Weekend Reading (May 22)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 95 & 97-99 NKJV

Psalm 95

A Call to Worship and Obedience

95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
[a]In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep [b]of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the [c]rebellion,
As in the day of [d]trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was [e]grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 95:4 In His possession
  2. Psalm 95:7 Under His care
  3. Psalm 95:8 Or Meribah, lit. Strife, Contention
  4. Psalm 95:8 Or Massah, lit. Trial, Testing
  5. Psalm 95:10 disgusted

Psalm 97-99

A Song of Praise to the Sovereign Lord

97 The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of [a]isles be glad!

Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.

Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.

10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks [b]at the remembrance of [c]His holy name.

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment

A Psalm.

98 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the [d]nations.
He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together
    before the Lord,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with [e]equity.

Praise to the Lord for His Holiness

99 The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be [f]moved!
The Lord is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the peoples.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
[g]He is holy.

The King’s strength also loves justice;
You have established equity;
You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool—
He is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;
They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar;
They kept His testimonies and the [h]ordinance He gave them.

You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For the Lord our God is holy.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 97:1 Or coastlands
  2. Psalm 97:12 Or for the memory
  3. Psalm 97:12 Or His holiness
  4. Psalm 98:2 Gentiles
  5. Psalm 98:9 uprightness
  6. Psalm 99:1 shaken
  7. Psalm 99:3 Or It
  8. Psalm 99:7 statute

God is working on it

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lordwho is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:2-4 NKJV

Didn’t we read this Psalm before? On April 19 – a month ago. Right?
What do you mean this isn’t a Psalm?! It is Psalm 18 – yes! And last time we spoke of it we also talked about how great and big and powerful and righteous and just (and sometimes angry) God can be. And how God has complex emotions, like we do. Today – we should dig in even deeper into the nature of God, described here in David’s psalm.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of 2 Samuel, chapters 22-23 and from the Book of Psalms, chapter 57 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

With the timing of current event – it is fitting that we circle back to this Psalm again a month after we read it the first time. But we are supposed to be reading the Bible chronologically and not reading this with Psalm 18 seems a bit out of order.  How did this happen at the beginning of David’s formal reign as king as well as happen at the end of David’s reign?

I think whoever designed the plan for reading through chronologically decided to use this powerful psalm as endcaps around David’s time as King.  All of the Psalms are highly debated as to when they were originally written and which hardship David had when with which Psalm – which time in a cave hiding was he hiding from Saul or hiding from his son? So they are just sprinkled in here in between reading about David’s life. And the timing all seemed to work out just fine and hopefully you aren’t too confused about the order of events. Basically we looked at David’s life in a big chunk, in order of the other events in the Bible – but his life wasn’t broken down in order and nicely organized.

As an end cap – and with the unrest in Israel – it is beautiful that God permitted it to be read today by people all over the world who are following the chronological plan. It is like God is reminding us all, in such a time as this, about how BIG and AWESOME He is. How good, solid and reliable he is. How amazing God’s precious ability to reach us when most of the time we are so manically ensnared by the cares of this world and/or what our fleshly eyes can see that we don’t see His sovereignty and mighty hand in motion – at work – doing what the word set out to do.

“But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” John 5:17 NLT

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NIV

God’s word says what will happen and be fulfilled in these days, this time in history – his word will be accomplished on earth. Accomplished in the world, in Israel, in our respective nations, in our respective homes – and in our lives personally. Because God is so big and so good, He can do all of that!!! That is why He never stops working!

We should pray that God’s Kingdom comes and that God’s will be done as Jesus taught us to pray. We should pray it over our own life personally and well as over this world. We should pray for the peace of Israel as we recently read in the Psalms that we should be praying and we should be praying for our own peace as well as peace for all who believe.

Side note: I know a few very chaotic people who always have something dramatic going on and are always caught up with some adrenaline filled whirlwind of what eventually turns out to be nothing.  Recently while helping a friend I have encountered and have to interact with one such person daily.  So as we speak of praying for peace – we should pray for peace that passes understanding for the peace of God (which is a mighty warrior able to guard hearts) to come fall upon them.  Chaos is a tool of the enemy and I knew to pray against it immediately however, God has more recently revealed to pray for peace. She runs at the mouth causing much of the drama. She speaks poorly of me behind my back. She needs peace. Peace that is powerful enough to hold her mouth shut. As we have studied before peace isn’t a sweet drugged out hippy concept. It guards, it protects, and it can shut mouths.  Peace is a powerful godly tool – we do not pray enough for it. So let’s correct that and pray down the peace!!!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 22-23, Psalms 57 NKJV

2 Samuel 22-23

Praise for God’s Deliverance

22 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. And he said:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn[a] of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

“When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness [b]made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.

“Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of [c]heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He [d]was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
13 From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

14 “The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 He sent out arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

17 “He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
20 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

21 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
25 Therefore the Lord has [e]recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to [f]my cleanness in His eyes.

26 “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
28 You will save the humble[g] people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.

29 “For You are my lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
30 For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
31 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

32 “For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 [h]God is my strength and power,
And He makes [i]my way perfect.
34 He makes [j]my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
35 He teaches my hands [k]to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
37 You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.

38 “I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have [l]subdued under me those who rose against me.
41 You have also [m]given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.
42 They looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trod them like dirt in the streets,
And I [n]spread them out.

44 “You have also delivered me from the [o]strivings of my people;
You have kept me as the head of the nations.
A people I have not known shall serve me.
45 The foreigners submit to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 The foreigners fade away,
And [p]come frightened from their hideouts.

47 “The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The Rock of my salvation!
48 It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
49 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.

51 He is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore.”

David’s Last Words

23 Now these are the last words of David.

Thus says David the son of Jesse;
Thus says the man raised up on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel:

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
‘He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God.
And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’

“Although my house is not so with God,
Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
Ordered in all things and secure.
For this is all my salvation and all my desire;
Will He not make it increase?
But the sons of rebellion shall all be as thorns thrust away,
Because they cannot be taken with hands.
But the man who touches them
Must be [q]armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And they shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.”

David’s Mighty Men

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: [r]Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among [s]the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of [t]Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder. 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it.

These things were done by the three mighty men.

18 Now Abishai the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of [u]another three. He lifted his spear against three hundred men, killed them, and won a name among these three. 19 Was he not the most honored of three? Therefore he became their captain. However, he did not attain to the first three.

20 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, [v]who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, [w]a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.

24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah (the Netophathite), Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the brooks of Gaash, 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite (of the sons of Jashen), Jonathan, 33 Shammah the [x]Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 [y]Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (armorbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah), 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 and Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 22:3 Strength
  2. 2 Samuel 22:5 Or overwhelmed
  3. 2 Samuel 22:8 So with MT, LXX, Tg.; Syr., Vg. hills (cf. Ps. 18:7)
  4. 2 Samuel 22:11 So with MT, LXX; many Heb. mss., Syr., Vg. flew (cf. Ps. 18:10); Tg. spoke with power
  5. 2 Samuel 22:25 rewarded
  6. 2 Samuel 22:25 LXX, Syr., Vg. the cleanness of my hands in His sight (cf. Ps. 18:24); Tg. my cleanness before His word
  7. 2 Samuel 22:28 afflicted
  8. 2 Samuel 22:33 DSS, LXX, Syr., Vg. It is God who arms me with strength (cf. Ps. 18:32); Tg. It is God who sustains me with strength
  9. 2 Samuel 22:33 So with Qr., LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:32); Kt. His
  10. 2 Samuel 22:34 So with Qr., LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:33); Kt. His
  11. 2 Samuel 22:35 Lit. for the war
  12. 2 Samuel 22:40 Lit. caused to bow down
  13. 2 Samuel 22:41 given me victory over
  14. 2 Samuel 22:43 scattered
  15. 2 Samuel 22:44 contentions
  16. 2 Samuel 22:46 So with LXX, Tg., Vg. (cf. Ps. 18:45); MT gird themselves
  17. 2 Samuel 23:7 Lit. filled
  18. 2 Samuel 23:8 Lit. One Who Sits in the Seat (1 Chr. 11:11)
  19. 2 Samuel 23:8 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. the three
  20. 2 Samuel 23:9 Dodai, 1 Chr. 27:4
  21. 2 Samuel 23:18 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; some Heb. mss., Syr. thirty; Tg. the mighty men
  22. 2 Samuel 23:20 Lit. great of acts
  23. 2 Samuel 23:21 Lit. a man of appearance
  24. 2 Samuel 23:33 Or Ararite
  25. 2 Samuel 23:35 Hezro, 1 Chr. 11:37

Psalms 57

Prayer for Safety from Enemies
To the Chief Musician. Set to [a]“Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.

57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.

I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who [b]would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.

My soul is among lions;
I lie among the sons of men
Who are set on fire,
Whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And their tongue a sharp sword.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down;
They have dug a pit before me;
Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the [c]nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 57:1 Heb. Al Tashcheth
  2. Psalm 57:3 snaps at or hounds me, or crushes me
  3. Psalm 57:9 Gentiles

I am Hungry

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” Psalms 42:1-3 NKJV

Today’s reading includes some of my favorite Psalms and I would LOVE to share a week long line by line study of each of them in relation to current events and modern Christianity. I love these psalms so much a read them again, quickly a second time! From guidance, to repentance and restoration, to blessings to catching a fire for God through hunger and thirst – today, covers all the bases and you WILL find yourself in here somewhere!! Because God is good and has a special nugget for each of us today!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the Book of Psalms, chapters 5, 38, and 41-42 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  Just looking at the titles of these Psalms we can instantly see a correlation with world current events and the need for these: A Prayer for Guidance, Prayer in Time of Chastening, The Blessing and Suffering of the Godly, and Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses.

The prayer for guidance is everything you need and expect – a prayer we should be praying regularly at such a time as this – or any time really.  We need to know and be inside the will of God!

The prayer in time of chastening is really more an VERY accurate description of when we foolishly sin and beat ourselves up over it and feel the separation from God – although, a tad more dramatic than my own life. But David’s emotions were deep and strong and he felt to the extreme with all feelings.  Knowing we are made in God’s image, it is nice to know God has these same extremes and strong emotions and feelings! God is distressed when we sin and are separated from Him – probably MORE than we understand and know to be distressed about it. God forbid we continue in sin that grace shall abound!!

The Blessing and Suffering of the Godly – Although I have never heard a sermon or seen any study guide attach this Psalm to the beatitudes, every time I read it I can’t help but think of Matthew 5:3-12. This Psalm sums it up with blessed are those who are poor, consider the poor are merciful, need mercy, and with broad strokes covers all the “blessed”s. And all of this reminds me of my studies of Deuteronomy 28 – the Lord bless you and keep you…

I should write a book on all of these and their practical applications in our modern world.

“Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
“But
 woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6: 20-26 NKJV

I will let you extrapolate from all these blessing and curses. 

But I do want to point out the blessed are you who hunger: Fasting can make you hungry. Food insecurities can make you hungry. And then there is a spiritual hunger. Let’s look at spiritual hunger. Are you hungry for more of God!?!

The final Psalm today describes a desperate hunger and thirst for God – almost insatiable.  I pray that the Lord keep me hungry, wanting more and consuming as much as I can get and STILL wanting more!!! Lord, make me hungry – even hungrier for you!!!! I pray that you who read this catch that hunger for truth, revelation and a real relationship with God, if you aren’t already hungry.  That we want God’s presence all any cost – and it will cost and there will be sacrifice and suffering. But only insomuch as is required for His glory! So do not fear the sacrifice and suffering – long for the love, providence and blessings!

Stay hungry my brothers and sisters – stay hungry for our Lord!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 5, 38, and 41-42 NKJV

Psalm 5

A Prayer for Guidance
To the Chief Musician. With [a]flutes. A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my [b]meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil [c]dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward [d]Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

For there is no [e]faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You [f]defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 5:1 Heb. nehiloth
  2. Psalm 5:1 Lit. groaning
  3. Psalm 5:4 Lit. sojourn
  4. Psalm 5:7 Lit. the temple of Your holiness
  5. Psalm 5:9 uprightness
  6. Psalm 5:11 protect, lit. cover

Psalm 38

Prayer in Time of Chastening
A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.

38 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.

There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.

I am [a]troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.

Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.

11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.

13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.

15 For [b]in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will [c]hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”

17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in [d]anguish over my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;
And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also who render evil for good,
They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 38:6 Lit. bent down
  2. Psalm 38:15 I wait for You, O Lord
  3. Psalm 38:15 answer
  4. Psalm 38:18 anxiety

Psalm 41-42

The Blessing and Suffering of the Godly
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

41 Blessed is he who considers the [a]poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will [b]sustain him on his sickbed.

I said, “Lord, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
My enemies speak evil of me:
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
And if he comes to see me, he speaks [c]lies;
His heart gathers iniquity to itself;
When he goes out, he tells it.

All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they [d]devise my hurt.
“An[e] evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has [f]lifted up his heel against me.

10 But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever.

13 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses
To the Chief Musician. A [g]Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

42 As the deer [h]pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and [i]appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Why are you [j]cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
[k]For the help of His countenance.

[l]O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From [m]the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a [n]breaking of my bones,
My enemies [o]reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The [p]help of my countenance and my God.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 41:1 helpless or powerless
  2. Psalm 41:3 restore
  3. Psalm 41:6 empty words
  4. Psalm 41:7 plot
  5. Psalm 41:8 Lit. A thing of Belial
  6. Psalm 41:9 Acted as a traitor
  7. Psalm 42:1 Heb. Maschil
  8. Psalm 42:1 Lit. longs for
  9. Psalm 42:2 So with MT, Vg.; some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Tg. I see the face of God
  10. Psalm 42:5 Lit. bowed down
  11. Psalm 42:5 So with MT, Tg.; a few Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. The help of my countenance, my God
  12. Psalm 42:6 So with MT, Tg.; a few Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. put my God at the end of v. 5
  13. Psalm 42:6 Or Mount
  14. Psalm 42:10 Lit. shattering
  15. Psalm 42:10 revile
  16. Psalm 42:11 Lit. salvation

Deliver Me!

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” Psalms 91:14 NKJV

Deliverance is on my mind, lately. I know what it means to me personally – but I am thinking on the greater meaning and the broader understanding of this theme.  Today seems like the perfect day to broadly discuss it. Many times Christians think of the Addict as soon as the word Deliverance is spoken.  I have been delivered from the chains of addiction – It is truth. HOWEVER, here in this Psalm, God is delivering those who already know Him! This glorious deliverance is what we should be thinking about (as well).

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of 2 Samuel, chapters 19-21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  David needs a deliverance from mourning and restoration of His kingdom. Friends and foes need deliverances, cities need deliverances, everyone needs some sort of deliverance. Sheba, Amasa, and Saul’s sons did not receive deliverance in a healing way – they were delivered to death.

Deliverance came in restoration, in freedom, in a resolution. David concubines were delivered from the dangers and evils of man, but their deliverance put them away and they lived as widows – deliverance doesn’t magically release us from consequences. It really makes you think about the definition.

Moreover, it makes you think about how everyone in today’s reading needed some sort of resolve – solution and outcome – they all had something to be delivered from or to.

Have you ever gotten so caught up in worship – and you think: oh God even if you gave me nothing I would still want you – I just want to give myself to you and take nothing – you owe me nothing!!!
It is arrogant to deny who we are – humans are NOT that noble or selfless. The Bible shows us a mirror to who we are and over and over we see – we are NOT so noble. We are liars and arrogant. We are self-righteous and think more highly of ourselves than we should. If we were to be raw and honest – we are desperately needy, broken, messy and helpless!

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17 ESV    

And if we are honest and humble – we are all sick and need The Physician. We all have something we need to be delivered from; maybe it’s an illness or ailment, maybe a bondage to a sin, maybe a bad habit, maybe a self-destructive thought that prevents us from getting raw with God. Maybe an actual evil person or situation.

Jesus came to save us – save us from sin and death – but also save us from ourselves and save us from these things which we need deliverance from.  Jesus says He leads us into a relationship with God through grace when we believe and repent. And above in Psalm 91 – God promises deliverance to all who know Him. And In the New Testament it is further explained that Jesus as the bridge to God is designed to bring even more glory to God – as God can then glory in the Son!

And as we get to know God we begin to long to see Him glorified in us as well as in the Son.  This means, people see God’s love and what He can do in me and asks – how do I get this in my life.
And that I live in such a way that Jesus is lifted up (and when we lift Jesus up, all men are drawn to Him) – so that God in glorified in the Son in this way and Jesus can lead people to God. He is still alive and still drawing people to God.

And it all begins with a little humble honesty – that if you already have a relationship with God or not, we are all a little needy and we need God to deliver us!  

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 19-21 NKJV

David Returns to Jerusalem

19 And Joab was told, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people. For the people heard it said that day, “The king is grieved for his son.” And the people [a]stole back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. But the king covered his face, and the king cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you [b]regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well. Now therefore, arise, go out and speak [c]comfort to your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.” Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, “There is the king, sitting in the gate.” So all the people came before the king.

For everyone of Israel had fled to his tent.

David Returns to Jerusalem

Now all the people were in a dispute throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king saved us from the hand of our enemies, he delivered us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled from the land because of Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now therefore, why do you say nothing about bringing back the king?”

11 So King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the words of all Israel have come to the king, to his very house? 12 You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh. Why then are you the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you are not commander of the army before me [d]continually in place of Joab.’ ” 14 So he swayed the hearts of all the men of Judah, just as the heart of one man, so that they sent this word to the king: “Return, you and all your servants!”

15 Then the king returned and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to escort the king across the Jordan. 16 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over the Jordan before the king. 18 Then a ferryboat went across to carry over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good.

David’s Mercy to Shimei

Now Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king when he had crossed the Jordan. 19 Then he said to the king, “Do not let my lord [e]impute iniquity to me, or remember what wrong your servant did on the day that my lord the king left Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart. 20 For I, your servant, know that I have sinned. Therefore here I am, the first to come today of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”

21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”

22 And David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be adversaries to me today? Shall any man be put to death today in Israel? For do I not know that today I am king over Israel?” 23 Therefore the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king swore to him.

David and Mephibosheth Meet

24 Now Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace. 25 So it was, when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?”

26 And he answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me. For your servant said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go to the king,’ because your servant is lame. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king, but my lord the king is like the angel of God. Therefore do what is good in your eyes. 28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king. Yet you set your servant among those who eat at your own table. Therefore what right have I still to [f]cry out anymore to the king?”

29 So the king said to him, “Why do you speak anymore of your matters? I have said, ‘You and Ziba divide the land.’ ”

30 Then Mephibosheth said to the king, “Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house.”

David’s Kindness to Barzillai

31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and went across the Jordan with the king, to escort him across the Jordan. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. And he had provided the king with supplies while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very rich man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come across with me, and I will provide for you while you are with me in Jerusalem.”

34 But Barzillai said to the king, “How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 am today eighty years old. Can I discern between the good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any longer the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be a further burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant will go a little way across the Jordan with the king. And why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good to you.”

38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you. Now whatever you request of me, I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people went over the Jordan. And when the king had crossed over, the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own place.

The Quarrel About the King

40 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and [g]Chimham went on with him. And all the people of Judah escorted the king, and also half the people of Israel. 41 Just then all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, “Why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen you away and brought the king, his household, and all David’s men with him across the Jordan?”

42 So all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative of ours. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we ever eaten at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?”

43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, “We have ten shares in the king; therefore we also have more right to David than you. Why then do you despise us—were we not the first to advise bringing back our king?”

Yet the words of the men of Judah were [h]fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

The Rebellion of Sheba

20 And there happened to be there a [i]rebel, whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite. And he blew a trumpet, and said:

“We have no share in David,
Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse;
Every man to his tents, O Israel!”

So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king.

Now David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten women, his concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in seclusion and supported them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.

And the king said to Amasa, “Assemble the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him. And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he find for himself fortified cities, and escape us.” So Joab’s men, with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the mighty men, went out after him. And they went out of Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the large stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came before them. Now Joab was dressed in battle armor; on it was a belt with a sword fastened in its sheath at his hips; and as he was going forward, it fell out. Then Joab said to Amasa, “Are you in health, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab’s hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground; and he did not strike him again. Thus he died.

Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Meanwhile one of Joab’s men stood near Amasa, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David—follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa wallowed in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he moved Amasa from the highway to the field and threw a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came upon him halted. 13 When he was removed from the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maachah and all the Berites. So they were gathered together and also went after [j]Sheba15 Then they came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maachah; and they cast up a siege mound against the city, and it stood by the rampart. And all the people who were with Joab battered the wall to throw it down.

16 Then a wise woman cried out from the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come nearby, that I may speak with you.’ ” 17 When he had come near to her, the woman said, “Are you Joab?”

He answered, “I am.

Then she said to him, “Hear the words of your maidservant.”

And he answered, “I am listening.”

18 So she spoke, saying, “They used to talk in former times, saying, ‘They shall surely seek guidance at Abel,’ and so they would end disputes. 19 am among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of the Lord?”

20 And Joab answered and said, “Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not so. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against the king, against David. Deliver him only, and I will depart from the city.”

So the woman said to Joab, “Watch, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. Then he blew a trumpet, and they withdrew from the city, every man to his tent. So Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.

David’s Government Officers

23 And Joab was over all the army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 Adoram was in charge of revenue; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was scribe; Zadok and Abiathar were the priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was [k]a chief minister under David.

David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, “It is because of Saul and his [l]bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.

Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?”

And the Gibeonites said to him, “We will have no silver or gold from Saul or from his house, nor shall you kill any man in Israel for us.”

So he said, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.”

Then they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel, let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord chose.”

And the king said, “I will give them.

But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of [m]Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she [n]brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the Lord. So they fell, all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

10 Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven. And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night.

11 And David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 Then David went and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son, from the men of Jabesh Gilead who had stolen them from the street of [o]Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them up, after the Philistines had struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there; and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father. So they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded the prayer for the land.

Philistine Giants Destroyed

15 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of [p]the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.”

18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed [q]Saph, who was one of the sons of [r]the giant. 19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of [s]Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

20 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to [t]the giant. 21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of [u]Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

22 These four were born to [v]the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 19:3 went by stealth
  2. 2 Samuel 19:6 have no respect for
  3. 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit. to the heart of
  4. 2 Samuel 19:13 permanently
  5. 2 Samuel 19:19 charge me with iniquity
  6. 2 Samuel 19:28 complain
  7. 2 Samuel 19:40 MT Chimhan
  8. 2 Samuel 19:43 harsher
  9. 2 Samuel 20:1 Lit. man of Belial
  10. 2 Samuel 20:14 Lit. him
  11. 2 Samuel 20:26 Or David’s priest
  12. 2 Samuel 21:1 Lit. house of bloodshed
  13. 2 Samuel 21:8 Merab, 1 Sam. 18:1925:442 Sam. 3:146:23
  14. 2 Samuel 21:8 Lit. bore to Adriel
  15. 2 Samuel 21:12 Beth Shean, Josh. 17:11
  16. 2 Samuel 21:16 Or Rapha
  17. 2 Samuel 21:18 Sippai, 1 Chr. 20:4
  18. 2 Samuel 21:18 Or Rapha
  19. 2 Samuel 21:19 Jair, 1 Chr. 20:5
  20. 2 Samuel 21:20 Or Rapha
  21. 2 Samuel 21:21 Shammah, 1 Sam. 16:9 and elsewhere
  22. 2 Samuel 21:22 Or Rapha

David’s Prayers through Hard Times

“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah Psalms 61:1-4 NKJV

Today we are reading the Psalms that we believe David wrote while he was fleeing from His son and all the events we read about yesterday. These prayers of David are incredible examples for us and prayers we can pray – making them our own! Yesterday I was looking at David’s struggle through the eyes of my own testimony and my own struggles or sufferings. Today – I think of the prayers and the cried out of Jerusalem for God’s protection as the shelter under his wing which they now call and iron dome.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the Book of Psalms, chapters 26, 40, 58, 61-62 and 64 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

They call God’s wing an iron dome and possibly forget that it IS the wing of the Lord. Sometime we forget our place and lose perspective. Sometimes we think we are humble but we are not. Sometime we think we are worthy of vindication cause we are blameless – while our New Testament clearly says there is none blameless (excluding Christ living in the flesh from the equation)! There is no one, but that the blood of the lamp washes us and makes us appear that way before our Father. Here, let us NOT take it for granted.

How many times have I felt this world has wronged me? It had. No doubt. I have prayed that the Lord vindicate me, for my own peace as well as for His glory!
BUT – Have I walked in true integrity?  I have walked in the intention of integrity, I have trusted in the Lord. If I am examined – what will God find?
Israel, the Modern Nation, needs God’s vindication, for their peace and for His glory! But they have walked away – if God exams them, He will not find consistent righteousness among the people.
And you?
Let’s examine our self in Psalm 26 – when you read it – prayerfully go line by line and pray for your cleansing – so you may, today and for a moment – be clean. We can confess our sins, ask for forgiveness and turn away from doing them – we can be made righteous – not of our merit – but through God’s gift.

Is it important for our vindication that we have walked proven and true?  Isn’t the author of this, the very same David, who took Bethsheba and murdered her husband? Didn’t David have a few repeat problems with sin?! Is it important for our healing our deliverance or even our relationship with God?

David is the man described twice in the Bible as “after God’s own heart”.  I think we can trust his advice on worship, praise and prayer – which is what Psalms are.  If David, by the blood of an actual lamb could be clean enough to say, search me oh God and see I am clean! Then there is therefore now no condemnation for his sins against Bethsheba or any of his other failings!

How much more then am I made whole under the blood of Christ?

Vindicate me, oh Lord!!! For your glory!

It is this redemption that permits us to have a relationship with God. If we continue in sin we are separated from God and do not have a relationship with Him. I do not know what lie you believe or who you are talking with – but I cannot be the Holy One of Israel. Sin cannot be in the presence of our King! So whatever you have learned in those time of assumed prayer – may need to be torn down by the Great I AM.

And how good it is to be able to go to the Father submerged in grace and have a personal relationship – be able to get to know Him – it really is so good!  But like David, you must first be cleaned.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62 and 64 NKJV

Psalm 26

A Prayer for Divine Scrutiny and Redemption
A Psalm of David.

26 Vindicate me, O Lord,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the Lord;
I shall not slip.
Examine me, O Lord, and [a]prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.

I will wash my hands in innocence;
So I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place [b]where Your glory dwells.

Do[c] not gather my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity;
Redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 26:2 test me
  2. Psalm 26:8 Lit. of the tabernacle of Your glory
  3. Psalm 26:9 Do not take away

Psalm 40

Faith Persevering in Trial
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”

I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my [a]life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”

16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 40:14 Lit. soul

Psalm 58

The Just Judgment of the Wicked
To the Chief Musician. Set to [a]“Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David.

58 Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones?
Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?
No, in heart you work wickedness;
You weigh out the violence of your hands in the earth.

The wicked are estranged from the womb;
They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent;
They are like the deaf cobra that stops its ear,
Which will not heed the voice of charmers,
Charming ever so skillfully.

Break[b] their teeth in their mouth, O God!
Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them flow away as waters which run continually;
When he bends his bow,
Let his arrows be as if cut in pieces.
Let them be like a snail which melts away as it goes,
Like a stillborn child of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

Before your pots can feel the burning thorns,
He shall take them away as with a whirlwind,
As in His living and burning wrath.
10 The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked,
11 So that men will say,
“Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
Surely He is God who judges in the earth.”

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 58:1 Heb. Al Tashcheth
  2. Psalm 58:6 Break away

Psalm 61-62

Assurance of God’s Eternal Protection
To the Chief Musician. On [a]a stringed instrument. A Psalm of David.

61 Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your [b]tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

For You, O God, have heard my vows;
You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.
You will prolong the king’s life,
His years as many generations.
He shall abide before God forever.
Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may [c]preserve him!

So I will sing praise to Your name forever,
That I may daily perform my vows.

A Calm Resolve to Wait for the Salvation of God
To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62 Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my [d]defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.[e]

How long will you attack a man?
You shall be slain, all of you,
Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence.
They only consult to cast him down from his high position;
They delight in lies;
They bless with their mouth,
But they curse inwardly. Selah

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my [f]expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be [g]moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

Surely men of low degree are [h]a vapor,
Men of high degree are a lie;
If they are weighed on the scales,
They are altogether lighter than vapor.
10 Do not trust in oppression,
Nor vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase,
Do not set your heart on them.

11 God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God.
12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;
For You [i]render to each one according to his work.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 61:1 Heb. neginah
  2. Psalm 61:4 tent
  3. Psalm 61:7 Lit. guard or keep
  4. Psalm 62:2 strong tower
  5. Psalm 62:2 shaken
  6. Psalm 62:5 hope
  7. Psalm 62:6 shaken
  8. Psalm 62:9 vanity
  9. Psalm 62:12 reward

Psalm 64

Oppressed by the Wicked but Rejoicing in the Lord
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my [a]meditation;
Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
Who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words,
That they may shoot in secret at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.

They encourage themselves in an evil matter;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, “Who will see them?”
They devise iniquities:
“We have perfected a shrewd scheme.”
Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep.

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow;
Suddenly they shall be wounded.
So He will make them stumble over their own tongue;
All who see them shall flee away.
All men shall fear,
And shall declare the work of God;
For they shall wisely consider His doing.

10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him.
And all the upright in heart shall glory.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 64:1 complaint

Mourning Before the Restoration

“Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33 NKJV

WOW! What happened this weekend with these readings?! All was going well – then BOOM! Sudden turn around! Like the year 2020 hit poor David in the face! When we look at it this way, suddenly we can all relate a little better.  But maybe there is a better way to related and understand all the things happening here? I mean, David’s son is dead?! So much happened!!  But our God is a redeeming God, a resurrecting God and restoring God – here is David, in the mourning before the restoration. I am as well, moments away from the promise land!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of 2 Samuel, chapters 16-18 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  In it, we see David flee for his life, we see a son’s rebellion rise up and turn against his father, against King David. We see David’s good friend and advisor also turn on him! It feels like NO ONE except GOD is still on David’s side.

In the end, David’s son learned the hard way that the wages of sin is death – David won the victory without any rejoicing, but still humbly giving God the glory as God mourns with David.

Once upon a time, I laid on my living room floor wallowing in the despair of the consequences of my sins. And in that moment, God reached out to me. I was raised in the church and I know God when I hear Him. I literally said, “you again?” He did not respond. He was just there with open arms ready to hug His prodigal daughter.

But I am a feisty one – so I said: “I know you are the only way. I know only you can fix this mess I made. I know only you can heal all these hurting people around me. I know only you can deliver me.  Will you?”

He was typically silent. Just waiting for me to surrender.

I continued: “Your word says you will deliver me! Your word says you will heal me! You said it!! Tell me, will you?!?! Because I NEED a living God! I need a REAL God! Not a make sure I feel “nice” on Sunday God! I need real change I need demons cast out and chain broken! I need all the things you promised me when I was a child!!! Are you there! Are you still alive?! Are you ready?!”

Still no answer. He had no need to answer.

Finally I said: “You know I believe – I am ready. I have lost everything and there is nothing left. I give up. I am yours.”

Immediately, nothing changed. I had lost my daughter, we was not going to resurrect. I lost her father to another woman. My house was being threatened, my job was being threatened, I had a lady literally cursing me and trying to manipulate the world around me and sabotage me. I had my friends and family turning against me. So I turned to the stories of David, because if anyone in the Bible knows about your world falling apart and struggling with sin it is David!

I fell head over heels in love with my creator! I had a life changing experience with grace! I am transformed and redeemed. This is the spirit man – who has died, surrendered all, keeps her eyes on God so I cannot see the cares and worries – I was delivered from addictions, curses were broken, stronghold fell down. This is all in the spirit.

But what became of the flesh? I slowly heal from the loss of my baby. I do not have a relationship with her daddy. A spiritual Battle, Covid and a prodigal adult child caused hundreds of dollars of damage to the house and a couple good wind storms and a terrible home owner’s insurance policy caused thousands of dollars in damage to the outside.  I lost my job and unemployment insurance was delayed so I went 2 months without a penny of money coming in. I have lost most of my friends. I have been separated from most of my family by demonic offenses arising in their imaginations. My own sister tried to hook up with my ex for no other reason than to cause trouble. My son moved out. And in the flesh – things actually got worse. Like reading this story of David where life is actually worse running from His son than running from Saul.

But David says of the man that cursed him – to let him curse because it is of God and for God’s glory. And David said, no one harm my son because God will figure this whole thing out. And like David – I have given all these things to God and I keep my eyes on the provider and not the provisions. God tore down everything – but my foundation was corrupt and He needed to rebuild from the beginning! DO NOT LOOK AT THE FLESH!!! You are missing what GOD HAS DONE!

I am transformed! I am redeemed! I have pressed into the dark, humbling unknown and demons fled! I was set free!!  And people look at the flesh and say, “Do you realize the grace of God has got you this far?” and I am stunned. DO I REALIZE?! HELLO – I LIVE BY GRACE AND FAITH! I live under mercy! I may be in a cave and you cannot see the beautiful psalms coming out in the midnight hours! But it is for God – I am worship unto Him.

God lead me to my current church which was my home church and told me they were about to wake up and this was where He was going to restore me – remember all those promises God gave me when I was a child (the Mark 16:17-18 promises).  No one sees me. They judge me as a newly returned prodigal and my heart breaks that they do not see and glorify God for what He has done. God I believe. But they are not awake or ready yet.  I walk in the spirit and I see the dark monster on one sister, I see addiction chained to another. I see a black monkey on a brother’s back. I see the 3 women in cloaks. I see the unforgiveness eating at a brother’s neurological system.  I see the spirit angry that I have returned home to clean and manifesting as illness – like the drooling one in the balcony.  I beg God – let me cast them out. No, not yet. What about the island principality which should not even be in this part of the world and is destroying peace and health in one family, let me command that chain be broken and it goes back to the nation where it belongs. Not yet, not yet!

As David needed the events in his life to play out – for things to get bad in the physical so God could turn them around for His glory!!! Because people do no walk in the spirit as we are told to. No. they walk and see in the physical. I have not yet been restored in the physical. It doesn’t even matter to me as I do not live there.

Soon, David will be restored. Soon I will enter my promise land. Then, the man of the Lord with call me, anoint my head with oil and bless me. I do not have a father or husband – It is the job of the man of the Lord. I have been released to write of my experience and write my studies. But I am not released to lay hands of people and let the spirit of God move through me into them. I have done it, I shouldn’t – it isn’t time yet.

Anyway, while you read how David’s life fell apart again, how my life isn’t put back together – how when David and I both gave our all to God – He literally took it all.  Keep in mind the spirit world, where I am exceedingly abundantly bless with a growing ministry and business and spiritually closer to God than ever before and David’s psalms show of the same goodness of the Lord!!! God is good – stop looking at the physical. It has to be so God can put it back together the way he wants it!

Give God all the glory, because eyes have not seen nor ear heard of the goodness that is coming!!!! God’s not dead – He is alive and moving! He is doing a new thing! Behold it springs forth in the dessert! It is high time to wake up! Today is the day – now is the time of grace!!! I know in whom I believe AND HE IS ABLE! He IS able!

To those who have been with me for a long time, I know I repeat – I am like a broken record. But this wave is about to burst open here in my home town – they are being shook. Foundations of sand are crumbling. He is causing them to turn to him awake! It is time!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 16-18 NKJV

Mephibosheth’s Servant

16 When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “What do you mean to do with these?”

So Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who are faint in the wilderness to drink.”

Then the king said, “And where is your master’s son?”

And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’ ”

So the king said to Ziba, “Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.”

And Ziba said, “I humbly bow before you, that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king!”

Shimei Curses David

Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You [a]bloodthirsty man, you [b]rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a [c]bloodthirsty man!”

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!”

10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”

11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on [d]my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and [e]kicked up dust. 14 Now the king and all the people who were with him became weary; so they refreshed themselves there.

The Advice of Ahithophel

15 Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And so it was, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”

17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?”

18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, but whom the Lord and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.”

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give advice as to what we should do.”

21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

The Advice of Ahithophel and Hushai

17 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and make him [f]afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king. Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace.” And the saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

The Advice of Hushai

Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.”

So Hushai said to Absalom: “The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. For,” said Hushai, “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people. Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there.”

14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom.

Hushai Warns David to Escape

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have advised. 16 Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’ ” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David. 18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down into it. 19 Then the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”

So the woman said to them, “They have gone over the water brook.”

And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly. For thus has Ahithophel advised against you.” 22 So David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them was left who had not gone over the Jordan.

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he [g]put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.

24 Then David went to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. This Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [h]Jithra, an [i]Israelite, who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 Now it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the people of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds, 29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Absalom’s Defeat and Death

18 And David [j]numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. Then David sent out one third of the people under the hand of Joab, one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I also will surely go out with you myself.”

But the people answered, “You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us; nor if half of us die, will they care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us now. For you are now more help to us in the city.”

Then the king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. Now the king had commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains orders concerning Absalom.

So the people went out into the field of battle against Israel. And the battle was in the woods of Ephraim. The people of Israel were overthrown there before the servants of David, and a great slaughter of twenty thousand took place there that day. For the battle there was scattered over the face of the whole countryside, and the woods devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

Then Absalom met the servants of David. Absalom rode on a mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between heaven and earth. And the mule which was under him went on. 10 Now a certain man saw it and told Joab, and said, “I just saw Absalom hanging in a terebinth tree!”

11 So Joab said to the man who told him, “You just saw him! And why did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten shekels of silver and a belt.”

12 But the man said to Joab, “Though I were to receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son. For in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, [k]‘Beware lest anyone touch the young man Absalom!’ 13 Otherwise I would have dealt falsely against my own life. For there is nothing hidden from the king, and you yourself would have set yourself against me.

14 Then Joab said, “I cannot linger with you.” And he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom’s heart, while he was still alive in the midst of the terebinth tree. 15 And ten young men who bore Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom, and struck and killed him.

16 So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab held back the people. 17 And they took Absalom and cast him into a large pit in the woods, and laid a very large heap of stones over him. Then all Israel fled, everyone to his tent.

18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a [l]pillar for himself, which is in the King’s Valley. For he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name. And to this day it is called Absalom’s Monument.

David Hears of Absalom’s Death

19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the Lord has [m]avenged him of his enemies.”

20 And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed himself to Joab and ran.

22 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But [n]whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.”

So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?”

23 “But whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.”

So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted his eyes and looked, and there was a man, running alone. 25 Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he came rapidly and drew near.

26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “There is another man, running alone!”

And the king said, “He also brings news.”

27 So the watchman said, [o]“I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”

And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.”

28 So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, [p]“All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”

29 The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.

30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.

31 Just then the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the Lord has avenged you this day of all those who rose against you.”

32 And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

So the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”

David’s Mourning for Absalom

33 Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 16:7 Lit. man of bloodshed
  2. 2 Samuel 16:7 worthless man
  3. 2 Samuel 16:8 Lit. man of bloodshed
  4. 2 Samuel 16:12 So with Kt., LXX, Syr., Vg.; Qr. my eyes; Tg. tears of my eyes
  5. 2 Samuel 16:13 Lit. dusted him with dust
  6. 2 Samuel 17:2 tremble with fear
  7. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit. gave charge concerning his house
  8. 2 Samuel 17:25 Jether, 1 Chr. 2:17
  9. 2 Samuel 17:25 So with MT, some LXX mss., Tg.; some LXX mss. Ishmaelite (cf. 1 Chr. 2:17); Vg. of Jezrael
  10. 2 Samuel 18:1 Lit. attended to
  11. 2 Samuel 18:12 Vss. ‘Protect the young man Absalom for me!’
  12. 2 Samuel 18:18 monument
  13. 2 Samuel 18:19 vindicated
  14. 2 Samuel 18:22 Lit. be what may
  15. 2 Samuel 18:27 Lit. I see the running
  16. 2 Samuel 18:28 Peace be to you

Weekend Reading (May 16)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55 NKJV

Psalm 3-4

The Lord Helps His Troubled People

A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield [a]for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

The Safety of the Faithful

To the [b]Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
[c]Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the Lord has [d]set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

Be[e] angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 3:3 Lit. around
  2. Psalm 4:1 Choir Director
  3. Psalm 4:1 Be gracious to me
  4. Psalm 4:3 Many Heb. mss., LXX, Tg., Vg. made wonderful
  5. Psalm 4:4 Lit. Tremble or Be agitated

Psalm 12-13

Man’s Treachery and God’s Constancy

To the Chief Musician. On [a]an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David.

12 Help,[b] Lord, for the godly man ceases!
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and [c]a double heart they speak.

May the Lord [d]cut off all flattering lips,
And the tongue that speaks [e]proud things,
Who have said,
“With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own;
Who is lord over us?”

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”

The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
You shall keep them, O Lord,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.

The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

Trust in the Salvation of the Lord

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

13 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 12:1 Heb. sheminith
  2. Psalm 12:1 Save
  3. Psalm 12:2 An inconsistent mind
  4. Psalm 12:3 destroy
  5. Psalm 12:3 great

Psalm 28

Rejoicing in Answered Prayer

A Psalm of David.

28 To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock:
Do not be silent to me,
Lest, if You are silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications
When I cry to You,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

Do not [a]take me away with the wicked
And with the workers of iniquity,
Who speak peace to their neighbors,
But evil is in their hearts.
Give them according to their deeds,
And according to the wickedness of their endeavors;
Give them according to the work of their hands;
Render to them what they deserve.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord,
Nor the operation of His hands,
He shall destroy them
And not build them up.

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.

The Lord is [b]their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His [c]anointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 28:3 drag
  2. Psalm 28:8 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Syr., Vg. the strength of His people
  3. Psalm 28:8 Commissioned one, Heb. messiah

Psalm 55

Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends

To the Chief Musician. With [a]stringed instruments. A [b]Contemplation of David.

55 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and hear me;
I am[c] restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the oppression of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me,
And in wrath they hate me.

My heart is severely pained within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
Indeed, I would wander far off,
And remain in the wilderness. Selah
I would hasten my escape
From the windy storm and tempest.”

Destroy, O Lord, and divide their [d]tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it on its walls;
Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
11 Destruction is in its midst;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
13 But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.

15 Let death seize them;
Let them go down alive into [e]hell,
For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

16 As for me, I will call upon God,
And the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me.
19 God will hear, and afflict them,
Even He who abides from of old. Selah
Because they do not change,
Therefore they do not fear God.

20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him;
He has broken his [f]covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,
But war was in his heart;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be [g]moved.

23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days;
But I will trust in You.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 55:1 Heb. neginoth
  2. Psalm 55:1 Heb. Maschil
  3. Psalm 55:2 wander
  4. Psalm 55:9 speech, their counsel
  5. Psalm 55:15 Or Sheol
  6. Psalm 55:20 treaty
  7. Psalm 55:22 shaken

Weekend Reading (May 15)

Dear Heavenly Father, Please open my understanding as I read the Bible so that I may be able to know you better. Please help your word be planted in my mind, so I may recall it as needed. Bless me with wisdom and knowledge, please. In the name of Jesus we pray ~ amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 13-15 NKJV

Amnon and Tamar

13 After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Now Jonadab was a very crafty man. And he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, becoming thinner day after day? Will you not tell me?”

Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”

So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ” Then Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let Tamar my sister come and make a couple of cakes for me in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”

And David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Now go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. Then she took flour and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and placed them out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.” And they all went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them to Amnon her brother in the bedroom. 11 Now when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”

12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not [a]force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! 13 And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her [b]exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”

16 So she said to him, “No, indeed! This evil of sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me.”

But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant who attended him, and said, “Here! Put this woman out, away from me, and bolt the door behind her.” 18 Now she had on a robe of many colors, for the king’s virgin daughters wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.

19 Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly. 20 And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

21 But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

Absalom Murders Amnon

23 And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Then Absalom came to the king and said, “Kindly note, your servant has sheepshearers; please, let the king and his servants go with your servant.”

25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you.” Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and [c]valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on his mule and fled.

30 And it came to pass, while they were on the way, that news came to David, saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left!” 31 So the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, “Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead.”

Absalom Flees to Geshur

34 Then Absalom fled. And the young man who was keeping watch lifted his eyes and looked, and there, many people were coming from the road on the hillside behind [d]him. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is.” 36 So it was, as soon as he had finished speaking, that the king’s sons indeed came, and they lifted up their voice and wept. Also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly.

37 But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And [e]King David [f]longed to go to Absalom. For he had been comforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead.

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

14 So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was concerned about Absalom. And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead. Go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.

And when the woman of Tekoa [g]spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself, and said, “Help, O king!”

Then the king said to her, “What troubles you?”

And she answered, “Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead. Now your maidservant had two sons; and the two fought with each other in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other and killed him. And now the whole family has risen up against your maidservant, and they said, ‘Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may execute him for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also.’ So they would extinguish my ember that is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the earth.”

Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.”

And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, O king, let the [h]iniquity be on me and on my father’s house, and the king and his throne be guiltless.”

10 So the king said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you anymore.”

11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God, and do not permit the avenger of blood to destroy anymore, lest they destroy my son.”

And he said, “As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

12 Therefore the woman said, “Please, let your maidservant speak another word to my lord the king.”

And he said, “Say on.”

13 So the woman said: “Why then have you schemed such a thing against the people of God? For the king speaks this thing as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring his banished one home again. 14 For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not [i]expelled from Him. 15 Now therefore, I have come to speak of this thing to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. And your maidservant said, ‘I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his maidservant. 16 For the king will hear and deliver his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.’ 17 Your maidservant said, ‘The word of my lord the king will now be comforting; for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king in discerning good and evil. And may the Lord your God be with you.’ ”

18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide from me anything that I ask you.”

And the woman said, “Please, let my lord the king speak.”

19 So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman answered and said, “As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. For your servant Joab commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant. 20 To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth.”

21 And the king said to Joab, “All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Then Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and [j]thanked the king. And Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 And the king said, “Let him return to his own house, but do not let him see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house, but did not see the king’s face.

David Forgives Absalom

25 Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26 And when he cut the hair of his head—at the end of every year he cut it because it was heavy on him—when he cut it, he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels according to the king’s standard. 27 To Absalom were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman of beautiful appearance.

28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, but did not see the king’s face. 29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And when he sent again the second time, he would not come. 30 So he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom’s house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom answered Joab, “Look, I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” ’ Now therefore, let me see the king’s face; but if there is iniquity in me, let him execute me.”

33 So Joab went to the king and told him. And when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.

Absalom’s Treason

15 After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit[k] came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would say, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your [l]case is good and right; but there is no [m]deputy of the king to hear you.” Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.” And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Now it came to pass after [n]forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I made to the Lord. For your servant took a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the Lord indeed brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’ ”

And the king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron.

10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’ ” 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything. 12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city—from Giloh—while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are [o]with Absalom.”

14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.” 16 Then the king went out with all his household after him. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts. 18 Then all his servants passed [p]before him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.

19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place. 20 In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”

21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”

22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over. 23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.

24 There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. 26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer?[q] Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.

30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up. 31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”

32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God—there was Hushai the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”

37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 13:12 Lit. humble me
  2. 2 Samuel 13:15 with a very great hatred
  3. 2 Samuel 13:28 Lit. sons of valor
  4. 2 Samuel 13:34 LXX adds And the watchman went and told the king, and said, “I see men from the way of Horonaim, from the regions of the mountains.”
  5. 2 Samuel 13:39 So with MT, Syr., Vg.; LXX the spirit of the king; Tg. the soul of King David
  6. 2 Samuel 13:39 So with MT, Tg.; LXX, Vg. ceased to pursue after
  7. 2 Samuel 14:4 Many Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. came
  8. 2 Samuel 14:9 guilt
  9. 2 Samuel 14:14 cast out
  10. 2 Samuel 14:22 Lit. blessed
  11. 2 Samuel 15:2 Lit. controversy
  12. 2 Samuel 15:3 Lit. words
  13. 2 Samuel 15:3 Lit. listener
  14. 2 Samuel 15:7 LXX mss., Syr., Josephus four
  15. 2 Samuel 15:13 Lit. after
  16. 2 Samuel 15:18 Lit. by his hand
  17. 2 Samuel 15:27 prophet

So Good to be Forgiven!

“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Psalms 32:10-11 NKJV

Mercy! Oh how we need mercy!!! And forgiveness is mercy – then we should ask for more because we need mercy to just stay alive! Mercy on Israel, please Lord! Mercy on us, please Lord!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Psalms, chapter 32, 51, 86, and 122 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  It is believed that a couple of these Psalms, David wrote when he was repenting from the sins we read (yesterday) about him committing.

David knew that humility is the answer to almost everything! God is a great, and terrifying, sovereign being – but He is also our Daddy.  God could have struck David DEAD with lightening and we all would have read the Bible and said, That God was right and David got what he deserved – BUT THE GRACE of it all is that God forgave David.

Just like when we sin and feel separated from God, David describes the same feeling. He then humbles himself so he can enter the Lords presence again.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5 KJV

Thankfulness comes from being humbled by someone’s goodness or grace towards you. To enter we must get low!!!! The secret passage way is low!!
This world IS on fire and crumbling… get low, like they teach you in survival classes!!! Get low and you will see Jesus is the only way – He is the door of this secret passage – go through Him!!! Enter the gates with Thanksgiving!!!
As we read here in today’s reading – something happens as we enter… we automatically stand up on the other side and begin to praise!!!! It is at this point – having been forgiven, humbled and then entered that you can now COME BOLDLY!!!

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

Boldly with our petitions!! First have mercy and save Israel! Next have mercy and save our nations! Have mercy and send laborers into the harvest and bless the ones already going! Have mercy, please Lord on humanity!

Mercy.

It is the word that has appeared every day this week. It is the word that Israel needs right now. It is the word I need and you need.  And we don’t have it because we have not asked for it! Yes, God knows, but…

God knew King David sinned, and even though he was a king, and even though God knew, he had to confess – he had to admit it and ask forgiveness.
God knew King David needed mercy, and even though God knew, David prayed for it – boldly asking and begging for it. Yes, even though David had faith and KNEW without doubt that God would forgive him – He still had to ask for mercy!

“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NKJV

Lord, open understanding!

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13 NKJV

It is time to boldly ask for mercy out of a humble heart!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms, chapter 32, 51, 86, and 122 NKJV

Psalm 32

The Joy of Forgiveness
A Psalm of David. A [a]Contemplation.

32 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not [b]impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 32:1 Heb. Maschil
  2. Psalm 32:2 charge his account with

Psalm 51

A Prayer of Repentance
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just [a]when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 51:4 LXX, Tg., Vg. in Your words

Psalm 86

Prayer for Mercy, with Meditation on the Excellencies of the Lord
A Prayer of David.

86 Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my [a]life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
[b]Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
[c]Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
13 For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of [d]Sheol.

14 O God, the proud have risen against me,
And a mob of violent men have sought my life,
And have not set You before them.
15 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious,
Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.

16 Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 86:2 Lit. soul
  2. Psalm 86:4 Make glad
  3. Psalm 86:11 Give me singleness of heart
  4. Psalm 86:13 The abode of the dead

Psalm 122

The Joy of Going to the House of the Lord
A Song of Ascents. Of David.

122 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the Lord,
[a]To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 122:4 Or As a testimony to

The Sure Mercies of David

And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” Acts 13:22 NKJV

I don’t know how you mind works, but in my mind, when I think about the valiant King David, I often think about how he was described as a man after God’s heart and I read his Psalms and enjoy the tender and intimate love David had for our father. And then my mind says, but he did very bad things.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from 2 Samuel 11-12 & 1 Chronicles 20 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  This is the story of David lusting and taking another man’s wife, getting her pregnant, trying to manipulate and when he fails, David has the husband murdered! Then David takes the other man’s wife as his own.

I look at David’s terrible choices and I think, at least I am not that bad! I have lusted – I think if we are honest, most of us have at some point in our lives (does any teenager make it through without a Hollywood crush type of lust?) I have tried to manipulate a situation to get out of trouble, it is human nature to try to hide it and fix it on our own – when this is the very reason we need a living God. So I think many of us have done this as well, to some degree.  I have never murdered or had someone murdered – not physically anyway. Maybe in anger with words I have cut to the quick and injured, maimed or possibly killed someone’s joy – oh God forbid and help me make it right – but it is possible. Maybe we aren’t much different than David after all.

When Paul and Barnabas were sent to preach to the gentiles, specifically in Antioch (sermon recorded in Acts 13), they told of the Old Testament story Abraham to David. They pause on David a moment then continued to Christ Jesus – leading to Jesus fulfilling the scriptures. And people’s hearts began to change.  They spoke of the miracles of Christ (these things can happen in our lives!) and they said:

“And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’” Acts 13:34 NKJV

The mercies of David. You know, after all David did – time and time again (because David struggled with sins they were not a one and done thing – read the Psalms and how David repented daily!)  David received this mercy because he understood getting humble and begging for forgiveness. David lives raw and open and honest before God and before us. Yes, God already knows, yet David tells him anyway! Yes, God is ready to forgive, wash with the blood of Christ, send sure mercies as He sent to David, but like David we have to ask for it.

There is NO sin so terrible God won’t forgive it.  There is no one – NO ONE – in the Bible or here on earth that will not find forgiveness, cleansing and freedom when they act like David and just talk to God and ask for it.

Jesus Christ is the Messiah and can forgive. His forgiveness is like the iron dome. He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, for our nations, for His Kingdom Come and especially for His children – for Israel.  He is the spiritual iron dome. His intercessions block attacks, provide and protect.   

The mercies of David – seems to be a beautiful way of saying GRACE. All of God’s favor on that man, for his humility and worship. It is time we get humble.
Maybe we need to be humble enough to deal with sin? Maybe we need to be humble enough to admit Jesus is the Messiah? Maybe we just need to be humble enough to get real with God – be honest with Him? Thankfully, anytime, anyplace we can get under that Grace like Israel is under the iron dome.

I recall in the 1980s, when Tel Aviv was under attack and my parent first explaining the iron dome and how it worked and how the flashes, like a fire ball in the sky that the camera men captured, were missiles being blown out of the air.  I remember thinking it was brilliant to defend against the weapons like this. I remember thinking God’s ways aren’t our ways and through this He is glorified.

Today, I watched news footage – bringing back those memories.  The dome still worked like the Psalmist says, under His wing!! No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Nothing shall by any means harm you.  All I can say is Glory to God!

Pray for Israel, pray for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – Pray for all of God’s children.  And if you are not yet a child of God, then let me tell you how you can build a relationship with God immediately:

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is a two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Please don’t let go of it, and don’t forget it – GOD IS GOOD! So good! So, so good!!! He does not change even if the world around us changes. God remains good!

BIBLE READING: 2 Samuel 11-12 & 1 Chronicles 20 NKJV

2 Samuel 11-12

David, Bathsheba, and Uriah

11 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not [a]Bathsheba, the daughter of [b]Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 So when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”

11 And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

12 Then David said to Uriah, “Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the [c]hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, 19 and charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling the matters of the war to the king, 20 if it happens that the king’s wrath rises, and he says to you: ‘Why did you approach so near to the city when you fought? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech the son of [d]Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’ ”

22 So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent by him. 23 And the messenger said to David, “Surely the men prevailed against us and came out to us in the field; then we drove them back as far as the entrance of the gate. 24 The archers shot from the wall at your servants; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.”

25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab: ‘Do not let this thing [e]displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and overthrow it.’ So encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased[f] the Lord.

Nathan’s Parable and David’s Confession

12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this [g]shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ”

13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.

The Death of David’s Son

And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”

19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”

And they said, “He is dead.”

20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether [h]the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

Solomon Is Born

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he[i] called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, 25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So [j]he called his name [k]Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

Rabbah Is Captured

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the people of Ammon, and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, and I have taken the city’s water supply. 28 Now therefore, gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called after my name.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. 30 Then he took their king’s crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David’s head. Also he brought out the [l]spoil of the city in great abundance. 31 And he brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, and made them cross over to the brick works. So he did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 11:3 Bathshua, 1 Chr. 3:5
  2. 2 Samuel 11:3 Ammiel, 1 Chr. 3:5
  3. 2 Samuel 11:15 fiercest
  4. 2 Samuel 11:21 Jerubbaal (Gideon), Judg. 6:32ff.
  5. 2 Samuel 11:25 Lit. be evil in your sight
  6. 2 Samuel 11:27 Lit. was evil in the eyes of
  7. 2 Samuel 12:5 deserves to die, lit. is a son of death
  8. 2 Samuel 12:22 Heb. mss., Syr. God
  9. 2 Samuel 12:24 So with Kt., LXX, Vg.; Qr., a few Heb. mss., Syr., Tg. she
  10. 2 Samuel 12:25 Qr., some Heb. mss., Syr., Tg. she
  11. 2 Samuel 12:25 Lit. Beloved of the Lord
  12. 2 Samuel 12:30 plunder

1 Chronicles 20

Rabbah Is Conquered

20 It happened [a]in the spring of the year, at the time kings go out to battle, that Joab led out the armed forces and ravaged the country of the people of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. And Joab defeated Rabbah and overthrew it. Then David took their king’s crown from his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it. And it was set on David’s head. Also he brought out the [b]spoil of the city in great abundance. And he brought out the people who were in it, and [c]put them to work with saws, with iron picks, and with axes. So David did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Philistine Giants Destroyed

Now it happened afterward that war broke out at [d]Gezer with the Philistines, at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite killed [e]Sippai, who was one of the sons of [f]the giant. And they were subdued.

Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of [g]Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to [h]the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of [i]Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Chronicles 20:1 Lit. at the return of the year
  2. 1 Chronicles 20:2 plunder
  3. 1 Chronicles 20:3 LXX cut them with
  4. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Gob, 2 Sam. 21:18
  5. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Saph, 2 Sam. 21:18
  6. 1 Chronicles 20:4 Or Raphah
  7. 1 Chronicles 20:5 Jaare-Oregim, 2 Sam. 21:19
  8. 1 Chronicles 20:6 Or Raphah
  9. 1 Chronicles 20:7 Shammah, 1 Sam. 16:9 or Shimeah, 2 Sam. 21:21