Tuesday, April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Jeroboam’s son was very sick, so he sent his wife in disguise to visit the prophet Ahijah in Shiloh to find out if he would live. Incredibly, he thought he could have her hide her identity from a prophet of God and yet get information about the son from him. Ahijah told her he would die as soon as she stepped foot into the city. Ahijah also said to her that he was the only child of Jeroboam, whom dogs or birds would not eat because he honored God. God took the crown away from the family of Jeroboam because he caused Israel to sin. Shortly after the son died, Jeroboam died. 

Solomon’s son Rehoboam reigned in Judah, but he was just as guilty of sin because he built height places, images, and groves on every high hill and under every green tree to worship idols, but there were also sodomites in the land. Because of their sins, God allowed Shishak, king of Egypt, to come up against Jerusalem and took all the treasures from the Temple and the king’s house. Rehoboam died and was buried in the city of David. 

Some of the lessons in this portion of scripture are: 

  1. Sometimes, God removes good people early, like Jeroboam’s son, because God knew he loved him, and God wanted to keep him from dealing with the sins of his family. God often takes those soonest whom he loves best. 
  2. If there is a sickness, you might want to ask God if there is a sin within your family that needs to be repented and overcome. 
  3. God will take away your most precious things when you dishonor him with your sinful behavior as he did to Rehoboam. I’ll guarantee you he was devastated when he lost all the things God had given to his father, Solomon, and grandfather, David.


And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. 1 Kings 14:16


And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 1 Kings 14:26

Monday, April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

God sent a prophet from Judah to Jeroboam in Bethel, Israel, to warn him about his altar of incense. The prophet spoke directly to the altar and predicted the rise of Josiah, who would destroy all the altars in Israel. Josiah wouldn’t come into power for more than 356 years. God gave an immediate sign that what the prophet was saying was true; the altar fell apart and spilled all the ashes. Jeroboam reached out to assault the prophet, but his hand dried up. He then asked the prophet to pray for him, and God restored his hand. Both of these things proved that what he was saying was true and that they came from God. Jeroboam invited him to have dinner at his house, but the prophet refused because God had told him not to eat, drink, or return by the way he came. Then, another prophet in town heard what had happened and went to invite him to his home; however, he lied to him, telling the prophet that God told him it was okay for him to eat and drink with him. When the prophet left to go home, a lion killed him but didn’t harm the donkey. God had told him that would happen because he disobeyed him. The other prophet buried him and told his sons to bury him with this prophet when he died. 

This portion of scripture is full of lessons:

  1. Never fear doing the work of the Lord because if God sends you, he will protect you. Jeroboam couldn’t harm the prophet because his hand dried up.
  2. Many people will ask for prayer but won’t seek forgiveness for their sins, like Jeroboam, who only wanted healing.
  3. Even a prophet of God will not go unpunished for his disobedience.
  4. The old prophet who lied to the other prophet likely feared the recompense of God for what he did to the sincere prophet. I’m sure he was riddled with guilt. 

The overall lesson is to stand firm in obedience to God and never let anyone sway you in a different direction.

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 1 Kings 13:23-24

Sunday, April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

The kingdom of Israel became divided when Solomon's son, Rehoboam, consulted the old men who counseled David after some people came to him to get him to reduce the taxes. The old men told him that if he treated them kindly, the people would serve him forever. However, Rehoboam decided to consult his friends closer to his age; he was 40 years old then. His friends told him to give the people a heavier burden than they had been under during Solomon's reign. So when he told them his answer, they got angry and left to their tents. Then Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the taxes, to the people, and they stoned him to death, and Rehoboam hurried back to Jerusalem, where he reigned over Judah. When he returned, he gathered an army to fight against the people, but God sent him a message through Shemaiah telling him not to fight against your brothers, the children of Israel. They listened.

Jeroboam, who became king over the other ten tribes, Israel, was concerned about the people worshipping God and wanting to go to Jerusalem to make their sacrifices, where Rehoboam reigned as king. He devised a plan to change the direction of the people, made two golden calves for them to worship and make sacrifices to, and placed them in the cities of Bethel and Dan. Then, he held festivals during the same times as Judah. This caused the people to sin. 

What were these people thinking? How were they so easily swayed to turn away from God? It certainly couldn't have been all the people. Much like today, we live in a country considered a Christian nation and full of the spirit of God, yet a great number of people have rejected Jesus to go their own way. Now, many have turned away from God, yet there are those of us who still follow Jesus and are not worshiping the "Golden Calf." Hold on to Jesus with every ounce of your being! The ride will only get harder as more and more people fall under the enemy's spell. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and never turn to the right or the left!

And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 1 Kings 12:26-27

Saturday, April 20, 2024

April 20, 2024

It’s easy to get caught up in the glamorous life of others, but it isn’t a good idea because humans will disappoint, and King Solomon became one of those disappointments. As soon as I read the heading for 1 Kings 11, I knew Solomon’s reign was over. It said, “Solomon turns away from the Lord.” Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines; that’s 1000 women! These women couldn’t have been anything more than gold diggers (believe me, he had plenty of gold!) because it would have been impossible for one man to have shared quality time in a loving way with so many. Many of these women were from countries God had warned Israel not to mingle with. The worst part is that these women drew him away from God to begin worshipping their idols and fake gods. These gods are not like the material things we call idols today, but the enemy made them believe human sacrifices were necessary, and Solomon fell under that spell and built temples for those gods. His children paid the price for what he did because, after his death, God handed the kingdom of Israel, with its eleven tribes, over to Jeroboam, leaving only one tribe for the children of King David. Solomon tried to have Jeroboam killed, but he escaped to Egypt until Solomon died. Solomon’s son Rehoboam took over Judah in Jerusalem. I left out a lot of details in this summary, so if you have time, it’s an interesting read. 

The main point is to keep your eyes on the one true God. He is the only one who can help you in times of need. Keep worshipping God, and He will reward you for your faithfulness. 

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 1 Kings 11:4

Friday, April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

The Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon and brought camels loaded with spices, gold, and precious stones. The queen had heard rumors of all God had done for Solomon and his great wisdom and wanted to see if the rumors were true. She found out that what she heard paled in comparison to what she witnessed. Solomon told her everything she asked about, holding nothing back. 

Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. 1 Kings 10:9

I found the previous verse to be very interesting because she admired him for his judgments and justice and understood that God loved Israel, which is why He had placed Solomon on the throne. Solomon was a great king, that was wealthy and powerful, but think about Jesus and how much greater he is than Solomon. 

Reflecting on the story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, we can draw parallels to our current situation. The leadership of the United States, in its ruthlessness and carelessness, echoes the need for a just and fair ruler. Could it be that God has allowed such leadership to make us yearn for our true King, Jesus, and his righteous judgments? The day will come when they will be held accountable for their actions. Come, Lord Jesus; we await your return.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

After the temple's dedication to God, he visited Solomon in a dream again. Because Solomon had honored Him, He made the temple holy and promised to dwell there. God confirmed what he had told him before: he would honor His promise to his father, David, as long as the people continued to worship and follow Him. However, if they turned away to chase after other gods, He would cut them off, and others would see what they did and know that evil comes when God is forsaken. 

Solomon tried to pay Hiram by giving him several cities, but he didn't want them. Hiram's main business was shipping, and those cities were probably too far from the coast. Solomon would most likely have to find a different way to pay him. 

Solomon built many cities for different purposes, such as a place for his chariots, storage, and his horsemen. Much like these cities with their various uses and Hiram's desire to stay near the coast because of his shipping business, God uses us for our specific abilities and encourages us to concentrate on those areas of our lives that he has gifted us in. Improve your talents and giftings and use them to glorify God.  

And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 1 Kings 9:19 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The temple was complete and ready to receive the Ark of the Covenant and all the ceremonial vessels, so Solomon had them bring it out of Zion, the City of David, into the temple. According to my commentary, the Ark wasn't brought up until a year after the temple was finished, which happened to be a jubilee year. All the people gathered for a great feast and the Ark's dedication to the Lord. They sacrificed an untold number of sheep and oxen and placed the Ark under the cherubim's wings. At that point, the only thing in the Ark was the two stone tablets. What happened to Aaron's rod and the pot of manna? Did the person die when they touched the Ark to take them out? They may have been dumped out or removed when the Philistines had it. Whatever the case, they were not in the Ark when the temple was dedicated. 

Solomon blessed the Lord and prayed a prayer of dedication. Have you ever wondered why Daniel prayed toward the temple when he was in captivity? He did that because Solomon prayed that God would hear their prayers if they would look toward the temple when they prayed; it came from this prayer. 

That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. 1 Kings 8:29

Solomon blessed the people and made an offering of peace to the Lord. Because there were so many sacrifices, the altar wasn't big enough to hold them all, so Solomon used the court. 

My prayers seem so inadequate compared to how Solomon honored God. When you read all they did for Him, what we do for him on a daily basis is so insignificant. We must remember that Jesus is enough, but still, we should do better in our praise and worship. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Give Him the respect He deserves.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

After Solomon completed the temple, he built his palace. From the description, it seemed extraordinary, full of windows and light. I’m an outdoorsy girl and love windows that bring the light from outside indoors, so I understand Solomon’s desire to have many windows. Even though 1 Kings 7 is mainly about the details of Solomon’s house and the making of the brass items for the temple, the most fitting lesson is the order. Solomon took less than a year to complete the temple in honor of God, but his own home took thirteen years! He completed his work on God’s house promptly, but his house was less important, so he took his time. Solomon put God first! If you think about your conversion to Christ, we welcomed him into our broken-down temple, and he began the building-up process and completed a good work within us. 

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

Imagine our body as the temple for the Holy Spirit of God, then realize that it also houses our entire being. It is more important that we bring light into our beings and build up the spirit within us because, eventually, our bodies will give out, and all that will be left is our spirit that the Holy Spirit enlightens. I’m all for taking care of our body, but no matter how good you are at exercise and nutrition, one day, the only thing left is what you build with the Holy Spirit. Put God first by building your relationship with him; then, the rest will fall into place like it did for Solomon.  

So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD. 1 Kings 7:51

Monday, April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Solomon ordered all the parts for the temple to the exact measurements, so nothing was built on site, and no hammer or axe was heard during the building process. Can you imagine how perfect those materials had to be? Only God could pull off something like that. 

And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. 1 Kings 6:7

Wood covered the stone, inner walls, and floors on the inside. It had detailed carvings of flowers and palm trees; everything was covered in gold. It must have been magnificent! The outside was probably somewhat ordinary, but the inside was extravagant. I can't help but compare the building of God's temple to us; we are somewhat ordinary on the outside, but because of Jesus, our interior is lined with gold. That simple idea makes me feel unworthy, yet He calls me worthy. 

The most crucial portion of this chapter of scripture is that God told Solomon that if he followed His statutes, obeyed His commands, and made fair judgments, then He would perform His word within him and dwell among them and not forsake the people. 

Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 1 Kings 6:12-13

Let us not overlook the scripture's message: we have a crucial role in maintaining the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It's not a daunting task! By staying repentant, we can ensure that the Holy Spirit is evident within us, guiding our actions and thoughts.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Sunday, April 14, 2024

April 14, 2024

Solomon began working on the temple for God that David had designed. Hiram, the king of Tyre, sent his servants to Solomon because he had heard that David had passed away and he had been anointed king. Solomon sent word back to Hiram to make a deal with him for timber, the cedars of Lebanon. The Sidonians were experts in working with timber, and he needed their help. Hiram supplied the trees and wood, and Solomon paid Hiram's workers and sent food to his household. The two countries worked together to cut timber and hew stones for the foundation to get the temple started. Hiram moved the logs through the sea, floating them to Israel. 

Israel grew wheat and corn, harvested olives, and made oil, and Tyre was good at cutting trees and moving them. You can see that they didn't try to do everything themselves but divided the work according to their skills and hired the appropriate people. God has given us certain gifts that allow us to work together to complete the assignment He has given us. For this reason, we must be connected with The Church so that God can use our skills to fulfill His purpose if the need arises. We are Christ's body, and it takes all of us to accomplish kingdom work. 

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:27

And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house. 1 Kings 5:18

Saturday, April 13, 2024

April 13, 2024

Oh, that we might live under the reign of a man such as Solomon. His kingdom lived in peace and prosperity; food was abundant, safety was sure, and the people thrived. Solomon was so full of wisdom that he spoke three thousand proverbs and wrote one thousand-five songs. The description of his kingdom is much like I would expect it to be when Jesus returns to rule and reign. It reminds me of what the angels declared to the shepherds when they announced the birth of Christ in Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Because we trust in Jesus and he is our King, we will one day understand what it’s like to live in the kingdom of God, but until then, we can imagine such a kingdom by reading the description of Solomon’s kingdom in 1 Kings 4:20-34. The scriptures give us hope. Our trials and tribulations make us long for better days. Remember, Jesus said if you love your life, you will lose it, but if you hate your life in this world, you will keep it for eternity. Don’t worry if you don’t see Jesus’s return; you will see him before us. You should only worry if you haven’t trusted him with your life. We are only here temporarily; eternity is forever, and that’s a mighty long time. Make sure you pass on to the next life with Jesus! 

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. John 12:25

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. 1 Kings 4:29

Friday, April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, built his house, and walled in Jerusalem. He went to Gibeon, where the altar was, and sacrificed a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord. When he fell asleep, God visited him in a dream and told Solomon to make his request, and He would give him whatever he asked. Solomon, concerned about judging the great nation of Israel, asked for an understanding heart to discern between good and evil. God was very pleased with his answer and committed to giving him the things he hadn’t asked for, like long life, riches, and honor. When he awakened and realized it was a dream, he made a peace offering before the ark and a feast for his servants. 

Then came a test of his wisdom. Two women, who were both pregnant at the same time, delivered their babies three days apart. However, one of the women laid on her child, killing it. While the other woman was sleeping, she switched the babies, giving the other woman the dead one. They went before Solomon with their case because the one mother knew the dead baby wasn’t hers. Solomon offered a solution, had someone bring a sword to him, and offered to divide the living child in half. The birth mother told him to give the baby to the other woman, not wanting to see harm come to her child, but the woman of the dead baby told him to go ahead and divide it so neither of them could have it. That’s when Solomon knew which mother the baby belonged to. The birth mother would never want the child to be harmed. 

We all need wisdom and discernment, and it seems God will give us that gift if we ask. We live in a world that is full of ignorance and stupidity, and more people need to ask God for these things. Keep praying for God to open the eyes of those who lack intelligence, and maybe the world will become a better place to live until Jesus returns. 

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 1 Kings 3:9

Thursday, April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

David knew he was about to die, so he gave Solomon a list of treasonous people that he should remove by way of death to ensure he would have a peaceful kingdom. David died and was buried in the City of David. Adonijah went to Bathsheba, asking her for a favor. Adonijah knew that if he could marry David's concubine Abishag, who had ministered to him during his sickness, he could take over the kingdom. Bathsheba went to Solomon and asked him for that favor, but he saw through Adonijah's intentions and sent for him to be killed. It seems that Joab and Abiathar, the priest, may have put Adonijah up to ask for Abishag. After hearing what happened to Adonijah, Joab ran and took hold of the horns of the altar and wouldn't let them go, knowing he was about to be killed. He must have thought Solomon wouldn't kill him at the altar, but because of his treason and his killing of two innocent men during a time of peace, Solomon had him taken out, even at the altar, if he wouldn't leave. For his part, Abiathar, the priest, was removed from his official duties. Shimei, one of the men on David’s list was sentenced to stay in Jerusalem, never allowing him to leave or face death if he did. A couple of years later, Shimei’s servants ran away to the Philistines, and he went after them. Solomon heard about it and had him killed.

If people nowadays were held accountable for their actions quickly and decisively, the nations of this world would be more peaceful. Let us hope that God's plan of justice for the heinous acts committed against the people will be carried out soon and the treacherous people held to account.

Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. 1 Kings 2:9

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The rest of the story of David continues into 1 Kings. However, his reign ends because he is sick and feverish; they hire a young woman to care for him. Adonijah, one of David's sons, took it upon himself to proclaim that he would become king; however, before he was anointed, some of David's people heard about what was happening and went to Bathsheba and encouraged her to go to David and speak to him because he had told her that Solomon would reign after him. Nathan, the prophet, came in to back her up. Then David called them back before him and instructed them to bring Solomon, having him ride on the king's mule. Riding the king's mule was a capital offense without the king's permission, so this was evidence that Solomon was next in line for the throne. They anointed Solomon, blew the trumpet, and had a big party. Adonijah heard the commotion from a distance, enquired about what he was hearing, and then became fearful when he learned Solomon was anointed king. Then all the people that were celebrating with him left. He ran and placed his hands on the horns of the altar. Adonijah's servants begged for his life, and Solomon, being reasonable, told them that if he showed himself a worthy man, he wouldn't kill him, but if he were wicked, he would die. They brought him down from the altar and took him to Solomon; he bowed himself before Solomon, and Solomon sent him home. 

If you decide to take things upon yourself rather than waiting on God, he will put you back in your place, and whatever good he had in store for you will have to wait. Adonijah jumped the gun, knowing his father, David, was sick. He was embarrassed and nearly died for running ahead of God's plan. Have patience and wait for it; it shall surely come. 

And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 1 Kings 1:34-35

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

For an unknown reason, King David decided to take a census and count all the people of Israel and Judah. God knew David’s heart and attributed it to pride and, therefore, a sin against Him. Why did he need to know? Maybe David wanted to see if God had delivered on His promise to Abraham that they would be more than the stars of the heavens. Even if David wanted to see how many fighting men he had, it was wrong because God was the only reason they would win at war, not by their own hand. God gave David three choices for punishment: famine, war, or pestilence. David chose the shortest, which was three days of pestilence. Seventy thousand people died. David repented and bought a property from Araunah the Jebusite to build an altar for a burnt offering to God. David could see the angel preparing to pour out God’s wrath on Jerusalem, but because David repented, God ceased the execution by telling the angel to stop. God is just. Don’t think David’s sin was the only reason for the punishment; the people were also sinning and needed correction; otherwise, they wouldn’t have needed their sins rectified. God is gracious and has given us Jesus as our Savior to keep us from eternal damnation, but he will punish us if necessary to bring us into submission and teach us to avoid sin. I suggest repenting daily, but more so if you recognize your sin, iniquity, or transgression. 

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31 

And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. 2 Samuel 24:25

Monday, April 8, 2024

April 8, 2024

We were invited to enjoy the music of an Australian guitarist and singer on tour. He was very talented and wrote and composed his own music and songs. He seemed to prefer the blues type of music and had some very interesting compositions. One thing that piqued my interest was his ability to write songs quickly after pondering the subject matter. Though he’s no King David, his talent was impressive for a modern-day audience. 

We are reaching the end of 2 Samuel with only one more chapter to cover after today. However, chapter 23 covers David’s last words. David is admired by the writer of this portion of 2 Samuel, who calls him a sweet psalmist, and I would agree with him. Understandably, God would call him a man after his heart. He composed some of the most beautiful, heartfelt words of prayer and praise as an offering to God. Even though we may not be as eloquent as David, our words of prayer and praise should be as heartfelt; I fail at this more often than not, but I still try. Lift your heart and release your passion to Him who loves you more than anything, and feel the release of peace pass over you because of your faithfulness. 

Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who wasraised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 2 Samuel 23:1-2

Sunday, April 7, 2024

April 7, 2024

David was grateful to God for his deliverance from all the evil that sought to destroy him. His heart poured out songs of thanks, giving God the glory for his salvation. Though we know David wrote many psalms, 2 Samuel 22 is also a wonderful song glorifying God for saving him from his enemies. As Christians, we face a lot of evil, wanting us demolished because of our faith in Jesus. When you became His follower, you immediately received a target on your back; even now, the enemy wants to sift you like flour and force you into submission. Your life might be intense, but God will not let you become undone. Yes, we go through trials, but if we wholly rely on God, he will deliver us from evil just as He did David. We are loved beyond compare by a mighty and holy God who will never leave or forsake us. Rest easy, knowing that whatever you are going through, God sees, and His recompense for the wicked is something we will never have to face. Because we are secure in Jesus’s love and mercy, we will only see his wrath with our eyes but feel the warmth of being wrapped in His peace and held by His love.

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4

Saturday, April 6, 2024

April 6, 2024

Have you ever wondered why you were going through seemingly unending trials? Israel was in famine for three years before David asked God why. When he finally asked God, He answered and gave him the remedy. David found out that Saul had reneged on a promise made to the Gibeonites, who were not Israelites, and after consulting with them, he realized that they required blood to avenge the blood that was shed during Saul's reign. They wanted seven of his sons, which included grandsons, and they were sacrificed by hanging to avenge that blood. They were not guilty of a crime, yet it was what was required to satisfy the guilt and bring rain for the crops. I found it hard to make this make sense, but we must remember that Israel was under the Old Covenant, which required that the sins of the father be passed on to the children. From this story, we can reflect on the similarity to the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus, who died to avenge the blood we shed by our sins. Because of his sacrifice, the father's sins are no longer required to be passed on to the children.

One of the lessons I learned from this chapter is to ask God what might be causing our trouble so we can ask forgiveness and hopefully alleviate our pain. The relief may not happen immediately; it took several days for these men to hang in the open before the rain fell, but surely God will tell you so you can make amends if that's what He requires. We are not randomly bouncing through the atmosphere; everything has meaning and is part of a greater plan. 

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:8

Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 Samuel 21:1

Friday, April 5, 2024

April 5, 2024

A man named Sheba rebelled against David. When David returned to Jerusalem, he gave Amasa the task of assembling the men of Judah within three days to go after him. When he wasn't back in the allotted time, Joab's men went out to pursue Sheba. However, Joab was jealous of Amasa because David had appointed him captain of the host over him. When he met up with him, he tricked him by pretending to be his friend and killed him without hesitation. Then Joab went after Sheba, who was locked behind his city's walls. Joab was going to destroy the town to find this man when an intelligent woman called to him, chastising him for planning to ravage the city and hurt a mother in Israel. He told her he wouldn't harm the city if they delivered Sheba to him. She told him that his head would be thrown over the wall, and the people cut off Sheba's head and threw it over the wall. Joab was satisfied and blew the trumpet, and they left without harming the city or the people. This unnamed woman saved the town. 

David's ten concubines, whom he left to manage the house while he was gone, that Absolom slept with while rebelling against him, ended up in confinement until they died, living like widows because they were defiled. 

Much like David returning to Jerusalem, we wait patiently for our King Jesus to return to rule and reign. However, the enemy has defiled many, and they will be locked away forever. Rejoice that you are sealed within Jesus and protected from destruction because he has pardoned all our sins.

am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 2 Samuel 20:19-20

Thursday, April 4, 2024

April 4, 2024

Joab strongly chastised David for not cleaning himself up to meet and compliment the men for their victory over the usurper, Absolom, and his army. He grieved his son. However, David saw his error, acquiesced, anointed his head with oil, and went to the gate to meet the people. Even though David could rightfully regain access to his home and throne, he wanted all the tribes to invite him back rather than retake it by force, so he waited for them to agree before assuming power. He sent his priest to encourage them to invite him back. David pardoned his servants who rallied against him because they begged forgiveness. 

Remember Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul? Ziba lied to David about him, saying he was waiting in Jerusalem to take over the kingdom. Because of his lies, David gave Ziba everything that belonged to Mephibosheth, but Mephibosheth met him and told him what Ziba had done, so David made them split his estate between them. 

David was a fair king and forgave his enemies just like Jesus did. If David could forgive all those who came against him, why can't we forgive minor issues? We must learn from David, follow Jesus' words, forgive our enemies, and live a life of peace. We do not have to entertain those who've grieved us, but we must forgive them and move on. 

Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him. 2 Samuel 19:23

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

The unusual death of Absolom is a story that has stuck with me since I heard it as a child. In the heat of battle, which took place in the woods of Ephraim, Absolom’s donkey ran him under a tree with very low branches, and they caught his luxurious hair and snatched him off the donkey who left him hanging there. And being unable to untangle himself, he was left vulnerable. Some of David’s men saw him there and reported it to Joab. They feared killing him because David had given orders to deal gently with him, just as any parent might respond concerning their child; no matter how evil they might be, most parents don’t want to see their child’s life end. However, to save the kingdom and do the will of God, Joab shot him with three darts and wounded him, and his men finished him off. They buried him in a pit and covered him with a heap of rocks. Joab sent Cushi to deliver the message of victory to David, but Ahimaaz, a young priest who was a fast runner, wanted to deliver it. Joab preferred Cushi deliver it, probably because he didn’t know how David would react to the message of the death of his son. Ahimaaz outran Cushi but allowed Cushi to give him the news of Absolom’s death. Even though this was a victory for David and his small army, he was crushed by the news and retired to his room in grief. 

I understand David’s reaction because our family has also dealt with a child turning and fighting against us, but at no point have we ever wanted them dead. The pain is unbearable, but we are thankful they are still alive. However, David’s kingdom was at stake, and the victory ensured that he continued as king and owed his fighting men praise. When God hands us victory, even if we are sad, we must remember to thank the Lord because He is the One who saved us. 

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! 2 Samuel 18:33

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

April 2, 2024

David's good friend, Hushai, had made himself a friend of Absolom, too. So when Ahithophel, another of Absolom's wise counselors, gave him advice to go after David and kill only him and bring the rest of the people back who had fled with David, Hushai came up with a better idea, which Absolom decided to take. Ahithophel later went back to his hometown and killed himself because Absolom liked Hushai's counsel better. Hushai reminded Absolom that his dad was a brave warrior, and so were the men with him, and it would be better to take them all out. Hushai then told the priest to send word to David and tell him not to stay out in the open because Absolom would be coming for him. A young man saw them and reported the priest to Absolom, but they both disappeared quickly and went into a friend's home, where a woman hid them in a well and covered the well with a cloth and corn to disguise it. The women told the men that they had gone over the brook. When they left, the priests ran and told David and all who were with him crossed over the Jordan and lodged there. Shobi and Machir brought them beds and provisions. 

Absolom knew Hushai was very good friends with his dad, so why did he trust him? I believe God stopped him from reasoning well so He could provide a way for David to escape. Once again, God's plans prevailed for the one He loved. Those outside of our faith in Jesus will not win against us; God's plans are not to harm us. Though we may be troubled like David at times, everything falls together for our good in the end. 

Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan. 2 Samuel 17:22

Monday, April 1, 2024

April 1, 2024

In 2 Samuel 16, David is on the run because of Absolom. Ziba brings provision to King David and his servants and lies about Methebocheth waiting in Jerusalem to take over the kingdom. So David gave everything that Methebocheth had to Ziba. Then, another of Saul's family, Shimei, came out of his house and began cursing David. David turned the other cheek because he believed God had told him to curse him. When Absolom came to Jerusalem, one of David's good friends committed to serving him, but Absolom questioned why he would betray his dad. He said he would serve whoever the people had appointed king. 

After that, Absolom asked Ahithophel to counsel him on what he should do, and he told him that he should sleep with his dad's concubines to prove he was now taking over. So, they set up a tent on the roof, and he slept with them. This situation is alarming because these women had probably helped raise Absolom and were most likely around his mother's age. God had not appointed Absolom, so we know God won't allow his kingdom to stand. We learn from this that nothing good comes from going against God and making your own path to power because further in 1 Samuel, we will find out that Ziba and Absolom ended up paying the price for their treachery. We know that David was a man after God's own heart, and even though he found trouble, God still loved him and afflicted those who came against him. We can expect that same kind of love because we trust His Son, Jesus.

It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. 2 Samuel 16:12 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

March 31, 2024

Today, we celebrate the proof that Jesus is our King. Who else could allow himself to be executed when he had committed no crime and then come back from the dead? And though this happened over two thousand years ago, we are still discussing it! No creature or human should be honored above Jesus; today is not about Ishtar, also known as Easter, the fertility goddess; it is to honor the Resurrection of Jesus. He is worthy of our respect. Celebrate only Jesus today. He is holy. 

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. Mark 16:9-11

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. Mark 16:14

Saturday, March 30, 2024

March 30, 2024

Absolam was a handsome man who was cunning, ambitious, and adored by the people. He probably would have succeeded David as king over all of Israel if he hadn't been so scandalous. Instead, he devised a plan to take the kingdom away from his dad by usurping his authority to judge the people at the entrance to the city. He endeared them by telling them what their itchy ears wanted to hear and thus made friends in every town. David heard of his treachery, packed up his wives and any servants wishing to follow him, and left Jerusalem. God told David that evil would reign in his family for what he did to Uriah, so he gave in to his punishment and fled without a fight. He loved Absolam and never expected or prepared for his treason; David's heart broke. 

As parents, we often assume our children will stand by us, even in times of disagreement, as family is meant to be a steadfast support. However, this is not always the case; our children can sometimes let us down, yet our love for them remains. The enemy, in a cunning move, persuaded Absolam to betray his father and his family. Absolam ultimately paid the price with his life, a story we will delve into in later chapters. No matter how it unfolds, God's plan will always come to fruition. Remember, God's ways are inscrutable, and He will employ any means necessary to execute His plan. Be patient; it will surely manifest.

And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 2 Samuel 15:30

Friday, March 29, 2024

March 29, 2024

Today, we must solemnly remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. He agonizingly suffered for our transgressions at the hands of sinners like us. Do not take your salvation lightly; appreciate all He did for us on the cross. Some have today off in remembrance of that special day; enjoy it knowing what Jesus did affords us the kind of freedom that only Jesus can give, which is security in eternity with Him. We are so very blessed. 

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. Matthew 27:51-54