Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 24 (day five) Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.”
What was David’s motive behind the sin? Why was God offended by this particular census? God had even given instructions for taking a census (Exodus 30). So we know that God is not anti-census. Others have offered really good explanations in this blog. I would like to give you one that I find compelling. I believe that this census indicates a lack of faith in David. He seems to be deeply interested in the exact size and strength of his army. David has forgotten God’s promise that victories will not be determined by strength or numbers, but rather trust in God (1 Samuel 14:6)- a promise he believed as a teenager when he stood up against Goliath, but has forgotten as an adult. His trust was in his numbers not God’s power or promises. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) Which promises do we need to remember and trust in today?
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 20 (day five)
How did David do it? He kept leading and serving in the midst of betrayal, attacks, rebellions, danger, difficulty, death of loved ones, and consequences from his own sin and disobedience. In the midst of all these conditions and circumstances, David was still doing “kingly things”. The temptation for us is to give up and check out. But not David. In the midst of all the pain, suffering, disappointment, and tension, there is courage and contentment that keep David engaged with God and in leading the kingdom. I believe David’s perspective and persistence are a byproduct of being in covenant with God (remember 2 Samuel 7). Peace is evidence (fruit) of being in a covenant relationship with God. It is not simply a feeling of inner tranquility, but rather something deeper and stronger. We see this explained in the New Testament (Galatians 5:22, Philippians 4:7) and demonstrated many times in David’s life.
“God’s Peace brings us two things: power to face and live with our own badness and failings, and also contentment under ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.” – J. I. Packer
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 18 (day five)
As we read of the death of Absalom, we see the flawed love of king David. Only after Absalom is killed, does David refer to him as “my son”. David’s life is a picture of an imperfect king. This picture should serve to point us to the Gospel that proclaims a perfect King who offers forgiveness and restoration. Jesus teaches us about the perfect love of a father in the parable of the prodigal son. How different was David’s example. (Absalom returns to Jerusalem after rebelling and David won’t even meet with him- 2 Samuel 14). In Jesus’ parable, the father runs to meet and restore his son. Absalom, the prodigal, and we all deserve death for the rebellion and public humiliation we have committed against a Holy God. But the perfect King offers forgiveness thru His own death. A reality of the gospel and only a sentiment of an imperfect king. Let us celebrate the perfect love of our Father and King in heaven!!
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day five)
Who is the most effective preacher you’ve ever heard? May I suggest that the most effective preacher is the one who can speak directly to the heart and address the greatest needs in life. May I also suggest that often times the we could/should be an effective preacher to ourselves.
I read a statement this week that summarizes David’s condition in chapter 16. “The truth of God’s promises carries less weight than the guilt complex he continues to nurse as he plods away from the city, the throne, and the kingdom God had promised him.”
I also read these statements in other devotionals this week, “Learn to preach to yourself rather than listen to yourself.” “What truths do you need to preach to yourself to realign your heart with that intended design?”
Seems we can and should be speaking into our own lives as God gives grace and insight. We need to be constantly reminded of God’s promises, sovereignty, holiness, and grace. What would our hearts and lives look like if we were faithful to preach God’s truths to ourselves?
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.”
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 13:1-33 (day five)
vs. 21 Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry.
I keep looking for the verse or verses that were never written. Maybe a verse where David shows compassion and encouragement to Tamar. Or, where he rebukes and disciplines Amnon. Yet, none of those things happened. Why? Well, verse 21 might give us a hint. The reference to his anger was to David’s title as King rather than his responsibility and calling as father. A lesson for all parents. There are always relationships and layers that we must filter decisions, responses, and actions through. However, the most important ones are the relationships within our families (Husband, Wife, Father, Mother, Son, Daughter). We must always remember to keep family relationships at the top of our priorities and responsibilities. By God’s design, those key relationships are the best images and portrayals of the gospel.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 12:1-23 (day five) vs 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground.
What would cause David to think that he could ask God to help and save his dying son? Why would David even pray asking God to change directions? I think it’s because David had confessed and repented from his sins, and had his fellowship with the Lord restored. I don’t believe he was trying to manipulate God with prayer and fasting into getting his own way. Rather, I think David (maybe more than ever) believed in the power and strength of God and trusted God’s sovereignty. Only a clean and pure heart can believe and trust like this. Completely different approach and perspective from the previous chapter. His heart was restored. Could this be a similar prayer to the prayer Jesus prayed in the garden. Wanna believe and trust like that? Confess and Repent.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 11 (day five)
Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle… But David stayed at Jerusalem.
David’s perspective had changed. His willingness to get the counsel of the Lord was gone. His perception and actions towards others was dramatically different (remember chapter 8, David administered justice and righteousness for all his people). David was leading in an unhealthy way- inward and selfish motivations. The result was weakness and vulnerability to sin when temptations were encountered.
Maybe there is a lesson to be learned about leadership. As a parent, spouse, supervisor, pastor, teacher, deacon, employer etc. – we must learn and desire to always lead for the glory of God and the good of others. That is a worthy task and perspective. David has lost this perspective. “When leaders begin to view their leadership in terms of status rather than in terms of task, it is more than likely that they will begin to fail at the task and therefore to cease, in any meaningful sense, to be leaders”- Mary J Evans
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 8 (day five)
“King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.”
I believe David’s main goal or priority in the battles and wars in chapter 8 was not victory. He was indeed a mighty warrior and effective leader. Yet, I think His objective/purpose was something more meaningful and significant- obedience (to God). From David’s obedience came victory. There’s is a dramatic and noticeable difference between the two. If victory was the main goal, the focus and attention would have been on David. His own efforts, his own skill, and wisdom. There would have been no room for praise and gratitude to God. No place for dependence on Him. But, there was. Plenty! Obedience to God keeps the focus and attention on Him. Obedience causes thankfulness, humility, and dependence. We see these in David’s relationship with God in chapter 8. Is your goal only victory or something larger and more meaningful-obedience?
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 7 (day five) v 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.” v 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
The relationship between king David and the prophet Nathan is remarkable. At first, Nathan gives David the green light on building the Temple. Then, comes a completely different word of counsel. Yet, David doesn’t question, challenge, or berate Nathan. Instead, David goes to pray (a recurring activity in 2 Samuel). David demonstrates a humble heart and a high trust for the counsel of Nathan. Nathan is communicating a change of plans for David (the king). Yet, David is willing to listen and then process this information.
Maybe one of the lessons we can learn from the life of David is to have people ready and willing to speak God’s truth and perspective into our lives. Someone, we know from experience, walks closely and consistently with the Lord. Someone we trust that has no agenda other than wanting God’s best and God’s will for our lives. How valuable was Nathan to David?
Do you have anyone like that? (mentor, longtime friend, family member) Are you a “Nathan” to anyone? Perhaps God’s voice can be heard through the counsel of those around us.