Nov 15, 2020. Philippians 2:14-16

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SEETHING SAINTS. Philippians 2:14-16. 11/15/20. #9.

Philippians 2:14-16 [New King James Version]

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

  • Complaint is the natural response to adversity
    • This is one of the most difficult commandments to obey
      • We tend to grumble when under duress
      • Many of us have prickly personalities
      • Disappointments, challenges, pain, opposition, ingratitude, and desires lead to fussing and dispute
    • Many complainers in Bible: Cain, childless Abraham and Sarah, Jacob (days few and troubled), Moses (did I birth all these children?), Job (“I will take my complaint to the Lord”), Jonah, Elijah (“I’m the only one left”), Habakkuk, David (how long, Lord, until you avenge me?), Peter (what will you have John do?), Hezekiah (I will die before my time), Jeremiah (you have tricked me, Lord)…
    • Grumbling is a function of reacting negatively to what adversely impacts us
      • Complaint is self and time focused
      • Complaint tends to result from a sense that we have been unjustly or unfairly (feeling based)
  • Grumble is not humble
    • The word grumble or murmur means to mutter in a low tone (Greek: gonguzo; English word for “gong”)
      • Used of complaint, astonishment, or talking to self
      • Usually, refers to complaining or disapproval
      • Closely related to grudge and expressing opposition
    • Denying one is complaining does not change matters
    • Dispute [dialogismos = dia (through) + logos (reason, to rationalize, or consider)] means to deliberate, question, challenge, doubting, debate within, or willfully resist
    • Paul is not saying to never doubt or challenge anything
      • Paul debated with philosophers and Pharisees
      • Acts 17:11 Paul commended the Bereans for making sure what he said was Scriptural
    • Three areas where we sinfully debate God and his will:
      • Circumstances of life (trials and tribulation)
      • Resisting obeying God’s will by Word and leading
      • Not overcoming our own snarky personalities
    • We will never overcome a complaining spirit if we feel justified in our complaints and are self-focused
      • Grumbling shows a lack of faith on our part
      • To complain against circumstances is to grumble against God (Jonah 4)
    • World’s first complaint: “This woman you made for me…”
    • To follow feelings is to fuss and fume about almost everything
      • Rain is a pain, hot is rot, my spouse is a louse…
      • Nothing is ever going to be perfect and to our liking
  • Faith is a greater issue than our comfort
    • Paul indicates that if we grumble, we are like the world
      • Our testimony requires fortitude in face of trials
      • Reactions of faith requires joy of our spirit
    • Faith response transcends temporal discomfort:
      • Philippians 4:4 rejoice evermore; again I say, rejoice
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22  Paul urges Thessalonians to always rejoice and in everything give thanks
    • Our testimony often hinges on our joy in the Lord (John 15)
    • Paul acknowledges that the fallen world is unpleasant
      • A crooked and perverse generation
      • The world is full of pain, sorrow, trials, and evil
    • Paul gives several reasons for our transcending joy:
      • We are children of God (the world can’t subdue us)
      • We’ve been sent as light to shine in the darkness
      • We are called to hold fast to Word of Life (obey attitude and response commands as moral commands)
    • No greater battle than subduing fleshly responses (focus)
    • Not stoicism, but faithful obedience to Lord (relational)

Key verse: I Thessalonians 5:12-22 [New King James Version]

12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Nov 15, 2020. II Samuel 2:8-31

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A DIVIDED LAND. II Samuel 2:8-31. 11/15/2020. #4.

2 Samuel 2:8-31 [New King James Version]

8 But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim; 9 and he made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12 Now Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon. So they sat down, one on one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men now arise and compete before us.” 15 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called the Field of Sharp Swords, which is in Gibeon. 17 So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David. 18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 So Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Are you Asahel?” He answered, “I am.” 21 And Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?” 23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still. 24 Joab and Abishai also pursued Abner. And the sun was going down when they came to the hill of Ammah, which is before Giah by the road to the Wilderness of Gibeon. 25 Now the children of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became a unit, and took their stand on top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the latter end? How long will it be then until you tell the people to return from pursuing their brethren?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, unless you had spoken, surely then by morning all the people would have given up pursuing their brethren.” 28 So Joab blew a trumpet; and all the people stood still and did not pursue Israel anymore, nor did they fight anymore. 29 Then Abner and his men went on all that night through the plain, crossed over the Jordan, and went through all Bithron; and they came to Mahanaim. 30 So Joab returned from pursuing Abner. And when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down, of Benjamin and Abner’s men, three hundred and sixty men who died.

  • A divided house
    • After David is crowned King of Judah, General Abner crowns Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, King over Israel in north
      • Judah did not recognize Ishbosheth’s rule
      • Saul’s son will rule for 2 years (a weak king)
    • David had sent to Jabesh Gilead a note of gratitude and implied that he would reward them as their king
    • Abner quickly moves to establish Ishbosheth’s kingdom over Jabesh Gilead by moving his capital to Manhaim across the Jordan River
    • Ishbosheth controls the northern kingdom minus the conquered area held by the Philistines + Jabesh Gilead Gilead
    • Conflict between the 2 kingdoms was inevitable
      • Abner tried to keep Saul’s line going by putting one of Saul’s sons on the throne
      • God had anointed David to take Saul’s place (not many probably knew of this event)
      • Judah had chosen David, but the northern tribes and Jabesh Gilead Gil. remained loyal to Saul’s line
      • Only war would decide who would rule Israel
  • First blood
    • Abner’s forces met Joab’s forces in battle
      • They first watched young soldiers battle each other (killed each other)
      • The battle ensues all day long
    • The battle events favored David and Judah
      • Judah chases Abner’s forces to a hilltop
      • Abner kills Asahel, brother of Joab (Joab will eventually avenge the death of his brother)
      • Abner stops with his troops at the hill
        • He calls out to Joab and asks how long the bloodshed would continue
        • Joab calls back, that had Abner not spoken, they would have pursued Israel throughout the night
      • 20 Judean soldiers died, while 360 Israelites died
  • What now?
    • Several lessons our learned from this conflict
      • The two sides are not likely to settle this peacefully
      • There is no indication that the Lord was consulted
      • Abner is the force behind the throne in the north
        • Abner was obviously loyal to Saul
        • Abner sees Saul’s line as the legitimate ruler of all of Israel
      • The Lord’s favor rests upon David’s forces
    • The status quo is maintained for two years
      • God held the Philistines back from taking advantage of the division in Israel
      • David strengthens his hold in south and bides time
        • God did not give kingdom to David all at once (must be patient in God’s plan)
        • There is a purpose in how God does things
    • Many Bible characters waited for God to fulfill promises: Abraham and Sarah waited for a son, Joseph waited for his visions to come true, Israel waited for deliverance, Hab. waited for God to judge Judah, David waited for vengeance
    • God doesn’t reveal why he acts, but expects faith (Job)

Nov 8, 2020. Philippians 2:12-13

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THE PATH OF THE SAVED.  Philippians 2:12-13. 11/08/20. #8.

Philippians 2:12-13 [New King James Version]

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

  • Not works salvation
    • “Working out your salvation” is not “working to be saved”
      • James 2:14-26  Abraham “being justified by works” is not a contradiction to Rm. 4 where Paul states that Abraham was justified by faith
      • Faith without the works demonstrating faith is both useless to others and questionable in fact
    • Believers who act like the unsaved give reason to question whether their faith is real
      • Saul, Samson, Solomon, Jacob, and even David committed acts that were counter to faith
      • II Corinthians 13:5 Paul eventually questioned the genuineness of the Cor. faith (I Corinthians 3)
    • Even though salvation is not be works, salvation does work
    • Several parables demonstrate confusion in being able to discern by actions if someone is saved or not
      • Parable of the wheat and tares
      • Parable of the 10 virgins
      • Parable of the 4 types of soils
      • Parable of the vine
  • Salvation within should be seen worked out
    • There should be little doubt that we are saved by our speech, attitude, and actions
      • Joseph, Daniel, Noah, Abraham, Paul, John…
      • When speech and acts align it is genuine
    • Paul is stating that salvation should blossom forth into full-fledged discipleship (Colossians 1:28)
    • There is a maturing process for faithful believers
      • What the Lord pours into a believer should come out of a believer in the form of righteous works
      • The exercise of growing in the Word, worshiping God, seeking his will, testifying of Christ, and obedience demonstrates faith within
    • There is no way to tell whether a carnal believer is saved or not (Demus, Diotrephes, Judah, Simon Magnus…)
    • Working out of our salvation covers several aspects
      • II Peter 1:10 faithful living erases doubts (make certain that your election is sure)
      • Be faithful always, even when no one is watching
        • Paul commended the Php. for obedience whether he was present or not
        • Faithfulness is tested in your private life
        • Jesus chastised Pharisees for hypocrisy
        • II Corinthians 11 Paul dealt with many false saints
      • Fear and trembling = without a dreadful reverence for the Lord, there will be no faithfulness (Hebrews 10:31)
      • Seeking the will of the Lord to do his good pleasure
        • The enemy of faith is prideful willfulness
        • The phony believer is an abhorrence to the Lord (Matthew 15:8,9; Revelation 3:14-22)
  • What you truly believe is what you really do
    • If Jesus is the most important aspect of your life, your speech, attitude, and deeds will show it
    • There are several stumbling blocks to effective faithfulness
      • James 1:8 doublemindedness (world + Christ = 0)
      • Matthew 23:12 pride (seeking own will)
      • I Corinthians 3 carnality (seeking pleasure)
      • Proverbs 26:14-16 laziness (lack of motivation and fortitude)
      • Matthew 25:41-46 apathy (lack of caring and desire)
    • Few believers consistently care forth their faith, are diligent in study of Word of God, and are passionate about serving Lord
    • Working out our salvation is our primary calling

Key verse James 2:14-26

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Nov 8, 2020. II Samuel 2:1-7

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DAVID ANOINTED KING. II Samuel 2:1-7. 11/08/20. #3

2 Samuel 2:1-7 [New King James Version]

1 It happened after this that David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up.”  David said, “Where shall I go up?” And He said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And David brought up the men who were with him, every man with his household. So they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, “The men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul.” 5 So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, “You are blessed of the Lord, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. 6 And now may the Lord show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing. 7 Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

  • Now what?
    • After the death of Saul and defeat of Israel, David did not know what to do next
      • A descendent of Saul’s would normally reign
      • David was anointed king, but was now the time
      • No one from Israel had approached David yet
      • David need to move from Ziklag to reenter the political life of Israel
    • David inquired of the Lord as to the next move
      • This was a wise move: as long as we seek and submit to the Lord’s will, we avoid sin and waste
      • When we lose our sense of dependency on the Lord, we are sure to fall into sin
    • God tells David to go back to Judah and settle around Hebron
      • Hebron is 20 miles SW of Jerusalem on the road to Beersheba (one of oldest cities on earth)
      • Hebron is the major city of south Judah
    • David takes all his men and their families with him to Hebron
      • His men have stayed loyal to David through exile
      • Now, David is back in Judah and no longer pursued
  • David takes office
    • With David in Judah, he is where God needs him to be
      • David waits upon Lord and doesn’t try to scheme
      • Many faltered by running ahead of Lord
        • Abraham took Hagar as his concubine
        • Joshua prematurely attacked Ai
        • Paul went to Jerusalem against God’s will
    • The men of Judah came to David to anoint him as king
      • Not wait for Saul’s successor to be crowned
      • David had positioned himself for leadership
        • He had defeated Goliath
        • He had become a renowned warrior
        • He was from the tribe of Judah
        • He had returned to Judah the booty stolen by the Amalekites
      • The kingdom now is split
        • Only under three kings was the kingdom whole:  Saul, David, and Solomon
        • For seven years David would rule over Judah
      • Judah was a separate entity in southern Israel
        • The northern tribes were collectively, Israel
        • Ephraim was the main tribe in the north
  • Gratitude and concord
    • The men of Judah knew of David’s lament for Saul
      • They inform David that the men of Jabesh Gilead respectfully buried Saul and Jonathan’s bodies
      • David shows gratitude to the men of Jabesh Gilead and obvious forgiveness for those who had betrayed him to Saul when David was fleeing for his life
    • David sends a message of gratefulness to the men of Jabesh Gilead
      • He commends and blesses them for their kindness
      • He doesn’t disparage Saul, even though Saul tried to kill David
        • By showing grace to their former king, David endears himself to Jabesh Gilead
        • Securing the east side of Jordan R. will be important in establishing David’s reign
    • Wisdom in leadership demands that respect, honor, and trust be fostered among those under your leadership
    • David shows the finesse needed to build loyalty of subjects

Nov 2, 2020. Ephesians 5:8-14

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THE CHRISTIAN CITIZEN.  Ephesians 5:8-14. FOR NOVEMBER 4th 2020

Ephesians 5:8-14 [New King James Version]

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 Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

  • The Christian in the political arena
    • We don’t stop being Christians at the church door
      • The world wants to limit our faith to our homes and church buildings
      • The world wants to criminalize teaching faith to your children or sharing it at work and in public
    • Several factors concerning the American Christian:
      • For 18 centuries the church was under monarchs
      • Am. believers are under a republic
      • I Corinthians 10:31 believers are to witness in all arenas of life, not just in church assemblies
    • Examples of faithful giving witness in the political arena:
      • Genesis 47 Jacob gave testimony before Pharaoh
      • Exodus 4 Moses rebuked Pharaoh and demanded the release of Israel to worship their God
      • Elijah, Elisha, and Jeremiah all confronted kings
      • Daniel 2 the 3 Hebrews captives refused to obey Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship his idol
      • Daniel 6 Daniel refused to stop worshipping God in his usual manner at the king’s decree
      • Matthew 6. John the Baptist was executed because he rebuked King Herod for stealing his brother’s wife
      • Acts 4 and 5 Peter and John refused to stop witnessing for Christ, even when commanded to do so
      • Acts 7 Stephen was martyred for his witness
      • Acts 12 James was beheaded by Herod for his testimony (Peter was jailed with him)
      • Acts 16 Paul was beaten and jailed by magistrates
      • II Timothy 4:16 Paul stood alone to testify before Nero
    • Believers have been involved in politics from the beginning of faith (Abraham and Melchizedek, Joseph and Pharaoh, Nehemiah, Esther, Peter, Paul…) and none thought it inappropriate
  • Political potpourri
    • Several key principles of the believer and his government
      • Romans 13:1-7 the gov. is designed by God to be his representative to promote good and punish evil
      • In USA, the people determine the government
      • James 4:18 to shun our duty as citizens to promote the good and expose the evil is to be a part of the evil that we allow to go unchallenged (Leviticus 5:1)
      • I Chronicles 12:32 as the men of Issachar did, we need to be informed and understand what to do
    • Most leaders will not be faithful believers, but we need to look for wise, moral, competent leaders to govern
      • Isaiah 1:16-20 promotes justice, integrity, and equity
      • II Chronicles 7:14 one whom God will use for good
      • Exodus 23:8 one who is not looking to enrich self
      • Deuteronomy 1:13 one who is wise and discerning to govern
      • Deuteronomy 27:19 one who doesn’t favor the rich and powerful at the expense of the weak and poor
      • Exodus 21:22-25 one who respects all life
      • Proverbs 24:23-26 one who is compassionate and just
      • Exodus 22:21-24 one who promotes freedom and not oppression (Psalm 119:134; Jeremiah 21:12; Ezekiel 45:9)
  • Questions to ask when voting
    • Which candidates best uphold justice, freedom, and mercy?
    • Which candidate support life, respect, wisdom, and faith?
    • Which candidate shun injustice, corruption, murder, and perversion?

Key verse: Romans 13:1-7

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Nov 1, 2020. II Samuel 1:18-27

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SONG OF THE BOW. II Samuel 2:17-27. 11/1/2020. #2.

II Samuel 1:18-27 [New King James Version]

2 Samuel 1:18-27
New King James Version
18 and he told them to teach the children of Judah the Song of the Bow; indeed it is written in the Book of Jasher:

19 “The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon—
Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

21 “O mountains of Gilboa,
Let there be no dew nor rain upon you,
Nor fields of offerings.
For the shield of the mighty is cast away there!
The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
22 From the blood of the slain,
From the fat of the mighty,
The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
And the sword of Saul did not return empty.

23 “Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives,
And in their death they were not divided;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.

24 “O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury;
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan was slain in your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been very pleasant to me;
Your love to me was wonderful,
Surpassing the love of women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war perished!”

  • David’s gracious tribute
    • David writes a eulogy titled Song of the Bow for Saul and son
      • He commands the song to be taught to children
      • The song is both a lament and a tribute
    • Also written in the Book of Jasher (a lost book)
      • These books were not inspired Scripture
      • The Apocrypha and Pseudopigra are not Scripture
      • 22 lost books are alluded to in the Bible:

Book of the Wars of the Lord  (Num 21:14-15 ), Book of Jasher  (Joshua 10:13 ), Manner of the Kingdom – “ (1 Samuel 10:25 ), Acts of Solomon –  (1 Kings 11:41 ), Chronicles of the Kings of Israel  (1 Kings 14:19 1 Kings 16:14 , 1 Kings 16:20 , 2 Kings 1:18 , 2 Kings 14:28 , Chronicles of the Kings of Judah  (1 Kings 14:29 ), Book of the Kings of Israel –. (2 Chronicles 20:34 2 Chronicles 16:11 , 2 Chronicles 27:7 , 2 Chronicles 32:32 , and etc., Annals of King David – “ (1Chronicles 27:24 )., Book of Nathan the Prophet, Book of Gad the Seer –  (1 Chronicles 29:29 ), History of Nathan the Prophet –  (2 Chronicles 9:29). Prophecy of Ahijah –  (2 Chronicles 9:29, Visions of Iddo the Seer –  (2 Chronicles 9:29 2 Chronicles 9:29, Iddo Genealogies –  (2 Chronicles 12:15 ), Story of the Prophet Iddo –(2 Chronicles 13:22 ), Book of Shemaiah the Prophet – “ (2 Chronicles 12:15 )., Book of Jehu –  (2 Chronicles 20:34 ), Story of the Book of Kings –  (2 Chronicles 24:27 ), Acts of Uziah – (2 Chronicles 26:22, Acts of the Kings of Israel  (2 Chronicles 33:18 ), Sayings of the Seers –  (2 Chronicles 33:19, Laments for Josiah – (2 Chronicles 35:25

  • Even though Saul sought to kill David and Jonathan, killed the priests of God and their families, deceived, lied, and sought information from a medium, David was gracious in his tribute
    • He calls Saul the “beauty of Israel”
    • Saul was the “mighty that had fallen”
      • Saul and Jonathan had slain many before they fell
      • Saul is described as beloved and pleasant
      • Saul was swifter than eagles and strong as a lion
    • David calls upon the women of Israel to weep over Saul
  • David’s lament over Jonathan
    • As gracious as David’s lament over Saul was, his lament over Jonathan was genuine and accurate
    • Jonathan is described as mighty, loyal to his father and Israel, a great warrior (blood-stained shield), brave, a deadly archer, swift as an eagle, strong as a lion, pleasant, and loving to David (a loyal friend)
    • David keenly felt the loss of Jonathan and prestige of Israel
  • David warns the Philistines
    • David warns the Philistines not to gloat or rejoice over the fall of Saul, Jonathan, and Israel.
    • David does not want the news to reach the cities of the Philistines, for daughters of uncircumcised would exalt
    • David calls out for the dew and rain to cease on Mt. Gilboa
      • This is where the Philistines had pushed out the Israelites and had taken over their cities
      • David beseeches God to punish them with drought
  • The aftermath
    • David’s lament is genuine and appropriate
      • Grief is real and the loss is permanent
      • Remembrance honors the deceased and loss
    • David will move on from his grief to further God’s plan
      • Even though we are grieved, we are still responsible to continue to live and serve him
      • David’s grief for Jonathan wouldn’t bring him back David goes on to become king, establish a line that would lead to the Messiah, expand Israel, and defeat the Philistines
    • No setback or tragedy in the life of the faithful is permanent
      • Joel 3 out of the ashes of tragedy, God will build greater things (Haggai 2, John 20, Ephesians 2:4-7)
      • We will meet fellow believers again in Eternity
    • David didn’t lose Jonathan for long = now ever together
    • I Thessalonians 4 we do not grieve as if we have no hope

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