Reading 2 Samuel Together
Monday, February 1, 2021
Often Christians forget there are two places where grace and mercy can be shown. These two are distinct from one another wholly and completely. The first is in our personal lives. Jesus gives believers the command to "turn the other cheek". Paul tells individual believers to "forgive as God has forgiven you in Christ Jesus." These principals should guide us as we live our daily lives. However, there is another force God places on earth to administer justice, this force is what we call "civil government". In Romans 13 Paul writes, "Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God." These authorities are put in place to protect, defend and administer justice for those being governed. In 2 Samuel 10, David defended the honor on the men that defamed his warriors and his God, he rightly understood that the Ammonites were declaring war on Israel by showing such incredible disrespect for Israel. David was protecting the people of Israel and grace could not be shown because David was responsible to protect the men, women, and children of Israel. Grace and forgiveness can be shown personally, but often our government must make decisions that protect great numbers of people.
How do you decide when to intervene in a situation in order to protect and defend another person (their honor or reputation)?
How can you turn the other cheek and forgive while maintaining your reputation and honor?
Is it actually your place to defend your reputation and honor or should you allow God to do that for you?
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
These are tragic words to read about the man once called "A man after God's own heart." There are two sentences in the story that tell us how David arrived at this place in his life. The first is "In the spring when kings march out to war, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel." The second is, "One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace." These two sentences tell us all we need to know about the spiritual condition of King David. When David should have been leading an army against those trying to destroy God's chosen people he was at home in the bed. Not only was he in bed, he was in bed in the evening. David got lazy! He was lazy physically and he was lazy spiritually. The Bible tells us what God expects of us spiritually. The spiritual disciplines that grow our walk with Jesus are Bible study, prayer and silence. These three are basic action steps we can take to help assure us we will not sin so egregiously. Reading this devotion is an incredible way to get into God's word, so you step one has been taken.
If you do not keep a prayer journal, begin today. Write down your requests daily and watch how God answers you when you ask His will into your life.
After you read this and pray, set a five minute timer on your phone and sit still and listen for His "still small voice."
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Paul writes in Galatians 6:7, Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap..." Sin has a way of tricking us into believing there will never be consequences for our rebellion against God. Sin will also harden our heart to the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and our need to repent. Simply stated, sin blinds us. David thought his sin would never "find him out." We should never assume our numbness to the things of God mean God is okay with, is looking the other way from, or approves of our sin. God is loving, merciful and patient with us, but God, like a loving father will not allow His children to rebel without stepping in to discipline us. The writer of Hebrews wrote, "And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or lose heart when you are reproved by him, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?"
Ask God to confront your sin today. Repent (go the other way from your sin), and confess all known sins.
List three people you an apology to and make the phone call now.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
This Psalm was written after David was confronted for his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband. As you read the Psalm, pray the Psalm to God as your own prayer to Him.
Friday, February 5, 2021
In these two verses, David's son Solomon shares with us a word he surely heard from his father David. Knowledge is knowing the truth, wisdom is applying God's truth to our lives. Living God's way will not prevent heartache and struggles from coming into our lives, but it will prevent added trials brought to us by our own decisions. Where will you get wisdom? Jesus' brother gives us this hope, "Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him."
Add wisdom to your daily prayer requests. Expect to see God bring His word to your mind during conversations, hard times and times where clarity and decisiveness need to lead the way.