November 12, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 6:16-23

Today’s passage can be hard to understand and interpret in the current #metoo toxic masculinity culture. Upon first reading, you may think that David just got called out by his wife for dancing naked before the Lord (and others). In fact, many preachers and Bible teachers have taught it this way without proper context. That’s because different Bible translations say in verse 20 that he was half-naked, exposed himself or was uncovered before the servants’ girls.  My preferred translation (ESV) says “shamelessly uncovered”. So I really can’t blame those conclusions with this text which has led to many Christians justifying some pretty stupid and scandalous actions as long as it’s for the purpose of “honoring the Lord.” 

But by the time you read that part, you forget that verses 14-15 mentions him wearing a linen ephod so he couldn’t have been completely naked or even in his underwear as many believe. Of course this linen ephod was considered inappropriate at that time but nothing of which is described today. Besides, the purpose of this story is not David dancing in his underwear (in which he didn’t) but instead, it’s asking if we have that much joy when singing and dancing to the Lord ourselves that we don’t care what others think? Do we feel like we have so much freedom in Him, celebrating the victory He gives us in the gospel, that we can sing without care? 

That’s the point of these verses. Not “what was David wearing?” But “What was David thinking?” And the answer to that is not controversial; he was thinking “I love the Lord and will unashamedly sing and praise Him out of the overflow of my heart and I don’t care who sees me and how embarrassing it may be.” Do you praise the Lord like that?

Here’s a good devotion over that type of praise. 

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

November 11, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 6:1-15

If you know anything about David, you know that he was considered a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). So why then in verse 10 does it say, “So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.”?

It is because David was both angry and afraid of God in that moment (verses 8 & 9). His decision was based on his emotions at the time. We know David knew of God’s power before he killed Uzzah because David asked God in chapter 5 if he would give over the Philistine army to him. God’s power was nothing new to him. But fear and anger in that moment led him to make the wrong decision.

Later David was reminded of the goodness of God and the blessings of having the presence of God in his life so he later retrieved the ark, sacrificed to God, and praised Him. God allowed David to repent of his actions, and permitted David to be in His presence once again.

So what can we take away from this series of events by David? First, we should acknowledge God’s sovereignty and power in order to have a healthy fear of God, but also know that we have been saved from the wrath of God through faith in Jesus Christ. We also should be slow to anger (read James 1:19-20). But whenever we do become angry and sin, we should repent and turn back to God with thanksgiving and praise for all that he has done for us.

Have you taken the time to fully acknowledge God’s power and sovereignty?

What does a healthy fear of God lead to in our lives? (See Proverbs 1:7 for one answer)

By: Jacob Kerr — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice: Worship and Students at West Campus

November 9, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 5

In 2 Samuel 5, David is appointed king, something that had been declared about him many years before. While his appointment is clearly a huge focus of the chapter, to me what stands as a greater theme is found in verse 10: “And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.” (ESV) I would argue that this verse truly encapsulates what we see from David’s appointment as king: God Himself is the one who provided this leadership opportunity. And more than that: God was going to use this leadership opportunity for his purposes.

David himself acknowledged God’s role in verse 12: “And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” (ESV) The main principle we can take from this chapter is that David recognized that was God was in control of his leadership, and that David sought to obey God’s leadership through his own leadership.

We can gain a lot from this perspective in our own lives. How often do you acknowledge that the place God has you was established by Him for His glory and honor? How often do you seek God’s will in making decisions and going about your day to day actions? All of this reveals whether God is truly at the center of your heart.

Like David, may we seek to be people that are after God’s heart.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

November 8, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 4

In our passage today, we see two men (Rechab and Baanah) kill Ishboseth, who is the son of Saul. Rechab and Baanah thought they were doing justice for David. Their intent to kill Ishboseth was for the sole purpose of making sure David became king. They thought since Saul, who was the king, had died his son would take the throne over Israel, but that was not God’s plan. If you remember back in 1 Samuel 16, David is anointed as king over Israel. This means once Saul dies, David will become king. God picked David to be king, and yet these guys (Rechab and Baanah) tried to take the matter into their own hands. This ultimately cost them their life (v. 12). 

Notice in verse 11 David calls Ishboseth a righteous man: “How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 

Here’s what we need to understand: We may think we are doing a righteous act, but if it against God, then it is a wicked act. David was going to be king because God had ordained it, not because Ishboseth was now dead. 

Are you truly following God and trusting His plans? Or are you taking matters in your own hands and relying on your own ability and knowledge? 

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice