Welcome! Camp Springs Community Church

CSCC is a congregation affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA International) and is located in Clinton, Maryland, just minutes from Joint Base Andrews. Please feel free to explore our site and see how CSCC can best meet your spiritual needs and those of your family.

Each week services are tape-delay posted to the CSCC YouTube Channel on Sunday afternoon. While the services are occurring, please visit us live on our YouTube Channel each Sunday beginning at 9:45 AM (hint: “subscribe” to our YouTube channel to receive notifications when we are live, as well as notifications when new content is posted). Wednesday Bible Study begins at 7:00 pm and AWANA (during the school year) at 6:30 pm (or over the summer “Soccer with the Savior” — a youth bible study and soccer clinic) — all events are on-site.

For more information about CSCC and its ministries, click any of the links at the top of the page: to listen to a past sermon click on the Sermon Notes & Announcements link; please use this link to make a donation (via PayPal). And click this to follow us on Facebook.

Contact Information: 8040 Woodyard Rd Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: (301)868-3030

Email: [email protected]

  • Sunday Morning Service @ 11 a.m., Children’s Church (K4-3rd Grade)
  • Wednesday Mid-Week Prayer Service @ 7 p.m. / Children’s AWANA @6:30 p.m.)

What Makes CSCC Distinct? CSCC is a fundamental church (literal interpretation of Bible).

CSCC is a friendly, family church that emphasizes growing in grace and truth.

  • Dispensational, believing that God is working in a different fashion in the Church Age, after the coming of Christ, than He did through the system of Law in the Old Testament.
  • Pre-millennial, Pretribulation (the belief that the church will be raptured as a prelude to the Great Tribulation and Millennial reign of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:35-58, 2 Thessalonians 2 & 4]).
  • CSCC is not a part of the modern Pentecostal or charismatic renewal movement. We believe that the sign gifts of miraculously speaking in a foreign tongue and signs and wonders were First century signs to unrepentant Jews and as such ended with the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD or at the latest with the completion of the New Testament around 95 AD. God still performs miracles today, but the sign gifts ceased at the end of the First century (Acts 2, 1 Corinthians. 12-14).
  • CSCC believes in personal evangelism, discipleship, and stewardship on behalf of all believers.
  • CSCC supports world missions and church plants.

Jan 23, 2022. II Thessalonians 2:5-12

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THE LAWLESS ONE. II Thessalonians 2:5-12. 01/23/2022. #04.

2 Thessalonians 2:5-12 [New King James Version]

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  1. The Restrainer
    1. The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit
      1.  Matthew 5 the Spirit dwells in believers, making them the light of the world
        1.  The Spirit works through believers
        1.  Jn. 3:19 the world hates the light, so the world hates saints indwelt by light
      1.  Spirit restraints (inhibits) the evil of men
    1. The Holy Spirit has several functions on earth
      1.  John 16:8-11 convicts the world of sin
      1.  Convicts the world of righteousness (what is holy and right – all know what is right)
      1.  Convicts the world of judgment (the knowledge that we must give an account)
      1.  Ephesians 1:13-14 seals believers permanently
      1.  The guarantee (security) of our salvation
    1. The Restrainer limits sin on earth
      1.  If it were not for the Spirit indwelling saints evil would be far worse on earth
      1.  Matthew 24 once the Spirit is removed, sin and destruction nearly destroy the earth
    1. At the Rapture the Restrainer is removed with us
    1. Man and Satan are free to fulfill their evil desires
  2. The mystery of lawlessness
    1. Once the Restrainer is removed, the Lawless One (Antichrist) will be revealed
      1.  The mystery (hidden) of lawlessness stayed hidden until time of its revealing
      1.  The Antichrist is empowered by Satan
    1. The Antichrist will be able to do signs and wonders
      1.  Has the power to do false miracles
      1.  Many will be deceived and worship the Man of Lawlessness
      1.  As in days of Noah, men will be driven to engage in great wickedness, even more than days leading up to Trib. (II Timothy 3:1-9)
    1. Note that signs and wonders are not evidence of God
      1.  Occultists can do many deceptive wonders empowered by demons
      1.  Luke 24 our evidence is grounded in Word
    1. God will destroy the Antichrist, False Prophet, and the Beast along with Satan
  3. The strong delusion
    1. The reason why men will follow Satan and the Anti-Christ is that they rejected Christ
      1.  When God’s love is spurned, he turns them over to their own destructive desires (Romans 1)
      1.  It is not sin that ultimately destroys sinners, but rejected the One that paid for sins
    1. After the Rapture, God will send a strong delusion that evil men will believe The Lie (Satan’s lie)
      1.  Genesis 3 as Eve believed The Lie and fell
      1.  Psalm 106:15 God aids wicked man to follow their own lusts to their own destruction
    1. The God of love will not only allow man to go his own way when The Son is rejected, but also aid him in the process to receive their just judgment
      1.  Men believe lies because they want to believe them, for it fits their desires
      1.  Hebrews 6:1-4 to reject Lord is to embrace Satan and all he stands for (no neutrality)
    1. John 3:15-19 love spurned is hatred embraced

Key verse: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

Jan 23, 2022. II Samuel 23:8-24

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DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN. II Samuel 23:8-24. 01/23/2022. #55.

2 Samuel 23:8-24 [New King James Version]

8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time. 9 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. 10 He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder. 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down at harvest time and came to David at the cave of Adullam. And the troop of Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. 17 And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things were done by the three mighty men. 18 Now Abishai the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of another three. He lifted his spear against three hundred men, killed them, and won a name among these three. 19 Was he not the most honored of three? Therefore he became their captain. However, he did not attain to the first three. 20 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, a spectacular man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; so he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.

24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

  1. David had help
    1. When God raised up David to be king, he also raised up many strong devoted men to help him
      1.  Divided into 3 chief men and 30 mighty men
      1.  Ironically, the last mighty man listed is Uriah –vs. 39
    1. Many of these men are credited with astounding feats:
      1.  Adino = killed 800 men at one time (Samson had killed 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone)
      1.  Eleazer stood in battle when all had fled = he killed Phil. until his hand froze to his sword hilt
      1.  Shammah also stood alone in a field of lentils to hold back the Philistines and win a great victory
      1.  David whimsically mentioned that he would like
      1. a drink from the well of Bethlehem
        1.  His 3 mighty men broke through Philistines lines to fetch that drink
        1.  David refused to drink it in honor of the bravery of his men
        1.  Like Henry II’s frustrated outburst, costing Thomas Becket his life, David’s desire was fulfilled by loyal soldiers
      1.  Abishai (Joab’s brother) killed 300 men
      1.  Benaiah killed many mighty men of Moab and a large Egyptian with his own spear (1 Chr. 11:23 = 7 ½’ tall) and a lion in a pit on a snowy day
      1.  The feats of the 30 mighty men are not given us
    1. David’s fame depended very much on his support cast
      1.  This is true of all successful people
      1.  When Solomon speaks of “all the work of his hands”, he did not physically build anything
    1. God provides the means of success (Deuteronomy 8)
      1.  Dan. 4 Nebuchadnezzar found out the hard way that he was not the source of his success
      1.  I Corinthians 4:7 everything that has value is from the grace of God
  2. Grace and gratitude
    1. Had David acknowledged the grace of God by providing him with great brave soldiers, he might have realized how much they depended on him to do the right thing
      1.  David owed God and those under him
      1.  When David violated Uriah, he violated one of his mighty men
    1. There is never any circumstance where we can take full credit for anything that we have done well
    1. God credits David with following him fully, except for the Uriah scandal, but this is enough to taint his record
  3. Forgiveness
    1. God restored David and David’s followers stayed true to him
      1.  David brought trouble to his family
      1.  God did not abandon David
    1. The story of Israel’s heroes is a story of God’s blessing upon them by grace and not merit
    1. God is able to do marvelous feats through any who trust in him (Joseph, Daniel, Elijah, Paul, Gideon, Ruth, Esther…)
      1.  Biblical feats are the story of God at work
      1.  Superhuman deeds are God’s deeds

Jan 16, 2022. II Thessalonians 2:1-4

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DECEPTION DEFENSE. II Thessalonians 2:1-4. 1/16/2022. #3

1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

  1. Deceivers abound
    1. Throughout Scripture we are warned of deceivers
      1.  The Galatians were tricked by Judaizers
      1.  Paul warned Corinthians of Satan’s tricks (II Corinthians 11:14-15)
      1.  Matthew 24:3-14 many end times deceptions
    1. Main issue with Thessalonians = confusion about end times
    1. Some wrote to church that Christ has already come
      1.  The church had missed the rapture!
      1.  1 Thessalonians 4 they were concerned about those who had already died
    1. Paul indicates that the Thessalonians should not be worried
      1.  Christ had not yet come (Paul still here)
      1.  There will be those who try to deceive you
      1.  All believers will be taken up by the Lord
  2. 4 aspects of the 2nd Advent
    1. The rapture of the church starts the second coming
      1.  The Parousia or Coming is a 4 part event (rapture of church, rebellion of man, wrath of God in Tribulation, return of Christ)
      1.  To put all into one point of action is error
    1. This passage leads some to believe that the church will be taken up after the rapture (after the revealing of the son of perdition)
      1.  View the 2nd Coming as 1 event
      1.  Clearly, Scriptures teach a 2-part coming
    1. c. Paul tells Thes. that it is impossible that Christ had already returned
      1.  After the Rapture, The Apostasy (falling away; departure) or Rebellion will occur
      1. (the world will actively oppose God, worship the beast, kill God’s messengers, and blaspheme the Lord)
      1.  The Son of Perdition (Antichrist) will be revealed and he will sit on a throne in the Temple of God, challenging God, claiming to be God)
    1. Paul is essentially asking the Thessalonians, if the Rapture had already come, where is the Antichrist, where is the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple, and where is the Great Rebellion (Apostasy)?
  4. Many ways to be deceived
    1. Man has developed many schemes for end times
      1.  AMILLENNIALISM – there won’t be a Tribulation or Millennial Reign (all the end times passages are symbolic of church)
      1.  POSTMILLENNIALISM – the church will usher in a 1000 years of peace and prosperity and then receive Christ at the end
      1.  PREMILLENNIALISM – the church will be raptured before the Lord sets up his Mill. reign (pre-trib = church will not go through Tribulation; Mid-Trib. = raptured in middle of Trib.; Post-Trib. = church goes through Tribulation)
    1. Paul already told the Thes. that we will be raptured
    1. before the Tribulation (1 Thes. 4)
      1.  Church goes to the Marriage Supper of Lamb
      1.  After the Trib. we return with Lord to reign with him (Mt. 25)
      1.  Jer. 33 Israel will finally have their kingdom, having turned to the Lord in Trib. (Zech. 12)
    1. Many clever end times schemes can confuse and trick
      1.  Heretics lift pass. out of context and ignore other passages (use numbers, schemes, and philos.)
      1.  Guard against error (stay with basics)

Key verse: Matthew 24:3-143 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Jan 16, 2022. II Samuel 23:1-7

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DAVID SUMS UP HIS CALLING. II Samuel 23:1-7. 1/16/2022. #54

1 Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me:

‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God. 4 And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,

By clear shining after rain.’ 5 “Although my house is not so with God, Yet He has made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure. For this is all my salvation and all my desire;

Will He not make it increase? 6 But the sons of rebellion shall all be as thorns thrust away, Because they cannot be taken with hands. 7 But the man who touches them Must be [a]armed with iron and the shaft of a spear, And they shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.”

  1. David the anointed
    1. The author records the last words of David
      1.  Apparently, these were part of the instructions David gave to Solomon on his deathbed
      1.  David lays out the type of man who rules well in the sight of God
    1. The author identifies David as “the anointed”
      1.  God had “raised David up on high”
      1.  David’s elevation was not due to his skills, efforts, or merit
      1.  David’s rise was due to God’s sovereign will according to God’s providence
  2. The characteristics of a godly ruler
    1. David instructs Solomon as to the qualities needed for a just and effective ruler
      1.  David states that his words are from the Holy Spirit, who spoke through him
      1.  David at times was righteous and effective, but he was not consistent
    1. David first acknowledges God as The Rock of Israel
      1.  God is the one who determines right and proper
      1.  David agrees that he needed to submit to God
    1. 2 qualities of a great leader: being just and fearing God
    1. Just = righteous, correct
      1.  Judging honestly and truthfully before the Lord
      1.  Justice requires impartiality and fairness
      1.  Personal feelings, prejudice, and ineffective investigation work against justice
    1. Fear of the Lord
      1.  Is. 55 God sees all and brings all to account
      1.  Eph. 6:5 by ruling humbly in awe of the Lord, evil deeds are avoided
      1.  David lost the fear of the Lord during the Bathsheba/Uriah travesty
    1. David states that a righteous ruler is like the morning light and tender grass (refreshing and pure)
  3. The Davidic Covenant
    1. David acknowledges that “his house is not so with God” (David had failed at many points)
      1.  David failed in the Bathsheba/Uriah scandal
      1.  David failed with Ammon and Absalom
      1.  David failed by numbering the people
    1. Only God’s unconditional covenant with him allowed him to continue and prosper as king
      1.  God promised David deliverance and increase
      1.  God chastised David, but didn’t abandon him
    1. We often do not live up the ideal
      1.  David did confess and repent
      1.  Like Solomon, had David kept his own words ever in mind, he could have lived up to ideal
  4. Judgment of the wicked
    1. David then turns to the wicked
      1.  They are like thorns (hurt and do evil)
      1.  They can’t be treated gently or be reasoned with (taken by hands)
      1.  David advises that the wicked must be dealt with by armed force (armor + spear)
    1. Eccl. 8:11 when the wicked are allowed to roam free without justice, they destroy all in their pathway
      1.  2 Tm. 3 end times lawlessness is a product of wicked people controlling justice departments
      1.  Wicked men must be treated decisively

The end of the wicked is to burn with fire (Revelation 20)

Jan 9, 2022. II Thessalonians 1:6-12

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WORTHY OF OUR CALLING. II Thessalonians 1:6-12. 1/9/22.

6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. The anatomy of the vengeful wrath of God
    1. Paul spends 4 vs. describing the judgment of God upon his enemies and the enemies of believers
    1. Six aspect of the judgment of God on the lost:
      1.  RIGHTEOUS — God’s judgment upon unbelievers is a holy act (it is not cruel, un-
      1. loving, or spiteful; God’s holy character cannot allow sin to go unpunished)
      1.  RECOMPENSE FOR EVIL — since the lost reject Christ’s payment for their sins, they
      1. must pay eternally for their infinite affront to God (this is proper payment for their crimes and rejection of God’s gift of love)
      1.  TIMELY — at the proper time, God will bring all things to account (not in our time and we are not told when this will occur)
      1.  VENGEFUL — God will take vengeance upon his enemies for rejecting his Son (vengeance belongs to God alone since all sin is against him; but, revenge is a proper act of a holy God against his enemies)
      1.  PERMANENT — the punishment on the lost is eternal and cannot be removed, shortened, or pardoned (doesn’t become less intense)
      1.  SEPARATION FROM GOD — the main part of the punishment of the lost is not the Lake of Fire, but eternal removal from the presence and glory of God (Adam was told that he would die which is separation from God; all that makes life worthwhile is from God)
    1. This is the most complete description of why the lost must suffer eternal punishment (Revelation 20:1-15)
  2. The future of the saints
    1. The future the saints is opposite of that of the lost
    1. Eternal bliss and glorification
    1. All past pain and trials will not be remembered
    1. Paul mentions 3 aspects of the saints’ eternity:
  3. THAT DAY — the Rapture is the day that all pre-Tribulation believers are glorified (marks the beginning of God pouring out his wrath upon the earth)
  4. GLORIFICATION — all believers will be changed instantly, receiving their glorified
    1. eternal bodies
    1. ADORATION OF GOD — we will spend our eternity admiring and worshiping God
  5. Paul states that the glorified blissful future ahead of the Thessalonian saints is because they believed the Gospel message that he had given them
  6. Being counted worthy
    1. Worthiness means “deserving” or “fitting”
      1.  Comes from a business term meaning that the scales are tipped in your favor
      1.  We are not inherently worthy, but made worthy by Jesus Christ
    1. 3 aspects of worthiness:
      1.  CALLING — we are called to worthiness in Christ (God destined us to elevation)
      1.  FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S WILL — we are called to fulfill God’s good pleasure through
      1. faith and his empowerment
      1.  CHRISTLIKENESS — Christ is to glorified in and through us (this is fulfilled worthiness)

Key verse: Revelation 20

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Jan 9, 2022. II Samuel 22:1-37

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DAVID’S LEGACY PSALM. II Samuel 22:1-37. 1/9/2022. #53.

1 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said:  “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. 4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. 5 “When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. 6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;

The snares of death confronted me. 7 In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God;

He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears. 8 “Then the earth shook and trembled;

The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. 9 Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. 11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew; And He was seen upon the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness canopies around Him, Dark waters and thick clouds of the  skies. 13 From the brightness before Him Coals of fire were kindled.  14 “The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice. 15 He sent out arrows and scattered them; Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them. 16 Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered, At the rebuke of the Lord, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils. 17 “He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. 18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me; For they were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

But the Lord was my support. 20 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. 21 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. 23 For all His judgments were before me; And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. 24 I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. 25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in His eyes. 26 “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; 27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. 28 You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down. 29 “For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness. 30 For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall. 31 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 32 “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? 33 God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. 35 He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. 37 You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip.

  1. A reflective Psalm (same as Psalm 18)
    1. This psalm = written before the Bathsheba scandal
      1.  David viewed himself as a man of integrity
      1.  David’s confidence in his holiness made him vulnerable to a fall (very subtle; Proverbs 16:18)
    1. vs. 1-4 David declares that God is his refuge, rock, strength, and deliverer
      1.  God had delivered David from Saul and his enemies (Philistines, Ammonites, Israel…)
      1.  God’s protection is the cause of his praise
      1.  David trusts that God will always save him
    1. This can’t be generalized since sometimes God allows his saints to be abused and martyred (Uriah, Abel, Jonathan, Stephen, James…)
      1.  The ultimate deliverance is glorification
      1.  David’s deliverances were God’s will for him
  2. (vs. 5-20) Poetic description of how God defeated enemies
    1. David describes in poetic imagery how God defeated his enemies (thundered, lightning, riding on a cherub, earthquakes, smoke from God’s nostrils, coals of fire, and David being plucked out of dark waters)
      1.  David was surrounded and terrorized)
      1.  God responded when he cried for help
    1. The same description given in Psalm 18
  3. (vs. 21-25) David declares his own righteousness
    1. The Psalm is written pre-Bathsheba
    1. David claims that God delivered him because he is a righteous man (clean and pure)
      1.  David had kept himself from iniquity
      1.  David had followed God’s statutes
      1.  David had sought God and was blameless
    1. David was unaware of several factors that eventually led to his downfall:
      1.  John 15:5, purity does not originate from within man, but it is a gift from God (John 15:5)
      1.  God, and not man, must be given glory and praise for righteousness
      1.  David could not maintain righteousness on his own (not to his credit)
      1.  Holy living is a lifelong endeavor (once David was free from pressure, he dropped guard)
    1. David declares that God repaid him for his purity
      1.  Job 1 Jobs purity was tested and not repaid
      1.  Isaiah 64:6 our purity is polluted before God
  4. (26-28) God repays in kind
    1. David makes a general principle out of his experience
    1. God shows favor to the humble, merciful, and sinless
    1. God deceives and destroys the wicked
      1.  Same argument Job’s neighbors used
      1.  John 9 same logic apostles used with blind man
    1. This logic contradicts what David said in Psalms 2
      1.  The wicked are not always punished on earth
      1.  The righteous aren’t always rewarded here
    1. In other Psalms David recognizes accounting is at end
  5. (32-37) David credits God
    1. David credits God in teaching him war and securing him
    1. He recognizes God’s providence, but his own holiness
    1. (40-46) David describes how God gave him victory over foes
    1. (47-50) David praises God for giving him victory, even over the internal struggles within Israel arrayed against him

(51) He acknowledges God’s mercy to him and his descendants

Jan 2, 2022. II Thessalonians 1:1-8

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FAITH UNDER PRESSURE. II Thessalonians 1:1-8. 01/02/2022. #01.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-8 [New King James Version]

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Paul’s greeting
    1. A different greeting than to the Cor. or Gal. churches
      1.  Both Cor. and Gal. had significant problems
      1.  Paul is thrilled with growth of the Thessalonians believers while they were under great pressure
      1.  The Thessalonians church was a great joy in Paul’s life
    1. Paul thanks God for the faith and love of the Thessalonians church
      1.  Fitting (proper, appropriate) to praise God
      1.  God gives the faith and love that we must choose to exercise (God is source of all things holy)
    1. Jn. 15:5 we must utilize the tools God gives us
      1.  God does not force us to exercise faith or love
      1.  2 Cor. 10:3-5 all the tools we need to live holy lives have been given to us
  2. Amazing spirituality
    1. Paul was thrilled with the Thessalonians faith for 4 reasons:
      1.  He was able to teach the Thessalonians for 3 weeks before he was forced out of Thessalonica (Acts 17)
      1.  They were under great persecution
      1.  They suffered much, but their faith grew
      1.  Other churches with far more advantages did not show as much spiritual maturity
    1. A great testimony that Thessalonians fully embraced Paul’s teaching and dedicated themselves totally to Christ
      1.  Holiness is up to the believer
      1.  God gives us all we need to embrace Christ
    1. Paul cites their faith, patience, and love for each other
    1. Paul boasted to other churches about the Thessalonians church
      1.  Not to Thessalonians’ glory, but to God’s
      1.  Spirituality is available to all who seek it
    1. Faith = belief and trust
      1.  The level of faith is determined by how much we reject our desires and embrace the will of God
      1.  Those of little faith pursue selfish things and crumble under the least amount of opposition
      1.  Those of great faith love God, His Word, worship, service, witness, and other believers
    1. Patience (lit., “to remain under”, forbear, longsuffering) = to remain faithful and Christ-like even when tried and persecuted for the sake of Christ
      1.  Not striking back or losing heart
      1.  Refusing to quit or compromise
    1. Love for one another = choosing to cherish, sacrifice for, and support fellow believers
      1.  Support of other believers provides comfort
      1.  1 JN. 4:7-19 love for the brethren perseveres through suffering, hardship, trials, and persecution
      1.  The Thessalonians supported each other in hard times
  3. The end of it all
    1. God will trouble those who trouble believers
      1.  This does not happen immediately
      1.  Part of faith is trusting in the judgment of God
    1. Rm. 12:19 we are not to avenge ourselves
      1.  Acts 1:8 we seek to see the lost saved
      1.  Vengeance will come on those rejecting Christ
    1. Comfort in faith that justice will be meted out
      1.  Judgment upon the rebellious is just and right
      1.  The Tribulation is just retribution (unlike corrupt man, God does not ignore evil)
    1. The just will rest with the saints before God
      1.  Our suffering is brief, but our rest is eternal
      1.  There is comfort in anticipating our great rest
      1.  End judgment on lost and tranquility for saved should provide us both comfort and strength
    1. American believers have suffered far less persecution than most other believers in history (grace of God)
      1.  Persecution will increase as we go forward
      1.  God will give all strength that we need
    1. Flaming vengeance by God on his enemies
    1. The forward looking believer will never back down

Key Verse: 1 John 4:7-19

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love [a]Him because He first loved us.

Jan 2, 2022. II Samuel 21:12-22

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DAVID’S SETTING SUN. II Samuel 21:12-22. 01/02/2022. #52.

2 Samuel 21:12-22 [New King James Version]

12 Then David went and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son, from the men of Jabesh Gilead who had stolen them from the street of Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them up, after the Philistines had struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there; and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father. So they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded the prayer for the land. 15 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. 16 Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.” 18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. 19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. 21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. 22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

  1. House Cleaning
    1. After Gibeon took vengeance upon Saul’s sons and grandsons, David decided to give a proper burial for Saul’s and Jonathan’s bones
    1. Over 20 years had passed since the Phil. killed Saul
      1.  The men of Jabesh-Gilead had taken the bones of Saul and Jon. hanging on a wall
      1.  Saul had rescued Jab./Gil. 60 years earlier
    1. Even though Saul had persecuted David, David honored him as “the anointed of the Lord”
      1.  David wanted to honor Jonathan
      1.  Brings closure to Saul’s legacy
    1. David also had the bones of the men Gibeon hanged
      1.  The disgrace of Saul = put into the past
      1.  God’s judgment on Saul’s house is complete
    1. After this judgment God sent rain back to the land
  2. Philistine fade
    1. Over the next several years Israel and the Philistines continually battle
      1.  The traditional enemy of Israel
      1.  Steadily, Israel weakens the Phil.
    1. In the line of the Anakims, Israel fights 4
      1.  Each giant is killed in turn
      1.  One giant had 24 digits and an 8 pound spear that was like weaver’s beam
      1.  Philistine power fades with each battle
    1. David finally gets to that age where he no longer could do battle with young warriors, let alone giants
      1.  Abishai had to rescue him
      1.  David’s men forbade him from going to battle any longer (too valuable to risk)
      1.  David is probably in his late 50’s at this point
  3. Autumn of life
    1. Deterioration is slow and mostly imperceptible
      1.  Our minds do not realize that the body had lost both flexibility and strength
      1.  David nearly loses his life because he does not realize that he was no longer could do battle
    1. These wars probably occurred over a decade or so
      1.  After David’s reign, the Philistines disappear as a serious regional power
      1.  Even though God punished David for his sins, he blessed his efforts to further Israel
    1. Notice that God didn’t simply move opposition out of the way
      1.  David had to fight the battles
      1.  David had to discover that his skills were waning
      1.  David had to accept his new role away from battle
    1. The autumn of life is a time of evaluation and mentoring
      1.  David needed to take stock of his life
        1.  Avoid earlier mistakes and sin
        1.  Continue advancing spiritually
      1.  David needed to use his experience to help others
      1.  David needed not to quit or allow past to neutralize him (forgiveness brings restoration and renewal)
      1.  Need to plan to end well
    1. Reduced abilities brings new opportunities
      1.  Experience in our spiritual walk can mentor others
      1.  Not to bemoan what was lost, but moving forward
      1.  Sprinting to the finish line to honor Lord

Dec 26, 2021. I Thessalonians 5:22-28

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FULLY SANCTIFIED. I Thessalonians 5:22-28. 12/26/2021. #21.

1 Thessalonians 5:22-28 [New King James Version]

22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

  1. From salvation to sanctification
    1. Salvation is a deliverance (from penalties of sin)
    1. When we receive Christ we are sanctified (set apart)
      1.  Salvation is not an end in itself
      1.  Salvation is the start of spiritual maturity
    1. Sanctification means “to be set apart” or “separate”
      1.  God is set apart from his creation
      1.  Spiritually = to be separated from evil unto God
      1.  Same word used to translate holy, holiness, saint, sacred, sanctify; sacrament
    1. God is described as Holy Father (Jn. 17:11)
      1.  I Peter 1:15-17 be holy as I am holy
      1.  Revelation 4:8 the beasts before the throne day and night proclaim God to by “holy, holy, holy”
  2. Three Levels of sanctification
    1. Three levels of sanctification:
      1.  POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION – upon receiving Christ a believer is set apart for God (Rm. 8:29-30)
        1.  No longer destined for hell (John 5:24)
        1.  Galatians 3:28 all believers, no matter what social status or gender, are equally sanctified before the Lord
      1.  PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION – we are to grow in spiritual maturity to become like Christ
        1.  Colossians 1:28 goal is to become like Lord
        1.  Ephesians 5:18 we have a choice whether to yield to the Spirit or follow own desires
        1.  I Corinthians 3 believers can remain immature
        1.  Ephesians 4:22-24 we must put off the old nature in order to embrace the new one
        1.  I Corinthians 3:12-15 we choose the level of our eternal rewards through our level of commitment & submission to Lord (II Timothy 2:20-21 vessels of honor & dishonor)
      1.  PRESENTATIVE SANCTIFICATION – completed process upon glorification
        1.  I John 3:2 we will be like the Lord
        1.  I Corinthians 15:51-52 we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (Philippians 3:21)
    1. In OT, objects/people used in worship were declared holy
      1.  Vessels, Tabernacle, Temple, priests, temple oil, sensors, altars, etc. = set apart for worship alone
      1.  Robes, special days, holy ground… = sanctified
    1. In NT, Jesus fulfilled all holiness of on our behalf
      1.  We do not have holy robes, buildings, days…
      1.  Revelation 3:7 Jesus’ holiness is like that of the Father
      1.  1 John 2:20 all required holiness fulfilled in Christ
  3. Paul desires that God will fully sanctify believers
    1. One day we will be fully sanctified
    1. COL. 1:19-29 – the goal of discipleship is to become mature in Christ to our fullest potential
      1.  To set every part of our being apart for God
      1.  Philippians 4:8 all our thoughts submitted to Lord
      1.  James 1:19-25 our attitude & actions submitted
      1.  Luke 10:27 submit mind, body, soul, & spirit
    1. I Peter 2:9 holy priests dedicated to God’s service
    1. Paul then asks for prayer, sends greetings, & commands that his letter should be read by all the saints

Key verse: Colossians 1:19-29 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

Dec 26, 2021. II Samuel 21:1-11

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MERAB’S NIGHTMARE. II Samuel 21:1-11. 12/26/2021. #51.

2 Samuel 21:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.” 2 So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah. 3 Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?” 4 And the Gibeonites said to him, “We will have no silver or gold from Saul or from his house, nor shall you kill any man in Israel for us.” So he said, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” 5 Then they answered the king, “As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel, 6 let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord chose.” And the king said, “I will give them.” 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; 9 and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the Lord. So they fell, all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10 Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven. And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 And David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done.

  1. The Gibeon Gambit
    1. Josiah 9 – the Gibeonites fooled Joshua into believing that their city was far off, so he made a covenant with them
      1.  Gibeon was in Canaan 17 miles away over the ridge
      1.  Soon, Joshua had to defend Gibeon from attack
    1. Due to the Gibeonite deception Joshua made them servants
      1.  Gibeon was spared from destruction
      1.  Joshua had not consulted the Lord first
      1.  The Gibeonites were to be perpetual choppers of wood and drawers of water for the Tabernacle
  2. Brass sky
    1. For 3 years a drought gripped the land of Israel
      1.  David recognized this as punishment
      1.  David inquired of the Lord as to its cause
    1. God informs David that this was punishment for Saul massacring a number of Gibeonites
      1.  Saul treated the Gib. as undesirable aliens
      1.  Saul had no command from Lord to do this
      1.  Punishment came in David’s day; not Saul’s
    1. Saul was a rebellious self-willed tyrant
      1.  Saul did what he felt like doing
      1.  Saul sacrificed before battle instead of waiting for Samuel in battle against Philistines
      1.  He kept King Agag and the Amalekite livestock alive
      1.  He makes a foolish vow, curtailing his own victory
      1.  He seeks to kill David, who slayed Goliath and many Philistines in battle
      1.  With no provocation, he kills the Gibeonites
  3. The face of revenge
    1. David asks the Gibeonites what would appease them
      1.  Implication is that God would accept their price
      1.  Since Saul was dead, they wanted to execute seven male descendants of Saul at Gibeah (Saul’s town)
    1. The moral dilemma of the request
      1.  Ezekiel 18:20-32 a person is not supposed to be punished for another person’s crimes
      1.  Moral inversions: the sins of the fathers are visited on the 3rd and 4th generations (Exodus 34:5-7), Job’s 10 children die to test Job, Aachen’s family dies with Aachen, Jeroboam’s newborn son dies for his sins (1 Kings 14), Bathsheba’s son dies…
    1. David honors the request
      1.  He takes all 5 of Merab’s sons
        1.  Not Micah (copy error), who was childless
        1.  Merab could have been David’s wife
        1.  Merab was David’s sister-in-law + married to Adriel, Barzillai’s son (David’s benefactor)
      1.  David takes the 2 sons of Rizpah, Saul’s concubine
        1.  Ishbosheth accused Abner of lying with her
        1.  Rizpah stays with bodies night and day, chasing away birds and predators
      1.  After the executions, rain returned to the (vs. 14)
        1.  God accepted the price for Saul’s sins
        1.  Saul’s line would not prosper
      1.  Often the innocent are devoured with the guilty
        1.  Grief must be solaced by faith (purpose)
        1.  Only God understands moral inversions