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