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October 2017

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2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
Sometimes we groan at reading the “lists” of people, places and things as we go through the Bible. But each and every time we override the desire to either skip over passages, or read at speeds over 100mph we can miss what may appear to be something of little importance and bypass something that can set us free. If Bruce Wilkinson had not read the lists in Chronicles, we would not have been blessed with the book, The Prayer of Jabez. It was reading this list a few years ago that I discovered some of these names sounded so familiar that I went back reread and then looked up other occurrences of the names.

David’s life not only is the life of a man who was greatly blessed of God, despite the traitorous acts he committed, sleeping with another man’s wife and then having that man killed; it is a life that shows God’s mercy and grace. Our God is a God of mercy, grace, love and kindness. If he were not David would have been toast if I were in charge. Therefore, I am glad that God doesn’t go by my rules because I would be burnt to a crisp before the Day of Judgment.

I took note of two names in this listing of David’s thrity men of valor, Eliam (2 Sam 23:34) and Uriah, the Hittite (39). Going back to the eleventh chapter of 2nd Samuel you will find these names mentioned dealing with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife and the man David had killed making him a murderer. I realized that David would have had to have a close relationship with Uriah and Uriah’s father, Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3). Not only that Bathsheba’s grandfather, Eliam’s father, was Ahithophel, David’s trusted advisor; the advisor that defected to Absalom, the seditious son we read about attempted a rebellion (2 Samuel 15).

There is a saying; familiarity-breeds-contempt and Ahithophel with his close association to David had to have seen the turmoil in both homes caused by David’s acts of adultery and murder. How much of what he had seen and heard contributed to his defection? In his eyes, did David look like a man of God? This says to me that despite appearances, we have no idea who God is using despite their actions. Clearly, God’s grace and mercy does not look to us for guidance.

The twenty-fourth chapter shows us again, that God’s chosen man can do ungodly things. Things that appear on the surface to be inconsequential but under the surface lay unrighteous motivation. Israel was told when a census was carried out that each male counted must pay a redemption price. So it would be costly to the populace; this obviously was not done (Exodus 31:12; 38:25).

I believe there is a greater lesson for all of us, when we violate a command; we saddle those under our care, under our leadership and authority with a price greater than the cost of obedience. In this case, 70,000 people paid with their lives.

What I so love about David and which is an example for me he did not make excuses for his error. When caught in a lie, in a sin I am prone to blame everyone else but me. “If you hadn’t said; did; looked …I wouldn’t have. You saw me doing …why didn’t you say; do; make me stop?” Not only did David accept responsibility for his actions he paid the cost of the sacrifice. Now that is a model for accountability! David’s actions also show the difference between godly sorrow and worldy sorrow, godly sorrow says I will suffer the consequences for my actions. Worldy sorrow is just, I’m sorry because I got caught.


Acts 3:1-26
There were three directional entrances into the Temple and this lame man was laid at the gate daily and had been lame from birth. This means that this man was a fixture at the temple when Jesus was born until after His death so why did not Jesus heal him. The last week of His life on earth, Jesus went in and out of the temple daily, yet this man was not healed. Had he been placed at the wrong gate at the right time? On the other hand, maybe he was not ready to be healed when Jesus was around. I’m not sure of his state of mind, but I know from my own experience that God had been calling me long before I accepted His invitation to come to Him and be healed. My problem was I didn’t think I would receive anything.

Maybe we and those we are now trying to minister too to accept God’s salvation must get to the place where we become sick and tired of being sick and tired. The text says that the lame man looked upon “them” expecting in earnest to receive something. Maybe our expectation switch has been turned off, or we have dropped the eagerness from our body language. Whatever the cause when we accept the “free gift” of Salvation we certainly get more than we expected. How is your expectation level?


Psalm 123:1-4

2 We look to the LORD our God for his mercy,
just as servants keep their eyes on their master,
as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Too often, I find myself looking to men for mercy and not to God. I forget that the mercies of men are really curses in the eyes of God. It is like looking for love in all the wrong places.

Proverbs 16:21-23
22Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools.
God give me discernment to distinguish between the wise and the fool so I will not waste your Pearls of Wisdom. Amen.

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