2 Samuel 23:24-24:25 ~ Acts 3:1-26 ~ Psalm 123:1-4 ~ Proverbs 16:21-23
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Old Testament - We finish up the book of Second Samuel today and begin First Kings tomorrow! Are you ready to dive into our next Old Testament book?? Today in Second Samuel we continue to read about David's mighty men. It is sad to read the name of Uriah the Hittite in verse 39. Another reminder of David's sin against Bathsheba and Uriah - one of David's own mighty men... And, yes, another reminder of God's forgiveness of David - and God's offer of forgiveness to you and me today. Have there been any "mighty men (or women!)" in your life that you have sinned against? Will you go to God for forgiveness for that sin today? And will you apologize and reconcile with the mighty man/woman in your life that you need to apologize to / reconcile with? Interestingly, I think this whole forgiveness/mercy talk ties in very nicely into Psalm 123 today. As Psalm 123 sings to us today: "Have mercy on us Lord, have mercy."
Second Samuel 24 today finishes up with David taking a census, then judgment upon Israel for this sin, and then closing up the book with David building an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. A few things to point out here. First, you'll note verse 1 starts out with: "Once again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel.." Commentaries suggest that God was likely upset with Israel because of their support of Absalom's & Sheba's rebellions. This is why it is thought the plague in this chapter affected Israel and not just David's house for the sin of the census. The census was a sin because it was not needed at this time in Israel's history. Censuses were taken in the past for military conscription & review of number of men before a war. But this was not a time of war. The census was a sin because David may have been taking this census just for his own glory & pride - to see how many people were under his reign. Even Joab asked David why he was doing this as we see in verse 3. The overall interesting thing to me about this chapter is that many commentaries suggest that it was placed at the end of the book of Second Samuel for the primary reason of setting the stage for the building of the Temple by Solomon in First Kings. The very interesting note about Araunah's threshing floor that we read about today is that it is believed to have been located on Mount Moriah! Yes, the same Mt. Moriah where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac. And the same spot where the Temple was to be built by Solomon! So, this brings to light the importance of David actually buying the threshing floor from Araunah and not just taking it for free, as was offered. David not only bought the threshing floor to build the altar for the burnt & peace offerings, but he bought the land for the Temple of the Lord to soon be built on by his son Solomon! Pretty interesting to note as we close out this amazing book of Second Samuel. I am very excited to begin our readings about David's son Solomon in First Kings beginning tomorrow! Below is an image of Araunah the Jebusite offering his threshing floor to David:
Bible.org's commentary on today's Second Samuel readings titled "Neiman Marcus Military, Kmart Christianity? David Comes to His Census" is at this link. (Some days you really have to appreciate the humor in Bob Deffinbaugh's essay titles! Today is one of those days. :)
New Testament - Acts chapter 3 is a wonderful look at the power of Jesus' name and faith in Jesus as Peter heals a lame man. I love verse 6: "But Peter said, "I don't have any money for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!"" Below is a painting of this scene by the Italian painter Masolino da Panicale from the early 15th century:
It is awesome to see how Peter follows up this healing with preaching at Solomon's Porch! He sees an opportunity to let others know about Jesus and he does not let this opportunity pass him by. How often in your life do you come across opportunities to let others know about Jesus? How often do you move forward with that opportunity? Or how often do you let that opportunity pass you by?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "A Lame Excuse for Preaching the Gospel" is at this link. (again, quite a creative title here from Bob... :)
Psalms - Psalm 123 continues the songs of Ascent. Psalm 123 is a short one, but a great one. I love these portions of verses 2 and 3 - "We look to the LORD our God for his mercy....Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy..." Do you look to the Lord for his mercy? What does God's mercy to you look like? Why would you need God's mercy? Do you pray to the Lord this simple prayer - "Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy"?
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 123 titled "A Prayer for Mercy" is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 16:23 today is fantastic: "From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive." Do you want a wise mind? Do you want wise speech to come forth from your mouth? Where in this world do you think you can find wisdom? Wisdom that will transform your mind? Wisdom that will transform your speech? And then, with that wisdom, how will you persuade others? What would you even want to persuade others toward? Below are a couple of images of Jesus. First image is of Jesus studying as a boy. What can we learn from this image of Jesus and apply to our lives today? Next image is an overview of Jesus' wisdom. Would you agree that Jesus fulfilled this Proverb perfectly? "From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive."
Worship God: Today's Psalm reminded me of the song "Lord Have Mercy" by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant:
Have you ever prayed Lord Have Mercy? Click here for mercy!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Acts 3:6 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray in that you treasure the name of Jesus above all else in this world. Pray that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Pray all things in Jesus' holy name.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: In Acts chapter 3 we read about Peter healing a lame man in the name of Jesus. I am curious about how you might say or pray the name of Jesus in your life today? Do you close out your prayers in the name of Jesus? Do you do other things in your life in the name of Jesus? Do you have any stories or examples of the power of the name of Jesus that you have experienced in your life? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!