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Dr. David Rose, Pastor

Thursday, April 2, 2020—1 Samuel 25-28
            One day David sent his men to Nabal, but Nabal refused to provide common Jewish hospitality and hurled insults at David. Abigail’s response was to provide a feast (25:18-19). Nabal’s response was not out of a lack of possessions but out of selfishness. Nabal was foolish (as his name means), but Abigail was wise and humble. She kept David from worthless battle and her family from harm. This allowed God to judge Nabal Himself.
            David was insulted once by Nabal. He was continually pursued by Saul. Though Saul had made a covenant with David, he continued to search for him (26:2-4). David once again had a chance to kill Saul but expressed grace and saw Saul’s life as precious (26:21). David then decided to live with the Philistines so Saul would no longer pursue him. He went to the king of the Philistines and received a city in which to live, and Saul left him alone. David became a trusted servant of the king of the Philistines, so much so that the king planned to use David in a raid against Israel (28:1).
            While David was flourishing, Saul was wilting. He had banned all spiritists and mediums from the land, but when he was desperate, he disguised himself and consulted one. The witch at Endor called up Samuel’s spirit who repeated what he had told Saul while alive. The kingdom was no longer his, and the Philistines would soon defeat him.
            Good advisors provide needed wisdom in life. Thank God for those who speak truth to you. Pray that you will listen well.

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020—1 Samuel 21-24
            David was a man after God’s own heart. David knew God had anointed him to be king, but he knew his time to reign had not arrived. When Saul threatened him, he had to run to preserve his life, and he felt he needed to lie (21:1-9) and act insane (21:10-15). He was called, but he was also flawed. God was not finished shaping His character.
            Saul confronted Ahimelech, the priest who helped David, and the priest reminded Saul there was no one more loyal than David (22:14). Why would he not help him? Despite this, Saul demonstrated the depth of his depravity by asking Doeg the Edomite to slaughter the priests. Only one escaped, and he made his way to David to report the tragedy.
            David continued seeking the Lord, helping people in need, and avoiding the pursuit of King Saul. Graciously, God allowed Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s dear friend, to come to him in hiding and affirm David’s calling from God and his support of him (23:17). When an opportunity presented itself for David to kill Saul and put an end to all the nonsense, David simply cut off part of Saul’s robe. Then, conscience-stricken for even doing that, David went to Saul and confessed (24:11). He wanted Saul to see he was not a threat. Saul relented, and the two made an oath (24:22).
            Ask God to continue shaping your character and removing imperfections. Thank Him for friends who encourage you in the journey.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018—17-19

            Walking with the Lord requires discipline and intentionality. Old habits are always lurking. New temptations crouch at the door. When Jehoshaphat became king, “he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah” (17:6). He took a stand for righteousness as the king and made an impact on the greater culture as a result. This is what leaders do.

            God blessed Jehoshaphat because he sought God, and his mind rejoiced in His ways (17:4-6). He knew the necessity of teaching this truth to all the people, so he sent teachers throughout the land. The people would not simply absorb the truth from his example. They needed to hear personally the truth of God and choose to obey.

            Jehoshaphat had the gift of discernment. When in discussion about potential military action with Israel, Jehoshaphat encouraged King Ahab to inquire of the Lord before acting. Ahab brought prophets to speak positively, but Jehoshaphat knew these men were not speaking for Yahweh (18:6). Micaiah came forward and said the attack would be the end of Israel, and Ahab threw him in prison. Micaiah was transparent and said if Ahab succeed in battle, then Micaiah was not God’s spokesman. Ahab proceeded and died in battle (18:34). Micaiah was truly the prophet he claimed to be.

            Though Jehoshaphat foolishly sided with Ahab, he was not without merit. He urged the judges he appointed to serve with integrity because they were representing Yahweh and serving Him (19:6-7). Pray for the leaders in your life to seek God wholeheartedly and lead others into integrity.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018—2 Chronicles 14-16

            King Asa had proper perspective. He rid the land of pagan altars and worship places and told the people of Judah to seek the Lord and carry out the instruction and commands (14:4). After fortifying the people spiritually, he then fortified the land militarily. Military might was of great importance but secondary to spiritual obedience.

            When his army marched out against the Cushites, they were outnumbered nearly two to one. Asa called out in prayer, knowing only God could help the mighty and the weak. “Help us, Lord God, for we depend on you, and in your name we have come against this large army. Lord, you are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder you” (14:11). God energized them to defeat a stronger enemy.

            God’s mighty work stirred a revival in the land. Asa led further spiritual cleansing, and the people responded with national repentance, making an oath to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul. “All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their mind. They had sought him with all their heart, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side” (15:15). Spiritual health helped provide national peace though the northern kingdom did not follow suit.

            Spiritual growth and health require constant attention and discipline. When faced with another enemy, Asa relied on economic leverage rather than prayerful dependence. The seer Hanani chided him for his lack of faith and predicted war as a result (16:9).

            Pray for constant repentance, dependence, and growth.

 

Monday, September 3, 2018—2 Chronicles 10-13

            Lord Acton said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Throughout history, those in power have often made poor decisions in regards to their power and position. Those with the greatest power have often been those who have made the most heinous mistakes.

            God made clear, with each king of Israel, that he was to choose God’s ways and find blessing. God would not force him to do so. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king, he allowed the power to corrupt him. The people asked for some leniency, and his older advisers urged him to comply, but his younger advisers said he should put even more pressure on the people. Because he did not listen to the people (10:15), the people rebelled. The rift this caused between the northern tribes and David remained at the time of the writing of Chronicles (10:19).

            Those reading Chronicles and rebuilding Israel had several truths to consider. The leader was under the direction of God, but he was also in relationship to the people. God wanted the king to lead courageously and obediently, but He also wanted His people treated with respect because they were made in His image and called to personal obedience.

            Rehoboam’s initial mistake did not prevent his later obedience (11:17), walking in the ways of David. Jeroboam’s call from God did not prevent him from later disobedience, appointing his own preists (11:15). Failure is not final. The past does not fully dictate the future.

            Seek the Lord (12:14). Walk consistently and humbly in obedience.

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