Stand for Righteousness

“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” 1 Kings 17:1 (KJV)

The Nation was under the rule of a godless king, who was ruled by a demonic, and godless woman. God would show Himself strong and reveal Himself; but who would be the man who would stand before this godlessness?

How would the man of God stand? Upon what would he stand? First of all he would confront the king. Secondly he would stand upon the word of God; and take the message of God to this ruthless, evil ruler.

Christian there is no other thing for us to stand upon with a sure and strong foundation than the commandments, the statutes, the law, the judgments, the precepts, the testimonies, and the way of God. When we begin to rob the power of the word of God, by putting it below technology, science, finance, homes or family; then we have a major problem. Society weakens, culture worsens, and evil flourishes.

Stand of the word of God; begin by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ who bled and died for your sins; and was raised again bodily from the grave. He is returning to earth one day to put away sin forever.

The darkest headlines I have read in years.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

“The Satanic Temple is set to unveil its…monument in Detroit.” (AP/CBS Detroit)

Earlier this week, I flew back to the U.S. from Israel for several speaking engagements.

In the coming days, I speak (and blog) about the crumbling U.S.-Israel alliance, the Iran nuclear alliance, the horrific advance of the Islamic State across Syria and Iraq, and what happens to America, Israel and the nations of the Middle East according to Bible prophecy.

But I need to draw your attention to some of the most troubling headlines I have seen in years. The news in the Middle East is dark and getting darker, to be sure. But the headlines here in America are getting very dark as well — mass shootings around the nation, the slaughter of nine Christians inside the black church in Charleston, the 12 shot in a Louisiana movie theater, and four Marines gunned down in Chattanooga, all of which happened in July alone; Planned Parenthood…

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You Can Build on the Word of God

“In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.” 1 Kings 16:34 (KJV)

The above verse takes place during the reign of Ahab over the northern kingdom of Israel. There is much evil. Ahab “did evil above all that were before him” (v. 30). Sacrifices of children were welcomed under his reign, and his marriage to Jezebel was in outright defiance to Jehovah, and His word.

Joshua had put a curse on the rebuilding of Jericho; that is the setting up of a fortress such as it was when the walls came down by the power of God. The Word of God declare…

“And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.” Joshua 6:26

Some have said that Hiel sacrificed his sons because that was an evil time for accepting such things. Yet, whether it was an intentional sacrifice or just out and out defiance of Joshua’s curse Hiel’s sons died in the rebuilding of Jericho.

The point of the verse, and what I want you to see is that God fulfills His word. Not one word will be diminished. Not one word will fail. You can trust the word of God.

Jesus said,

“Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” Luke 6:47-48

and the apostle Paul wrote,

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11

There is only one sure foundation, and that is Christ Jesus.  All the others lead to death, and destruction.  Believe Jesus and live.  You can build with assurance on the Word of God.

God Does Not Lie

“He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.” 1 Kings 13:18 (KJV)

The North and South has divided into two kingdoms. Judah is ruled by Rehoboam, a son of Solomon. Jeroboam rules the northern kingdom called Israel; and has led Israel into idolatry, even to the worship of calves set up in Bethel and Dan.

There are two unnamed prophets in this text. One has come with the word of God to Jeroboam of his fall, and as a sign the altar was torn, and the ashes on it spilled onto the ground, just as the man of God had said.

The man of God had been given a direct commandment from God to turn and go home without eating or drinking, and to go home a different way than that which he came.

The prophet of our verse above had heard of the prophet from his sons who were present at the altar when it was torn, and went to him with a lie.

As I read this today I was reminded of the apostle Paul’s words to the Galations,

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galations 1:6-9

One way to discern what is from God; He never changes His word. God’s Word is stable, steadfast, and sure.  Men lie. God does not.

In the Sight of God

“And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.” 1 Kings 11:6 (KJV)

The wisest, and the wealthiest of all kings among men “did evil in the sight of the LORD”. He was noted by men, as being a good king, even by the Queen of Sheba.

The LORD had promised Solomon a kingdom continuing (9:1-9), yet the king violated the commands and word of God; thus it was taken from him and given to another.

Evil in the day of 2015 is much defined by the world outside of the Word of God. Evil has become good; and good is now evil (Isaiah 5:20). It is more so in the United States of America than any other nation; I have heard. We have “Political Correctness” to deal with.

It is no longer evil to practice sodomy; but is acceptable by many to marry same sex individuals. God still calls it an abomination. It is evil to say it is an abomination. Not according to God and His word though – It is still an abomination for man to lie with man, or woman to lie with woman in immorality (Romans 1:18-32).

According to PC people a Christian cannot live their own lives in their personal businesses, by their faith; and it is evil by them to speak of Jesus and the cross, except in places of worship, maybe.

“In the sight of the LORD” is the key. People may read the chapters of today, and see that Solomon married many wives, for political causes, and even though it was against God’s commands they will commend him for it. In the sight of the LORD it is evil. He violated the word and will of God. Also note 1 Kings 11:29-39.

We as Christians are to judge sin by what God calls sin. It matters not what the world says of us. We are told, “Judge not lest you be judged”. Guess what; we are already judged, and by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are found “Not Guilty”. We still need daily washing, cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

What God says is evil, or an abomination, or sin; it still is.  It does not matter where the PC Police, politicians, president, or kings may stand; what counts in the end is what God has said, and continues to say.  I stand with God and His Word.

People of the Earth… Know that the LORD is God

“And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant. The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers: let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that He maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments, as at this day.” 1 Kings 8:54-61 (KJV)

Prayer was given by Solomon in veres 15-53, a prayer of dedication for the Temple. The above verses are a blessing on the people, and what is required of them.

The ultimate responsibility of the people of God, Israel, is found in verse 6o “….That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”  That is the desire of God through the cross of Jesus Christ and through those who are Christians; through the Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

The Christian’s life lived is to show forth to the world that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. We do that through the Spirit of Christ Jesus who is in us. Our lives are to be a continuing, growing testimony of the glory and power of God. Is it?

When the Church ceases to fear God; we cease to fear sin.  When we have ceased to fear sin, then we have adopted the gods of the world around us, and there is no differentiation between the two. Then, the people of the earth have no motivation to fear God, or to know Him.

Word Performance

“And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in My statutes, and execute My judgments, and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I perform My word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: and I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel. So Solomon built the house, and finished it.” 1 Kings 6:11-14 (KJV)

The LORD will perform His Word.  Not one jot or tittle shall pass away (Matthew 5:18) till all shall be fulfilled.

Just as Solomon needed the assurance of the LORD, and to be reminded of his calling, and responsibility; so too does the child of God, who has been cleansed by the blood of the crucified, buried and risen Jesus Christ; today.

The Anointed King

“And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.” 1Kings 1:32-35 (KJV)

The kingdom of David was fairly well at peace, until the king committed adultery with Bathsheba, and murdered Uriah. Following that tragedy in the life of David his judgment was continuing conflict within his own family.

Adonijah, a son of David, tries to set himself up as king (1 Kings 1:5); and Nathan the prophet comes to Bathsheba to warn her. It has already been stated that God loved Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24), and has been promised the kingdom.

Notice how David sends Solomon out declaring him king, rather than Adonijah; “…Cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule…” Absalom was not the new king of Israel; he was dead. Adonijah was not the new king of Israel; he is too full of himself.

Just as the first two kings were anointed by a prophet and a priest; so too is Solomon. The new king, anointed by God was Solomon. This is the family dynasty of kings into which Jesus the King of all kings has been born; and He ever lives.  Jesus Christ will reign forever.

Trust Jesus the Christ, Son of God and God the Son King in your life.

Ruling in the Fear of God

“Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so with God; yet He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although He make it not to grow.” 2 Samuel 23:1-5 (KJV)

David realizes that the words he is receiving and giving to the reader are the inspired revelation from God. They are words for every nation, people and tongue.

David also knew that he had failed as a king to be just and righteous in the eyes of God; yet God had made an “everlasting covenant” with him, and he knew that the Messiah of Israel would be the ultimate fulfillment of that promise. The Messiah is Jesus the Christ, Son of David, Son of God, God the Son, and the Son of Man; the Rock of Israel.

In receiving the words of God David heard, as do we, that if a man is to be a ruler he must rule in the “fear of God”. “God” is “‘Elohim” the fullness of the Godhead; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This type of king is only the One who has come as a baby in a manger, died on the cross for our sins, was raised again bodily from the grave, and is returning as the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

All the kingdoms of men fail. None can stand before the Holy and Just King. Also see Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21.

Dealing with Division

“And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.” 2 Samuel 20:1-2 (KJV)

The king was experiencing the chastening of the LORD. He had been driven out of Jerusalem by his son Absalom. Absalom had been slain while hanging in an oak tree by his hair. Now, upon David’s return to the city there is a rabble rouser, a trouble maker, a division maker who speaks against the king, and calls for Israel to follow him.

There are always divisions in life. What is the reason for them in the life of a Christian? First of all they can be a source of God’s chastisement; secondly, they can be a source of strengthening one’s faith; third, they can be a way of showing the good from the bad, separating the sheep from the goats.

Jesus the Son of God, God the Son spoke of divisions when he said,

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

Sheba ended up being beheaded by a woman; at least his head was delivered by her (vv. 14-22).  In the times of division, like David, the Christian must stand firm, believe the Lord, and trust that He will have His way in our life’s situation; and He will be glorified.

One’s Pride; One Mule

“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.” 2 Samuel 18:9 (KJV)

Absalom a strong, prideful, vain son of David was set on having the kingdom of Israel. Even if it meant killing his father, and whomever it took to do it; he was going to have it.

Absalom had a head of hair; so much that when he cut it once a year he would have it weighed (2 Samuel 14:26), and it weighed, by our measure, about 5 pounds of hair.

The mule was the ride of the royal family (13:29), and was a source of endurance, strength, and agility in riding and battle. In my opinion they are not a real pretty animal, but they are strong.

Absalom was prideful, even vain about his hair. If that be the case, and due to his rebellious acts, against God, and his father king David, then, he was literally caught up, and left hanging by his own vanity, and pride. The mule of strength and endurance went on his way.  God has a way of dealing with pride (Proverbs 16:18).

A message for all of God’s people: Pride and vanity is not the source of our strength, endurance or victory. God through His Son Jesus Christ is. He is the one who gives the mule strength and endurance, and He is the one who gives us the victory.

Loyalty to the King

“Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? Return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? Seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee. And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.” 2 Samuel 15:19-22 (KJV)

There is much that could be said for loyalty. It should probably be left to someone who knows more about such things, but here are my thoughts, and a short study of the matter.

Loyalty is shown in Ittai the Gittite. He is relatively new to serving king David, and he finds himself the servant of a king who is now losing, or seems to be losing his throne of the kingdom. The king’s own son, Absalom has turned against his father. This is a part of the fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy (2 Samuel 12:11), and it is God’s judgment upon David for his adultery and murder of Uriah.

We see Ittai rewarded by David later in chapter 18 verses 2, 5, and 12 he is mentioned as being the commander over one third of the army of David, with Joab and Abishai.

David gives Ittai freedom to leave and return to his own, but he stays with David, in flight from his own son.

Now, how many people would stay with a falling king when they see his kingdom crumbling around them? Some might think, “Only a fool would do such a thing”. Ittai shows that he is trusting the GOD of David; he even calls Him by His name Jehovah [YHWH]. He is faithful to God, and loyal to king David, despite the circumstances.

The Son of David, King Jesus deserves our faithfulness, and our loyalty. He has not failed us. He has died for us, carried our sins away in His burial, and risen victoriously over sin, death, hell and the grave. Call on His name, believe Him and be delivered from all you sins.

The High Cost of Sin

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14 (KJV)

What does it cost? Men may wonder the cost of a new gun, a new truck, a new boat, or maybe a new house. What does sin cost.

I have heard comments such as; “It will not hurt anyone but me; so what is the big deal”. I think people who say such a thing simply are not thinking. Sin is like a seed we sow; there will be a harvest to reap; and the harvest of sin is deadly. Just ask David.

David was guilty of adultery, and the murder of Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. He saw her. He sent for her. He sinned with her. (See 2 Samuel 11:1-5). He was judged and found guilty.

It has been said by other men of God, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go; sin will leave you longer than you want to stay; and sin will cost you more than you can ever pay.”

Moses said to the Reubenites, and the Gadites if they failed to go through on the deal about their inheritance being on the East side of Jordan, “Be sure your sin will find you out”. We cannot hide from sin.

David was found out. I have been found out when I have sinned. God knows your sin. You are guilty and worthy of death. Your family will pay the price. Your friends will pay the price.  My sins and yours cost God the death of His only Son.

There is a cost for sin. It is death (Romans 6:23). There is however forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ our Lord.

David’s sin cost him the peace of his family. What is sin costing you? Find peace with God, through the forgiveness of sin through the death of Jesus Christ.

For Your Father’s Sake

“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” 2 Samuel 9:6-8 (KJV)

The son of Jonathan; David’s best and dearest friend; comes before David the king at his direction, and bows before him in fear and out of humility.

The king’s first word, after speaking his name is, “Fear not…”. Mephibosheth is crippled from a childhood accident while being carried by an adult (2 Samuel 4:4), fell and left him crippled. He sees himself as unworthy of the king’s attention; a dead dog.

In this moment is seen the mercy and grace of God. David knew of these. He himself was a recipient of both. He displays them both. In the name of Jonathan he gives all the lands back to Mephibosheth which had belonged to Saul.

O, the grace and mercy of God shown to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Son of God. In His name, for His name’s sake we are made “joint heirs with Him” (Romans 8:17).

Cart to Disaster, and Learning

“And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart…
…And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” 2 Samuel 6:3, 6-7 (KJV)

David desired to move the ark of God to Jerusalem. He neglected to check with God to find the proper way to move it (1 Chronicles 15). Instead he had just chosen to follow the pattern of the Philistines (1 Samuel 6).

The ark of God represents the presence, power and glory of God. God has intended to live in the hearts and lives of His people. The people of God cannot carry His presence, power and glory the way the enemy of God would – on a cart, a new cart even. It must be carried by the priests; on their shoulders; bearing the full weight.

The priests of God are all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The priesthood of every believer – “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus Himself being our High Priest before the throne of God (Hebrews 4:14-16). Any priesthood other than the priesthood of every believer, follower of Jesus Christ is a farce.

Christian, be faithful in showing forth the presence, power and glory of God. The Father has made this possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The King Who Delivers Israel

“And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of My servant David I will save My people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.” 2 Samuel 3:17-18 (KJV)

Abner was king Saul’s general; and he wanted Saul’s dynasty to continue despite what God had said of David. He set up Saul’s son Ishbosheth as king of Israel (2:8-11), and evidently Ishbosheth was a weakling in Abner’s eyes (3:6-11), and not a leader.

Abner’s motive is not revealed; though it was most likely from God for what ever the motive may have been.

He does remember the word of the LORD concerning David, and then calls Israel to follow David as their king.

We must remember as Christians today, that God’s word is true. It is verbally inspired, it is infallible, and it is inerrant; and there is nothing which can ever stop God from fulfilling every word of this book.

One day, Jesus; the Son of God, the Son of David, will sit on David’s throne, and reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. That same Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose from the grave that all who would believe in Him might live and reign eternally with Him. Will you believe?

The Gift of the LORD

“And David came to the two hundred men, which were so faint that they could not follow David, whom they had made also to abide at the brook Besor: and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people that were with him: and when David came near to the people, he saluted them. Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil that we have recovered, save to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart. Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. For who will hearken unto you in this matter? But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike. And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day.” 1 Samuel 30:21-25 (KJV)

In our reading today we read of David being directed to leave the Philistines due to their attacking king Saul and Israel. It was really a God thing.

When David and his men return to Ziklig, they find the city burned, their property, wives, and children missing. David’s men are set to stone him; he encourages himself in the LORD, and prays for God’s direction.

There is a lesson here for us all. Some of the men are weak from war, and being without much to eat, and cannot go on to bring back their stuff. They stay behind and guard the stuff they have; and David and six hundred of his men continue on to retrieve their stuff.

God rewards them with victory over the Amalekites who had destroyed Ziklag, taken their stuff, and their families with more stuff. Some of the evil hearted, underhanded ones of David’s men wanted to keep it all to themselves and not share with those who kept the other stuff they left behind. David would not hear of it.

David says, “Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us” acknowledging that the LORD had given them the victory. He was awarding victory to all of his men; not just those who had gone to the fight.

In the battle Jesus Christ fought alone on the cross, and won, showing the victory in His bodily resurrection He shares the spoils of that battle with all who will believe in Him. Now that is a great reward.

Today we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As Christians we do every Sunday. Let us never forget He lives; even each day that we live, and move and have our being.

Against the LORD’S Anointed

“And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.” 1 Samuel 26:9-12 (KJV)

For a second time David is merciful to the man, the king of Israel who is pursuing him; in order to kill him. David is merciful. One can only be merciful if they are forgiving.

David was merciful and forgiving because he himself had received much mercy and forgiveness.

David’s man Abishai wanted to kill the king, and be done with him. David saw a way to get the king’s attention instead, and make a clear point.

We have all received the mercy of God. We can see it everyday. The One who made us, keeps us, holds us, and offers us His glorious salvation. God in His mercy could destroy every evil man, or woman in an instant; but instead offers them grace; giving them yet more mercy with each moment they, or we live.

You are alive today because of God’s mercy. You can live in eternity with Him by His grace which is revealed in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection. Receive His forgiveness today.

Lift not your hand against God’s anointed.

Submission to the King

“And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? Wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father’s house.” 1 Samuel 24:16-21

King Saul had shown hatred for David. He hated him because God’s hand was on David, giving him victories over the enemies of Israel, and protection from them. Even Saul had been David’s enemy; yet the LORD protected him.

David had a chance to kill the king (24:1-8), but he would not kill the LORD’S anointed king; and even felt guilty because he had cut off his “skirt”. O how Christians today need to be careful when speaking of the leadership God has given us in our nations. We do need to remember that just as king Saul was anointed by God as a means of discipline for Israel; so too are many leaders of the world today.

When a nation turns its back on God He gives us godless, jealous, careless leaders. Leaders who will lead into further godlessness.

Saul did, however, in this instance submit to God’s will and plan for Israel. Yet, he later returns to seeking David’s life. Saul does acknowledge David as the future king of Israel (v. 20).

The plans and schemes of kings, or mankind, can never over rule the will and plan of God. One day King Jesus will return and set up His kingdom on earth; will rule and reign in justice, and mercy. That is a day I look forward to. Looking upon my Lord and Saviour, bowing before Him in worship, adoration and praise.

Tet-What’s in the Basket?

Tim A.:

This study by Jennifer Hyates is well worth your time and read.

Originally posted on One Thing:

What would you do if you found a closed basket on your doorstep and you knew that it could contain a coiled snake, ready to strike? Or it could be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. The choice to open the basket could potentially mean life or death.

That’s the meaning of the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, tet.

Psalm 119:65-72 ~ Tet

Do good to your servant according to your word, O Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted…

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Safeguard with the King

“And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the LORD’S priests. And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house. Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” 1 Samuel 22:20-23 (KJV)

It would be very helpful to your understanding to read at least chapters 21 -22 of this reading.

King Saul had become very jealous of David. He was one of those who desired credit even if he did not do it, because he was the leader; he was the king.

Saul had ordered the death of the LORD’S priest, about 85 of them, because they had aided David with bread and a sword. One of the priests escapes and goes to David. Abiathar, and David provides him safety.

David is basically not running from the king because he fears him. David does not desire to kill king Saul. He is the Lord’s anointed king for the time. God will handle that problem in His own timing.

With David being protected by the Divine power of God, there is no safer place to be than with David and his men.

There is a place of safety for you today. That place is in the hands, and the heart and mind of the Son of David. The soon coming; soon to reign King Jesus.

The Power of a Gospel Conversation

Originally posted on Nephos:

The power of the Gospel to work through the gentle witness of the unknown or little known individual has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history.  The story of Justin Martyr’s conversion is one such example of that truth.

As a young man, Justin sought for the truth, sampling the various philosophies of his day: Stoic, Peripatetic, Pythogorean, and Platonic.

In a solitary walk not far from the sea-shore, a venerable old Christian of pleasant countenance and gentle dignity, entered into a conversation with him, which changed the course of his life. The unknown friend shook his confidence in all human wisdom, and pointed him to the writings of the Hebrew prophets who were older than the philosophers and had seen and spoken the truth, not as reasoners, but as witnesses. More than this: they had foretold the coming of Christ, and their prophecies were fulfilled in his life and work. The…

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Stripped of the Robe

“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” 1 Samuel 18:1-4 (KJV)

Following the defeat of Goliath, by God through David, king Saul acknowledges David, and Jonathan does as well.

We are told that Jonathan “was knit with the soul of David”; then, in an act of great humility the son of the king takes off the royal robe he wears, and gives it to David.

This is a clear recognition of David’s anointing as the next king of Israel.

When it comes to places of service, which is that of a king, president, prime minister, or a pastor; there is no place for arrogance, pride, or domination.  It is a place of service.  Any leader who dominates is not fit for the office which he/she serves.  King Jesus is fit for the office.  He has given the ultimate price – His life.

That is what one must do to be right with God; realize that apart from Him we are doomed, and strip ourselves of our rights, and privileges; and yield our all to the One who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again. He is our King. King Jesus, Son of the Living God.

A Prophet of the LORD

“And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 3:19-21 (KJV)

At this point of time with the people of Israel God is not pleased with those who are the spiritual leaders of the nation. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phineas who were very immoral with them and treated the Lord and His offerings with contempt. This was so even to the point of the judgment of death, the taking of the ark of the covenant by the Philistines; and the departure of the “glory of God” from Israel (4:10-22).

Before this judgment came upon them the LORD provided them a prophet, Samuel. The word of the LORD came to Samuel. He was not familiar with the voice of God, and needed instruction. The LORD God still reveals Himself through the word of the LORD.  The LORD will do nothing accept He reveal through His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).  His Word speaks quite clearly to all who will read it, believe it and heed it; an today.

His Living Word is Jesus Christ His only begotten Son. The crucified, buried, resurrected, and coming again King of kings and Lord of lords.

The glory of God may be gone from the nation, but not from His prophets, and His faithful people. Believe His word. Believe God. Believe His Son.

The U. S. of A. Declaration of Independence

I want to wish all a wonderful, blessed, and safe Independence Day in the U. S. of A.  No matter what the events which have set many hearts to fears and tears this is still the land of the free, and the home of the brave.  Please take the time to read this declaration of Independence which was dated July 4th, 1776  239 years ago.

The Declaration of Independence
07/04/1776
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of governments. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasion on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to ren-der it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliance, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceNEW HAMPSHIRE: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
MASSACHUSETTS: John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine
RHODE ISLAND: Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
CONNECTICUT: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
NEW YORK: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
NEW JERSEY: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
PENNSYLVANIA: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
DELAWARE: Ceasar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
MARYLAND: Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
VIRGINIA: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
NORTH CAROLINA: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
SOUTH CAROLINA: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Authur Middleton
GEORGIA: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

No King, No Rule; Anarchy

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25 (KJV)

Please remember chapter 17 verse six; 18:1, and 19:1 as we look at the above verse. It seems the final five chapters of Judges shows very clearly what happens when there is no “king”; no rule of law, nor prophetic revelation from God heard, and heeded.

When people think they can rule themselves; especially without God, then there will be chaos in the end.

In a note from my daily journal I wrote of this verse,

Judges shows what happens when there is no rule; especially when they choose not to let God rule; but go their own way. It also shows that God is merciful and gracious, and provides a way for those who call on Him from a broken and contrite heart.

This story continues even into 1 Samuel. It is seen in Ruth 1 when Elimelech takes Naomi, and his two sons to Moab; and there Elimelech and his two sons die. O the sorrow we place on our families because we go our own way, doing what is right in our own eyes.

BUT, we have a Saviour, and His name is Jesus.

On the Threshold

“Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.” Judges 19:26-27 (KJV)

In reading this story of chapter 19; and I do recommend that you would do so; you will notice that three previous verses have noted that “there was no king in Israel in those days” (17:6; 18:1; 19:1). Which tells us basically that there was no law. The final verse of Judges 21 adds to those words, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes”.

Another verse of Scripture to think on, and I give the NKJV rendering of is,

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.” Proverbs 29:18 (NKJV)

And so with that in mind we can get a grasp of the vile acts, and consequences of this chapter.

In these events we can see how cheap human life was. That men would throw a woman out to voracious wolves (evil men) to save their own house and lives is next to unthinkable for many men in our day. Yet we are not innocent.

Women and children are fed to the wolves of our society through, husbands, and men who think they own their woman, through sex slavery and human trafficking. Is there any difference? Wives and children live in abusive situations; and treated like property rather than special human beings.

The hands of women and children are on the thresholds of homes today. For some it is too late (like the woman in our story). For others (for the living) there is hope in the cross of Jesus Christ.

If you are one of those people who live in the U.S. of A. and think that slavery is over. You are mistaken; you are deceived. You are part of the problem, need some education on the matter. I know that I need more.

Those of us who are Christian men must commit our lives to Christ, to become more like Him, love Him, His word, and have His compassion for women and children; and be men of God through Him.

The people of this world are enslaved to sin. They go after their own way. We all need a Saviour, and His name is Jesus. He is also the King.

The Pentitents Prayer

“And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” Judges 16:28-30 (KJV)

The Philistines were the enemy of Israel. They worshipped false deities, and defied the God of Israel, Jehovah. They really thought they had conquered Israel and their God by blinding and capturing their Judge, their saviour. How could Samson save them now.

Samson, the rascal that he was, the sinner that he was realized that without GOD he could do nothing. He had violated his vow. He had been impure, unholy, deceitful, wicked in his life and living. The blind man was blinded by his enemies having his eyes burned from their sockets.

As his hair began to grow, the Philistines in their eagerness to display their victim, defy Jehovah, and celebrate victory, a supposed victory; brought Samson into their grand cathedral of Dagon their god; to mock, and ridicule him and the GOD of Israel.

As the people are loudly mocking, jeering, laughing; Samson prays to the Lord GOD, and God hears him.

There is no level of one’s life that we can reach where God will not hear the cry of the penitent. You may think that you have sinned beyond God’s forgiveness. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary paid the debt for all our sin.

In sorrow for your sin, cry out to the Saviour Jesus and He will hear your cry and forgive your sin.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Wondrous Act of the LORD

“So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the Angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the Angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that He was an Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would He have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.” Judges 13:19-23 (KJV)

Manoah had been prepared to offer a sacrifice unto a mere human messenger; but in verses 15-16 the LORD corrects Manoah, and directs him to offer the sacrifice unto Jehovah. When he does the offering is accepted.

This is a Theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ appearing as the Angel of the LORD.

This appearance is to tell Manoah and his wife of the coming conception and birth of their son Samson. He was to be dedicated to the LORD; refraining from the fruit of the vine, wines, and from any unclean foods, and his hair was to grow long. Samson was to be a Nazarite under a vow to the LORD.

Up to this point of their encounter with the Angel of the LORD they had only viewed him as a “Man of God”, when they offered to make an offering the Angel of the LORD says to them, “You must offer it to the LORD” (13:16). Where we are told in these verses that the “Angel of the LORD did wondrously” it would seem that that would mean He received the offering; approving it by fire. Then ascending up in the flame Himself. Thus Manoah’s and his wife’s falling on their faces to the ground in an act of worship

Manoah fears death after the LORD’S acceptance of their offering; yet his wife assures him that should not be the case. Manoah’s fear shows that he saw this Angel of the LORD as an appearance of God.

The Lord has appeared to mankind in the person of His Son Jesus to die for our sins, be buried, and rise bodily from the grave; putting away our sins for all eternity. Truly the LORD has done Wondrously.

GOD’S Justice

“Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: and all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.” Judges 9:56-57 (KJV)

Jerubbaal is Gideon (Judges 7:1). Who had at least seventy sons, and one by a concubine (Judges 8:30-31) whose name was Abimelech, and he was evidently very jealous of the other sons of Gideon.

Gideon would not accept the position of ruler of Israel; he said “The LORD shall rule over you (8:23). He never intended for any of his sons to be ruler, yet that was what Abimelech desired; and he killed all the sons of Gideon, except for Jotham (9:5).

Jotham warned the people of the plight of Abimelech (vv. 7-21). The above verses confirm that what he said came to pass. There is a Just Reward for all who will destroy those whom God has blessed; and that reward is death.

Lust for power in rule is a sad thing, yet our world is full of it. It is seen in homes, churches, local governments, State governments, Federal governments; and it comes from an evil heart. Even a redeemed heart who leads must keep guard against this lust to rule people.  Jesus warned His disciples against seeking to be “first”, and He said if one wanted to do so to be a servant (Mark 9:35).

As followers of Christ, Christians, let us have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:1-7) who did not seek to be served but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). The Just Reward for following Christ is eternal life; given by God’s grace.