Posts Tagged ‘Books of Samuel’


Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Moral chaos breeds chaos.  David’s immoral behavior would bring calamity on his household.  David’s forceful taking of Uriah’s wife made it more likely that women in the palace would be vulnerable to another man’s violation.  Weakened from within, David was not able to protect those dearest to him.   What happened in the palace would be mainstreamed “in broad daylight for all Israel.”

Violence begets violence.  Despising God brings God’s judgment upon oneself.  How could David have fooled himself into believing he could “take” Uriah’s wife as his own!

Thus confronted, David repented.  Remorsefully he confessed,  “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13).  God accepted David’s sorrowful lament.  Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die” (2 Sam. 12:13).  David’s life could have been “taken” from him, even as he had taken Uriah’s.  David could have lost the right to rule as king, even as did Saul, whom David was anointed to replace.  David and Bathsheba would also endure the additional grief of their firstborn child’s death.

God doesn’t want us to visit the dark side. When we go there, he doesn’t want us to stay there.  Recovery through repentance from sin is the way out.  This good news applies to all sins; adultery is not excluded. Broken trust can be restored.  An afflicted husband and wife may have to work hard for years to get through the pain, but by God’s grace it is possible “to love and to cherish…for better or for worse” and go forward.

David wrote Psalm 51 in remorse for what he had done.  With guilt and shame, he owned up to his sins before God.  Re-establishing trust is built on remorse, repentance, and renewal.  Remorse stops us in our tracks.  Repentance turns us from going in a sinful direction to living godwardShuv, the Hebrew word for repentance means literally “to turn around and go in the opposite direction.”   Renewal is the result of our misdirected life being redirected.

Our life is determined by the choices we make at home, at work, and in our community.   Believers are sinners saved by God’s grace.  The work I do as pastor includes helping people who are caught in sin by showing them that there is a better way to live, and to begin living that way.  When Nathan said, “David, you are the man who has done this!”  He showed David  the consequences of his sins. But God’s amazing grace saved the shepherd king.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have you become enslaved to habitual sin? Can you see God’s escape route? Are you feeling salvation’s joy at home, at work, and in your community? Are you enjoying life by dancing to the rhythm of God’s grace?

PRAYER: Lord, I get Your message.  The purer my heart, the more I can see of you.  By being with you in prayer, I trust that you will burn away the impurities in my  heart. Have your way with me so that I will live in your ways. David’s prayer becomes my prayer, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.” Amen.

A Note from Mark Roberts: This week’s reflections have been written by my friend and fellow pastor, Dr. Leslie Hollon, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Leslie (known also by the nickname Les) is a noted preacher, pastor, professor, and author. He is a gifted biblical teacher who connects the deep truths of Scripture to the realities of daily life. Every time I hear Leslie preach, I am encouraged to consider in new ways how the Word of God speaks to me. I know you will find Leslie’s reflections on temptation to be challenging and encouraging.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/restoring-joy-your-salvation

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Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!  This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.'”

When news of Uriah’s death reached David, he deceived himself into thinking he was beyond the reach of God’s judgment and the people’s disgust.  So he took Bathsheba as his wife.  He acted as if everything was okay when it was not.

Chapter 12 opens with God taking the initiative to correct the situation.  He sent Nathan to confront King David. Nathan had helped David before, but this time his assignment would be more challenging.

The harsh reality is that sin damns us if we do not trust God’s grace for forgiveness.  As the Apostle Paul wrote,  “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).  To realize his guilt, David had to be confronted by Nathan.  Nathan’s access to the king did not protect him from the king’s vengeful wrath.  David could have had Nathan killed.

Nathan used a parable so the king would let down his defenses.  As Nathan told the story of a rich man who had “taken a poor man’s beloved lamb” and used the lamb as banquet food for a traveler, “David burned with anger.”  David condemned the man who was rich in money but impoverished in mercy. David concluded the rich man deserved to die but mercifully David would reduce the punishment so the offender would pay for the ewe lamb four times over. (Zacchaeus applied this restitution principle in Luke 19:8).  Once the king gave judgment, Nathan took the opening to deliver his punch line, “You are the man” (2 Sam. 12:7).  The parable began as a window through which David clearly saw injustice; then the parable became a mirror by which David starkly saw himself as the sinful man.   David, the shepherd king, had become a ravenous predator, and only God’s mercy could save him.

God knows our life story, and he knows that in order for us to be people who overcome, people who move from tragedy to triumph, we must be people who can also recover from sin.  Therefore, God connects us with a love that on his part will not let go.  In Hebrew this love is called “hessed.”  In the New Testament it is called “grace.”  This love is built inside our souls and tethers us.  This love motivates our conscience after we have sinned to feel remorse, to repent, and to be renewed.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Is God trying to correct areas of your life? Is someone trying to give you a message on God’s behalf? Are you repenting so you can be renewed?

PRAYER:  Lord, this is a conversation I have not wanted to have with you.  I have been afraid to tell you the wrongs that I have done.  Because if I did, I knew that I would need to change.  I know that you know this, but saying it to you brings it out into the open.  Forgive me.  I am sorry.  Thanks for lifting this burden from my soul.  Through your grace, I will live differently and try to make things right with others. Amen.

A Note from Mark Roberts: This week’s reflections have been written by my friend and fellow pastor, Dr. Leslie Hollon, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Leslie (known also by the nickname Les) is a noted preacher, pastor, professor, and author. He is a gifted biblical teacher who connects the deep truths of Scripture to the realities of daily life. Every time I hear Leslie preach, I am encouraged to consider in new ways how the Word of God speaks to me. I know you will find Leslie’s reflections on temptation to be challenging and encouraging.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/guilty-sin


One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.  From the roof he saw a woman bathing.  The woman was very beautiful…

King David sent his men off to battle but did not go himself.  This was the first time he did not lead his troops as they went on a major military campaign.  Why did he stay behind?  What was he feeling? He would fight more battles later; why not now?

When David went to his roof top and saw Bathsheba bathing, he was inspired by temptation not goodness. Temptation takes what is good and turns it upside down with the deceptive message that wrong is better than right (Isaiah 5:20).  Temptation whispers for us not to trust God. When we commit to temptation, we sin by trying to redefine “goodness” into what we want.  David risked the kingdom he had fought hard to win for God’s purposes.

He had seen Bathsheba before but not like this; not when he was in transition and she appeared so vulnerable and beautiful before his wandering eyes.  Out on the balcony, David’s body experienced a flash flood of testosterone.  His sexual drive became fully activated when he looked out and saw beautiful Bathsheba bathing.  He saw her as a pawn for his taking and not as a loyal family friend.   Bathsheba’s family had been faithful and true to the king.  Her father, Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34), was likely one of David’s more heroic leaders.  Uriah, her husband, was one of David’s most valiant soldiers (2 Sam. 23:3a).

In this transition moment, David yielded his heart to sin and decided that his own selfish desires would make him happy.  The story is told honestly and graphically in 2 Samuel 11.  The king commanded a servant, “Bring her to me!”  This Hebrew phrase means “to take.”  David, motivated by lust, in a lonely moment, abused his kingly power.  Bathsheba went into the palace to meet the King.  David, caught in sin’s thrill of rebellion, did not care that his actions displeased God.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Does your love for God help you to focus on doing what is right? Does fear of painful consequences warn you to beware of sin? Can you let go of that something you want, but that you shouldn’t have?

PRAYER:  God, I wish my heart wanted what was always right, but it doesn’t.  In this struggle I become double minded.  So right now I am going to trust you enough to release “the other” from my heart.  Please fill my heart with the joy of your presence so I won’t feel so lonely and want to take back that which I have just relinquished. Amen.

A Note from Mark Roberts: This week’s reflections have been written by my friend and fellow pastor, Dr. Leslie Hollon, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas. Leslie (known also by the nickname Les) is a noted preacher, pastor, professor, and author. He is a gifted biblical teacher who connects the deep truths of Scripture to the realities of daily life. Every time I hear Leslie preach, I am encouraged to consider in new ways how the Word of God speaks to me. I know you will find Leslie’s reflections on temptation to be challenging and encouraging.

http://www.thehighcalling.org/reflection/when-you-want-what-you-shouldnt-have?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheHighCallingDailyReflections+%28Daily+Reflection+%26+Prayer%29


There was an inimitable blending of woman’s wit with worldly prudence in the words of the beautiful Abigail. Poor woman, she bad had a sorry life of it, mated to such a man as Nabal was! An ill assorted pair certainly, though probably she had had no hand in bringing about the alliance. Like so many Eastern women, she was the creature of another’s act and choice. But she succeeded in averting the blow which David was hasting to inflict, by asserting her belief that the time was not far distant when he would no longer be a fugitive from his foes, and by suggesting that when that happy time came it would be a relief to feel that he had not allowed himself to be carried to all lengths by his hot passion.

It was very salutary advice. Let us always look at things from the view point of the future, when our passion shall have subsided, when time shall have cooled us, and especially when we review the present from the verge of the other world how then?

We can well afford to do this since God is with us, and our life is bound up with Him in the bundle of life. Abigail reminded David that God would do to him all the good of which He had spoken, and would sling out his enemies as from a sling. So God will do for us; not one good thing will fail of all that He hath promised; no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper. Within a little, Nabal was dead, and David’s wrong righted. So shall the evil that now molests us pass away. God will deal with it. Let us leave it to Him: before Him mountains shall melt like wax; and we shall have nothing to regret.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/f-b-meyer-devotional.shtml

 


Jonathan and David had entered into a covenant,each loving the other as his own soul. Anxious to shield his friend from the wrath of his father, Jonathan discloses to David the plan by which he shall know how matters fared in the royal palace. David’s vacant seat suggests a lesson for us.

There are a good many empty seats in our houses. Those that occupied them can never do so again; they have gone never to return again, and we miss them sorely.

Let us see to it that we do not leave our seats in the home circle needlessly vacant. Let not the mother be away at the dance, or even at the religious meeting, when she should be at home, joining in her children’s evening prayers. Let the father be very sure that God has called him elsewhere, before he habitually vacates his place in the evening family circle. Let each of us avoid giving needless pain to those we love by leaving empty seats. But if God calls us away to his service, then for those who miss us, another Form shall glide in, and sit in the vacant chair; and they will become conscious that the Master is filling the gap, and beguiling the weary moments.

Above all, let not your seat be empty in the house of God, at the ordinary service, or at the Lord’s Table. We are too prone to allow a trifle to deter us from joining in the sacred feasts. At such times we are missed, our empty seat witnesses against us; there is a lack in the song and prayer, which cries out against us; there is a distinct loss to the power of the service, which is in proportion to the number of earnest souls present. Oh that there may be no empty seats at the marriage supper, vacated through our unfaithfulness!

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/f-b-meyer-devotional.shtml

 


How much grace it requires to bear a misunderstanding rightly, and to receive an unkind judgment in holy sweetness! Nothing tests a Christian character more than to have some evil thing said about him. This is the file that soon proves whether we are electro-plate or solid gold. If we could only know the blessings that lie hidden in our lives, we would say, like David, when Shimei cursed him, “Let him curse; it may be the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.”

Some people get easily turned aside from the grandeur of their life-work by pursuing their own grievances and enemies, until their life gets turned into one little petty whirl of warfare. It is like a nest of hornets. You may disperse the hornets, but you will probably get terribly stung, and get nothing for your pains, for even their honey is not worth a search.

God give us more of His Spirit, who, when reviled, reviled not again; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.

Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/a-b-simpson-devotional.shtml

 


“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”                                   1Sa 18:7 NKJV

Instead of celebrating David’s victory over Goliath with those who sang, “David [has slain] his ten thousands,” Saul became jealous. As a result, he opened himself to “an evil spirit” (1Sa 18:10). There are three lessons here: (1) Those who help you today, may hurt you tomorrow. So what should you do? When Saul threw spears, David refused to throw them back. Instead he forgave, prayed for Saul, and positioned himself to be promoted. It’s not easy, but it’s a winning strategy. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:43-45 NIV). (2) Those who love you today, may loathe you tomorrow. God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3 NIV). All other sources of love are subject to change. You can marry someone who resents you for being what you are, and you end up thinking, “You chose me because I’m outspoken; now you don’t like me because I speak out,” or “You liked me because I was quiet; now you say I’m boring.” You feel betrayed when people invite you, then fight you. But God will be faithful to you! (3) While others speak well of you, some will resent you. Notice, David didn’t sing, “Saul killed a thousand, but I killed ten thousand.” You can understand why that would irritate others. But David didn’t boast about his success. Sometimes those who congratulate you can create enemies for you. That’s because some folks can’t celebrate anyone other than themselves.

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/unhealthy-comparisons-1/