Monthly Archives: February 2019

The fall of a Great Man

1 Samuel 11/12 is a very sad story. David , a man after God’s own heart falls. A great fall, in light of what has been reported by Houston Chronicle recently and the sex abuse cover-up with in the Southern Baptist Convention, this is a sensitive topic. Several churches with big personalities have been named for inappropriately handling abusive situations, along with some of our leaders resigning because immoral actions. We all know that the world is enraged with sensuality and explicit sexual innuendo with everything. Proverbs 5: 7-23 gives a great warning to men about the great fall into sexual immorality. Today, I would think that we can and could include women in this warning. None of us are above reproach when it comes to sexual matters. Jesus tells us in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount to even look at a women with lust is committing adultery. We can’t throw stones at each other. David really messed up – but the fall of King David started before his encounter with Bathsheba.  1 Samuel 11:1 – “And then it happened” in the Spring at the time when kings go to war, that David sent Joab . . . . BUT David stayed at Jerusalem. David was a warrior, He was a soldier, he was a mighty man of valor having defeated so many enemies of Israel. David distinguished himself under King Saul’s reign as a mighty man of God and military strength. BUT he stayed at home when he should have gone out to be with his armies. David had been through a lot, the battles and hiding from Saul, the continual fighting against the Philistines. Looking back at 1 Samuel 10:19 – there was peace in Israel from their enemies. Maybe a comfort or a state of ease was the case, the sense of enemy attacks somewhat subsided, the urgency and alertness to keep sharp waned. For whatever reason David stayed back. Isn’t it like Satan and us that when things seem to settle down in our lives, we let our guard down?

David goes out on his roof top, I don’t know what was going through his mind, but his eye caught Bathsheba bathing, and lust took over. There is a lot of speculation about enticement of Bathsheba and why she was bathing in sight of the king’s palace – speculation – David acted on what he saw. He should have stopped it before it got anywhere – he already had four wives! James 1:12-15, the Fall of all men [mankind] is when we conceive sin – God is not the originator of evil or sin – sin comes from us. Lust – Sin – Death, its our fault. David takes deliberate actions to have Bathsheba; she conceives – this is the heart of the problem. Sin has produced its fruit. We could go into how if this were today, an abortion would have been done, and no one would have been the wiser. Abortion is primarily done for the sin of “convenience.” Instead of harvesting the results of our sin, we think if we eliminate the evidence, all if ok – Nope; so many scarred and damaged women. I am pro-choice, I mean that the choice is ours and needs to be made before conception, not afterwards. That’s my rant for the day.

David because of the pregnancy, tires to get Uriah to come home and sleep with Bathsheba, that way he can deny the child is his. He gets Uriah drunk trying to get him to partner in the cover-up of David’s sin. Nope! Uriah is more honorable in his service to David than David was to Bathsheba or God. Uriah will not cooperate, He must die, using Joab, Uriah is placed at the front lines, then deserted and killed by the enemy. All is well, nope! the baby dies. David does take Bathsheba as his wife. Okay the sin event is over, David brought reproach on himself, Bathsheba and Israel. Nope – Chapter 12 – Because the thing David was evil in the sight of God, Nathan the priest is brought to David to expose to him that his sin has found him out.  Nathan uses the parable about the little lamb and the rich man taking it. David is enraged at the action of the rich man towards the poor man. Nathan tells David – You’re the man! Verse 7-12 the LORD spells out the repercussions of David’s sin on himself and Israel. Oh a point there is a time-lapse between chapter 11 and 12 of a year.  To read the full remorse and repentance of David read Psalm 51. David wouldn’t die, but his house would be in disarray. His children Ammon, Tamar, and Absalom will cause great grief and agony to David. But even though all this horrid story of the fall of a great man – David is still honored by God. Still Jesus will be on the Davidic throne – in fact the heir comes from Bathsheba the adulteress.

No one, absolutely no one is above falling  – be alert – be strong – be holy.

God restored David, but David’s reign was never the same – heed the warning!


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Ark of the Covenant and the Davidic Covenant

1 Samuel 6 & 7; in these two chapters we have David trying to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and the Davidic Covenant that God makes with David, that his throne would be established forever. In chapter 6, we have David attempting to bring the “forgotten and forsaken” Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant that was built by Israel in the wilderness. The same one that was stolen by the Philistines and returned because of the “tumors” they were plagued with. he same Ark of the Covenant that housed, Aaron’s rod that budded, a bowl of Manna and the Two Tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Ark that was so revered by the people, for they saw it as the presence of God with them. David is not going to move the Ark without fanfare. He elicits 30,000 to bring the Ark home. The place where the Ark is located is significant – it was left vacated at Kiriath-Jearim. You may say so what, what does this place have to do with anything – it is the very place where Israel refused to cross over in Numbers 13 to inhabit the Promised Land! A place forgotten and the national symbol of Israel, left in the Wilderness.

David prepares are the pomp and circumstance to move the Ark with great celebration and extravagance. On a new cart, with people playing the harps, castanets, tambourines and cymbals – what a parade! Until at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumble and the Ark almost falls off, Uzzah walking along side the Ark reaches out to steady it, and is struck dead on the spot. Talk about crashing a party! David is enraged with anger, and leaves it right there – leaving it at Obed-edom’ house. David hears that because of the Ark at Obed-edom’s house he is being blessed. SO David again tries to bring the Ark into the city of Zion. Again the parade is on, this time without any mishaps – oh except King David is prancing around, dancing in his linen garments before the people and the entrance into Jerusalem – Michal [Saul’s daughter] is incensed with David frolicking around half-naked before the maidens. David says “I will act even more undignified than this.” [This was a song sung by DC Talk in the 1990’s]. Because of her rebuke of David, Michal was barren all her life.

Reflecting now on these two events – David absolutely enraged because Uzzah was struck dead. Here David is trying to do the right thing, and for no apparent reason, when Uzzah touched the Ark, he was killed. Seem a little harsh doesn’t it. Why did God strike him down? To us it doesn’t make sense, but we are given insight into God’s actions. “Irreverence” was the reason in 1 Sam 6:7. God didn’t need any help in ensuring the Ark was safe. It had been protected against enemies and elements of nature until Israel got ready to put it in its proper place. God was bringing the Ark in, not David and 30,000 soldiers. Irreverence means to disrespect or mock. Now I don’t fully understand how Uzzah reaching out to steady the Ark shows disrespect or mockery towards God, but it did. I do know that no one was to touch the Ark itself, it had loops at places along its outer frame so 2 poles could be pushed through and the Ark carried. The Ark is the Mercy seat of God, the place where the sacrifice done on the day of Atonement was done. A sacred place, a holy place, a revered place. I guess because of the Holiness of God, and Uzzah’s quick reaction of thinking like a man, he forgot the Holiness of God and approached God’s represented presents flippantly. We cannot regard things of God as common, nor should we regard things common as holy.

David was in the Spirit, rejoicing and praising God as he saw the Ark of the Covenant come to rest in Israel – there will always be those that will regard our celebration before the Lord and foolishness – people of the world don’t understand the things of God – Michal, would bear the reproach of woman being barren all her life.

Regarding the Everlasting Covenant of the Davidic throne. God bestowed a covenant of unequal participants between He and David. David was given the honor, that through his lineage there would not cease to be an heir on the throne. Many of you already understand this – the Heir that would reign is Jesus. King Jesus would/will/is reigning on the throne of Judah as the Lion of Judah. David wanted to build a house for God, to house the Ark of the Covenant. God tells David, you cannot “house me.” But God does tell him that his son would build a house where God would put His Name. Instead of David building a House for God; God established the House of David. Jesus was born into the House of David, the Covenant is still intact. When Jesus returns, He will take his seat on the throne of David – and execute judgment as the Lion of Judah.

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Feet of Clay

2 Samuel 4 and 9; the story of Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan is found in these two chapters. While there is about 40 years in between the chapters, they contain a single story. After the death of Saul, Jonathan and the rest of King Saul’s house [except for Ish-bosheth], David begins to reign. In chapter 4 we have the story of how Mephibosheth becomes crippled in his feet – in the haste of trying to escape the enemy the Philistines, the house servant drops Mephibosheth as a child. Usually when a new power/king took over from another, all the heirs of the previous king/ruler were killed to eliminate any up rising from them against the new king/ruler. It is interesting that King David did not do this for Ish-bosheth is still alive, and the up rising does occur. In another blog I will discuss chapters 5-8 about David coming to supreme power.

Mephibosheth as I said was crippled from a small age. In the years between chapter 4 and 9, Mephibosheth grows up to be a man, have a family and living in another city. After comes to full power over a united Israel/Judah; David asks the question “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” This question tells us how close Jonathan and David were. It also reaffirms David’s commitment to his word to Jonathan. Ziba who served Saul, tells David there is one called Mephibosheth, living in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.

Can you imagine the thoughts and fears that went through Mephibosheth’s mind when he was summoned to the Court of King David? Every fear for his life must have run though his mind. Years having passed, now David has found out there is one left of the House of Saul. Summoned to the Court, Mephibosheth, falls on his face before the king. David tells him to have no fear. King David for the sake of Jonathan says that he would “restore all the land of his grandfather Saul to him and that he, Mephibosheth would eat regularly at the King’s table. Mephibosheth’s response is one of curious doubt and fear – “What is your servant that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

Ziba, who has 15 sons and 20 servants would now be responsible for cultivating the land, and providing food for Mephibosheth. Verse 11, “so Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the King’s sons.” Verse 13 – So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.”

The last two verse that I quoted are of great significance. I would like to show you a metaphor from them. Everyone of us have a fallen sinful nature, we “crippled” so to speak. There is nothing that we have that should allow us to dine with the King; our King is Jesus. Because of a covenant with Jonathan and David, Mephibosheth was blessed. Because of the covenant relationship we have with Jesus, through the Father, we are blessed. We are invited to come dine with the King – our Table is the Lord’s Supper Table. It is a prepared table not for just guests, but like Mephibosheth – sons. We are the children of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. In spite of our frail human lives we have been invited to dine with the King regularly. The second part I want you to see it this; not only do we have a place at the King’s Table; but when we sit at the king’s table we are like Mephibosheth, our “crippledness” is hidden. Whether it be a table-cloth or the table itself that covered Mephibosheth defect, he is not seen as being crippled, but fully restored. The same for us, when we dine with the King at the Lord’s Supper table, all our sin and shame is hidden, but not by a table-cloth, but by a robe of righteousness that has been our purchased garment through Jesus Christ.

Jesus has blessed us like David did Mephibosheth. Our sin is hidden beneath the table. No need to fear our failures and scarred lives anymore – We are Hid in Christ!

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Through it All

1 Samuel 24-29; the greatest struggles in life have to be when we are attacked or accused falsely. We can think of Job and his trials or even Joseph and his jail times. When thinking of David, many times we overlook the character he displayed during those hunted years by King Saul. I know, and so do you the encouragement to endure hardship, to count it all joy when trials and tribulations come – but that is so much easier said than done. The “why” always seems to dominate our thinking. It fact we are so stressed out and emotionally charged it prevents us from understanding and rationally responding to all that is happening. David has been anointed as the heir apparent for the throne, there are some 13 years before that happens. King Saul is no longer anointed with the “Spirit upon him” so he can only react in a fleshly out of control, paranoid person. Saul repeated tries to kill David, in the process he is filled with guile and cause his son, Jonathan to be severed in their relationship. Jonathan, what a blessing to have for David. The covenant he and David make has been the text of countless sermons. Everyone needs a “Barnabas or Jonathan” surrounding them during severe trials. This is a problem for Pastors especially, why because they are fearful to take people into their confidence – afraid that anything they say will be used against them.

Something else happens in our readings Samuel dies. The grand and glorious old man is no longer able to run interference for David. I found it appalling that David was hunted by over 3000 man army under the skewed leadership of Saul. Scripture tells us to pray for our enemies and do good to those who hurt us. It sounds good, but going through great vexing of our spirit, it is difficult to do. But even through the most difficult times of life, there comes a ray of hope – Abigail and Nabal story finds its way into our hearts. Here is a woman/wife who is under the tyranny of an abusive and egocentric husband. Nabal  by all estimation is not a God-fearing man. Abigail, is an intelligent and beautiful woman, God uses the story to deliver both David and Abigail. It’s a unique love story for sure. Sometimes we have to look beyond ourselves to find the good that God is doing. Of course we know that Nabal is killed and David and Abigail marry later.

There are times when an opportunity avails itself for us to take matters into our own hands. David gets an opportunity to kill Saul, even his men compel David to reach out and kill Saul, but cuts a piece of his robe off and shows Saul how that David could have taken advantage of the situation. Again, with Abner supposedly watching Saul, David is able to sneak into camp and take Saul’s spear and a jug of water. Again, David calls to Saul and shows him how he had opportunity but would not “touch the LORD’s anointed.” How we go through trials and tribulations is just as important as getting through them. Our character is on display for others to see if Jesus Christ really makes a difference in ALL of LIFE.  Of course King Saul repents and weeps over his actions, yet it is not a repentance unto godliness. Saul had been exposed, or better yet his heart. Saul doesn’t get it – God is done with Him. Saul’s final act of going to a witch/soothsayers/medium for advice is the last straw. Calling up Samuel through a séance King Saul gets an answer he didn’t want. Samuel tells Saul the reality that Saul would not admit to; the Lord has left you and has become your adversary. A person without the SPIRIT of God in him cannot be pleasing to God – it could have been so different, but Saul would not acknowledge the work of God in David. It all the attempts and attacks on David – Saul lost.

We will be vexed in our spirits, but let the HOLY SPIRIT do the choosing for you. When we think we should take matters into our own hands, know that we are rebelling against God and what He has brought us to. Trust in the LORD – let HIM finish the work he started in you! Phil 1:6.

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