Friday, October 21, 2016

Hero number Two, David

David in the Old Testament has always brought me comfort.

After he committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband (2 Samuel 11), God used David’s marriage to Bathsheba to be the family that would lead to Jesus. Beautiful grace that makes me want to cry.

But this week, as I read through 1 Samuel, I realized David is even more my hero, because he was always just a man.

In 1 Samuel 17, he argued with his brother.

David wept bitterly in chapter 20 when he knew Saul wanted to kill him.

In chapter 21, as he fled, he lied to the priest, saying he was on a special mission for Saul, and he begged for the consecrated bread.

In chapter 22, Saul learned the priest helped David, and he had all the priests and their town killed. One lived, Abiathar, son of the priest who helped David. Abiathar fled to David, and David spoke some of the kindest words I’ve found from him: “Then David said to Abiathar, ‘That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.’” 1 Samuel 22:22-23.

In chapter 24 David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, to show he could have killed him. Then he was sorry and told Saul he could not kill him because he, Saul,  was God’s anointed.

David asked Nabal for food for his men in chapter 25, because David and his men had protected Nabal’s shepherds when they were near them. Nabal refused to help David, and David was so mad he intended to kill every man with Nabal.

When Nabal’s wife Abigail brought David food and asked him not to be violent, he listened to her wisdom and thanked God for sending her to keep him from killing unnecessarily.

David showed sinfulness, sorrow, great anger, justice, trickery, kindness. He was a normal man. But in his weakness, he turned to God and begged for forgiveness and help. He is a hero to me.

Psalm 51: 12: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Friday, October 14, 2016

Words of Comfort

I’d like to share some words of comfort that God shared with me this week.

Psalm 46:1: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Ephesians 6:10: A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Romans 12:12: Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalms 16:8: I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Psalms 34:8: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

Isaiah 43:11-12: I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 26:4: Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

John 14:23: Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.”

Psalm 62:1: A psalm of David. I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.

Deuteronomy 13:4: Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

I thank God that he instructs me to cling to him.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Right Answer

Mark 9:21-24: Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

We discussed Mark 9 in Bible study some time ago.

Jesus came down from the mountain after the Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John. He found the other disciples in a crowd with a hubbub. A father had brought his son, possessed by an unclean spirit, and they could not cast it out.

Jesus seemed perplexed, asking how long he was to put up with these people and their lack of faith. Later, in the house, away from the crowd, he explained to the disciples that this could only happen by prayer.

Jesus had earlier given the disciples the power to cast out demons. They were excited about what they could do. And left alone without Jesus for a while, they tried to meet this great need by their own power. Jesus reminded them they needed to rely on God for the power to do what had to be done.

The father of the boy, however, had the right answer.

I am glad for this reminder. With my own weak power, I can do nothing. I pray I remember to depend on God for the needs I have and for the needs of those I love.