David Part 24

David part 24

David had a very unselfish response to not being the one to build God’s house. In 1 Chronicles 22:1-5, David sets everything in order for God’s house. Verse 5 – …so David made abundant preparations before his death.

When our way doesn’t work out, just hold on. God has a better way and He wants us to support it. Not everyone gets their name in lights. Maybe your assignment is to help someone else achieve the bigger thing for the kingdom. David prepared the way for Solomon to build the most magnificent house for God that would ever be built.

Mephibosheth

We are about to start 1 Samuel chapter 9, where David shows the meaning of grace.

Grace means many things to people, but the true meaning is unmerited favor. This is extending special favor to someone who doesn’t deserve it, who has not earned it, and can never repay it. One of the most illustrated examples in the Old Testament of grace is David and Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 9:1 – Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

David had remembered his promise to Jonathan. The original word for kindness in Hebrew is closer to “grace.” Grace is an unconditional acceptance in spite of the other person. Grace is a demonstration of love that is undeserved, unearned, and unrepayable.

It was the custom in eastern dynasties when a new king took over, all the family members of the previous dynasty were to be exterminated in order to take away the possibility of a revolt. Back in 1 Samuel 20:13, 14, Jonathan had asked David to show his family grace when David became king. Without any hesitation, David had agreed.

David starts asking those in his court, “Is there anyone left?” He didn’t ask if anyone was qualified, or if anyone was worthy. Regardless of who they are, are there any persons left in Jonathan or Saul’s house I can be gracious to?

2 Samuel 9:2, 3 – And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “At your service!” (Verse 3) Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness of God?” and Ziba said to the king,” There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.”

Even though Ziba made the distinction that the boy was lame, David didn’t acknowledge it. I think Ziba was saying, “Ya, but, you don’t want him. He’s crippled”, or why else would he have mentioned it? Why is it people always have to point out others flaws or what color of skin they have when telling a story?

Grace doesn’t want to know all the flaws. Grace is one-sided. Grace is God giving Himself in full acceptance to someone, like you and me who don’t deserve it.

Mephibosheth is in Lo debar. (I could preach a whole sermon on that place.)

Lo in Hebrew means “no,” and debar is from the root word meaning “pasture or pastureland.” So this son of Jonathan is in some obscure, barren field in Palestine. He was hidden because he didn’t know if the next king would kill him or not, according to custom. The only person who knew where he was is Ziba.

We find out how Jonathan’s son became crippled.

1 Samuel 4:4 – Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and a nurse  took him up and fled, that he fell and became lame. So his name was Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth had been hiding all these years in Lo-Debar. He must have been a young man by now because later on scripture says he had a son, Mica. So David sends men to get him and bring him to David.

2 Samuel 9:6 – And Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, fell on his face, and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant.”

Imagine; Mephibosheth can’t stand properly before the king, scared, and throws himself flat on the floor before David.

2 Samuel 9:7 – So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness (grace) for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul, your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

Mephibosheth was probably expecting a sword to the neck, but instead found grace. Then David called Ziba and told him all that was Saul’s is to be given to Mephibosheth. Ziba’s household is to cultivate the land for him. Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Mephibosheth also, was to eat at the kings tables as one of his sons (2 Samuel 9:8-13)

Once Mephibosheth had enjoyed uninterrupted fellowship with his father, Jonathan and so did Adam who walked with the Lord in the cool of the evening. Like Adam, Mephibosheth once knew what it was like to be in close fellowship with the king.

Then disaster strikes. The nurse running away from harm drops Mephibosheth and he becomes lame. Likewise, when sin came, Adam and Eve hid in fear. Their first response was to hide in fear, which resulted in mankind becoming a spiritual invalid.

David, the king, out of pure love for Jonathan, demonstrated grace to his handicapped son. In turn, God out of love for His son, Jesus the Christ, paid the penalty for our sin on the cross, shows the believer grace-undeserved.

God is still seeking those who are hiding in fear and confusion, to shed His grace on and have them sit at “The kings table!”

Mephibosheth had nothing, deserved nothing, and could repay nothing. The same is true of us. We have nothing to offer to the “One” who wants to shed His love and grace on us in abundance.

Some of us had despicable lives before we came to Christ. He sought us out with His heart. That’s what God does when He comes to free us from the guilt of sin. He says, “Your mine just as you are crutches, hang-ups, bad attitudes, and all.

That’s what David did for Mephibosheth. He took him from a place of barrenness to a place of honor, a place of plenty, to the very courtyard of the king.

God has taken the believer from a life having no purpose and meaning to where He is, to a place of fellowship. He restored us to what He once had with Adam.

David adopted Mephibosheth into his family, and he became one of the king’s son’s. God adopts every believer into the family of God with the same privileges. God’s constant grace and favor reminds us of this adoption every time we mess up-sin.

This is one of the reasons why I think it is so important to study David. There were so many times in his life, that it looked like our lives. Every time David was brought face-to-face with his sin, he knew where to go—to the Father. Our God loves us! Never let guilt keep you from having that intimate relationship with the One who understands. Christ has given us His righteousness, so believe that and you’ll live right, free from sin consciousness.

David Part 23

David part 23

As we start chapter 7 in 2 Samuel, we see calmness. All the surrounding enemies were subdued, for a time. Scripture says, “The Lord had given him rest from all around (2 Samuel 7:1).

In verse 2 is the first mention of God’s prophet Nathan. David is at rest, his children are being born and growing up, and David starts to think of the ark of the Lord having only a tent to reside in.

2 Samuel 7:2, 3 – “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” (Verse 3) Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

It had started to bother David that while he had a beautiful house to live in, God’s ark was surrounded by a temporary curtain. David’s motive for wanting God to have a permanent place to dwell was pure. David only wanted to exalt the name of Jehovah.

We all have had great expectations of doing great things for God at one time or another. Sometimes those dreams won’t let go. They haunt us when we lie down at night and the first thing we think about in the morning. Sometimes they are from God, sometimes not. They are noble dreams, great ideas, but when it’s not of God, it won’t come to fulfillment. It’s hard to determine whether it is from God or not. I’ve been there, as many of you have. In fact, our friends will agree and encourage us to go with it. That’s what Nathan did to David, he encouraged him. However, look what happened the very night Nathan had encouraged David.

2 Samuel 7:4, 6 – But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord’; “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?”

In 1 Chronicles 17:4, it says what the Lord said a little plainer: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in.” (Verse 6) “For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle.”

God goes on to tell Nathan to tell David, He has blessed him to be ruler over Israel and when his days are fulfilled, he will have David’s seed build Him a house for “My name, and He will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:7-17).

This was not a rebuke or judgment against David. God was simply redirecting the plan to build Himself a house, to someone else.

We don’t always know why God does this. In our minds, it makes sense to let us do it, whatever it is. Sometimes we have to stand back and watch another complete our dream. That can be hard, but when it’s God’s will, it will be blessed. God in no way condemns us for wanting to do great things for His kingdom. It’s just that sometimes His ways are not our ways.

When God throws a cog into our plans and they don’t work out the way we think they should, it might just be a re-direction. We can keep trying but if it’s not God’s will, it won’t come to pass. There’s no reason to feel guilty or beat yourself up. He has something else He wants you to do, that will be blessed.

I’ve said this before; not everyone is called to be a pastor. They love God; their joy and enthusiasm overflows for Him, but they were not called into the pulpit. Sometimes we won’t know for sure if this is His will until it all falls into place. But we cannot ignore His will. As in this conversation concerning David, “Not everyone is called to build the temple,” but we are all are called to be a witness!

God has all kinds of creative ways to use us for His kingdom. It doesn’t have to be on a missionary field, and it doesn’t have to be behind a pulpit. That might be hard for some to swallow, but if that person goes on with their plans, it can be disastrous for them and those around them.

Let’s check out David’s response when he is told, “It won’t be you.”

In 2 Samuel 7:18-29, David goes in and sat before the Lord and basically said this: You’ve blessed my house; you’ve blessed my life, and you’ve brought me from leading sheep to placing me on a throne, “Who am I?’

I think it’s a good thing to just sit at the Master’s feet and recall all the times He has blessed our lives.

Dream or no dream, we are a blessed people. If you will read the rest of what David spoke to God, you will see how truly grateful he is. David revealed his true heart to God. There is no one like our God. No one can do the things He does or did for us.

When our plans don’t work out, don’t think that God is punishing you, which will bring guilt. Just try to listen and wait and He will direct your path!

David Part 22

David part 22

2 Samuel 6:9 – David was afraid of the Lord that day; and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?”

The problem was, David had not done his homework. We think we see pretty clearly, what the Lord’s will is, at times. We forget about doing a background study and just rush off to hurry and get it done.

Many have a calling on their life, many are called, but few are chosen. However if we don’t stop and study God’s word, which is our instruction manual, we will fail. We study His principles and precepts. When we do it God’s way the joy will be unimaginable.

Centuries later, Ananias and Sapphira did the same thing. They didn’t take the Lord seriously. Uzzah was not a Levite to begin with so he should have never been carrying the ark.

2 Samuel 6:10 – So David would not move the ark of the Lord with him into the City of David; but David took it aside into the house of Obed Edom the Gittite.

So for 3 months the ark stayed in Obed Edom’s house and the Lord Blessed him and all his household.

If you read on to verse 12, it says David brought up the ark, but if you go to 1 Chronicles 15:1-3, it tells the behind the scene story.

1 Chronicles 15:1-3 – David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. (Verse 2) Then David said, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever. (Verse 3) And David gathered all Israel together at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it.

Do you know what happens to most people’s dreams and desires when they stop pursuing them? They get thrown by the wayside because going through the process is too hard. They don’t want to pay attention to the details, the baby steps it takes to be victorious. You can’t just go after something for a few weeks and expect to be successful. There will be sacrifices along the way. If you are not willing to put the time and effort out there, it won’t happen.

David took that 3 months, researched, and sought God. He found out exactly how the ark was to be moved.

2 Samuel 6:14, 15 – Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. (Verse 15) So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

Why were they so excited? Because when we obey, we are set free. When we go against, we are in bondage.

The world says, “Don’t worry about the little details; God doesn’t care as long as it gets done.” Yes, He is concerned with details because He sees the bigger picture. He puts our obedience to the test in “little things.”

Here’s a little heads up though; when you are free and have been obedient to the Lord, not everyone around you will be happy for you. Look what happens when David comes dancing through Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 6:16 – And as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw king David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

This is a huge celebration for all of Israel to take part in. They bring the ark to the tent David had set up, make sacrifices, and then David feeds all the people of Israel. They are blessed beyond their imagination. Finally a king that knows how to bless God’s people. Then they all go home, including David.

2 Samuel 6:20 – Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet David and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellow’s shamelessly uncovers himself!”

You can hear the sarcasm in what she says to David. You can also tell she thinks more highly of herself than she ought. She’s not concerned about David embarrassing himself she’s concerned about herself. What will people think? But David responds different from most. He’s not going to let the devil steal his joy.

2 Samuel 6:21-23 – So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his household, to appoint me a ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore, I will play music before the Lord.

David very plainly told her he wasn’t dancing for her, his joy was for the Lord. He didn’t care what she thought.

(Verse 22) “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”

If we ever get to a place that we can’t praise dance, and sing, before the Lord, we better check ourselves. Intimidation from others when we want to celebrate the good things God has done, is not an excuse to stay silent.

(Verse 23) Therefore, Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

David’s eyes and his focus, was on the Lord, Michal’s was on herself and other people.

The freer you are with the Lord in knowing what you are doing is right, the more confidence you will have. You can’t stop being obedient because of what some may be saying about you.

When your heart is after the “One” who gave His life for you, favor will flow like a river. Be faithful in the little things (details) and He’ll make you ruler over much. Don’t make excuses for disobedience. Pay attention to things that matter most!

David Part 21

David part 21

We all have different memories of David’s life. Some only remember David and Goliath; David and Bathsheba; David and Jonathan and so on. But in the Book of Acts, chapter 13, verse 22, Paul is in Antioch, in the synagogue and this is what he said about David. The rulers of the synagogue had just read “the Law” and the prophets to the people. They knew Paul was there so they asked if he had any word of exhortation for them. He started reminding them of what happened with their forefathers, and then he gets to David in verse 22.

“And when He had removed him (talking about Saul), He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

God didn’t say he was anything other than; David cares about the things I care about; David’s heart is in sync with Mine; when I told David to go he went; and if I told him to go left, he went left. That’s a person after God’s own heart.

After David’s entire life, this is what God chose to say about him through Paul.

Some go through life saying, “Well, you win some, you lose some. Nobody’s going to get it right all the time.” Others will say, “If God said it, that’s what I want to do too!” Those after God’s heart want the same things God does.

In the family of God, we basically have two groups of people. Those who moan and complain about what all they’ve been through which is a carnal response. They make their decisions according to their emotions.

The other group recovers quickly after getting slightly off track, always praying, always asking God which way to go. Everything in their life is significant. They obey and honor God’s precepts and principles and don’t have to be continually corrected. That was what David was like. Those kinds of people are rare to find.

What’s a precept? Example: If the speed limit is 35, its 35 no matter what time of day, whether there are others on the road or not. The key word is “Limit!” There is no give or take.

If the sign says, “Caution,” that’s a principle. Just as the Bible says “Take heed, or warning.”It needs to be applied with wisdom-slippery when wet. When someone is after God’s heart, they care as much about the principles as they do the precepts. When we examine our lives, and the precepts don’t line up, line them up. That’s exactly what David did in 2 Samuel chapter 6 – “a man after God’s own heart.

In this setting, they are in Jerusalem. David is king. Saul had neglected the things of God.

We have to remember, back then; the central place of worship was the tabernacle. The enemy had carted off a very precious piece of furniture-ark of the Covenant. This was important to the Israelites because the presence of God and His glory dwelt upon it. This means the light, the shechinah glory of God rested on the ark. Since it represented the presence of Jehovah, it was the holiest place on earth.

After becoming king, David realized there was no central place of worship. In order for the people of Israel to get back to worshiping the true God, they needed the Ark of the Covenant brought back to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 6:1-5 – Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. (Verse 2) And David arose and went with all the people who were with him in Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name, the Lord of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. (Verse 3) So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. (Verse 4) And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill, accompanying the ark of God; and Ahio went before the ark. (Verse 5) Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.

So here’s David and all of Israel playing music and worshiping the Lord taking the ark back to where the it belongs.

The name ark means “box” or “chest.” It was made of wood rectangular in shape, gold-plated inside and out. It had a decorative gold border around it, forming a rim. The covering was made of gold, called the “mercy-seat.” At either end of the cover was a hammered gold cherubim (angels). These golden angels were facing each other with wings outstretched over the mercy seat. These creatures looked down upon the chest. This entire ark had to be made mobile.

There were 3 things inside the ark. There was a gold jar containing the manna from the wilderness, Aaron’s ancient rod, and the tablets of stone. God would meet with His people above the mercy-seat.

Everything was detailed. This precious cargo was so important to God that He gave specific instructions of how it was to be moved. God would not allow carelessness.

At the base of the ark were rings in which golden poles slipped through so that no human hands would ever touch it.

God also said that it could only be carried by Levites and the poles were to be carried on their shoulders. Even after all these years from Moses to David, God hadn’t changed His instructions. This is where David got into trouble.

Let me pause for a minute right here.

How we enter the holy place to corporately worship our heavenly Father does matter! I see too many times people coming into the sanctuary; stumbling in late, carrying coffee and donuts, looking for a seat and disrupting those who have begun to worship. It’s not what they are carrying; it’s the attitude behind it. It’s just another Sunday or Saturday, and at least I came. Think about it. I think its disrespectful to the One who kept a watchful eye on His people all week who come in to praise and worship disrupting others.

David wanted to get the ark moved as fast as he could. He was king and the decision maker. He could get things done as fast as he saw fit. The quickest way to get the ark down that hill was to put it on a cart driven by oxen. So David had them get a new cart, and then something dreadful happened.

2 Samuel 6:6, 7 – And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. (Verse 7) Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah and God struck him there by the ark of God.

Uzzah had seen the oxen stumble and automatically put his hand out to keep the ark from falling to the ground. He was also following orders from the King. No harm right? It was a reflex. Here’s the thing; if they would have carried it exactly as God had commanded it, it wouldn’t have been in danger of falling.

Have you ever heard someone say, “It doesn’t matter how you do it, right or wrong, just do it?” That’s dumb. We should do nothing until its right. That’s wisdom. God does care how things are done. I believe He does care how we enter worship. I know He cares how we participate too. It’s more than, “Well at least I’m here.”

That was David’s attitude, “Let’s get this done!” What does God say about being faithful in little things? Details do matter to Him.

David gets mad, next.

2 Samuel 6:8 – And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzzah, and he called the name of the place Perez Uzzah to this day.

I thought God called David a man after His won heart. He did. David is standing there mad at God when in fact, God is mad at David. Being after God’s own heart doesn’t mean we are perfect. It means we are sensitive to the things that matter to God. It means when we are wrong we own up to it. We face it.

David Part 20

David part 20

Now it’s time for David to become king over all of Israel. All the tribes and elders came to David at Hebron, made a covenant before the Lord, and anointed David king over Israel. (2 Samuel 5:1-5).

King David goes to Jerusalem and fights against the Jebusites that were living there and captured the stronghold of Zion, the City of David. David became greater and greater because the Lord was with him (2 Samuel 5:6-12).

When the blessings began for David, they overflowed. The Philistines were driven out and the king of Tyre sought alliance with David.

David expanded the boundaries of Israel from 6,000 to 60,000 square miles. He set up trade routes and from those routs comes wealth that Israel had never known.

David also unified the nation under Jehovah God. He destroyed the idol altars.

To be involved in military battles and setting up governments, David’s time was consumes. However, behind the scenes, David is growing a huge family with no supervision for his children. All these children were together raising themselves.

It says later on that David built houses, so maybe some of the wives had their own house.

In addition, we will see later on that the children had no discipline, in chapter 18, where Absalom rebelled. He ends up deceiving David and pushes him from the throne and David runs like a wounded animal.

Another son, Amnon, rapes his half-sister, Tamar, David’s only daughter. This act leads to murder. According to scripture, David’s reaction was, “He became angry!” That was it. Out in public David was decisive and brilliant, but within his own home, he was passive and negligent.

Another son, by the same mother as Absalom, Adonijah, also tried to de-throne David. In 1 Kings 1:5, 6, it says, “Not once did David rebuke him.”

After a time David began to stay home from battles. He became indifferent and lazy. In the spring when other kings went out to battle, David stayed home. That is where Bathsheba comes into the picture. More on that later.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here after David is blessed with everything he could possibly desire?

David began to pat himself on the back – spirit of pride. When we come to chapter 23, David tells Joab to number the people. God didn’t tell David to see how large Israel had grown. That little incident cost 70,000 lives through God’s judgment.

Think about the great men of God we have seen fall into sin; it was from wealth, laziness (sloth), sex, or self. It’s all a spirit of pride. They get too important to themselves.

Even though David had a heart after God, he became susceptible to the same temptations we all do.

Here’s what happens: God places a desire, a dream, a ministry, on our hearts, to fulfill our destiny. We pray and stay humble; all the while believing it will come to pass. Then more time is consumed, pursuing that dream and you know its God’s will. So, when the money starts to increase we think, “This is it!” With a bigger position and more money, comes more responsibility. Before we know it, we don’t spend as much time praying as we did before we got what we asked for. Then like David if we’re neglecting our family and God, we get full of ourselves. We think we have arrived. What does Proverbs 16:18 say? Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Oh, the talent, the calling on your life, and the desire will still be there but if we get full of self, the very thing that we prayed for will destroy us.

David’s life teaches us some very important lessons.

Prosperity and ease are more often than not, perilous times. When our money starts to increase, we need to ask ourselves, “Do I still pray for God to bless me and others like I used to or am I only thinking about what I can buy for myself?”

Pride is not a sudden act. It is a process that culminates. Watch out that enough is never enough. Not wanting others to be prosperous is another warring sign. If you ever find yourself asking, can that person afford that, watch out. None of our business.

Yes, God will and does forgive us but if we’re not honest with ourselves before God and admit we’ve gotten off track, then we continue in that behavior. Change your thinking towards the ways of God and your behavior will change.

David Part 19

David part 19

 

Psalm 78:70-72 – He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; (Verse 71) from the care of ewes with suckling lambs He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. (Verse 72) So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

Between the years of seventeen and thirty, David was on the run from Saul. Then finally, at age thirty he takes the throne of Israel. Most of David’s young adult years were years of triumph, with the exception of a few temporary decisions made in the flesh where he got hotheaded.

David had lived many years as a fugitive, broken, and discouraged. But it wouldn’t serve any purpose for him to bring that kind of pain into his future.

Same goes for us: It serves no purpose for us to relive the hurt and disappointments into our future. So how did David handle his promotion of finally becoming what God had anointed him to become? With a humble attitude, as we should when God delivers us.

2 Samuel 2:1 – It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.” David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.”

David didn’t rush to the throne and take charge. In one day’s time he went from fugitive to king. This is David’s second “Suddenly!”

When we are finally delivered by God’s mighty hand maybe after struggling with the same thing for years, we still need to have that closeness with our heavenly Father to ask, “What’s next?”

In those days, God spoke audibly to His servants. Today God speaks through His Word. David didn’t rush; he waited on the Lord to answer him.

When we see a door of opportunity standing wide open, enter with caution. Let the Lord lead the way.

David did exactly what the Lord told him to do. He went to Hebron.

2 Samuel 2:11 – And the time David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

David was about 30 years old when Saul died, but he didn’t immediately march into Jerusalem and take over the whole nation. Instead, God sent him to Hebron, where his reign is limited. There was no complaining anywhere in scripture. He simply obeyed God.

However, while in Hebron, David made some decisions he lived to regret. While there, he had six children by six different wives (2 Samuel 3:2-5). Polygamy was one of David’s dark spots in his life that came back to haunt him.

If we chart out a genealogy of David’s immediate family, it’s huge. The wives he took in Hebron: Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah. That’s not counting Michal, daughter of Saul, which David took back even though she was already married to another. But according to 2 Samuel 5:13-16 and 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, David had many other wives and concubines who bore him children in Jerusalem. We don’t know anything about most of them.

So what’s listed in scripture is twenty son’s and one daughter (excluding concubines and their offspring). After David went to Jerusalem only two wives are mentioned, Michal, and Bathsheba. David’s family became a huge issue, later on.

David Part 18

David part 18

King Saul is about to die in battle, but what kind of legacy is he leaving behind.

Back in chapter 26 and verse 21 of 1 Samuel, Saul realized he had sinned and told David he had “Played the fool.” In what way did Saul play the fool?

  • Saul neglected advice from his godly friend, Samuel. (2) He went before God ever sent him. (3) Saul disobeyed God even in small matters. (4) He tried to cover up his disobedience to God with religious excuses. (5) Saul had persuaded himself that he was doing the will of God. (6) He allowed jealousy and hatred to enslave him. (7) He fought against God by always hunting for David, to kill him. (8) And last but not least, he sought spirit’s from the beyond to know the future.

Saul did all these things but could have been a mentor to David. That brings us to the battlefield.

1 Samuel 31:1-4 – So the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. (Verse 2) Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. (Verse 3) Now the battle became intense against Saul; and the archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. (Verse 4) Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, least these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore, Saul took a sword and fell on it.

This battle had completely turned on Saul. The Israelite army was in full retreat. Now we can see why God got David and his men out of there. They would have had to fight against their own people, which I don’t think David would have done.

Sometimes when we get turned down for a position, loan, or have to wait on something, how do we not know that God isn’t saving us from a big disaster? God can stop us from going along with the crowd for our safety because He always knows what waits ahead.

So Saul and his three sons all die in the same day, even Jonathan, David’s beloved friend.

Isn’t it odd that there’s no scripture of Saul crying out to God, in those last moments, only that he didn’t want the Philistines to find him wounded and helpless. He was still trying to save face. That happens when disobedience dulls our senses. We are so concerned about what others will think or say but not so much concerned with what God thinks.

1 Samuel 31:7 – And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his son’s were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

Then in verses 8 and 9, the next day the Philistines came back to the slain bodies and striped all the armor and equipment. Then they find King Saul’s body, cut off his head, and tool it with them.

1 Samuel 31:10 – And they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreth’s, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

How tragic. Saul didn’t have to die like that, but inch by inch and day by day he chose to compromise in disobedience. He dulled his senses; he nullified his testimony that he could have had.

When Saul lay down at night, I’m sure he was full of guilt, despair, and bitterness. That kind of thinking will be like acid eating at your insides, but that was Saul’s choice. He could have walked with God and been a blessing to Israel. Remember, at first he had God’s blessing until he chose to walk his own way.

For forty years, Saul gained hardly any territory for Israel. Beth Shan was not that far from where Saul was inaugurated as king of Israel. His body wound up only a few miles from where he started. However, the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead, a town east of the Jordan River, heard that Saul and his sons were on display and decided to go get them (1 Samuel 31:11-13).

With Saul’s death, it looks like all hope is gone for the nation of Israel. It looked like the Philistines had won. However, with Saul dead it will usher in David’s king line, which led to the Messiah. In addition, that brought the most incredible miracle of all. We take the preached Word of God and He changes lives because of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, all part of God’s plan.

David Part 17

David part 17

David is an Israelite, but he’s trying to make the Philistines think he is one of them, deception by pretending. Inside you’re a believer, but on the outside you want to look and act like the rest of the world.

1 Samuel 27:8, 9 –And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites… (Verse 9) Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep…

These were enemies of Israel, not the Philistines. Here’s the deception: In verse 11 when Achish would ask David where they raided that day David would be vague, he also lied. David would tell him that they raided against the southern area of Judah. He made it sound as if he were raiding and killing Israelites. David killed every male and female so that they couldn’t tell on him. I read nowhere that David asked God if that is what he should be doing.

Some of us forget this part of David’s life before he became king. Most only remember him marrying Bathsheba and having her husband killed.

I think God wanted us to know the good, the bad, and the ugly part of David, so we could learn from his mistakes. I also think God wants us to know He can use and turn anyone’s life around. Now back to David.

As David’s lifestyle changed, I believe he began to have inner turmoil, as we will when we start to backslide. We justify what we are doing.

At the beginning of chapter 29 in 1 Samuel, the Philistines are gathering their army to fight Saul and the Israelites. The princes of the Philistines were suspicious of David and didn’t want him or his men there. They confronted Achish and told him so.

In 1 Samuel 29:6-8 Achish tells David although he has been faithful and trusts him, he has to go. 1 Samuel 29:8, – Then David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

The scripture doesn’t even mention that by Achish telling David to go, that it was saving him from killing God’s people. But it is clear that God could not allow David to go with the Philistines because he probably would have been killed.

So David and his men rose up early the next morning and headed home to Ziklag. That was a 3-day journey. When they got there, they found the city burned to the ground. After all, all the men of fighting age were with David and there were no men to protect the city. Remember the raids David had gone on, killing the Amalekites? This is who had kidnapped their women and children – pay back (1 Samuel 30:1-4).

David and his men wept until they couldn’t cry anymore, then the men turned on David and wanted to stone him. This was his fault!

1 Samuel 30:6 – Then David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons, and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Either now David is at a place where he jumps off into oblivion or he cries out to God. David went with God.

I’m sure we have all been in this place at one time or another in our Christian walk. Our situations may have not been this severe as having your town burned to the ground and your wife and children kidnapped, but it felt this bad. We begin to think back and ask ourselves, “When I was at that fork in the road, why didn’t I turn the other way?”

David had left God out of the equation for over a year and basically done what he wanted. He had gotten off track, but he’s about to get it right.

1 Samuel 30:8 – So David inquired of the Lord saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

So David takes off with 600 men and come to the Brook Besor. Two hundred men stayed on one side of the brook because they were too weary to cross. David has 400 men with him and they ride on until they find a lone Egyptian lying sick in a field. He tells them he was with the Amalekites when they burned Ziklag. David and his men fed him and he regained his strength. Then the Egyptian took David to an overlook where they saw the Amalekites “partying down.”

1 Samuel 30: 17-19 – And David attacked them from twilight until evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except 400 men who rode on camels and fled. (Verse 19) And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.

David had to come to a place in his life that was so devastating he had nowhere to turn, but to the Lord. Our God wants us to know Him so well that we will never, ever, doubt that He won’t forgive and rescue us. God knows that we are going to get sidetracked occasionally. He also knows we get scared and fear will take hold. But, we have a promise that Jesus made, He will never leave us. Scripture says David had that same promise; His spirit would always be on him.

I don’t care how far you think you can run or how far you think you have sunk, listen for that still small voice, and let it become larger than life again! He loves you.

David Part 16

David part 16

 

We left off in part 15 when Abigail accepts David’s proposal. However, before David leaves town he also takes one more wife, Ahinoam of Jezreel. Saul had given his first wife, Michal, to another. (That’s trouble, right there.)

Before we start into chapter 27 of 1 Samuel, David is about to start a downward spiral into a pit. In this chapter, he doesn’t pray or talk to God; he doesn’t write any psalms either. David’s biggest mistake that we will see is he didn’t ask of God before making a decision, he only reasoned in his own heart.

1 Samuel 27:1 – And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”

This is pessimistic reasoning – “I will perish.” Pessimistic reasoning continues focusing on the downside of the future, and prompts worry. A pessimist always sees the future as bleak.

Had not Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel. Had Abigail not prophesied about when he would be king? Had not Jonathan assured him. So why was David now, ignoring the promises from God?

Pessimist’s eyes are on self! Pessimist’s thoughts are carnal. “Times are hard, God has deserted me.” “I’ll do what I think best, even if it’s wrong.” This is where David is, in his thinking. He was a believer on the inside but chose to disobey God and operate in the flesh. I think David was tired of running from Saul and thought it would never be over.

Can you relate to this, having to deal with the same problem year after year, and every morning, it’s still there. Let’s see what David does next.

1 Samuel 27:2, 3 – Then David arose and went over with six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. (Verse 3) So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives…

If we think we can compromise and it won’t affect our family and those around us, we need to think again. David didn’t go to Gath, where Goliath was from by himself, he took both his wives, and 600 men and they took their wives and household members.

All these people knew David. They had watched him in battle and he had always inquired of God and made wise decisions. Now they are going to live among the enemy of Israel. What’s up David?

I’ve told people for years, “If you lose your testimony in front of others, you may never gain their trust again.” You especially will lose the ones you are trying to influence for the kingdom. That’s why I won’t compromise even if it hurts others feelings. Some say I’m stubborn, well ya, I am.

1 Samuel 27:4 – And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no more.

Saul wasn’t going to go after David anymore. That gave David a false sense of security. Sin has its temporary pleasures. There will be times when we relax and enjoy disobedience because of those pleasures, but they are short-lived. Watch out, destruction is just around the corner. I know this from my own experience, so I feel qualified to give a strong warning – don’t compromise, even for a little while or in something small.

We can relate to what David is doing in this chapter to what we call today as “Backsliding!”

1 Samuel 27:5 – Then David said to Achish, “If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”

Then Achish gave David Ziklag to live in. Notice that David called himself servant to Achish. When we choose a disobedient lifestyle and start making decisions according to our flesh and not our spirit, we end up submitting to the enemies cause, just as David did. We’re told in verses 6 and 7 that David lived there a year and four months.

Living among the disobedient will rub off. When Abraham and Lot went their separate ways because their families grew too big to be together, Lot chose to go to Sodom. At first, he pitched his tent nearby, but before long was living in the city. Eventually, Lot became one of the elders who sat at the city gate. We all know what happened to Sodom. You cannot have a little bit of Jesus and a little bit of the old life. Before long, you will revert back to your old ways.

David stays in Gath sixteen months. Not one psalm was written during his stay.

David takes his men and goes out on raids. He raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. They killed all the men and women, but took away the sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, and their apparel, and returned to Achish (1 Samuel 27:8, 9). Not once did David inquire of the Lord. He ended up doing the kings bidding. And because of David’s actions, Achish thought David was totally devoted to him and would be, forever (1 Samuel 27:12).

David Part 15

David part 15

1 Samuel 25:32 – Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!”

Perhaps this is another reason God had chosen David – he had a teachable spirit. His anger was turned aside immediately by what Abigail had said. Not only that but David and his men were hungry and when they saw what all she had brought, it would have been foolish to disregard it. David models humility here. May God forever keep us flexible and teachable.

1 Samuel 25:33-35: David thanks her for her advice and keeping him from killing every male that was under Nabal. Mission accomplished. David tells her that he respects her for her action and to go home in peace. And so she does, but when she arrives…

1 Samuel 25:36, 37 – Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she said nothing, little or much, until morning light. (Verse 37) So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. (Verse 38) Then it happened, after about ten days that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

Hebrews 3:8 tell us: “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,… When you continually harden your heart to the things of God, it will become as hard as a stone, as Nabal’s did.

One of two things happened: Either he was so terrified that 401 men could have killed him and all his servants, or he was so mad that Abigail had intervened that he had a massive “Stroke!” It could have been a combination of both, but the Bible says, “God struck him.”

Have you ever been in a place and later find out something really bad had happened that you were totally unaware of? I have, and there is no explanation of how it but it didn’t touch me, except by the Hand of God.

Yes, David had slipped up and let his anger get the better of him, but Nabal was given a chance to do what was right. Abigail interceded for them both!

Then in verse 39, David realizes that God sent Abigail to keep him from committing murder. He then sent a marriage proposal to Abigail, which she accepts.

The Bible teaches us to act wisely when conflicts come. We aren’t to jump to conclusions until hearing both sides. And we are not supposed to make hasty decisions from the emotion or anger. If we pray for wisdom first, then we will make a wise decision. By me saying this, does it mean that I always make my decisions from wisdom? No, however, I’m working on it.

Another thing I learned from David’s experience: Take each conflict separately. The battle you may have won yesterday does not give us credit today to act like a jerk in another situation.

We need to learn from David also to “put the brakes on,” at times. We have to learn self-control. We can’t make a hasty decision because of panic or anger. David evidently learned this lesson well because he writes in Psalm 40, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm