Wrong Choices Do Have Their Consequences!

Wrong Choices Do Have Their Consequences!

[Bible Scripture:  2 Samuel 16:1-13; 19:16-18, 19-20, 23; 1 Kings 2:36-38, 39-46]

“First Impressions Are Often Lasting Impressions” – (A Proverb) 

His Name is SHIMEI – (2 Samuel 16:1-13)

I believe we are all confronted with “first impressions” and the  questions that arise in our minds:

Was his handshake firm, or like a wet dish rag?  Does that family really let their daughter wear revealing clothes to church on Sundays?

Can our first impressions of people we run across everyday, without really knowing them, leave us with an impression that sits in concrete forever?

SIMEI introduced in 2 SAMUEL 16 – Scene One

The first impression I got of this man was not a good one.  King David is forced to temporarily leave the throne, along with his family, friends, and servants from Jerusalem.

The reason for the hasty retreat –

David’s son Absalom had conspired against his father, gathered to himself a bunch of malcontents, and is bent on overthrowing his own father’s role as King.

David fears for his safety, and that of his family, friends and servants.  He knows that at this point and time, it’s best to flee, and fight later!

It must have been a sad day as they all gathered their belongings, and fled from their home.  Although a different story, it reminded me of the 1971 Musical and movie, Fiddler On The Roof, where the leading character Tevye and his family, friends and neighbors were forced to leave their town of Anatevka, Russian Empire in 1905.

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Fiddler On The Roof

The story found in 2 Samuel 16, the exodus was made even more difficult because Absalom, the King’s son, was the one causing the problem.  And I’m almost certain there wasn’t a Fiddler following this group with the king.

As David, his friends, family and servants exit, they cross over the River Jordan, and over the Mount of Olives.  It’s on the other side of the Mount of Olives that David encounters SHIMEI.

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CURSING THE KING –

Talk about kicking a man when he is down!  That’s what SHIMEI does here.

To be threatened by your own son is as bad as it gets, I would think.  BUT SHIMEI adds insult to injury by coming out of his home, and cursing the King as he came by.

Oh, by the way, he also picked up rocks and threw them at King David and his servants…he called the King names and…charged him with being a violent, and wicked man (vv. 7-8).

“What is this man’s problem?” 

He is a relative of Saul the King, whom the Lord rejected, and the one from whom David inherited the throne, and just maybe…it’s time to get even!

I don’t know the whole story, but I wonder if SHIMEI lived in fear of King David, or…could this have been a reaction from all the anger, bitterness, and jealousy that he allowed to build in his heart over the years?

I wonder how many times he said,  “It’s just not fair!” 

How many times in your life over the years have you said,  “It’s not fair!”

Vengeance Is Obviously Something Shimei Had On His Mind (v. 8):

[8] The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. Behold, the calamity is upon you because you are a bloody man!

Notice David’s response.  He could have killed him, or had him killed.  In fact, one of his faithful servants Abishai [David’s nephew] volunteers to do it for him (v. 9).

Yet King David allows him to live.

David knew what it was like to find MERCY.  David also knew the need to show MERCY!

How good are we at showing MERCY to those who wrong us?

SHIMEI COMING TO THE KING – (2 Samuel 19:11-18)

The THREAT is over.  The CONSPIRACY has ended and Absalom is dead.  A great victory for the people of Israel, but a tragic loss for King David.

The Return of The King

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After a time of mourning for his son, David begins the journey back to Jerusalem where he is restored to power.  

As he crosses the Jordan River, who do you suppose comes out to meet him.  The ‘Cursing Rock Thrower’.

I’m not sure how much common sense SHIMEI has, but one thing he does have is nerve!

2 Samuel 19:19-20 (Amplified Bible):

[19] Let not my lord impute iniquity to me and hold me guilty, nor remember what your servant did the day my lord went out of Jerusalem [when Shimei grossly insulted David]; may the king not take it to heart.  [20] For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I am today the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.

SHIMEI confesses his SIN to the King!

He is now willing to be a SERVANT!

He does not refer to himself as being a descendant of Saul, but of the house of Joseph!

SHIMEI CLEARED BY THE KING 

There is nothing wrong with Abishai’s memory!

“Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”

Notice the words of MERCY out of David’s mouth (v. 23):

[23] “You shall not die” [at my hand].  And the king gave him his oath.

What welcome words to the ears of a sinner!

CALLED BY THE KING SOLOMON (1 Kings 2:36-37):
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King David is dead now, and his Son Solomon assumed the throne of his father.

Solomon sends for SHIMEI, and as he comes to the King, Solomon tells him to build a home in Jerusalem.  However, there’s a catch; there are boundaries that come with the promise.

Reminded me of when I was a young boy growing up.  My mother would give her consent for me walking to the nearby theater for Saturday Matinees with specific instructions–“come straight home afterwards, because moms always have ways to find out when little boys break the rules.”

Solomon specific instructions to SHIMEI–don’t travel out of Jerusalem beyond the Kidron Brook.  If you do, the consequence shall be DEATH!

Although my mom never put the consequences of disobedience with death, in a young boy’s mind, I wasn’t going to take the chance.

SHIMEI agrees and promises to abide by the King’s wishes.

“BUT AFTER THREE YEARS…” (verses 39-46)

The agreement to the terms of his mortgage is forgotten.  

Two of SHIMEI”S SERVANTS run away and Shimei decides to saddle up his donkey and pursue them. Perhaps he thought the King has forgotten or never finds out!

Caught In The Act!

Word comes to the King and he calls for SHIMEI, to remind him of the OATH he originally made three years earlier.  He also reminds him of the CONSEQUENCES OF MAKING POOR CHOICES!

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Don’t think for a moment that OUR CHOICES do not have consequences!~

SHIMEI DIES as a result of DISOBEDIENCE to the King!  (1 Kings 2:46)

We Too Have Cursed the King!

We have sinned against Him!

We have thrown rocks at Him every time that we have rejected Him!

Every time that we have forsaken Him, and every time that we have questioned His authority over our lives!

Here’s the GOOD NEWS!

We can come to the KING!

We can find MERCY at the feet of the King!

IF…we will CONFESS,

He will FORGIVE!

MAKING RIGHT CHOICES –

If you are reading this and are already SAVED, as a Believer, you have a responsibility to the KING.  He has placed LIMITS upon us and there are certain things that He expects from His own children.

 


CREDITS:

Photo Credits:  Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible, except where noted in text.

 

(The M.I.C.) Manipulator In Charge

(The M.I.C.) Manipulator In Charge

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Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside of the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C..  This was no ordinary robbery. The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents.  While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about Watergate espionage operation before it happened, rest assure, he took steps to cover it up after words, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members.  In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned.

Throughout history, many attempts have been made to cover up incompetence, immorality and even crimes.  In the Bible, cover ups appear very early.  Adam and Eve sought to cover their nakedness and hide from God, not realizing their efforts betrayed their SIN and GUILT.

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In my study in 2 Samuel 11 this past week, one of the great cover-up attempts of all time takes place, and like so many,

IT TOO…falls disastrously!

Proverbs 24:8 (NIV):

“He who plots evil will be known as a schemer.”

DAVID’S ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE OTHERS IN ORDER TO HIDE HIS SIN –

This SIN was due to David’s lust and arrogance.  PERIOD!

David had no desire for Bathsheba to become his wife, or even to carry on an adulterous affair with her.  His intent was but for a ‘one night stand’, and she went home.  That was that, or so it seemed.  I hope you have your bibles alongside you as we go through the events unveiled in Chapter 11.

When David heard from Bathsheba that this ‘fling’ resulted in pregnancy…the Scripture narrative reveals David’s desperate attempt to cover up his sin with Bathsheba.

As we all know, it didn’t work out and it actually made matters so much worse.  As Sir Walter Scott once said, “O, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.”

DAVID’S PROBLEM –

pancakes-stackemhighDavid didn’t know how to stop what he started and decides to stack one SIN upon another.

There are many lessons to be learned from this tragic episode of David’s life, which if heeded, will keep us all from duplicating them in our own lives.

So, the KING, DAVID, tries to “legitimize” the unfortunate circumstances; He instructs his Four Star General Joab, to bring Bathsheba’s military husband home from the Ammonite Campaign, making it possible for him to enjoy the intimacies of marriage.

2 Samuel 11:7:

“When Uriah had come to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the people fared, and how the war progressed.”

David orchestrated this homecoming, so to speak, to appear as though it served one purpose–while it actually served David’s purpose of concealing his own sin.

Webster’s definition for “A MANIPULATOR IN CHARGE” (Manipulation):  One who “manages or influences skillfully, especially in an unfair manner; to manipulate people’s feelings.”

So David PRETENDED that he was interested in the General, the Military, and the progress of the war.

BUT the real reason for getting Uriah back was to make it possible for him to enjoy the intimacies of marriage.  Thus it would be possible to attach the paternity question of the child to him.

MANIPULATORS PROFESS (to Honor) – verses 8-13.

After reading these verses, we see David scheming by suggesting Uriah get cleaned up from his return from the front lines of war.  Soldiers didn’t wear combat boots in the day, but sandals.

[8] David said to Uriah,  “Go down to your house and wash your feet…”

Yeah, Uriah.  Go home and enjoy your R&R and here, take this sack of groceries home, maybe a few candles too and have a romantic evening with your wife.

But Uriah wanted no part of the comforts offered by the king.  His argument was, how could he be allowed the comforts of home and a conjugal visit while his friends in combat were deprived of them?

[11] Uriah said to David,  “The ark and Israel and Judah live in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As you live and as my soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

Since this scheme wasn’t working, David decided he was going to need to convince (“manipulate”) Uriah another way.

How many times have we tried to manipulate others, in coming around to our way of thinking by presenting another plan?

David’s thinking was, I’m going to ‘buddy’ up to Uriah.

What do ‘buddies’ do?  Well, in this case, they get drunk together.  But this wasn’t friendship.  It was David resorting to another scheme to induce Uriah to go home to his wife (v. 12-13).

Uriah is presented as a faithful and pious soldier who had more respect for the law of God when he was drunk than his king did when he was sober.

So David’s deceptive plot of pretense of coming home and professing to be his buddy didn’t work.

COVER-UPS Began Early in Our History.

Adam and Eve tried to COVER-UP with leaves, but their efforts only betrayed their guilt.  This cover-up by David’s manipulation is like so many others, failing completely!

How David, the “Apple of God’s Eye” (Psalm 17:8), has fallen from the man he once was.  And if you’re thinking to yourself, how could this happen to a man who had God’s call, who was anointed by the King of kings…we are ALL vulnerable to SIN!  What we do with our actions…do we cover them up, or do we CONFESS OUR SIN?  (1 John 1:9-10).

MANIPULATORS PANIC (when it doesn’t go their way).

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Verses 14-17:

[14] In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.  [15] And he wrote in the letter,  “Put Uriah in the front line of the heaviest fighting and withdraw from him, that he may be struck down and die.”  [16] So when Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah opposite where he knew the enemy’s most valiant men were.  [17] And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David fell, Uriah the Hittite died also.

When your plans do go as expected, do you ever PANIC?  

DAVID is getting desperate at this point of the story.  When Uriah refuses to sleep with his wife, David panics.  Once David began his efforts to cover up his SIN, each step taken from that point lead in deeper and deeper into sin!

FIRST, he LUSTED, then he committed ADULTERY, then DECEIT, and finally MURDER.

Our day has had its share of highly placed people who made matters worse as they looked to cover up their wrongdoing.

THE PLOT THICKENS

To show how calloused David had become and how noble Uriah was, David sent a letter that plotted the Hittites death by Uriah himself (verses 14 & 15).:

[14] In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.

[15] And he wrote in the letter,  “Put Uriah in the front line of the heaviest fighting and withdraw from him, that he may be struck down and die.”

I find it amazing how we can get so caught up in our own deceptions, that we want to recruit others into our tangled web.  The DECEIT and DECEPTION woven in our plans must bring more people to join in the conspiracy.  We want to spread our guilt and shame around so that the weight of our SIN is more distributed.

David’s plan was to put Uriah in the front of an intense battle, then withdraw so he would be killed.  While General Joab had no qualms about accomplishing David’s goal, he amended his plan as having too great of risk both to himself and David.  The king’s plan would have been too obvious to everyone and would have made many of those who fought that day under Joab’s command to doubt his commitment to them.

So Joab led an attack against a part of the city where he knew the resistance was the greatest.  In the heat of the battle, Joab lost several men [wasn’t in the “plan’], including Uriah (vv. 16-17).

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MANIPULATORS PLANS (place others in danger) – (vv. 18-25)

Mission Accomplished.  Uriah is dead!

Joab knew that he had to let the king know that his objective had been accomplished– without revealing to anyone else that the TWO OF THEM murdered Uriah in such a way as just another casualty of war.

Another Cover-up, perhaps?

Joab didn’t exactly follow the instructions of the Commander-In-Chief’s letter.  The collateral damage to the troops wasn’t suppose to happen.

The king’s desires had come to fruition…to a point.  But now, how can one possibly report this fiasco in a way that doesn’t make Joab look like a fool (at best), or a murderer (at worst)?

So the messenger was told that after David raised his objections, he was to reveal to him that “your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also”  (vv.18-21). 

The news of Uriah’s death calmed the king and in the message that was sent back to Joab, David covered the treachery with insincerity in tone:

Oh well, “the sword devours one as well as another” (v. 27).

MANIPULATORS PUNISHED (in God’s timing) – (vv. 26-27):

[26] When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for Uriah.  [27] And when the mourning was past, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.  But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.

David, though he had broken at least three of the Ten Commandments God had given Israel for the purpose of relating to God and to fellow-man–he had COVETED another man’s wife, committed ADULTERY, and MURDERED.  And yet, who can judge the judge; who can question the actions of the king?

The answer comes in the final verse of the chapter in words that suggest that no one stands above the law of God.  What seemed to David a final ending to what would have been a very sticky situation was but the beginning of problems because (verse 27) set in motion events that would trouble David till his death [David was trying to legitimize his SIN, making Uriah a casualty of war, making Bathsheba a widow. He now can marry this woman and raise the child as his own, which of course it is].

Sin has a sneaky way of compounding itself!

Before you know it, you’re more deeply involved in it than you ever thought you’d be.

Temptations and Manipulation Are Cousins!

You cannot control the course of your destiny once you allow yourself to begin to flirt with SIN.  It will capture you.  It will ensnare you.  And ultimately, it will destroy you.

David once killed GIANTS.  Now the GIANT is killing him.

Uriah is a reminder to us today: God doesn’t always deliver the RIGHTEOUS from the hand of the wicked immediately, or even in this lifetime.

DANIEL’S THREE FRIENDS –

Daniel’s three friends told the king that THEIR GOD was able to deliver them.  They didn’t presume that He would or that He must.  And God did deliver them!  [See Daniel 3:17, 18; 19-28]

God Is Able
God Is Able

I think Christians look upon this DELIVERANCE as the rule, rather than the exception.  But when Uriah faithfully serves his king (DAVID), he loses his life.

God is not obliged to ‘bail us out of trouble’ or keep us from trials and tribulations just because we TRUST in Him.

In the Old Testament, as in the New, God sometimes delivers His people from the hands of wicked people, but often He doesn’t.

Their “deliverance” comes with the Messiah, the LORD JESUS CHRIST.  

Uriah, like ALL of the Old Testament saints, died without receiving his full reward, and that is because God wanted him to wait.  Uriah, like many saints, was not delivered from the hands of the WICKED–THE MANIPULATORS.  [READ Hebrews 11:13-16; 37-40] 

 


CREDITS:

Watergate Scandal Facts & Summary @ HISTORY.com

Photos:  Google Search Images.

Bible Translation:  Amplified Bible (AMP).

 

The Feelings of Being Dropped and Rejected

The Feelings of Being Dropped and Rejected

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2 Samuel 4:4 (ESV):

Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet.  He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled in her haste, he fell and became lame.  And his name was Mephibosheth.

MEPHIBOSHETH –

I see here in the verse, that this young boy was in the care of an unnamed nurse.  After all, he could have been the future king of the land, and would have had a caretaker, a nanny, a trusted companion to be entrusted to.

And in a time of urgency, a time when the kingdom seemed to be crashing all around them, a time when the nurse was not thinking clearly, when she was rushed in going to and fro…

Mephibosheth was consequently DROPPED…dropped by someone who should have been caring for him.

DROPPED by someone who should have been the model and personification of LOVE!

He was dropped by the one who fed him.

Dropped by the one who hugged him.

He was dropped by the one he TRUSTED!

Has someone you have loved and expressed LOVE to you ever dropped you?

You looked to them and they dropped you!

You trusted them and they dropped you!

They held you close and they dropped you!

They fed you with one hand and slapped you with the other hand!

They held you, said I love you but the way they held you was full of perversion and in your heart you question, “Is this really love?”

They said “I love you” but their actions spoke of hate and anger.

You were dropped by the one who should have been holding you!  Not only were you “dropped,” but you were changed when you were dropped from that moment on and you began to WALK DIFFERENTLY.

I remember hearing the story of my mother-in-law when she was probably about Mephibosheth’s age.  A neighbor had come over to visit and wanted to bring Margarite down stairs to the parlor for others gathered to gloat and brag over this pretty young girl.

As she began to proceed down the stairs in haste, she dropped my wife’s mother, which resulted with her leg being broken.  Unfortunately, in that day in age, X-Rays were far and few between, and the doctor didn’t set the little girl’s leg correctly.  So, her leg bone fused to her hip, and she became lame in that leg, walking differently, wearing a specially made shoe, for the rest of her life.

But being LAME in life can obviously go beyond the physical deformities, it can apply to our spirit, our souls as well.

WALKING IN RELATIONSHIPS –

Your relationships after being dropped can carry with them the effects of being dropped.

You carry insecurities IN the process of being DROPPED.

But understand the Bible constantly affirms the teaching of Self Worth!

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”  (Genesis 1:26)

AND Psalm 8:5-6 (Amplified Bible):

[5] Yet You have made him but a little lower than God [or heavenly beings], and You have [crowned] him with glory and honor.  [6] You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.

Holding Unforgiveness –

We lose when we fall into a cycle of HATING those that have dropped us.

Matthew 5:43-44:

[43] “You have heard that it was said,  ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’  [44] But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

HURT –

Instead of admitting the HURT, we think about it and puzzle over our anger, when the ANGER becomes so strong you forget that you have even been hurt!

REVENGE –

Revenge comes with, “What can I do to get even?”

Always dwelling on the issue–never moving on–never growing up and never allowing FORGIVENESS to flow.

Minds are manipulated by feelings.  They allow the initial HURT to evolve; which grows into something larger to hold onto, resulting in certain Self-destruction; Self-damage and poor Self-worth.

A person that doesn’t think well of themselves eventually begins to criticize others.

Proverbs 26:24 (AMP):

He who HATES pretends with his lips, but stores up deceit within himself.

Pushing others down makes those who are down felt as if they are greater.

We are never given AUTHORITY to CRITICIZE OTHERS, even those who have done us wrong.  Even those that HATE you.  Even those that CRITICIZE you.  Even those who whisper (gossip) behind your back.

BLESS THEM, ENCOURAGE THEM, UPLIFT THEM!

I challenge anyone, who has or had feelings of inadequacy from being dropped and rejected by another, will hold on to these feelings while Blessing them, Encouraging them, and Uplifting them.

MEPHIBOSHETH FOUND HIMSELF AT THE KING’S TABLE –

2 Samuel 9:1-5 (AMP)

[1]  AND DAVID said, Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?  [2] And of the house of Saul there was a servant whose name was Ziba. When they had called him to David, he said to him, Are you Ziba? He said, I, your servant, am he.  [3] The king said, Is there not still someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the [unfailing, unsought, unlimited] mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has yet a son who is lame in his feet.  [4] And the king said, Where is he? Ziba replied, He is in the house of Machir, son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.  [5] Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel in Lo-de-bar.

MEPHIBOSHETH; although lame physically, never searched for the king, BUT…the king searched for him!

He was afraid of King David!  Perhaps this young boy had a wrong perception of the king’s character.

JESUS said,  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”  (Luke 19:10).

Man does not SEEK after God, God’s not lost; we are!

In all our insecurities, self-doubts…we have turned our backs on God.

Mephibosheth found himself in a far country (9:4).  He was at Lo-debar.

LO-DE-BAR means “the place of no bread.”  It’s a place of starvation; there is no SPIRITUAL FOOD in this far country.  And, there is no strength outside the will of God.

Are you finding yourself right now in a far off place HURT and REJECTION–in a land with the name of Lo-debar?

Mephibosheth was crippled and couldn’t help himself (9:13).

He would have died without the King’s help (9:8),

JESUS came into a country where there was NO BREAD.  I feel so grateful, so blessed that He came to SAVE me and you!

MEPHIBOSHETH WAS RECEIVED FOR ANOTHER’S SAKE –

2 Samuel 9:1, 7 (AMP):

[1] AND DAVID said,  Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?

[7] David said to him, Fear not, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your father [grandfather], and you shall eat at my table always.

DAVID love Jonathan like his own son and David made a promise to him:

While I [Jonathan] am still alive you shall not only show me the loving kindness of the Lord, so that I die not.  But also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever–no, not even when the Lord has cut off every enemy of David from the face of the earth.  (1 Samuel 20:14-15, AMP).

Mephibosheth became a son of the King (9:11).  [See Romans 8:17]

[17] Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…

It is true that, while we as human beings were in our infancy, the devil grabbed us and ran off into a far country that caused mankind to fall and be crippled.  Where our doubts, our failings, our insecurities, OUR FEELINGS has left us crippled spiritually and feeling not loved.

BUT thank God, it is also true that the King has come, He sought us, and found us in a far country, adopted us into His family, and will take us to His country to sit at His Table for eternity.

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CREDITS –

True Beauty of Our Scars, A Book by Elisa Morgen

Photos:  Google Images Search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), except where noted.

 

 

Being Realistic In The Face Of A No Good Rotten Husband

Being Realistic In The Face Of A No Good Rotten Husband

Scripture Study in 1 Samuel 25:1-31

My Blog-post is a little early for Mother’s Day, but in this passage of Scripture that deals with a woman, it doesn’t really address mothering ways.  But after studying the verses in this chapter, I began to admire this woman.  I thought, if she displayed this type of devotion to a no good rotten drunk, then what a mother she must have been.  

Her name is Abigail.  I’ll just refer to her as Abi.

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Abi was married to…well…a no good rotten husband!  Look at the first 3 verses of Chapter 25:

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All the events happened during a time of unrest, when King Saul was trying to kill David and David and his men were found hiding where Nabal (Abi’s husband) kept his goats and sheep.

When David’s men asked for some food, Nabal ridiculed them and then denied their request.  That made David mad, which in turn worried Nabal’s servants and so steps taken by Abi saves the day!

What Abigail did for the No Good Rotten Husband, she would certainly do for her child I thought.

You can see the mother in a woman who tends to be consistent in ALL AREAS of her life.  Here are but a few things that came to mind while meditating on this passage of Scripture–

Abigail Protected Her Husband and He Didn’t Even Know It –

Moms, have you ever been embarrassed by something your husbands has done or said? I think I just felt a virtual nudge from my wife from the other room.

Perhaps a spoken word that offended someone and so without him knowing, you reached out to that person in a mending way.

Abi basically prepared a peace-offering in this story as she went to meet David, hoping she would prevent her husband’s death.

Now Abigail didn’t condone her husband’s actions, but if she was PROTECTIVE of a No Good Rotten Husband, how much more protective would she be of her children?

Good Mothers Do All They Can to Protect and Heal –

  • They put on band-aids…
  • Kiss boo boo’s…
  • Give their newborns soft, round toys to play with.
  • Monitor TV and video games as well as computer usage.

I know you’ve heard this bible passage over and over again through the years and God’s promise in Proverbs has always comforted me while raising my three children, even after they became adults:

“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6, Amplified Bible]

Abigail Was Protective As A Wife and all her appeals to David in the following verses of 1 Samuel Chapter 25, were based on her knowledge of the LORD:

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Abi Was REALISTIC About Their Wrongs –

Good Mothers don’t deny or ignore their child’s wrongs.  

Maybe you are not one of these parents, but some think THERE KIDS can do no wrong.

I don’t know about you, but people…especially kids, want to get away with whatever they can get away with.  I can’t count how many times my own children when growing up…something would break in the house, or is left in the middle of the floor for me to step on or trip over, or a light switch left on in every room (still drives me nuts), and would you guess the response to the question, “WHO DID IT?”  You guessed it, all three of them, “Not me dad!”

Mothers, You Gotta Be Realistic About Your Kids Shortcomings!

If you are realistic, you’ll have a better chance to show them what’s RIGHT, hopefully heading off future mistakes!

Don’t avoid them, ignore them, or turn a blind eye to them, hoping and praying things will all work out in the end.  You’ve SACRIFICED a lot raising these kids, so I think you have a right to give some advice.

Abi was Sound In Her Advice –

Abigail’s advice to David was saturated with Godly Wisdom:

1 Samuel 25:29-30 (NIV)

[29] Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master [David] will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the LORD your God. But the lives of your enemies He will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.  [30] When the LORD has done for my master every good thing He promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel,”

One thing Abigail does is to make reference to David’s future as KING.

I noticed here, when Abi said God would “hurl away” his enemies as “from the pocket of a sling,” got David’s undivided attention, for he certainly knew all about the “sling.”

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Abigail’s Character Really Shined At This Point –

Abi’s intelligence and humility won the life of her No Good Rotten Husband and their servants.  She approached David in complete contrast from Nabal, her husband.  Look carefully at her advice in verses 26-28:

[26] So now, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, seeing that the LORD has prevented you from bloodguiltiness and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal.  [27] And now this gift, which your handmaid has brought my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.  [28] Forgive, I pray you, the trespass of your handmaid, for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the LORD’S battles, and evil has not been found in you all your days.

IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING PROTECTIVE BY GOD…

Not reacting in a rash way, keeping a clear conscience, as my Mom would remind me when I was young.  It probably reminded David of his actions toward Saul.

What Abigail practiced towards her future husband, she would certainly practice with her children.

Mom’s, this is a great LESSON to teach kids when they are young–Don’t react in the moment because you’ll probably react wrongly.  Even we adults need to be reminded of this.

Just like Abi, tell them what the LORD can and wants to do in their life!

Abigail Was A Compliment To Her Husband –

Abi was a good and godly wife both to the no good Nabal and to the future King David.  How can we know that?  If left to his own devices, Nabal would have certainly been killed by David.  For some reason, that’s hard to understand sometimes, like Abigail, many women put up with a lot of stuff!

My first reaction in reading the verses, Why Didn’t Abi just let David rid her of the nuisance of a husband?  Nabal was a no good stupid drunk–Abigail says as much in vv. 25-26.

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Now I’m not insinuating to husbands reading here are inconsiderate drunken fools like Nabal.  But men do have a tendency to react rashly. We often push and we aren’t sensitive toward our kids as mothers are.

Looking back on raising our children, there was a needed balance–a sensitivity that Mom’s bring to the family.  I always knew when I said something insensitive to our kids because Dianne would give me THAT LOOK!

You see, Abigail isn’t just about the CHARACTER OF A MOTHER, but of a godly woman, wife.  

We’re not told that Abigail had any children with Nabal.  They did have servants and Abi cared enough for them that she was going to do what she could to protect them.

GOD HAD PLANS FOR HER –

It’s unfortunate that we got such a short glimpse of Abigail because I believe she played a huge role as wife of King David.  We know that Nabal eventually died and that David’s anger was avenged by God and not by David’s own hand, just as Abigail had advised.

David was like a lot of men.  Had this beautiful and intelligent woman not stepped in and given godly sound advice, David would surely have had the blood not just of Nabal, but the servants and most likely Abigail his future wife on his hands.

My take on the unfolding events in this chapter and beyond is, God saw in Abigail one who would compliment David–reason with David and balance David’s home and kingdom.

Mothers Are The Glue That Holds The Family Together –

The TRUTH is, women/mothers are most often the ones better grounded in God’s Word and are therefore guided by God’s wisdom.  

They are the ones faithful to the church, they are the ones faithful in prayer.

And men, don’t sit back, nodding your head and thinking this was God’s original plan: Women are meant to be more faithful than men in the family life.  It wasn’t, and still isn’t.  But if we don’t take our responsibility as husbands and dad’s in the Christian home, our wives/mothers will fill the void.

Men need to listen to the advice of your wives so that they might just save your life.  Just ask Nabal.  You can even ask David.

I wanted to share the Story of Abigail (“Abi”), Nabal and David because God helped me see through this situation of the godly characteristics of a godly woman and mom.

Abi did become a mother, Nabal did die, and David?  Well, David remembered this intelligent, beautiful woman just as she requested.  He married her and they had a son named Chileab.

I believe as Abigail the mom, these characteristics we looked at grew stronger…And if we think about them, these are characteristics that many of us witness today in our own moms and wives.

And young moms reading this Blog, you can take these attributes of this godly woman and practice them in your own family.

And men, we’ll know when we’ve messed up.  Your wife will look you in the eye, shrug her shoulders and say,

“Well, at least you’re not Nabal!”

wicked-smart-the-story-of-abigail-400x400Men, you would do well this Mother’s Day to say like David,

[32] Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who sent you this day to meet me.  [33] And blessed be your discretion and advice, and blessed be you who have kept me today from bloodguiltiness and from avenging myself with my own hand.

 


CREDITS –

SERMON NOTES: Male Role Models – Good & Bad by Brian Atwood.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search; ShutterStock.

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS:  Amplified Bible, New International Version, and King James bible.

What I Call Good Isn’t Necessarily What God Calls Anointed!

What I Call Good Isn’t Necessarily What God Calls Anointed!

00020013_h Today’s Scripture: 1 SAMUEL 16:1-13

VERSE 13:  Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward…”

TRANSFORMED FROM A NOBODY TO A SOMEBODY

[10] Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel.  And Samuel said to Jesse,  “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”

[11] Then [he] said to Jesse,  “Are all your sons here?” [Jesse] said,  “There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said to Jesse,  “Send for him; for we will not sit down to eat until he is here.”

In some Pentecostal circles we talk or refer to the “ANOINTING” a great deal, almost with exclusiveness.  And that’s not true.  There are many non-Pentecostals that have an understanding of the anointing.

What is missed within the conversations of the anointing is having a good understanding of it.  I think the first thing we all need to do is to get a clear picture of what the Bible says about “anointing”.

So to get a better understanding of what anointing is, we should first attempt to understand what anointing is NOT.

In much of today’s church world, we don’t always get a clear idea of what God’s Anointing really is.  The anointing of God has been reduced to a Pastor’s performance in the pulpit: “Oh, wasn’t pastor’s message this morning anointed?”  

In some circles, large attendance numbers and a wealth of programs are considered as clear evidence, that particular church has God’s anointing upon it.

If a song brings goose bumps on your arms during the church service,,,then it has to be anointed.

If after leaving the morning/evening worship services and you feel good about your experience, then surely it was “anointed.”

I want to make a clear point right here.  I like good preaching and good singing as much as the next person, but I’ve come to the understanding, what I call “GOOD” isn’t necessarily what God calls “ANOINTED”!

I think it’s safe to say, not everything we see and hear in today’s church world is ANOINTED, and you can fill in your own blanks.  Suffice to say, not everything is set apart for the purpose of bringing glory and honor to God.

GOD IS PARTICULAR WITH HIS ANOINTING –

In reading the verses in 1 Samuel 16:1-13 this week, I found that God is not “willy nilly” in placing His anointing on everything that simply looks good to the natural eye.  One of the greatest threats to God’s work today is the supposed anointing that people and ministries have, based on who they are and what they are doing.

christian-poetry-by-deborahann-what-god-sees-doorpost-verses-comGod clearly doesn’t look on the outside as man does but rather God is most interested in what a man looks like on the inside.

It’s the INSIDE of the HEART that hold all the secrets of man (Psalm 44:21).

The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times.  In essence, this is what it says:

“The HEART is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell”  [See Footnote [i] ].

Since God also has emotions and desires, He too can be said to have a “HEART’.

What may appear to be PERFECT on the outside of man, can be quite putrid on the inside.

God tells the prophet Samuel in VERSE 7 “Look not on his appearance or the height of his stature, for I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees,; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” —  [the intent]

God is particular in His Anointing!

Although Eliab was the eldest son, probably the strongest and most fit for the job as king, God overlooked him along with 6 others for the one that was the youngest.

Things aren’t always as they appear.

It’s all to easy to do as Samuel did.  Mistakenly over the years, I too have thought of others, including myself, in thinking “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.”  It’s easy to do, to ANOINT someone or something that God has not himself anointed.

God considers the HEART, always!

Notice God already knew which of these 8 sons of Jesse that He was going to ANOINT king of Israel.

He said to Samuel in verse 1,  “… Fill your horn with oil; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite.  For I have provided for Myself a king among his sons.”

God’s task seems to make certain Samuel knew who He would ANOINT as king in the process.

“Things aren’t always as they appear to be”!

God understands this better than anyone, so He looks in the place of human beings wherein lies the true nature of a person…

THE HEART!

God’s Impression.

God will never be IMPRESSED with what we are impressed with.

God is NOT impressed with an “impressive” resume.

God is NOT impressed with our talent.

God is NOT impressed with our strengths.

God is NOT impressed with our abilities.

God is NOT impressed with our good looks.

God is NOT impressed with our position.

God is NOT impressed with anything other than what is impressive in our hearts!

The Psalmist said, “Let my heart be sound (sincere and wholehearted and blameless) in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame”  (Psalm 119:80).heart

Proverbs 14:20 states,  “A calm and undisturbed (SOUND) mind and heart are the life and health of the body…”

Most of us will agree how important a “healthy heart” is to our physical body.  And, as with our physical nature. a healthy heart is just as important to our spiritual nature. 

According to God’s standard of ANOINTING, a healthy Heart is the first and foremost requirement in receiving His Anointing!

THE HEART WON’T LIE!

Matthew recorded Jesus as referring to “false prophets” saying, “You will fully recognize them by their fruits.”  WHY IS THIS?

Because the HEART will always tell on itself!

THE HEART, being the truest representation of who a person is, is the very reason God looks upon it always!

God’s Anointing Can Cause Others to Dislike You.

Several times in Scripture, we see incidences of those God anointed for specific reasons; seeing those that despised the ones God chose to ANOINT.  And DAVID is no different.

When Samuel anointed David, it wasn’t a private religious ceremony–it wasn’t conducted secretly.  No, it was done openly and in the presence of all those that had been “overlooked.”

VERSE 13:  Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers;  and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward…

Imagine for a minute, that you have just been interviewed for the position of King of Israel. You’re strong, talented, you’ve abilities that are unmatched…AND, you are overlooked!

AND…to pour rubbing alcohol in the open wound, your younger, weaker, scrawny brother gets the job!

My first reaction, and by the way, I have a younger brother that wasn’t “scrawny”…might be, “What just happened here?”

The Bible goes on to say, from that day forward, the Spirit of the LORD was upon David.

A Matter of the Heart.

God’s ANOINTING is particular, a matter of the heart and can be confrontational.

God will never ANOINT just anything or just anyone.  The anointing of God is much too valuable to simply make it available to anyone or anything.

God is the One Who chooses who walks in His anointing, not Pastors, Elders, church leaders or anyone else.  No one can declare God’s Anointing is yours except… the One Who ANOINTS!

God will look on the HEART, always.

First, If the HEART is not PURE, you’ll not have God’s anointing upon it.  God doesn’t anoint PRIDE, ARROGANCE, JEALOUSY or HATE.

He does ANOINT HUMILITY, KINDNESS and SERVITUDE.

And yet, even God’s Anointed can make mistakes.

In study, we can look at David’s life and rule as King of Israel in the bible, and even this great man, a man after God’s own heart, is not immune from making mistakes.

We are not perfect, and that’s why the apostle Paul tells us:

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing to full completion in you”  (Philippians 1:6).

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THANK YOU JESUS!!

We are all a work in progress.  But the GOOD NEWS is, unlike the Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament, that came “upon” God’s ANOINTED, the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant, SEALS and INDWELLS God’s ANOINTED PEOPLE.  (John 2:27; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). 

 

 

 


Footnote(s) & Credits –

Footnote [i]:  Got Questions? .org

BIBLE TRANSLATION:  The Amplified Bible (AMP).

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Be Careful What You Ask For (PART TWO)

Be Careful What You Ask For (PART TWO)

460768101_1280x720 THE PROPHET –

The Bible says that the matter displeased ‘Vice-President’ Samuel.  But instead of carrying a protest sign outside a Town Hall Rally, Samuel prayed and called on the Lord.

  • Samuel PRAYED because he feared for the future of his nation.

He wasn’t being unpatriotic because he went against the status quo, no, Samuel was in love with his country–LOVED HIS GOD!

  • The Lord told Samuel, don’t take it personal.

In fact, God said, “they are not rejecting you, but they are rejecting Me!  

That’s a word for the child of God who would speak for God.  Many times it will seem as if we are being rejected, when in reality, God is the One being rejected.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had “chosen and appointed seventy others and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come (visit)”  (Luke 10:1).  

Then in verse 16, Jesus reminds His followers who are going out in the world to reap the harvest,  “He who hears and heeds you hears and heeds Me; and he who slights and rejects you slights and rejects Me slights and rejects Him who sent Me.”

GOD SAID, “the people don’t want Me as King!”

The evidence had been in view for ages past.  God said, ever since My children came out of Egypt, they’ve done nothing but forsake me and serve other gods.  It’s time for Me to CONCEDE–It’s time for me to admit that they don’t want me anymore.  

Don’t fight them Samuel, you are going to give them what they want.  He said, tell them the procedures for having a king.

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PERMISSION GRANTED (v. 10-18):

Understand today that just because God PERMITS some rulers to be in an authority, that doesn’t mean that He approves them.

Psalm 103 can be nicely tied in with the verses here, because it shows how people can want something so bad…GOD gives in, not to bless them but reprimand them.  He does it to bring RESTORATION to His wayward children.

  • Vice President Samuel now stood before the leaders and the people and uttered God’s CONCESSION SPEECH.

He told them in verse 11, that the king would take your sons and place them in front of his chariots.  Chariots were used in battles.  Since he says, “take”…it wasn’t a volunteer army, they were initiating the DRAFT.

Samuel told them in verse 12, that the king would have many people to do his plowing and to take in the harvest.  In other words, you’ll worker harder, longer for less money in your paycheck.

He said in verse 14, he will take the BEST of your fields and give them to his servants.  In other words, the ruler king will use the people, not only to make himself wealthy but his crony friends as well.

Verse 15, states that the king will take “a tenth of your seed”; in verse 17, “and your flocks”, until you have to borrow in order to survive, ultimately becoming his servants.  In other words, he’s going to use his executive order to put a “flat tax” upon all the people.

  • Then the Lord said that you will cry out and He will NOT LISTEN!

Then people refused to listen to the prophet Samuel and still demanded a specific leader for the nation.

GOD’S CONTINGENCY PLAN!

I’m glad that we can still look to the Hills whence comes our help (Psalm 121).

Isaiah PROPHESIED when he wrote:

“for unto us a child is born, a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government there shall be no end.”

AND THE WORDS OF PAUL, 1 Thessalonians 5:3:

When people are saying,  All is well and secure, and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen, destruction (ruin and death) will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child, and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape.

In other words, there is no ‘political’ plan for PEACE in the world, except through Christ Jesus only!

When the LORD establishes His Kingdom, there will be:

  • UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE – We will be given glorified bodies.
  • UNIVERSAL EQUALITY – All men/women will be treated the same.
  • UNIVERSAL PEACE – We’ll lay down our swords to study war no more.
  • UNIVERSAL WEALTH – Mansions in the sky’ Walk the streets of gold.

And we’ll be able to say,  “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last.”

 

 


CREDITS:  See PART ONE https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/be-careful-what…ask-for-part-one/

Be Careful What You Ask For (PART ONE)

Be Careful What You Ask For (PART ONE)

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In the past several months, during America’s political process, the world has its eyes on the events as they unfold during the campaign process of nominating a Presidential candidate.  On the way, we will read and hear many concession speeches.  

In 2004, Secretary John Kerry, then a United States Senator, was running a fierce campaign for the highest office in the land; trying to secure his place in history as the next president.  But it was not to be.  The following is his CONCESSION speech  [See Footnote [i] ]. 

“I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even with all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won’t be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And, therefore, we cannot win this election.”

[Definition, “to concede” :  to confess, admit as being true, or to acknowledge defeat”]

Senator Kerry’s concession speech wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last.

In the Bible, God too gave a concession speech.  One might say that He prefaced His speech when He said back in Genesis 6:3,  “My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man.”

In First Samuel, Chapter 8, we read in the verses that God was no longer popular with the people.  The masses thought He was irrelevant in their lives; unable to meet the needs of their nation.  God had lost the popular vote, failed to secure the electoral votes and conceded by giving a speech through His former running mate, the Honorable Prophet Samuel.

THE PROBLEM (found in vs. 1-3):

[1] WHEN SAMUEL was old, he made his sons judges over Israel.  [2] Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah.  They were judges in Beersheba.  [3] His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

The prophet Samuel had appointed his two sons to become judges over Israel.  It seems as if Samuel was trying to create a family dynasty and placed his sons in a position where they were charged with judging ALL the people righteously, yet they instead had some favorites.

Samuel was a godly man, yet his children went astray.  But you can’t be in a position of LEADERSHIP, claiming to be on God’s side, all the while JUDGING with partiality.

SCRIPTURE says they, “turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.”

In other words, only they only supported those who would make them wealthy.  If you didn’t have any money, or any high-ranking social status, then you, unfortunately, were oppressed in the name of God.

One can appear to be in a position of FAVOR, receive BLESSINGS, yet be out of favor with God.

These two young men used their religious positions, backed by the name of God, to gain political and material advantages.  Sound familiar?

They gave perks to the wealthy and if you had a problem with those in power, Joel and Abijah were bought off by the corporate powers that be, so you didn’t have to a fighting chance.

Many confess God but do not serve Him.  And, the last time my Bible defined “AUTHORITY”, YOU HAD TO BE A SERVANT LEADER to ALL the people NOT just to the people in your inner circle.

THE PEOPLE (vs. 4-5):

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah.  They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have”  (NIV Bible).

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The Bible teaches us, when the blind leads the blind, they all fall in the ditch.

Here we see in verse 4, the elders of the people, the Senate, the House of Representatives, came together in a joint session and told Samuel that they wanted a king like all the other nations, all because his sons were not walking with God.  The “theys” saw an opportunity to pursue their endorsement because of the failures and mistakes of others–minimizing God!  They were elders, and instead of them using their influence to unite the people, they told the people a partial truth, okay, a LIE, damaging their unique relationship with God.

All this was a teaching moment to me in my meditation on the verses here.  Neither the LEADERS nor the PEOPLE were praying and seeking God.  Instead, they were trying to get from man what they had available with God.

According to verse 20, they wanted a KING to fight for them, lead them in their frustrations and fears.  No doubt, all because they were a ‘civil religious’ nation; probably all the time thinking they were doing the right thing–suppressing the poor and disadvantaged while demanding that all they needed to have was a LEADER to further their program.

THE PROPHET (vs. 6-9):

[6] But it displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.”  And Samuel prayed to the Lord.  [7] And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them.  [8] According to all the works which they have done since I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you.  [9] So listen now to their voice; only solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them”  (AMP Bible).

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To Be Continued in PART TWO…

 


CREDITS AND FOOTNOTES:

Footnote [I]:  History’s Best Victory And Concession Speeches – November 6, 2012, Northwest Public Radio.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  AMPLIFIED Bible, except where noted.