Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31: 2 Samuel 17; Psalm 119:129-152; Proverbs 16:12-13; John 19:23-42


            2 Samuel: Ahithophel continues to advise Absalom. He says he will immediately attack David with 12,000 men while it is night and the people are weary. He will strike only the King and bring the people back in peace. Absalom and the elders thought it was good advice but Absalom also asked Hushai. Hushai said that David would be in hiding and that David and his men are like a bear robbed of her cubs. They will be enraged. He advises to wait until all Israel can be gathered together and fall upon David like dew on the ground overwhelming and killing anyone who shelters David. Absalom and the elders thought Hushai’s advice was better.
            Hushai passed on the information to Zadok and Abiathar. He told them to make sure David doesn’t stay at the fords but to go into the wilderness. They sent their sons, who had to hide before they could escape. They told David and they all crossed the Jordan.
            When Ahitophel saw his advice was not taken, he killed himself.
            Absalom put Amasa in charge of the army. They crossed the Jordan and camped in the land of Gilead while David was at Mahanaim. Several people who were loyal to David brought supplies to them at Mahanaim.
            Psalm: God’s word is wonderful, it imparts understanding, keeps our steps steady. Therefore, we long for it; it keeps us from iniquity. We need to have it taught to us because some do not keep it.
            God is righteous and it shows in his rules and his faithfulness. The Psalmist is zealous for God’s word especially when his foes forget it. Even if we are small, despised, and have troubles, we don’t forget God’s word but delight in it.
            The Psalmist cries to God with all he has, to be saved. He cries early in the morning and even at night. In his affliction, he keeps God’s word and meditates on it. Though his persecutors come close, they are far from God’s law and he is close to the Lord and has known God’s law for a long time.
            Proverbs: A righteous king established by God will find evil an abomination. He will delight in and love those who speak righteously.
            John: The soldiers who crucified Jesus divided his garments and cast lots for his tunic to fulfill prophecy. Jesus mother and other women were standing by the cross. John was with Mary and Jesus asked him to take care of her so he did.
            Jesus knew it was the end so he said he was thirsty. They gave him sour wine which fulfilled Scripture. He then said it was finished and gave up his spirit.
            The Jews asked Pilate to make sure those crucified would die before the Sabbath. He ordered to have their legs broken. When a soldier came to Jesus, he pierced his side to make sure he was already dead. Blood and water came out verifying his death. This too, fulfilled Scripture because no bones were broken and they looked on the one they pierced.
            Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Jesus. He asked Pilate for Jesus body then he and Nicodemus brought seventy-five pounds of spices and wrapped Jesus’ body in cloth with the spices. They placed his body in a nearby tomb because it was the day of Preparation.

What Stood Out

            2 Samuel: “For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom” (2 Sam 17:14).
            Psalm: “Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight” (Ps 119:143).
            Proverbs: “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness” (Prov 16:12).
            John: “Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus” (John 19:38).


            2 Samuel: God’s sovereignty is seen in the way Abaslom didn’t pay attention to Ahitophel’s advice but listened to Hushai. If he had gone as Ahitophel had said, they would have found David and killed him. He would have been able to reach David even before the spies would have had a chance to warn him. Hushai was wise enough to enhance his advice with graphic descriptions that most likely helped Absalom make his decision.
            If Absalom had killed David, think of the consequences. He would have become king instead of Solomon. Solomon would probably be killed as well. The temple would probably not be built to the specifications given to David. The whole line of promises to David through Solomon would have failed and God proven to be a liar.
            Because God is sovereign, he can make promises for the future. He is the only one who is able to make all his promises come true. Even when things look their bleakest, we can trust God to fulfil his promises.
            Psalm: We all face some kinds of trouble and distress in our lives. What do we do when they come? Do we grit our teeth and try to grin and bear it or do we turn to God’s word for our strength and purpose in life? The Psalmist said God’s commands are his delight even during the bad times. This may sound a lot like a formula but, if we delight in God’s word, we can turn to it in any kind of depressing circumstances and find delight in the midst of it. That sounds a lot better than Prozac, alcohol, or drugs that deaden or mask our emotions. Doesn’t it make sense to find what really delights us, God’s word. If we memorize and meditate on God’s word, it will never be taken from us. We can immediately turn to it.
            Proverbs: When the Lord sets up a righteous king, president, or other ruler over a land, it will be evident in his hatred of evil. Evil comes in all sizes and shapes so we should be careful what we think a righteous ruler should look like. What they do and say in private is just as important and maybe more so than what they say in public. It is in private that their heart is revealed and if it is not righteous, then we can’t really trust them to rule righteously.
            John: So much happened at Jesus’ crucifixion that fulfilled Scripture, it is impossible to deny that Jesus was the Messiah. He didn’t have any control of most of these things. If he were a mere man, he couldn’t have in prearranged the soldiers gambling for his tunic, being given sour wine, or being pierced instead of having his legs broken. Once we recognize Jesus is the Messiah, we no long have an excuse for surrendering our lives to him.
            Joseph of Arimathea could no longer be a secret disciple. It was time to come out into the open and he did boldly. With all the animosity that the Jews had for Jesus, there was no way he could take Jesus’ body without everyone knowing who and when he did it. There comes a time in our lives when we should be just as bold as Joseph. If we let fear of other keep us from acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our salvation is not secure because we are not yet saved. Jesus made it clear that a refusal to acknowledge him before men will result in Jesus denying us before the Father (Matt 10:32-33). It is only when we confess Jesus is Lord and are willing to be persecuted for our faith in him that we are saved.


             Trusting in God’s sovereignty is one way of overcoming the fear of confessing Jesus as the Messiah. I need to step out more in declaring salvation through Jesus and him only. I also need to meditate and learn more of God’s word.

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