Meditating on God’s word

“How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart, who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in his footsteps” (Psalm 119:1-3 NET).

Psalm 119 lies almost in the center of our Bibles. The actual middle chapter is the two verse Psalm 117, which is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest with 176 verses. Continue reading “Meditating on God’s word”

Do we want to be wise?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding” (Psalm 111:10 ESV).

Wisdom. What so many people desire, yet do they understand how to get wisdom? In fact, what is wisdom?

Many confuse wisdom with knowledge. Knowledge is the gaining of facts and information. Just because we know some things does not mean that we have wisdom. We can have knowledge without wisdom. Continue reading “Do we want to be wise?”

Praise our magnificent God!

“Praise the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are magnificent. You are robed in splendor and majesty. He covers himself with light as if it were a garment. He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain, and lays the beams of the upper rooms of his palace on the rain clouds. He makes the clouds his chariot, and travels along on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:1-3 NET).

What a wonderful description of God! He is magnificent, robed in splendour and majesty, wearing light as if it were a garment, living and travelling in a place outside of our earth. How appropriate that John, in his first letter, would remind us that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Light, that which dispels the darkness of sin, is not only what God “wears” but it is what God is. Continue reading “Praise our magnificent God!”

Teach me your way

Psalm 86 is identified as a “prayer of David.” He began by asking YHVH, the God of Israel, to listen and answer him, because “I am faithful” (Psalm 86:2). God is always “abounding in faithful love to all who call on you” (Psalm 86:5). God is always faithful to his people and God wants his people to be faithful. On this basis, we can “call on you in the day of my distress, for you will answer me” (Psalm 86:7). This is one of the great privileges of being a child of God.

Notice how David described God: “For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive” (Psalm 86:5). So often our view of God is that he is just waiting to pounce on us when we do wrong. This is not the view we find of God in the scriptures. God is loving and kind – he not only wants what is best for us but gives us those things that we need. Continue reading “Teach me your way”

Faithfully serving God

David was nearing the end of his life. Although he had wanted to build the temple for God, he had not been allowed to because he was a warrior (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). Instead, he drew up the plans and what needed to be made, as well as organizing the Levites and priests to serve in the temple (see 1 Chronicles 28:11-21).

God had chosen David’s son Solomon to be David’s successor and rule for God in Israel. “He said to me, ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my temple and my courts, for I have chosen him to become my son and I will become his father. I will establish his kingdom permanently, if he remains committed to obeying my commands and regulations, as you are doing this day’” (1 Chronicles 28:6-7). Continue reading “Faithfully serving God”

Be a friend

Chapters 23 to 27 of 1 Chronicles do not make the most interesting of reading for most of us. We find long lists people who were organized to do work that was needed in the temple, which Solomon would build. It would seem that David was a good organizer.

In 1 Chronicles 23 we have the Levites organized to do various work, both in the temple and to serve as judges. 1 Chronicles 24 details the organization of the priests as well as the remaining Levites. In 1 Chronicles 25 the musicians are organized – of note is the mention of “Heman,” “Asaph,” and “Jeduthun,” all of whom were in some way involved with the Psalms, either writing them (Heman and Asaph) or possibly composing music for them (Jeduthun – several Psalms are identified as “according to Jeduthun”). Although not mentioned here, the sons of Korah were also involved in writing many of the Psalms and served in the tabernacle. Continue reading “Be a friend”

The need to be good parents

When a king neared the end of his life it was customary to designate who would succeed him. David was now an old man (1 Kings 1:1). He had yet to publicly state who would succeed him as king. His surviving oldest son was Adonijah, who expected to become the next king.

“Now Adonijah, son of David and Haggith, was promoting himself, boasting, ‘I will be king!’ He managed to acquire chariots and horsemen, as well as fifty men to serve as his royal guard. (Now his father had never corrected him by saying, ‘Why do you do such things?’ He was also very handsome and had been born right after Absalom. ) He collaborated with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they supported him” (1 Kings 1:5-7 NET). Continue reading “The need to be good parents”

Further consequences of David’s sin

“As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!” (2 Samuel 12:5-6 NET). So said King David when Nathan told the story to convict David of his sin with Bathsheba. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this is exactly the price David paid: he lost four of his children.

The first child to die was the one who had been conceived the night he spent with Bathsheba. God struck him with an illness and a week later the child died (2 Samuel 12:15-18). Continue reading “Further consequences of David’s sin”

Sin has consequences

In Acts 13, as Paul was speaking at the Jewish synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, he made this statement about King David: “God raised up David their king. He testified about him: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse to be a man after my heart, who will accomplish everything I want him to do.’” (Acts 13:22 NET). What higher praise could anyone have than for God to describe them as someone who is “after my heart.”

Yet David was far from perfect. We read in 2 Samuel 11 about his affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his inner circle of warriors (he was one of the thirty listed in 2 Samuel 23). But that wasn’t the end of the story. Bathsheba became pregnant and when David couldn’t get Uriah to sleep with his wife to cover up the pregnancy, he set it up so that Uriah would be killed in battle, in reality committing murder. He then sent for and married Bathsheba who, in due course, gave birth to a son. Continue reading “Sin has consequences”

David’s grace to Mephibosheth

Jonathan and David were the best of friends. If we look at their relative ages, which we can determine from when they both first appear in 1 Samuel, it is likely that Jonathan was up to twenty years older than David. Yet they had a healthy respect and love for each other, to the point that Jonathan was convinced that David would be the next king and not himself as next in line to the throne (you can read about this in 1 Samuel 23).

Before David lived as an outcast from Saul for several years, he and Jonathan made an oath that whichever of them survived, the other would take care of their children (1 Samuel 20). After David had reigned a number of years, he remembered Jonathan and his promise. He asked, “Is anyone still left from the family of Saul, so that I may extend kindness to him for the sake of Jonathan?” (2 Samuel 9:1 NET). Continue reading “David’s grace to Mephibosheth”