Day 152 – June 1, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 15-16, Psalm 3, 70, 71
David is in hiding, with his son pursuing him to take his thrown, David writes, “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the one who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” (Psalm 3:3–5, TNIV)
David is on the run, yet again. He’s learned along the way the most important of lessons, to always trust in the faithfulness of God. He knows that it is the Lord who sustains him. Even when his life is threatened, and his name is slandered, God sustains.
He will soon write:
“My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.” (Psalm 71:24, TNIV)
David trusts in the deliverance of God.
When we face trials and difficulty, it is encouraging to us to look to the life of David and join with him in his confidence of the Lord God being his shield. We have Christ, our shield, who stands in the way of accusers.
Trust in our deliverer, Jesus Christ!
Day 151 – May 31, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 13-14, Psalm 36
It has been fascinating to read the life of David and his family alongside the Psalms. In today’s reading, we have the terrible story of Amnon and Tamar.
Tamar is raped by Amnon. Amnon then pushes Tamar by pushing her away and shaming her. It is everything we have come to despise culturally in the abusiveness of powerful men, taking advantage of others. Amon plots wickedness in his bed. He is so wicked and evil, truth and love for God is far from him.
Absalom is a righteous man, who exacts justice on Amnon. And there is quite a bit going on to reconcile David and Absalom, and it finally happens at the end of the chapter. A son reunited with his father and greeted with a kiss. It reminds me of Luke 15, and the return of the prodigal son to his father.
It seems pretty clear that David is speaking of Amnon, when he writes in Psalm 36, “In their own eyes they flatter themselves, too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they have ceased to be wise and to do good. Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.”
Nothing would keep Amnon from his sinful course.
We see a lot of evil today. David, felt it deeply and that’s what we read in Psalm 36. We see many who have no fear of God. But David says, “I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked….
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens…For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
In the unfailing love of God, we receive Jesus Christ as the light and life for the world. In the light of Jesus, we see light. Against the backdrop of the wickedness of the world, we have hope in the righteous goodness of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the light in the darkness.
Trust in his unfailing love, in his light, we have light.
Day 150 – May 30, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 10-12, Psalm 51
David commits adultery and tries to cover up the affair by sending Uriah to his death at the front lines of the battle. Uriah dies, and David marries Bathsheba. Despite the cover-up, the truth is known. God sends Nathan with a parable and reveals to David that his sin is known by God. David repents of his sin and seeks the Lord.
Psalm 51 is the crying out of a broken spirit that is fully aware of its sin and the damage its inflicted on others. David offers us the great example of repentance, and a prayer to offer God when we’ve fallen away ourselves. It gives our languishing hearts the words of repentance. Out of the overflow of our repenting heart, Psalm 51 speaks.
There is a lot going on in these chapters, but the most important aspect is the forgiveness of God. David has done something terrible, and yet God forgives.
David is known for being a man after God’s own heart. It wasn’t because he was sinless, but because he repented and turned to the Lord. I know we have all fallen short of God’s glory. When we are aware of our sin, and we turn to God, let us say genuinely, “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.”
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Keep me in your presence.
Day 149 – May 29, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 7-9, Psalm 21
“But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ”” (2 Samuel 7:15–16, TNIV)
“For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.” (Psalm 21:7, TNIV)
David sets to build a house for the Lord. God doesn’t appear to need it, nor desire it, but seems to comply with David’s desire to do so. God’s rhetorical point seems to be, why try to contain me, I’ve gone with you wherever you go? Why isolate me to one spot? But God will honor David’s heart, that appears to be well intended. He looks at the opulence of his dwelling and desires something great for the God who has been faithful to him.
God then shares the covenant promise with David. “Your kingdom will endure forever.” As Christians we hear messianic tones. It’s not that David will live forever, but his throne will endure. In Jesus we know that we have the enduring king, the throne that established forever is none other than Jesus’ throne, who is born in the line of David.
What David says of his throne, is true of Jesus’ “the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High, he will not be shaken.”
In chapter 9, David remembers Mephibosheth. He is the son of his dear friend Jonathan. The story points towards David looking to honor God, as well as honor his dear friend Jonathon. David understands the miraculous work of God in his life, and desires to honor God and Jonathon who helped him. Mephibosheth, lowly and lame, is now seated at the table of the king.
Much like David towards Mephibosheth, Jesus looks to the lowly and lame, and lifts us up and invites us to his table. Jesus’ throne is established forever. King Jesus’ reign is marked by His trust in the Lord, and believes in the unfailing love of God. This kingdom cannot be shaken. He lifts the lowly, and remembers the promises of God.
Day 148 – May 28, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 4-6, Psalm 58
One of the peculiar passages of the Bible is found in 2 Samuel 6. It is the story of Uzzah, who reaches out to stabilize the Ark of the Covenant and dies as a result.
Why does God strike Uzzah dead?
The Ark was designed to be carried on poles. It wasn’t meant for a cart! Proper protocol wasn’t being followed, which caused the Ark to become wobbly, and led to disastrous consequences.
We are in a season of Bible reading that is filled with betrayal and death. There is civil war because of the vacuum of power left by Saul death. Things are not totally settled at all, even when David is implemented as the rightful king. He reigns for forty years, but it is not ever easy.
If you remember, not too long ago, Samuel advised against a king to reign over Israel. (1 Samuel 8:10-22)
Despite Samuel’s warning and laying out the consequences, the people said, “No, give us a king.”
Well here it is, a deviation from God and the consequences are great and many. So much death at the hands of kings and their armies. The Israelites are more like the nations than they realized or intended. The Ark of the Covenant, wobbly on a cart is one instance of a small deviation and its consequences. Comparatively, we get Saul, and now David, and one generation after the next, a deviation from the laws of God. There is one King, and it is to be the Lord.
We are in the opposite trajectory of this as Christians. We seek the Lord Jesus and crown Him as King over our lives.
Day 147 – May 27, 2021
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 1-3, Psalm 141
The death of Saul leaves a power vacuum. It becomes a question of whether or not David will be King or if it will be one of Saul’s offspring. Naturally, in the minds of many, a king is appointed from the royal family. But we know differently. God has appointed and anointed David to be king. David inquires of the Lord, should I go ahead and assume the role of King? The Lord responds, “Yes, its time.”
This is a microcosm of the difference between Saul and David. David inquires of the Lord, and he seeks his counsel.
The tragic nature of 2 Samuel 1-3 is a people who are opposed to seeking the Lord and His will, versus David and his patience to trust in God and His timing.
David had many opportunities to become king, but waited on the Lord and his timing. Despite all of the evil and all of the potential traps for David, he can say confidently, “Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety.”
Seek the Lord and wait patiently on him!
Day 146 – May 26, 2021
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 30-31, Psalm 18
We had a lot of reading today, so I will keep it short and sweet.
“He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.” (Psalm 18:50)
Contrast that statement of faith and praise in God, with the end of 1 Samuel, and the death of Saul.
Saul suffers a humiliating and devastating battle. His sons die in battle, even his armor bearer dies. He falls on his sword, and Saul is dead.
Psalm 18 gets to the heart of David’s success. He trusts in the Lord God Almighty, the Rock of his salvation.
We are wise to look at the characters of the Old Testament and recognize the role pride plays in the demise of people. When they turn their back on God, and trust in themselves, they falter. But God lifts the humble and the righteous.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord.
Day 145 – May 25, 2021
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 27-29, Psalm 57, 31
“Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:23–24)
In our Samuel reading, we get a glimpse of the demise of Saul. The paranoid leader does something mysterious and atypical compared to the rest of his reign. He seeks the Lord for counsel. And he hears nothing, then he summons a medium. And he doesn’t hear an encouraging message!
The proud get paid back in full. Saul who has had little to do with God, and he is getting his payment in full.
David’s Psalms give us wise counsel, to seek the Lord always. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
David says, “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’”
Declare Jesus your Lord today!
Day 144 – May 24, 2021
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 25-26, Psalm 7
David has been busy protecting a landowner’s crop and animals. When it comes time for payment, the landowner refuses. On his way to destroy the estate, Abigail, the landowner’s wife, intercedes before David.
Abigail pleads her case, blesses David and his men.
The landowner still dies, but Abigail is blessed and becomes David’s wife.
In Psalm 7, David says, “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.”
It’s a nice commentary on Abigail. Who sees the wrong her husband has done, and intercedes to protect others in the estate. Putting her own life on the line. God saves this upright woman.
The Lord is your shield, walk in the righteousness of Christ.
Day 143 – May 23, 2021
Scriptures: Psalm 54, 1 Samuel 23-24, Psalm 63
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psalm 54:4)
“You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.” (Psalm 54:7)
David is on the run and in hiding. Saul is vulnerable and ripe for attack.
David chooses mercy or vengeance.
In this act of kindness, Saul sees in David what is to come, “I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.” (1 Samuel 24:20)
David’s kindness helps Saul see David differently. No longer is David the threat that he presumed. He anticipates that David in fact will become King.
David says, “But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.” (Psalm 63:11)
David trusts in the Lord, and he knows that the Lord will sustain him. He lived out of a posture of trust that allowed him the freedom to offer forgiveness and mercy, instead of revenge.
God will honor this and lift him up as king.
Let's forgive and live out of the mercy given us in Jesus Christ.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.