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Showing posts from May 13, 2012

Reward or Revenge

“David had just said, ‘It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the desert so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good.’” 1 Samuel 25:21 David had done only good to Nabal and his shepherds; he had not stolen a sheep or abused a shepherd while he acted like a wall of protection around them.
So, David sent ten young men to Nabal requesting an offering of food for his six hundred warriors as they hid in the Desert of Maon. Nabal refused them and insulted David’s position and leadership. This inflamed David to come swiftly upon Nabal’s household and kill all the men, leaving it unable to protect itself in the future.
But on the way, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, met David with a supply of food for the men and further sought his forgiveness for the actions of her husband. Her attitude of penitence relieved David of his anger and need for revenge. It was a good thing, for when she went back and told her husband of the fate he could have had he became…

Tortoise or Hare?

We don’t use the word “sluggard” much in our vocabulary, but we do use “lazy” and “slacker” to express the same idea. These are people who are indecisive, choose to delay, and are sluggish even paralyzed in their effort. There is a need to change but not the willingness of heart to make it happen. The slacker is hesitant, hopeless, and harmful to his own success. He is forever seeing the difficulties and not the discovery and joy that are around the corner. It’s just impossible he thinks to accomplish his goals.
The industrious are busy about their way and pass by many that are waiting for the wind to blow just right in order to act. Difficulties are faced, overcome, attacked, and what cannot be removed is endured. These are people that live by faith and not by feeling. They recognize that there is no better time than the present to do what needs to be done.
There is a definite contrast in the movement forward of a sluggard and one that is industrious. “The way of the sluggard is blocke…

A Satisfying Meal

Almost every person experiences envy of a rich person’s wealth, power or position. We see it as better than what we have and desire the improvement. The cars, homes, friends, travel, influence, seeming joy all allure us. But it is a trap to envy. It makes you no better off and deepens your disappointment in your present status.
Solomon, one of the rich, pulls back the curtain on the home and heart of the wealthy and shows the emptiness of their lives. “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16-17 Many an evening television series examples this truth. Wealth separated from love and the fear of God torments the possessor. They stand in the middle of a bog of quicksand and continue to sink as they struggle.
An unloving husband or wife, a child that has become a prodigal all make the best of meals unable to satisfy. And, where there is no forgiveness the life is …

Taproot Believers

The importance of a taproot is underrated. It is the root that drives vertically downward in the soil and from which other roots sprout out. It is the strength below the surface for the plant; the unseen stability that is evidenced in the colorful flowers and fruit.
In the same way the taproot of the believer is the “fear” or reverence, honor, respect, of the Lord and the “delight” in His commands. The two, reverence and obedience, are locked together. The Psalmist expressed it this way, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commandments.” Psalm 112:1
When a person fears God they walk circumspectly, as a person on a tightrope would walk. Every step is analyzed and placed carefully. Every other action of the body acts in harmony with each step and therefore keeps the person in balance. The respect for God drives them to know His commandments and to obey them as coming from their creator who is a loving God and desires the best for every person.
The Psalmis…

Living Life Right

Who is it that controls the direction of your life? Are others imposing their rules on you and intimidated you? If so, then it’s time to make a decision that will change your life. David had to do this when all those around him were fearful of confronting Goliath. He stepped out and would not allow them or the enemies before him to make the rules.
“Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel…’Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.’” 1 Samuel 17:8-9
David was at the battle lines because he was bringing food to his three brothers serving in Saul’s army. He was not a soldier. Goliath had been coming out each day and shouting at the Israeli’s, intimidating them with his physical stature and powerful weapons. David saw through his blustering. Saul tried to have him use his armor but it didn’t fit David, either physically or mentally. So Dav…

Appeasing God

How often do you find yourself making a decision between what you know to be right and what you know to be wrong? And then, you “adjust” by applying situational ethics to that moment. You consider the “good” that can come out of this for you and maybe for another if you do the wrong action. Saul performed this rationalization.
Saul had been commanded by Samuel to utterly destroy the Amalekites who held up Israel when they were coming out of the wilderness. (1 Samuel 15:2-3) Instead, he spared King Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, “everything that was good.” (1 Samuel 15:9)
When Saul met Samuel on his way back from the battle he was enthusiastic about carrying out the Lord’s instructions, seemingly ignoring the word “completely.” Further, he excused it as the soldier’s positive action to bring back the best to sacrifice them to God. Samuel tells Saul to “Stop!” and explained reality to him. He had disobeyed and there was no excuse for it. He made the following comparison, “But …

Water Others

There are some people who seem to always sap our energy and drain us emotionally. There are others who refresh and invigorate us by their presence. Note Jesus’ offer of himself and the presence of the Holy Spirit as able to do the later. “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit…” John 7:37-38a
The Feast of Tabernacles was a seven day feast commemorating the forty year wilderness journey of the Israelites. Significant to this festival was the priest’s action of filling a golden pitcher at the pool of Siloam each day and returning to the Temple to pour it out into the basin of the altar of burnt offering. Done once per day and seven times on the seventh day, it was a celebration attended by all. It illustrated the refreshing by God throughout that journey by the pro…