2 Samuel 5:11
"Thus the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household."
While suffering miss step in the transportation of the ark, David left the ark in the care custody and control of this Gittite. Though not a child of Israel, this Obed-edom, a Philistine by birth, apparently was one who might have been called or described as a God fearer, or one who revered the Lord. Like Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian cohort in Caesarea, described as a devout man, one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually. (Acts 10) We see, while the ark was within the home of Obed, the Lord blessed he and his household, showing us that God was not one who rejected or turned away those outside the nation of Israel, but welcomed those who sought Him. Much the same today, the will embrac2 Samuel 5:11e those who seek Him.
2 Samuel 5:4
"David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years."
Not counting all the drama and trial of actually becoming king, David would be given over to great victories of consolidating Israel, all the while making treaties with neighboring nations, defending from their enemies, and watching the ongoing drama from within his family, even falling himself to temptation and sin. Though anointed by God to be king, it was no reign without its trial. David, the man after God's own heart, to his credit, continued to cling to the Lord, through the good and bad, not giving in to the temptation to cut and run. Forged early on under the heavenly skies, was a relationship that refused to be broken.
2 Samuel 3:1
"Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David grew steadily stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker continually."
As the war continued within the nation of Israel, it took it's toll upon the people. Leaders were given in to manipulation, posturing, threats of mayhem and even outright killing and murder. The need for a Savior, Jesus Christ is magnified as we look at man's rampant raging on in the flesh. Yet too few looked toward heaven crying out for the Lord to come rescue and bring relief. The heartbreak and pain of man's depravity is magnified as we see many continuing on in the flesh, bringing sorrowful results. Mankind today, suffer much the same consequences, until we cry out to Him.
2 Samuel 2:21
So Abner said to him, "Turn to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his spoil." But Asahel was not willing to turn aside from following him.
As Asahel pursued Abner relentlessly, no amount of pleading would turn the young man away. Whether driven by the thrill of the chase, or a desire to take out his enemy, or perhaps pride in his physical prowess, he would not relent. We see as we read on that the outcome was not good. So we too may be advised that prudent thinking, wise counsel, God's wisdom is always best as we too may be prone to fixate upon things that are not the Lord's perfect will.
1 Samuel 31:6
"Thus Saul died with his three sons, his armor bearer, and all his men on that day together."
In the heat of battle with the Philistines, Saul and his men were killed on the battle field. A sad ending for one whose life had started off with so much hope and potential in the Lord. Saul, from the early days of his anointing by God, had allowed personal ambition and pride lead him away from the simple precepts of the Lord, thus blinding him from God's purpose for his life. It's a fitting encouragement for us, that we finish strong the work the Lord has for us, not being misled by the circumstances that surround us.
1 Samuel 30:8
And David inquired of the Lord, saying, "Shall I pursue this band?" And He said to him, "Pursue, you shall surely overtake them, and you shall surely rescue all."
Forged early on, was a relationship with the Lord that strongly suggested personal intimacy between God and man. For ourselves, we can look and pursue that same intimacy with God. Entering into His presence with wonder and awe, with thanksgiving and praise, we can draw near and share our very lives, our victories, our defeats, our fears and concerns, our doubts and even the things that make us question Him. Stay close to Him, take time as you would with a friend to share with the Creator of the heaven and earth.
1 Samuel 27:12
So Achish believed David, saying "He has surely made himsel His steps for us f odious among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever."
David, while feigning allegiance to the Philistine king, enjoyed a period of respite from Saul's continual pursuit. Time though, had come for David to join in on an attack of Israel. All the while he continued to play the faithful to Achish, not knowing how things would work out, he continued to trust the Lord each and every step of the way. David, ultimately knew the calling on his life, but not knowing exactly when and how he would get there, had to let go and let God make that way for him. Much of the time, we may be uncertain about the daily struggles we have, not knowing, having to trust the Lord, as He may incrementally take us. A call for us to trust Him every step of the way.
1 Samuel 26:8
"....please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time."
David, now in the midst of the camp of Saul, finds himself in a tempting place. Take out the one who has pursued him endlessly for such a long time, or trust the Lord to work things out. As easy as it would have been to strike Saul, David showed great respect for the king, but even more reverence for the Lord who had set Saul in place. David could not bring himself to move before God, and take the easy way out. Here we find one who showed great restraint, waiting on and trusting that He would work all things out to His glory. For us, a great example of God's grace going before His people.
1 Samuel 25:1
"Then Samuel died......"
We commented at one of our studies, that even as many mourned the death of the man of God, the great works of the Lord would be ongoing. Death would never be the agent that would stop the great work of our Lord, nor suspend the gospel message from going forth. Like He, having no beginning or end, the work would proliferate until His return. As with the death of contemporary men like Billy Graham or Chuck Smith, the work has continued and multiplied, and is fruit bearing. Though saddened as with Samuel, the torch has been passed, God's work has continued on, and still goes on today as we now in turn raise the banner high with the good news of Jesus.
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest upon His shoulders; and His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
Today we celebrate one of the most pivotal events in history, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. With no accolades to Santa, no drinking and excessive gift giving as the pagans, but simple worship, and the giving of our all to the Christ. Today, as every day, go to Him, giving Him all honor, glory and praise as we celebrate Him.
2 Samuel 21:1
During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord.
Avenging the Gibeonites in 2nd Samuel 21, God reminded David that Saul broke Israel's promise to the Gibeonites. Some may not have noticed Saul's actions, but Got did. Once David made things right with the Gibeonites, God's blessing returned upon the land. God doesn't take making promises lightly.
Never make a promise you can't keep; always keep a promise that you make. All you need to say is simply "Yes" or "No"; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:37); Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear - not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple "yes" or "no." Otherwise you will be condemned (James 5:12).
Your servant in Christ, Hank
Happy Birthday Jesus!
We'll celebrate Jesus' birth in three weeks on Sunday, December 25. Christmas is portrayed as a happy, joyous season of peace, but for those experiencing trials or hardships that might cause anxiety, e.g. job loss, family problems, loneliness, or other stressful situations that could case sadness leading to depression. The Christmas season provides an opportunity for us to reach out to those looking for hope. In the true meaning of Christmas, we share with them the light and love of Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ, Hank
"Be gracious, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in thee; and in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until destruction passes by."
Hunted relentlessly by Saul, hearing of the deaths of the priests and families of Nob, even seeking shelter from his sworn enemies the Philistines, David continues to seek God's graciousness for his life. Not focused on the rigors he faced, but looking full into the face of his Lord, knowing where his shelter and refuge lay. Davids's confidence and trust may speak to us all this day, though our situations may not be exactly the
same, our hope and trust and shelter are in the Lord.