Political intrigue

There are not many books in the Bible as dramatic as 2 Samuel. Today’s reading from 2 Samuel 16-17 makes all the prime-ministerial comings and goings in Australia politics over recent years look like a Sunday School picnic.

David having been forced to flee Jerusalem in haste, is met by Ziba, the servant of King Saul’s disabled grandson, Mephibosheth with needed provisions. However, David doubts the sincerity of the gift and interprets the action as treachery on the part of Jonathan’s son, to whom he had shown special kindness (2 Samuel 9:1-13).  If Ziba was trying to carry favour with the deposed king, he succeeded, with David giving him Mephibosheth’s land (but this was later reviewed when David returned – 2 Samuel 19:24-30).

Further down the road David cops an earful from Shimei, a disgruntled relative of Saul. I like how the Message version paraphrases verses 7-8:

To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, “Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound! God has paid you back for all your dirty work in the family of Saul and for stealing his kingdom. God has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look at you now—ruined! And good riddance, you pathetic old man!”

While his servant Abishai wants to extract revenge for the barrage of curses and stones, however David has more pressing issues to deal with :

11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.”

In the meantime Absalom had arrived in Jerusalem to claim the throne with the help of David’s former advisor Ahithophel whose counsel we are told in verse 23:

“was treated as if God himself had spoken. That was the reputation of Ahithophel’s counsel to David; it was the same with Absalom.”

However David still had an ally in Hushai the Archite, who cleverly gains Absalom’s trust by stroking the upstart’s ego and sways Absalom to heed his advice rather than that of Ahithopel by playing on his fears (17:1-14).

David’s cry for help back in 16:12 is answered. As verse 14 makes the point it was God who determined to discredit the counsel of Ahithophel so as to bring ruin on Absalom. Hushai’s plan and warning (v.15-20) brought David time to replenish and reorganise his forces.

With his advice rejected, Ahithophel realised that David would now regain control and that having committed treason against the king he had no future, so he takes his own life (v23).

Point to ponder:

Can we like Absalom become blinded by selfish ambition and vanity? Can it cause us to discount wise counsel ?

Advertisements

The Messenger killed. Judgement for All.

Today’s (Fr 03/06/2016) FDRs are from 2 Samuel 1 and Revelation 20 .

1 Samuel 2 – As we change books into the second book of Samuel it is worth noting that this book should be read as a continuation of the first although David shortly becomes the major focus.

While there is a sense of unfair treatment for the Amalekite messenger who, it appears was expecting a reward for finishing-off David’s public enemy (v10), David acts with continued great regard for Saul, (God’s appointed King, Jonathan’s father, and previously David’s direct boss) and has the messenger killed.  David continues to pay particular respect to King Saul, not just as his great friend’s father but as the person God carefully appointed to be King over Israel.

Given the breakdown in relationship between David and Saul it would have been very easy to dismiss Saul’s death as a gift and concentrate on Jonathan’s death in David’s dirge.  Yet this is not what David does.  He respects God’s choice of King and the dirge that follows (vv 19 – 27) and expresses his and his men’s grief over the death of both the  leaders yet the defeat of Israel is not included here.  Jonathan rates a particular mention in vv 25 and 26 as befits a very close friend, who was like a brother to David.  This expression, of his brotherhood with Jonathan, brings into the spotlight David’s son-like relationship with Saul.  This Saul who sought to take his life many times is still considered as a father to David!

We can see here a representation of God’s love for you and I.  Despite all we do in sin God still loves us and through His grace has provided His Son, Jesus to stand for us on Judgement Day.

Hypothetically, If we were unforgiving of Saul, as it is easy to be, then David and Saul’s relationship would have ended in a cave where Saul went to relieve himself and David had advantage over him.  NO more running and hiding.  NO more separation from his brother Jonathan.  NO serving the Philistine King.  Oh – and Jonathan would be free of his father.  Seems easy doesn’t it?

Yet, if we were to act as in the above hypothetical, we would be discounting and dishonouring God who had Samuel anoint Saul as King.

As I write this I am convicted that I should examine my own human responses to people whom God has put in my life!  People I have turned from because of some apparent offense!  Equally important, I realise an assessment of my life’s relationship with my God appointed King Jesus Christ is necessary.  Regularly and when prompted.

Revelation 20 – This chapter of Revelation, for me, is the pivot point of this book.  Satan and the Devil, already defeated at death by Jesus’ death and resurrection, is bound and finally (v10) restrained forever.

Judgement follows for me, and us all, everyone (vv 11-15).  In John’s vision, against books recording our deeds and also against the Book of Life.

These verses provide a clear view of the Bible’s expectation of what happens here on Judgement Day.  (I encourage you to refresh or inform your memory about this aspect of our Christian life.)

Matthew 16:27-28

Romans 2:5-11  
[You might like to read this passage more broadly than these six verses.]

2 Corinthians 5:10

A Prayer – Lord and Father, may I respect and treat with care those whom you bring me in contact with in whatever circumstance.  Forgive me Father, in Christ’s name, for those whom I have offended or deliberately hurt.  Help me keep observant and active in my relationships so that I treat your children, and those who do not know you, with the same respect and care that Jesus demonstrated.  I ask these things in Jesus name.  Amen.

Glenn

No longer confused …

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 18 and Hebrews 10:19-25

Ever reached a point in reading a story where no matter how much you read and re-read sections of the chapter it just seems there are aspects which leave you in a perplexed or baffled state? This was certainly the case for me with parts of this final chapter; the taking of a census that led to guilt ??? punishment, repentance and sacrifice ????? and then that’s the end …..

‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.’ Vs 10b

David then having to choose one of three options for God to punish him ….

‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ vs 12

Although it doesn’t make sense in the context of today, it does highlight one thing for certain. There will always be things of God that are hard to make out and are beyond our understanding … that’s why God is God.

But this was also a very significant moment in the history of God’s people for this would become the very place that the future temple to be erected by Solomon would be built; the place where the presence of God was experienced in all its fullness as the anger of God was unleashed; the power of God was shown in full force, and yet the mercy of God was unmistakable.

‘……. David built an alter and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offering. Then the Lord answered prayer in behalf of the land and the plague on Israel stopped. ’ vs 25

And so not just the chapter, but the second book of Samuel comes to an abrupt end. David’s final actions demonstrate that irrespective of his many previous mistakes and sins, he had not lost that part of his character and heart which was concerned with right and proper worship of God.

‘I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ vs 24

And as I closed the book of Samuel and opened Hebrews at our second reading today, scripture continues with great revelation of what this right and proper worship of God is for us today because of Christ …. therefore ….

‘… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’ Hebrews 10: 22-23

Unlike David and the Israelites, Christ has opened the way for us to come directly into God’s presence, with our act of worship directly linked to how we do this; a sincere heart being a heart which completely trusts and a life which is fully dedicated and devoted to following Christ.

Pray with me to remain this way; unswervingly … as our salvation will one day be fully realised with our hope guaranteed because he who promised is faithful.

‘Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sins, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.’
Hebrews 9:27-28

KD

Once for all.

Today there is quite a bit or reading so stick with it and be encouraged, I have kept my comments short. After all, His words say it so much more eloquently than mine!

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words of David:

“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
the hero of Israel’s songs:
2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke,
the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God,
surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”
David’s Mighty Warriors

What a revelation! For David to be able write that the Spirit of The Lord had spoken through him! That the rock of Israel had likened him to the ‘light of morning at sunrise’ that he could speak of an ‘everlasting covenant’ having been enacted because of the fact that his house was ‘right with God’ ‘secured in every part’. To know that your salvation had been brought ‘to fruition’. What marvellous words to be able to write of your relationship with The God of Israel.

image

8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth,[a] a Tahkemonite,[b] was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed[c] in one encounter.

9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim[d] for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. 17 “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

18 Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.[e] He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24 Among the Thirty were:
Asahel the brother of Joab,
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25 Shammah the Harodite,
Elika the Harodite,
26 Helez the Paltite,
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
27 Abiezer from Anathoth,
Sibbekai[f] the Hushathite,
28 Zalmon the Ahohite,
Maharai the Netophathite,
29 Heled[g] son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
30 Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hiddai[h] from the ravines of Gaash,
31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Barhumite,
32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
the sons of Jashen,
Jonathan 33 son of[i] Shammah the Hararite,
Ahiam son of Sharar[j] the Hararite,
34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,
Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,
35 Hezro the Carmelite,
Paarai the Arbite,
36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,
the son of Hagri,[k]
37 Zelek the Ammonite,
Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
38 Ira the Ithrite,
Gareb the Ithrite
39 and Uriah the Hittite.
There were thirty-seven in all.

Ever thought about the people you spend time with? Your brothers and sisters in Christ who year after year seem to be there. You find yourselves together at church, social functions, smaller gatherings. You may in some cases have watched over each other’s children as they grew, in times of sickness and suffering they were there with you and you with them. There have been times of great joy and deep sadness and you have shared those times together. Guess what, those people say something about you. The people we spend most time with, our closest brothers and sisters, their qualities etc say something about us.

As David reflected on his mighty warriors those men said something about David himself. Look closely at your brothers and sisters (all mighty warriors in their own small way) and be greatly encouraged. They are God’s gift to you!

And as far as verse 39 goes, ‘However, David badly failed the last named mighty man, Uriah the Hittite. Jesus never fails anyone.’ (The Bible Panorama commentary)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[b]
17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[c]
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

The assurance of Christ’s sacrifice
What a wonderful reminder of what Jesus has done for us. “I have come to do your will, my God.” Jesus, the only one able and fully committed to doing his father’s will, goes where no other can go.

Then we read….V14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. That’s you and me, astounding isn’t it?

We know that His laws have now been put in our ‘hearts’ and on our ‘minds’ our sins and lawless acts “I will remember no more.”

Be encouraged this day and God bless you.

David reclaims his kingdom

In recent years we have witnessed a lot of back-stabbing and back room deals in Australian politics, but these events pale into insignificance compared to what David had to endure during his life.

For many the image they have of David is the giant killing shepherd boy from the Sunday School stories who became a king and composed many of the Psalms. But the reason that many of those Psalms resonate so much with readers comes from the pain and anguish of a life on the run from those who would take his throne away from him – including his own son, Absalom.

Today’s reading from 2 Samuel 19 is the account of deposed king seeking to re-establish his monarchy.

David’s soldiers had won the battle (2 Samuel 18). They had saved David and his family and his kingdom. But while David is king, he is also a father who cares deeply for his slain son. The confrontation between Absalom and David was always going to be a no-win situation.

The victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people – a king overcome with excessive grief and mourning was not a good look for his loyal and sacrificing supporters who had won that day for the glory of God and the good of Israel. When they saw David’s reaction, they felt guilty about Absalom and felt as if they were worth nothing to David.

Joab, the commander of his army, is incensed by this and chastises David “Get a grip on yourself, you cant carry on like this”. Joab feared that the soldiers were ready to leave David. He had to put his grief aside and show his appreciation for all that the troops had done for him before the situation got worse. The people needed to see David sitting as king in the place of authority ready to continue his reign. Joab’s rebuke worked because Joab cared enough to say it, and David was wise enough to receive it.

But his was a divided kingdom (v 9-10). The tribes of Israel understood what David did for them, they understood that they rejected him and embraced Absalom, but their false king had failed and it left the people of Israel in a dispute about bringing back David.

David was not about to force his reign on Israel. It would take political manoeuvring to restore trust and confidence (11-14). He would only come back if the tribes who rejected him for Absalom agreed to bring back the king, so he sends his negotiators, the priests Zadok and Abiathar to plicate tribal allegiances. He also replaces Joab with Amasa, the captain of Absalom’s army as a gesture of reconciliation to the former supporters of Absalom.

When David had fled Israel he did so as a desperate fugitive, rejected by the nation and hunted by his son Absalom. Now he welcomed back escorted by thousands of enthusiastic supporters (v15 – 18).

Despite calls by Abishai to seek revenge, David shows forgiveness to the humble and contrite Shimei, who had insulted and thrown rocks at David and his men when they left Jerusalem (16:5-14). However, what isn’t mentioned this day is that Shimei only gets a stay of execution; he gets his execution after all in I Kings 2:8-9.

Next to greet David is Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s crippled son (and Saul’s grandson) whom David had shown great kindness. But Mephibosheth did not leave Jerusalem when David escaped from Absalom. Now David wanted to know why. Ziba, who was Mephibosheth’s servant, had helped David by providing food for David and his men (16:1-4). Ziba had told David that Mephibosheth was not loyal to him, but this was a lie, as Ziba had left the crippled Mephibosheth stranded so that he could not leave Jerusalem. The description of Mephibosheth appearance in verse 24 shows the customs of a man who was very sad.

Faced with a dilemma of having already given Mephibosheth’s land to Ziba, David divided the land between the two men. But Mephibosheth, who trusted David completely (verse 27) did not care about the land. He only cared that David was safe.

Finally, David then shows his gratefulness to the elderly Barzillai who had helped him during this traumatic time with provisions (17:27-29). Not wishing to be a burden on the king, Barzillai declines the offer for himself, but secures it for his son, Chimham.

Verses 40-43 show that David had inherited back a divided nation with the northern tribes feeling excluded in this ceremonial return of David from across the Jordan River. This competitive attitude between Judah and the ten northern tribes set the stage for civil war in David’s day and the eventual division of the nation into two.

Life was tough for David, just as it can be tough for us all at times – we can learn a lot from David’s examples of forgiveness, gratefulness and putting the past behind and moving forward.

Accountability …

Today’s Readings:           2 Samuel 12 and Hebrews 3:1-6

“Mum will always know …” I can still hear my mother’s voice when as a child, she would remind me that no matter where I went, what I did or who I was with, she would always know … and she did! As a child I hadn’t grasped the concept of networks and ‘degrees of separation’; the complex web of relationships which meant that sooner or later, Mum would know. And then the question would be asked …. and all would be revealed. I can’t recall there ever being anything sinister, and it wasn’t necessarily that I was doing anything wrong at the time BUT … one decision can lead to another and before long you can find yourself where you never wanted to be.

We pick up the story of David with Nathan the prophet approaching him with great wisdom and certainly with great courage, because he knew what had transpired and needed to hold David accountable for his actions; actions where one wrong decision lead to a web of deceit and eventual tragedy; actions which highlight how easy is can be for power to drive greed.

And so for David, the predictions started to quickly unfold of the consequences of his actions, which would continue to unfold in the ensuing chapters. With the death of Bathsheba and David’s illegitimate child we read of the incredible grief of a father’s deep love for his baby, as well as his intense care and love for Bathsheba. But we also get a glimpse of God’s great compassion in responding to a repentant heart and that with true repentance comes forgiveness.

Psalm 51 is David’s cry of deep remorse and sorrow; a cry that acknowledges guilt without excuse, and appeals to the character of God (take time as some stage to read the whole Psalm).

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:1-2

And as we read future (can I hear you singing?) …

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me”. vv 10-12

But whilst punishing David, God would still fulfil the earlier promise made to David.

“The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-13

And so in spite of David’s actions, God’s promise and plan would continue to unfold; this promise fulfilled with the birth of another son, Solomon. The message given to David through Nathan is the indicator which points to the fact that it is this son, Solomon who is the one chosen by God to be the next king.

“Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him …” 2 Samuel 12:24

And this is the way it is for us too. We are all flawed; we all make mistakes; there are times when we are totally ashamed of our actions. But forgiveness for us is not delivered through a prophet but rather at and through the cross.

If we are prepared to listen to those who speak into our life; have spiritually mature people to walk with us and hold us accountable for our behaviour; accept and understand that there is a God ready to forgive us too, if we are prepared to come to him with a contrite and remorseful heart as we acknowledge our flaws, brokenness and mistakes THEN there is forgiveness.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you do not despise.” Psalm 51:17

And finally the invitation from Jesus …

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Can I encourage you to make my prayer your prayer too …. that as I find myself facing the consequences of my decisions, I won’t seek to look for excuses; that I will take full responsibility before you God and others for my actions and reactions; that I will have the humility to seek both your forgiveness and the forgiveness of those I have wronged. Amen

KD

God leading, we are His ambassadors

Today’s (We 30/04/2014) FDR is from 2 Samuel 9 and Philemon.

Have you been following this blog since last Saturday? I hope so because I see an encouraging pattern emerging and I trust you will see it too. A pattern that today has two examples of God acting through His believers and their relationships. (Although we might see David, in 2 Samuel 9, and Paul, in Philemon, as biblical giants and senior saints the behaviours they have exhibited are for us also.) But I move too quickly forward.

Last Saturday 26th, in 2 Samuel, as well as reading about David we also saw the death of Uzzah when he tried to stop the Ark from being damaged and Michal and her change of place as she held onto some resentment. Titus 3: 1 & 2 provided us with some instructions about how to live as Christians in our community.

Then on Monday 28th, we read of God’s response to David’s request to make a house for Him in Jerusalem as the centre of His world. Here is the beginning of the promise that a kingdom for all will be established by God and the Messiah will be sent to establish it here on earth. Again, as with Saturday’s reading, there is a relationship response by David, who being so keen and devoted to God, sees not the disappointment of his idea not being taken up but the wisdom of God’s now stated intention and responds in worship.

Moving on to Tuesday 29th, we are reminded that David pursued God’s peace, maintained a strong focus on God’s place on earth and he did what was right and just. Most would see him as an excellent king or leader.

At some stage, as you read this blog you will have recalled some of David’s sin against God. His adultery and the murder, by his direction of her husband, so he could marry his adulterous partner. Not that I’m suggesting that you should measure mine or your sin and our own good deeds to see how we compare. Not at all.

Whats on show here is not about me or you but about our God who, although entitled to judge each of us severely, sent His Son to die for us that we might be sinless in God’s eyes.

So to today’s readings and two men, our brothers in faith across time, who show us two examples of Godly or Christ-like behaviour in relation to others. David reinstates Mephibosheth and so in essense does Paul for Onesimus. Although for differing reasons both David and Paul live their lives before their community in Christ-like behaviour. Behaviour that comes from studying God’s word and seeking to understand God and what He wants for us, that is, God’s will for us.

The writer on Saturday reminded us in his closing paragraph, that this Christ-like behaviour often provides opportunity for verbal discussion about God and what it means to accept Jesus into our lives as Lord and Saviour.

While I wouldn’t wish the role of David or Paul on anybody. Such things are God’s choosing and direction for each of us. We do have numeruos opportunities in our daily life to demonstrate quietly and clearly that we are Christians and are working at living our lives thoughtfully and carefully before God. This too is a place for us to be leaders. Not only in the up the front on the stage type of leadership, although for some that is their given role. But in daily situations, among family, friends, work colleagues, and our brothers and sisters, where we can influence those around us by how we act and speak.

So to close, can I encourage you to continue your very important journey with our God, and leave you with these couple of lines from a hymn that reminds me of what I am about:

May the mind of Christ my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and pow’r controlling
All I do and say.

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/401#ixzz30HnW4PgI
The whole 6 verses can be found here

Of course there is a Youtube version:
May the mind of Christ my Saviour