Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 4: 2 Samuel 22:21-23:24; Psalm 122; Proverbs 16:19-20; Acts 2



Overview

            2 Samuel: David’s song is continued. He explains that the Lord has rewarded him according to his righteousness in keeping God’s ways, staying away from evil, and being blameless. He says God is merciful to the merciful, pure to the pure but tortuous to the crooked.
            God is David’s lamp and enables him to make war. God is his shield, refuge, and rock. God is the one who makes him blameless. So, he is able to pursue and defeat his enemies thoroughly and completely. God delivered him from rebels, kept him as head over nations, and foreigners.
            David exalts God, his Rock and Savior who gave him vengeance and rescued him from enemies and violent men. David will therefore praise the Lord among the nations. God has brought him salvation and steadfast love to him and his offspring forever.
            The last words of David are also recorded. As a psalmist of Israel, the Spirit spoke through him. When one rules justly in the fear of the Lord, he is like the morning light. God has made an everlasting covenant with David prospering David but consuming worthless men with fire.
            The exploits of some of David’s might men are listed. Though there were thirty mighty men, some of the others were specifically mentioned. Eleazar was abandoned by his men but he continued to fight until his hand was so weary that it froze to his sword. Shammah fought Philistines in a lentil field. Three men went through enemy lines to get David a drink from Bethlehem’s well. Abishai killed 300 men. Benaniah killed many, a lion in a pit, and took a spear from a huge Egyptian and killed him.
            Psalm: David rejoices with people who want to go to the house of the Lord. Jerusalem is a special city. All the tribes of Israel go there to give thanks to the Lord. God established David’s throne there. He asks for prayer for peace in Jerusalem and security. All David’s brothers and friends want peace for Jerusalem because the house of the Lord is there.
            Proverbs: Having a humble spirit and being poor is way better than being a rich proud person. Whoever meditates, thinks, and works through the word will discover how good it is. He will trust in the Lord and be blessed.
            Acts: The Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples on Pentecost. He was manifested in a mighty rushing wind, tongues of fire resting on them, and giving them the ability to speak in many languages. Devout people in Jerusalem from every nation came together and heard the disciples speaking in their own language. They wondered what it meant while undevout people mocked them.
            Peter preached to them explaining that it was a fulfilment of prophecy that the Lord had poured out his Spirt on them. He also explained that God endorsed Jesus through miracles yet it was his plan to have Jesus crucified and raised again. This was foretold in Scripture by David. The disciples are witnesses that Jesus was raised and exalted to God’s right hand and has sent the Holy Spirit as people are seeing. God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ, the one the people crucified.
            The people were convicted and asked what to do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and they would receive the Holy Spirit. This promise is for everyone the Lord calls to himself. About 3,000 were baptized that day.
            After that, the disciples were dedicated to leaning from the Apostles, fellowship, eating together, and prayer. Many signs and wonders were being done through the Apostles. People had everything in common so no one was in need. They shared generously and the Lord added to their number day by day those were being saved.

What Stood Out

            2 Samuel: “This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless” (2 Sam 22:33).
            Psalm: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you” (Ps 122:6)!
            Proverbs: “Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” (Prov 16:20).
            Acts: “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23).

Insight

            2 Samuel: We see in the Psalms and in David’s song that he says God rewarded him for his righteousness and that he is blameless. Do you ever stop and ask, “What about Uriah and Bathsheba? How is that blameless, righteous, or waking in his integrity?” David answers that in 2 Samuel 22:33. It isn’t based on his own righteousness but the fact that God has made him blameless. We find the same thing in the New Testament. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus Christ was made to be sin. In other words, he took our sins upon himself. Our God is the one who makes us righteous, but note, it is not ours, but God’s righteousness that we have.
            Psalm: Does it fill you with joy when you and your family get up on Sunday morning and say, “Let’s go to church?” That’s what David felt when he went to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. His desire was to go and worship the Lord. That should be our joy and desire as well. There is something about corporate worship that completes individual worship and devotion to the Lord. We were not made to be “lone ranger” Christians. We were made to worship together.
            One day, we will all be going to Jerusalem when Jesus reigns there in person. When that happens, Jerusalem will be secure. The Holy Spirit, through David, is telling us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem even now. When the Lord fulfills that prayer is unknown to us because we don’t know when he will come back. That should not stop us from praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
            Proverbs: A surface knowledge of God’s word is good, but when we really stop to meditate on it and dig into it, we will find out that it is a treasure way beyond what we originally thought. It will reveal to us who we are and the depth of our depravity. It will reveal how great our God is and how much love, mercy, and grace he has bestowed on us despite our depravity. It will reveal how great is our future because he has given us his righteousness through Jesus Christ. That is the beginning of understanding how good it is.
            Acts: God’s sovereignty is declared in Peter’s sermon. He very specifically says in two ways that Jesus’ crucifixion was not an accident. It was God’s plan and it was done with his foreknowledge. The only way something like that could happen is because God is in control of all things. It is awesome to think that even before the world began, God knew what he was going to do to rescue us from our sin. The Son of God knew he would have to die on a cross before there was even one tree in the universe to make a cross. He also knew that though he would die, his body would be raised before it could decay.
            God’s sovereignty is also displayed in the many people who were saved that very day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples. Peter declared in Acts 2:39 that the promise of salvation is for those whom the Lord calls to himself. In Acts 2:47, Luke records that the Lord added to their number.
            Peter’s sermon could be used as a model for all salvation messages. He told about Jesus, he explained people’s sins and told them to repent. It is also interesting that he also used many other words (Acts 2:40). So, we shouldn’t assume that this is all we need to say. For some it is and for other, many other words are needed.

Application

             It is important to remember that my righteousness is a gift from God. I didn’t earn it and that should keep me humble or lowly in spirit. I need to dig into God’s word deeply if I want to see more and more of God’s goodness. That should result in praise and praying for Jesus’ return – the peace of Jerusalem.

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