Tag Archives: David

Lame Excuses

Since the dawn of time man has proclaimed lame excuses for his downfalls and sin against God. Adam blamed the woman God had given him for causing him to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tricking her into being the first to partake of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-13). Moses’ brother, Aaron, blamed the fire for producing the golden calf idol when Moses’ return from Mt. Sinai seemed to be delayed (Exodus 32:1-24). Even King Saul had his share of lame excuses in attempting to blame others for his disobedience.

As King Saul’s patience waned in waiting for Samuel’s arrival in Gilgal, Saul went ahead and took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for God’s blessing and protection before going into battle against the Philistines, something only a priest could do. Upon Samuel’s arrival as the giving of the offering concluded, Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” Saul’s defense in disobeying God’s explicit command clearly given in His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai were numerous: 1) The people were scattered from me;  2) You didn’t come at the appointed time;  3) the Philistines are gathering against me; and, the lamest of all,  4) I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-12)

Saul’s lame excuse concerning the burnt offering did not prove to be his last, for on the occasion of battling the Amalekites for which he was commanded to destroy both life and property for their coming against the Children of Israel in the wilderness, Saul returned from battle with “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good.” He had also spared the life of their king, Agag, whom he had taken as prisoner. Saul’s lame excuse to Samuel this time was But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.” It is then Samuel replied, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.”

For Saul’s lame excuses and continuing disobedience, God’s judgment was rendered against him. Samuel’s pronouncement from God against Saul was “Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” It was then Samuel was sent to the sons of Jesse to anoint David the next king of Israel. (I Samuel 15; 16:1-16)

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The Cure for Depression

David’s life began as a young shepherd boy keeping watch over his father’s flock as they grazed along the hillsides of Judea. Being the youngest son of Jesse, he was the one chosen by God to be the next king of Israel. The current king, Saul, showed great jealousy over the selection of David before the end of his reign had taken place, attempting to pin David to the wall of his palace with a javelin not once, but twice on two different occasions  (1 Samuel 18-19).

The Psalms are the writings of David as he experienced life as a shepherd boy and also as a man on the run, for his life, from the king. Throughout the Psalms David’s emotions are on full display, from triumphant in victories over the lion and bear attacking the flock and the defeat of Goliath, to the despair he felt in the forced separation from his best friend Jonathan, King Saul’s son. There were those who hailed David as victor for his acts of valor, and those in confederate with King Saul who sought to fulfill the King’s wishes in seeing David’s demise.

Many of David’s Psalms begin with hopelessness and despair but find their way to praising God for His goodness, faithfulness, longsuffering, deliverance, and/or salvation before their conclusion. David’s answer in Psalm 42 to being cast down and disquieted was to “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God”  (v.11).

Psalm 3   “LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me,” (v.1).   “Arise, O LORD, save me… Salvation belongeth unto the Lord,” (vs.7-8).

Psalm 12  “Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth,” (v.1).  “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth,” (v.6).

Psalm 35   “Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me,” (v.1).  “My soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in His salvation,” (v.9).

Psalm 56  “Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up,” (v.1).  “In God will I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me,” (v.11).

A Seed Is Planted

IMG_4764The Parable of the Seed and the Sower Jesus taught the multitude gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee is familiar to many. Jesus spoke of seed that falls by the wayside where birds come and devour it. He spoke of seed falling on stony places that are unable to take root. He spoke of seed falling among thorns and being choked out. He concluded the Parable by speaking of seed that falls on good ground that is able to produce much fruit. Jesus later revealed to his disciples the seed in the Parable the sower sowed is The Word of God (Matthew 13:1-23).

When God’s Word sown into the heart of a man, woman, boy or girl takes root, a process begins to bring the Seed to full maturity. As one begins to read for themselves the Word of God, listens to the Scriptures being expounded upon by God’s appointed undershepherds, spends time in prayer with The Father, the Seed begins to break ground, grow and flourish. As one continues to draw closer to the Savior through His Word buds begin to form, announcing the Seed is maturing just as it should with daily cultivation. As the buds burst forth into blossoms the beauty of the Seed implanted in the heart is evident for all to see. The Seed continues on to maturity, bearing the anticipated fruit, “some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

The Psalmist David wrote of those who delight in the Law of the LORD and meditate upon His Word day and night are like a tree planted by the river that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf withers not and whatsoever he does prospers (Psalm1:2-3). The Apostle Paul wrote of the Fruit of the Spirit showing forth love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those where the Seed has taken root and matured (Galatians 5:22-23). The abundant Christian Life abounds and flourishes when the Seed is planted deep in the heart of man, nurtured, watered and cultivated to produce much fruit for the Glory of God.

The Salvation of Isaiah

It was in the year King Uzziah died in the land of Judah about 760 B.C. that the Prophet Isaiah saw the Lord seated on His Throne high and lifted up in Heaven. As Isaiah beheld the glorious scene he immediately became aware of his own sinful wretched condition and his shame. Even the heavenly beings present above the Throne covered themselves with their wings from head to foot in reverence and awe of the Holy One who sat upon the Throne.

As Isaiah witnessed the Lord’s royal train “filled the temple… and the house was filled with smoke,” the seraphim cried, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts” in adoration of Him Who sat upon the Throne. Isaiah realized standing in the presence of Almighty God just how sinful he truly was, proclaiming, “Woe is me! for I am undone.” He knew he was not worthy to join in the heavenly chorus of praise because of such wickedness in his being. Isaiah confessed he was a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, “for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

At Isaiah’s confession of his sin one of the seraphim used tongs to pick up a burning coal from off the altar of sacrifice and laid the hot ember upon Isaiah’s mouth, declaring “Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” When confronted with the Holiness of God in light of his own innate sinful nature, Isaiah’s confession led him to repentance and a restored fellowship with God that was lost when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden (Genesis 2-3; Isaiah 6:1-7).

The Apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote to the Romans, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” just as Isaiah’s salvation came about over 700 years earlier (Romans 10:10). The Apostle John, exiled to the island of Patmos late in his life for preaching the Gospel of salvation in Christ Alone to the Jewish nation, wrote in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” King David’s testimony included confession of sin before receiving God’s forgiveness, “I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me,” (Psalm 51:3). Without confession of sin one remains lost in sin with no hope of salvation.

JESUS – The Perfect Lamb

“And there were in the same country

Shepherds abiding in the field,

Keeping watch over their flock by night.”

This familiar verse found in Luke 2:8 carries greater significance than realized in a casual reading of the events of the first Christmas. Referring back to the Old Testament one reads of Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz located near the little town of Bethlehem (Ruth 1:22-2:3). It was the location of those fields where the ancestral home of King David was established, for Ruth and Boaz were David’s great-grandparents, necessitating the return of Mary and Joseph to register in the City of David for census purposes. The genealogy of Jesus found both in Matthew chapter one and Luke chapter three contain the names of Jesus’ earthly ancestors, which include David the King, David’s father Jesse, David’s grandfather Obed, and David’s great-grandfather Boaz. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was not a coincidence, but planned by God the Father to fulfill His eternal purpose.

With Bethlehem situated just six miles southeast of Jerusalem, the shepherds keeping watch over the flock that night included priestly shepherds keeping watch from the two-story stone tower of Edar located midway between the two cities. The priestly shepherds’ sole task was to provide lambs for the Temple sacrifices. It was these lambs that were to be without spot or blemish (Deuteronomy 17:1), therefore upon birth the lambs were wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger within the tower to calm them and keep them from injuring themselves. After Rachel’s death and her burial in Bethlehem, Jacob “journeyed, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar,” (Genesis 35:19-21).

The Perfect Lamb of God was born on that holy night in a lowly stable, wrapped in nativityswaddling clothes, and laid in a manger, as were all the sacrificial lambs (Luke 2:1-20). It was JESUS who was sacrificed for the sins of the world, once for all time, the veil in the Temple renting from top to bottom negating any future sacrifices and giving man access into the Holy of Holies, to God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:50-51; Hebrews 10:1-12). The Prophet Micah wrote 700 years before the birth of Christ the announcement of the Promised Messiah would take place at the tower of Edar, known as the “tower of the flock” (Micah 4:8).

Hope Thou in GOD

The world seems hopeless, and it is. There are wars and rumors of wars. There are earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions. There is violence and death, disease and sickness, hatred and jealousy; fathers against sons, mothers against daughters, children against parents (Micah 7:6; Luke 12:53). The world seems out of control, and it is. But there is Light in the midst of darkness, Life in the midst of death, Hope in the midst of hopelessness.

David’s life seemed totally hopeless as he hid in caves and tried to keep one step ahead of King Saul’s pursuit to kill him. It was because of Saul’s anger and jealousy David had many a sleepness night. Not knowing what the future might hold for him, David in his loneliest hour quizzed himself, “Why art thou cast down , O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?” Suddenly the answer to overcoming his troubled soul came to him, “Hope thou in God,” (Psalm 42:5).

Adam hoped in God to send a Redeemer – Genesis 3:15

Abraham hoped in God to father a nation – Genesis 17

Moses hoped in God to lead His people – Exodus 3-4

Joshua hoped in God to conquer the Promised Land – Joshua 1

Nehemiah hoped in God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem – Nehemiah 4-6

Isaiah hoped in God to be His witness – Isaiah 6

Martha hoped in God for life after death – John 11

Peter hoped in God for forgiveness in denying Christ – John 21

Paul hoped in God to deliver him safely to Rome – Acts 27

 “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,    

All ye that hope in the LORD.”

Psalm 31:24

 

 

Who is a Saint?

Contrary to popular belief it is not man who determines who is a saint, it is GOD. Looking at the numerous verses related to saints in the Holy Scriptures, it is obvious saints are not named after their death, but are called saints while still very much alive and on this earth. In 1 Corinthians 1:2 the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth gives a clear definition of who is a saint, “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Throughout Scripture everyone who had, like King David in Psalm 51, confessed their sin to God, repented of their sin, and trusted in Christ as Savior are called saints.

Luke wrote in Acts 9:32 of Peter’s travels, “he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.” Upon Peter’s involvement in the raising of Dorcas from the dead, Dr. Luke further writes, “When he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive,” (9:41). In his testimony before King Agrippa, the Apostle Paul related to him in Acts 26:10, “many of the saints did I shut up in prison.” To be in prison one must be alive. It is not after death one is named a saint by mere man.

The Apostle Paul’s references to saints in his letters to the churches at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, and Colosse clearly show he is speaking of all those who have placed their faith and trust in Christ for salvation, as the saints of God:

“To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” – Romans 1:7

“He that searcheth the hearts… maketh intercession for the saints” – Romans 8:27

“Distributing to the necessity of saints” – Romans 12:13

“Now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints” – Romans 15:25

“To make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” – Romans 15:26

“My service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints” – Romans 15:31

“That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints” – Romans 16:2

“Salute… all the saints which are with them” – Romans 16:15

“Dare any of you… go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” – 1 Corinthians 6:1

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” – 1 Corinthians 6:2

“Churches of the saints” – 1 Corinthians 14:33

“The collection for the saints” – 1 Corinthians 16:1

“Addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints” – 1Corinthians 16:15

“With all the saints which are in all Achaia” – 2 Corinthians 1:1

“Ministering to the saints” – 2 Corinthians 8:4; 9:1

“The want of the saints” – 2 Corinthians 9:12

“All the saints salute you” –   2 Corinthians 13:13

“To the saints which are at Ephesus” – Ephesians 1:1

“Love unto all the saints” – Ephesians 1:15

“His inheritance in the saints” – Ephesians 1:18

“Fellowcitizens with the saints” – Ephesians 2:19

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints” – Ephesians 3:8

“Comprehend with all saints” – Ephesians 3:18

“The perfecting of the saints” – Ephesians 4:12

“Let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” – Ephesians 5:3

“Praying always… for all saints” – Ephesians 6:18

“To all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi” – Philippians 1:1

“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:21

“All the saints salute you” – Philippians 4:22

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” – Colossians 1:2

“The love which ye have to all the saints” – Colossians 1:4

“Partakers of the inheritance of the saints” – Colossians 1:12

“Now is made manifest to His saints” – Colossians 1:26