Thursday, May 25, 2017

May 25: 2 Samuel 7 – 8; Psalm 119:33-48; Proverbs 15:33; John 14:15-31



Overview

            2 Samuel: David enters a time of peace and realizing he is living in a nice house but the Lord is in a tent, he tells the prophet Nathan he wants to build a house for the Ark. Nathan tells him to go ahead because the Lord is with him. However, during the night the Lord tells Nathan that David isn’t to build a house for him. However, he tells David that the Lord will build his house and it and David’s throne will endure forever. David’s son will be the one to build a house for the Ark.
            David is overwhelmed by the huge blessing and prays to the Lord. He exalts the Lord and proclaims that there is no other nation that God had redeemed. After praising God, he asks the Lord do as he promised.
            The exploits of David against his enemies are summarized. He defeated the Philistines, Moab, Hadadezer king of Zobah and the Syrians who tried to help Hadadezer, and Edom. David took a lot of plunder from Hadadezer including gold shields and much bronze. Others brought tribute to David. Toi, king of Hamath brought gifts to David because Hadadezer had been his enemy.
            A list of David’s officials is then provided.
            Psalm: The Psalmist asks the Lord to teach, give understanding, lead, change his heart, keep his eyes away from worthless things. He wants God’s promises confirmed. He fears God’s reproach.
            He asks for God’s steadfast love, answers for his enemies, and not to lose God’s truth. He will then keep God’s laws and even tell kings. His delight is in God’s commands. He loves them and meditates on them.
            Proverbs: We gain wisdom by fearing the Lord and if we want honor, then we should first learn to be humble.
            John: If we love the Lord we’ll obey him. He will give us the Helper to live in us. Even though Jesus is leaving, he will still live and he will come to the disciples. Then they will know he is in the Father and they are in Jesus and Jesus is in them. Whoever keeps Jesus commands are the ones who love him. The Father and Jesus will love them and show themselves to the ones who love him and keeps his words. They will make their home with the ones who love Jesus.
            The Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send. He will teach and help the disciples remember what Jesus said. Jesus is leaving them with peace so they should not be troubled or afraid. If they love him, then they should rejoice that he is going to the Father. He is telling them so that they will believe when it happens. Jesus won’t talk to them much longer for the ruler of the world is coming but he has no claim on Jesus. Jesus does what the Father commanded him so the world will know he loves the Father.

What Stood Out

            2 Samuel: “Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?’” (2 Sam 7:16).
            Psalm: “Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared” (Ps 119:38).
            Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor” (Prov 15:33).

            John: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

Insight

            2 Samuel: Sometimes prophets open their mouths too soon. Nathan assured David that he could go ahead and build a house for the Lord because the Lord was with him. Then the Lord told Nathan that David wasn’t the one to build a house for the Lord. Can you imagine how embarrassing that would have been for a prophet? It’s even easier for us because the Lord doesn’t speak directly to us. But we can read God’s word and think we understand it only to find out later that we were wrong. Fortunately, we can always go back to the word and study it but we should be careful when we open our mouths to teach or counsel someone. It is too easy to be presumptuous.
            Upon hearing God’s no to David’s desires, he didn’t dwell on that. He was flabbergasted that God had taken him from his lowly position of a shepherd to being the prince over God’s people. That was humbling to think about. That is a good attitude for us to have. We should always remember we were once dead in our sins but God made us alive. He has saved us from eternal death to a forever relationship with him. It isn’t because of our goodness or anything else. We should join David in his prayer and ask the Lord to accomplish in us his work that he prepared for us even before we were saved (Eph 2:10).
            Psalm: As David asked the Lord to confirm his promise, the Psalmist also asks the Lord to confirm his promises. Think about the promises of God and which ones would you want to have confirmed? Unfortunately, some want confirmation of promises in the Bible that were not made generally to everyone, but claim for themselves promises that were specific for another person. It would be ludicrous for us to look at the promises God gave David in today’s reading and claim that we would have our house endure forever. That promise was for the coming Messiah. Promises given to Israel are often quoted as promises to us as individually, but I’m not so sure we can claim them for ourselves, especially when we read them in context. Some promises are for eternity such as ruling with Jesus. I think Proverbs 3:4-5 is one that we can claim and apply. We can ask the lord to confirm it in our lives when we really do trust in the Lord with our whole hearts and don’t depend on ourselves, he will make our paths straight.
            Proverbs: The Lord greatly honored David. Yet in his prayer, he exhibits great humility. All his battles and all he had done was nothing in the presence of our mighty God. This is an attitude the we need whether we are in the Lord’s presence or with others. When we seek honor for ourselves, most likely, the Lord will have to humble us.

            John: Most of what Jesus has to say in this passage is directed specifically to his disciples for their benefit because he is about to be crucified. There are several promises to the disciples that we readily claim for ourselves. We claim the Holy Spirit living in us (John 14:17) and we can do that not because of this passage alone but it is taught in other places in the Bible. We claim Jesus’ peace (John 14:27), which is also taught in many places. Ephesians 2:17 is one that expands and makes sure that everyone can know his peace.
            We also claim God’s presence and love in our lives (John 14:21). However, this promise is conditional. We must have Jesus commandments and keep them. That is proof of our love for Jesus. Jesus also says that if we don’t keep his word, it means we don’t love him. That is sobering, especially for those who claim to be Christians but have lifestyles that are not in keeping with God’s word. Make no mistake, all of the Bible is God’s word, not just the words in red in the New Testament.

Application

            There is an emphasis in today’s readings about claiming God’s promises and also knowing God’s word. We need to know it better if we are going to claim the promises in it. Many are conditional and self-examination is needed to claim some of them.

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