumbered.

“Lord, see if there be any wicked way in me and reveal it to me.  I want to be clean with You.  I want to travel “light” with You.  Prick my conscience when I am wayward.  Don’t give me any peace until I get things right with You.  I love You, Father.

A believer cannot live comfortably very long without dealing with past sin.

+9 turkey dinner

hw-may-12

 

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Nathan gets the word

“’Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.’  BUT that night, the word of the Lord came to Nathan…..”  2 Samuel 7:3-4.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17, Psalm 2, and Matthew 21.

Nathan gives David the go-ahead on anything he wants to do.  That’s blind faith!

David wanted to build a fancy place for God to dwell in.  God’s abode had been a tent suitable for travel.  Now with settlement in Jerusalem something permanent should be constructed.

Seemed like a good idea to David.  Without hearing David’s idea, Nathan gives a carte blanche approval to anything David was thinking of doing.

Not a good idea.  Nathan learns from God that He doesn’t want David building a permanent structure for Him.

Credit Nathan for retracting his carte blanche approval.  Credit David for receiving Nathan’s updated information and being okay with it.

Not everything I want to do is a good idea.  An idea may make sense but is it what God wants me to do?

Therein is a very important point: I must run everything past God.  I am not capable of getting things right otherwise.

This brings me to the regular theme of needing to be walking close to God 24/7.  I must be in a position to hear His voice.  I must be quiet so that I can actually hear His voice.  I must act quickly to carry out what He tells me.

God’s blessing is the greatest blessing.  I want Him pleased with me.  I want to be an anonymous servant ready and willing to serve Him in any capacity.  A servant He can trust to do His will.

“O Lord, so much for me here.  I need You every second.  Forgive me for missing opportunities because I am not in position to get Your instructions.  I mess things up so much.  Forgive me.  You, the Messiah have come and transformed my life.  Help me to live a transformed life the rest of this day.  To You be the glory!”

Are you listening to God or just implementing any idea that comes into your head?

+9 Applebee’s

Sideyard-garden

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Family blessing

May 4th sunrise along the Merrimack River

May 4th sunrise along the Merrimack River

“Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight.” 2 Samuel 7:29

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 2 Samuel 7 & 1 Chronicles 17 & Psalm 2 & Matthew 20)

David asks God to bless his family.

Good advice for every believer.

I need to remember that God loves my family more than I do.

I also need to remember that His omnipresence enables Him to be right where they are at this minute. Therefore, I don’t have to dispatch Him to where my family is at this moment.

God’s blessing does not assure me that there won’t be family troubles. Our free will provides opportunity for good and for evil.

When I join God with my family I put myself into a position where there may be special ways for me to be involved as His representative.

I want to be filled with Him. I want that “filling” to be overflowing so that those immediate and those in the distance will note Him not me.

“Lord, I thank You for my family. I ask, as David did, that You would bless them. I also ask that You will make me ready and willing to interact with them to Your glory. Thank You, Father.”

 

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