Wednesday, April 30, 2008


April 30, 2008

Psalms 103:11-13 KJV
(11) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
(12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
(13) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

God has a deep love for us. He is willing to forgive our sins if we ask Him to. He removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (or as one current Christian song puts it, from one nail scared hand to the other).

But he does that, at least by most translations, for those that fear him. Not really a good choice of words as far as I can tell. Fear is something that frightens you. My daughter has a fear of any spider that may be in the house. Like the good dad that I am I take care of them and she loves me for it. I am supposed to be an example of God to her aren't I. So if she loves me, how can she fear me like she fears the spiders? The answer is that she can not.

Fear here would better be translated respect. To give you an example. Fire is wonderful. I can cook with it as well as heat my home. But fire can harm me as well. Burns from flames are painful. Should I fear the fire because it can hurt me? No. I should learn how to use it though. I have to respect what the fire can do as damage as well as how it benefits me.

I also should not fear God. I should have a healthy respect for Him though. And like my daughter who loves me has learned, when I raise my voice a little to get her attention she had better listen. When God raises His voice a little, we need to listen also. Or we may need to fear Him.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 102:1-28, Psalms 103:1-22, Psalms 104:1-35
2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:40 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


April 29, 2008

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV
(13) So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.
(14) He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

It is a reoccurring theme in the Bible. Whom do you seek guidance from. It is an important question. If you seek it from God then all will be well. If you seek it from the world then all will be a problem. That does not mean we can not learn from the world, but if it comes to God or the world, there should be no question whom you seek.

Saul did not seek the Lord. In the end it cost him his life.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Chronicles 7:1-10:14
Psalms 102:1-28, Psalms 103:1-22, Psalms 104:1-35 for a daily reading tool

Monday, April 28, 2008


April 28, 2008

Psalms 92:5-7 ESV
(5) How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!
(6) The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:
(7) that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever;

One thing that puzzles me sometimes are verses like these. They seem to say that man is doomed if he cannot understand God. He will always be that way and there is nothing that he can do to overcome it. After all it says the stupid man cannot understand. So as a person is, he is doomed in a sort of pre-destination that he cannot get out of. What about free will.

Then I have to stop and think. Man and God do not treat wisdom the same way. God looks at our intelligence and what we do with it. It is not what we could do, or might do, it is hat we do. And if that is not something that will continue the work of God is some way, shape or form, it is not intelligent. In that way, some of the most foolish people I know are the smartest.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 81:1-16, Psalms 92:1-15, Psalms 93:1-5
1 Chronicles 7:1-10:14 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, April 27, 2008


April 27, 2008

1 Chronicles 6:1-3 TRC
(1) The sons of Levi: Gerson, Cahath and Merari.
(2) The sons of Cahath: Amram, Izahar, Hebron and Oziel.
(3) The children of Amram: Aaron, Moses and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

Of all of the genealogies in the Bible, the ones that cover the Levites are the most detailed. There was a reason for this. There were God's priests and workers here on earth. They not only had the duty to server God but the privileges that went along with it. They got land and food given to them for the most part.

Isn't it nice that today, we do not have to worry about the lineage of our families. We have been made priests by Jesus Christ when we accepted Jesus. The only one that we need to have in our family is Him. Do you have Him in your family?

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Today 1 Chronicles 6:1-81
Psalms 81:1-16, Psalms 92:1-15, Psalms 93:1-5 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taking Inventory

April 26, 2008

I have worked many jobs in my life. One was a sit down fast-food restaurant. I learned that when you had a rush of customers, that was not the time to prepare for it. The time to prepare for the rush was before it happened. When my other co-workers would be slowing down their work or taking breaks, I would be making sure that the dishes were done and the special needs stuff stocked. That way, when the rush came, I was not needing to worry about how to make it through, I had made plans for it. David in the Psalms learns a similar lesson.

Psalms 73:1-3 Webster
(1) A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
(2) But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.
(3) For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

You see, David did not do an inventory to see where he was and when the rush of emotions hit, he was not able to handle it and almost stumbled. It would be better to take a daily inventory. I try to do something like this as I get ready for sleep each night. Look at who has offended you each day and why they did. Was there something that you did to bring it on, or was it just a bad day for them? Look at what you have done to other people that was wrong and seek out the forgiveness of God. Taking inventory is a good way to see what is going on with your life. It helps you see the trends that are happening in your life before they get to, like David did, the stage where they are about to make you stumble and fall.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 73:1-28, Psalms 77:1-20, Psalms 78:1-72,
1 Chronicles 6:1-81 for a daily reading tool

Friday, April 25, 2008


April 25, 2008

Years ago, Johnny Cash had a hit with a song called 'A Boy Named Sue'. It was about a boy whose dad left home after naming his boy Sue. Of course with a name like that, he fought a lot. The story ends with him finding a dad in a bar, wanting to kill him, but dad explains why and they all have a great time afterwards. He named him Sue because if he wasn't there to help him learn he knew the boy would have to fight to make his way through life. Now today's verse talks about a man with another weird name.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 ASV
(9) And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
(10) And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be not to my sorrow! And God granted him that which he requested.

Jabez, from the Hebrew meaning to grieve; sorrowful. What a name to hang on to a kid. Hey, Sorrowful, come over here. But she bore him in sorrow (for what ever reason, the Word does not tell us), and that is what she named him. Now, before someone tells me I stole this from the Prayer of Jabez book, I have never read it. If I came up with the same thing that is a coincidence, but lets look at what happened when the boy was given that name.

The Word tells us he was more honorable than his brothers. Could it have to do with his name? Was he always having to defend himself, learning to pick and choose which fights were the ones to get involved with and which were not worth it?

The Word also tells us his prayer. He did not want to be sorrowful anymore. He wanted to be able to enjoy life. So he asked God to make his border larger. If you have more land you are more important. He got recognition and away from being sad by doing it the right way. In our lives of instant gratification it is so easy to take our satisfaction in to our own hands. God does not want us to do that. He wants us to turn to Him to get our satisfaction. Let Him be the one to enlarge our borders, to get our satisfaction. With so much to distract us, the Internet, TV, music, etc. this can be hard to do some time.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Chronicles 3:1-5:26
Psalms 73:1-28, Psalms 77:1-20, Psalms 78:1-72, for a daily reading tool

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Better is one day in your house?

April 24, 2008

Psalms 84:10 ESV
(10) For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

A verse we all know, can quote, and even say that we follow. We would rather live in the house of God as a lowest servant then spend time living with the wicked.

Though we say it, do we mean it? Or is it easier to do things that we know are wrong so that we can satisfy our own flesh. No one is perfect, me included. But do we sometimes do what we want in the place of what God wants.

It is not easy to put this verse in to practice. It takes a lot of strength and desire. Try to live it out day by day.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 43:1-5, Psalms 44:1-26, Psalms 45:1-17, Psalms 49:1-20, Psalms 84:1-12, Psalms 85:1-13, Psalms 87:1-7
1 Chronicles 3:1-5:26 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How do you learn

April 23, 2008

I love days like today, trying to write a devotional on something that is just a list of names of people who had kids and what their kids were named. It has a scientific name,genealogy , the study of your family tree. Why does the Bible have so many verses focused on it? I have always approached it through a couple of thoughts.

1) The Hebrew race thought that who you were born from was important. It gave you a pedigree so to speak. If we look at dog shows or race horses, the ones that tend to be champions are the ones that came from champion parents. The Hebrews felt that this was true also and so they put an emphasis on it.

2) God thought each one of those people were important enough to put their names on display for all to see. If He thinks they are important then I should also.

Even so, reading name after name can be boring. When you have to do that some time, look for something important in their. Generally the names do not go on forever with out some interruption. And so:

1 Chronicles 2:7 CEV
(7) Achan, who was a descendant of Zerah and the son of Carmi, caused trouble for Israel, because he kept for himself things that belonged only to the LORD.

What a way to be remembered in a list of people. Here we are reading one name after another and then things stop to point out Achan. If you do not remember Achan, when Joshua led the people to the promised land and he won the battle of Jericho, all spoils were supposed to be given to God. Achan however, chose to take what was to be God's and to keep it for himself. He knew it was wrong and he hid it. It affected things till he confessed his deed, but then they had to kill him.

So now his name is in a list of other names. It is bad enough that they told his story, now they have to rub it in. How cruel. Or is it? You see, if we do not remember history we are bound to repeat it again. This was a way to remember what has gone before. One of the ways I try to teach my children is to try to tell them the mistakes that I have made so they do not have to make them. That is what God is trying to do here. It is like, remember Achan, he did wrong, do not do it.

Learn from the mistakes others make. It is a lot less costly then doing them yourself. You could wind up like Achan and try to steal what belongs to God. Of course he wound up dead.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Chronicles 1:1-2:55
Psalms 43:1-5, Psalms 44:1-26, Psalms 45:1-17, Psalms 49:1-20, Psalms 84:1-12, Psalms 85:1-13, Psalms 87:1-7 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why Am I Here

April 22, 2008

I once made a comment to a person that I knew, that if you wanted to know what a manic-depressive is, all you had to do was to read the Psalms of David. At one point he is at the highest of highs and the next Psalm he is at the lowest of lows, trying to figure out where God is. Now I realize that the Psalms were written over his lifetime and are not necessarily in the order he wrote them. They reflect the ebb and flow of a normal life. Still, the contrast is there and that is why you can turn to Psalms for almost any period of your life and find help.

David was not afraid to ask the big questions when it came to faith either.

Psalms 8:1-9 KJV
(1) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
(2) Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
(4) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
(5) For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
(6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
(7) All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
(8) The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
(9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

When I look up at the heavens I often repeat to myself those words of David. On nights when I can get out in the country away from the city lights and look up at the sky and see the stars, I wonder why I am here. This whole universe was put together so that we who live on this planet earth could exist. And why do I exist in this world? What is the purpose of me being here? What of significance will I leave behind? Why did God give me the control of the earth so that animals have to obey me? I am higher than angels but lower than God. Why?

Those are tall questions. I have no fail-safe answers for them. I do know that I am important to God. If there was no one else that needed, Jesus would have died for me. God must want me to love Him. So since he did so much for me, I must love Him with all my heart. It is not easy. The flesh wants to get in the way too many times. The flesh can be over come.

Ponder why God loves you and created you some time.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 6:1-10, Psalms 8:1-9, Psalms 9:1-20, Psalms 10:1-18, Psalms 14:1-7, Psalms 16:1-11, Psalms 19:1-14, Psalms 21:1-13
1 Chronicles 1:1-2:55 for a daily reading tool

Monday, April 21, 2008

What to do with those who hurt you

April 21, 2008

2 Samuel 2:4-6 CEV
(4) The people of Judah met with David at Hebron and poured olive oil on his head to show that he was their new king. Then they told David, "The people from Jabesh in Gilead buried Saul."
(5) David sent messengers to tell them: The LORD bless you! You were kind enough to bury Saul your ruler,
(6) and I pray that the LORD will be kind and faithful to you. I will be your friend because of what you have done.

We should never gloat in the failures of our enemies. If any one had a right to do it, David was the one. Saul had chased him all over the country. But he made the choice to not only hurt the man who had tried to gain favor with David by saying he had killed Saul (2 Samuel 1) but praised the people who had taken care of Saul's corpse.

When our enemies have a failure of some sort, a good idea may be to take some time to pray for them.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
2 Samuel 1:1-4:12
Psalms 6:1-10, Psalms 8:1-9, Psalms 9:1-20, Psalms 10:1-18, Psalms 14:1-7, Psalms 16:1-11, Psalms 19:1-14, Psalms 21:1-13 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Calling to God From Deep Water

April 20, 2008

Psalms 130:1-2 NET
(1) Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

From the deep water I cry out to you, O LORD.
(2) O Lord, listen to me!
Pay attention to my plea for mercy!

How many of us wait till we have the worst things happen to us in our lives and then cry out to God for help. And then when we do, we wonder if God really heard us at all. We feel like we are drowning and call up from the deep water, only to say God, listen to me, I am in trouble here.

God hears us when we call to him. We do not have to wonder if He does. The Holy Spirit resides in us and carries that message on for us.

Take some time now to get to know Him in a deep satisfying way. Do not wait till you are drowning to call on Him.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 121:1-8, Psalms 123:1-4, Psalms 124:1-8, Psalms 125:1-5, Psalms 128:1-6, Psalms 129:1-8, Psalms 130:1-8
2 Samuel 1:1-4:12 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Who helped you?

April 19, 2008

1 Samuel 30:26-31 YLT
(26) And David cometh in unto Ziklag, and sendeth of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, (saying, `Lo, for you a blessing, of the spoil of the enemies of Jehovah),'
(27) to those in Beth-El, and to those in South Ramoth, and to those in Jattir,
(28) and to those in Aroer, and to those in Siphmoth, and to those in Eshtemoa,
(29) and to those in Rachal, and to those in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those in the cities of the Kenites,
(30) and to those in Hormah, and to those in Chor-Ashan, and to those in Athach,
(31) and to those in Hebron, and to all the places where David had gone up and down, he and his men.

No one person does anything himself. It takes many working together to accomplish something. Often, people will support something and not ever be noticed by the population at large. In cases like that, when someone becomes asuccess it is easy to forget who helped to get them were they are. Not so with David. Even though he was still be hunted down by Saul, and before he had become King, he took time to repay the people who had helped him on his way to where he was when he had some limitedsuccess.

Take some time to reflect today to look back at those who helped you to be just who you are. If some of those people are still alive, why not drop them a word of thanks. It will make them feel so much better (and you also).

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 28:1-31:13, Psalms 18:1-50
Psalms 121:1-8, Psalms 123:1-4, Psalms 124:1-8, Psalms 125:1-5, Psalms 128:1-6, Psalms 129:1-8, Psalms 130:1-8 for a daily reading tool

Friday, April 18, 2008

Better than life

April 18, 2008

Have you ever been so deeply in prayer that you felt God's love surround you and immerse you in to a feeling of love so strong you could faint. It is a unique thing when it happens. I have felt it twice that I know of. David experienced it also and his words are so much better than mine.

Psalms 63:3-4 NET
(3) Because experiencing your loyal love is better than life itself,
my lips will praise you.
(4) For this reason I will praise you while I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

It is a feeling that I would like to experience again. I do not need to live there, just visit it from time to time. Life can get you down with worry about bills and family, sickness and work. But that love of God is there and it is true. If I never experience it again, I do know one thing. Because I have experienced it I will keep on praising God. The love He gives me is better than any thing that this life can give me.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 17:1-15, Psalms 35:1-28, Psalms 54:1-7, Psalms 63:1-11
1 Samuel 28:1-31:13, Psalms 18:1-50 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, April 17, 2008


April 17, 2008

1 Samuel 25:33-34 GNB
(33) Thank God for your good sense and for what you have done today in keeping me from the crime of murder and from taking my own revenge.
(34) The LORD has kept me from harming you. But I swear by the living God of Israel that if you had not hurried to meet me, all of Nabal's men would have been dead by morning!"

If we listen to the Lord, He will guide us. The trick is often to know who is speaking for the Lord in our day to day conversations with people.

David and his men had been on the run from Saul. They had protected the sheepherders of a man named Nabal, which by the way translates fool, an apt name for him. When it came time to sheer the sheep, David sent men to request some food as a return favor. Seems like the fool did a foolish thing and told them to get out of sight, he did not owe David anything. Well, those were fighting words, and David saddled up the horse and rode to meet Nabal.

Nabal had a wise wife. She ran out to meet David with the food that he had requested and pleaded for her husband and the people who worked for him. That is where today's verses come from. David saw that there was wisdom in what she was saying. Nabal had not done anything worthy of killing him, David was just angry. She had stopped him from following things through. David had been stopped from doing a sin of taking a life.

If the story stopped there it would be a good lesson. But it does not. The next day when the wife returns to Nabal and he is not drunk, she tells him what she has done. From the description of things, he had a heart attack and dies three days later.

In the end Nabal got what was coming to him. It was not David's job to do it thought.

How often to we take the punishment of those around us into our own hands. Be it a person we know, a neighbor, coworker, or even a spouse there is some thing in us that wants to see them punished. When we do not see God doing it we want to take it into our own hands. Learn like David did, not to punish someone for their errors. In the end they hurt you and God and God will see it through in His time.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 25:1-27:12
Psalms 17:1-15, Psalms 35:1-28, Psalms 54:1-7, Psalms 63:1-11 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Enemies Retreat

April 16, 2008

Psalms 56:9 CEV
(9) When I pray, LORD God, my enemies will retreat, because I know for certain that you are with me.

Are you certain that God is with you? If you are then enemies will have to retreat. Both spiritual and physical. They may not realize it but they will have to.

A few months ago we had some problems with some neighbors. They seemed to think that we were some of the less desirable people in the neighborhood. I refused to get into a confrontation with them and taught my children that the Bible teaches us to pray for them. Then I trusted in the Lord. Last week the lease on their rental home was up and they could not renew it. Now they have had to move.

Now many would say that is coincidence. I guess I could to. But the one retreating from my neighborhood is not me, and that says something about the power of God to me.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 56:1-13, Psalms 120:1-7, Psalms 140:1-13, Psalms 141:1-10, Psalms 142:1-7
1 Samuel 25:1-27:12 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


April 15, 2008

Psalms 34:8 KJV
(8) O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

I started looking at this verse recently, to break down the parts from the Hebrew words. Taste is interesting. It really means, according to Strongs concordance, to perceive. I guess if you put something in your mouth you will perceive what it is made of. Perhaps it was translated that way because they wanted to know how much you will perceive, that you will become one with it and it nourishes you.

Blessed is really 'how happy.' We as Christians should get a deep taste of God and then be happy with that knowledge.

The one that caught my eye though was the man. The Hebrew word is: geber. It means, according to Strongs: properly a valiant man or warrior; generally a person simply.

While we could use the general term of a man, look at what the word means in particular. A warrior. Each day we go out to face the enemy. I know each day that I myself have to fight self-doubt that Satan tries to put on to me. I must fight a war with him, be a warrior. I am sure that each of you has something that Satan tried to come and attack you on. Good news, we are warriors, but we can be happy if we trust, or confide as it means, in God. When we as fighters that we are confide in God all of our weaknesses, our problems, our life, he can bless us.

Taste and see the Lord is Good.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Psalms 7:1-17, Psalms 27:1-14, Psalms 31:1-24, Psalms 34:1-22, Psalms 52:1-9
Psalms 56:1-13, Psalms 120:1-7, Psalms 140:1-13, Psalms 141:1-10, Psalms 142:1-7 for a daily reading tool

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grace with dignity

April 14, 2008

Saul has been pursuing David to kill him. He takes a few moments to go to the bathroom in a cave that he thinks is empty. David and his men are in it. They all say that David should kill Saul and take over the kingdom. David refuses and instead, goes up to the king quietly and cuts off a piece of his robe, saying he should not harm the king, God's anointed, and in fact, he feels bad in doing what he did. When Saul leaves David calls to him and shows that he had been merciful to Saul. Saul realizes the error of his ways and then:

1 Samuel 24:20-22 KJV
(20) And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
(21) Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.
(22) And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

David did not have to show so much graciousness. I am not sure that I would have done the same if I had been him. The promise that he made to the king, one that someone could say was made under stress and would not have to followed through on, was done. There was one son of Saul left and he went to become a guest at King Davids table.

From this we need to learn to be gracious to our enemies. There is nothing they can do to harm us unless God lets them. Saul could have sent the troops to get David, he did not. Show your enemy grace and see what happens to you.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 21:1-24:22
Psalms 7:1-17, Psalms 27:1-14, Psalms 31:1-24, Psalms 34:1-22, Psalms 52:1-9 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, April 13, 2008


April 13, 2008

1 Samuel 18:3-4 UPDV
(3) Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
(4) And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, and his apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his belt.

David and Jonathan made a covenant. The word does not mean much now. It was a powerful thing back in Bible times. If you made a covenant with a person, or a country or tribe with another one, than it meant that what ever was theirs, was yours, and whatever was yours was theirs. It meant if someone was attacking you, they were attacking them as well. All resources they had could be used to defend you. It would only make sense that you would covenant with people close to you in strength. You would not want to be like the weak kid with the bully friend and you be the bully. You got nothing out of it and they got everything.

And so we look at David and Jonathan. David, conscripted in to King Saul's army. Though he had done fairly well in the military, he was still a slave. He came from a fairly poor family when compared to Jonathan, son of the King. What does Jonathan get out of this. Other than David's friendship and a promise to take care of Jonathan's descendants ,, he really does not get anything. In fact, if his father knew what he was doing, it would make him mad. Saul knew the people wanted David for their King. Saul wanted to murder David.

You know there is a God of this world. His name is Satan. He wants to kill you much as Saul wanted to kill David. Then there is a God who loves us so much He sent His son to take our sins. When we enter in to an acceptance of Him as our savior, there is a covenant that takes place. When we go to battle with our enemies, the Devil see God not us. We take on His strengths not ours. God and Jesus get nothing in compared to what they have done for us, much like Jonathan and David.

If you have not taken time to enter into a covenant relationship with God, take some time to email me, or find a Bible believing church and talk to them about it. Wouldn't you like to have God on your side.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 18:1-20:42, Psalms 11:1-7, Psalms 59:1-17
1 Samuel 21:1-24:22 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Caring for the sheep

April 12, 2008

1 Samuel 17:17-20 KJV
(17) And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;
(18) And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge.
(19) Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
(20) And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.

David was in training for kingdom duties long before he took the throne. He would become a man that was skilled in war because he cared for his sheep and protected them from lions, bears and other predators. While war is a part of being a king, so is peace. He would learn to meditate on God's words while alone.

One of the most important parts of being a leader though is making sure that the ones you lead are protected. If you will notice in verse 20, David does not rise up and go to his brothers just the way his dad tells him to. He stops and makes sure that the sheep are protected. It was not that he did not do as his father told him to do, he realized that he had been given those sheep to protect. Could his father have done this job? Yes, and most likely he had already planned it. David was not satisfied with most likely however. He wanted to be sure.

God has given tasks to you to take care of. Some things you may need to pass on to others. Before you hand off what God has given you to care for to someone else, make sure they can run with the vision that you have had and that you are of a like mind.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 15:1-17:58
1 Samuel 18:1-20:42, Psalms 11:1-7, Psalms 59:1-17 for a daily reading tool

Friday, April 11, 2008

Plan B

April 11, 2008

Samuel was the one chosen by God to be king over Israel. He had a choice to follow the rules or not follow them. God had made it clear which one He preferred . Yet somehow, even though he had been given the answer, Samuel flunked the test. All he had to do was do what God said in his laws. He did not and then when Saul finds out:

1 Samuel 13:13-14 ESV
(13) And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
(14) But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

This was not the first time that Saul failed I am pretty sure, but it was not the last. Saul would fail again and it would be even more dramatic when it happened.

But notice that God has already set in to motion Plan B. God always has a Plan B. Why? Because we as humans have a choice to follow Him or not. When you choose to follow Him there is no need for Plan B. Now I would rather be God's Plan A, but I can handle being Plan B (or C, D, E, F, etc.). What I never want to be is Plan R because that would mean to me that I rejected God's plan.

God's plans for your life are not always easy. They are always the best however. Be a person after God's own heart.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 13:1-14:52
1 Samuel 15:1-17:58 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Asking for a King

April 10, 2008

The people of Israel had sinned. They wanted a King. Samuel, their judge at the time did not want to do it but God told him to go ahead. Saul gets anointed as king so they will be happy. But Samuel still has an object lesson to teach them. It is time for the harvest...

1 Samuel 12:17-22 GNB
(17) It's the dry season, isn't it? But I will pray, and the LORD will send thunder and rain. When this happens, you will realize that you committed a great sin against the LORD when you asked him for a king."
(18) So Samuel prayed, and on that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. Then all the people became afraid of the LORD and of Samuel,
(19) and they said to Samuel, "Please, sir, pray to the LORD your God for us, so that we won't die. We now realize that, besides all our other sins, we have sinned by asking for a king."
(20) "Don't be afraid," Samuel answered. "Even though you have done such an evil thing, do not turn away from the LORD, but serve him with all your heart.
(21) Don't go after false gods; they cannot help you or save you, for they are not real.
(22) The LORD has made a solemn promise, and he will not abandon you, for he has decided to make you his own people.

Even though they had sinned, they only had to ask for forgiveness and they would get it. They still had to live with the consequence of their sin, but God forgave them.

In our lives, the same things happen. We knowingly sin and God patiently waits for us to ask for forgiveness. When we do ask, we receive it. We have to live with the problems of those sins, but Gos still loves us and forgives us.

Examine your life, look for the sins you may do each day. Ask for forgiveness of them and move into a better life with God.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 9:1-12:25
1 Samuel 13:1-14:52 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

God does not need our help

April 9, 2008

Did you know that God does not really need our help to do things. Sometimes we just get in the way. God does let us do things so that we can help, but He can do a lot of it Himself.

In our verses today, Eli and his two sons have let the Ark of the Covenant, the place that God symbolically lives, go to war. God did not ask to go there they just did it. Of course, the ark get captured by the Philistines, and Israel is defeated by the war. The Philistines take our 'weak' God and put it in the house of their god Dagon, since he obviously helped them and is a stronger god.

1 Samuel 5:1-4 BBE
(1) Now the Philistines, having taken the ark of God, took it with them from Eben-ezer to Ashdod.
(2) They took the ark of God into the house of Dagon and put it by the side of Dagon.
(3) And when the people of Ashdod got up early on the morning after, they saw that Dagon had come down to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon up and put him in his place again.
(4) And when they got up early on the morning after, Dagon had come down to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord; and his head and his hands were broken off on the doorstep; only the base was in its place.

God clearly shows His power here. He does not need any Israelite to do any thing. In fact, because of the dis-respect He starts to put disease on the people and rats to destroy their crops. Not only has their god been made to look like a fool, they are getting sick. Isn't clear who the stronger God is now. And God did not need the help of anyone to do it.

Often in my own life, I feel like God has abandoned me. He is nowhere to be found in the circle of things that I am trying to do in my life. If I would just get out of the way of trying to do things for Him (my way I might add), then I might be able to see that He is in the enemy camp, taking out the problems from the other end.

God, I ask you to help us all to see when you are at work in ways that help us that we might not be able to understand. To see the good in the situations, to know when to put our hand to the work and when to take it away. In Jesus name... Amen

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 4:1-8:22
1 Samuel 9:1-12:25 for a daily reading tool

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tough Love

April 8, 2008

In our journey through the Bible we move on to the life of Samuel and the priest he assisted, Eli. Samuel was the last of the judges. After him, Israel gets the king that the people cry out for. Eli was in the line of priests who became high priests. Eli had a problem that many have today. His kids just did not live right. He raised them up in the business, but they were a problem.

1 Samuel 2:22-25 BBE
(22) Now Eli was very old; and he had news from time to time of what his sons were doing to all Israel.
(23) And he said to them, Why are you doing such things? for from all this people I get accounts of your evil ways.
(24) No, my sons, the account which is given me, which the Lord's people are sending about, is not good.
(25) If one man does wrong to another, God will be his judge: but if a man's sin is against the Lord, who will take up his cause? But they gave no attention to the voice of their father, for it was the Lord's purpose to send destruction on them.

Now notice that Eli heard about what his sons were doing. Where was he? I know he was old, but he still had the responsibility to find out what his children were up to. If they were not living for God then he should have removed them from their priestly position. He was still the high priest.

But all we hear from him is talk. Talk does no good, actions do. I can talk all I want about how I may give you a million dollars, but until you see it in your hands it is just that, talk. Eli needed to do what some call 'tough love'. Tell the boys to ship up or ship out. He will not do that however.

In the end, the priestly line will end with them and they will have to back up to another relative to continue it. Eli dies a miserable death and Samuel comes out as the good guy and he is not even a priest.

Discipline for children is good. Not doing it can cause a slew of problems.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
1 Samuel 1:1-3:21
1 Samuel 4:1-8:22 for a daily reading tool

Monday, April 7, 2008

What about our choices?

April 7, 2008

We all have choices that we have to make in life. Most of them are not going to influence a lot in the daily scheme of things. Does it really matter what color socks I wear? Or what color car I buy? But some of them do make a difference in life.

Meet Boaz. In the book of Ruth he is the 2nd closest relative to the person the book is named after. Ruth is from Moab. A sworn enemy of the people of Israel. Yet we find an Israelite family moving there, father, wife and two sons. The sons take wives while inMoab , but they and their father die. Mom, whose name is Naomi, starts to return home, bitter and defeated. One daughter in law leaves, but Ruth returns home with Naomi, swearing allegiance to the God of Israel. In all of this, and the care of Naomi afterwards, she has shown herself to be a virtuous woman, one that would be good for any husband.

Boaz sees this in Ruth. As the custom of the day is, since he has no children, the closest relative is supposed to marry her and the first male child she has will be as if they were from the first husband. Boaz see a good thing and that does not bother him. But he does not have the right to take her as wife as long as there is someone closer.

Boaz goes to town, finds the closer relative and says that Naomi has a piece of land for sale. As we are relatives we have the right to buy it first, you are closer, do you want it. Seeing it as a good acquisition to his current land holdings he thinks it is a good deal saying yes, I will take it.

Oh, by the way, before you can buy the land, you have to marry Ruth, Naomi's daughter in law from Moab. Do you still want the land?

Ruth 4:6 KJVR
(6) And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

Wow, he takes the love of a good woman and throws it away because he does not want to share what he has to give his kids with another woman. Choices do have consequences. He may not have gotten the land, but he also is never named in the Bible. Ruth however goes on to be an important person in the Bible. Not just because this book tells her story.

Ruth 4:18-22 KJVR
(18) Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begot Hezron,
(19) And Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab,
(20) And Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon,
(21) And Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed,
(22) And Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.

You see, Ruth married Boaz, they had a child named Obed. He had a child named Jesse, and Jesse had a child who became King David. Eventually you can follow that bloodline down to Mary, and then Jesus. If it were not for a woman despised for her nationality and rejected because a man did not want to share what he owned, we would not have David, or Jesus on the earth.

When you reject something, what do you really reject? There is a cost involved in all decisions.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Ruth 1:1-4:22
1 Samuel 1:1-3:21 for a daily reading tool

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Delaying what you know to do.

April 6, 2008

Judges 19 (MKJV)

7 And when the man rose up to leave, his father-in-law urged him, and he stayed there again.

8 And he rose early in the morning on the fifth day to leave. And the girl's father said, Please comfort your heart. And they stayed till afternoon, and both of them ate.

9 And when the man rose up to leave, he and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the girl's father said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening. Please stay all night. Behold, the day grows to an end. Stay here so that your heart may be merry. And tomorrow go early on your way, so that you may go to your tent.

When you delay doing what you know to do is right, bad things are going to happen. The story here ends in a disaster. The man and his wife get delayed in their journey and she winds up dead. All the people of Israel came together and destroyed the offenders. All that is except the tribe of Benjamen. They were the ones that caused the trouble with the wife in the first place. From that they almost get their tribe wiped out.

When you know that you are supposed to do something' do it. Otherwise a whole sling of problems can result.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Today Judges 16:1-18:31
Ruth 1:1-4:22 for a daily reading tool

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What does it mean to have no king?

April 5, 2008

Judges 17:6 UPDV
(6) In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

What does it mean to have no king? In our world today, especially in the United States, it does not seem to make a lot of sense. What if I was to say they had no mayor or city council. Here in the United States we might even say they had no governor or president. The king was the one responsible for making the laws. Others may enforce them, but he made them or approved of what others brought to them. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had no laws? If we had no laws we could drive any way we wanted and if we had an accident we could claim it was the other persons fault since they did not do what I wanted them to do. Or worse, we could kill innocent lives any time we wanted because they were inconvenient to us.

Israel however did have a king. Yes I know it says that they did not, but it was that they did not have a physical king. God was their king but they could not see Him. So they all just did what ever it was they wanted to do. Isn't it great that we have laws and people to rule us? We don't just do what we want and kill people innocently do we? Or do we. We as a nation and a world have lost track of the God who created us. We throw around laws that are good for most of the people but then we decide what is OK to do and what is not. Since a newly formed baby in the mother's womb is not a life we can terminate it's existence if it is inconvenient for us. When people get too old to care for do we care for them. Already some people are saying when someone gets too old that maybe we should terminate their lives. What's next. Extinguishing the lives of people born with or who acquire a defect like a hearing or a sight problem?

No I guess it is good that we have a ruler over us, isn't it. It is not the governor or the president. His name is God Almighty. Let us follow His rules for life.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 16:1-18:31
Judges 19:1-21:25 for a daily reading tool

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Nazarite

April 4, 2008

Our verses today look at a part in the story of the life of Sampson. Sampson was to be a Nazarite, one who was dedicated to the lord for a short period of time. Only, the angel of the Lord had told his parents he was to be a Nazarite from birth, he was to dedicate his life to God.

God wanted to use him to deliver the people of Israel from the hands of the Philistines. In order to do that though, God had to do things that would get the Philistines mad at Sampson so that he could go to war with them and defeat them.

Sampson tries to marry a Philistine woman, a mistake to most, but something that God had planned. During the party, Samson makes a bet with the men that they can not answer a riddle that only he knows the answer to. His wife to be comes and wheedles the answer out of him and then tells the men of the city:

Judges 14:18 DRB
(18) And they, on the seventh day before the sun went down, said to him: What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said to them: If you had not ploughed with my heifer, you had not found out my riddle.

An interesting answer that Sampson gave. One that can be applied to today as well. God wants us to be in the world but not of it. If I were to choose to look at porn for example, I may want my wife to act like the woman I see. I have ploughed with another man's horse at that point. Now that is an extreme example but I think that you get the point. If we are desiring anything of the world more that we desire God, then we run into problems. We can not bring our desires from the world in a Godly lifestyle.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 13:1-15:20
Judges 16:1-18:31 for a daily reading tool

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cleaning House

April 3, 2008

Judges 10:15-16 Webster
(15) And the children of Israel said to the LORD, We have sinned: do thou to us whatever seemeth good to thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day.
(16) And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

When we decide to follow God we must let go of the things that we may want to hold on to. Unfortunately, holding on to them can only lead to problems. Here the people of Israel wanted God to deliver them. God told them no and to go pray to the gods that they had started to follow. It was only when they chose to get rid of the 'strange gods' and get right with God that they were able to get help from the Almighty.

Even when we have been with the Lord for years, we can fall into bad habits. We may want to hang on to unforgiveness, or keep our bad habits. You cannot go forward with God till start to clean up your act. I do, and you will have to also.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 10:1-12:15
Judges 13:1-15:20 for a daily reading tool

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Complacent

April 2, 2008

After our greatest victories can come our greatest defeats. Gideon was not allowed to go to war with all of his soldiers, he only could go with the men God told him to take. And he won against unbelievable odds. It was clear who was to get the credit, or at least it should have been.

Judges 8:22-27 MKJV
(22) And the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us, both you and your son, and your son's son also. For you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.
(23) And Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. Jehovah shall rule over you.
(24) And Gideon said to them, I would desire a favor of you, that each man of you would give me the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
(25) And they answered, We will gladly give. And they spread a cloth, and each man threw the earrings of his prey in it.
(26) And the weight of the golden earrings which he asked for was seventeen hundred of gold, besides ornaments, and pendants, and purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains around their camels' necks.
(27) And Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel went there lusting after it, which thing became a snare to Gideon and to his house.

An ephod was a priestly garment, very elaborate. Gideon told the soldiers to give him their gold earring they had captured, so they did. He then made this garment but he made it out of Gold. We have to ask ourselves why would he turn down the kings position, a very smart thing to do since God is their leader, but they turn around and set up a gold piece of clothing to worship.

Are we much different in our lives. Do we not achieve something great with God's help and then turn around and say it is something that we did ourselves. Even in day to day life, we can talk about the great job we did on something. In doing that we forget the God who gave us the health we have to be able to do it.

Make sure not to run into the trap of forgetting who gave us what we have and worship the creator and not the created.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 8:1-9:57
Judges 10:1-12:15 for a daily reading tool

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Too big for God

April 1, 2008

Judges 7:2 MKJV
(2) And Jehovah said to Gideon, The people with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast themselves against Me, saying, My own hand has saved me.

God does not need an army to get things done. In fact when he does, man tends to get the credit.

If God has asked you to do something, you do not need to form a non-profit corporation, you just need to settle down and do it. In fact, telling a lot of people your vision and asking them to get along side of you can be a problem. They may want to put their vision into it and not yours.

Go, do what God has told you to do.

Read through the Bible in one year in Historical order
Judges 6:1-7:25
Judges 8:1-9:57 for a daily reading tool