Saturday, July 31, 2010
David makes his son Solomon king and proclaims that it is no longer necessary for the Levites to be in charge of the Tabernacle--God has settled in Jerusalem. They were, however, given duties in the new temple. The priests were chosen and divided up. Musicians and singers were appointed to lead worship...
What an exiting time! I am currently attending a relatively new church plant, so I have somewhat experienced the joys of being in a "baby" church. The people are finally settling and have established an amazing place of worship. Leaders have been chosen and everything is falling into place. Everyone is given a role to play--there are not big or small parts, they are all getting to serve and worship God!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tonight I am babysitting for 3 amazing kids. Ages range from 2-7, but the kids are fantastic. Last time I sat for them, I learned that the middle child (age 5) was in recovery from having a severe brain tumor and she even showed me the scar. Her and her older brother talked openly about the whole experience and it absolutely touched my heart. The faith that has been instilled in this family is amazing. They all work together as a team and its obvious that they understand how truly blessed each one of them is. I am so excited to sit for them again.. to engage in intelligent conversation with a 5 year old who recently had brain surgery just blows my mind... our God is an awesome God.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I can't imagine which is worse--being personally punished for my sins or watching others get unpunished for my sins… I would think it would be worse watching the innocent suffer for my sins…it’s a tough one.
The Samuel and Chronicles passages talk about the same story, but with an interesting twist of words. In Samuel, the reading starts out saying that the "anger of the Lord burned against Israel" and that caused David to take the census. In Chronicles, the reading says that "Satan rose up against Israel"… Just another one of those differences that makes you wonder why its even there. To me, it makes more sense that Satan would plant something in David's heart to make him sin, but I can't help but wonder why in Samuel it talks about the anger of God???
Another part that struck me (I guess it was the wording in Chronicles) is that God asks the angel to withdraw his hand from the plague because he is so saddened watching his people die and suffer. He then allowed David to repent of his own sin to atone for the wrong that was done. It is a great example of how God is not the evil one with the magnifying glass trying to zap the humans with the suns rays… he hates watching us suffer and longs to show us compassion. But just like a parent must punish a child to teach and refine, so much God act towards us.
David decides to build a temple for God and has his son Solomon take up the brunt of the work. He begins the work, with the blessing of God. The Psalm in the reading is a dedication song for the temple from David.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Helps me to keep my eyes on the prize and remember where I came from and where I am going. Life has been a little hectic lately, but knowing that God takes care of the earth and will ultimately take care of me and my husband helps keep me sane :)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Psalm 42: 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
The followed him to a fortified city and began battering the walls. A wise woman came out to seek peace and they reached an agreement--they would leave the city alone if they could have Sheba... soon after they threw his head over the city walls.
During David's reign, there was a long famine that was attributed to the Gibeonites (who were disgraced by Saul) not achieving vengeance. David asks them what he can do to make amends and they decide they want to kill 7 of Saul's descendants. Their request is granted and the famine ends.
This reading seems like a "day in the life" kind of thing for David. It goes to show just how much pressure there is on a public leader who has to make decisions that impact an entire nation. He constantly has people rising up against him and has to put his own agendas aside to ensure the longevity of his people.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Meanwhile David's son get advice to sleep with all of his dad's concubines in open view of the people... not sure who thought this was a good idea... The chief idea-giver gives some other bad advice and finally David and God's plan to confuse Absalom's advisers are coming true. Ab seeks other counsel and the previous adviser hangs himself--oh woe is me.
Ab and his father finally go to war... funny story though--Ab is riding a mule. The mule goes under a tree, Ab's head gets caught in the branches and the mule keeps going=Ab's head is stuck in a tree... really?!?!?! At what point do you not duck? Or not get your head stuck at all? Hilarious... sadly though while he's stuck in the tree, David's men surround and kill him--epic fail. But even after all the Ab has put David through, he weeps bitterly upon finding out about his death.
David shows true character in this reading. He brushes off his haters and mourns the loss of a sworn enemy (even though it is his son). I'm so glad I've gotten to see these other little stories and parts of Davids life. The only real think I knew about him was that he defeated Goliath and slept with Bathsheba.. I'm learning so much!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
David is dealing with a lot of wickedness in his life. He's got his own sin he's working out and now his sons are raping their sisters and killing each other and threatening his throne... its a lot for a man to deal with. David is in a tough place where he is not sure what is going on and what to do.. he has no choice but to rest in God and trust it will all be ok--a hard thing to do!
One of my favorite verses is in this reading. It's gotten me through some tough times so its only fitting that they came from David--the king of tough times!
55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Absalom flees for several years, fearful of what David might to do him. He eventually is allowed to come back, but not allowed to see the king. After 2 years he is finally reconciled with his father. He has several children that are mentioned, and even names one of his daughter Tamar in honor of his sister. Once back in town, he uses his charm to steal the hearts of the Israelites away from David. They even start calling him king! David and his men flee the city in case Absalom decides to attach (ungrateful jerk) and wait for a sign...
At first I though Amnon was a shmuck and Absalom was just the wounded brother trying to avenge his sister. But then he goes behind David's back and attempts to make the men love him more...bad move. God called David the anointed one, not Absalom.. just sayin that I wouldn't want to take my chances against God's anointed one!!!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I also came across a verse about original sin; the idea that we are born sinful and not a "tabula rasa". 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me
If you look at life in this light, there is truly nothing you can do to save yourself. If you came into this world dirty and rotten, how are you supposed to turn that around? YOU CAN'T! But God can :) The verse also goes on to not only ask God for cleansing and renewing, but after one has received this, he should in turn go out and tell others. What good is being transformed if you don't do something with it? As Christians, it is important for us to be constantly outpouring what we receive from God onto others!
Another thing David asks for is an "undivided heart". This means only having one true love and not letting your desires stray from God. A truly powerful image of what every Christian should desire in his or her walk.
This week, I pray that I will truly rest in God's plan for my life and my future and not fill my heart with desires that might take me away from Him. A undivided heart... love it.
Monday, July 19, 2010
God brings Nathan to David to rebuke him... God is not going to make this easy on him. Bathsheba and David's son becomes ill and dies. God shows mercy and allows them to have another son--Solomon who is later named Jedidiah which means "loved by the Lord".
David's life goes back to normal. At least for now :)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Psalm 65 :4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
Blessed are those YOU choose. I am a "predestinist" by denomination (PCA), but I have my reservations. There is the ever-present question: If we have free will, why would God choose some and not others? Does that not nullify our right to choose? I've struggled with this and can never come to a conclusion that satisfies me. Regardless of whether or not He chooses to begin with, it is still beneficial for me to show His love and kindness to make others wonder why. Since no one has the answer but Him, I like to assume that anyone can be chosen, its not my job to save them, just my job to plant the seed. If God wants them, He will get them. It is ultimately He who can save, but it never hurts to spread some goodness around when you get the chance!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
The Ammonite king does and his son succeeds him. David send a group of men to express his sympathy for the passing of his father. The kings nobles convince him that David only sent the men as spies with malicious intent... in retaliation, he shaves the men completely and cuts out the back of their robes-exposing their butts- and sends them back. What the heck? I mean I know people who have taken my kind intent and turned it into something bad, but this is one a whole other level. Back then, shaving a man's head and beard was the utmost form of humiliation. And to top it off, they had to travel back to David with their bums on display.
Realizing that they may upset David once he realizes what they've done, they assemble an army. David learns about the army--attacks, and wins.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
Friday, July 16, 2010
God does not want the offerings of the unbeliever. He despises those who pretend to follow His word; He knows their heart.
Some Psalms start out with "to the tune of..." As in you are supposed to sing the following Psalm to the tune of song obsolete song.. I wish I knew the songs they are talking about.. maybe it would be more fun to sing them than to read them. :)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
David's conquests are listed... and they are many. He even plays an old school version of "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" by laying down all the men in an opposing army, measuring off the length of a cord and allowing everyone in each 3rd length to live... I don't know about you but I'd be sweating bullets to see where I fell in the cord length!
What's great is that David gives all the glory and riches back to the Lord. It could be so easy to claim them for himself. David remember's Jonathon's amazing kindness to him and seeks out his only remaining son--a cripple. He blesses him with riches and requests his presence at his table for the rest of his days... can you imagine being a cripple, an outcast, someone no one wants, and being revered by the king and asked to eat at his table???
David is so far proving himself to be the man God wants him to be. He rules with justice and a keen eye for the underdog. He gives back to God and seeks out ways to help the poor... Before now, I have only known a bird's eye view of who David was. I'm so glad to be learning so much about such an important character in Biblical history.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Ultimately, we cannot save ourselves from anything. Only God can lift us up from troubles, enemies, even death. His love is deep and wide (like the childrens song :) and knows no boundaries. Once we stop thinking with our human constrictions, we can begin to understand His depths more fully. If that doesn't overwhelm you when you let it sink in, there must be something wrong with you.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I think it's endearing that David is concerned that he is living in a better dwelling than God. But he is thinking in earthly terms. The Ark in no way contains God and it doesn't make a difference where it dwells. God reminds David that while his thoughts are sweet, they are completely unnecessary and puts things back into perspective for him. I know that I have often gotten ideas into my head that I thought would be sweet only to learn that I was way off base... sometimes you just need a loving push to get you back in the right direction.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Psalm 101 is a convicting one. The author is promising to not sin even in his heart, to not put anything vile before him, to keep evil men far away from this counsel. Obviously, no one can keep something like this perfectly, but can you imagine how much your heart would change if you really tried? Something I read the other day in a magazine really convicted me, and it wasn't even a faith-based magazine. It said that if you change the way you look at others, you will feel better. Instead of looking at someone and saying "that bathing suit is trashy", consciously think "that bathing suit is red". Over time, it is supposed to help you change the way you look at others. I know they were probably not going for God thing, but can you imagine what change would happen in your heart if you made a conscious effort to not judge others in your heart and see them how God sees them? Definitely something I need to work on!!! God may judge them, but it is not my place to do so.
Friday, July 9, 2010
The words of men who think God has left them are that of a tortured soul... bones feeling out of joint, feeling like a poured out water pitcher... nothing but emptiness. But the ever famous Psalm 23 shows that God is always present and is a calming, comforting presence that will never leave. He gives us strength to face our troubles and leads us to times of mercy. Who is this king of glory? The Lord almighty...
From this mercy and comfort should come an outpouring of ourselves back to God. We are to worship Him--just as David danced with all his might!
Bottom line: the righteous will rise up, and the wicked will perish. Don't judge and claim this right for yourself, but allow God to make the judgments. Don't worry about what is happening to other people and whether or not they are getting their "just deserts". Just worry about your own heart and your relationship with your holy father...
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Chronicles passage is very similar to the Samuel passage, but the order of things reads differently. In Samuel, David becomes king, defeats the Philistines then moves the Ark twice. In Chronicles, he becomes king, moves the ark, defeats the Philistines, then moves the Ark again. Not sure why there is a disparity, but the Samuel passage definitely reads easier. It's really helpful to read the same passage from 2 different points of view. It offers new insight and understanding.
From what I read, the entire time they are moving the Ark and setting it up, there is great dancing and music. How amazing would it have been to witness this first-hand--an entire nation making music and dancing and singing to God in celebration... oh how I'd love to be a fly on the wall.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The sins of the Israelites are called out again and I came across a phrasing that I LOVE. "20 They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull...". I often forget that God is creating an amazing glory inside of me for my future in Heaven. When the Israelites turned against God, it's described as exchanging their glory. It's a perfect description of what is going on! In God's great love and compassion, he delivered the Israelites just as He's looking out for me. He quiets the storms in our hearts and brings us rest. It behooves me to return just a portion of the love and respect that He has bestowed upon me.
43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things
and consider the great love of the LORD.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Saul is dead, and David becomes king. He became very powerful because he had God behind him--settled in Jerusalem and it became the City of David. He had a "posse" of many mighty men (who are listed out in great detail) who are willing to live and die for him at any moment.
In Psalms, David rejoices at how wonderful it is when he and his men work together in unison.
At this point, David is on the up-and-up and can do no wrong. God has blessed every move him and his men make and has bestowed him with so many things. He now has his own plot of land and a kingdom to call his own... David truly was a favorite! Not saying that God plays favorites... but if He did, David would totally be teacher's pet.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I have again merged a few Psalms into today (I was already behind from when I was sick a few weeks). More lamenting from a man pouring out his sorrows to God. He's eating ashes and drinking tears... pretty serious stuff. The main point is that God's love surrounds us... He never leaves and never forsakes...
103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
He will give us exactly what we need and longs for us to be happy! And he is pro-wine :)
104:14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
More genealogy, I wish I would claim independence from the Book of Chronicles... I decided to merge today's reading with what is supposed to be tomorrow's reading to spice things up a bit. Since there really isn't anything to talk about from Chronicles, I will move right into Psalms.
These readings are riddled with despair as the writer is wondering why God is hiding His face. I'm sure we have all felt like that at some point--why has He abandoned me?? But then the writer remembers the good times and that God never leaves. He has seen his enemies destroyed and realized that his trials really aren't that bad. What's great about the Psalms is the absolute love and passion that is felt from the words. The writers truly and deeply are IN LOVE with the Lord. Well, either in love or in despair... but still. Their words are beautiful and moving!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The rest is singing praises to God and asking to not be forgotten; recalling His faithfulness to the Israelites in the desert, despite their wickedness. It's a great comfort to know that I am just as evil in my heart as the Israelites--if He still loved and took care of them, how much more will He then look after me?
Friday, July 2, 2010
The main thing that stuck out was that a few sisters were mentioned...finally some female shout outs! Reuben was not listed in birth right order because he defiled his marriage bed and the rights went to Joseph. Jabez is mentioned momentarily--his mother named him so because of the great pains of labor and he asked God to not give him pain in life; God agrees.
Still a hard book to get through... slowly but surely! In other news, I'm really excited about this weekend coming up and hoping for some good times with family and friends. Hitting the river tomorrow with the Duggan family for some tubing and BBQ, picking up little sis from the airport, Eclipse, pasta making, fireworks... its gonna be a good 3 days :)
Thursday, July 1, 2010
A big theme is the idea that we are nothing apart from God. We win no victories that cannot be accredited to Him! A great part from Chapter 49 says that God will redeem us from death, but those who don't believe will never see the light of life. They amass things and riches but you can't take any of that with you...
20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.
Chapter 84 is the basis for a great youth group song that we always used to sing.. "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.." Verse 10 says that I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. How amazing will it be to be in the house of God and revel in His glory?!?!
We close with a promise that God's people will be remembered forever. That we are His and He will claim us.. what an amazing feeling. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read these Psalms!!!