December 19, 2012

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 5

Let’s get right to it! Ask yourself, “Who is most significant in 2 Samuel 5?”

As thoughtful Christians, we must study 2 Samuel 5 with a laser-sharp focus on one man: Jesus. Although the name “Jesus Christ” is not mentioned in this passage, we do know that all of scripture is meant to bear witness about Him (see John 5:39, Luke 24:27,44). Today we have the privilege to consider how the life of king David foreshadows the life of Jesus Christ. Take time now to carefully examine this chapter while keeping these points in mind:

  • (v1-3) “all the tribes of Israel came to David.. and they anointed David king over Israel.” David clears the enmity between the tribes of Judah and Israel into one unified kingdom under his reign. In a similar but much greater way, Jesus Christ brings lasting unity to God’s people whether Jew or Gentile under his Lordship (1Cor. 12:12-13, Col. 3:11).
  • (v4-5) “David was thirty years old when he began to reign… at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.” Wow. This clearly points us to Christ. With incredible precision, we see that a pattern which God set forth in David eventually marks the life of the Messiah. Jesus begins his ministry when he is thirty years old (Luke 3:23).
  • (v10) “David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.” This specific way of describing the growth of David prepares us for the way that the New Testament will describe Jesus. The messiah is exceedingly greater than David for while David was an adult, Jesus became greater through the favor of God while only a child: “and the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (see Luke 2:40).
  • (v19,23) “and David inquired of the LORD…” David maintained regular communication with God. When he was troubled or needed guidance he poured out his heart in prayer. So also Jesus Christ, with far greater intimacy and trust, maintained perfect fellowship with his heavenly father. Jesus remained in diligent prayer. (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, 6:12, John 17:1-26, Luke 22:42-44).

Even though David serves as a model king and brings blessing to the nation, his life is by no means perfect. In fact, we see his sin even in the midst of his greatness because in verse 13 we learn that he takes more wives and concubines. Deuteronomy 17:17 warns against a king who attempts to increase wives. Sadly this sinfulness will foretell of the ugly sin between David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. Therefore, David’s flawed kingship, blemished by sin, points us to our need of a perfect sinless king (2Cor. 5:21). Our Davidic king endures forever. Thankfully, where David fails, Jesus succeeds; where David appears great, Jesus is found to be far greater!

In your heart praise the King of Kings today; may we be thankful and joyfully proclaim His perfect eternal reign! 

Posted by: Taylor Wehrle, College Intern

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December 18, 2012

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 4:1-12

Don’t let it go to your head…

Have you ever been in a position where you are wanting and wishing for God to work things out exactly how you’d like? You are… let’s just say… hesitantly hopeful. And then, just as you wished, God comes through. What a great feeling.

What about a time where God has put you in an unexpected leadership position? Have you ever experienced that? Maybe it’s to lead a Bible study, become the manager of a new area at work, speak to some people about Christianity, or maybe he’s allowed you to become a leader of a home and new family. What a great opportunity!

With blessings from the Lord come great, undeserved privileges. But with blessings from the Lord come great, unexpected dangers.

There needs to be a caution.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

David is King. It’s official. He’s in the seat, he’s appointed and anointed, he’s got people following him, he’s winning battles, he’s growing in strength and power (2 Sam 3:1), things have changed and they are good.

But one thing has stayed the same. David’s ego.

David has stayed humble. He still wants to please God and treat people as God has commanded, with love and respect. He is still following God’s orders. His feet have remained on the ground. Perhaps that’s why God has trusted him with this position in the first place….(hmmmmm….)

In this chapter David gets word that Ish-bosheth is dead. Keep in mind that this is Saul’s son. This threatens his full reign. Some have decided to follow Ish-bosheth as king instead of David to continue on Saul’s legacy. So, let’s just say his death would be good for David’s popularity and the number of followers he’d gain on twitter.

But David doesn’t see it like that. When David hears of his death David kills the people that took Ish-bosheth’s life and he shows respect in the burial (2 Sam 4:9-12). Keep in mind that he’s already been king for a little while, he’s got nothing to lose and no one would fault him for a boost in his ego. That’s character.

So let me encourage you, when God comes through, when He answers that prayer, when He gives you that unexpected leadership opportunity, or when things work out just the way you want, don’t let it go to your head. Recognize who God is, who you are, and the undeserved privilege it is to be blessed by the Lord. Stay actively humble. Treat people as God has called you to treat people and continue to follow God’s orders. Maybe that’s why God entrusted you with the blessing in the first place…

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

December 17, 2012

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 3

David has been anointed king, been obedient to God, defended his enemy Saul – even though he’s out for David’s life and so on and so on… by this point you think things would turn around for David. It seems like he’s done everything he can… but verse 1 says:

That was the beginning of a long war between those who were loyal to Saul and those loyal to David.

Things don’t always go as we think they should – but remember God is STILL sovereign. He’s still in charge of the affairs of this world. The rest of verse 1 says…

As time passed David became stronger and stronger, while Saul’s dynasty became weaker and weaker.

God has a plan – did you hear me? God has a plan and His plan ALWAYS works the way He intends it to. Wherever you are in life – whatever your situation – whatever your good or your bad – God has a plan and His plan ALWAYS works out the way He intends it to.

Then… drama drama drama. Abner (a powerful leader among those loyal to Saul) gets falsely accused of sleeping with one of the kings concubines by Saul’s son. Let’s just say Abner wasn’t real happy about this. So, Abner joins forces with David. David sends Abner back to get his wife Michal (Saul’s daughter given to David by Saul).

Next Joab (a leader in David’s squad) comes back from a raid knowing nothing about the agreement David had made with Abner. Still believing Abner to be the enemy and a spy, Joab went after Abner (now loyal to David) and killed him.

But no matter what remember that God has a plan and His plan ALWAYS works the way He intended it to.

Is there drama in your life right now? Worn down? Wish everything would get all better? You can rest in one thing… God is sovereign – He’s still in charge of this world’s affairs – He has a plan and His plan ALWAYS works the way He intended it to. Rest in that today – Shalom.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

December 15, 2012

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 2:12-32

In 2 Samuel 23, we see a list of David’s mighty men and on that list are Abishai and Asahel. In today’s passage we get a small glimpse of these men and their character that would qualify them as David’s mighty men. We enter in at the battle of Gibeon, where the tribe of Judah is in opposition to the rest of Israel. David is now the king over Judah but Israel has placed Ish-bosheth over themselves as king instead of recognizing David as their king even though David is God’s anointed king. It is also believed that Ish-bosheth is nothing but a puppet for Abner the leader of Saul’s army. So this sets up the battle at Gibeon as the righteous obedient tribe of Judah against their disobedient brothers Israel with a power hungry leader called Abner. Notice that when the battle begins it is Abner who starts it (v. 14).

The battle is fierce and highlighted in this battle are Joab (The commander of David’s army), Abishai and Asahel (David’s mighty men, (2 Samuel 23)). There is a reason that these men were highlighted in this chapter and I want us to look at what we can learn from these men (especially Asahel).

  1. They would not back down from fighting for the mission of God. These men fought fiercely for their king David and would not stop at anything until he had victory and was ruler over all of Israel. This was not a selfish cause but they were carrying out the will of God. They were motivated by a heart for God and their king was the “son of God”. I do not mean the actual son of God which is Christ but the king in their day was seen as directly below God and to communicate to them God’s will. They would let nothing stand in the way of his will.
  2. They glorified God with their gifts. There is a reason that these men were called “mighty.” They all had great gifts that made them great warriors. For instance, Asahel was very fast. The passage described him having the speed of a wild gazelle (v.18). Asahel already was created with this gift but he was utilizing it for the cause of God. We all have skills and gifts and we are to use them to build up the church of God which is our mission as believers now (1 Corinthians 12).
  3. Fighting for the cause of God does not come without a cost. Asahel lost his life at the hands of Abner because of his relentless pursuit to fight for his king. We just finished a series here at Center Point Church called the “Cost of Discipleship” in which we laid out what it means to follow Jesus. Sometimes by doing the will of God we will face persecution and sometimes lose our lives. Yet, those of us who trust in Jesus as Lord know that even if we lose the battle we will ultimately be part of winning the war.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I fighting for the mission of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19)?
  • Am I willing to count the cost?

If you are not fighting for Jesus, you are helping the cause of the enemy (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Posted by: Chad Wiles