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A Broken Heart–2 Samuel 18 part 2

Don’t Judge—David was delivered and all was back on track…BUT—His son was now dead.  He died a traitor and a hater of his Dad.  What response could any father offer.  His heart was broken his sin exposed the trouble he started reached its pinnacle. David was devastated. The devastation displayed by David was not much different than the response of any father—including our heavenly father.  God hates sin.  He allows those that sin to experience sins results.  But, as he allows that to happen, it literally breaks his heart.

We need to follow God’s lead and as we do we will experience his favor and his provision.  But we must also know hat he will allow us tp experience the result of our selfish independence.  It will devastate him and break his heart, as it would any father.  That is why he calls us to be holy.  He asks us to submit t his leadership and walk freely from the bondage of our sin.  Follow him and do not break your Lord’s heart.

God Bless You

28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.”

29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.”

30 The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there.

31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.”

32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.”

33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”[g]

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Best laid Plans-2 Samuel 18 part 1

Absalom was clearly in control, his father was on the run, the people of Israel beginning to accept the change of Kings—but, then God had a different plan.  Absalom became trapped by his own vanity and exposed to death because of his own carelessness.  As he hung by his hair from a tree, I am sure he thought this cannot be happening to me—my hair…really?

Our best plans often fail to account for either God’s direction or unforeseen circumstance. When we are hit with the unexpected, like Absalom we are left hanging in awe and disgust exposed to the enemy unprotected and helpless.  That is why we must seek the Lord’s plan and follow his lead.  We will often wonder why God’s plan is what it is, but, when we follow him he protects and provides for us in a manner we would never believe.  David was defeated and on the run—then at a moment’s notice the battle was over and he was restored. Psalms 23 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death—I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Thanks for being with me Lord.

God Bless You

Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels[b] of silver and a warrior’s belt.”

12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels[c] were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.[d]13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy[e]—and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”

14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in

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2 Samuel 16 part 2–Sticks and Stones

Sometimes God allows us to be treated poorly and to be wrongfully accused.  There is no apparent reason, and retaliation really does not help.  In those times, those we love are often feeling more emotion and desire to strike back than we are.  David’s men wanted to erase this angry critic of David.  But, David, the wise king knew the murder would serve no purpose other than to make a martyr of his enemy and a worse villain of David.

 

In his word, God says—“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay!”  We need not spend our time and energy trying to right our being wronged.  We need to humbly follow the path he has set and allow God to protect, provide and proceed as our redeemer and Fan.  He will show us approved.  We will be known as his chosen and we will be honored as his bride.  There is simply nothing the world can say or do that will usurp his authority or devotion in our lives.  Let them talk.  Let them rant and rave!  In the end we will be at his side honored as his own and loved as his children.

 God Bless You

Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!”  Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”

10 But the king said, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this?’”11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, “My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.”

13 So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt.

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2 Samuel 16 part 1–Time to Help

When life is a struggle, kindness has no station.  David was on the run amd the one that arrived as a friend and help was Ziba.  Ziba saw David restore Mephibosheth.  Now when David was in trouble—It was the servant NOT the master that saved the king.  As such, David turned Mephibosheth’s stuff to Ziba. 

When we are struggling, we must be kind to all and accept help where it is given.  We cannot hide behind station or past—we must humbly allow God to meet our needs from whoever or wherever.  As God’s people, we must be a part of the solution, not problem when dealing with folks.  We must always be ready to assist those in need.  That will be our legacy and the source for God to bless us.  Help me, Lord—to be a help to those in need.

God Bless You

When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine.

The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought these?”

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness.”

The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?”

Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’”

Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.”

“I humbly bow,” Ziba said. “May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

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God is my Shelter-Psalm 91

God is our Shelter. David spent a great portion of his adult life on the run.  He ran from Saul.  He ran from the Philistines and is currently on the run from his son.  No time as a fugitive was pleasant. Yet, in the midst of his difficult existence, David sang a song of hope—God was his refuge.  This principle was engrained in to David early and often.  The result, however allowed him to maintain hope in a hopeless situation.  He was able to hide in the safety of God even when no other person  would have remained faithful.  And while not pleasant he followed God all the days of his life.

In our lives, we are faced with trials and tribulation.   We face temptation and struggle day in and day out.  In the midst of those struggles, we are called to rest in him and seek his refuge. When we do, we can face life with hope and promise and minister to others with confidence that God will be with us and carry us all the days of our lives. We, like David can sing even when life is a battle.  Help me, Lord to hide in your wing and seek you as my fortress and strength.

God Bless You

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.   my God, in whom I trust.”

 

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Stealing Hearts–2 Samuel 15 part 1

God’s prophecy was coming true. After years of pursuit and civil war; after establishing a united kingdom—David’s sin had unraveled all that God had built.  His Son Absolom was starting a revolution, but, in a different way—he was stealing the hearts of the people.  No violence, no disrespect—a smile and a hug.  Absolom promised justice and help and slowly, after years of gentle deception, he was ready to steal God’s throne from his father.  Problem was, God was neither surprised nor ready to deviate from his plan. 

While the people may have been fooled by Absolom’s ploy, God was not.  Things are the same today. Men are always about promising to be the one to care about our needs and justice for all.  Sometimes they are even convincing, but, truth be told, they are furthering their own agendas.  They press forward and ultimately tip their hand.  When their true nature is revealed, they have only their own desires in mind.  That is why we are to seek and follow God.  Men will always disappoint us and deceive us—But God is faithful to do what he promises and lead us to freedom.  We have to be wary of the promises of men and faithful in seeking the leadership of God

God Bless You

15 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”

Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

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Go Big or Go Home 2 Samuel 14 part 2

David brought his son Absolom back from Geshur. But when he brought him back, he refused to rebuild the relationship.  David simply ignored him.  This drove Absolom crazy.  He wanted to restore his relationship with his dad and did everything requested to make that happen.  David continued to ignore and avoid the situation and would ultimately make things worse.  If we are willing to move to correct our sin and repent, we cannot take a minimal approach.  That approach will cause even more damage. 

In our lives, we need to move ahead in our journey as if we fully believe God is God and has a plan.  We do not have the luxury of hedging our bets.  We cannot be double minded.  In fact, When God talks of double minded attitudes and half hearted commitment he is quite adamant that it makes him sick.  Follow God and his plan or don’t.  Going halfway makes God sick.  Help me Lord to walk with you completely committed to your leadership.

God Bless You

28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”

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2 Samuel 13–Reaping the Whirlwind

sorryDavid’s sin was now reaping costs.  The Family characterized by the son’s who became priests now added to their ranks a rapist and a murderer. David’s heart was now going to be broken again and again.  Amnon rapes his sister.  David should have ended it there and then—He should have dealt with his son’s sin and restored his daughter.  But his own life caused him to simply ignore it.  This drove Absolom to take revenge for his sister.  He killed his brother and then fled.  David should have dealt with Absolom and admitted his lack of action..but, he did not.

It is terrible when we face the consequence of our bad choices. We want it to simply go away, we feel it is not fair.  But, the choices have a cost and as we face them, we can either face them head on or try to avoid and ignore them.  The 1st way is always better.  Avoiding and ignoring our life’s issues only exacerbates the problem and causes more problems to follow.  When we face them, we face them with God at our side and his love and strength carrying us—the picture is of the little boy walking next door with the baseball that broke the neighbor’s window.  He had to face the neighbor, but not alone.  That is what God does for us—he helps us to face life, but never alone.  Don’t ignore life’s issues—face them, you won’t be alone.

God Bless You

“Come to bed with me, my darling sister.”

12 “No, my brother!” she cried. “Don’t be foolish! Don’t do this to me! Such wicked things aren’t done in Israel. 13 Where could I go in my shame? And you would be called one of the greatest fools in Israel. Please, just speak to the king about it, and he will let you marry me.”

14 But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her. 15 Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. “Get out of here!” he snarled at her.

16 “No, no!” Tamar cried. “Sending me away now is worse than what you’ve already done to me.”

But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her. 17 He shouted for his servant and demanded, “Throw this woman out, and lock the door behind her!”…32 But just then Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimea, arrived and said, “No, don’t believe that all the king’s sons have been killed! It was only Amnon! Absalom has been plotting this ever since Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 No, my lord the king, your sons aren’t all dead! It was only Amnon.” 34 Meanwhile Absalom escaped

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2 Samuel 12 part 3–Reset

When we are submitted to the Lord, there is peace.  David was OK.  He knew he had sinned egregiously against God and men. He also knew he was forgiven.  He knew there would be a price to pay and he was willing to pay it.  But, at the end of the day, David still loved God and wanted to live a life pleasing to him. So he got up, cleaned up, fessed up and picked up where he left off.  God still loved him and was not willing to give up on him either.

We make bad choices and try to do life on our own.  When we do, we often are placed in a similar position as David.  We are without excuse and can only repent and face the consequence of our sin.  When we are there, we have the opportunity to repent and resume our walk with God—submitted and humble.  If we are willing to do so he is willing to love and bless us.  Then, as David, we can continue the journey with God and protected and provided by God.  Help me Lord to follow you and seek your face.

God Bless You

20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions,[b] and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded.[d]