Humility’s Perspective

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day two)

Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” vs. 12

Humility often brings a broader perspective. Here we see the displaced king walking among his predecessor’s family and friends, and his reception is less than regal. Ordinarily this would have been met with a swift retribution. David’s loyalty to Mephibosheth notwithstanding, it is unlikely that he would have tolerated rocks and insults being hurled at him. Although David has been brought pretty low, his response isn’t some sort of pity party, and I appreciate that. He has a healthy understanding of how God can use these moments for a course correction, or to gain greater insight into the larger picture. Sometimes there will be valleys to walk through, but that doesn’t mean God is not teaching all along the way. Stand up, take a breath, and figure out what is God’s next step for you.

Re:Verse Blog – 4/29/19

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 2 Samuel 16.

State of the Heart

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day seven)

so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:6b)

It happens more often than we would like to admit.  Someone or something comes along and steals our heart away from God.  Usually we don’t even see it coming.  In a moment of weakness we are swept off our feet and leave God in the dust.  In our text this week it is a politician who steals their hearts.  It can just as easily be our children, or a hobby, or a bad habit, each as equally destructive when they steer us completely out of God’s will.

To those of us whose hearts are not in it today, to those whose hearts are distant from God, our message this morning is the same as to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5:  But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.


Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day six)

But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” Vs. 21

The betrayal is staggering. Absalom (his son), Ahithophel (trusted adviser), and many in Israel, conspire against King David. Loyalty went to the highest bidder, but not Ittai the Gittite. Even David thought it wiser for Ittai to to stay in Jerusalem, giving his allegiance to the “new” king. But Ittai wasn’t having it; he would go wherever David went, even if it cost him his life.

We don’t talk often enough about loyalty. Loyalty is being unyieldingly committed to a person, regardless the cost. We see the same quality in Jesus, especially when he tells his disciples, “I will not leave you or forsake you.” Or, “And look, I will be with you until the end of the age.” Jesus is fiercely loyal. He demands the same of us.

“Anyone who loses his life for my name, will find real life.” -Jesus, Matthew 16:25

Loyalty, sounds an awful lot like faith, doesn’t it. Be loyal.


Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day five)  What is your instinct and reaction when you are betrayed? Psalm 55 gives us a glimpse into David’s heart and perspective. He is honest…”My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.”  He is hurting…”If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me I could hide. But it is you, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Yet, David is hopeful… “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.  Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

David’s example serves us well. When he was betrayed, he didn’t chase after Absalom, he chased after God… “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. But as for me, I trust in you.”

Foxhole Religion

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day four)

It never works to try to bargain with God.  It is called ‘foxhole religion’.  “Lord, if you will just get me out of this situation, I’ll serve you, forever.”  Have you ever done that?  Absalom claimed he had vowed to serve the Lord if He would bring him back to Jerusalem.  (V. 8) For Absalom, it was a ploy to get out of town without causing a stir.  For us, it may be a selfish condition we try to place on God, if He wants our obedience.

Do we really expect God to do our bidding, in order to earn our obedience?  We serve God out of love… because He is worthy…because He has already paid for our worship with the blood of His Son.  We talked about it last week…if God never did anything else, is it worth it to serve Him?  Is it worth our obedience if there is nothing else in it for us?  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)


Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day three)

“Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him.”

No, this is not a report chronicling yet another person announcing a candidacy in the run-up to primary season. But seriously, folks, how does someone become famous? How does someone become an odds-on favorite in politics or entertainment or in any kind of contested public endeavor? If you want to be the winner, you put yourself out there. You bootstrap it. You do the PR. You rent the billboard, you build the website. You shake the hands and kiss the babies. You give the people what they want, and they’ll give you what you want. And then, just like that, you’ll be swept away by the next big thing.

Ittai Who?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day two)

But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” Vs. 21

Who was this Ittai character, and why didn’t David act more like him? Maybe you missed this verse. There are many names and places mentioned and many are not spoken of again. Friends of David turning to follow Absalom. Friends of David sent to spy on Absalom. Friends of Absalom giving really bad counsel. Then there is Ittai. While we may not know his back story, we can see he is a man of conviction. He recognizes David’s authority and shows great integrity by staying at his side.

This rift between David and Absalom had grown and simmered for many years, and from our text there seems to be no attempts at true reconciliation. Absalom deals with his anger by plotting for years to take the kingdom. David, the true king, flees. Is this the same David who killed his tens of thousands in battle with Saul? Where was the David we tell our kids about in Sunday school? Is this evidence of the guilt he still carried from his very public shame? We are not told. What we are told is the David ran rather than confront his own son. Is your conflict worth giving up the kingdom?

Monday Re:Verse Blog Post – 4/22/19

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 2 Samuel 15.

Great Commission

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 13:1-33 (day seven)

The last word Jesus gave us before his ascension in Matthew was the great commission: Matthew 28:18-20.  What amazes me about this passage is how often well-intentioned churches do the exact opposite of what Jesus asks us to do:

  • Jesus said “go” – we like to stay right where we are, or at least leave our faith right where it is.
  • Jesus said “make disciples” – our best efforts are usually just to invite people to church, because inviting people to church takes minimal effort.
  • Jesus said “baptize” – we try to get this one right in the Baptist world, but I’m not sure we recognize baptism as one step of four commands in the great commission.
  • Jesus said “teach them to obey all that I commanded you” – we usually teach toward knowledge not obedience, and certainly not obedience to ALL of Christ’s commands.

Jesus gave us clear instructions may we be who Jesus Christ has called us to be.