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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

David – the Chosen of God

          David was chosen by God because “he was a man after God’s own heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 13:22  Our all-knowing God knew David when he was a mere substance in the earth. God knew David's end from his beginning. David knew this about God. He wrote about this in Psalm 139:15-16. “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.” In the beginning, God shaped and formed the first man out of the dust of the earth. We are all made of the same substance of the earth -- water and dirt. We have to be reformed spiritually from the Second and Last Adam – Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit and Word.

Know God and His Heart
David wanted to truly know God. God knew this about David. He knew that David would draw from the well of His Anointed Word, heart and character. And because of this, God revealed things to David knowing David would understand His revelation knowledge and do it.
God knew David’s heart, and David was learning about God’s heart. Theirs was a deep and abiding relationship. God would reshape and mold David’s heart so it reflected His heart. David was willing. God begins with a willing heart. God cannot force His revelation knowledge into an unwilling heart.

Become the Man or Woman God Intends You to be.
David’s desire was to become the person God intended him to be. David said in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me to the way everlasting.” David didn’t want any sin in him to displease God. He was willing to have God test him in His work of sanctification within him. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he and others had prayed unceasingly that God would fill Timothy “with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have the great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:9-12 David understood this long before Jesus came into the world. Timothy understood this too. To live in a manner worthy of the Lord, we must be willing to allow God to teach us by the power of the Word of truth, the Holy Spirit of truth, and anointed men and women of God. Then we are to do the truth revealed. We must, of course, seek affirmation that what is taught is the truth. The Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth – will help you in this.

Use the Revelation Knowledge God Has Given You
Along the journey of his transformation, David relied upon what he already had been shown and knew of God. This, of course, is what followers of Christ are to do. Our journey with God is a progressive and a never-ending one. Knowing God and pleasing Him was David’s greatest desire and should be every believer’s desire. When God revealed Jesus as His Beloved Son, He said He was “well-pleased” with Jesus. Why? Because Jesus only did what the Father told Him to do and spoke only what God told Him to speak. His heart and life belonged to God. Jesus wanted to bring glory to God in everything He did and said. This should be every believer’s heart’s desire also.

David Instructs His Son Solomon
When David was about to turn the kingship over to his son Solomon, he told Solomon to “know” David’s God and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9  Jesus said that those who seek Him will also find Him. Solomon built the earthly temple of God according to the instructions given him by his father David who received the instructions from the Heavenly Father. David supplied his son Solomon with everything he needed to build a house for God. David shared the plans given him by God for Solomon to use in building God's temple on earth. David also gave Solomon the wisdom, location, land, money, materials, workers and the temple servants to run it. Jesus too has everything He needs given by the Father to build God’s eternal, spiritual temple in the hearts of those who love and follow His Son. Jesus will not use human wisdom but will use the wisdom of God in His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus, those who love and serve Jesus are to use His powerful Word and Holy Spirit to build His temple in the hearts of others.
Jesus always takes the external internal. As it was all about David’s heart with God, it is all about our hearts with Jesus. David told Solomon, “The Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” God would not let David build His House because he was a warrior and had blood on his hands. His son Solomon, the King of peace, will build the earthly, temporary temple until Jesus the eternal King of Peace comes to build God’s eternal temple in the hearts of those who love and serve Him. Jesus came as the King of peace the first time. He will come as the Mighty Warrior the next time. David and Solomon, his son, are a type and shadow of God and Jesus, the King of Peace and Mighty Warrior, building His spiritual temple on earth as it is in heaven in the hearts of those who love and follow His Chosen and Precious Son Jesus. Jesus too has given us all we need to build His temple in the hearts of mankind. He gave us the power of His Word and His Spirit so we can carry out the will of God in our lives. We are His servants. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Saul – Began Anointed but Fell Away from God

Saul was on a mission for his father. He was searching for his father’s donkeys who were lost but he couldn’t find them. Saul wanted to give up but the servant with him told Saul about Samuel, the man of God who “who is highly respected and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.” Samuel 9:6 This servant obviously had at least heard of Samuel! Saul didn’t know of Samuel who had been ruling over God’s people for years. When Saul came face to face with Samuel, he asked where the seer's house was. (see 1 Samuel 19:18) The Seer was Samuel and Saul was talking to him. So, this pretty much tells you how religious Saul had been, and yet God's people wanted him to be king over them.

God is Orchestrating
God is secretly working through this servant to bring Saul before Samuel to make him king as God’s people had insisted. If Saul had turned back, he would have missed his destiny. Our omnipotent God will see to it that the people have their way. God knew that His people would learn some lessons from their choice.
Saul’s servant was a wise man! He knew that everything Samuel said came true because Samuel was a true prophet of God. The servant trusted that Samuel, the man of God, could show them the way to the lost. Samuel did even better, he assured Saul and his servant that the donkeys had already been found. Samuel will also give Saul and his servant other signs that should assure them that God is with them.
Saul and his servant met women going out to draw water who led them to Samuel, the man of God. Again God is in control. When Saul and his servant entered the town, Samuel was coming toward them on his way up to the “high place” where he would offer a sacrifice to God. The day before, God had told Samuel that Saul was coming and that he should anoint him king over God’s people. Samuel didn’t have to do anything but wait upon God. When Saul appeared, God said to Samuel, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern My people.”1 Samuel 10:17 This is God’s permissive will. God is orchestrating all of this. He will give the people their wish even though it is not God’s sovereign will. His sovereign will was David. God does not force His will upon us.
Samuel knew God’s voice. God began speaking to Samuel when he was just a young boy. Samuel's mother had dedicated him to the Lord right after his birth. He was raised in the Temple of God by the high priest and priests. 

Trials and Tests
God will allow His people their choice of king, but He also warned them through His prophet Samuel what their choice of king would do to them. Unfortunately, they will suffer much at the hands of Saul and have many loses because of their insistence that he become their king. All this could have been avoided had God’s people waited upon Him.
Saul ruled for 40 years. 40 is the number of trials and tests -- tribulation. God’s people will be tested and tried under the leadership of Saul. When Saul turned away from God, God’s people suffered greatly. Saul tried to kill David many times because he was jealous and envious of David. Unfortunately, Saul’s spirit and actions spiraled downward.
You know, the devil was once a perfect archangel in the heavenly throne room of God. His downfall came when pride entered him, and he decided to disobey God and wanted to be God. God is speaking to the devil in the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28. The devil will meet his end when he and his followers are thrown into the deepest part of the earth. Does God delight in this? Absolutely not! He says in Ezekiel 28:ll, we are to lament (mourn and grieve) his fall.  The devil began perfect in every way in God’s holy throne room. What God creates is holy and perfect. It was the devil’s choices that had him thrown out of heaven. God hates to see any of his creatures cast away from Him. Jesus is always calling us up higher with Him, but the devil calls you to the deepest part of the earth – lower and lower. He wants you to join him in his misery, but Jesus wants to bless you and take you higher and higher with Him. He can't do this using sin and the devil's ways.

God’s Chosen Kings and Leaders
The kings of Israel led by God were not to dominate and oppress God’s people. They were called to guide and protect God’s people like a shepherd and servant. Jesus is the Perfect Shepherd/Servant King over God’s people. “He came not to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 He is the example that leaders should follow when in offices of power, especially if they profess to be a Christian – follower of Jesus. Jesus did not come through the line of Saul, but through the line of David, God’s choice for king. Those of us who love and serve Jesus must also be careful who we choose to rule over us. They should have the heart and character of God, not tyrants who use their power to belittle and suppress or for their own selfish will and gains. It is God’s heart desire to bless His people. He cannot do so with the wrong leader in charge of them. God does not bless sin and ungodly ways. An ungodly leader not controlled by God will lead His people downward because only godliness will lead us upward. Jesus is always calling us to go higher with Him into His holy realm – not down further and further into the belly of the earth to the devil’s realm. God loves us and knows what is right for us. It is His ways and will that are the best for us.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

David and Saul Continued

The portion of scripture regarding David and Saul teaches us that there was a vast spiritual difference between these two leaders, some of which are pointed out in this teaching.  

Ungodly Saul
      The fact that Saul had not heard of Samuel, who had ruled God’s people for years, indicates that he must have lived outside religious circles and was not concerned with Godly things. This fact would stop God from choosing him to rule over His people. Saul was worldly and probably didn’t respect and appreciate God’s spiritual laws. Even though Saul wasn’t God’s choice, He will give the Israelites their way. Saul was allowed to serve as king over God’s people until he took his own life. Once God has decreed a thing, He doesn’t go back on His word. God had anointed Saul to be king at the request of the people and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. His death would be the only way Saul will no longer be king.

Godly David
David on the other hand had a passion and hunger for God. He lived a life of prayer, worship and spiritual intimacy with God -- although not without sin. David’s desire was to please God and serve others. Even though Samuel had told David that God had chosen him to be king over Israel, David served king Saul for many years and never mentioned to Saul that God had chosen him. David knew that God would appoint the time. David was a God-pleaser, not a people-pleaser like Saul. David encouraged others to be the same. David sought God’s face and counsel and depended upon Him. He understood that God was the real King of Israel and he was only His representative. David was also loyal and inspired loyalty in others.

Saul was not prepared by God to be king, but David was. David was chosen and anointed to be king at the age of 17 but didn’t take the throne until the age of 30. 30 in scripture is the number of maturity. In between David’s three anointings,God is preparing David and testing him so he will know God and be a faithful, good leader over God’s beloved people. Samuel had warned Saul that Israel belonged to the Lord. They were His inheritance. Saul was to lead and care for them as God would. He failed. Saul allowed his flesh to get in the way of his Godly duty.

Unmerited Favor
Saul started with God’s unmerited favor but fell out of God’s favor through disobedience to God, His will and ways. Saul slowly and steadily withdrew from God’s ways. Eventually, Saul turned away from following the Lord completely and never returned to Him. 1 Samuel 15:10 -11: Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Saul’s seed would have reigned forever had he not blatantly disobeyed God’s instruction. Because Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord, the Lord rejected Saul. Then Samuel, the prophet, priest and king anointed of God, told Saul that the Lord “has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors – one better than you.” 1 Samuel 15:28  That neighbor was David.

God’s Equipping
In the beginning of Saul’s reign, he had the same things David had to rule. Saul and David were both anointed with the Holy Spirit. David’s anointing was greater however. Saul was anointed with a flask of oil (small amount) but David was anointed with a horn of oil (greater amount). Both David and Saul were supported by godly Samuel who shared God’s Word and counsel with them. Both were given gifts of royalty. Both were supported by the majority of God’s people. Both were surrounded by mighty warriors. Despite this, Saul chose his own way. David chose God's way. The result: Saul’s leadership was a failed one; David’s was a successful one despite his faults. Christ inherited the right to David’s throne fulfilling Isaiah 9:6-7. David’s kingdom was eternal in Christ. Revelation 22:16: “I am the root and offspring of David.” Jesus is David’s Creator (root) as well as His offspring – heir of David. 

The Declination of Sin
       Saul spent a substantial amount of his kingship trying to kill David because of jealousy, resentment and anger. To flee Saul’s wrath, David hid in caves and fled to another country. David had three opportunities to kill Saul but wouldn’t touch God’s anointed one. David trusted that God was in control, so he would wait upon God. The very one that God had chosen to restore God’s blessing to His people, Saul wanted to destroy.
David turned from his sin and followed the Lord, but Saul made excuses and blamed others. Saul didn’t trust God, nor did he seek God’s counsel. Eventually, God’s people will see that Saul was devoid of the godly qualities and character needed to lead them. Saul had the same opportunity as David to confess and repent of his sins and didn’t. David‘s confession and repentance set him free and gave him God’s forgiveness. David was also worried that the Lord would take His Spirit from him like He did to Saul, so David asked the Lord in Psalm 51:11 “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51 is the depth of David’s sorrow over His sin of adultery and murder.
David said in Psalm 16:2, “You are My Lord; I have no good apart from you.” David understood that without the Lord, he could do nothing. Jesus said in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does in like manner.”  Again, Jesus said in John 5:30, Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing.” Why did Jesus say these things? Jesus and the Father are One. They never contradict each other and walk together in perfect harmony and agreement. In His flesh body, Jesus did nothing apart from God. Jesus also said that “apart from Him you can do nothing.” John 15:5 Followers of Christ are to do what the Son did in harmony and agreement according to God's will.