May 9, 2021. II Kings 4:8-37

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MOTHERS DAY 2021.  5/9/2021. A STAR IN SHUNEM.  II Kings 4:8-37.

II Kings 4:8-37 [New King James Version]

8 Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. 9 And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. 10 Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.” 11 And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. 12 Then he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ ” She answered, “I dwell among my own people.” 14 So he said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 So he said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!” 17 But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. 18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” So he said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” 23 So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” 24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ ” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.” 28 So she said, “Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me’?” 29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30 And the mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So he arose and followed her. 31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, “The child has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. 35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

  1. A woman of a sensitive spirit toward God
    1. She was from Shunem in territory belonging to Issachar (approximately 20 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee)
    1. We do not know her name (God does)
    1. She was both observant and sensitive to the things of God
      1. She sees Elisha pass by frequently on the way to Mt. Carmel or south toward Samaria
      1. She knows that Elisha is a prophet of God
    1. She loves God and wants to do something for his prophet
    1. We know nothing of her husband’s spiritual state
      1. He is much order than she is
      1. He seems to greatly value her
      1. He gives her wide latitude of freedom of action (demonstrates trust and confidence in her)
  2. Faith in action
    1. She decides to invite Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, to dinner (she must persuade Elisha to accept)
    1. She persuades her husband to build Elisha a room on top of the roof for a place to stay when he is traveling by their house
      1. Husband = may be of faith
      1. Building the room would have been an expenditure of time and resources
      1. Elisha would become a frequent house guest
      1. It appears that his love for his wife was such that he rarely refused any of her requests (she was wise, gentle, discerning, and charitable)
    1. All she did for Elisha was by her own will
      1. Elisha never asked for anything
      1. She was looking for ways to support the man of God (God will honor the desire to serve him)
    1. Proverbs 31:10-31 – her motivation is honorable, kind, respectful, and selfless
  3. Elisha shows his gratitude
    1. Elisha tries to find a way to thank the Shunnemite woman
      1. He has Gehazi call her to his room
      1. He asks her what she would desire (speak to the king on her behalf (2 Kn. 8:1-6 she eventually does stand before the king to get her land back, and Gehazi vouches for her)
    1. She wants nothing form Elisha
      1. She is pleased to serve the Lord without expecting anything in return for her charity
      1. She wants no credit for her service
    1. Elisha asks Gehazi what can be done for her
      1. Gehazi tells Elisha that she has no sons
      1. Elisha tells the Shun. that she will have a son
    1. She thinks that Elisha is being cruel
      1. Her husband is too old to sire a son and they have had no children throughout their marriage
      1. She would rather not have a son than false hope
    1. She does conceive and bears a son
      1. After a time her son has a heatstroke and dies
      1. She traces Elisha down at Mt. Carmel
        1. She accuses him of mocking her
        1. A test from the Lord

                f. Elisha prays and lays down over the boy and he is raised

                g. She gave all, expected nothing, and was greatly blessed

Key verse: Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil // All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

May 9, 2021. II Samuel 11:1-17

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ROOFTOP EXPERIENCE.  II Samuel 11:1-17. 05/09/2021.  #21.

2 Samuel 11:1-17 [New King James Version]

1 It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.” 6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 So when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uriah, “Wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 14 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” 16 So it was, while Joab besieged the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 Then the men of the city came out and fought with Joab. And some of the people of the servants of David fell; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

  1. Off Schedule
    1. This narrative begins by telling us that it was spring time when kings go off to battle
      1. David was expected to be with his troops (they expected his leadership and bonding with his men)
      1. David had ordered a campaign against Rabbah and the Ammonites
    1. David decided to remain in Jerusalem while Joab led the army against Rabbah
      1. David was comfortable and overconfident
      1. David no long had to struggle against enemies
    1. David was unaware that there are greater battles than engaging men on the battlefield
      1. The battle against temptation is covert, arising at unexpected times and in unexpected places
      1. When our guards are down, we are vulnerable
  2. Surging hormones overcome hidden holiness
    1. David takes a morning walk on the roof
      1. He sees a lovely woman bathing in her backyard (probably could only be seen from the palace)
      1. Bathsheba thought that she was hidden from all views
    1. David is immediately smitten by her
      1. David could control his list
      1. David could have called for one of his wives
    1. David obviously had not been focusing on the Lord
    1. David inquires about who this woman is
      1. His inquiry tells his servants what is on his mind
      1. The inquiry is the start of his pursuit of her
    1. David is informed that she is Bathsheba, wife of Uriah
      1. I Chronicles 11 Uriah was one of David’s mighty men, who had been with him from the start
      1. Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, captain of David’s guards, and the granddaughter of Ahithophel, David’s chief advisor
    1. David should have backed away from his lust as fast as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife
    1. David calls for Bathsheba and violates her
      1. He fulfills his lust and then sends her home
      1. David believes that the matter is over
      1. David probably rationalized that as king, he could do with his subjects what he desired
  3. Compounded sin
    1. Bathsheba sends word to David that she is pregnant
      1. David devises a cover-up, not considering God
      1. A wider circle of his servants are aware of it
    1. David sends for Uriah off the battlefield
      1. After inquiring of the army’s welfare, David sends Uriah home with gifts of food
      1. Once Uriah lies with his wife, David would be ok
    1. Uriah refused to go home, even when David gets him drunk
      1. Uriah refuses to enjoy his home and wife when his commander and fellow soldiers remain in the field
      1. Uriah’s integrity far outdoes that of David’s
    1. Uriah carries a message to Joab to place Uriah near the wall of the city so he might die (others die with him)
    1. Joab could easily figure out what has transpired
    1. Num. 32:23 your sins will find you out (Gal. 6:7-8)

May 2, 2021. Colossians 3:1-4

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THE BIG IF.  Colossians 3:1-4.  05/02/2021.  #08.

Colossians 3:1-4 [New King James Version]

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

  1. If A, then B
    1. “If” you were raised in Christ…
      1. Paul stated that believers are crucified, buried, and raised with Christ unto eternal life
        1. A spiritual reality (Galatians 3:20)
        1. Believers are raised to a new life
      1. “If” can have 2 meanings here:  (1) “On the condition that” (a contingency)  (2) “Since” you were raised (leaving no doubt that it is true)
    1. Since Paul is listing aspects that demonstrate the results being saved
      1. If we are truly saved, then our perspective should change: instead of seeking earthly things, we desire the things of God
      1. Paul provides a test of the reality of their salvation (the Corinthians failed this test)
    1. A true believer will seek heavenly things
      1. The pursuit of wealth, fame, possessions, and power no longer captivates a redeemed man
      1. One’s heart desires are spiritual things
    1. This does not mean that a believer does not pursue a career or enjoy blessings of the earth (2 Thessalonians 3; I Timothy 6:17)
    1. A born again person is a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17) with new motivations and desires (James 2)
      1. A regenerated life should be able to be seen
      1. II Chronicles 6:14-18 a life of purity, testimony, and service
  2. If A, then not C
    1. Setting our minds on things above entails not setting our minds on the things of the earth (selfish, greedy desires)
    1. To seek the things of Christ involves having a passion and commitment to pursuing spiritual truth (Word and deed)
    1. Professing believers not pursuing Christ are in doubt:
      1. Hebrews 5 believers who stay spiritual infants
      1. I Corinthians 3 believers who hold onto carnality
      1. Matthew 7:21-23 false believers who are unsaved
    1. II Corinthians 13:5-10 Paul is concerned that the Col. conversion may be superficial
      1. He has no personal experience with them
      1. They had questions concerning Christ’s nature, legalism, angel worship, and Christian practices
    1. Philippians 1:21-22 it is best to leave no doubt to yourself and to others that you are saved
    1. Pursing the things above entails 5 basic aspects:
      1. A clear testimony for Jesus Christ
      1. A moral charitable life
      1. A love for the Word of God (Romans 10:17, James 1:22)
      1. Worship of God and repudiation of worldliness
      1. A love for God’s people (John 13:34; Hebrews 10:25)
  3. Death that brings life
    1. Romans 6 believers died with Christ and died to sin
    1. Our lives are then hidden (krupto [i.e., crypt]; kept secret) in Christ (we have no halos or physical indicators on us)
      1.  Isaiah 53:2 the deity of Christ was hidden in a non-descript body (Philippians 2:8)
      1. Ephesians 6:19 hidden in Christ through the mystery of the Gospel
    1. I Corinthians 15:51; I John 3:2 we are not now what we will be
      1. The world can’t see our future glory and status
      1. 1 Thessalonians 4 the justified will be glorified (Romans 8:30)
    1. Paul provides Col. with process, evidence, and results
      1. Receive Christ => ∆ life => eternal glory
      1. The 1st step is necessary for the latter two

Key verse: 2 Corinthians 13:5-10

5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. 7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

May 2, 2021. II Samuel 10:1-18

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May 2, 2021

The Travesty of Fools II Samuel 10:1-18

1 It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.”

So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the people of Ammon. And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?”

Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away. When they told David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from the king of Maacah one thousand men, and from Ish-Tob twelve thousand men. Now when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. Then the people of Ammon came out and put themselves in battle array at the entrance of the gate. And the Syrians of Zoba, Beth Rehob, Ish-Tob, and Maacah were by themselves in the field.

When Joab saw that the battle line was against him before and behind, he chose some of Israel’s best and put them in battle array against the Syrians. 10 And the rest of the people he put under the command of Abishai his brother, that he might set them in battle array against the people of Ammon. 11 Then he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”

13 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near for the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 When the people of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fleeing, they also fled before Abishai, and entered the city. So Joab returned from the people of Ammon and went to Jerusalem.

15 When the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered together. 16 Then Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River, and they came to Helam. And Shobach the commander of Hadadezer’s army went before them. 17 When it was told David, he gathered all Israel, crossed over the Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in battle array against David and fought with him. 18 Then the Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand horsemen of the Syrians, and struck Shobach the commander of their army, who died there.

Apr 25, 2021. Colossians 2:16-23

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FALSE RELIGION.  Colossians 2:16-23.  4/25/2021.  #07.

Colossians 2:16-23 [New King James Version]

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

  1. The false piety of ritual
    1. The Colossians were influenced by a mixture of pagan and Jewish rituals (special offerings, days, observances…)
      1. If one did not follow the proper rituals, he was considered irreverent
      1. Each ritual was considered an act of devotion and a way of gaining special favor with God
      1. The more fervent the devotee, the more spiritual
    1. The Jews had many prescribed rituals (sacrifices, feast days, fasting, Sabbath observances, prohibitions, etc.)
      1. These observances did not make the adherent holy (Amos 5:21-24 “I hate your feast days…”)
      1. I Samuel 15:23 only obedience of the faithful is acceptable by the Lord
    1. Romans 14-15 (Hebrews 6:1-6) Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, doing away with the necessity of feast days, offerings, and rituals (they add no grace or blessing to us)
      1. Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches are full of rituals, icons, mandates, and observances
      1. Religious ritual produces the pride of having done something to earn God’s favor
    1. As with the Pharisees, many more rules are added to list
  2. The shadow yields to the substance
    1. Paul states that all the OT rituals were shadows of reality
      1. No offering or observance could impart grace
      1. All the Levitical law practices were place holders
        1. Shadows of what Christ would do
        1. Anticipated the complete work of Jesus
      1. Once Christ finished his work, the ordinances of the Law were no longer needed
        1. They no longer had any spiritual value
        1. The sign was dropped at the cross
    1. The shadow becomes a hindrance to real spiritual life
      1. By continuing with rituals and observances, the believer misses living by the Spirit (John 4:13-26)
      1. The outward show of religious piety is the pride of self-righteousness (as the Pharisees praying long prayers in the marketplace or giving in the Temple so everyone could see and praise them)
    1. Pretending to humbly do holy things (self-denial, long prayers, harming self, ceremonials, etc.) deceives self
  3. Do not cheat yourself of your own blessings
    1. By holding onto religious traditions, one stays a spiritual infant, not moving on to greater spiritual truth (Hebrews 5)
    1. Spiritual life is in Christ, not festivals, fasting, and fetishes
    1. By caving into traditions, one misses relationship ẅ Lord
    1. Gal. 5:1-6 either live by Law or Christ—not both!
      1. Living by rules is going backwards (infancy)
      1. A checklist of righteous dos and don’ts stunts spiritual growth (keeps one from advancing)
    1. Many believers don’t know how to walk in the Spirit
      1. More comfortable being told what to do
      1. II Peter 3:18 advancing in Bible understanding, the knowledge of God, faith, prayer, worship,
      1. and service frightens many (how do I do this?)
    1. Rm. 8:4 the adventure of biblical discovery, growing in relationship with Christ, and being led by Spirit is the apex
    1. II Timothy 2:5 spiritual growth is intentional; not regimented

Key verse: John 4:13-26 [New King James Version]13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Apr 25, 2021. II Samuel 9

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DAVID’S KINDNESS TO JONATHAN.  II Samuel 9:1-13.  4/25/2021.  #19.

II Samuel 9 [New King James Version]

1 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service!” 3 Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.” 4 So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 6 Now when Mephibosheth[b] the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?” And he answered, “Here is your servant!” 7 So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” 8 Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?” 9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.” “As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at [c]my table like one of the king’s sons.” 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.

  1. David’s complexities
    1. David could be very tender and forgiving one moment, but horrifyingly brutal in another moment
    1. David’s tenderness is seen here with his desire to honor his friend, Jonathan, through kindness to his son
      1. David spared Saul’s life twice
      1. David spared Nabol’s family for Abigail’s sake
      1. David showed kindness to the king of Moab for sheltering his family from Saul’s wrath
      1. David stopped Benaiah from beheading Shimei when Shimei cursed David at Absalom’s rebellion
    1. David could be callously brutal:
      1. He executes the Amalekite who brought him Saul’s crown and signet ring
      1. David executed the slayers of Ishbosheth
      1. David lines up captured men of Moab to execute
      1. David gives to the Gibeonites all 5 of his sister-in-law’s (Merab) sons for execution (the grandsons of Barzillai, sustainer of David’s army)
        1. I Kings 2 David instructs Solomon to be kind to Barzillai’s sons, but David has all five of his son, Adriel, executed
        1. There seems to be a disconnect in David’s reasoning (remember, Merab, was promised to David by Saul)
      1. David cruelly has his faithful servant Uriah killed after he violated his wife (then he acted as if he had done nothing wrong)
      1. On his deathbed David instructs Solomon to execute Joab and Shimei 
  2. Mercy to Mephibosheth
    1. Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, was made lame when his nurse dropped him when he was five years old, while fleeing from the Philistines who had defeated Saul and Jonathan
    1. Now that David was securely on the throne, he wanted to honor his pledge to Jonathan by showing kindness to his family
    1. David calls Ziba, who had served Saul’s house, and asks him if there were any of Jonathan’s descendants left
      1. Ziba tells David of Mephibosheth
      1. David sends for Mephibosheth
    1. Mephibosheth is terrified, fearing execution
      1. David eases Mephibosheth’s fears and informs him that Mephibosheth shall sit at the king’s table for his father’s sake (heritage works in his favor here)
      1. David repays his debt
    1. David commands Ziba and his family to take care of Mephibosheth’s lands and family
  3. Myopia in me
    1. Most of us have severe blind spots
      1. We are complex beings, impacted by sinful nature
      1. Most of us are a mixture of good intent and flawed personality that causes issues (selfishness, neglect, inconsistencies, moodiness, self-deception)
    1. David’s inconsistencies came from 3 areas:  (1) his own nature  (2) acquiring absolute power  (3) no check on his decisions (did not often consult with advisors)
    1. Awareness of our own flaws is key to avoiding missteps

Apr 18, 2021. Luke 17:3-5 and Isaiah 61:1-2

Today we had a special speaker, Dave and Patty Mason from North Carolina, representing Missionaries to the Military. Please enjoy the reposting of the two services on the CSCC YouTube Channel. Please follow this link for today’s bulletin and Missions Update.

Luke 17:3-5 (New King James Version)

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

Isaiah 61:1-2 (New King James Version)

1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

Apr 11, 2021. Colossians 2:11-15

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THE COMPLETE WORK OF CHRIST.  Colossians 2:11-15.  4/11/2021.  #6.

Colossians 2:11-15 [New King James Version]

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

  1. A warped Judaism
    1. Even though Col. was mostly Gentile, it had a large
    1. Jewish population from about 200 BC (Antiochus the Great)
    1. An odd angel worship cult grew up in the city
      1. The angel Michael was given credit for saving the city from a great flood
      1. One of reasons Paul wrote this letter
    1. Along with worshipping the Archangel Michael, the city dragged in other elements of Judaism (circumcision, law keeping, feast days, and rituals)
    1. One of the concerns of Paul was that the Col. would bring into their Christian faith their old practices
    1. There is a tendency to hang onto old traditions when people come to faith
      1. Example: Roman Catholicism added many elements of local religions as they expanded
      1. Family traditions of Sabbath keeping, dress, music, taboos, and holy days often cloud faith
  2. The ultimate circumcision
    1. Two dangers of keeping traditions: (1) often traditions are placed on the level of scripture  (2) hinders both truth and growth in a believer’s life
    1. Old Testament crossover
      1. What transfers over from Judaism to the church?
      1. Two extremes: nothing of OT applies to us today or everything of OT is still valid (Messianic Jews)
    1. What is not valid today from the OT:
      1. None of the ceremonies, rituals, feast days, etc.
      1. Neither Law signs: circumcision (Acts 15) nor Sabbath keeping (Ezekiel 20:11-12)
    1. What is valid today from the OT:
      1. Universal Law (marriage, civil law, human rights)
      1. Moral Law (sanctity of life, honesty, fidelity, justice, exclusive primacy of God, reverence…)
      1. I Corinthians 10:11 the lessons of the OT narratives 
    1. Paul tells the Col. that circumcision is no longer required
      1. Believers are spiritually circumcised through faith in the sacrifice of Christ
      1. Physical circumcision has no spiritual meaning
      1. Circumcision, Sabbath keeping, baptism, offerings, communion, feasts, etc. are all physical symbols of a spiritual reality accomplished in and through Christ entered into by faith
      1. Circumcision = not to be continued as a faith mandate
    1. Paul was concerned they would include it as a Christian practice necessity (GAL. 2:11-21)
  3. Saved by Christ and not by symbols
    1. To make sure that Col. understood the difference between symbols and reality represented by symbols, he uses baptism
      1. When Christ died, we died to sin with him
      1. When Christ was buried we were buried into his baptism (as under the water = in the earth)
      1. When he was raised, we were raised with him (as coming out of the baptism water)
    1. The writ of charges against us have been wiped clean
      1. Our sins are nailed to the cross (gone!)
      1. The reality and not the symbol is 100% effective
    1. Jesus has defeated all spiritual powers against us and paraded them before the father in absolute triumph

Key Verse: Galatians 2:11-21

11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Apr 11, 2021. II Samuel 8:1-18

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DAVID’S CONQUESTS.  II Samuel 8:1-18.  4/11/2021. #18.

2 Samuel 8 [New King James Version]

1 After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them. And David took Metheg Ammah from the hand of the Philistines. 2 Then he defeated Moab. Forcing them down to the ground, he measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought tribute. 3 David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the River Euphrates. 4 David took from him one thousand chariots, seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. Also David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except that he spared enough of them for one hundred chariots. 5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians. 6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought tribute. So the Lord preserved David wherever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 Also from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a large amount of bronze. 9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, 10 then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought with him articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze. 11 King David also dedicated these to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued— 12 from Syria, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt. 14 He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord preserved David wherever he went. 15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the priests; Seraiah was the scribe; 18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief ministers.

  1. A view from the top
    1. The Lord was with David in all he did
      1. David’s success is because the Lord blessed him
      1. David could do nothing on his own
    1. The kingdom of Israel expands to its highest point under
    1. David (never again reaches this zenith)
    1. David conquers all the nations around him
      1. Philistines to the SW – took back all of the land which Saul had lost
      1. Moabites to east (had blocked Israel from entering the Promised Land; had enticed them with harlots)
      1. Zobah to north near Lebanon – conquered all the way to the Euphrates River
      1. Syrians to NE who came to help Zobah (in 2 encounters Israel killed 40,000 Syrians)
      1. Put Ammonites to east, Edom to SE, and Amalekites to SW to tribute and servanthood
  2. Of blood and chains
    1. David made the Moabites lie down in 3 lines
      1. Those in 2 lines he had executed
      1. Those in one line he spared and put them to tribute and servitude
      1. There is no explanation why David executed some
    1. He took 1,000 chariots from Zobah
      1. Demonstrates God’s favor on David
      1. He hamstrings all the horses except for enough to pull 100 chariots (hamstringing or hocking a horse is to cut the sinews in the back of the rear legs so the horse cannot run or pull large loads)
    1. David put military garrisons throughout Syria
      1. Took golden shields and much bronze
      1. Put all these nations to tribute
    1. Toi of Hamath (northern Syria) sent gifts of gold and silver to David to thank him for defeating Syria his enemy
      1. David dedicated these gifts and other booty to the Lord (recognizes that this is God’s victory
      1. David is at his height of power and prestige
  3. A mist on the horizon
    1. David sets up his administration – Joab as general of army, Zadok and Abiathar as priests, scribes, administrators over conquered people, and his sons as executives
    1. Several issues David did not consider:
      1. With all his enemies subdued, he no longer felt that he need to struggle or keep his guard up
      1. Success may breed thankfulness, but it also  breeds pride and self sufficiency
      1. Success tends to lead you to think that you are more skillful than you really are as if your plans, might, and abilities produced the victories
      1. In the midst of tranquility we tend to stop looking for areas of temptation to guard against
      1. A relaxed mind leads to laziness and carelessness
    1. After David’s great victories, which must have taken several years to accomplish, David does not seem to divert his  efforts to other worthwhile endeavors, such as improving the lot of his people, or expanding the nation’s knowledge of God and his ways
    1. It takes an even greater effort to maintain spiritual life than to obtain it to begin with

Apr. 4, 2021. Colossians 2:1-10

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FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH.  Colossians 2:1-10.  04/04/2021. #5.

Colossians 2:1-10 [New King James Version]

1 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

  1. Paul yearns to see the Colossian believers
    1. Paul struggled with not being able to visit believers in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis in person
    1. Paul was concerned about grounding believers in faith
      1. They were knew Christians without instruction (remember = the NT had not yet been written)
      1. Epaphras had planted the church, but since he was also new to faith, could not fully ground them
    1. Since Colossae is a prison letter, Paul could not come
    1. Paul was with them in spirit and wrote to encourage them
    1. Paul and believers were knit together in a bond of love
  2. Assurance of faith
    1. Paul’s main concern was that they would have assurance of their faith
      1. To be well grounded, secure, and able to defend it
      1. Not to be moved from their profession of belief
    1. Paul desired that they come to a full assurance of understanding (fully, unshakably persuaded of their faith)
      1. Not just a hope so belief (wishful desire)
      1. Belief based upon embracing solid evidence
    1. Paul wanted them to understand the knowledge of the
    1. mysteries of God (plan of salvation and our adoption)
    1. Being well grounded involves understanding Word
      1. Since they did not have the Word, Paul was beginning to instruct them in the Word
      1. Romans 10:17 the study of Word increases faith
      1. Luke 24:13-27 – all the Old Testament prophesies concerning Jesus’ Incarnation and atonement for sin had been fulfilled (study of evidence fortifies belief and commitment
    1. The need to continue to reinforce belief continually
  3. Attacks on faith
    1. Paul’s greatest apprehension was that they would be persuaded away from belief because they were immature
    1. 3 areas of attack on faith:
      1. Deceptive persuasive words of worldly or cultish philosophy (sounds good and appealing)
        1. II Corinthians 11:14-15 Satan = a great deceiver
        1. More people believe a lie than the truth
      1. Traditions of men – long held cultural, religious, and philosophical beliefs (the weight of the collective “wisdom” of society) – Galileo dilemma
      1. Principles of this world – worldly wisdom that governs the behavior of men (hedonism, tyranny, greed, caste system, pragmatism, fate, atheism)
    1. Romans 3:4 God is true and every man is a liar (John 8:44)
  4. Absolute assurance of faith
    1. Christ = the embodiment of all the mysteries and treasures of God (by his wisdom, works, ways, resurrection, Word, and by all measurements he proves his full deity)
    1. In his body dwells the FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD
      1. He is fully God in all aspects (substance and essence of being)
      1. John 14:1-6 to believe in Christ is to receive God
  5. Walk in steadfastness of faith in Jesus Christ
    1. Build faith and good order in one’s life
    1. Rooted in faith (salvation, belief, works of faith, prayer)
    1. Built up in faith (Word, prayer, service, practice, walk)
    1. One’s life needs to reflect one’s faith (James 2)

Key Verse: Luke 24:13-27

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.