December 22, 2012

Today you should read: 2 Samuel 7

Have you ever had good intentions but it just was not what was actually needed at the time. I have this happen to me from time to time with my wife. The example that comes to mind is at dinner time. My wife is very serving and is also very neat and tidy. I tend to be a bit of a slow eater and there are times when she is putting dinner in Tupperware before I am actually done eating. She is trying to be a servant but the timing is off. We start out the passage today with a similar reaction from David. He wanted to honor God by building a temple for the Ark of the Covenant. Nathan, his advisor even endorses it. Honestly, who wouldn’t endorse this idea? David was trying to honor and glorify God and what could be better? Yet, this was not God’s plan for David. So what can we learn from this chapter?

1. Even when we try our best to glorify God in our decision making we may still not get it right. David was a man who was after God’s own heart and there is nowhere in this passage that indicates a sinful attitude toward God and his plans. This seemed like a good plan and it was customary for Gods to have a temple in those days. I think we can all understand David’s thought process. This is Yahweh that we are talking about and if the rest of these false gods have temples then the one true God needs more than a tent (v.2). David’s heart was to glorify God and Jesus tells us that glorifying God is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40). So how then was David wrong? Simply put, David is not God. God’s ultimate plan and purpose is hidden from us and we only can know it when it is revealed by God. However, David had the right intension and was making a God honoring decision so David was not in the wrong. The lesson to learn here from David is that even when you are trying to make the most God honoring decision possible it will still take faith because you will not be able to see God’s plan specifically and sometimes we may still not be right. I hope that this does not scare you but brings a little bit of comfort because God does not need us to be perfect he just needs us to faithfully trust in him and his word. Even guys like David sometimes missed the mark but the second lesson will bring more clarity to this point.

2. If we somehow miss the mark when seeking to glorify God, He is sovereign and will correct our steps so that we are always on the mark with his plan and purpose. God saw what David wanted to do and God was going to have a temple built but God was not going to do it through David. So, through Nathan God communicates to David his plan to establish David’s house forever. When we are trying to glorify God and make decisions that are founded in his Word, God will never let us make mistakes. In other words, God’s plan will always be accomplished and we do not have to worry about messing that up. Our goal is to make the most God glorifying decisions possible and if for some reason we miss the mark God will always re-orient our steps. For example, many of you know that we have been looking to move into a different building for some time. We have looked at multiple buildings and made many different plans. We have always wanted God’s will in it and it has always been for the purpose of advancing God’s kingdom. However, to this point it has not been God’s plan for us to move. How do I know this? Because nothing has worked out yet. This is a great example of how we are trying to make the most God honoring decision that we can make as a church and God is working out his providential plan for our church.

3. God’s plan is always better than what we can come up with on our own. David’s plan was a good one. However, what God told him was so much better. Not only for David but for all of mankind. God promised that he was going to establish David’s house forever, his offspring will build the temple and his throne shall reign forever! God did just that. He allowed Solomon, David’s son to build the temple in Israel. Through the line of David came Christ who is the savior of the world and is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! It is by him that all men are saved! Hebrews 1:1-5 references this promise:

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?

Or again,
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son

4. We should respond to God with humility and praise. David understood the magnitude of what God was going to do through him and how it would impact all of man (v.19). Let our response to God always be one of humility and praise. Anytime God allows us to be a part of his plan is a privilege not a right. He has given us our task as his church in Matthew 28:19. My prayer is that we would see that task as joyful and humbling. Every waking moment should be spent worshiping and glorifying God and spreading the message of our king and Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

December 21, 2012

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

Woah!  What’s up with Michal in this passage?  She’s raining all over the parade.

David had the ark of the Lord brought into the city, and he was dancing before the Lord with all his might.  Michal, looked out the window and saw David dancing and she despised him for it.  David is celebrating the presence of the Lord and Michal doesn’t like it.  She didn’t think it was appropriate or dignified for a king to demonstrate such emotion before God and other people, so she let David know her thoughts about his worshipful response to God.

Have you ever had anyone rain on your parade like this?  Maybe it happened when you expressed thanks to God for something He did, but a family member scoffed at you for crediting God.  Maybe it was when you were celebrating a victorious thing that God did, then someone felt the “need” to point out a negative when you finished praising God.  Maybe you were worshiping to Christian music and someone told you to turn that junk off and turn on something else.  Or maybe you were expressing your praise to God in a particular way that others looked down upon.

Charles Spurgeon said this:  “No doubt, there are particularly nice and dainty people who will censure God’s chosen if they live wholly to his praise, and they will call them eccentric, old-fashioned, obstinate, absurd, and I don’t know what besides. From the window of their superiority they look down upon us.”

So, if you’ve ever had your worshipful parade rained upon by someone, then you are in good company.  Many followers of God have experienced the same thing.  David experienced it in this passage.  Jesus experienced the same thing.  How should we respond when this happens?  Look at 2 Samuel 6:21-22.  David said that his praises were for the Lord and he would humbly continue to praise and serve the Lord.  When people rain on our worshipful parade, we must not let it get us down, and we should continue to praise the Lord (unless, of course, we are being a huge distraction to others from worshiping God as well.)

The first part of verse 22 points me to Jesus.  David said that he would be even more lightly esteemed and undignified than he was being in this passage.  He said he would be humble in his own eyes.  In other words, his worship of God was not about him. Even if others looked down upon him, he was going to worship God.  This reminds me of Christ.  Philippians 2:8 says:

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus followed in obedience and praise of the Father, despite ridicule and persecution.  He humbled Himself even to the point of death.

I’m thankful for David’s example of worship and more thankful for Christ’s obedience even to the point of death so that you and I can have life and a reason to worship.

 

Posted by: Rich Duffield

December 20, 2012

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

So David is en route to take the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem with him and he has 30,000 men there to help him. A lot happens in this story we can learn from so I want to try and hit it all quick for you.

1. God’s honor and holiness are highest priority, always
Uzzah is one of the men who is helping and he tocuhes the ark to stablize it because the oxen had fallen. When I read this it reminded me of a post from our very own Rich Duffield that was very insightful:

God killed a guy for touching the Ark of the Covenant. (2 Samuel 6:7). The guy was probably a good guy, just trying to serve and be helpful. But, God’s standard is that holiness and unholiness do not mix. Anyone who is not holy in God’s eyes will also die, both physically and spiritually. There’s one way to be holy in God’s sight, and it has nothing to do with being a good person. It has everything to do with what Jesus did in order to provide us with the opportunity to receive complete forgiveness.

And I think that is a pretty good explanation of what happened here. What we can learn from this is that God’s holiness and honor are serious and we need to have the utmost respect and honor for them. When we give higher priortiy to anything else, even something as big as protecting the ark of the covenant, we are saying that something is more important than God’s glory and holiness and that is never the case.

2. We can never give too much of ourselves to praise God
David was playing and singing and dancing with all his might. He was so into it that he basically stripped down to his underwear and danced. Now, I don’t recommend this as a great way to worship on Sunday morning but David did not consider his dignity of any value compared to his opportunity to praise his God and we should be the same.

3. There is a difference between fear and reverence
David was unwilling for the ark to come to Jerusalem with him after Uzzah died for fear that he too would die. We should all absolutely tread lightly before God and always be aware that He is the God of the universe and we are his creation. However, we are also told that our God is a God who longs to be sought after, a God who wants us to know Him and to walk with him. David missed out on 3 months of blessings because he was unwilling to do this. What blessings have you missed or are you missing right now because you are unwilling to be in the presence of your God?

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

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