Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 24 (day four)
What was so bad about a census? To our western mind, a census does not seem to be a bad idea. In Exodus 30 though, God specifically required a ransom for each man counted in a census. Since no reason is given in Scripture for the ransom, scholars have speculated as to the why. Israel was considered God’s army, so when a leader counted the available soldiers, he was appearing to claim the army as his own. In 1 Chronicles 21, we also learn that Satan had moved David to conduct the census. That cause and effect is never good!
Regardless of the why, David had sinned against God. It was David’s repentance after the fact that revealed David’s reputation as a man after God’s own heart. We all sin…but it is how we deal with that sin after the fact that reveals our relationship with God. God is ready to forgive when He sees a heart that is truly repentant!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 20 (day four)
The dust has hardly settled from Absalom’s revolt and another upstart tries to do the same. Sheba tries to take advantage of the rebellious spirit of the nation and leads a revolt against David’s throne. Evil is never satisfied…there will always be a challenge to God’s authority…always be a new twist to an old challenge.
We see it in today’s news…no defeat of evil is enough to deter the insatiable desire for just a small victory over good. In the second book of his Space Trilogy, Perelandra, C.S. Lewis wrote of the insidiousness of evil…anything to tarnish the pure. Small victory or great, evil chips away at the good. Satan will eventually meet the same end as Sheba…there will be no more evil. Revelation 22:3-7 gives us this promise. Until that day, we must be diligent to obey and serve God with all of our hearts. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 18 (day four)
When King David fled Jerusalem to escape Absalom, he left out through the Kidron Valley. (15:23) He would have traveled past the Monument of Absalom. Absalom had erected this structure as a remembrance of himself, since he had no sons to preserve his name. The monument, or at least what scholars believe is the authentic edifice, still stands today. Absalom desired to have history remember him. Sadly, the legacy of Absalom is a picture of deceit, rebellion and greed.
Absalom’s father, King David, is remembered as the greatest king ever. Absalom could have been a part of that legacy, but as a result of his rebellion, did not even get to be buried in his ‘King’s tomb.’ In Jeremiah 2, the prophet judges Israel for trading living waters for broken cisterns. They had forsaken God.
We often settle for much less than God intends for our lives. We may find that we have given up God’s best—living water…family legacy—and traded for broken cisterns or a rebel’s death. Consider your paths that you are not missing what God has ordained for you!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day four)
Honestly, Shimei did not use very good judgment. Here he was shouting curses at King David and throwing dirt and rocks at him and his followers. Abishai said it well…”just let me go cut off his head, that’ll shut him up!” Sounds like an effective solution to the problem. David saw it otherwise.
David understood the sovereignty of God. He understood that God could turn the hearts of people to accomplish whatever He desired. [We’ll see later that God thwarted the counsel of Ahithophel in order to bring calamity on Absalom.] If God had used Shimei to put a curse on David, who was he (David) to go against God? Learning to see life through the filter of God’s eyes makes everything look different. Can you imagine the stress and anger that could be eliminated, simply by yielding to God’s control?
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
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 13:1-33 (day four)
Why would this account of palace intrigue even be included in Scripture? It might have to do with succession to the throne. Amnon was, after all, the eldest son of David and the likely heir to the throne. His counsel came from a cousin, Jonadab, who was the son of one of David’s older brothers. Jonadab may have even had aspirations for the throne himself. (He was shrewd!) Then, there was Absalom, and later Adonijah (the oldest after Amnon and Absalom’s death). David’s plan all along was that his successor would be Solomon. God had a plan that ran all through history…a family line that would lead to the birth of Christ.
The word is ‘sovereignty’…God is sovereign over all creation, all history, and all governments…everything! Does ‘everything’ include our lives? Is God sovereign over the events of my life? Am I really in charge of my own destiny? Seeking God first can make such a difference in our lives pointing others to Him!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 12:1-23 (day four)
It was a thinly veiled story…but David took it hook, line, and sinker! He never recognized the point of the story until Nathan sprang the trap…”You are the man!” David had been quick to condemn the rich man in Nathan’s story, but he had completely glossed over his own guilt with Uriah and Bathsheba. Everyone recognized David’s guilt but himself.
Aren’t we like that, often? It is easy for us to condemn others for their jealousy, or their hypocrisy, or their lack of compassion, but we fail to see our own iniquity and sin. Our sinful hearts can so quickly absolve our own motives and actions, while at the same time condemning others for their actions. Christ taught us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:41-42) to deal with the log in our own eye before we try to remove the speck in our brother’s eye. Good instruction! Hard to do, but profitable to practice.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 11 (day four)
What was David thinking? He knew God’s laws. He knew it was wrong to lay with another man’s wife. Levitical law called for them both to be executed. David was the king though and he thought he might get away with his sin. Uh-ohh…David is found out…God knew all along.
We learn through David the power of repentance. David responds correctly in contrition when Nathan confronts him with his sin. (Chapter 12) Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance following his sin. Further evidence of God’s forgiveness is seen later as Bathsheba takes her place in the lineage of Christ Jesus. (Consequence is realized, but forgiveness is given.)
We are all sinners. We fall short of God’s plan and commands. Sin and judgement are what result following our fall. What happens following our sin is determined by our response to our failure. Do we cover up our sin? Do we ignore our sin? Or, do we repent in humility before God? David found forgiveness…so can we. It is all a matter of our heart’s response!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 8 (day four)
David was a mighty warrior. He enjoyed victory after victory over his enemies…amazing triumphs against overwhelming odds. David recognized though that it was God’s hand at work, not his own prowess. Pridefulness could easily have taken over his kingdom, but David remained humble before the Lord. Verse 15 says, “David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” God had established the ‘guidelines’ for a successful kingdom and David was obedient to those instructions. (i.e. – In Deuteronomy, the kings were instructed not to accumulate horses…David was obedient. Israel was to trust in God…not horses or chariots or mighty armies!)
How often do we get sidetracked by success, or fame, or wealth? Do we pridefully begin to view ourselves to be better than others…therefore, entitled to more? David’s righteous ruling extended to all people. Rich or poor, privileged or neglected, ruler or peasant…David was just to all Israel. The result of David’s obedience and reverence for God was the book of praise and thanksgiving we know as Psalms. As you read the Psalms, get to know the sovereign God that David loved!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 7 (day four)
Why me? David asked God why He had chosen to bless him and his household. In modern times, we tend to say we are so loved by God that He blesses us on our own merit. David has a different answer…he answers himself in vv. 20-21. David says it is nothing I have done…I don’t deserve any blessing…it is all for God’s glory.
There is a modern song that says when Jesus was on the cross, He was only thinking of me. David would say, ‘Jesus was being obedient to His Father and He was thinking only of Him.’ David had an accurate view of God. Our self-centered approaches to God’s blessings are the complete opposite of David’s understanding.
Have you ever substituted your own goodness and worth for God’s glory and mercy? As Blake Coffee reminded us last Sunday, we must maintain a high view of God…”not of works lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)