Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 18 (day one)
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 2 Samuel 18.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day seven)
Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” So David and his men went on the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside parallel with him and as he went he cursed and cast stones and threw dust at him. (v.12-13)
All along the way out of Jerusalem David submits his will to the Lord. We saw last week that David was prepared to go wherever God led him, even if it was off the throne. This week, David gives us a similar example. David is not going to make the mistake of reaching out and grabbing a future that God did not orchestrate. He is ready to allow God to shape all that is ahead of them, even if it means some man from Saul’s family hurling insults at David and his men. May we, like David, surrender our futures unto the Lord even if it’s painful.
Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day six)
So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 2 Samuel 16:13
The progressive stories, as David flees Jerusalem, serve as a powerful reminder: sin separates. Shimei stood on the hillside, with a ravine separating he and David. Isn’t this truly symbolic of David’s condition? His son was trying to kill him and take his throne, his country was splitting in two, even servants were betraying their masters. It’s hard to imagine how things could get any worse.
Sin is a wedge; it always splits things in two. David’s sin created a fault line that would ripple through his family and kingdom. Whether hidden or public, sin will always lead to painful separation. This is why forgiveness is not an end in itself; it is always intended to make a way for reconciliation, to make that which is separate, whole again. Like husbands and wives, old friends,… or God and man.
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 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 16 (day three)
“It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good.”
David cut his teeth on the outlaw kind of life. Then he became king—ruling with righteousness and justice, fashioning Israel into a formidable presence on the world stage, giving shape and direction to their national spiritual life. He also became different, and not always in a good way. Now here he is, once again leading a band on the run. Remarkably, he may be more recognizable to us in this mode than he was at the height of his power. Back again are the familiar characteristics—headlong flight, loyal men, intel that may or may not be reliable, and most of all, that poignant, simple, ragged humility that yearns for some word from God. That’s how we first knew David. And that’s his lasting legacy.
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 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.