Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0418 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.” – (1 Kings 7:13-14)
Not every Christian is gifted by God to be a teacher or a preacher. In this passage, we see Hiram, a man from Tyre, who was uniquely gifted by God to make all of the works of brass that were to be used in the Temple. Back in the Book of Exodus, we saw two other fellows. Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were also uniquely filled with wisdom (gifted) to build the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. As far as we know, these men never taught the Scriptures; they were not priests, or prophets; but they were greatly used of the Lord.
We have many people in our churches today who have also been uniquely crafted by the Lord to fulfill His purpose. They may be builders, like the men referenced above. They may be men or women that have a knack for cleaning, or landscaping. These are all very necessary and important jobs in the service of our churches today. As I read this passage today, I thought of a man in our church who was used of the Lord to build our platform in the auditorium along with the sound booth. He did a wonderful job, and our church building is much more beautiful and functional as a result of his using his gifts for the Lord. We also have some folks in our church that like to cook, and when we have a dinner of some kind, these people go to work, preparing delicious food for the rest of us to enjoy. They work mostly behind the scenes, but their work is very important to the Lord.
God tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” – (1 Corinthians 12:18)
Not every member is an eye or an ear: some are hands, some are feet. Not everybody is a preacher or teacher; and those that are gifted in areas other that teaching are just as important to the work of the ministry as those who teach or preach.
What is your gift? What is your sweet spot? The thing that you were born to do. Hiram was born to make brass, and he did it very well. God will be well pleased with your life if you find the thing that He has equipped you to do, and then do it for His glory.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.
Read the “0417 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.” (1Kings 4:34)
Good morning. Everybody who knew of King Solomon’s wisdom came from all over the world to here it.
“And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” (1Kings 4:30-33)
And how did Solomon become so wise? He got his wisdom from God…
“And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” (1Kings 3:11-13)
So, why did the Supreme Court ban the Bible (God’s Words of wisdom to us) from schools. Maybe so you can have the results we have today where kids are killing kids in drug deals gone wrong. Where women fight for the right to kill babies. Where Godless Socialism runs rampant throughout the world. Where the homosexuals work to get the age of accountability lowered so they can “know” your children. And where children can choose to be something other than what God made them. Wonder why?
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:18-32)
Sounds much like the world is today. So what can we do?
1) Preach The Word
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2Timothy 4:1-4)
2) Watch In All Things
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions…” (2Timothy 4:5a)
Godless Socialism is working hard to take away your freedom. Are you getting your covid19 passport for traveling between states?
3) Do The Work Of An Evangelist
“…do the work of an evangelist…” (2Timothy 4:5b)
Get the Word out, God’s Word. Make disciples who will do the same.
4) Make Full Proof Of The Ministry.
“…make full proof of thy ministry.” (2Timothy 4:5c)
We should be faithful to do whatever God has called us to do. Be the best Pastor. Be the best Assistant Pastor. Be the best Sunday School Teacher. Be the best Nursery Worker. Whatever God has given you to do be the best.
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with no comments yet.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3
Read the “0416 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.” – (1 Kings 1:5)
In our passage today, we have King David on his death bed, and the kingdom unsure about who will take his place after he passes on. God had made it clear to David that his son Solomon was to be his successor (1 Chronicles 22:9), but David had been very quiet about revealing the will of God to the people. As a result, one of the king’s other sons – Adonijah – saw an opportunity to seize power. He made a conspiracy with Joab and Abiathar to take control of the kingdom. With the backing of the military and the temple, it would be difficult to stop him. He called all of the king’s sons (except Solomon), and all of the important men of Judah (except Nathan the prophet and Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men) to announce that he was king. Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, finds out about the conspiracy and reveals it to the king. Now David has to act. He commands Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet to anoint Solomon to be king over Israel. Had David been clear to the people about the Lord’s will previously, the kingdom would have avoided all of this unnecessary turmoil.
My thought this morning is about the phrase spoken by Adonijah, “I will be king”. Isn’t it inside all of us to seize control of our lives away from the reign of God? God wants to be the King in our lives, but we are constantly trying to knock God off the throne and assume power. Recognizing that this little battle rages within us, we must daily acknowledge and submit to God’s authority in our lives. Every time self begins to elevate itself, we must consciously abase him, and yield our allegiance to the Holy Spirit of God. We are really no different than Adonijah. Our pride causes us to lust for the dominion and power that does not rightfully belong to us. The key to successful Christian living is submission to the will of God. He is the only King.
“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” – (Luke 14:11)
Posted in Thoughts from 1 Kings by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17
Read the “0415 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.” – (2 Samuel 24:1)
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” (1 Chronicles 21:1)
“And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” – (2 Samuel 24:17)
This is one of those passages of Scripture that I have a difficult time understanding. The Scripture clearly says in verse 1 (above) that God moved David against Israel; but then in verse 17, David confesses what he had done against Israel to the Lord as sin. Here we have another example of the sovereignty of God in conjunction with the free will of man. To complicate matters even more, look at what it says in 1 Chronicles 21 about the same event: the blame here is placed upon Satan. In our passage today it certainly looks as if God was forcing David to sin against Him, which in turn brings about the wrath of God upon the people of Israel. What is going on here? Did God command it, or did Satan tempt David to do it? I believe that it was in David’s heart to number the people long before the actual numbering took place. Man’s heart is desperately wicked. There are all kinds of sins inside of it. The idea to number the people originated with Satan, because he wanted to get David to take his eyes off of God, and instead trust in his military strength. I think that God kept David from fulfilling what was in his heart for a while, but then because of His anger at Israel (and David), He eventually allows it. I believe the same thing happened with Pharaoh of Egypt. The Scripture says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but it also says that Pharaoh’s heart was already hardened. I don’t think that God caused Pharaoh to hate Israel. He already did. God finally just removed the restraint that was keeping Pharaoh back. Satan is on a leash too. He can only do what God allows him to do.
This brings me to an application of this principle in our lives. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit of God is the restraining power that keeps all evil from breaking loose on the earth. The bottom line in all of this is that Satan will tempt you to sin, but God will not cause you to sin; but He will allow you to sin, and allow you to be tempted. However, I also believe that there are many times when He keeps us from sinning against Him through His indwelling Holy Spirit.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – (James 1:13-14)
By the way. You may be wondering why God would be against the numbering of the people. The reason is simple. He did not want Israel trusting in their numbers. He wanted them to trust in Him. They could beat any opposing army out there, regardless of size, as long as they were right with God.
“So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.“ (2 Samuel 24:15)
Cindy and I were discussing this passage and we both agreed that verse fifteen bears a striking resemblance to our situation today. God sent pestilence (disease) into Israel because David had committed the sin of numbering the people. This pestilence resulted in the deaths of seventy-thousand men. This Covid-19 pestilence that we are facing has thus far killed millions throughout the world. I think we should ask ourselves why is God allowing this to happen to our world. Is God trying to get our attention? Is He chastening us for our sin? Is he purifying His people? Perhaps the answer is: “all of the above.”
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Samuel by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51
Read the “0414 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” (2 Samuel 21:1)
Remember back in 1 Samuel when King Saul was mad at the priests because they had helped David. (See 1 Samuel 21 & 22) Saul ended up killing all of the priests (85 of them) and then proceeded to wipe out Nob, the city that the priests lived in. What Saul did to the priests and to their families was bad enough, but there was also a group of people who lived in Nob as servants to the priests who were not Israelites: they were Gibeonites. Now, you may also remember from the book of Joshua that the Gibeonites were the people who tricked Joshua into making a covenant with them. Joshua promised these people with an oath that Israel would let them live, and in return the Gibeonites would be Israel’s servants. God never forgot that covenant, so when Saul (acting on behalf of Israel) broke the covenant and slew the Gibeonites living in Nob; God held them (Israel – not just Saul) accountable. God doesn’t forget, even when we want to. Here, an entire nation is suffering for the decision of one man.
We should be admonished when we read passages like this. First of all, we should realize that our actions affect more people than we think; and we should carefully consider the outcome on others around us from the decisions we make today as well as the impact they will have on future generations. Secondly, we need to think about any unfinished business we may have with God or other people. We are so quick to promise things; but so slow to deliver the things that we promise. God never forgot the promise that Israel made with the Gibeonites.
Note – A separate thought from this passage of Scripture. Notice in 21:8 that five of the ”sons of Saul” (actually grandsons) that were to be killed were possibly the adopted sons of Michal, David’s first wife. These sons were actually her nephews, the sons of her deceased sister, Merab (1 Samuel 18:19). Michal had lived a troubled life due to men who had used her for their own gain. Saul promised her to David and reluctantly gives her to be his wife; later Saul took her back and gave her to another man; After Saul’s death, when David is in power, he takes her back, away from a man that really loves her; and now here she is losing her sons.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1
Read the “0413 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.” – (2 Samuel 19:2)
This was a “no win” situation for David. David won the nation back, but lost his son. After his son Absalom rebelled against David, and forced him to flee from Jerusalem with all of his men, David had to do something. Absalom certainly wanted to see his father dead; but David, however, wanted somehow to undo the damage that Absalom had done to the nation, and still keep him as a son. He asked his men in the final battle to “deal gently… with the young man”, which they did not do. The men were right. Absalom had to die. David should have realized that. I can understand, though, how David felt. He did not blame Absalom for the way he turned out. I think David blamed himself. And even though David and his men won the victory and got the kingdom back, he still wished that he could go back and re-do some things with his son Absalom.
I can relate to that. I wish that I could go back and re-do some things with my family as well. I know one thing that I would change is that I would give each one of them a little more of my time. Instead of consuming my life with my goals and ambitions, I would give a little more of myself to helping them reach theirs. David ignored his son Absalom for a long time, and now he wished that he had the opportunity to give him his attention. The rebellion of Absalom grew with every passing day that his father neglected him. Most of my children are grown now, but I am trying to spend more time with them even now. I cannot re-claim what I missed, but I can make the most of what I have left. I do have one daughter, Hannah, who is young and still at home. I am doing things differently with her. If you still have children to influence, I encourage you to take every opportunity to do it. I bet you if David was to do it all over again, he would trade some of his successes as king for a better relationship with his children.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Samuel by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2
Read a previous post from this passage – “Let Him Curse“
Read the “0412 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!” – (2 Samuel 15:3-4)
In today’s reading, we see the gradual rise to power of Absalom, David’s son. Absalom has developed into a calculating, sneaky, and conspiring rebel, who slowly stole the hearts of the people of Israel away from their God-chosen leader. In the verses above, he is standing in the gate, and pulling people aside before they go into the king. He befriends them, and promises them that if he were the king things would be different; things would be better. No doubt, he is bad-mouthing the king to everyone who would listen. Absalom is a snake; a rat. He has done nothing on his own; he has built nothing, conquered nothing. Instead, he is a destroyer, and a stealer of that which belongs to another man.
I have observed people like this throughout the years. They steal wives away from husbands; they steal the hearts of children away from fathers; they steal churches away from pastors. They tell the wife who may be having some struggles in her marriage that if he were her husband, he would never mistreat her. They do the same to church members. They want people to come to them. They usually use flattery. They always tear down God-ordained authority. Beware of the Absalom’s of life. God is never for them. Even when it looks like they have all the right answers, you need to stay faithful to the Lord and be supportive of the leaders that God has given you.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Samuel by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1
Read the “0411 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from this passage – “The Consequences of Sin”
“But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.” (2 Samuel 13:3)
This is another tragic story in the Bible of a man who blew it because he allowed someone into his life that influenced him away from the will of God. Amnon was one of David’s sons, and he was in love with his half sister, Tamar. Whether or not this was a wholesome attraction is a matter for another debate. Nevertheless, Amnon didn’t know what to do about it, but he had a “friend” that did. This friend, however, was not the kind of friend your parents would like for you to run with. This was a sneaky guy (subtil). This was the kind of guy that acts like an “A” honor roll student when he is around your folks; but when he has you alone he is bringing out dirty magazines and dope. Amnon’s “good friend”, Jonadab, convinces Amnon to trick the king into bringing his daughter Tamar into the lair of Amnon. Unfortunately, as a result of this counselor’s advice, Amnon eventually ends up dead because of what he does to Tamar.
There are two applications that we can make here:
1 Jonadab is like the devil. He is a liar, and a deciever; and he will always try to seduce you into going against the will of God. Notice how Jonadab just convinces Amnon to do what he already wants to do. He just had to give him a little nudge. Satan know your temptations, and he throws them in front of you, nudging you to yield to them. And he always plays both sides. Notice later on in the chapter how Jonadab is defending the guy who kills Amnon (vs. 32 – 35) The devils convinces you to sin and then he accuses you to God.
2 But Jonadab is also a type of some of the friends that you and I might have in our life. And we know who they are. They are the people who are not concerned about the will of God; they live for themselves, and they are always trying to get you to join them. Identify the Jonadabs in your life, and remove them. Surround yourself with people who will tell you to do what’s right, which is what a true friend does.
Posted in Thoughts from 2 Samuel by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.
Read the “0410 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” (2Samuel 10:12)
Good morning. Joab was going to lead some of Israel in an attack against the Syrians, while his brother, Abishai, led the rest of Israel against the Ammonites. The battle started and the Syrians along with the Ammonites fled before Israel. That’s what the LORD wanted: His people to trust Him.
Where you upset with God because He allowed those who won the election in the U. S. to win? (I have to watch what I say because big brother may be watching… oops.) Anyway, God allowed the liberals to win because that is who won in His great plan. And our God is perfect and never makes mistakes, so it is in our best interest that those who won, won. Could it be that President Biden will get saved during his term and lead the country back to God? VP Harris?
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” (Isaiah 59:1-13)
King David trusted in the LORD, and He delivered him…
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1Samuel 30:6-8)
“And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.” (1Samuel 30:18-19)
Where is our faith in God? Are we praying for those in office?
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:43-46)
1) Pray for those who have the rule over us.
I am reminded of the opening line of Southwest Radio Bible Church: “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things.”
Just some statistics…
Castro murdered 15,000 to 17,000 of his political enemies.
Stalin murdered 950,000 to 1.2 million of his political enemies.
Hitler murdered 6 million Jews plus 500 of his political enemies.
What will happen in America if we don’t pray?
2) Have faith in God.
Remember that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The LORD knows what to do to turn a heart back to Him. Have faith in God.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
3) Trust God.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
We know that Godless Socialism is wrong. The LORD knows this too. We just need to trust Him. Trust with all our hearts, and not our own understanding.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with 1 comment.
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:1 – 4
Read the “0409 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?” – (2 Samuel 7:3-5)
In 2 Samuel 7, David comes to the prophet Nathan, and informs him of his desire to build a permanent dwelling place for the ark of the covenant: he wanted to build the temple. You will recall that up until this time the corporate worship of God took place in a portable tabernacle that God had designed for them while they wandered the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. But now it was time to build a permanent structure in the capital city – Jerusalem. It was a good thing that David wanted to do, and it was also good that he went to inquire of the man of God before he did it. The problem here is not with David, but with the prophet Nathan. He gave David the green light to “do all that [was] in [David’s] heart”, before he checked with God. In other words, he spoke on behalf of God, but did not say what God wanted him to say. He spoke prematurely. As it turns out, God had other plans. He did not want David to build the temple. That job was going to go to David’s son, Solomon.
There is a great lesson to be learned here for us. Before we offer our advice on a matter, we ought to check with God first. How we go about doing that is a little bit different today than it was in David and Nathan’s day. In their time God would speak directly to the man of God. Today, however, we have to discern the will of God in the following way:
1 We first go to the Word of God – check to see what the Bible says about what you want to do. Just about every possible scenario is covered by Biblical principle. Let’s say for example that a young lady wanted to know if it was OK to get involved with a young man who is not a dedicated Christian. She could look into the Word and see that it says that she is not to be “unequally yoked” together with an unbeliever. She would also see that the Scripture says that she can not “walk together” with someone whom she is not in agreement with. And there are many other passages of Scripture, which would advise her against what she wants to do. The bottom line is that if the thing we want to do is in violation of sound Biblical principle, we should not do it.
2 We go to God in prayer. We ask God to reveal to us personally His will regarding the matter. I believe that if a person is really concerned about the will of God, He will direct them. When I was praying about where to serve God after Bible college, God revealed to me precisely that He wanted my family to serve Him here in Galloway, NJ.
3 We get advice. The Bible is clear that there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Find some people with godly wisdom that you can go to for counsel regarding your decision, and give them some time to pray first before they give you an answer.
Nathan should have put David on hold until he had a chance to find out what God wanted him to do.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.