I am very particular about things. Some say I have OCD, but the doctor said it is only OCD tendencies. When it comes to scents, I like to stick with vanilla and honey or like ocean mists. Typically, the flowery scents attack my nose. Today I asked my daughter to pick out two hand soaps. I did not realize what I was getting myself into by giving her control of the hand soap selection. When I saw what she picked, after we were already home, I cringed at the one bottle. It was a flowery scent.
When I asked her why she selected the flowery hand soap, she said she didn’t look at the scents for the hand soaps. She did not consider scent at all. She selected the hand soap by picking up what was “pretty.” She thought the soap she selected—which she also noted was “special edition” – looked nice. Sadly, the smell leaves more to be desired.
In life, we often make decisions by the looks of things, including our decisions on the people with which we engage. We pass judgment. We turn our noses. We engage with people who look like us. We sometimes avoid people who look a certain way, whether it be due to lack of knowledge, a fear issue, or something else. We read what happened when God’s people wanted a king. They were given a king—King Saul. This man was the one who looked like a king. We later find out that though Saul looked like a king, he certainly was not someone who would lead his people in the right way. But then comes along David. He was a man after God’s own heart. He did not look like a king, but he sure had a heart for God. King David allowed God to do awesome things through him. He continued to keep His eyes fixed on the Lord. Today, be open to how God wants to use you. Be ready to receive anyone God sends your way!
“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” – Acts 13:22 [ESV]
In 1 Samuel 29, we read of Achish telling David that he is “blameless in (his) sight as an angel of God.” Those are some kind words for David. Even so, the Philistines were going off to battle, but they didn’t want David to go with them. They were concerned that he would become an adversary if he accompanied them.
In verse 3, we read, “I have found no fault in (David) to this day” (ESV). Though “the lords do not approve” Achish recognized David as “honest” and “found nothing wrong” (v. 6 ESV). David was a man with a good reputation. He was trusted by those who knew him.
Today consider the words one would say about you. Would people say you are honest? Would people find any fault with you? Would they speak kind words? We are to please God rather than man (Acts 5:29). As we live a life pleasing to God – obeying His Word and following His will, we too will be on the receiving end of kind words. People will take notice as you rebel against the world, as you live differently than what the world says. Stand up for the truth and you will stand firm.
“And Achish answered David and said, ‘I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’” 1 Samuel 29:9 [ESV]
Everyone sins; everyone falls short (Romans 3:23). That’s the bad news. But the good news is that Christ Jesus has built a bridge over the gap that was created by sin. God is holy and He can’t stand sin—sin is anything against God. So as we sin, we are moving ourselves away from God. The blood of Christ was poured out for each one of us to have a way to be righteous (right with God). Only if we believe in Him are we saved from the sin punishment. Even so, we must continue to repent for our sins and recognize our constant need for Jesus Christ.
When David sinned, he recognized that he sinned against God. When Nathan opened his eyes to this sinful act of adultery and murder, David repented. He changed his mind. He said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” He understood that truth and he recognized his need for forgiveness. Nathan revealed to him that God put away the sin.
God has also put away your sin if you believe in His Son. When you believe in Jesus, there is no longer the sin punishment of death. Instead, you are forgiven. You are redeemed. You are justified. Even so, it is important to repent whenever you are convicted of sin. Give it to God immediately. Recognize your need for His forgiveness. Understand He is the only way. Don’t let anything become a stumbling block in your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
“David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.’” – 2 Samuel 12:13 [ESV]
King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites; he was given a command from the Lord. He disobeyed that command and God said, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night (1 Samuel 15:11-12 NIV).
Samuel was greatly disturbed when the Israelites wanted to have a king over them instead of recognizing God as their King. He was upset again when the anointed king would not follow the command of the Lord. He mourned. He went to Ramah and continued to grieve. God asked Samuel how long he would mourn—because there was still more to be done. God was to have him anoint a new king, King David.
There are moments in life when we get stuck in a hole, whether it be the sinking sand of failure or frustration or mourning or comfort (yes comfort), we don’t want to move. We embrace where we are at when God wants us to move forward. God told Samuel to fill up his horn—to get prepared and press onward and accomplish the task at hand. There’s more to be done my friend. Let us keep on keeping on.
“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’” 1 Samuel 16:1 [NIV]
I decided to reward myself with a cool dessert and pulled open the freezer to retrieve the ice cream. I chose the Peanut Butter Swirl kind and started to enjoy one of my favorite ice creams, though it was not a brand I typically eat. After a few bites, my lips started to feel strange. Before I finished my dessert, I realized my lips were swollen. The kids had a good laugh as I had difficulty speaking.
The swelling of my lips was clear evidence of something wrong, likely a nut allergy. Only a few seconds after having the peanut butter touch my lips it was noticeable. That is not always the case with sin though. You might not see the consequences of a sin right away. While you are in the middle of a sin, you might feel good. You might feel great. But whether it is quickly thereafter, or if it is awhile later, there will be consequences. Whether you notice them or not is another story.
When David had eyes for Bathsheba, he knowingly committed adultery. He then scrambled around to find a way to cover up what he did. The truth is you cannot bury a sin so deep that it is never seen. God sees all and the truth eventually comes out. In this case David tried to cover a sin with another sin. He later faced the heartbreak of losing a child because of his actions. Today remember that you might not see consequences for your shortcomings, but there will be consequences. Sometimes they are not faced by you alone but by those around you. Repent. Accept God’s forgiveness. Change your mind and step by step you will change your ways.
“Then David confessed to Nathan, ‘I’ve sinned against GOD.’ Nathan pronounced, ‘Yes, but that’s not the last word. GOD forgives your sin. You won’t die for it. But because of your blasphemous behavior, the son born to you will die.’” – 2 Samuel 12:13-14 [MSG]
David addressed his son Solomon with some important words that we too can claim for ourselves. Solomon was entrusted with the plans to build the Temple, as we are entrusted with the Great Commission. David told Solomon not to be fearful or anxious. He basically said, “Son, don’t get discouraged. God is with you.”
God is with you too! You are not simply given direction and told to walk alone. As David told Solomon, “(God) won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch.” What does this mean? To be left in the lurch means to be left without assistance, without support needed in a difficult situation. To be left in the lurch is when you are left by someone at a particular time when you need them to stay.
Trust me friend, God does not leave you. The Holy Spirit is right with you every step of the way. You are not on this journey alone. The road might be rough, but you are going to make it! Let us finish this race together!!
“David continued to address Solomon: ‘Take charge! Take heart! Don’t be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God. You have all the priests and Levites standing ready to pitch in, and skillful craftsmen and artisans of every kind ready to go to work. Both leaders and people are ready. Just say the word.’”
-1 Chronicles 28:20 [MSG]
There are moments in life when I need to be given a swift kick to get going. Remember Moses making excuses again and again when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt? Well Moses isn’t the only one who knows how to drag feet. I’m sure we all have been there; my toes have scars.
When Israel wanted a king and chose a human over God, Samuel was upset. Then Saul was anointed king and he did not follow in God’s ways. God then told Samuel that Saul would no longer be king, that He would select a man after his own heart to rule His people. We can sit back and see why God wanted a new king anointed and not feel the sadness, the fear, the frustration of Samuel. This was something Samuel never wanted to do the first time, and now he was going to have to do it again. What would Saul do? Why again? And he moped.
God told Samuel to get going. Get going. Get going. Is there something that is keeping you from moving forward? Perhaps God has something waiting for you to start or to finish, but you are dragging your feet. You are making excuses. You are moping. Repeat these words—get going. Get going. God has a great plan. Trust Him and get going.
“GOD addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.’”
-1 Samuel 16:1 [MSG]
David committed an awful sin when he counted the people. The Bible says that he was “replacing trust with statistics.” With taking a census, David was able to see how many people he had at his disposal and he could then put his trust in those great numbers.
We do the same thing all the time. For some of us, we place our trust in financial statistics. Big pay checks that always come every week or bi-weekly is one statistic. A large savings account that will “save us from anything that arises” is another place we put our trust. For some people, we put our trust in the people we have around us—our support group. This could be family, a circle of friends, the church community.
Trust in God first. God above all else. Replacing trust with statistics does not offer security. The circle of friends, the large savings account, the fancy car—it can all be taken away. Because of David’s great sin, replacing trust with statistics, he lost some of those people. You always lose when you trust people and things over God.
“But when it was all done, David was overwhelmed with guilt because he had counted the people, replacing trust with statistics. And David prayed to GOD, ‘I have sinned badly in what I have just done. But now GOD forgive my guilt—I’ve been really stupid.’”
-2 Samuel 24:10 [MSG]