Category: 1st and 2nd Samuel-BibleTrekToday

Trek through 1st and 2nd Samuel

Leaving a legacy–last words!

Scripture reading for April 1: 2nd Samuel 21-24

These are the last words of David: ” The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel’s singer of songs:  “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.  The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me:  ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.’ (2nd Samuel 23:1-4)

David, the shepherd boy, anointed King by the Lord, speaks prophetically under the Spirit of the Lord.  His last words are inspired by the “Most High”, “God of Jacob”, “God of Israel” and “Rock of Israel”.  The Bible states that no prophet speaks on his own but is moved on by the Holy Spirit.  ( 2nd Peter 1:20-21)  After seventy years of walking with God, he writes not so much for himself, but for those who will follow him in the walk of faith.

David left a mighty legacy for us.  His Psalms are prophetic of the coming Messiah, his life, suffering and death!  As a young boy, he knew God as his own Shepherd.  Jesus Christ is the good Shepherd Who so cares for His sheep that He lays His own life down for them.  David knew God as the “Rock of Israel”!  That Rock was a firm place to stand in the trials that continually came to this man.  That Rock was a source of water and refreshment in a dry and weary land as David was being pursued by his enemies.  His Psalms flow with an anointing of truth and grace that make them easy reading for people from every age and generation.  His last words still speak to us and encourage us to press on to meet our great “High God”! 

Have you ever thought about what your ‘last words’ might be? What legacy would you like to leave for the next generations? What names might you ascribe to God in your walk of faith today?

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A Pardon from the King

Scripture Reading for March 30: 2nd Samuel 19-20

2 Samuel 19:18-20 “And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan, and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. For your servant knows that I have sinned.”

As David left the city when he fled from Absalom, Shimei yelled curses at him.   (2nd Samuel 16:5-8)    Although Abishai, a son of Zeruiah loyal to David, wanted to kill Shimei, David refused to do so.  David realized that his current situation was a result of his own sin. God had warned him that trouble would come to him from his own household.  (2nd Samuel 12:10-13)  Shimei’s curses were reminding David of his sin and of God’s promise.

After Absalom’s rebellion had been stopped by his untimely death, David was returning to Jerusalem as King over God’s people.  Shimei was one of the first to greet him.  He immediately fell at the King’s feet and asked for mercy, confessing his sin and taking responsibility. (2nd Samuel 19:16-20)  His humble attitude found a receptive heart in the King.  The sons of Zeruiah still wanted to get revenge and had to be rebuked again by the King.  (2nd Samuel 19:21-23)  The King granted a pardon to Shimei! He understood God’s mercy when he, himself, cried out to God for it.  (Psalm 51:1-2)

We can all identify with Shimei in that we have all sinned against the King of Heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ!  We have rebelled against Him and deserve punishment.  Our accuser, Satan, tries to condemn us to death.  But the Lord has mercy on those who humbly confess and call upon Him for pardon.  God forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness!  (1st John 1:9)   This is good news!  We can have a pardon from the King!  Honest confession and repentance will bring forgiveness and restoration.  Take the action needed today to deal with sins against God or man who is made in God’s image!  Psalm 51 is a great pattern.  Forgive yourself too!  We have a pardon from the King!

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Honor God and your father!

Scripture reading for March 29: 2nd Samuel 15-18

“Honor your father and your mother,  as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16

“This is what the Lord says; ‘out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you.  Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel'”.( 2nd Samuel 12:11-12)

God’s Word never returns void and the one who chooses to go against it does so to their peril.  King David disobeyed God’s command against adultery and although he was forgiven, he reaped what he had sown in his own household.  Absalom, a son of King David, chose to rebel against his own father and try to take the throne of Israel.  His story has a boastful beginning and a sad ending.

Absalom was a master politician.  He made all kinds of promises to win the hearts of the people.  His heart was plotting a take-over of his own father’s throne and he did it by flattery and empty promises.  (2nd Samuel 15:4-6) He secretly set himself up as king and secretly won over David’s trusted counselor, Ahithophel, who joined in the conspiracy.  He was a man full of pride and self-promotion who would do anything to gain power. Sounds like some of our politicians today!

Ahithophel advised Absalom to take his father’s concubines and sleep with them in front of all Israel.  This appealed to this rebel son and he willingly broke God’s commands and dishonored himself and his father, not to mention God!  In doing so, he fulfilled Nathan’s word to King David as his own father was confronted with his own sin of adultery!  (2nd Samuel 16:20-22) Absalom’s brief rebellion ended with his tragic death. 

Are you honoring God by obeying His commandments in the area of proper sexual conduct? Are you honoring your own father and mother and their example and instruction? Today is a day of mercy.

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How the mighty have fallen!

Scripture reading for March 28: 2nd Samuel 11-14

2 Samuel 11:2-4 “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him and he lay with her.”

In my years in the church, I have witnessed a number of moral failures.  Many of these were men and women of God who had powerful ministries and were great people of influence in the church and community.  Those in ministry have caring hearts and are often the target of Satan.  Satan knows that if he can get a man or woman of God to compromise, he has a good opportunity to trip up many others as well.  These moral failures were often a result of pride, success, and lack of accountability.

King David decided to stay home from the battlefield and take a break.  While resting at home, he saw neighbor’s wife bathing and sent for her.  They had a sexual encounter and she conceived.  (2nd Samuel 11:4-5)  When David was notified, he sent for her husband, Uriah.  David hoped to have Uriah spend time with his wife but the plan failed as Uriah has made a vow of abstinence while his army was fighting.  King David sent Uriah back with orders for Joab, his army commander, to have Uriah killed in battle.  This turn of events displeased the Lord!  Sin takes us further than we want to go!

Check your own heart today in this area of sexual lust and sexual sins.  Have you been looking at things you should not be looking at?  Have you entertained temptation rather than resisting it?  Are you emotionally involved with someone who is not your mate?  Flee temptation today and turn to the Lord for forgiveness and help!  David’s own advice can be found in Psalm 32: 1-6!

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Extravagant grace

Scripture reading for March 27: 2nd Samuel 8-10

2 Samuel 9:6-7 “And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul you father, and you shall eat at my table always.”

David was a warrior and strong man of God.  He was always ready to fight the Lord’s battles and sought the Lord for most of his battles.  He had been involved in a struggle for leadership of the nation following the death of Saul and Jonathan, his friend.  God had brought David victory over Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth.  Now David was king, and one of the first acts of his rulership was to seek out any relatives of Saul or Jonathan that he might show kindness to based on his covenant promise to Jonathan. (2nd Samuel 9:1)

One son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, was still around and he was crippled in both feet from a fall.  David sent for Mephibosheth and greeted him warmly.  He restored all his grandfather’s land and property and placed Ziba, his servant, in charge to work the ground for him.  He gave Mephibosheth a seat at the king’s table like one of David’s own sons! (2nd Samuel 9:7)   This covenant kindness from King David towards a rival was unprecedented.

King David’s actions are much like that of our gracious God!  God honors those who are in covenant relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.  When we are crippled because of sin, He takes us into His house and seats us as one of His own sons.  He restores our property to us and lavishes us with blessing and restoration.  (2nd Corinthians 5:17) We have this amazing kindness and mercy that we can never repay!

Is there someone that you can show kindness towards today? How has God’s covenant mercy affected you ability to forgive those who have wronged you? Can you show mercy for Jesus’ sake?

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Holy fear and passionate worship

Scripture reading for March 26: 2nd Samuel 5-7

King David had a heart for God and His presence.  David was a psalmist, musician, and worshiper who knew God by personal experience.  David desired to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem and it was set it on a new cart pulled by oxen and guided by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab the priest.  David and the men of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark.  God struck Uzzah dead and the celebration ended abruptly! (2nd Samuel 6:7)  David was both angry and afraid of the Lord!  (2nd Samuel 6:8-9)

After some careful research, David again decided to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem.  This time the Ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests as God’s law commanded!  David sacrificed to the Lord a bull and a fatted calf.  He took off his kingly robes and put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord with all his might.  The house of Israel followed with the sounding of trumpets and loud shouting.  As the procession entered the city, Michal, David’s wife, saw David dancing and leaping before the Ark and despised him in her heart.  She judged that he was putting on a show for the women.  As a result, she became barren and was judged by the Lord for her disrespect! (2nd Samuel 6:20-23)

2 Samuel 6:14-15 “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.”

  Are you giving God “all your might” in worship and service?  How would you describe your desire to have God’s presence in your heart? What is your attitude towards others who are passionate in worship and express themselves?

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Grabbing leadership?

Scripture reading for March 25: 2nd Samuel 1-4

The Bible declares that it is God who raises up leaders and brings them down. (Psalm 75:6-7)  The flesh, however, harbors a spirit of competition.  It desires to take over power, take over position, and have it’s own way.  This leads to factions, murder, and war.  Galatians 5:19-21 describes some of the works of the sinful nature as dissensions, factions, envy, and selfish ambitions.  These sins cause competition and the resultant discord and evil.

David became king over the house of Judah.  David set up his kingship in Hebron as the Lord directed him.  (2nd Samuel 2:1-3)  David did not try and take over all of Israel or to destroy Saul’s house.  He was a man of character and knew that God would place him where He desired.  Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, was made king over the rest of Israel by Abner, the commander of Saul’s army.  There was rivalry between the two groups. The spirit of Saul was still at work, even though he was gone.

This competition took a deadly turn as Joab, commander of David’s army and Abner, commander of Ish-Bosheth’s army met one day at the pool of Gibeon.  A contest of hand to hand fighting resulted in the deaths of 19 of David’s men and 360 of Abner’s men!  (2nd Samuel 2:30-31)  The war between these two factions went on for a long time.  If both factions would have simply listened to God and to David, the anointed king, all the strife and bloodshed could have been avoided.

2 Samuel 3:1 “There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.”

When we center on self, as opposed to God’s will, trouble always results.  God makes His will plain, if we have ears to hear it.  In the case of David, he had already been anointed as king by Samuel.   Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, and the commander of Saul’s army, Abner, refused to listen or seek the Lord.  The result was war and discord that caused the death of innocent people and turmoil among God’s people.

Are you filled with envy over a person who seems to have a job, position, or relationship that you feel you deserve?  Are you involved in factions and dissention?   Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and He will place us where we need to be to accomplish His plan for our lives!  Walk honestly with Him and others.

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Sin has consequences

Scripture reading for March 23: 1 Samuel 27-31

Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future?  If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world.  God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come!  (Isaiah 42:9)

Saul lived in rebellion and was tormented by an evil spirit.  He had tried to seek the Lord, but God no longer answered him through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was living in fear and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land. But now Saul sought out a medium to ask for the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead.  A spirit, like Samuel, appeared and spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day and telling him the reasons why. There was no visible remorse or repentance.

1st Samuel 28:18-19 “Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with Me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”  

True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, Saul took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6).

Are you doing something right now that you know is in disobedience to God’s Word? In what ways did God show Saul mercy and demonstrate His patience? If you need to repent, today is the best time.

“But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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Revenge belongs only to God!

Scripture reading for March 22: 1st Samuel 24-26

Nabal was a “Calebite”, a descendant of Caleb, the faithful spy and conqueror of giants.  Nabal was described as being “surly and mean in his dealings”. (1st Samuel 25:3)  One of his own servants also described Nabal as a man who was “such a wicked man that no one could talk to him”. (1st Samuel 25:17)  He liked to party and alcohol was also a factor in his reputation.  (1st Samuel 25:36) If he were around today, he would fit in well with many in our world.

Nabal was married to a Abigail, a woman described as “intelligent and beautiful”.  Often our mate is the one who can help us with our own sins and weaknesses.  Hearing how arrogantly her husband had treated the servants of David, who had helped protect their herds, Abigail quickly took action to avert a disaster.  She was like the godly woman in Proverbs 31 who was working for her husband’s good.  Abigail took goods and met David and his men as they were coming to seek revenge.  She appealed to David, humbly asking for his favor.  David listened and relented.  Through this godly woman, he heard the voice of God and was spared the shedding of innocent blood though revenge.

1 Samuel 25:32-33 “And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed by you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord.”

Returning home, Abigail found her husband at a party, drunk.  She waited until morning to tell him what she had done.  When Nabal heard about her kindness, God struck him with what appears to be a stroke.  The scripture says that Nabal “became like a stone” and soon died.

What lessons can we learn for our lives today from this story of Nabal and Abigail? What were some factors in Nabal’s life that brought him trouble and judgment? How did God show him mercy? How does this story speak to today’s culture in our time?

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Friends that bless

Scripture reading for March 21: 1st Samuel 20-23

1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 23:16 “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.”

When I was in school, I had a best friend named Kendal and we were in the same class from kindergarten until our junior year of high school.  We tried to sit together and be together.   We camped out during the summer and loved to hunt birds and fish.  We often shared our hearts with each other.  Kendal was drafted into the Army and went to Vietnam.  I had gone to college and had enlisted in the Iowa National Guard.  Kendal gave his life serving our country.  I had the privilege of being a pall-bearer at his funeral!  Best friends are hard to find, and even harder to loose!

David and Jonathan were best friends.  The Scripture records their love for each other and how their hearts were knit together.  (1st Samuel 18:1-4) Jonathan was Saul’s son and the probable heir to the throne of Israel.  David was a shepherd and musician who God had selected to be the next king of Israel.  God placed David in Saul’s court to prepare him for his kingship.  Jonathan recognized the favor of the Lord on David and was drawn to him in a covenant love.  They became best friends and shared their hearts with each other.  They made a covenant to help each other and even their extended families.

King Saul became jealous of David’s reputation and was afraid of David’s anointing.  He was insecure and tormented by an “evil spirit from the Lord” because he was in rebellion.  (1st Samuel 17:14, 23)  David played his harp and the evil spirit would leave for a time.  The evil spirit would return and sometimes turn murderous towards David.  Saul tried to kill him on several occasions and David was forced to flee.  Jonathan always tried to patch things up or help his friend. 

Finally, David realized that King Saul was going to kill him.  Jonathan tried one more time to patch things up, but was himself attacked with a spear by his own father!  Jonathan sent David away with tears and reaffirmation of their friendship. (1st Samuel 20:41-42)  When he could, Jonathan would slip away and meet with David.  He always encouraged him in the Lord!  (1st Samuel 23:15-18)

We have a Friend in our Lord Jesus Christ!  He is faithful and true to us, even when the going gets rough!  He provides encouragement and shares his armaments with us!  We can call on Him at any time and he will come.  He will warn us of danger and help us to either face it or escape.  He is a friend by covenant and promises to help our descendants as well!  Praise the Lord–He has called us friends!  (John 15:15-17)

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