1 Chronicles: Nahash, king of the Ammonites, died and David sent messengers to console his son Hanun. Hanun thought the messengers were spies so he humiliated them. This resulted in a war where Hanun hired Syrians to help him. David sent Joab to the battle and he defeated the Ammonites and Syrians. The Syrians sent for more troops and tired again. This time David went with the Army and they defeated them again. They Syrians made peace and became subject to David and wouldn’t help the Ammonites any more.
In the spring Joab went to war against the Ammonites and besieged and overthrew Rabbah. David took the crown from their king and made the people slaves. The Philistines again fought against Israel. Israel killed several giants including Goliath’s brother.
Satan incited David and he called for a census of the fighting men of Israel. Joab objected but did as asked except for counting Levi and Benjamin. The number was 1,100,000. God was angry and gave David a choice of punishments. David chose three days of plagues from the Lord. 70.000 men died in the plague. The angel of the Lord was about to strike Jerusalem when God stopped him. David saw the angel and asked that he might be taken instead of Jerusalem. The angel of the Lord spoke to the prophet Gad and had David offer sacrifices on Ornan’s threshing floor. David wouldn’t take Ornan’s threshing floor, oxen, and wood implements but bought them for 600 shekels of gold. The Lord sent fire and burnt the offering. David offered there and not at Gibeon where the altar and tabernacle was located.
Psalm: David takes refuge in the Lord and says there isn’t any reason to think he needs to flee from his enemies even though they are ready to destroy him. The Lord is in heaven and sees all these things and tests people. He tests the righteous but he destroys the wicked. The Lord is righteous and therefore loves righteous deeds and righteous people will see his face.
Proverbs: It isn’t right for a fool to have everything or a slave to rule. If you’re smart, you won’t get angry quickly and you will be looked upon with admiration if you overlook offences. Don’t make a ruler angry or you may be torn apart but when he favors you, it is like cool dew on grass.
Romans: Circumcision is of value if you keep the law and is useless if you break the law. If an uncircumcised person keeps the principles of the law he is regarded as circumcised. He condemns those who think the law and circumcision save them but break the law. They are Jews outwardly not inwardly. Circumcision is a heart issue done by the Spirit. That person is praised by God, not by man.
Being a Jew has value because they were entrusted with God’s word. Just because some were unfaithful doesn’t make God unfaithful. His word is true even though everyone else may be a liar. Some say that our unrighteousness makes God’s righteousness more evident and therefore it would be unrighteous for God to punish us for our unrighteousness. That is wrong and slander yet some say that is what Paul preaches. They will be condemned who say that.
What Stood Out
1 Chronicles: “So the Syrians were not willing to save the Ammonites any more” (1 Chron 19:19).
Psalm: “In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain’” (Ps 11:1).
Proverbs: “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Prov 19:11).
Romans: “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?” (Rom 3:3).
1 Chronicles: There comes times in our lives when we are just plain insane. Insane is defined by Einstein as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. The Ammonites paid the Syrians to battle Israel. They were beaten soundly. You would think that would be enough, but they sent for more help and tried again. The second time was enough. They were unwilling to fight for the Ammonites again. They proved to be sane.
We are craziest when we think we can sin and get away with it. We may do it differently or do the same thing over and over. We may be liars who always try to make it look like someone else is at fault when something goes wrong. We may have a problem with sexual temptations resulting in sin. Each of us know where we are in error but we still do the same thing. We tend to forget that God sees everything and there is no way we can escape his notice (Heb 4:13). The Syrians wised up and made peace with David. We need to do the same thing. We need to make peace with the Lord and submit to him. Fortunately for us, God made the first move in making peace by sending Jesus to atone for our sins. If he hadn’t done that, there would be no way we could make peace with God.
Psalm: if we are really taking refuge in the Lord and trusting him, we shouldn’t be afraid of the circumstances of our lives. When we trust the Lord, we should have peace and not try to escape the trial because we know that the trials are there to test us and show what is in our hearts. He wants us to become better, not bitter.
Proverbs: We are working on the chapter about anger in Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. One of the things he pointed out was the difference between righteous anger and our sinful anger. People want to justify losing their temper as righteous anger. He says that righteous anger is always self-controlled and never results in retaliation (page 137). This is so true and Proverbs 19:11 substantiates that overlooking an offence is the way to handle even righteous anger. Because we most often become angry when our pride is wounded or we don’t get what we want, it isn’t righteous anger. When we overlook offences, we are not allowing the root of our anger, putting me first, get the better of us.
Romans: Some people say they don’t want to become a Christian because Christians are hypocrites. In a way, Paul was dealing with the same kind of excuse when people were accusing him of preaching that it was okay to sin in order to show how merciful and gracious God is. God’s righteousness would be shown all the more by our sins, therefore sin more to bring glory to God. Paul refutes the idea that we sin because we think we can make God look good in comparison or that we simply think we can do it because we are saved and our punishment has already been payed, therefore, sin all the more.
I’ve heard of cults that do that, but Christians don’t. we recognize the sin and the awful punishment that Jesus took on the cross to give us his righteousness. We don’t want to tarnish that. That doesn’t mean we don’t sin, it means that we are in process to overcome those sins. Some progress faster than others, but true Christians do not have false ideas about sin somehow making God look good and therefore doing it more. We aren’t hypocrites for sinning, we are still human and are a work in progress.
I need to recognize where I’m sinning and having it affect my relationship with the Lord and others. I’m crazy if I think I can continue doing the same things and expecting different results such as getting closer to the Lord or having better relationships with others. Recognizing when I become angry because of my pride or selfishness is an area that is a good example.