David! How could you do such a thing. What on earth were you thinking? Isn't it just like God to use our mistakes (and those of others) to help us learn? We can learn so many things from this failure of King David:
As you read this account of King David, don't miss the end of verse 23 (chapter 12 of 2 Samuel). You will have to go to your Bible to find it but it's well worth the trip. David knows his dead son is in heaven and one day David will be able to go to his son. Some think it means David knows one day he will die as well. I think it means more than that.
We learned in the last chapter that David wanted to build a place for The Ark of the Covenant which represents God's presence. Even though God said that would be for one of his sons to do; David accumulates masses of riches to be used in the Temple and encourages the people to help.
Oh, and isn't it interesting that God blessed David and Bathsheba's union in spite of the sin? God truly forgave David and allowed Bathsheba to be the mother of the next king, the wisest of all kings, Solomon.
I love The Story...knowing God's upper story is slowly bringing us back to the Garden. And I am so glad that no matter what I do, I can't mess that up.
God bless you!
In the time of the Bible, shepherds were looked down upon. They normally were the lower part of society because of being in the pasture all day and smelling of sheep. They wouldn’t be the first to be chosen for anything, let alone a king. The Israelites wanted a good looking, strong, and mighty king, so God gave them Saul. He seemed to follow God for a short time, but ended up rejecting God, so God rejected him. In our look at God’s grand story, we have been seeing time and time again that God does not do what we think He should do. It’s normally quite the opposite. And so it was, the successor chosen in Saul’s place was not based on appearance or skills, but rather on his heart’s attitude and focus.
This is where teenage, shepherd David comes in. God chooses him as the next king, even though he is a shepherd AND a teenager! God tasked him with leading His nation on earth whose major purpose is to bring people to Him. And how would he do that since it would seem that David was unprepared for what he would face? A few months after being anointed king when he was with his brothers in the battlefield, he heard Goliath mocking God and knew God was calling him to slay the giant. David’s heart was God-focused instead of giant-focused because he mentions Goliath two times and God nine times. He knew the giant was there, but his thoughts were over twice as much on God. He knew that God had saved him in the past from the lion and the bear that attacked his sheep and that God was the great Rescuer that day. That focus led him to confront his giant rather than run away.
Of course the story doesn’t end there. David/shepherd/giant-slayer is called a man after God’s own heart. Why is that? What did he do? This week, we will specifically look at how David was a man after God’s own heart and how we can be people after His heart as well.
Hi Parents! Happy Thanksgiving!
Last week we learned God was not happy with Saul. Though he started good he was not the kind of leader Israel needed. He was too quick to do things his own way rather than following what God wanted him to do. Imagine how life in America would be if our leaders made following God a priority.
David was apparently about 16 when he confronted Goliath. And yet I must say I think he had more faith in God that day than I've had my entire life. Goliath was almost 10 feet tall and had been a warrior most of his life. The Bible tells us David ran toward Goliath as they confronted each other. The Bible also tells us before this "So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him [David] in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power." 1 Samuel 16:13. It is easy for me to think that it was only because of the Spirit that David was able to do what he did. But wait a minute...I have that same Spirit in me. Why am I afraid to do mighty things for God? Is God calling me to do something but it's not getting done because I'm afraid (that I'm not good enough?) (that it is too much for me to do?) (that I don't have time?)(that it IS scary?) Is God calling you to do something?
PLEASE read chapter 11 with your family and talk about it this week. God bless you and please have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? It really seems strange to me. Maybe it’s how it feels earlier this year. Maybe it’s because we are unseasonably warm and have little snow. Or maybe it’s because we see the turmoil that is going on around our nation after this election. Maybe it’s just because there doesn’t seem to be a lot to be thankful for. My guess is that it’s more than all of these things.
This Sunday, instead of looking at thanksgiving like we normally do, we are going to be talking about thankstaking. You know, those things that take away our thankfulness. And there are lots and lots of things that rob us of thankfulness and joy.
In preparation for our worship time, I encourage you to read First Thessalonians chapter 5, verses 16-18. It is a short conclusion to Paul’s letter to Christians who were being persecuted and hurt for what they believe. And he even had the audacity to tell them to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in everything! How can Paul get away with that?! There has to be a reason and that’s what we will look at this Sunday. See you soon.
As a nation, this past week we were given a choice to decide which direction we wanted our country to go. It was a climactic ending to an intense year or two of political battles. Decision-time came and now we must live with our decisions. Thankfully, God’s overarching story of bringing men and women back into fellowship with Him runs undeterred.
After the time of the Judges, the Israelites were left with a moment of decision. Would they keep trusting in their King God who had lead them mightily out of Egypt and into the land of Promise? Or would they rather have an earthly king that they could see and touch and who could go out physically before them into battle? The Israelites made their decision and it was the same as it always had been, just “as they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods.”
And as all decisions have consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad, this one did as well. The Israelites got a physically handsome and mighty king, but they forsook their true King. They had lost the desire to listen to God, clouded by their desire to be just like the other people around them.
That’s why the story of little Samuel stands in such stark contrast. Though he was young, he heard directly from God. And his response – “Speak, for your servant is listening.” He not only was prepared to listen, but was prepared to follow God. In his heart, he decided to follow God, no matter what. The consequence for his decision was that he became a mighty man of God that lead Israel and continually tried to draw them back to their true King.
Israel’s choice had consequences. Our choice, whether good or bad, will as well. God lets us make our own decisions, even if it isn’t His best choice for us. Thankfully, God’s Upper Story continues on. Thankfully, He is able to redeem the unredeemable. As you read this week’s chapter, ask God to give you ears to hear, a heart to comprehend, a mind willing to decide, and feet ready to move.
Poor Hannah, teased mercilessly by the other woman in her husband's life because she was barren. Yet her husband loved her more than the other. But more importantly, God loved her much, much more and had a wonderful plan in store for her. God heard her fervent prayers and blessed her with a boy child. Hannah kept her promise and when the boy was old enough to be weened, she dropped him off with Eli and gave him to God. Samuel grew up with Eli and learned to love God. One day God spoke to Samuel. It had been a while since God had spoken to anyone in Israel so it took some time for Eli to figure out what was happening. Finally, God called a fourth time and Samuel answered and said he was listening. Oh, and Hannah; she went on to have 3 more boy babies and 2 girl babies. God is GOOD!
Do you hear God when he calls? Are you listening?
For the kids under 7th grade we will focus on Hannah, Eli and Samuel this week. The teens may go further with King Saul and his ventures.
God bless you!!!
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.