Category: 2 Samuel


Filled

Day 164 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5

If you are a Christian, then you are a walking temple of God… have you ever experienced something like this:

1 Kings 8:10:  When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

There are few times in my life where I can say I felt  FILLED like what happened in the temple.  It was obviously a unique situation that took place… it wasn’t every day that the place was so cloudy that the priests couldn’t perform their service… I’ve certainly never experienced that at church!  We can worship, feel close, feel humbled, but I think there are those unique moments when we are FILLED to the brim with God’s presence, and it is a life-stopping glorious experience.

      It happened at Young Life camp when I was a volunteer leader.. I remember a moment when we were square dancing and being truly goofy.. getting to see the ear-to-ear grins on all of our student’s faces I had a moment when I thought, “This is like heaven!” and WOOSH I was filled with that sense of just how big God is inside of me. 

    A Few Months ago I was worshiping God on a Sunday morning standing between two older women from my bible study.  My heart was crushed by the weight of the pending divorce, I gave up, I wanted cleansing, mercy, healing… WOOSH I was feeling with the abundance of God’s perfect never-ceasing love for me and was able to worship in a unique “pure” way like I never had before.

   It doesn’t happen often but I feel like we really can be filled with God’s presence like he filled the temple of Solomon.

Day 143 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21-22, Psalm 30

  David decides to count his people in a census, which ticks God off and then 70,000 Israelites die from plague because of it… Er What?! WHY?!  perhaps there was more to the Michelle Bachmann Census boycott than even SHE knew about.  Apparently back in the day you were only allowed to count what you owned and Israel did not belong to David, It belonged to God.  But did 70,000 people need to die because their king screwed up?  David didn’t think so, check out 2 Samuel 24:17,

 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

  What do you when what you read about God makes no sense? What do you do when what you experience in life makes no sense? 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Lord, my life makes no sense to me right now.  But it’s not my job to make sense of it, is it?  My job is to obey YOU, trust YOU, submit to YOU, regardless of whether or not I understand all that I’m going through.  Bad things can happen to good people.  Make my yuck, my pain, my hurt a tool to shape me into someone you can use.  I don’t have to understand why you allowed this, but I can be committed to allowing it to refine me… YOU define me, not my circumstances. Even in the confusion, I love you Lord.

Day 141

Day 141 2 Samuel 22-23, Psalm 57

Read it!

Day 139 2 Samuel 19-21

   My mother-in-law warned me about today’s reading a couple of days ago.  It was a rough story when the Gibeonites asked for five of Saul’s descendents to be killed and their bodies be put out on display.  The Mother of two of them stayed by the bodies and kept the birds away.  I don’t think the story made much sense… God didn’t ask for this to happen but he did direct David to ask the Gibeonites what they wanted to make up for what Saul did to them.  This left some of my friends saying things like, “This is not MY God.”  My brother, reading the bible with me, has let me know he’s not cool with the God in the old testament… There is a distinct difference in how the Old testament looks at God and how the new Testament looks at God. Is it  even the same God?  Yes. But I do not have the answers as to how.  I DO know there is value in the struggle, in the confusion and looking deeper into the word. 

     If something doesn’t sit right with me about the scripture, OT or NT, I look deeper.  I change the translation.  Does Peterson’s The message phrase it in a way that makes more sense or is there something in the Amplified version that can help cast light on what I’m reading?  I pray and ask God directly to help me make sense of what I’m struggling with. I check my secondary resources, what does my NIV Study commentary say about this? What does gotquestions.org say?  I talk with others, my pastor, my father, my pastor’s wife.  I dig and I dig till I feel like I understand a bit better than sit back and realize what didn’t sit right with me in the scripture was a blessing to me.  Because I felt angry or confused I had read deeper into the scripture, I prayed and talked directly with God, I had fellowship with other christians.  All of it together brought me closer to God.  DO NOT DISPAIR when you do not understand or are frustrated by something you read!  Look deeper, ask questions and praise God for the journey.

Day 137

Day 137 2 Samuel 16-18

Read it!

Day 135 2 Samuel 13-15

  As my buddy Cindy put it, “This was a very long and complicated story.”   However I really liked an image that was given to us by a widow who is trying to convince King David that he needs to forgive his son Abselom for Murdering his David’s other Son Amnon (who had raped their sister Tamar).  Like I said complicated and that’s just the tip of the iceberg… Anyhow here is this old lady kind of “tricking” David into realizing it was time that Abselom returned to Jerusalem.  She says in 2 Samuel 14:14, ” Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.”    

   This is such a wonderful image, She essentially illustrates perfectly how we sin and the wages of sin is death, But God has another plan for us… and he has the means to accomplish the impossible.  What terrible thing have you done that makes you like water poured out onto the ground, irretrievable and thus gone forever?  To think of God forever devising ways to end our banishment leaves me quite humbled and gives me hope for those whom I love that think they are completely unlovable.  God IS love, and that love knows no bounds.

David and Bathsheba

Day 133 2 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 20

*Explicit Language Warning*

David is an asshole, and that’s putting it lightly.  This arrogant sense of entitlement over another man’s wife, is vile.  The way he tries to cover it up then in the end has the man killed is beyond explanation.  His deeds deserve his own death.  Even in this day and age he’d be on death row for what he did.  Yet THIS is who is regarded as “The Man after God’s Own Heart.”  WHY?

     God is not in the business of judging what we do.  WHAT?  What about the law? We spent Weeks and Weeks reading it!! But What is the law?  I think David knew that it had the power to change lives if it was followed.  So what happened?  David sinned just like we sin because we are human and that’s what we do.  So if we were to be judged, REALLY judged by what we do we will always fall short.  We have our guidance set in the ten commandments… but what’s REALLY important here?  The Heart.

God IS in the business of looking at the Heart, and that’s where David stands out.  Gotquestions.org summed it up this way : “David demonstrated his faith seemingly on a daily basis which pleased the Lord. Throughout his life his faith would be tested on a grand scale and in the final analysis he passed most of the tests. David also loved God’s law and he sought to follow it as best he could. He spent many days meditating on it and trying to apply it to his own life. He knew that God’s law had the power to change lives if it was followed to the letter. Another important character trait that David exhibited was that he had the attitude of gratitude and was very thankful for his life. During his life he had all sorts of trouble. From adultery and murder to running for his life, David thanked God every day no matter the circumstances. And finally, David was truly repentant. Let us not forget that he was a man just like us who sinned on a regular basis. But despite his continual sin he always loved God and sought to repent of those sins. ”

If you have the time Heath McNease REALLY says it best when he sings his version of Hallelujah:

Day 131

Day 131 2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19, Psalm 20

 1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
   may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
   and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
   and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
   and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
   and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

Day 129

Day 129 2 Samuel 8-9, 1 Chronicles 18

I’m not too fond of reading about David’s conquests… These are people, followers of God or not, people.  So I guess what I’m saying is I was not built for war…  What’s up with his treatment of the Moabites, indiscriminately killing them as they stood in a line based on the length of a rope?!  Gee, way to make Great-Grandma Ruth (a Moabite) proud!

   I don’t get it God I really don’t.  Mark this down as one of those things, along with the treatment of women, that I just STRUGGLE with!

Day 127 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17

I KNEW the part about David deciding to build the ark a building was coming up!  I didn’t think I had missed it.. but anyhow, I found it interesting that David consults with the Prophet Nathan, who agrees, yeah sounds like a great idea but did they Ask God?  Nope, and God has an opinion about this too, and WHY shouldn’t He?  His instructions on making the tabernacle in the wilderness were REALLY specific, and for Good reason! It’s a copy of what exists in heaven and a layout of what exists on our hearts.

  God tells David no.  Why?  Isn’t that always the question we ask God when he says no and isn’t that the one question God won’t answer.  Personally I think it’s an opportunity for God to tell David about HIS house and God’s plans for it which include Jesus.  When God was talking about Solomon (not by name but as the one to build the temple) the first time I read it in 2 Samuel I honestly thought God was talking about Jesus, then when we reread the story in Chronicles I felt a little confuse, wait who are we talking about?  Is there room for God to be talking about Solomon but metaphorically talking about Jesus?

    God has told me no, and like a typical human I have demanded to know why.  Why would God not give me the tools to keep this family together with a Mother and a Father?  Isn’t that what God wants?  Why expand my family with the addition of my precious daughter then allow  my children’s father to walk away?  Make him love me again God!

     God’s answer is no, as it should be.  God has never been in the business of making people love.  From the depths of pain my calling out to God is bigger, my commitment to my children is bigger, a calling to teach has awaken and my life is now open to an infinite possibilities.  Whoa my fear is big but Oh my God is bigger.  I thought God would want one thing but He’s showing me how He can use this new path, and as I give to Him what I can not handle He hands back a promise, “It’s going to be Ok child.  I got this one.”