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Friday, September 28, 2012

David and Absalom: God and Us

I've been reading though 1st and 2nd Samuel and I noticed some things in those passages that I'd like to point out to you.
In 2 Samuel 14 and 15:1-12, we see that Absalom, David’s son, rebels against his father. This is us. We as princes and princesses of the king, but we want more. We want to be ruler. Like Absalom, we people to follow us instead of God. We lead a rebellion against God every time we sin. And we plan things out. We have our followers and our warriors. Sin is saying that your God. The rest of chapter 15 of 2 Samuel 15 is about David running away from Absalom. God doesn’t run away from us, but when we have as big a rebellion as Absalom did, we ignore God and so, God doesn’t flee, it’s more like we flee. We get out of God’s holy presence and grab out warriors. Then we fight. In 2 Samuel 18, Absalom fights.
How much of a fight do we put up? That’s our choice. David wanted his son to come back and return home, but Absalom didn’t. He was so determined to take his father’s place that he died. David mourned his son’s death, even though he died rebellious.

If only I had died instead of you-O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 18:33b

I picture God mourning over the loss of all his children, and then Jesus sees his broken hearted father and say “I will.” I see Jesus saying “I will die instead of you…” Then you fill in the blanks “O _____, my sister/brother my sister/brother!” I’m kind of iffy on if it would be “sister/brother” or “son/daughter” speaking in earthly terms, it would be sister/brother because Jesus is God’s son and we are God’s adopted children.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Romans 8:26

But the groaning language system might work a bit differently. I’m getting a bit off track, though.
So back to the original topic, I thought that David must really love his son after Absalom tried to kill him and all. Then, David was very distressed that Absalom was dead and he mourned a lot.
Just like God mourns a lot when one person rejects him and burns up in hell. We all are Absalom at one point, but as Christian we at least say we’re sorry for attempted murder. That makes us all good, right? (I’ll come back to that question in a bit). So God mourns for every soul maybe a wishes he could burn up for them. God even postpones Jesus’ second coming until everyone has had a chance to become a Christian.
We all are Absalom at one point, but as Christian we at least say we’re sorry for attempted murder. That makes us all good, right? In a way, yes…but Absalom shows through every day. And we need to be forgiven daily of our sins.

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
Luke 12:23-24;27-29

But God cares for us by giving us what we need and we all need forgiveness. We all need to forgive too (that’s something I’m still working on). God will give us what we need, but forgiveness comes when we ask for it, so make sure you ask God for forgiveness, and don’t expect it to come whenever you want it to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daily Reminders #2

Hey everyone! No, I am not going to post one of these daily, but every now and then, I’ll decide to post a verse that stood out to me. Maybe there will be a devotion…maybe not, but who knows how many of these there will end up being…enjoy!

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 
1 Peter 2:2-3

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Smart Donkey Series Part 2


But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road. Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again. Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"
Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."
The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?" "No," he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."
Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
The angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you." So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
Numbers 22:22-35

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Smart Donkey Series: Prologue

Then the Israelites traveled to the plains of Moab and camped along the Jordan across from Jericho. Now Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites. The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, "This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field." 
So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the River, in his native land. Balak said: "A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed." The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination.
When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said. "Spend the night here," Balaam said to them, "and I will bring you back the answer the LORD gives me." So the Moabite princes stayed with him.

This part just makes me wonder what Balaam was thinking...I don't know why he would even ask God if he should curse his chosen people.

God came to Balaam and asked, "Who are these men with you?" 
Balaam said to God, "Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, sent me this message:A people that has come out of Egypt covers the face of the land. Now come and put a curse on them for me. Perhaps then I will be able to fight them and drive them away.'"
But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."
The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak's princes, "Go back to your own country, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you."
So the Moabite princes returned to Balak and said, "Balaam refused to come with us."
Then Balak sent other princes, more numerous and more distinguished than the first. They came to Balaam and said: "This is what Balak son of Zippor says: Do not let anything keep you from coming to me, because I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say. Come and put a curse on these people for me."

Now Balaam is being bribed...don't listen to them!

But Balaam answered them, "Even if Balak gave me his palace filled with silver and gold, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God.
Now stay here tonight as the others did, and I will find out what else the LORD will tell me."

I wonder if Balaam really meant that. The reward might have tempted him.

That night God came to Balaam and said, "Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you."
Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
Number 22:1-22

To be continued...
I can see God sighing, and wondering why Balaam fell into temptation

Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
Jude 1:11

Jude says that Balaam was in it for the money. 

They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
2 Peter 2:15

And says the same, that wickness won Balaam over. And God was very angry with him...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Daily Reminders #1

Hey everyone! No, I am not going to post one of these daily, but every now and then, I’ll decide to post a verse that stood out to me. Maybe there will be a devotion…maybe not, but who knows how many of these there will end up being…enjoy!

Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
2 Samuel 7:18b; 22

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goodness and Kindness

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

I grew up memorizing the fruit of the spirit, but as a child, I never understood the difference between kindness and goodness. I always wonder if there was a typo and maybe both of those words where not meant to be there. I never understood what was different what was similar, but now I do know. First, I'll break the words down. Kind and Good. So what's the difference? Well when a dog is not bad, it is reward by a reassuring phrase: "Good Dog!" There's a reason why people don't say kind dog...because the dog wasn't kind. So for those of you who need even more breaking down. Kindness is when you do something extra that's nice. And goodness is when when you do what's right, or don't do what is wrong.
I also have heard it described this way: kindness is an attitude and goodness is a lifestyle.
Goodness is a character and kindness an action.

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of you, to your mother's home. May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.
Ruth 1:8

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 10:12

In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.
Isaiah 54:8

but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:24

So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
Romans 2:3-4

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalms 27:13-14

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
2 Peter 1:5-6

Friday, September 7, 2012

David and his Lament

David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and ordered that the men of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar): "Your glory, O Israel, lies slain on your heights. How the mighty have fallen! Saul and Jonathan--in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.
2 Samuel 1:17-19; 22-23

I know I said last post I'd be doing a blog post on Kindness and Goodness, but I really don't care. I read 1 Samuel 1 yesterday in my quiet time, devotional, or what you want to call it. Verse 23 really stood out to me. I encourage you to read through all of 2 Samuel 1, but I you need to look at the beginning of the 23rd verse one  more time. Saul and Jonathan--in life they were loved and gracious. Perhaps your not so familair with you bible. If so, then that fine...but if you read through 1 Samuel, you'll see that Saul tries to kill David, and he's very blunt about it...He doesn't go into stealth mode, but simply attempts to kill him several times and is quite clear about it. His son Jonathan was kind to David til the end and deserved a lament, but I'll be honest...if someone tries to kill me, they aren't going to be called gracious in my little song about them. That's just me being honest.
David refused to kill Saul twice when he could have (he cut off a portion of Saul's clothing), but David refused to kill God's anointed.
I just am amazed that David had so much strength and courage. If I was David, the Saul would have been murdered in his sleep. But anyway, Saul was anything but gracious. He refused to give up search for the anointed king of Israel. And in his hatred for David, he went to a witch and told her to bring up the spirit of Samuel (who was dead at this point).
David sure has a good heart (even though his actions were sometimes less than good).
-Ruth

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 2012

“September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer”
-Helen Hunt Jackson

Quote of the Month:

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
- Robert F. Kennedy

Bible Verse of the Month:

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
1 Samuel 15:22-23a

Remember!

It’s better to do something imperfect then nothing flawlessly. If your a perfectionist, then that can lead to being afraid of doing things, but if you are that way, then you need to realize this: You can't always do thing correctly, so don't be afraid to mess up. Just get back up and keep on going

Future Posts:

  1. Kindness and Goodness        
  2. The Smart Donkey Series                
May God bring you blessings of small and large sizes this month. Listen to God's voice as he guides you through life. Be strong.
-Ruth

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