Paying the Price 2 Samuel 12 part 1

When Nathan responds to David’s sin, you could hear the pain of a father having to discipline his son.  God’s heart was broken, David’s heart was broken and Nathan’s heart was broken.  A needless selfish sin has now disrupted a beautiful relationship between God and David.  Nothing about David’s sin was respectable or overlookable.  Now David would spend the rest of his life haunted by his sin.  It was not that God had not forgiven the sin, because he did.  It is simply that the failure exacted a huge price.

In our lives, often we confuse forgiveness with consequence.  We expect that if Gd forgives our sin, we will not have a consequence.  That is simply not true.  When we walk away from the Lord, we cannot escape the consequences of that independence.  We can, however repent and return to following him.  When we do, we restore fellowship and enjoy the provision and protection of our father. Help me, Lord to remain submitted to you and to walk humbly in the path you have set out.

God Bless You

11 “This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view. 12 You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the Lord[a] by doing this, your child will die.”

15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. 16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17 The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.

18 Then on the seventh day the child died.

God Corrects His Own-2 Samuel 12 Part 1

God disciplines those he loves.  David sinned greatly.  He knew it and God knew it. David had hoped that covering up the sin, would somehow make everything better, but, God was not going to allow it.  God sent Nathan to expose David’s sin, and to help David understand the import of his actions.  The parable put things into perspective for David—David saw for the first time that he had become what he despised.  That was the beginning of repentance and restoration. 

As his kids, God also intervenes in our lives to mold and shape us into his image.  When we allow sin to stay in our lives, God has a way of exposing the sin and helping us to recognize what it has done to us and to others. If we are sensitive to his leadership, he can guide us to repentance and restoration.  He is first and foremost a loving Father—his desire is to shape us to be like him and enjoy the peace and freedom that comes with that. Help me, Lord to be sensitive to your leadership and humble and discerning to your correction.

God Bless You

12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!

The Wages of Sin–2 Samuel 11 part 2

The saddest part of sin is that it typically affects the lives of many unintended people.  David’s adulterous affair had already changed his course.  He not only made Bathsheba pregnant, but now he killed her husband a very loyal and disciplined soldier. David discounted the lives of Uriah and many other soldiers that day. Sadly, God would never allow him to hide his sin. And no matter what lengths he may take to make it go away, God was not going to allow it to simply disappear.

It is the same in our lives. The greatest reason to live a life worthy of the Gospel is that when revealed it will bring honor to God and joy to us.  When we do not honor God, we will be discovered and it will not honor God or us. In addition, when you live in a manner displeasing to God it not only affects your life, but also the lives of others.  None of us want to hurt others with our lives, but we do when we sin.  Help me, Lord to honor you with my life and please you with my actions.

God Bless You

14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. 15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” 16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting. 17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers…22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.” 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was displeased with what David had done.

Being Flanked-2 Samuel 11 part 1

I have learned the hard way, when things are difficult, it is easy to seek the Lord and to stay focused upon him for survival.  When things are comfortable, then we tend to take our eyes and focus off the Lord and we are subject to being attacked and defeated by the enemy.  The military term is flanked. It simply means he circles in on our blind spot and levels us.  No matter how deep your commitment to the Lord, you remain at risk of being flanked by the enemy.

David finally had peace and order in the nation of Israel. He survived the manhunt.  He survived civil war.  He survived the ongoing battles with Israel’s enemies.  So one spring, he decided to take a break.  When he did, he was flanked. Bathsheba was there, and after all, he was King!  What was to follow sadly, would greatly change the course of his life and Israel’s future.

We can never let up.  We must always stay on guard. In fact, when things are the best for us spiritually, we need to be most watchful. War is like that.  The enemy wants to neutralize us—and there is no better way than to lead us into sin at the height of our ministry. History tells us to be ready when things are peaceful.  Be on guard, our enemy is like a roaring lion—seeking whom he can devour. 1Peter 5:8.

God Bless You

In the spring of the year,[a] when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They destroyed the Ammonite army and laid siege to the city of Rabbah. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.

Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her.

The World will Never Get it!–2 Samuel 9

The world never seems to get it.  David was a Good King.  He desired to do what was right and lead as a brave but humble King.  The Ammonites could not believe that, simply because they would never be that way.  The result was pitiful. David sends men to Honor his rival upon his death.  The Ammonites think them spies and humiliate them.  David responds as would any warrior and prepares for attack, the ammonites respond by hiring back up mercenaries to fight their battle for them.

It is the contrast between righteousness and unrighteousness.  The righteous respond with selfless and humble attitudes and the unrighteous with selfish and arrogant attitudes.  As in David’s case, the righteous ultimately win out.  Selfless humility always garners loyalty and respect; while selfish arrogance can’t even buy true loyalty.

We have to live for others and allow God to be our protector and provider.  As we do, we develop the attitude David had.  Respect and Humility are what is in our heart and what is displayed by our thoughts and words.  That life will always produce victory in the truest and deepest sense.

God Bless You

Some time after this, King Nahash[a] of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame…13 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 14 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. After the battle was over, Joab returned to Jerusalem.

15 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel. So when they regrouped, 16 they were joined by additional Aramean troops summoned by Hadadezer from the other side of the Euphrates River.[b] These troops arrived at Helam under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.

17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and led the army to Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle formation and fought against David. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers,[c] including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites.

Friendship a Legacy of Love–2 Samuel 9 part 1

When things settled down, David thought of his buddy Jonathan. He missed his friend, and because of the civil war, he was never really able to show his love for his friend.  Then, he asks a great question, “Ïs there anyone left that I can bless?” After he found out he immediately sent for and restored Jonathan’s son.  He also made a place at his table for Mephibosheth.  In a Kingdom of millions, to be a low income boy from Lo Di Bar at the Kings table would be the ultimate in restoration and vindication.

That is what friends do—They treat each other and their families like family.  They dispense with any personal issues of pride or hurt and sacrifice as if for themselves.  The Church is the same, we are family and we need to be the ones laying our lives down to be the restoration and safe haven for each other.  It is not typical, but if it is good enough for a man after God’s own heart, then it should be Good enough for us!

God Bless You

When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, “Mephibosheth!”

“At your service,” he replied.

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s[a] table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

2 Samuel 8 final–David’s Sons Were Priests

Son’s tend to want to be like their dads.  It always thrilled my heart and often thrilled my young son’s heart when we wore matching shirts. We had several.  Some dress, some t-shirts and some casual; but, as a little boy we probably matched once every couple of weeks. In this epilogue to the early reign of David, it is awesome that the traits that drew his sons were his spiritual traits.  It did not say David’s sons were warriors, it said they were priests.  They took the importance of serving God as paramount to defeating armies.  That had to be significant issue in the kingdom.  Clearly, the people were fine with it, and it showed the leadership of old where the judges were more spiritual leaders than military.

In our lives, it would be awesome if our kids modeled the spiritual side of our lives.  It would clearly up the stakes to be accountable.  It would also drive more discussion and discipleship in the home.  It will also allow the family to focus on encouraging, praying and building each other up.  We as Christians should make a goal to do one thing that focuses on God—besides Church each week and have different family members be in charge.  The legacy we build in our family will be apparent for generations to come.

God Bless You

14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David’s Officials

15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.[h]