Oct 25, 2020. Philippians 2:5-11

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IMITATORS OF CHRIST.  Philippians 2:5-11. 10/25/2020. #07.

Philippians 2:5-11 [New King James Version]

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • Like unto Jesus
    • Jesus is the role model
      • We are not God, nor are we able to save ourselves
      • Genesis 1:26-28 we are made in the image of God
      • We are to imitate Christ in purity, purpose, and obedience to God
    • Emulate Christ in all things that he represents:
      • A gracious and merciful attitude, full of love
      • Servant of God and others
      • Proclaimer of the truth
      • Upholder of justice
      • Living moral, purposeful lives
      • Shunning and rebuking evil
      • Submission to God in all things
    • Jesus set the extreme ultimate example for us
      • Jesus held the position of God, creator of all things, master of the universe, all glorious, powerful, and knowing
        • Jesus held the highest position in the universe
        • All the angels worshipped him and he commanded all things
        • There was no need that compelled him to change
    • Jesus did the unimaginable:
      • He laid aside his prerogatives as God
        • He literally “emptied” himself out
        • Though Jesus was still God, he laid aside his divine powers (he did all things via his father), divine knowledge (only the father knew when he would return), his omnipresence), and glorious presence (Isaiah 53)
        • He experience hunger, thirst, pain, cold, fatigue, loneliness, indignation…
      • He became a man, experiencing birth, growth, social statues, learning a trade, acclaim, insults…
      • He became a servant to all men
        • The ultimate of benefitting men spiritually, physically, intellectually, and wisely
        • He was totally God and totally man, offering a visage of God and choice for men to make
      • His servanthood transcended mere wisdom and help
        • He chose to be the only worthy sacrifice for all men everywhere
        • The God that lives chose to take on man’s flesh so he might die so men might live
  • Exalted!
    • Because of Christ’s humility and sacrifice, the Father has exalted him above all creation
      • Hebrews 12:1-2 Christ, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, that he might gain many people to be joint heirs to the throne of God (Heb. 2:10)
      • Christ’s desire was to save us so he might be his bride forever (Ephesians 5:25-33)
    • Christ is exalted above all things
      • I Thessalonians 4:1-17 believers will ever be with the Lord to glorify his holy name forever
      • Revelation 20:10-15 before judgment is passed upon the wicked, they will bow down and confess Jesus is Lord
      • Revelation 3 even the enemies of the saints will have to proclaim that we, and not they, are children of God
    • I Peter 5:5-7; Romans 8:30 as we exalt him, he will also exalt us

Key verse: Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our report?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,

And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness;

And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs

And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

So He opened not His mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,

And who will declare His generation?

For He was cut off from the land of the living;

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9 And they made His grave with the wicked—

But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;

He has put Him to grief.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,

And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,

For He shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,

And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

Because He poured out His soul unto death,

And He was numbered with the transgressors,

And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors.

Oct 25, 2020. II Samuel 1:1-16

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A DEADLY LIE. II Samuel 1:1-16. 10/25/20. #01.

2 Samuel 1:1-16 [New King James Version]

1 Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had stayed two days in Ziklag, 2 on the third day, behold, it happened that a man came from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. So it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3 And David said to him, “Where have you come from?” So he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 Then David said to him, “How did the matter go? Please tell me.” And he answered, “The people have fled from the battle, many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.” 5 So David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?” 6 Then the young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance to be on Mount Gilboa, there was Saul, leaning on his spear; and indeed the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. 7 Now when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8 And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ So I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9 He said to me again, ‘Please stand over me and kill me, for anguish has come upon me, but my life still remains in me.’ 10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord.” 11 Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 Then David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.” 14 So David said to him, “How was it you were not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go near, and execute him!” And he struck him so that he died. 16 So David said to him, “Your blood is on your own head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’ ”

  • Messenger of gloom
    • David = at Ziklag for 3 days when a messenger came
      • David had recaptured his family + things
      • He destroyed the Amalekite camp
      • The messenger was in rags and full of dirt
    • David inquires about the messenger
      • He is an Amalekite
      • He had just come from the battle
      • Israel = routed and Saul + Jonathan were dead
    • David wants to know how mess. knows Saul is dead
    • The mess. spins a story, hoping to gain favor ŵ David        
      • He states that he came upon Saul when he was nearly dead and Saul wanted him to kill him
      • The messenger doesn’t explain why he was at battle
      • The messenger obeys Saul and kills him and takes his crown
    • The truth from 1 Sam. 31 was that Saul fell on his own sword so Phil. would not abuse him 
      • The Amalekites was looking for a reward since David was a sworn enemy of Saul’s
      • The Amalekites probably was a servant of a Philistine officer who came across Saul’s body
  • Miscalculation
    • David did not know what actually happened
      • David and his men mourn Saul, Jon., and Israel
      • Even though Saul was David’s sworn enemy, he was still God’s anointed king
      • The loss of Jonathan and defeat of Israel would have
    • Instead of rewarding the Amalekites, David has him executed
      • The Amalekites dared to harm God’s king
      • The lie backfired on the Amalekites and it cost him his life
    • This passage is dripping with irony
      • Saul was supposed to have eradicated Amalek
      • David had just destroyed an Amalek. camp
      • Now an Amalekite finds Saul and takes his crown plus the signet bracelet (a symbol of his power)
      • The Amalekite had no idea the trap he set for self
    • Later, two servants of Ishbosheth will make the same error
  • David the patriot
    • Even though this presents David with his opportunity to ascend to the throne, David mourns Saul and Jonathan
      • David doesn’t want evil to come upon Israel
      • Even though David allied with the Phil. to escape Saul, he loved his people (Achish was duped)
    • David seeks the best for Israel, God’s people
      • As long as David focused on serving God, he benefitted Israel
      • Only when David turned to selfish desires, did both he and Israel suffer
    • David loved Israel because he loved God
    • We want the best for America because we want America to be blessed by God
      • When our leaders oppose God, believers become the enemies of our godless leaders
      • The greatest expression of patriotism is to pray for repentance and revival for our nation
    • He is no patriot who supports the enemies of God
    • No call for open rebellion, but we cannot submit to evil

Oct 18, 2020. Philippians 2:1-4

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SINGLE-MINDED SAINTS. Philippians 2:1-4. 10/18/20. #06.

Philippians 2:1-4 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore if there is any [a]consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

  • Concord
    • Paul’s main concern for believers is for their maturity
      • The battle against our own sin nature continues
      • Paul knows that Satan loves division in church
    • Paul states that a new foundation for them has been laid
      • Not only is Christ our example, he is our life
      • There is an intimate relationship with the Lord that transcends mere knowledge or mentoring
    • “If there is any consolation in Christ…”
      • “If” is in 1st class condition = since there is…
      • There IS consolation (compassion, empathy, comfort, solace) in Christ (he consoles us)
      • Christ does comfort us in his love
    • There IS fellowship of the Spirit
      • We both have fellowship with God and with each other via the indwelling work of the Spirit
      • Any saint causing strife within the fellowship grieves the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30)
    • There IS affection and mercy
      • The core fundamental tenor of the church body is to be gracious, forgiving, and merciful
      • Believers are to be tenderhearted toward each other (a striving believer is ungodly)
      • Even when church discipline is needed, correction is to be administered in love for the benefit of the offending party and the body (Matthew 18, II Thessalonians 3, I Chronicles 5)
  • Unity
    • Paul moves from decorum to duty: because we have a relationship with Christ through the Spirit and because the Lord manifests godliness in us, we need to choose to be godly
    • All power to please God is in us, but we must choose to obey and imitate him or to rebel against him (freewill)
    • Paul uses the relationship with the Lord and his teaching to focus their attention on serving one another (Ephesians 5:1-10)
    • Paul lists several aspects which should be found in body:
      • Like-minded = to have the same purpose and goals
        • This does not mean “group think” where everyone always agrees and conforms to group
        • Our goals need to be the goals of Christ
        • Having the same love = bond of care for each other
        • One accord = “having the same spirit” (of grace, tenderness toward one another, cooperation,…)
        • Of one mind = with the same intentions
    • There is no room in the body for selfish pride, envy, or the desire to dominate others in the Body of Christ
    • Paul commands believers to highly regard or esteem others:
      • Humility = to be meek, self-deprecating, deferring
      • Regarding others more highly than self (putting others first; not being self-promoting or apathetic)
  • Charity
    • Paul concludes that we should seek the welfare of others before ourselves
      • We are servants of others
      • We are to actively seek how we can show others Christ through our actions
    • We are our brother’s keeper
      • We are to watch out for others and their best interests
      • We are not to be busybodies (I Peter 4) or interfere in the affairs of others (II Thessalonians 3), but we are to give aid when needed and are to watch for opportunities to do so
    • Being a Christian is a relationship and a lifestyle (full of grace, mercy, compassion, kindness, helpfulness, and love)

Key Verse: Ephesians 5:1-10 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the [b]Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

Oct 18, 2020. I Samuel 31

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SAUL’S DEMISE. I Samuel 31. 10/18/20. #83.

1 Samuel 31 [New King James Version]

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. 3 The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it. 5 And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day. 7 And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were on the other side of the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. 8 So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 And they cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines, to proclaim it in the temple of their idols and among the people. 10 Then they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 11 Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

  • Saul’s last battle
    • Saul goes into battle against the Philistines, knowing that Samuel had predicted he would die in the battle
    • The Philistines pressed the battle and Israel was routed
      • This is the same battle David was going to fight in
      • God had taken David out of harm’s way
      • The battle is in far northern Israel near Mt. Carmel
    • Saul lived by the sword and died by it
      • Saul had tried to kill David
      • Saul ordered the death of the priests (Doeg killed the priest’s family as well)
      • Saul even tried to kill his son, Jonathan
    • Saul had the three qualities that made for a wretched ruler:
      • He desired fame and power
      • He was obsessively jealous and paranoid
      • He refused to repent or learn from his mistakes
    • All that Saul tried to gain, he never attained, and then lost all
      • All three of Saul’s sons are killed
      • Israel suffers a great defeat and loss of territory
    • Many others suffered with him, including Jonathan
  • Israel’s total humiliation
    • When the rest of Israel heard of the defeat, those near the battle fled their cities, leaving them for Phil. to dwell in
    • Israel had lost their king, much territory, and their freedom
    • When Saul realized that there was no hope, he told his armor bearer to kill him
      • Saul did not want to suffer abuse by his enemies
      • The a.b. was afraid to kill the king, so Saul fell on his sword and the armor bearer followed suit
    • Since God was not with Saul any longer, he could not win
      • Opposing God is self-defeating
      • No one rebelling against God ever attains anything of lasting value (all crumbles to dust)
    • Had Saul obeyed God, his kingdom would have been established, his land would have been prosperous, his legacy would’ve been secure, and his heirs would’ve reigned after him
      • As with Adam and Solomon, Saul gave up everything in an effort to exalt himself, and was left with nothing
      • I Corinthians 1:29 only God can be truly exalted
  • A touch of compassion
    • At the beginning of Saul’s reign, he led Israel against the Ammonites to save Jabesh Gilead
      • The Philippians had decapitated Saul and hung his body and that of his sons on the wall of Beth Shean (north Israel)
      • The men of Jabesh traveled all night to retrieve the bodies from the wall
    • To Jabesh Gilead, Saul was their hero
      • They took the desecrated bodies and burned them to remove the disgrace of their humiliation
      • They buried the bones under a tamarisk tree in Jabesh, like the tamarisk Saul sat under at Gibeah
      • They then declared a week long fast to mourn loss
    • Few others besides his family and tribe likely mourned for him
      • Had Saul been a godly man, many would have mourned and celebrated his life
      • The godly are mourned, but the wicked die alone

Oct 11, 2020. Philippians 1:27-30

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STAND FAST. Philippians 1:27-30. 10/11/20. #5.

Philippians 1:27-30 [New King James Version]

27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

  • Passing the baton
    • Paul appreciated the concern of the Philippians church for his welfare, but he reminds them that they are called to proclaim the same Gospel as he is
      • They will also experience the same resistance
      • Paul’s lot in many ways is theirs also
    • Paul calls them to walk worthy of the Gospel
      • “Worthy conduct” (politeuesthe) = the English word “politic” comes from this Greek word
      • “Be worthy citizens” = act as good members of your city (polis; police comes from this word)
    • The Philippians were proud of their Roman citizenship
      • They would be embarrassed to disgrace Rome
      • Walk worthy as citizens of heaven
    • Those who are in Christ are to proclaim the Gospel
      • Those who proclaim the Gospel must act godly
      • Character must align with testimony
  • You, too
    • Paul wants the Philippians to know that they would be opposed
      • The same adversaries who attacked Paul would also be the enemies of the Philippians believers
      • There is a chain: hatred to Jesus (Matthew 10) =>  hatred of Paul => hatred of converts => and of us
    • Paul urges the Philippians saints to do three things:
      • To stand in one spirit
        • A united bond of defense of Gospel
        • Galatians 6:9 not to whither under opposition
        • Those who faint under persecution are weak and not worthy of the gospel
      • Strive together = to fight alongside each other
        • We fight a great spiritual battle (Ephesians 6)
        • Paul calls for a unified effort for the faith
      • Do not be afraid of adversaries (Matthew 10:28)
        • Many saints shrink from witness for fear
        • We are commanded to be brave in Christ
    • The Gospel has one of two impacts on people:
      • To the enemies of Christ, it is the sign of judgment
        • Condemnation is why they hate believers
        • Christ’s enemies rather hate than repent
      • To the save the Gospel is the proof of salvation
        • Believers love the Gospel of Christ
        • Even false believers hate the Gospel
    • Both the confirmation of judgment to the eternally lost and confirmation of blessing to the eternally saved are of God
  • Tribulation Trail
    • Paul informs the Philippians that with belief comes suffering
      • They should not be surprised at suffering or fear it
      • Salvation and suffering are sisters here (I Peter 4:12-19)
    • John 16:33 tribulation is not pleasant (Hebrews 12:11), but trials yield the fruit of testimony, strengthened faith, and reward
      • Righteous suffering is for the sake of Christ
      • Persecution is not to be enjoyed, but embraced as the necessary call of and identity with Christ
      • We are Christ’s soldiers and will be shot at
    • Along with their concern the Philippians must observe the lesson
      • The same conflict they see in Paul is theirs also
      • Paul showed the Philippians how to suffer for Christ
      • What they saw in Paul’s life was their destiny
    • They were responsible to stand firm in faith and teach it
      • As Paul was their example, they were to do same
      • Each generation must show the next how to stand

Key Verse: I Peter 4:12-19

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Oct 11, 2020. I Samuel 30:16-31

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TRIUMPH FROM TRAGEDY. I Samuel 30:16-31. 10/11/20. #82.

1 Samuel 30:16-31 []New King James Version

16 And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. 19 And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. 20 Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.” 21 Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not follow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.” 23 But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. 24 For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.” 25 So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26 Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord”— 27 to those who were in Bethel, those who were in Ramoth of the South, those who were in Jattir, 28 those who were in Aroer, those who were in Siphmoth, those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 those who were in Rachal, those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 those who were in Hormah, those who were in Chorashan, those who were in Athach, 31 those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to rove.

  • A goodly return
    • When David and his men arrived at Ziklag, they found their village burned, their family taken, livestock and possessions
      • Cause for uncontrollable grief
      • The men wanted to stone David
      • David focused on a solution, so he inquired of God
      • God confirmed that David would find the raiders and recover everything
    • David crossed the Brook Besor and found an Egyptian who knew where the raiders were
    • The raiders were Amalekites
      • Amalek had taken much spoil from a dozen regions in the Negev (South) and southern Judah areas
      • David arrived at their encampment near evening as they were celebrating their great haul of wealth
    • David attacked immediately at twilight
      • David pressed the battle all night and all the next day until evening (a complete surprise victory)
      • Only 400 young men escaped on camels
    • David not only recovered his people and property, but all else
  • Everyone shares in the blessing
    • Since all the other villages were burned by the raiders, David claims all the spoil for himself and his men
      • Nothing is stated about people from the other villages rescued (they would gladly trade their goods for being rescued alive)
      • The Egyptian informant was free to go home
    • When the men come to the Brook Besor, they refused to share the booty with the weary men left behind
      • Many of David’s followers were outcasts and criminals
      • Had the greedy men had their way, a schism would have developed among David’s troops
    • David declared that the men who guarded the supplies would share equally with those who fought the battle
      • Those who are less able to engage in the work are to be treated with equal respect (I Corinthians 12:23)
      • Support staff, helpers, ministry workers, and those too weak to work except praying, are all worthy of sharing in the blessings of God
      • David makes sharing spoil with support staff a law
  • Investing in the future
    • David makes a shrewd move, by sending a portion of the spoils to leaders in southern Judah
      • David’s action reminds the elders that he is one of them—a Judean
      • David returns the spoil taken from Judah
      • As the Philistines fight Israel in the north, David seeks to fortify his position in the south
    • David was both a capable general and shrewd politician
      • King Saul had proved to be unstable and arbitrary
      • David made sure that he was the choice to turn to
      • David had roved throughout the South and was known
    • Luke 16:9 making friends with others provide for future help
      • Friends should not be business contacts, but friends should be also for mutual aid
      • Only by developing friendships, do we have support

Sep 27, 2020. Philippians 1:19-26

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A WIN-WIN FOR BELIEVERS. Philippians 1:19-26. 09/27/20. #04.

Philippians 1:19-26 [New King James Version]

19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.

  • Confidence of release
    • Paul is in prison awaiting a hearing before Caesar
      • Paul had been kept in jail at Caesarea under Felix and then Festus after the disturbance in Jerusalem
      • Agrippa had heard Paul’s case
    • When it was obvious that he was not going to be released by Festus, he appealed to Caesar to hear his case
    • As Paul awaited his hearing he witnessed to the prison  guards, some of whom became believers
      • Paul was grateful for this unique opportunity
      • Several weeks passed before Paul’s case was heard
    • The Philippians and other believers were concerned about him
      • Paul stated that he was confident by their prayers that he would be released and returned to them
      • Paul = not state if Lord said he would be freed
  • From victory to victory
    • Principle of providential protection (MT. 10:24-39)
      • Paul states that it doesn’t matter if he lives of dies
        • Paul isn’t stating that he doesn’t care
        • God has total control over Paul’s life
      • Paul will live until his God-given task is finished
      • No force could stop Paul from finishing course
    • Paul did not fear death, for being with Lord is best
    • For a believer, life consists of serving the Lord and death is the doorway to reward for faithful service
      • The initial pain of losing a believer is quickly swallowed up by joy when we meet in heaven
      • I Corinthians 15:51-58 Christ removes the sting of death
    • Paul states that his life centers on serving the Lord
      • His hope is eternal reward for that service
      • To Paul, death is a graduation and not a sorrow
    • When Paul passed he left behind ridicule, pain, prison, persecution, strenuous labor, beatings, scourging, false accusations, the burden of the churches, battling false teachers and believers, grief, hardships, hunger, fatigue, tense debates, and a weak body
    • James 1 only double-minded, false, or faithless believers need to fear the coming of death
    • The faithful believer has great assurance in Christ:
      • He is totally protected until he finishes his task
      • He will be rewarded for his service (II Timothy 4)
      • Romans 10:17 faithful believers study and obey the Word and this casts out their fears (I John 4:18)
  • To complete the task
    • Paul is conflicted: he is needed by the Php. and other churches, but he would rather go home to be with the Lord
      • Paul is beaten and weary, but knows that he is needed
      • Paul had prepared others to serve after him
    • Paul knew that he must stay a while longer
      • The churches still need for him to teach them
      • The more he ministered the more fruit for the Lord he gained and the greater his reward
      • The Lord still had more work for him to do

Key Verse: Matthew 10:24-39 [New International Version]

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Sep 27, 2020. I Samuel 30:1-15

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DISASTER AT ZIKLAG. I Samuel 30:1-15. 9/27/20. #81.

1 Samuel 30:1-15 [New King James Version]

1 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. 6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [a]grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” 9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor. 11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water. 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong, and where are you from?” And he said, “I am a young man from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. 14 We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 And David said to him, “Can you take me down to this troop?” So he said, “Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this troop.”

  • David goes home
    • David had gone to war with Achish against Israel
      • The other Philistine kings rejected David as an ally
      • David objected to being rejected
    • Achish sent David and his 600 men were sent home
      • We don’t know what David would’ve done in battle
      • It takes 3 days for the men to arrive from northern Israel to Ziklag in the south
    • There are several answers we do not have:  (1) did David ask God if he should go with Achish?  (2) Did his men agree with David’s decision to go with Achish?
  • Smoldering Ziklag
    • As David and his men neared Ziklag, they saw the smoldering ashes of their village
    • All the family members had been captured, along with the livestock and possessions
      • Ironically, the Amalekites were the raiders (Saul was supposed to completely wipe out Amalek)
      • God forces David to destroy the Amalekites
    • David is not sure who had done this
    • Several immediate results came about from this disaster:
      • Tremendous anguish and pain of the men
      • The men blamed David for the loss of their home and family
        • May indicate that the men disagreed with David’s decision to go to war with Achish
        • None of the troops were left behind to guard Ziklag and the families
        • Leaders tend to get blamed for disasters
      • David has Abiathar bring the ephod to inquire of the Lord as to what he should do
        • David seeks direction, which, if he constantly did, would have stopped him from sin (we need to constantly seek the Lord – 1 Th. 5)
        • God tells David 3 things: (1) David is to pursue the raiders  (2) David will overtake the attackers  (3) David will recover everything
      • Every tragedy is also an opportunity
  • From disaster to action
    • David is able to assuage his men with this revelation
    • David and the 600 men moved south across the Brook Besor
      • The trek was immediately after a 3 day journey
      • 200 of the men were exhausted, so they stayed behind to watch over the possessions
    • David found an Egyptian man near death
      • He had been left behind to die due to an illness
      • David suspects that the Egyptian knew where attackers were (Amalek had been raiding south)
      • The Eg. would take David to the raiders if he promised not to turn him over to his former master or kill him
    • Grief over loss is a call for faith and action
      • Seeking and trusting God
      • Refusing to wallow in our pain and quitting
      • Seeking what good wants to bring out of our pain
    • Tragedy tests faith and gives an opportunity for growth

Sep 20, 2020. Philippians 1:15-18

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THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER. Philippians 1:15-18. 9/20/20. #03.

Philippians 1:15-18 []New King James Version]

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

  • Wolves that bleat
    • Paul praised God for allowing him to preach to his guards
      • Some guards became believers and then took the Gospel into Caesar’s palace to share with others
      • Paul was able to expand his ministry to the best placed people in society
    • Paul’s enemies thought they would increase Paul’s punishment if they preached the Gospel as well
      • If it seemed like Paul’s influence was spreading then gov. officials would be more determined to eradicate Paul and his movement
      • Paul’s enemies could have been Jews or pagans
    • Three basic ways to taint the Gospel message:
      • Identify the message with a perverted religion
        • The cults identify Christ with their corrupt doctrine (Jeh. Wit., Mormons, Rom. Cath. …)
        • Via adding to the Gospel, subtracting from the Gospel, changing who Jesus is, or polluting the message, a false Gospel emerges
      • Message preached by fleshly and worldly false believers (lustful, lying, thieving, coveting…) = no life change
      • Connecting Gospel to Spiritism, paganism, or occult (woman with divination = Acts 16)
    • Whenever the Gospel is tied to corrupt people, there is a tainting of the testimony
      • II Samuel 12 by sin David caused unsaved to curse God
      • The behavior of Samson, Jacob, Balaam, Demus, Ananias/Sapphira and others reflect poorly on Gospel)
    • However, good was glad that the Gospel was preached from whatever corner it came from
      • A poor messenger doesn’t alter the validity of the message (though it might tie it to a poor testimony)
      • No one can judge whether a message is being preached by a true believer with a poor testimony (1 Corinthians 3) or a false believer (Jude 1)
      • There are those saved by the Gospel even when it is spoken by unsaved (Hb. 4:12 = power of Word)
    • Paul was glad that the message was going forth
  • The divine sorter
    • Even though Paul warned against false teachers, he did not seek to track down and stop them
      • Romans 12 it was not Paul’s job to judge others
      • Paul chose to focus on message and not messenger
    • Good spiritual songs are still good, even if the song writers drift away from the faith
    • There are many different denominations, belief systems, and claims that God will sort out, but we need to be on guard
    • Paul’s main concern was that Christ was being preached
    • Paul’s ministry was before many of the heresies developed (veneration of Mary, Arianism, modalism, Pelagianism,…)
      • Paul dealt with Judaizers, early Gnostics, syncretism, scammers, and false doctrine
      • This passage only deals with the Gospel and not doctrine
    • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Paul was not concerned who gave the Gospel, just as long as the Gospel was dispensed
      • Galatians 1 Paul wanted the correct Gospel to go forth
      • II Timothy 2:15 Paul was concerned about false doctrine
  • Fellowship of the faithful
    • Not every doctrinal belief must align to fellowship with a believer of a different denominational bent
    • The essentials of the Gospel, the Word, and Christ are central
      • Any belief that causes error or taints testimony = nil
      • Learn to rejoice when true Gospel is shared

Key verse:  I Corinthians 15:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.