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I have wandered off my main goal or purpose for reading through the Bible when I began the New Year. My goal is embodied in the New Living Translation of David’s son Solomon’s advice in the Book of Ecclesiastes 7:13, Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?

It is exciting to read about David and his victories, it is comforting to know that it is not so much the external behavior but the thoughts and intents of the heart that determine our relationship and thus our fellowship with God. But I should return, repent and go back to my first intent. Finding out how God does things and fall into line.

I am an application person; I’m always looking to see how to apply a discovered biblical principal to my life. How do I incorporate that principal that pattern into my life so that it becomes the very fiber of my being. But lately I find myself trying to pattern myself, modeling my behavior after these great people of faith that I have been reading about and noting those people who have failed miserably, like Saul and Eli. Yet today, while walking in the morning I realized that looking at Abraham, Moses, Israel/Jacob, David etc., was the wrong thing to do because each and every one is flawed.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth telling them in his first letter to them,
PATTERN YOURSELVES after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah). (1 Corinthians 11:1 AMP). We are only to follow, imitate look toward the great men and women of faith as long as they are following Christ. To do that we must know Christ, we must be familiar, up close and personal, with Him and not standing a far off garnering our information from what others say He is. If we do that then we are just like stalkers trying to force ourselves, our depraved lifestyles, our perverted way of thinking upon Him. We become “namedroppers” tying to give the appearance of instead of being truly what He has created us to be.

Come to think of it, the Old Testament gives us a clear picture of man’s failure of 1) redeeming himself, and 2) redeeming others. The Old Testament points out the failure of man to solve the sin problem leading us into the New Covenant redemption plan through Jesus Christ.

As famous as King David remains to this day, as wise as his son Solomon was, the Wisdom of Jesus surpasses them all. If I am my sights toward godly men then I am already setting myself up to sin. Sin means to miss the mark, as in archery, in both Hebrew and Greek. If I aim to model flawed men who have fallen short of the bulls eye then I too will set myself up to miss because I have set my mark far away from God’s bulls eye. I am thankful to be reading about David and his failures because it shows me that even the best of godly men and women are no match for the savior Jesus Christ. This revelation stokes my desire to know Him better and more intimately.

R:

Great insights! Good reminders and I appreciate your sharing.

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In "Bible Manners and Customs of the Bible," by James M. Freeman, it says that "anciently not only lambs, but other animals were by many persons allowed to eat with them at their tables, and to lie with them in their beds. The Arabs of today keep pet lambs as we keep lap-dogs."

I cannot help but wonder if the death of this child he had with Bathsheba did not influence how David failed to discipline his children.

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Yesterday someone, I think it was Kristie, remarked about Bathsheba's complicity in the adultery, and I thought I would share from In "Bible Manners and Customs of the Bible," by James M. Freeman, about the "PROMENADE ON THE ROOF."

"1. After his customary afternoon rest had been taken, David walked on the flat roof of his palace. In the cool of the evening the roofs of the houses are occupied by family groups who go there for air and exercise. In Daniel 4:29 we have an account of the walk of another king. Instead of walked 'in' the palace, the marginal reading is 'upon' the palace. It was on the roof that Nebuchadnezzar walked, and from there he obtained that view of his great city which lifted his heart with pride and made him forget God.
"2. The bath in which Bathsheba was washing was in the court-yard secluded from all ordinary observation, but yet visible from the palace roof."

I don't know if that clarifies it any better, but thought I would share it.

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

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The significance of this is just mind-boggling. The Holy Spirit came and went with the Hebrew text; people were not "filled" with the Holy Spirit, and were not sealed, primarily because the promised Messiah had not yet come and the redemption of sins was more a covering with the blood of animals as a type of Christ.

But with the risen Christ, the Holy Spirit actually "indwells" believers. We have the benefit of God with us!

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8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt[a] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

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The Holy Spirit will convict the world of:

I. sin
II. righteousness
III. judgment

(1) Sin:
~~~because men do not do not believe in me
(2) Righteousness:
~~~because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer
(3) Judgment:
~~~because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

(It (truly) is finished!
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he will guide you into all truth
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Proverbs chapter 16 verse 5 today teaches us: "The LORD despises pride; be assured that the proud will be punished."

For me, this is a constant reminder of what happened to Satan when he allowed his pride to overtake him - it's the one area of my life I've been shocked to come face to face with, having previously (wrongly) considered I couldn't be proud in any sense - just shows how you can be utterly decieved - if I'm not being proud (about not being proud to start with!), then I transgress into his other major fault - arrogance. The Lord took me in hand and gently showed me the many areas of my life where my attitude wandered heavily into these attributes sadly. Trying to be humble is the toughest call in my opinion - someone once said that if you think you're humble, then you're not - that was hard to consider, but I can see the truth in it.

Mike's other question: - "Do you believe suffering can be good for you? Can it teach you to pay attention to God? " is one close to my heart in some respects. I became heavily disabled just over a decade ago, at a point in my life where it seemed to be the absolute worst thing that could happen. My (late) hubby was an alcohlic at the time, and my income was the only thing keeping us with a roof over her head. However, the Lord incredibly opened up tons of doors to enable us both to start up a charity for my main condition (fibromyalgia), which rapidly snowballed in size and which provided me with something I'd never had in my life before - a means to be able to help many other people more than myself. In doing so, I ended up becoming a close friend to THE top world authority on the condition, meeting loads of other important docs, and gaining a respect which has now provided me with tons of 'favours' in return in a sense. ALthough I handed the charity over to some others to run in the fuller sense a few years after Stephen died, I'm still involved in many aspects of its running in other ways. Since I have deteriorated more the past 2 years, I have to admit I have had more times when I wonder what contribution am I possibly making to the body, when I'm housebound, and unable to get out or interact socially, yet again, the Lord (through others) has shown me that I do still do much work between the charity helpline etc, and online by sharing my beliefs with all and sundry and putting scriptural messages in my emails (as signatures) along with some other thigns.

So I would contend that He does indeed use us in every situation, and while we may not know why, we can firmly stand on His promises that our lives are of value to Him, and He will use us if we ask Him to. I always think of that famous saying about God's Tapestry of our lives - how from the underside (where we are) it all looks a total mess of threads, but He sees the top which shows the fuller picture from start to finish, and He will complete what He has started.

I've been exceptionally blessed to never taste depression throughout my time of illness, but know many others who battle with it even as Christians, which is sad. I truly think the key is trust - if we totally trust Him for our lives, then we MUST not worry about the future, nor concern ourselves with the outcome of the present in a negative sense. He is our AWESOME GOD and I praise Him for leading me to this site, where I can learn so much from all of you who've been here a lot longer than me, and are superb in placing up expositional and edifying posts. God bless, Romayne

Something I hadn't seen before in 2 Samuel is the significance of Solomon. David sins by sleeping with Bathsheba, repents, and now sleeps with her 'properly'. God honours this, by giving the blessing of a child who lives, by sending a positive message through Nathan (who had delivered the negative message before), and by choosing Solomon over David's other sons to be the next king.

And yet... one of Solomon's weaknesses, like his father's, was women. How much did the circumstances of his birth have to do with this?

I can't say that I have ever arrived at the place of thinking I am great and I hope I never do. What has stood out to me in the reading is something that was shared with me long ago when Iwas going through unimaginable suffering at the hands of others and that is I Kings 2:25. I learned through this verse that not only did God forgive David, I was to forgive those who were causing such suffering in my life. I was able to do that because I love God and I began to understand that maybe they got away with it from earthly standards, but God was not neglectful in of the consequences they had to pay. He is a just and righteous God. I hold fast to this now everytime I encounter someone who is suffering. I can share with them my experience and the hopr that Godhelped me grow in my heart for justice to be done and not be left wanting revenge. Prise His name!

Have you ever fallen into the trap of thinking you are great? ~ Nope, no way!!! Sure I can think to myself that I did a great job, or did something that turned out just great. But I ALWAYS praise the Lord and thank Him! And I will never think that I'm great. Yikes, no way!

I love Psalm 119:71 "The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles." ~ I never thought that suffering could be a good thing, that was before I was saved. There are different 'approaches' on my suffering. It can bring me back to God when I have my days of wondering around, you know what I mean? I will never walk away from God, but there can be days that I'm distracted a bit. And to have a little bit of suffering brings me back to God. Suffering can also teach me lessons. While I think it's Satan who dumps things on me, it can be God teaching me something.

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