Have you ever tried to persuade a church or other organization to change some long established practice? Often people who oppose the change will say something like, “We’ve always done it that way.” They believe that because something has worked well in the past they should continue to do it and not change anything. Are they right? Is the fact that something worked well in the past a reason we should keep on doing it and not change it? There was an incident in the life of David that I believe answers that question. Read the rest of this entry
Here is the intorduction to Psalm 18.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.
(David celebrated his deliverance from the hand of his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Even though Saul had often tried to kill him, David apparently didn’t consider him an enemy.)
David begins the psalm by describing past troubles when his life seemed to be in danger. He called to God for help and God rescured him and gave him victory over his enemies. He said that God delivered him because of his righteousness. Read the rest of this entry
John’s gospel records what Jesus taught his disciples at the Last Supper. After he finished he and his disciples left and went to the garden where he would be arrested.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.
There was a brook called the Kidron between the room where the Last Supper was held and the place where Jesus was betrayed. Of course they had to cross it. At first this seems like an unimportant detail, but there is an incident in the Old Testament which shows the significance of going across this brook. Read the rest of this entry
After David had overcome his enemies and become king of Israel, he decided to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.
David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.” All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.
1 Chronicles 13:1-8
But something unexpected happened.
And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.
1 Chronicles 13:9-10
Before his arrest Jesus spent time praying.
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Can a Christian sin after he has been saved? Here is what the Bible says:
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
1 John 3:9
It doesn’t say a Christian will never sin but that he can’t keep on living a life of sin. Someone who professes to be a Christian but lives a life of sin proves that his profession is false. A comparison of two kings, David and Amaziah, shows the difference.
The Bible says nothing about any king named Joseph. The Jews had 23 kings, beginning with Saul and ending with Zedekiah. The ten tribes that broke away had 20 kings, beginning with Jeroboam and ending with Hoshea. Many foreign kings are mentioned by name. None of these kings is named Joseph.
But there is one person in the Bible who had the right to call himself King Joseph.
Our actions always have unintended consequences that we couldn’t possibly have foreseen. King David discovered that after he showed mercy to someone whom most people would have considered his enemy. Read the rest of this entry
Abishai was one of the leaders of David’s army. Second Samuel 23:18,19 says,
Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them and won a name beside the three. He was the most renowned of the thirty and became their commander, but he did not attain to the three. Read the rest of this entry