December 4, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 24

In our closing passage in the book of 2 Samuel, David disobeys God by taking a count of his army. At first glance, this does not seem to be that big of a deal, right? But consider what it is saying about David’s trust in the Lord: instead of trusting God to provide and fight the battles, like he had done countless times before, David wants to take control over the situation and know for himself what type of power he has. Have you ever been in a situation that your sin seemed small but when you really reflected on it, it revealed a lot about your heart?

In verse 10 that David soon recognizes his sin: “But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” David recognizes his sin, but there are still practical consequences because of it. In a seemingly odd interaction, God gives David three options for how his punishment would be handled.

In verse 17, David tries to protect the people of Israel and Judah, wanting to take the punishment on himself instead of allowing them to bear the brunt of it. But because David is a representative of the people, God says no. It gives greater significance to David’s descendant Jesus, who as another representative of his people, is able to take on the punishment of sin and successfully apply it to all who believe and repent. We also see that our sins and our obedience has affects on the people we lead and represent.

How does this passage point you to Christ and the gospel? What has stood out to you throughout the book of 2 Samuel?

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate


December 3, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 23

David’s last words are ones of beauty and love towards God. We see how poetic David is, all throughout the Psalms and his last words speak of how the Lord is in control of all things. The main verse to focus on is verse 5. David reminds us that God has made an everlasting covenant with him (2 Sam 7). The covenant says that there will be a king who will come from David’s line and who will reign forever. We know that person to be Jesus. Jesus is the true King and His dominion is an eternal one. 

God has been so gracious to all of us to send His Son, Jesus. His rule and reign is one of justice and holiness. There is no sin or imperfection in Him, and He judges justly. Jesus has already prevailed against His adversary on the day that He rose from the grave. And now we wait for His kingdom to be established forever, which will happen at His second coming. Then, we will enjoy for eternity the promise that was given to David. 

There is one little piece of information that I want to point out, and I almost don’t want to do it, because I love David’s last words and how they point us to Jesus, but I am going to do it anyway. If you look at 23:39, you should see a familiar name: Uriah the Hittite. This was Bathsheba’s husband, who David caused to be killed in battle. Uriah was one of David’s mighty men, which means that David knew what he was doing when he sinned with Bathsheba. It makes the sin of David that much worse, because he deliberately sinned against God and one of his friends. 

I point that out, because God’s grace is on full display. David did not deserve forgiveness, but God gave it to him. That is exactly how we are. We did not deserve to have our sins forgiven by Jesus, but He went and paid the price on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven, if we have a relationship with Him. I hope and pray that today and for the rest of your life, you will remember how gracious God is.

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

December 2, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 22

Today’s reading is SO encouraging!  After God commanded Samuel to anoint the boy David as king, Saul began trying to kill him.  David faced a long, lonely time running from the king. This is David’s song to the Lord that he sang the day God rescued him from Saul.  I hope you will find encouragement in it.

David recognized God as:

Protector (v.2-3a) our fortress, Savior, rock – the place where we find protection

Refuge (v.3b) – our shield, place of safety, the One who protects us

Worthy of Praise (v.4) – He is the ONLY One worthy of our praise

Attentive to our cries (v.5-7) – even when we’re overwhelmed by everything around us – we cry out to Him and He hears us

Great and Majestic (v.8-16) – smoke from His nostrils, flames from His mouth, flying on the wings of the wind

Rescuer (v.17-20) – He leads us to a place of safety

Restorer (v.21) – the One who knows our heart and restores us

Rewarder (v.22-28) – He rewards us according to His kindness and mercy

Light (v.29-30) – the Lord lights up my darkness

Trustworthy (v.31-32) – Promise maker and promise keeper

Director of my Ways (v.33-46) – makes me surefooted, directs my path, gave me the victory

Exalted (v.47-51) – The Lord lives! Praise His Name!

Let’s take a moment together today and praise God for these things!  He’s great and worthy of praise and He inhabits the praises of His people.  Find joy in His presence this morning as you start your day.

By: Tim Parsons  — Lead Pastor

November 30, 2019

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 21

2nd Samuel 21 steps out of the chronological retelling of David’s story and begins a sort of appendix that will end the book. You may have seen the Bible Project video on YouTube about 2nd Samuel, but their summary final chapters are worth digesting again (starting at about 4:08).

The first 14 verses of chapter 21 can only be described as awful. This seems to be an event that happened somewhat early in David’s kingship. 

Famine in the Old Testament often denotes divine judgement. This was the case for the three-year-long famine as well, Saul had done something terrible and judgment was upon the Land. Astonishingly, the Gibeonites seem to be minding their own when summoned by David. David’s past shows he was prone to some harsh reactions (1st Sam 25:13), and I don’t know if he was directed by the Lord, but it seems to me to be an overreach to promise a wounded people, “I will do for you whatever you say” (4b). No qualifiers, no nothing, just “whatever ya’ll want.” 

As you know, they ask for seven relatives of Saul, and David handed them over for execution. This seems a harsh and brutal thing—seven innocent people die because of their relative’s sin. Some scholars suggest that these seven probably had a hand in Saul’s evil actions against the Gibeonites. That may be true, but it’s speculation that softens the blow of the steep consequences of sin. All we can confidently say is sin is terrible and its consequences are terrible. 

While the first half of chapter 21 illustrates the destructiveness of sin, the second half illustrates the victory of the faithful. War against God’s Anointed was a losing battle. David and his men were an unstoppable force against the enemies of God’s People.

A couple interesting points, in verse 3 David asks the Gibeonites how he might “make atonement.” That word in Hebrew is “kippur,” which you may recognize because of Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. Once a year in the fall, a priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the covering of the Ark known as the Mercy Seat. This was to atone for sins. David was essentially asking, “What can we do to satisfy the sin committed against you?” 

Also, the author points out in verse 9 that, they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of barley harvest. The beginning of barley harvest in the spring was at the time of Passover. Passover celebrated Israel’s freedom from the oppression of slavery in Egypt. 

Two points based on these observations: 1. By atoning for the sins Saul committed against the Gibeonites, David led Israel out of the oppression of divine judgment. 2. This story points to Christ in an incredible way. The Gibeonites recognized that sin cannot be atoned through silver or gold—nor through the death of an individual. Atonement requires a complete blood sacrifice. Seven symbolizes completeness, and in this way points to the only sufficient sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9 illustrates that the only kippur that satisfies is that which was made by Jesus. Additionally, the freedom from sin offered by Jesus is far greater than relief from a 3-year famine or even 400 years of slavery. This story, in a micro way, points back to Passover, but Passover points ahead to Jesus. Whereas many sons in Egypt died for the freedom of God’s people, only one Son’s death was sufficient for true freedom for all people who receive it by faith.  

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate