Map Davids campaigns In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. When David’s men came to the land of the Ammonites, the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn’t David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments at the buttocks, and sent them away. When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet the men, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.” When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maakah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob. On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maakah were by themselves in the open country. Right thing My Thoughts The Ammonites seem to be a vile people.  This king’s father (Nahash) helped David but he is the same king who laid siege to a village and gouged out the right eye of every Israelite in the area.  Despite this, David still feels like he needs to honour the Ammonite king because his father helped David at some point. The Ammonites however showed their true nature and humiliated David’s delegation in the worst possible way.  To do that to David’s delegation is the same as doing it to David himself. The story ends with a battle in which the Ammonites and their hired help are well and truly defeated. My thoughts tend to focus on us doing the right thing even when we know it could end badly for us.  The only person we can fully control is ourselves, so we focus on our actions and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us every step of the way.  Romans 12:20… “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Every step we take as those who are free in Christ is a step in the knowledge that nothing can bind us, we are not victims in this life that respond out of fear.  We are more than conquerors able to do the right thing in every situation.

2 Samuel 9

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David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”  Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” “At your service,” he replied.

The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” “Where is he?” the king asked.  Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”  So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.

When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.  David said, “Mephibosheth!”  “At your service,” he replied.  “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”   Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11 Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.

12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth.13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

Avenue Of Honour - Bacchus Marsh

My Thoughts

There is something very right about following through with your promises.  David is king of Israel; he has been busy fighting battles to restore the boundaries of Israel. He has been busy being king, but here he takes a moment to remember his friend Jonathan and the promise he made him. At moments like this we truly see the David that God sees…  David the man after God’s own heart.  This act will come back to reward David in an unexpected way later in the story… but for now I want us to use the opportunity to think about our own lives.  What promises have we made, who we should honour with our right actions.  Take a moment to let the Holy Spirit remind you of the thinks you have said and not followed through with.  Now take a moment to do the right thing and enjoy the fullness of God’s blessing that comes with that.

2 Samuel 8:1-14

 

wide-open-everything

 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.

David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.

Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at the Euphrates River. David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.

When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tebah and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.

When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 he sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze.

11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: 12 Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

spiderman

My Thoughts

The Lord gave David victory wherever he went… this line is repeated a few times in this passage.  Clearly David is the anointed king of Israel.  The difficulty I have with this story is that it seems to be quite barbaric.  What is the point of killing people by measuring them off?  I am also pretty sure that the Law of Moses forbids the king from taking horses and chariots so why is David keeping some?

The way I see it is like this… God has anointed David but David is still a man (human).  He gets to choose how to live and what to do with the gift God has given him.  The same is true for us today, so many people use what God has given them in ways that are not so godly, but because we still experience the gifts we start to believe that how we are living is ok.  I believe that line in Spiderman… “with great power comes great responsibility” .  The way we live and exercise our gifts/anointing is important.  We need to draw closer to God and allow Him to change our hearts and minds.  When we are close to God we can’t help but choose to live in accordance with His will.  Draw close; allow him to lead you into spacious places today.

Psalm 105:1-15

Sun rises on the world

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”

12 When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”

new life

My Thoughts

David writes this Psalm in response to the promise God makes him about blessing his family and keeping his family on the throne forever (2 Sam 7). This is not like some of the other Psalms that are the overflow from his heart.  In this Psalm David remembers God’s faithfulness to His people.  In doing this he is assuring himself that God is true to His word and worthy of exulting.

I think this is a good practice for us, it is good to remember Gods faithfulness because it gives us security in the promises He has made for us and the world.  Because God is faithful, there is hope.  We might start like this:  Our God sent His one and only son to the world, not to condemn but to save.  He defeated sin and death and sent the Holy Spirit to be our guide and our strength… This week I am alive and well, secure in this belief… Last week God… fill in the blanks. Have a good week.

Psalm 96

Beautiful road

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

 singing in the car

My Thoughts

 

This Psalm is Davids response to the covenant that the Lord makes with David and his descendants.  In the beginning of the David story we see God anointing David to be king when he was just a child.  As the fullness of this promise finally dawns on David the only way he can respond is to sing God a new song.  Burst out into spontaneous worship.

 

I think about how people who are in love walk around singing songs to themselves as if they cannot stop the fullness in their hearts overflowing from their lips.  Being able to spontaneously worship our God should be the permanent state of our hearts.  Day by day we are aware of His grace and our salvation.  We are aware that God created the heavens and everything in them.  We are aware that what He has established cannot be shaken and that we are secure in this place.  Let these thoughts work in our hearts today as we turn our affections towards God and worship Him… in the traffic, at the shopping centre or in the shower.  Sing to Him a new song.  Thank you Father.

2 Samuel 7:18-29

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Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

Jesus writting in the sand
My Thoughts

This is a wonderful interaction between God and David. David full of humility and joy at what God has promised him and his family line. We live in freedom today because of this promise that God made and eventually fulfilled in Christ.
It is amazing to me that this promise took 1500yrs to come to pass and now we live 2000yrs after the fact. It amazes me that I can read about this and be impacted by Gods promise to David as if it was made for me and for you now. Our Father is truly amazing.