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Category Archives: 2 Samuel

2 Samuel 7:1-13

When King David was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all the surrounding enemies, the king summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of God is out there in a tent!” Nathan replied to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But that same night the Lord said to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: Are you the one to build a house for me to live in? I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a Tabernacle as my dwelling. Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s tribal leaders, the shepherds of my people Israel. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’ “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. “‘Furthermore, the Lord declares that he will make a house for you—a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for my name. And I will secure his royal throne.
2 Samuel 7:1-13

Dear God, there are times when our hearts are in the right places and what we are wanting to do seems wise, but we are still wrong and not within your plan. This story is a good example. David wanted to worship you through building a temple for the Ark. To some extent, he felt like he was putting himself before you by living in his own palace while the Ark lived in a tent. He ran it by Nathan who thought David’s idea for building a temple was on the right track. And then you let them know that you were looking bigger picture than they were. You seemed to appreciate their hearts and the way they were thinking, but you simply stopped them and told them it wasn’t time yet.

I wonder what unforeseen complications building the temple would have had on David and his kingdom. Would it have distracted him from something important that you knew he would need to focus on? Who knows, but you?

I read someone one say one time that there was a time in their life where they were 100% certain they had heard your call and followed you. They felt completely within your will. At that point, feeling that way, they were afraid “to cross the street” if it meant being outside of your will.

I have felt that way before. I suppose I feel that way now. I have a board committee meeting later today and we will be making plans for 2020 and even 2021. How do we stay within your will? How do I stay within your will as I parent my adult children and love my wife?

Father, protect my path and make it straight. Guide me. Guide me with your Spirit. Guide me with the wise counsel of others. Help me to recognize your voice through them when I hear it. Make my life exactly what you need it to be for your glory’s sake and not my own.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2019 in 2 Samuel

 

Solomon – 1 Kings 1:1-14

King David was now very old, and no matter how many blankets covered him, he could not keep warm. So his advisers told him, “Let us find a young virgin to wait on you and look after you, my lord. She will lie in your arms and keep you warm.” So they searched throughout the land of Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag from Shunem and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful, and she looked after the king and took care of him. But the king had no sexual relations with her. About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him. Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome. Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah. Adonijah went to the Stone of Zoheleth near the spring of En-rogel, where he sacrificed sheep, cattle, and fattened calves. He invited all his brothers—the other sons of King David—and all the royal officials of Judah. But he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the king’s bodyguard or his brother Solomon. Then Nathan went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, and asked her, “Haven’t you heard that Haggith’s son, Adonijah, has made himself king, and our lord David doesn’t even know about it? If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my advice. Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘My lord the king, didn’t you make a vow and say to me, “Your son Solomon will surely be the next king and will sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ And while you are still talking with him, I will come and confirm everything you have said.”
1 Kings 1:1-14

Dear God, I think it is important to note that the story of Solomon cannot be told without including Nathan. Nathan is woven throughout Solomon’s (and Bathsheba’s) story. He is the prophet whom David consults about building the temple (2 Samuel 7). He is the prophet who rebukes David about what he did with Bathsheba and Uriah, and through you gave Solomon a new name–Jedidiah (2 Samuel 12). And now he is the prophet who orchestrates Solomon’s rise to the throne (1 Kings 1). Interestingly, these are the only three stories we get about Nathan.

I normally do these journals to you first thing in the morning, but as I opened the scriptures today I found myself with a lot of questions and researching a lot of things. First, I went to 1 Chronicles to see how it recorded the transition from David’s rule to Solomon’s. I was surprised to see a completely different portrait painted. The accounting of it in Chronicles was much tidier and more honorable. It really focused on David’s passing the torch to Solomon to build the temple. But I’ll talk about the temple another time. Today, I want to talk about Nathan.

I had a new thought today that I don’t think I’ve had before. Nathan apparently had a soft spot in his heart for Bathsheba and Solomon. I won’t say that he knew about David’s sin with Bathsheba before anyone else did. I’ll bet is was actually a pretty poorly kept secret. But he was the one willing to confront David. He was the one who spoke out on your behalf and on behalf of the woman. He watched her go through the loss of her child. He watched her give birth to Solomon. He got the word from you that Solomon was special and to be renamed Jedidiah (I wonder why that name didn’t stick–I searched the entire Bible, and 2 Samuel 12:25 is the only time it is ever mentioned).

Fast forward many years. David is at the end of his life and his fourth-born son, Adonijah (the first three are seemingly dead) starts to position himself for the throne. 1 Kings 1:6 seems to go out of its way to tell us that he wasn’t a good guy, but was spoiled and undisciplined. This apparently got Nathan’s attention and he decided it was time to act on behalf of the boy whom you had told him to rename and his mother.

Nathan probably doesn’t get enough love from history. Yes, the writer of Samuel and Kings gives us what we need to know about his role in things, but it’s almost too brief. I almost missed it. He was apparently a man who cared about your righteousness enough to speak truth to power and then risk his life to do what he perceived to be your will.

Father, make me a man of this kind of courage. Help me to know when to speak and when not to speak. Help me to know when to act and when not to act. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. But do it in reverse order of that prayer. Give me the wisdom to know when you are calling me to act, when you are calling me to not act but pray, and when you are calling me to accept a situation. Give me the courage to follow your call. And when it is time to accept your judgment and a situation about which I am to do nothing, fill me with your peace.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2019 in 1 Kings, 2 Samuel, Solomon

 

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2 Samuel 17:1-4

Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight. I will catch up with him while he is weary and discouraged. He and his troops will panic, and everyone will run away. Then I will kill only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man’s life that you seek. Then you will be at peace with all the people.” This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

2 Samuel 17:1-4

Dear God, the judge period wasn’t perfect, but look what has happened within two generation of the “king” period—and this is under Israel’s BEST king! One of David’s best advisers is plotting to kill him.

I wonder what it was about what David had become that had the people so ready to turn on him. Was Ahithophel angry and disenchanted with David, or was he just trying to promote himself? I think an overlooked part of this story is that David had allowed his power to change him, and the people were longing for the old David—the David that Absalom was pretending to be.

Father, there’s a lesson in here for all of us. A past of pursuing you can always lead to a future of not pursuing you. There is nothing in the last six chapters that gives us a positive picture about David’s actions EXCEPT that he is able to receive rebuke when it comes his way. But there were many things to rebuke. So help me to be vigilant in my pursuit of you. “Make my life a prayer to you. I want to do what you want me to. No empty words and no white lies. No token prayers. No compromise.” (Melody Green)

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in 2 Samuel

 

2 Samuel 16:5-13

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family.He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”

“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”

10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”

11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saulb]”>[b] have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wrongedc]”>[c] and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.
2 Samuel 16:5-13

Dear God, maybe sometimes we need to be broken down a bit. When I read this whole section of 2 Samuel, starting with chapter 11 and Bathsheba, I see a pattern of David just not doing it right. Was he corrupted? Yeah, probably. Was he maybe a little depressed after Nathan rebuked him in chapter 12 and he lost the baby? Maybe. Either way, the people were obviously not impressed with him, and his son was angry to the point of executing a coup d’etat and trying to humiliate, kill and overthrow him.

But 2 Samuel 16:10-12 is what makes David different–the ability to receive rebuke. The willingness to examine himself and submit to judgment. He also had a certain level of empathy for the descendants of Saul. There was probably always a part of him that felt awkward about having ascended to the throne, even though it was your will.

Father, help me to embrace the part of David I find here in verses 10-12. Help me to welcome correction and respond to it humbly and constructively. Help me to also be willing to humbly approach others with empathy. Love through me and help me to not return evil for evil.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2018 in 2 Samuel

 

2 Samuel 13 & 14

2 Samuel 13 & 14 – Amnon, Absalom, and David

Dear God, this story isn’t as much about sin as it is about how we handle our anger. There are people making mistakes all over the place here.

  1. Amnon raped his sister and destroyed her life.
  2. David, for whatever reason, did nothing about it.
  3. Absalom, for whatever reason (perhaps he knew David wouldn’t allow it), never called out Amnon for what he did, but instead spent two years planning his murder.
  4. David had no idea how to handle any of this and only made things worse at every turn.

One of the lessons for me, I believe, is that there needs to be an acknowledgment of sin when I commit it, a wise, appropriate confrontation of sin when I witness it, and an emotional letting go of my anger after the sin is confronted. That doesn’t mean that something like what Amnon did shouldn’t be punished. It means that what everyone did here was the absolute worst thing they could have done.

My wife and I were talking this morning about someone with whom we are both angry. She is having a harder time with her anger than I am, but that is just in this case. I have a harder time than she does with others. But what will either of us do with our anger? Will it consume us until we plot revenge, or will be confront and release?

Father, there are some huge lessons in here for us. This story will continue with Absalom’s rebellion and attempt to overthrow David. More pain is in all of their futures, including Israel’s. Help my wife and me to not let these cancers of anger and hatred grow. Remove them through the power of your blood and your grace.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2018 in 2 Samuel

 

2 Samuel 7:18-29

2 Samuel 7:18-29 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, Sovereign Lord, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord ? “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord. Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant. “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way. You made Israel your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God. “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever. “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”

Dear God, I think it’s important to know the context of this prayer. David is established as king, living in the palace and at peace with the world around him. Then he gets an idea about building a temple for you, he tells Nathan about it, and Nathan’s response out of his humanly wisdom is, “Great idea. Go for it.” Of course, as a prophet, Nathan might personally benefit from having a temple, but I think all of their motives are good. They want to worship you through the building of the temple. But that’s not what you want. You tell David, through Nathan (not directly), that his offspring will build the temple. You have other plans for him. The result of this news is a humble prayer of worship. 

So here is a little word from me to tell you how grateful I am. Even doing this prayer to you this morning, I have felt like I hear your still small voice speaking to me. “Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord?” (I love that line from David’s prayer). This makes me think that before I go back to work I need to sit down and read through 1 & 2 Samuel again. There is so much wisdom and so much of you there. 

Father, as I go through this day and the next few, traveling with a good friend, help us to be iron for each other. Sharpen him through me and sharpen me through him. Be glorified in us so that others around us and our family and friends might be touched by you trough our lives. 

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen 

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2017 in 2 Samuel