Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sun. Dev - The End of David and the Beginning of Solomon

Read: 1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chron. 1; Ps. 72
Today we have Solomon’s beginning and David’s prayer for his son, Solomon. I have to say that I am stumped by Solomon’s first act. He made peace with Egypt and married Pharoah’s daughter. Solomon’s reign is a picture of the last millennium so maybe it is showing us and even God’s enemies become saved and there is peace. I do know that his marriage to strange wives ends up turning his heart away from the Lord in the end.
Solomon went to Gihon where kings are crowned and had his famous dream. God asked him what he wanted and he chose to have wisdom to rule over his people rather than riches and long life so God gave him all three. He proved his wisdom in his first judgment of the two women. God also gave him “largeness of heart”. David prayed for God to enlarge his heart so he could love God and love others more.
In David’s last Psalm, David prays that Solomon would judge the people with righteousness and the poor with judgement. He prayed that other nations would be subject to Solomon and that his name would endure for ever and that all men would be blessed in him. Everything David prayed came to pass.
Lord, may we be as Solomon and do all that we do through your wisdom and your judgement.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Power of the Word

Read: Ps. 119:1-88
Psalm 119 is the Word by the Hebrew alphabet. I wonder if they had to learn this chapter in their schools as they learn to read. So Aleph (1-8) must stand for the elementary blessings for those that walk according to the Word. Beth (9-16) stands for how the Word cleanses the heart and divides sin from righteousness. In Gimel (17-24) David recognizes his relationship to this world. The only thing that sustains him is God’s Word. In Daleth (25-40), David feels heavy with the sin of this world and prays for truth and retribution.
In He (33-40), David delights in the Word. In Vau (41-48), David prays to be able to proclaim God’s Word to others rightly. David loves God’s Word and meditates upon it. In Zain (49-56), David relies on the Word to keep him from being depressed as he looks at the world around him. We can relate to that. In Cheth (57-64), to keep God’s Word is everything to David. In his worse trials he determines to look to God and be encouraged in His Word. In Teth (65-72), David has learned that God’s rebukes are good and no matter what comes against him, he will keep God’s Word. In Jod (73-80), David prays that God’s Words will sustain him till the end. We can all relate to David in Caph (81-88). He is being stretched and persecuted but doesn’t forget God’s Word.
Lord, may we love your Word as David did and cling to it with all our hearts.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - The Last Enemies

Read: 1 Kings. 1-2; Ps. 37, 71, 94
The rise of Solomon to power is the rise of Jesus to reign in the last days. His adversary was of his own household and an older brother, Adonijah. He is the picture of Satan, the Anti-christ that will raise his head to take the kingdom from Jesus. Adonijah’s name means worshipper which is what Satan was in heaven before he fell. When he can’t have the kingdom, he goes for the bride - Abishag. Satan has always wanted the adoration of the bride of Christ and he has done everything to pervert the church and turn their attention to worshipping him. These last enemies that Solomon must deal with: Joab, Abiathar are pictures of the false prophet and the beast of Revelations who aid the Anti-christ in his efforts to usurp the kingdom.
I have to wonder if Shimei, who was on house arrest for cursing David doesnt’ stand for “death” since death will be the last enemy that Jesus defeats. It was after all these men were killed that Solomon’s kingdom was established and Solomon’s kingdom is a type of the last millennium, the 7th day.
David’s psalms coordinate with what is going on. In Psalm 37 he is encouraging us not to worry when we see the wicked prospering because they will be judged in the end and it will not go well for them. But, the meek will inherit the earth!
Psalm 71 is David’s prayer before he dies. He wants to see his enemies defeated and his kingdom increasing.
In Psalm 94, David seems to be contemplating his life and he knows that God has been his defense and his refuge. He knows that one day, the Lord shall put an end to wickedness.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thur.s’ Devo - Praises to God!

Read: P.s 111-118
I was reminded reading today’s reading that all the Psalms were songs that David sang to the Lord. I thought I would share some of my favorite lines from today’s Psalms.
He hath shown his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. (Psalm 111:6) It reminds me of another scripture in Proverbs 13:22 that says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” The earth is the Lord’s and he has put it there to use for His purposes.
On that same note, Psalm 112 says that wealth and riches shall be in his house. In verse 9, God says that he disperses that wealth to the poor. Verse 7 tells us that if we are trusting in Him we will not be afraid of bad news because our heart is settled in God.
David sings that the poor are lifted out of poverty and exalted to high honor and women who cannot have babies are made to be joyful mothers of children. God is the god of the impossible!
It is hard to read Ps. 115 and not feel blessed and want to respond in praise to God. God is mindful of us and he will bless us!
I love Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Having known several people who have passed on, this is so comforting to read.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalm 118:6)
Lord, truly your merciful kindness is great toward us and your truth endures for ever. Praise Your name!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - We are the temple of the Holy Spirit

Read: 1 Chron 26-29; Ps. 127
We start our reading hearing the names of the eight sons of Obed-edom and it ends with “for the God blessed him”. Remember it was his house that the ark rested for a few months until David came and brought the ark to Jerusalem. Having the presence of God in their house caused God to bless everything in his house. He obviously blessed the womb of his wife because she bore 8 sons that became porters in the Temple.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (Psalm 127:1) This verse says it all.
The treasure of the temple was full of the spoil of the enemy. We don’t think of being blessed by our enemies but we are suppose to be. We are to spoil Satan’s treasury and he has a great riches in his treasury. Remember that Judas Iscarot’s job was to keep the money of Jesus’ ministry.
In chapter 27, we see how many people it took to keep the kingdom going a month…24,000 people! Each month a new group came in and did the work. What a picture of how the church should operate. This way no one took control or burned out. They all knew their job and did it.
David gave to Solomon the plans and the money to build it. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit that God is building in each of us. God has the plans and the funds to fund everything He has called us to do. All we have to do is be strong and of good courage and do it until our lives are finished.
First Chronicles 29:1 reminds us that this temple is not for man but for the Lord. Our lives are not for us or anyone else but for the Lord.
Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - God’s Heart

Read: Ps. 131, 138-139, 143-145
I love David’s humble heart. In Psalm 138:8 it says, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” I have always thought it meant that God would make perfect the things I worry about but in researching the Hebrew I found that it meant a little more than that. It means that God will cause to fail or bring to an end the things that have come up against me by his kindness and rarely by his reproof. It goes along with that scripture that says that by God’s kindness he leads us to repentance. We often want God to come down and right all the wrong, rebuke the sinner and defend our honor but God is on both sides. He loves the sinner and the righteous and his desire is that all come to Him so he chooses to be merciful when we would like him to correct and he chooses to love when we want him to hate. The end of David’s sentence is “thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” David, in his own flesh wants God to defeat all his enemies and give them what they deserve but he knows that God is merciful so he is trying to pray as God would. If think that is why David is called a man after God’s own heart. He starts out in his own anger and always comes to God’s conclusion.
Psalm 139 is an all-time favorite and a great one to memorize. If you ever feel insignificant or alone this is a great one to let you know how precious we are to God and how intricately planned everything about us is.
Lord, may our sons be as grown plants even in their youth and may our daughters be corner stones that are polished and shining your Spirit. May we wait upon You today. Give us Your heart.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Offices in the Temple

Read: 1 Chron. 23-25
Before David died he made Solomon the king so there would be no mistake about his choice. David had promised Bathsheba that her son would be king to pay her back for the sin he did against her and he stayed true to his promise because God is true to his promise no matter how long it takes.
David had a meeting with all his administration which included the leaders of the land and the priests and workers in the Temple. He put 24,000 men in service to build the temple and set 6,000 men over them. Then he set 4,000 Levites as doorkeepers and 4,000 Levites to play the instruments he himself had made to praise God with. Aaron and Moses’ descendants were put over the most holy things which included burning the incense and ministering to the Lord. Aaron had two living sons: Eleazar and Itamar. Eleazar had 16 princes in his family tree and Itamar had eight. These men became the governors of the sanctuary and the house of God. They cast lots to see which month for the next two years they would serve. The list is in chapter 24.
Then David, the worshipper, to set Levites apart to prophesy in song and instruments. They actually made up the song as they sang it according to the spirit inside them. We have penned this as “harp and bowl” since David taught this technique. God wants us to sing fresh songs to Him from our heart.
I think it is interesting that one name on both lists means “talkative”. That makes me feel better!
Lord, thank you for showing us how important it is for us to not only sing songs to You that others have written but to prophesy with our songs what we think You want to do in our lives. Give us songs today to declare Your acts and Your plans. Let us sing Your Word.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Victory Over Our Enemies

Read: Ps. 108-110
David was such a great leader and took his job seriously. He prayed for his nation and the people in it. He was determined to rid his people of their enemies. David’s reign is a picture of the Christian life. We should be getting rid of the enemies in our lives like envy, strife, fear, intimidation, unforgiveness, and pride. David, as our example, always goes to the Lord for help because he realizes the help of man is vain. It is God that triumphs over our enemies.
In Psalm 109, David describes the tactic of the enemy. He hates without a cause, he rewards evil for good, hatred for love. He shows no mercy and persecutes the poor and needy and slays the broken hearted. He loves calling down curses on people and hates to bless them. He only knows how to speak evil. All that he has done will come back on him. David prays that the enemies curses will turn to a blessing. One day every enemy will be put under the feet of Jesus…even death. He will rule out of Jerusalem as a priest forever. Jesus will rid the earth of evil and we will reign with him. This year is the “turn around” year so let’s expect our circumstances to turn around for the good.
Lord, thank you for your great promises. You are the reason we live and it is in You that we trust. Slay our enemies and let us rejoice in Your salvation.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Is it God or Satan?

Read: 2 Sam. 24; 1 Chron. 21-22; Ps. 30
I have never understood this story till now. It says in the first verse of 2 Samuel 24 that God was angry with Israel so he moved David to do something that would bring judgement on the people. I always looked at it as being David’s fault and the poor innocent people died because of his mistake but that was not the case. The people sinned and God wanted to punish them so he used David to do it through. God had given them instructions for numbering the people in Ex. 30:12-14. Everyone numbered was to give an offering to the Lord of half a shekel. This would keep them from having a plague. Obviously, the people or David didn’t know that law but ironically, David chose the plague. David felt like it was all his fault and cried out to the Lord for his people. God relented and stopped the plague right where he wanted so David would buy that piece of land which became the temple mount.
Chronicles is history as seen by the people and written down. To the people and the scribes they attribute David’s numbering to Satan. Satan can do nothing God doesn’t allow him or in this case send him to do. God uses Satan as his instrument just like he uses angels. Satan is totally under God’s authority…remember Job.
We can learn much from this story about God. David chose wisely when he chose to fall under God’s discipline rather than man’s. David chose the quick judgment that wouldn’t last a long time. He chose to fall into God’s hand because he knew His mercies were great. One of David’s great attributes was that he was quick to repent. He also wanted to pay for his own sins and not use his position to get him off the hook.
I also love that David doesn’t wallow in his shame and mistakes but he picks himself up and sets about the next task he is to do which is to prepare everything for the temple his son will build for the Lord. He not only prepares the physical equipment and provision but he tells his men to prepare their hearts and should to seek the Lord in building the temple.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Enter into Rest

Read: Ps. 95, 97-99
Hebrews chapter three quotes Ps. 95: 8-11. Since Genesis, God has spoken of a rest we can enter into. We can have this rest here on earth. The children of Israel could have had it but they refused to enter in to it because of their unbelief. Unbelief keeps us from entering into the peace of God. Rest is when we totally trust that God can handle and will handle whatever comes into our lives. God had proved over and over to the children of Israel that he was more powerful than the gods of Egypt and could meet any need they came up against and still they refused to trust Him. We are the same way. God does some wonderful thing for us and we worry the next time something goes wrong. This life is not suppose to be perfect. It is our training and proving time and should be full of trials that buffet us and prepare us to enter into rest and do great exploits for God.
Psalm 97 gives us a picture of what is going to happen at the end of the ages. The earth will be destroyed by fire and it will tremble and melt like wax. Every false idol will bow and the godly will rejoice. Sometimes it’s good to remember that we will win in the end.
When Jesus does return the heavens and all nature will make a joyful noise. It is making that noise even now if we listen. Psalm 99 tells us that God is above all and those who call out to him will be answered.
Lord, You are holy righteous! Thank you for forgiving our sins and cleansing us to stand as holy people before you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - Jesus On the Cross

Read: 2 Sam 22-23
Second Sam. 22 is repeated again in Psalm 18 word for word. It is a Messianic psalm. This is the picture of Jesus on the cross and what he was going through. I have always wondered what happened to Jesus when it went dark for three hours and God led me to this scripture. As Jesus felt the weight of our sin on him he felt the sorrows of hell swallowing him up. In this distress he called out to the Lord and God was so angry he shook the earth with an earthquake and caused the earth to go dark so he could come down and minister to Jesus on the cross. Whoever said that God deserted Jesus on the cross does not comprehend the nature of God. God is ever-present and promises to never leave us or forsake us. God and Jesus are one so there will never be a separation…ever! God had a war with Satan during that darkness and won! He delivered Jesus’ soul from the enemy and delivered Jesus from death. God gave Jesus strength to endure till the end just like he does for us when we call out to him. Jesus died triumphantly realizing the defeat his death would make on the world. God delivered him from the violent men with a great deliverance. Jesus rose as the King of Kings.
Second Samuel 23 were the last words of David and Jesus. They were both raised up on high and anointed of God. (2 Sam. 23:1) David lists his mighty men which corresponds to Jesus’ mighty gifts to us. The first man, Adino means “sword”. We have been given the sword of the Word. The next is Eliezar which means “the helper” which is the Holy Spirit. The next is Shammah which means “desert”. The desert is a picture of trials. We don’t think of trials as being a gift but James says we are to count them as joy because they make us perfect and complete. But there was one man who was greater than the mighty three and that was Abishai. His name means “father of a gift” he stands for God, himself. He was the captain and will always be Lord of all. All the other men’s names describe God. He is the builder, our maker, loving, gracious, god of rejection, our shade from the heat, hasty to deliver, rich, valiant, stronger than death, the hidden one, our deliverer, for the people, our avenger, established, the cleft in the rock, awake, healer, and a flame. How can we be afraid when God is for us!
Lord, you are more than we can comprehend. Thank you for your encompassing love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - Hope in the Lord

Read: Ps. 5; 38; 41-42
I love how David is the king and yet he calls God his King. David is for the people and especially the people who honor God. He wants them to experience the same joy and fellowship he hads with God. David lived before the age of grace and salvation so he felt the weight of sin. He describes the hopelessness he feels in Psalm 38. In his desperate estate he cries out to the Lord for help. He answers this prayer in Psalm 41. David knows that only the Lord can heal his soul. God is merciful and He will raise our head and put praise on our lips.
Psalm 42 is one of my favorite psalms. David is so hungry for God and even though he is going through the motions every other believer is he knows there is more he can have in God. So David speaks to his own self and he commands his soul to praise God for what he has done in the past. He reminds himself to remember the miracles and answered prayers in his life. In the midst of persecution, David reminds himself to hope in God. God can make his face to shine with joy again.
Psalm 42 is a great lesson on how to lift your spirit up. David continues to speak to himself and command his soul to do the right thing: praise God, hope in God, and reminds himself that God does hear the deep groaning of his heart. We can do the same thing when we feel desperate, forgotten and faithless. We can command our spirit to hope in God.
Lord, we will praise you in the day and You will be our song in the night. We put our hope in You.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - Reestablishing the Kingdom

Read: 2 Sam. 19-21
David’s army risked their lives to get David back his kingdom and all David could do was to mourn for his son, Absalom. Needless to say, the people felt betrayed by David. Joab realized if David didn’t do something to win the people’s heart back, David might lose his kingdom again and Joab would be out of a job. Joab was conniving and self-centered. When David hired his nephew, Amasa to go rally the troops, Joab took it as a threat to his position and chased down Amasa and killed him. Luckily for Joab, David was so vulnerable he was forgiving people right and left and didn’t have the strength to discipline Joab.
Sheba, an adversary rose up against David and tried to win the favor of the people and become king. He was a man of Belial. That is an expression describing a base person who is wicked and godless. He ended up dying by the fate of a prophetess.
There was a famine in Israel which is an indication that God was punishing the nation for something they had done to offend God. When David went to the Lord about it, God showed him that they were being punished because of how Saul had treated the Amorites. The Amorites had aided the children of Israel during their wilderness journey. God had told them to spare the Amorites because of this. Saul in his zeal to rid the land of God’s enemies had killed many of them. David went to the Amorites and asked how he could right that wrong. They told David they wanted seven of Saul’s sons. David spared Mephibosheth and turned the other seven other sons of Saul over to the Amorites who hung them. Then Saul took Saul and Jonathan’s bones from the enemy and had them buried in their family tomb. Because of all this, God healed their land of the famine. Then David and his servants came up against four giants and were able to defeat them. It is amazing what we can do when we do what is right to get back in God’s blessings.
Lord, show us as a nation how to repent and undo the sins our nation and get back into your blessings.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - The Heart of David

Read: Ps. 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64
I wonder if David wrote Ps. 26 while he was contemplating his own son’s anarchy. David washes his hands in innocency and cries for mercy.
In Ps. 40, David has learned that you can’t buy God’s forgiveness and favor with sacrifices. God delights in a person who will simply do what He asks and totally trusts in Him.
Ps. 58 brings up an interesting doctrine. David claims that the wicked are wicked from birth which confirms what Romans 8:29-30 and Ephesians 1:5 and 11 say. We are predestinated. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” That is hard for us to grasp but we are not the potter and the potter decides what kind of vessel he is making.
David proclaims that God will prolong his life which is a comfort since he is running from Absalom who is trying to take it.
Although David is the king he realizes that riches and power is vain if not given by the Lord and even then they can’t be trusted. Power belongs to the Lord. Ps. 62:11
Lord, thank you that the righteous will be glad in the Lord and all the upright in heart shall glory. May we have an upright heart.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - The Love of God

Read: 2 Sam. 16-18
David has fled Jerusalem running from his own son, Absalom when he meets Ziba. Ziba was the servant of Mephibosheth, the cripple. He lies about him and says that Mephibosheth stayed and allied with Absalom so David gave Ziba all of Mephibosheth’s land. David had honored Mephibosheth because he was the only person he could find alive from the house of Saul but apparently there are more. He runs into one of them named Shimei on his flight to safety. This man comes out cursing and throwing stones. David refused to retaliate in fear that God might have sent him to curse him. David was humble when rebuked and didn’t defend himself. What a great lesson to learn. If someone speaks accusations against us, the best recourse is to consider why they are accusing us and let God bring truth out. That is what David did.
Hushai had stayed in Jerusalem to be David’s spy. He ended up detaining Absalom from chasing David right away which gave David and his men a chance to escape and regroup. He was a type of the Holy Spirit who knows everything and is our counselor.
When David and Absalom did meet on the battlefield, David’s men were ready. David had given his men orders not to kill Absalom. Verse 8 of chapter 18 says that the wood devoured more people that day than the sword. Isn’t it true that our circumstances defeat us more than the actual battle. How many marriages are lost by the little circumstances and not the big stuff. It was true of Absalom. He was hung by pride. His pride was in his hair and his hair was stuck in a tree leaving him hanging in the balance. When Joab heard it he went and killed him. He threw him in a pit covered him with stones and blew a trumpet signaling the battle was over and they had won.
When David found out his son was dead he wept and mourned.
It is so hard to think straight when your own kids are involved. David had a heart after God’s so we can see how God feels about us. His mercy and long-suffering is so powerful.
Lord, forgive us when we hurt your heart. Thank you for your mercy and grace.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Rescue Us!

Read: Ps. 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55
David not only had the weight of the nation on his shoulders but the weight of his family. His family struggle would have been eliminated if he had stuck to one wife. No wonder David is constantly needing to encourage himself in the Lord. You wonder if he is talking about his own sons in Ps. 4:2, “O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?”
David is always desperately needing the Lord to help him and in Ps. 28:6 he declares that God has heard and come to his rescue. We tend to give up when God doesn’t answer the moment we call but we have to learn to wait. God will answer and he will deliver us.
In Ps. 55, David seems overwhelmed and surrounded by his fears but he comes to the right conclusion. God will hear and save. When we give God our problems, he will sustain us and we will not be moved because we trust in God.
Lord, thank you for the encouragement of Your Word. Everything will turn out for the good if we will trust in You and follow Your path. We cry out for our nation for you to come and let Your will be done and your Word be exalted once again.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fri.’s Devo The Rise of Absalom

Read: 2 Sam. 13-15
Today’s scripture reads like a reality show. The royal family has major disfunction. Amnon is David’s first born who is a spoiled brat that wants what he wants when he wants it and he wanted Tamar. Tamar was Amon’s sister from another mother. Tamar and Absalom had the same mother, Maacah. Their mother must have been beautiful because they were both notable beauties. Amnon could have gone through the right channels to get Tamar as his wife and all would have been good, but he couldn’t wait. Tamar even told him to just ask her father for her hand and David would give it to him, but Amnon wouldn’t. He raped her then hated her. He lost enduring love and marriage for a moments pleasure that left him empty and in worse shape. His actions proved what was really in his heart. As bad as it seemed for Tamar, I am glad she didn’t have to live with this monster as her husband. It did seem to ruin her deep inside which is so sad.
What Amnon did was terrible and the fact that David did nothing but get mad is also terrible, but what Absalom did was even worse. He acted like everything was fine for two years while he plotted his revenge. I think his actions were deeper than revenging his sister. I think he was trying to eliminate any opposition to his climb to the throne. Amnon was first born which would have naturally given him the throne when David died. This was a good excuse to kill Amonon. Absalom was third in birth order.
Absalom killed Amnon then fled to his grandfather’s home in Geshur. His grandfather was the king there so he stayed in his protection for three years to let his father get over the death of Amnon and hopefully miss him. David did get heal from the death of Amnon and he did miss Absalom. Joab perceived this so he manipulated Absalom’s return. Once Absalom was allowed to return to Jerusalem, David refused to meet with Absalom or see his face for two years. During that time, Absalom won the heart of the people through manipulation and even tricked the people into following him. He proclaimed himself king and forced David to flee his kingdom. Absalom was such a picture of the Anti-christ.
Lord, help us to wait on You and not fall into the trap of manipulation.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thurs.’s Devo - David’s Return

Read: Ps. 32, 51, 86, 122
I may have never committed adultery, or killed someone to cover my sin but I do know the bitter taste of guilt and regret. It will eat you alive if you don’t give it to God. What David did was terrible, but God’s loving kindness and forgiveness knows no bounds. He forgives a lie the same as a murder. We still have to pay the consequences but even those can be sweet when we have a clean conscience before God. David knows this all too well and is repentant. You feel his pain when he talks about his bones actually hurting when his sin was still hidden. It sounds like he had some sleepless sweaty nights of wrestling with his conscience. It followed him all day; his sin was ever before him. He couldn’t escape the sin but he confesses that his sin was against the Lord because it was against His laws and His daughter, Bathsheba and God’s son, Uriah. Only God could cleanse his conscience. David asked God to create a clean heart in him and renew his spirit to God’s. Losing the presence of the Holy Spirit is excruciating to David and should be to us when we know we have grieved him with our actions. David prays for the joy of the Lord to return and give him strength. All God wants from us is a broken and pliable heart.
Lord, help us to be quick to repent and come to You for strength to turn from our weaknesses. Thank you for your lovingkindness and mercy. We desire to walk righteous before You.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - David’s Weak Moment

Read: 2 Sam. 11-12, 1 Chr. 20
Uriah needs a trophy! He was listed in David’s mighty men in 2 Sam 23:39. He refused to go home as long as the ark was not home in Israel. Even when he got drunk, he didn’t forget his mission. He was sold out for the cause. He even carried his own death orders to Joab and never peaked or questioned Joab’s orders.
David was another story. As much as I love David, I hate how he handled this. He didn’t even address Bathsheba to her face or comfort her which shows that he only wanted her for a one-night-stand and he was done with her. Only, he wasn’t. We can think that we get away with things but everything is open and naked before heaven. God might wait a while to confront us or punish us but we will reap what we sow. That is a promise in the Word. The payment is always worse than the offense. One night of pleasure lead to a lifetime with Bathsheba and the guilt of what he had done.
David was a warrior who had decided to rest instead of going to war. If he had gone to war he could have missed this whole scene. We never stop warring against sin. If we do, then we fall just like David did.
Lord help us to weigh our decisions based on Your Word and Your heart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tue.’s Devo - The Sufferings of Jesus

Read: Ps. 65-67, Ps. 69-70
Psalm 65-67 are songs of praise and prayers of blessings on God’s people. I want to concentrate on Psalm 69 because it is such a Messianic Psalm. We can feel what Jesus went through for us as he felt overwhelmed in pain and sorrow. I sometimes forget that Jesus felt the sting of rejection and felt overwhelmed. Verse four is quoted in John 15:25. Jesus knows that his time is running out on earth and he has one last meal with his disciples. He is giving the the plan for the next few days and trying to prepare them for the rest of their lives. Jesus explains to his disciples that he did wonderful signs and wonders and they still hated him. He tries to get them to see that they will be hated to because they are his disciples. Jesus did bear reproach and shame like verse seven says. He became a stranger to his brethren, the Jew and his own family. Mark 3:21 says that his family tried to take him from the crowd saying that Jesus was out of his mind. John 7:15 says that his family didn’t believe him. How painful!
It was the zeal of the house of God that consumed him (John 2:17). Jesus cried and fasted and chose to become poor. Everyone joked about him and judged him in their heart.
Jesus turned to God for comfort for he was the only one who truly knew who he was. Everyone else abandoned him. Mark 14:50 says that all his disciples abandoned him when he challenged the authorities.
When Jesus knew his mission was finished on the cross, they offered him gall and vinegar and he took it to fulfill this Psalm. As soon as he tasted it he cried, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
The eyes of his murderers were darkened as the sky and they could not see. The earth shook and they refused to understand. So their names were blotted out of the book of the living and were not written with the righteous. Those who humble themselves will be exalted. They will see Jesus again and say, Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matt. 23:39
Lord, we thank you for enduring the cross for us. We are so grateful. Help us to proclaim Your praises and Your name today.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Being Offended

Read: 2 Sam. 10, 1 Chr. 19, Ps. 20
Psalm 20 must have been David’s prayer before they went into battle against Hanun. The odds were definitely stacked against them but as David says, “some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” It doesn’t matter how the odds stack up when God is on your side; He tips the scales every time!
Hanun’s father was Nahash which means “serpent”. He had hated Saul and Israel so he liked David since David was an exile and enemy of Saul. David probably should have just minded his own business and not tried to honor the enemy, but in his humaness it seemed like the right thing to do. It brought a great battle but it did bring a great defeat also. He not only won but won the allegiance and servanthood of the Syrians who promised never to help the Ammonites again.
Reaching out to people who are hurting doesn’t always pan out the way we mean it to but if we allow God to fight the battle, it will come out to God’s advantage. I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Hanun since he had just lost his father but his father’s death hadn’t made him soft. He was hard and suspicious and listened to the wrong advice. It is always best to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of listening to the lies in our minds and other people. The devil is always trying to stir up strife and discord but Jesus wants us all to be one and love each other. This is only possible when we choose to not be offended.
Lord, help us to guard our hearts from being offended and to seek the good of others over ourselves.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sun’s Devo - Stand Against the Enemy

Read: Ps. 50, 53, 60, 75
Many of David’s Psalms are prophesies from God to the people to repent and Psalms 50 is one of them. He told them that they thought God was like them but he is setting them straight. Just because God doesn’t immediately punish us for our sins doesn’t mean he doesn’t see them. What comes out of our mouth reveals our heart. When we sincerely praise the Lord it shows that we have things in order in our hearts.
David was a warrior who was always aware of his enemies and he was also aware that his enemies were God’s enemies. His heart was for his nation to acknowledge God and not be enticed by the snares of God’s enemies. He understood the power and excellency of God who was supreme over the world.
If the people worship God, then He protects them but if they go their own way, they are unprotected.
I see Christians in America standing up and setting things right. We have been afraid of the “system” far too long and are taking our authority in Christ and standing against the enemy. Our enemies aren’t people but spirits and unseen powers in the heavenly places that war against God.
I pray discernment and great conviction and unshakable power to rise up in us to stand against the devil and his plans. It is not the end of America! It can be our finest hour.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - Securing the Kingdom

Read: 2 Sam. 8-9. 1 Chron. 18
David secured his kingdom by fighting and defeating the Philistines and one of their five royal cities of Gath. Goliath was from Gath and it was Gath that housed the ark when they stole it from the Israelites. Judgment fell on that city till they put it on an ark and let it find its way home.
Next, David smote Hadarezer which means “honor of the helper”. I wonder if that represents a person who tries to take the honor of what the Holy Spirit does since he is the Helper. The Syrians came to fight with Hadarezer. Syria means “exalted” so they stand for the mighty of the land. David killed so many of them that they became David’s servants and gave him gifts. That is what the enemy is suppose to do for us. Demons should be afraid of us and work for us - subject to us. This world can work for us and bless us. The rest of verse six of 1 Chronicles says that God preserved David wherever he went. The word “preserved” means to be open wide or free, avenge, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe, and get victory! We should have no limits when it comes to doing what God has released us to do. God will fund what he plans. David walked away with shields of gold, enough brass to make his laver for the temple and silver and gold from all the other nations.
David wanted to bless Saul’s family and found one lame man named Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son. David had him brought before him. I love that it was Jonathan’s son he got to bless since David loved Jonathan so much. He brought him into his house and told him he would always eat at his table. What a picture of the redemption of God. Mephibosheth had a son named Micha which means “who is like our God”.
Lord, truly there is no one like You. You take the lowly and set them at your table and feed them. You bless your people with blessings more than we can comprehend. How can we not love such a great and wonderful God!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - Encouragement

Read: Ps. 25, 29, 33, 36, 39
The Psalms are full of promises. God is the answer to everything: wisdom, council, healing, distress, rejection, help, deliverance. There is a verse for anything you face. Some of my favorites in chapter 25 are 25:14, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant.” 25:17, “ The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring me out of my distresses.”
Psalm 29 talks much about God’s voice. In the Hebrew the word “voice” means a bleating as in a sheep, crackling as in a fire, lightness as in lightning, lowing as in a cow, proclamation, singing, thunder, a yell. God speaks in so many different voices. His voice can be quiet or loud but one thing is sure - it will accomplish what it says.
Psalm 33 talks of the earth and all God made. It says that the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord! That is an encouragement when we think there is nothing good about what is going on in it. God’s creation is a reminder to us of how glorious God is; what man had done with the world is a reminder of how sinful man is and in need of a Savior. The end of that Psalm and 36 tells us that it is vain to rely on man’s strength to save us in time of war or famine. Our hope is in the Lord - he will deliver and save us.
Lord we join with David in praying: make us to know our end, and the measure of our days, that we may realize how frail we are and how big You are.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thur.’s Devo - David’s Kingdom

Read: 2 Sam. 7, 1 Chr. 17
I used to feel sorry for David and thought that the Lord was rebuking him by not allowing him to build the Temple but now I understand that it would have messed up God’s picture. David was a type of Jesus living in us. He was the warrior who rid the nation of their enemies. He fought in the name of the Lord. His kingdom is what we are living in right now. David had an unbelievable walk with the Lord and understood intimacy with God. He was a prophet, and a king yet he was humble and loved God with all his heart. We can have that kind of relationship with God and he can help us fight all our enemies.
God told Nathan in verse five in 1 Chronicles and verse six in 2 Samuel that He had always walked in a tent and in a tabernacle which represents our natural bodies. We are the tent and the church is the tabernacle. Now God resides in us but there will be a day in the next millennium where we will have an actual temple of God to worship in. It will be like Solomon’s temple - the new Jerusalem of Revelation 21.
Lord, help us to have a heart after Your heart. Draw us near.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wed.’s Devo - David’s Heart

Read: Ps. 89, 95, 100, 101, 105, 132
The promises for the righteous are abundant in the Bible. It doesn’t make sense to want to be anything but righteous. David lived not only for the day, but he saw into eternity. He realized that there is going to be a judgment day where we will receive rewards according to the life we have lived here. If we live just thinking we are forgiven and it doesn’t matter what we do we are going to be greatly disappointed. We won’t get judged according to our sin but we will be judged according to our destiny. It has been written in a book all we are to do and what we do with that is what we will be judged by. God has given us everything we need to fulfill our calling. All we have to do is hear and obey. David did and he was able to be joyful and tender towards God.
David constantly goes back to what God has done in the past for his people and how they have responded. He wants them to learn from the mistakes of the past and do the right thing.
David sets boundaries for himself. He choses to behave wisely and set no wicked thing before his eyes. He determines that what the wicked do around him will not affect him. He choses his friends well. (Ps. 101)
Another thing I love about David is how he honors the Holy Spirit. He desires to have a house for the presence of the Lord.
Today, we are that house; we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Lord, I pray that we would want to prepare you a holy house for your Spirit to dwell.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tues.’s Devo - The Power of The Psalms

Read: Ps. 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47, 68
David’s revelation of who God is and the future amazes me.
Psalm 1 is a chapter I put to memory years ago and still quote it often. What a promise to those who delight in God’s Word: to have the right fruit at the right season and to prosper in all we do!
In Psalm 2, David has learned that there is no weapon the enemy can make that will prosper against God’s people. In the last verse he talks about God’s Son! How does David know God has a Son except by the Spirit?
Psalm 15, like many of his psalms starts with a question. It is like he is asking the question and God is answering. In this psalm he is asking who can constantly live in God’s presence. The answer is the person who walks in truth, whose actions are righteous, who speaks truth and loves others.
Psalm 22 is the psalm that Jesus quoted from the cross. In Jesus’ day the Psalms weren’t numbered so they were named by their first line. Jesus was not saying God had forsaken him but referring to this Psalm so they would know He was fulfilling it. It is a Messianic Psalm. Verse 16 speaks of them piercing his hands and feet and verse 18 talks about them casting lots for his garments.
Psalm 23 is an all-time favorite!
David asks almost the same question in Ps. 24 that he did in Psalm 15: Who can stand before God? The answer is the same: a person with clean hands and a pure heart. This is actually a feast of trumpets Psalm. It speaks of the gates being opened so the King could come in.
Psalm 47 is another feast of trumpet song. The Lord will come back with a shout and the blast of the trumpet.
Psalm 68 speaks of what happens when God has come and touched the earth and what will happen when Jesus returns. His enemies will be scattered. Everything is moved when the presence of God comes.
Lord, You are the God who gives strength and power to your people. Blessed be Your name!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mon.’s Devo - Bringing up the Ark

Read: 2 Sam. 5:11- 6:23. 1 Chr. 13-16
David has secured the kingdom and the first thing he wants to do is bring back the presence of the Lord. He has it put on a new cart and brings it up with singing and music and praise. Everything is going fine till the ark hits a bumpy place in the road and Uzza puts his hand out to steady it so it won’t fall. Uzza means “strength.” God doesn’t want us to do anything in our own strength, God is more than able to keep his presence from falling down. God instantly kills him and the fear of God falls on everyone. The festive day turns into a funeral and David is so unsure of what to do he just leaves the ark where it is. The closest shelter is the house of Obed-edom so he gets to house the ark for the next three months. God blessed everything Obed did during that time so much that it was noticeable.
It seems to me that chapter 14 should be before chapter 13 because it tells of David’s first few years in the office of being the king. He built a house, took more wives, had more children, fought and defeated the Philistines and became more famous. Then he put a tent in his city for the ark to reside. He realized that the ark had to be carried by priests, not just ordinary men. These priests needed to be sanctified and they needed to carry the ark by poles on their shoulders the way God had set it up. They blew trumpets before the ark to proclaim the entrance of the Lord. David took off his kingly robes and danced in his linen garments. He became a common man before the ark to show his total humility before God. His wife, Saul’s daughter was humiliated by his act and told him so. He put her in her place and she became barren from that time on.
Those who humble themselves will be exalted and those who exalt themselves will be humbled.
Lord, may we never be ashamed to show our love and worship for you.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sun.’s Devo - Learn From the Past

Read: Ps. 106-107
I’m going to start at the end. The last verse of 107 says, “Who is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.” We want to be wise and understand the so let’s observe what these verses are telling us. David is reminiscing over Israel’s past. They didn’t understand God and the wonders He did in Egypt or the many times God was so merciful to them. Their unbelief and lack of faith provoked God time and time again. Their faith would soar when God did something miraculous but would quickly wan when the first thing went wrong. They lusted for things they didn’t have and were ungrateful for the things they did. So God gave them what they wanted and it caused them to become even more spiritually depleted. They were jealous of their spiritual leaders and God had to judge them. If it had not been for Moses, God would have destroyed them. Once they got to the land God had promised them they grumbled and hated the land. They worshiped other gods and if not for the priest, Phinehas, they would have died of a plague. They didn’t destroy the nations in the land so the sins and gods of their enemies became their sins and gods.
Because God is long-suffering and merciful, he forgave them and delivered them when they would cry out to Him.
In Chapter 107, David sends out an appeal to his people to praise God for what He has done. Be thankful and acknowledge that God is good and He is our deliverer so worthy of our praise. He wants them to learn from the past. David reminds them that God leads us to blessings, he satisfies our soul, he saves us out of our trouble, he sends his word and heals us, and he quiets our storms.
Lord, may we remember all the things you have done and your goodness and mercy.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Sat.’s Devo - The Mountain of the Lord

Read: Ps. 133
I had to look at my paper twice to make sure this was all we were suppose to read today, but it is so God must want us to look at this scripture with our spiritual magnifying glasses on. I just got back from a ladies’ retreat and on the way we were delayed by a train. I love to look at the train-graffiti. I used to try to make sense of what the words mean but gave up a long time ago when I realized they usually aren’t words but acronyms or made up words but as I was watching the trains roll by I saw this train that had the word “FOCUS” on it. I started laughing and knew it was a word for me to focus at the retreat. I figured it meant to focus on what the speaker was going to talk about but as I went through the retreat I realized it meant to focus on what the Holy Spirit was doing and on each woman I talked to so I did. I had some amazing conversations and met some amazing women. I got to see verse one play out in a very powerful way. I had only known one lady at the beginning and came home having talked with every lady there. I experienced a drama-free fellowship with sisters in the Lord. It was so full-filling - like oil running down your head! Verse two is referring to when Aaron was anointed a priest.
Verse three mentions Mount Hermon which is the highest of the seven mountains around Jerusalem. It has snow year-round causing plentiful dews which is a stark contrast to the dry land of the rest of the region. Mt. Hermon is Mt. Zion (Duet. 4:48) which is a picture of God’s permanent capital city in heavenly Jerusalem. Hermon means “abrupt” because it is so steep. Some commentators think it it the mount of Transfiguration because it is the “high mountain”. We as Christians are to be like the Mountain of Zion. We should be continuously shining and white. When the world is dry and parched, we should be a well-watered garden, always joyful and near to God.
Zechariah 2:10 says, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10)
Lord, come and dwell in the midst of us.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fri.’s Devo - David is King in Hebron

Read: 2 Sam. 5:1-10, 1 Chr. 11-12
David is finally anointed king! He has waited for this word to be made manifest for years and it is finally here. David is the same age that Jesus was when he began his ministry. But, as soon as David is come to his destiny, the enemy rises up to meet him. The Jebusites (“they shall trample down”) occupy Jerusalem and David wants it for his city. Jerusalem was on a high hill that had such steep embankments that the Jebusites put their blind and lame to guard the gate. In doing this they were making fun of David because they felt so secure in their city even the blind and lame could guard them against David’s men. David was not intimidated in the least and took the city. He make the statement, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” Sounds mean and not compassionate but David was very compassionate towards the lame. He later had Mephibosheth who was lame come and daily eat at his table. So he was only talking about the Jebusite’s blind and lame. As a type of Jesus, David was making a statement about spiritual Jerusalem. No lame or blind will enter that city!
David had three distinguished warriors known as his “three mighty men”. There names meant “people will return”, “God is helper”, and “father of a gift”. What a prophecy for Jerusalem when Jesus sets up his kingdom there. God is already bringing people back to him. He will help them by his gift, the Holy Spirit.
It is also interesting to note that in the list of David’s great warriors, Uriah the Hittite (vs. 41) is mentioned. This is Bathsheba’s husband. David will have him later killed so he can be guiltless of fathering a child with Uriah’s wife.
Our reading ends with “there was joy in Israel”. There is always joy when Jesus is reigning!
Lord, may there be joy in our hearts today.