What a Promise!

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 28 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 1 – 3Psalms 76 – 80Proverbs 16)

Read the “0516 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“(20) And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 28:20

Our text today brings us to the end of David’s life where he is giving final instructions to his son Solomon and the leaders (“princes and captains” 1 Chronicles 28:1). He explains once again that it had been his desire to build the Temple, but that God had other plans. He also publicly thanks the Lord for making him the king, and for promising to keep his seed on the throne of Israel. He then charges his son Solomon and all of Israel to love and serve the Lord, and fulfill His will for their lives.

That brings us to the promise made by David in v. 20. David assures Solomon that as long as he is doing what God called him to do that he has absolutely nothing to fear because God would: be with him, not fail him and not forsake him, until he completes what God called him to do. For Solomon that meant building the Temple and reigning as king over Israel.

I believe that this promise is applicable for us today as well. God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives, and as long as we are living inside of the will of God, doing what He wants us to do, we are basically invincible. God will give us everything that we need to fulfill His will, and He will also protect us from anyone or anything that tries to deter us from doing what He has called us to do. What a promise! However, this promise does not apply to those who are living out their own will; it only is good for those who are yielded to the will of God.

Question – Are you living your life doing what you want to do, or are you fulfilling God’s will for your life? If you are not sure about what God’s purpose for your life is yet, then I would suggest that you do three things:

  1. Seek God’s will through the Word of God. the Bible reveals the will of God in a general way principally. God will never specifically direct you contrary to His word.
  2. Seek God’s will through prayer. Pray about what God wants you to do, where He wants you to do it, and who He wants you to do it with.
  3. Seek God’s will through godly counsel. Once you have a good idea of what you think God wants for your life, run it by someone who also is walking with the Lord inside of His will. Ask your parents, pastors, or other godly counselors for their input. Don’t shop for counsel, but ask specific mentors to be brutally honest with you. Enlist their prayer support as well.

What a blessing it is to know that we don’t have to worry about anything as we live for the Lord as His ambassadors here on the earth. He has got our backs. He goes before us, and surrounds us. He provides and protects us every step of the way. And when we are finished with what He has called us to do here, He will bring us home to Heaven. 


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Many Members – One Body

 

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 26 – 27 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 21, Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0515 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the LORD.“ (1 Chronicles 26:12)

In today’s passage we see the list of countless names of people who labored behind the scenes in the temple, and in the kingdom during the reign of David. When we think of the temple, we think of Solomon primarily, because it was he whom God chose to assemble it; or we may think of David, because he was the one who made most of the preparations for it. However, we can see from these passages that there were literally thousands of people laboring behind the scenes that made the ministry that went on in the temple possible, as well as in the rest of the kingdom.

In a local church, we sometimes think that it is primarily the pastor who makes everything happen. While the office of the pastor is an important position, he is just one member of a body made up of many. He may be the most visible, but there are so many other people whose participation is necessary in order to accomplish the work of God. Our church is small in number, but even in a church our size, there are many people laboring, some completely behind the scenes, who are vital parts of the ministry. Think with me for a moment about all of the different duties that must be performed in order for our church to function as it should. There are soul winners who get the message of the gospel to the community; disciplers who mentor and instruct those who have trusted Christ; there are Sunday School teachers, ushers, greeters, audio/vidio people, choir members, song leaders, musicians, bus drivers and workers, maintenance people, and administrators. These people and the work that they do are all important to the cause of Christ.

Romans 12 talks about some of the gifts given to us by the Lord that are to be used by us in His service:

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:4-8)

1 Corinthians 12 also instructs regarding the different members of the body, though many of the individual gifts spoken of in this chapter were sign gifts that were given to believers during the transitional period in the first century, and are no longer available today:

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

”For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:20)

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

God has something to do for everyone in the local church. I was recently criticized for preaching too much about what we need to do for the Lord, but as I see it, there is a lot that needs to be done. Yes, it is God which works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, but we still need to be submissive and obedient to His plan for our life. We often quote from Ephesians 2:8 & 9 regarding the fact that it is solely through the grace of God that we are saved, but the next verse teaches us that we are saved and equipped to work.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Christian, let me encourage you to find out what your unique gifts are, and also admonish you to use those gifts for the glory of the Lord Jesus, in the service of the local church.

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” (Philippians 1:27)

Twitt


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Music – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 23 – 25 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 19 – 20; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

Read the “0514 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was:Of the sons of Asaph; Zaccur, and Joseph, and Nethaniah, and Asarelah, the sons of Asaph under the hands of Asaph, which prophesied according to the order of the king. Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks and to praise the LORD. Of Heman: the sons of Heman; Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamtiezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth: All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the LORD, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king’s order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. So the number of them, with their brethren that were instructed in the songs of the LORD, even all that were cunning, was two hundred fourscore and eight.” (1Chronicles 25:1-7)

Good morning. Music is a powerful mode of praise. An old saying tells us that music has charm to sooth the savage beast. We can see an example of this in the Bible: David went to work for king Saul because of this…

“And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” (1Samuel 16:17-23)

In our passage today, we find harps, psalteries, cymbals, and horns to prophesy, praise, and give thanks to the LORD. We also find, in verse 7, that there were 288 members of the congregation who played for the LORD. What a band! If you look at the songbook, or the book of Psalms, you will see the prophesy, praise, and thanksgiving.

Of Thanksgiving…

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Psalm 95:1-2)

Of Praise…

“Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Psalm 33:1-3)

Of Prophesy…

“They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:13-18)

Of course, this is one of the many prophecies in the Bible about the Lord Jesus Christ being crucified: dying for our sins. What more reason do we need to say thank you and praise the LORD? He gives you a song get you through the good times and the bad times.

Lord I need You

When the Sea of Life is calm.

O Lord I need You

When the wind is blowing strong.

Whether trials come or cease,

Keep me always on my knees.

Lord I need You,

Lord I need You.

-Ron Hamilton

Peace!


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Fake News

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 17 – 18Psalms 61 – 65Proverbs 13)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read the “0513 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – “The Place of Sacrifice“; and “Get Busy.

“(2) And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him. (3) But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?” (1 Chronicles 19:2-3)

In our passage today, we read about some “fake news” that initiated a war between Israel and the people of Ammon. Nahash, the king of Ammon who was a friend to David, had died. David wanted to send his condolences to Hanun, the deceased king’s son. David sent some ambassadors into the land of Ammon to pay David’s respects to Hanun. Unfortunately, Hanun’s counselors misinterpreted David’s intentions. They thought David sent the men into Ammon to spy out the land for a future conquest. This simply was not true – it was fake news. The Ammonites humiliated the servants of David and sent them back into Israel, naked and with their beards cut off. This “fake news” originating from some wicked men in Ammon ended up causing a war between Israel and Ammon, which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of men. 

We are living in a day where we are literally bombarded with information, coming at us from every direction and perspective. Unfortunately, much of the news we are receiving is at best slanted, or, at worst, totally false. The catch phrase of the day is “fake news.” The official definition of the term would probably be any news that is not true. In today’s culture, though, “fake news” is probably any information that I don’t agree with or like. We see it on the news channels every day. Social media is also replete with “fake news.” People are duped every day into believing (and reposting) some of the most outrageous claims, without making any attempt to verify whether or not they are true. Some of these lies, or exaggerations, are silly and fairly harmless, but others can be very serious, and cause a great deal of damage.

Thoughts from the Passage 

  1. An Act Motivated by Kindness (vs. 1 – 2)

David’s act was completely out of a pure motive. He was just trying to be kind to Hanun because his dad died. His dad was a friend to David. “A Jewish tradition tells us that Nahash, Hanun’s father, had shown kindness to David by sheltering one of his brothers, when the king of Moab treacherously massacred the rest of the family.”[1]

2. Advice from Misguided Counselors (v. 3)

Hanun listened to bad advice. The Bible says, “in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety” (Proverbs 14:12), but you need to make sure those counselors are godly counselors. 

See 1 Kings 12:1 – 17 – Rehoboam listened to the wrong counselors. 

Be careful about judging things that you cannot see:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2)

We cannot see people’s motives, and we cannot see inside of people’s hearts. We can only see their actions. There was nothing wrong with the actions of David and his men, but Hanun’s men misjudged their motivations.

Be careful about “imaginations.” 

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Sometimes our minds will tell us things that the facts do not support.

Illustration – I have been blessed by not really listening to all of the voices out there on social media and in the news feeds. I go on Facebook to broadcast our services and prayer meetings, but I haven’t been reading too much of what’s on there. As a result, I am a little less informed as many of you, but I am also a little less stressed out. 

3. Action of a Mistaken King (v. 4)

Because of Hanun’s lack of judgment, he now commits a foolish and antagonistic act.

4. An Aggravating of Matters by the Hiring of Confederates (vs. 5 – 6)

Hunan now makes a further miscalculation by hiring an army of other nations to come help him. 

5. David’s Answer – a Mighty Conquest (vs. 7 – 19)

Up until now, David has not done anything in retaliation, and probably would not have. But, when Hanun builds this army from other nations, David has to do something. 

Conclusion

Hanun listened to some “Fake News” and it resulted in the loss of his kingdom. Be careful that you don’t get caught up in all of the fake news that is going on around you.

Christians, we need to be very careful that we are not “sucked in” to believing all of these unsubstantiated stories that are flying around in the airwaves and on the world-wide web. And, we need to be especially mindful that we do not participate in the furthering of “fake news.” God’s people are supposed to be people of the Truth. If you absolutely feel compelled to share something with others, share the Bible with them. The Word of God is always true. 

Be careful who and what you listen to. Be careful what you say. Don’t be a source of fake news.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)


[1] F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, vol. 2 (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1914–1918), 109.


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Preparing for the Next Generation

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 15 – 16Psalms 56 – 60Proverbs 12)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read the “0512 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – “Check With God First;” and “Taking Time to Rejoice.”

“Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:” (1 Chronicles 17:4)

The thought for this morning’s devotion was derived from the today’s reading as well as what is discussed in chapter twenty-two. It was David’s desire to build a permanent structure to house the Ark of the Covenant and all of the other items that were previously part of the worship of the Lord in the Tabernacle. David had already moved the ark into Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:1), but the rest of the Tabernacle was still at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39). God did not permit David to build Him a Temple, however (1 Chronicles 17:4), but that didn’t stop David from doing everything that He could in order to make sure his son Solomon and all of the others in that next generation would have everything that they needed in order for them to build a place to worship the Lord. Even though David would not personally experience and enjoy the final product, he worked tirelessly so that his children would.

There are three thoughts that I would like to consider regarding this passage:

  1. David had a good attitude when God told him “No.”

“(16) And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? (17) And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.” (1 Chronicles 17:16-17)

In fact, though David could not personally build God the house that he wanted to for the Lord, God tells David that He is going to build David a house. Not a physical place to live, but a lineage of children and grandchildren that were going to sit on the throne in Jerusalem forever. The Lord Jesus Himself would physically descend from David through His mother Mary (Luke 3), and legally through His earthly guardian Joseph (Matthew 1).

2. David continued to fight the Lord’s battles so that the next generation would not have to.

Chapter eighteen is all about David conquering the enemy nations that posed a threat to the peace and safety of Israel. And, as David won these victories, he collected the spoils of war: gold, silver, and more, which would be put in the treasury in Jerusalem and then could be used as building materials in the future Temple.

3. David continued to plan and prepare for the Temple.

We are not there yet in the reading, but if you skip ahead to chapter twenty-two, you will see that David got everything ready, including his son Solomon, so that when he passed off the scene, the Temple could be built.

David worked very hard so that the next generation could have what he would never have. I find that type of sacrifice is missing in our culture today. It seems that many today are just interested in taking what they can today, often at the expense of the next generation. Our government is continually multiplying our national debt, which will have to be paid back by our children and grandchildren. What a shame. We ought to be working to pay off that debt and then build up a surplus as David did so that the next generation could enjoy it and then also build upon it for their children.

How about you? What are you doing today that will make the world a better place for your children and grandchildren? Let’s strive to leave behind something that will help the future generations fulfill God’s will for their lives.


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When the Going Get’s Tough …

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 13 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 13 – 14Psalms 51 – 55Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0511 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – “God’s Will – God’s Way;” and Obededom – A Doorkeeper for the Lord.”

“Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.” (1 Chronicles 15:28)

It is never easy to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward after blowing it “big time.” The natural reaction to failure is to just go hide under a rock somewhere and quit. That is exactly what David probably wanted to do after failing to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem the first time; a failure by the way which resulted in the death of an innocent man – Uzza.

The background to the story is complicated, but basically what had happened was that the ark of God had been taken in previous years by the Philistines in a battle they fought with Israel. The Philistines received the judgment of God because of it, so they returned it to Israel. For years the ark remained in Kirjath-jearim, but when David became king he wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem (See 1 Samuel 4 & 5). David’s first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem is recorded in 1 Chronicles 13. There we see David with all good intentions and excitement because he believes that he is doing something that the Lord would be pleased with. David may have been doing what God wanted done; the problem was, however, he was not doing it the way that God had instructed. The ark of God was supposed to be transported by the Levites in a very specific way:

“[4] This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things: [5] And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it: [6] And shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof. … [15] And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Numbers 4:4-6, 15)

When David moved the ark in 1 Chronicles 13, he placed the ark on a “new cart,” which may sound like a great was to honor the Lord and His ark, but it was not the way that God wanted it done. It was supposed to be carried by the Levites. When the oxen that were pulling the cart stumbled and the cart wobbled, Uzza did what any of us would probably do, he put his hands on the ark to keep it from falling off of the cart. God was very upset because nobody was supposed to touch the ark. Even the Levites were forbidden to actually put their hands on the ark itself; they were only permitted to touch the staves (or rods) that were inserted into the loops on the ark. The result of Uzza (and David’s error) was that Uzza was killed by God. The fault for Uzza’s death, however, lay with David and the Levites who should have known better. They blew it.

David failed, and his failure resulted in the death of a good man. That would have been enough to cause many a good man to quit trying to serve God at all, but David took some time to recover, and got back up and tried again to get it right, and this time He was successful. He instructs the Levites to carry the ark as prescribed by Moses in the Law, and they get the ark to Jerusalem where it belongs:

“[1] And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent. [2] Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever. … [13] For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order. [14] So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel. [15] And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 15:1-2, 13-15)

The point of this article is simple: don’t quit. You are going to fail and will probably do so often. The only people that do not fail are people who do not do anything. Also, your failure may hurt other people who are completely innocent. Bad decisions often have horrible consequences. You will want to run and hide, but you must eventually get back up and keep doing what you need to do. Take some time and prayerfully reevaluate what went wrong, but if you know that what you are trying to do is the will of God, try again. “The tough keep going.” Good leaders are not people who do not ever fail, they just do not allow their failures to keep them from trying to succeed again.


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Just a Cup of Cold Water

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 11 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 11 – 12Psalms 46 – 50Proverbs 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0510 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – God Spotted Him First and “Double Heart.”

“And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,” (1 Chronicles 11:17-18)

Today’s passage reveals all of the mighty men that labored and served alongside of David, both before and after he became king. These men were with him as he was on the run and hiding from King Saul, and they continued to serve with him as he was given the kingdom of Judah, and then later when he became king over all of Israel. These men were faithful to David and to the Lord, and because they were in the will of God fighting the Lord’s battles, God blessed them mightily. It is amazing to see what these men were able to do in God’s strength.

Verses fifteen through nineteen tell a strange story regarding when David and his men were fighting against the Philistines. The likely account of this battle is found in 2 Samuel 5:17 – 21 and is the first victory David had after being made king over all of Israel. David was “in the hold,” the cave of Adullam, and he had enemy forces entrenched around him in the Valley of Rephaim. He makes a strange request, probably to no-one particularly; he was likely just thinking out loud. He expressed his wish for some of the water from the well back home in Bethlehem. He wasn’t asking or expecting that somebody would actually do it, he was just longing for some of that good water back home. Maybe there was no fresh or good water where he was, who knows.

Three of his faithful men, however, hear David’s request, and risk their lives to make it happen. David is doubtless shocked that these men would do this for him, but he is also very appreciative of their love for him. He does not accept the gift, but rather “poured it out to the Lord,” as an offering. I often wondered why David would not take the gift, especially after his men risk their lives to give it to him. However, David wasn’t about to enjoy that good water while the rest of his men were thirsty. He recognized his unworthiness for the gift, and he offered it instead to the Lord. This is reminiscent of Uriah the Hittite, who would not go to enjoy the company of his wife while the rest of Israel’s army was out fighting a battle (See 2 Samuel 11:11 – 13).

There are two thoughts from this passage that I would like to share. First, I appreciate these men who took great risks to express their love and devotion to their king. David was their leader, and he was the one whom God had chosen to be the king. And he was a good king. He loved his people, and served right alongside of his men. Our King is the Lord Jesus Christ, and we ought to be willing to do anything to please Him. But, we also ought to get better at expressing our appreciation for the people who are important to us. During this COVID-19 pandemic, many are finding creative ways to express their thanks to all of the necessary workers, especially those health care workers who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus. It is interesting that Jesus actually used the illustration of giving a cup of cold water as being deserving of a reward (See Matthew 10:42).

My second thought concerns David’s reluctance to take the gift. There are many leaders of men who would have selfishly demanded a lot more than just a drink of water. They see themselves as better than other men, deserving of more honor. They expect others to serve them, but are reluctant to be “servant leaders” themselves. David didn’t see himself this way. He considered himself completely unworthy of all that God had done for him. You and I are completely unworthy of all of the blessings that God has bestowed upon us as well.


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Too Big For His Britches

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 9 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 9 – 10; Psalm 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0509 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Who are the Nethinims?

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.” – (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)

“And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?” – (1 Samuel 15:17)

In 1 Chronicles, chapter 10, God tells us about the death of King Saul and his sons. God also tells us here the reasons that He took His hand of protection and blessing from the life of Saul; and when we compare this passage to some of the other passages in 1 Samuel that reveal the events of Saul’s life and reign as king, the picture gets a little bit clearer. Saul simply became “too big for his britches”. You’ve heard that expression before, haven’t you? My grandmother used to say that about me when I was a young boy. It simply means that your opinion of yourself is greater than the reality.

King Saul started out very well. He was always insecure, but in the early days he was a very humble man. When chosen by God to be the king of Israel, Saul’s life was dramatically changed, and though he was head and shoulders above the rest, he did not see himself as anything special. He was right to think that way because he really wasn’t special, and neither are we. However, in these early years of his reign as king, Saul trusted in God. As time went on, however, Saul became concerned with the opinion polls, and he was especially nervous about a young man in his kingdom by the name of David that was gaining popularity. Saul’s insecurity and pride caused him to make a lot of decisions completely independent of God; and he eventually got to the point where he was doing everything he could just to hold on to his power and throne: everything except humble himself before God.

The story of Saul serves as a good example to all of us who are in God’s service. God chooses us to serve Him, not because of anything we have to offer him. We have no intrinsic value, but God chooses to use us for his glory. The danger comes when we start wanting to steal a little bit of that glory for ourselves. We get too big for our britches just like Saul did. It is really a vicious cycle: we start out humbling depending on God to use us; God begins to use us and bless us in tremendous ways; we then begin to subconsciously think that those blessings were due to our own merit; then we begin to openly display our pride; then God has to pull away those blessings; and finally we fall on our faces back to the place of humility again.

Would to God we could just stay humble, realizing ”it is God which worketh in[us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – (Philippians 2:13) God is the One who butters our bread, and we had better not forget it. Is God using you? – Praise God! But don’t get cocky, because God can pull away His hand of blessing from your life whenever He chooses.


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Valiant Men

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Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 7 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 7 – 8; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0508 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.” – (1 Chronicles 7:2)

1 Chronicles 7 contains the genealogies of several of the tribes of Israel, and lists many of the heads of the families that were alive when the Israelites were moving into the Promised Land during and after the time of Joshua. As you will recall, this land was full of the enemies of God’s people, and they all had to be removed from the land. In addition to the above verse, four times in this passage of Scripture the phrase “men of valour” is used to describe these men. I looked up the word “valour” in the dictionary, and it defines it as great courage in the face of danger. Some of the synonyms listed in the thesaurus for the word “valour” are bravery, courage, pluck, nerve, and fearlessness. I admire men who rise to the challenge and are willing to risk their lives for a greater cause than their own personal safety. God raised up these “men of valour” in Israel at a time when the people of God were facing incredible obstacles while claiming the inheritance that God had given them.

I remember the daring assault by the US Navy Seals in Pakistan which resulted in the removal of Usama bin Laden. These Seals are incredibly brave men, who are often asked to put their lives in great danger for the cause of liberty. I am very thankful for men who will lay their own safety on the line so that my family is kept safe. In a few weeks we will be observing Memorial Day. For many years this holiday meant little to me. For the most part it was a day for hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad; and a time to have barbecues or picnics with friends and family. But as I get older, and I look at my children and the opportunities they have here in this great nation, my mind is forced to think about the brave men and women who made it all possible for us. I would like to thank all of you who might be reading this thought this morning, who may have served our nation in the armed forces. You are truly men and women of valour.

While I am thinking about valiant men and women, I would also like to thank all of those who are serving out in the public today in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, especially those that are risking their lives in the healthcare field.

As I was reflecting on my admiration of the men from this passage, and my appreciation for the men and women in America who keep us free, I was also challenged to consider what my contributions have been to make our country a better place. What sacrifices have I been willing to make so that life could be better for my family and neighbors? I want my life to make a difference as well. I don’t think that I will ever be called upon to go into a physical battle against some opposing army, but perhaps I can do some spiritual battle with the forces of darkness. I can also sacrifice some of my time, talent, and treasures to help people in a tangible way. Maybe there is something that you can do as well.


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The Descendants Of Levi – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 5 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Read the “0507 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.” (1Chronicles 6:1)

Good morning. In our reading today we see the descendants of Levi. These were the priests of the nation of Israel. Levi was the third son of Jacob. Levi would be scattered throughout Israel, but not as a punishment. God would choose this tribe to take care of the Tabernacle for Him.

“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:1-7)

“But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them. For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying, Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle. And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts. But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony. And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.” (Numbers 1:47-54)

What did Levi do to make his dad, Jacob, to say what he did? It is told in Genesis chapter 34…

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife. And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give. Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife. And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister: And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us: But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised; Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son. And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised. Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us. And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city. And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?” (Genesis 34:1-31)

So what can we take away from this history of the Levites? It doesn’t matter what you have done, the LORD can still use you. So don’t be kicking yourself because of what you’ve done. Receive His forgiveness, and allow Him to use you as He sees fit. Remember you are His creation, and He died for your sins.

Peace.


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