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Under Gods Command (Falling in Love with Jesus)

Matthew Chapter 1:18-24    

18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

     20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dreams and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, t because he will save his people from their sins.”

     22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” w (which means “God with us”).

     24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Jewish marriage involved three basic steps. First, the two families agreed to the union. Second, a public announcement was made. At this point, the couple was “pledged.” This was similar to engagement today except that their relationship could be broken only through death or divorce (even though sexual relations were not yet permitted). Third, the couple was married and began living together. Because Mary and Joseph were engaged, Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a severe social stigma. According to Jewish civil law, Joseph had a right to divorce her, and the Jewish authorities could have had her stoned to death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

1:18 Why is the Virgin Birth important to the Christian faith? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had to be free from the sinful nature passed on to all other human beings by Adam. Because Jesus was born of a woman, he was a human being; but as the Son of God, Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine.

Because Jesus lived as a man, we know that he fully understands our experiences and struggles (Hebrews 4:15-16). Because he is God, he has the power and authority to deliver us from sin (Colossians 2:13-15). We can tell Jesus all our thoughts, feelings, and needs. He has been where we are now, and he has the ability to help.

Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. Perhaps Joseph thought he had only two options: divorce Mary quietly or have her stoned. But God provided a third option—marry her (1:20-23). In view of the circumstances, this had not occurred to Joseph. But God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. Although Joseph seemed to be doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s guidance helped him make the best decision. But that did not make it an easy decision. Consenting to marry Mary surely cast doubt on his own innocence regarding the pregnancy, as well as leaving them both with a social stigma they would carry for the rest of their lives. Yet Joseph chose to obey the angel’s command (1:24). When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom and then be willing to follow through no matter how difficult it may be.

The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are supernatural events beyond human logic or reasoning. Because of this, God sent angels to help certain people understand the significance of what was happening (see 2:13, 19; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9).

Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out his work on earth. They bring God’s messages to people (Luke 1:26), protect God’s people (Daniel 6:22), offer encouragement (Genesis 16:7-16), give guidance (Exodus 14:19), carry out punishment (2 Samuel 24:16), patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:9-14), and fight the forces of evil (2 Kings 6:16-18; Revelation 20:1-2). There are both good and bad angels (Revelation 12:7), but because bad angels are allied with the devil, or Satan, they have considerably less power and authority than good angels. Eventually the main role of angels will be to offer continuous praise to God (Revelation 7:11-12).

The angel declared to Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be a son. This reveals an important truth about Jesus—he is both God and human. The infinite, unlimited God took on the limitations of humanity so he could live and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him.

Jesus means “the LORD saves.” Jesus came to earth to save us because we can’t save ourselves from sin and its consequences. No matter how good we are, we can’t eliminate the sinful nature present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that. Jesus didn’t come to help people save themselves; he came to be their Savior from the power and penalty of sin. Thank Christ for his death on the cross for your sin, and then ask him to take control of your life. Your new life begins at that moment.

Jesus would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, for he would be “Immanuel” (“God with us”; see Isaiah 7:14). Jesus was God in the flesh; thus, God was literally among us, “with us.” Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is present today in the life of every believer. Perhaps not even Isaiah understood how far-reaching the meaning of Immanuel would be. 1:24 Joseph changed his plans quickly after learning that Mary had not been unfaithful to him (1:19). He obeyed God and proceeded with the marriage plans. Although others may have disapproved of his decision, Joseph went ahead with what he knew was right

Lets Bring it Home: Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others.


Falling in Love with Jesus

When we fall in love, we want to spend time with the object of our affection and willingly give our attention to the relationship. Falling in love with Jesus should be no different, but believers often hurry through Bible reading and prayer. The result is a superficial faith kept alive by habit rather than worship. To attain lasting intimacy, we must approach God with a sense of purpose and determination.

Purpose. “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the lord your God,” King David advised the leaders of Israel (1 Chron. 22:19). Believers must choose whether to pursue God or chase after idols. If we desire intimacy with Him, it is necessary for us to approach the spiritual disciplines purposefully. Before opening Scripture, ask the Lord what He wants to say to you. Pray to understand His ways—He loves answering that request. And enter church with the intention of taking home a new truth from the Lord.

Determination. “Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently,” Isaiah told Yahweh (Isa. 26:9). But even when we do not feel like putting time into our relationship with Christ, we must determine to do so. A revelation from God won’t come every day, but a believer need not despair. Those who diligently seek the Savior experience His presence frequently in their worship.

Getting to know Jesus brings pure joy into a believer’s life. However, we must be willing to offer Him prime time, not our leftover minutes. Giving God attention and spending time with Him is one way to show Him we love Him. God gives us His best; we should put forth no less in return.

When I first gave my life to Christ, I was standing up in Church with all the rest saying I love you Lord.  After a while, I was not feeling Jesus.  So one day I told the Lord that I really don’t love you, but help me to get to know you better so I can’t truly Love you.  I always knew He existed, but I was just not feeling Jesus. 

God lead me to read the 4 books of the Gospel to get to know His Son.  That is when I started to Fall in Love with Jesus.  So, my next study is the Book of Mathew.  I need to take my Love for Jesus deeper and rekindle my Love for Him. 

Mathews 1:1-6

Introduction to Mathew:  AS the motorcade slowly winds through the city, thousands pack the sidewalks hoping to catch a glimpse. Marching bands with great fanfare announce the arrival, and protective agents scan the crowd and run alongside the limousine. Pomp, ceremony, protocol—modern symbols of position and evidences of importance—herald the arrival of a head of state. Whether they are leaders by birth or election, we honor and respect them.

The Jews waited for a leader who had been promised centuries before by prophets. They believed that this leader—the Messiah (“anointed one”)—would rescue them from their Roman oppressors and establish a new kingdom. As their king, he would rule the world with justice. Many Jews, however, overlooked prophecies that also spoke of this king as a suffering servant who would be rejected and killed. It is no wonder, then, that few recognized Jesus as the Messiah. How could this humble carpenter’s son from Nazareth be their king? But Jesus was and is the King of all the earth!

Matthew (Levi) was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. Once he was a despised tax collector, but his life was changed by this man from Galilee. Matthew wrote this Gospel to his fellow Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and to explain God’s Kingdom.

Matthew begins his account by giving Jesus’ genealogy. He then tells of Jesus’ birth and early years, including the family’s escape to Egypt from the murderous Herod and their return to Nazareth. Following Jesus’ baptism by John (3:16-17) and his defeat of Satan in the wilderness, Jesus began his public ministry by calling his first disciples and giving the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5–7). Matthew shows Christ’s authority by reporting his miracles of healing the sick and the demon-possessed, and even raising the dead.     Despite opposition from the Pharisees and others in the religious establishment (chapters 12–15), Jesus continued to teach concerning the Kingdom of Heaven (chapters 16–20). During this time, Jesus spoke with his disciples about his imminent death and resurrection (16:21) and revealed his true identity to Peter, James, and John (17:1–5). Near the end of his ministry, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a triumphant procession (21:1-11). But soon opposition mounted, and Jesus knew that his death was near. So he taught his disciples about the future—what they could expect before his return (chapter 24) and how to live until then (chapter 25).

In Matthew’s finale (chapters 26–28), he focuses on Jesus’ final days on earth—the Last Supper, his prayer in Gethsemane, the betrayal by Judas, the flight of the disciples, Peter’s denial, the trials before Caiaphas and Pilate, Jesus’ final words on the cross, and his burial in a borrowed tomb. But the story does not end there, for the Messiah rose from the dead—conquering death and then telling his followers to continue his work by making disciples in all nations.

As you read this Gospel, listen to Matthew’s clear message: Jesus is the Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Celebrate his victory over evil and death, and make Jesus the Lord of your life.

Under Gods Command

Mathews 1:1-6

    1This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:  2Abraham was the father of Isaac,

     Isaac the father of Jacob,

     Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

    3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

     Perez the father of Hezron,

     Hezron the father of Ram,

    4Ram the father of Amminadab,

     Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

     Nahshon the father of Salmon,

    5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

    Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

     Obed the father of Jesse,

    6and Jesse the father of King David.

   David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

   7Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

    Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

     Abijah the father of Asa,

    8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,

     Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

     Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

    9Uzziah the father of Jotham,

     Jotham the father of Ahaz,

     Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

   10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,

     Manasseh the father of Amon,

     Amon the father of Josiah,

   11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

   12After the exile to Babylon:

     Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

     Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

   13Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,

     Abihud the father of Eliakim,

     Eliakim the father of Azor,

   14Azor the father of Zadok,

     Zadok the father of Akim,

     Akim the father of Elihud,

   15Elihud the father of Eleazar,

     Eleazar the father of Matthan,

     Matthan the father of Jacob,

   16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

     17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

In the first 17 verses we meet 46 people whose lifetimes span 2,000 years. All were ancestors of Jesus, but they varied considerably in personality, spirituality, and experience. Some were heroes of faith—like Abraham, Isaac, Ruth, and David. Some had shady reputations—like Rahab and Tamar. Many were very ordinary—like Hezron, Ram, Nahshon, and Akim. And others were evil—like Manasseh and Abijah. God’s work in history is not limited by human failures or sins, and he works through ordinary people. Just as God used all kinds of people to bring his Son into the world, he uses all kinds today to accomplish his will. And God wants to use you.

Because Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant, Matthew lists Joseph only as the husband of Mary, not the father of Jesus. Matthew’s genealogy gives Jesus’ legal (or royal) lineage through Joseph. Mary’s ancestral line is recorded in Luke 3:23-38. Both Mary and Joseph were direct descendants of David.     Matthew traced the genealogy back to Abraham, while Luke traced it back to Adam. Matthew wrote to the Jews, so Jesus was shown as a descendant of their father, Abraham. Luke wrote to the Gentiles, so he emphasized Jesus as the Savior of all people. 1:17 Matthew breaks Israel’s history into three sets of 14 generations, but there were probably more generations than those listed here. Genealogies often compressed history, meaning that not every generation of ancestors was specifically listed. Thus, the phrase “the father of” can also be translated “the ancestor of.”

Matthew’s inclusion of four particular women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba—here called “Uriah’s wife”) reveals his concern to do more than relay historical data. These women raise both ethnic and ethical questions. At least two of them were not Israelites by birth and all four of them had reputations that could have made them unmentionable in an ancestral tree. Yet this was the line into which God’s Son was born. Jesus’ genealogy makes it clear, not that there were a few disreputable people in his family, but that all of them were sinners.

Lets Bring it Home: God sent his Son as Savior of all people—Jews, Gentiles, men, and women. No matter what the sins of the people, God’s plan was never thwarted. It continues to unfold. That plan includes us.

Proverbs 19:05

Posted: January 19, 2017 in 19:05, Proverbs 19, Uncategorized
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Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 19:05 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.  

We discussed this in a previous lesson. False witnessing is called perjury and is a crime. Even today in our society perjury is a crime punishable by imprisonment or fine. Even if a liar gets away with it here on earth, God know if you have lied and He will punish the guilty.


2 Samuel 24:18-25 

18On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. 20When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

     21Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

     “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

     22Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23Your Majesty, Araunah give all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the LORD your God accept you.”

     24But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

     So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 25David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. 

Many believe that this threshing floor where David built the altar is the location where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). After David’s death, Solomon built the temple on this spot. Centuries later, Jesus would teach and preach here.

The book of 2 Samuel describes David’s reign. Since the Israelites first entered the Promised Land under Joshua, they had been struggling to unite the nation and drive out the wicked inhabitants. Now, after more than 400 years, Israel was finally at peace. David had accomplished what no leader before him, judge or king, had done. His administration was run on the principle of dedication to God and to the well-being of the people.

Yet David also sinned. Despite his sins, however, the Bible calls David a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22) because when he sinned, he recognized it and confessed his sins to God. David committed his life to God and remained loyal to him throughout his lifetime. Psalms gives an even deeper insight into David’s love for God.

Let’s Bring it Home: David did sinned, and he sure faced mad consequences of his sins as we also do.  My Dad told me that we all need to learn from this that when we struggle with sin, its like being in quicksand, we start sink more and more.  So recognized it early and repent and confessed your sins to God.

Also, listen to people in lower position than yourself.  David could have saved thousands of lives if he had listen to Joab.


2 Samuel 24:1-17

     David Enrolls the Fighting Men

     1Againa the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

     2So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

     3But Joab replied to the king, “May the LORD your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

     4The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

     5After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. 6They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. 7Then they went toward the fortress of Tyrel and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.

     8After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

     9Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

     10David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

     11Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: 12“Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’ ”

     13So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

     14David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

     15So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

     17When 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.”

Did God cause David to sin? God does not cause people to sin, but he does allow sinners to reveal the sinfulness of their hearts by their actions. God presented the opportunity to David in order to deal with a disastrous national tendency, and he wanted this desire to show itself. First Chronicles 21:1 says Satan incited David to do it. Hebrew writers do not always distinguish between primary and secondary causes. So if God allowed Satan to tempt David, to them it is as if God did it.

What was wrong with taking a census? A census was commanded in Numbers to prepare an army for conquering the Promised Land (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). A census amounted to a draft or conscription for the army. The land was now at peace, so there was no need to enlist troops. Israel had extended its borders and become a recognized power. David’s sin was pride and ambition in counting the people so that he could glory in the size of his nation and army, its power and defenses. By doing this, he put his faith in the size of his army rather than in God’s ability to protect them regardless of their number. Even Joab knew a census was wrong, but David did not heed his advice. We sin in a similar way when we place our security in money, possessions, or the might of our nation.

Both David and the Israelites were guilty of sin (24:1). David’s sin was pride, but the Bible does not say why God was angry with the people of Israel. Perhaps it was due to their support of the rebellions of Absalom (chapters 15–18) and Sheba (chapter 20), or perhaps they put their security in military and financial prosperity rather than in God, as David did. God dealt with the whole nation through David, who exemplified the national sin of pride.

God gave David three choices. Each was a form of punishment God had said the people could expect if they disobeyed his laws (disease—Deuteronomy 28:20-22; famine—28:23-24; war—28:25-26). David wisely chose the form of punishment that came most directly from God. He knew how brutal men in war could be, and he also knew God’s great mercy.

Let’s Bring it Home: Sometimes it pays to listen to someone in a lesser position than you are.  It can possibly save money, time, and even lives as it would have for David if he had listen to Joab.

When you sin greatly, turn back to God. To be punished by him is far better than to take your chances without him.


David’s Song of Praise 

     1David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2He said:

         “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

            3my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

             my shield and the horn of my salvation.

         He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—

            from violent people you save me.

        4“I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,

            and have been saved from my enemies.

 

        5The waves of death swirled about me;

             the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

        6The cords of the grave coiled around me;

             the snares of death confronted me.

        7“In my distress I called to the LORD;

             I called out to my God.

         From his temple he heard my voice;

             my cry came to his ears.

 

        8The earth trembled and quaked,

             the foundations of the heavens shook;

             they trembled because he was angry.

        9Smoke rose from his nostrils;

             consuming fire came from his mouth,

             burning coals blazed out of it.

       10He parted the heavens and came down;

             dark clouds were under his feet.

       11He mounted the cherubim and flew;

             he soared on the wings of the wind.

       12He made darkness his canopy around him—

             the dark rain clouds of the sky.

      13Out of the brightness of his presence

             bolts of lightning blazed forth.

       14The LORD thundered from heaven;

             the voice of the Most High resounded.

       15He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,

             with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

       16The valleys of the sea were exposed

             and the foundations of the earth laid bare

         at the rebuke of the LORD,

            at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

 

       17“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

            he drew me out of deep waters.

       18He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

             from my foes, who were too strong for me.

       19They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

             but the LORD was my support.

       20He brought me out into a spacious place;

             he rescued me because he delighted in me.

 

       21“The LORD has dealt with me according to my

            righteousness;  according to the cleanness of my hands       

            he has rewarded me.

       22For I have kept the ways of the LORD;

             I am not guilty of turning from my God.

       23All his laws are before me;

             I have not turned away from his decrees.

       24I have been blameless before him

             and have kept myself from sin.

       25The LORD has rewarded me according to my      

           righteousness,

             according to my cleanness in his sight.

 

       26“To the faithful you show yourself faithful,

             to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

       27to the purer you show yourself pure,

             but to the devious you show yourself      

            shrewd.

       28You save the humble,

             but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.

       29You, LORD, are my lamp;

             the LORD turns my darkness into light.

      30With your help I can advance against a

          troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

 

      31“As for God, his way is perfect:

             The LORD’s word is flawless;

             he shields all who take refuge in him.

      32For who is God besides the LORD?

             And who is the Rock except our God?

       33It is God who arms me with strength

             and keeps my way secure.

       34He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;

             he causes me to stand on the heights.

       35He trains my hands for battle;

             my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

       36You make your saving help my shield;

             your help has made me great.

       37You provide a broad path for my feet,

             so that my ankles do not give way.

       38“I pursued my enemies and crushed them;

             I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

 

       39I crushed them completely, and they could not rise;

             they fell beneath my feet.

       40You armed me with strength for battle;

             you humbled my adversaries before me.

       41You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,

             and I destroyed my foes.

       42They cried for help,  but there was no one to save  

           them  to the LORD, but he did not answer.

       43I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;

             I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.

 

       44“You have delivered me from the attacks of the

             peoples; you have preserved me as the head of nations.

         People I did not know now serve me,

           45foreigners come before me;

             as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.

       46They all lose heart;

             they come trembling w from their strongholds.

 

47“The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!

             Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!

       48He is the God who avenges me,

             who puts the nations under me,

           49who sets me free from my enemies.

         You exalted me above my foes;

             from a violent man you rescued me.

       50Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;

             I will sing the praises of your name.

       51“He gives his king great victories;

             he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,

             to David and his descendants forever.”

 

David was a skilled musician who played his harp for Saul (1 Samuel 16:23), instituted the music programs for the tabernacle and temple (1 Chronicles 25), and wrote more of the book of Psalms than anyone else. Writing a song like this was not unusual for David. This royal hymn of thanksgiving is almost identical to Psalm 18.

David was not denying that he had ever sinned. Psalm 51 shows his tremendous anguish over his sin against Uriah and Bathsheba. But David understood God’s faithfulness and was writing this hymn from God’s perspective. He knew that God had made him clean again—“whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7), with a “pure heart” (Psalm 51:10). Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we also are made clean and perfect. God replaces our sin with his purity, and he no longer sees our sin.

“To the devious you show yourself shrewd” means that to those who sin, God is a judge who will punish them for their sins. God destroys those who are evil.

David praises God wholeheartedly. Praise is not just a song about God; it is a song to God. In this song, David uses many word pictures such as rock, lamp, and shield to portray God’s marvelous attributes.

Let’s Bring it Home:  Praising God has several aspects to it. We praise God when we:

(1) Say thank you to him for each attribute of his divine nature. As you read the Bible, look for other characteristics of God for which to thank him.

(2) Focus our hearts on God. Take one attribute of God, such as his mercy, then concentrate on it for an entire week in your meditation and prayer.

(3) Thank God for his many gracious gifts to us. Make a list and count your blessings.

(4) Thank God for our relationship with him. Through Christ you have been given the gift of salvation. Tell God again how much you appreciate it.

But, always remember this, when you walk in sin and know your walking in sin, there will always be consequences, so stop now and ask God for that forgiveness, and hopefully consequences will be small.

 


     1These 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.

        3The 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,

        4he 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.

        6But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,

             which are not gathered with the hand.

        7Whoever touches thorns

             uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;

             they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

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

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

     9Next 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 for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10but 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.

     11Next 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. 12But 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.

     13During 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. 14At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So 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.

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

     20Benaiah 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. 21And 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. 22Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23He 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.

  24Among the Thirty were:

     Asahel the brother of Joab,

     Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

25Shammah the Harodite,

     Elika the Harodite,

26Helez the Paltite,

     Irad son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

 27Abiezere from Anathoth,

     Mebunnai the Hushathite,

28Zalmon the Ahohite,

     Maharai the Netophathite,

 29Heleda son of Baanah the Netophathite,

     Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,

 30Benaiah the Pirathonite,

     Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash,

 31Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

     Azmaveth the Barhumite,

 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

     the sons of Jashen,

     Jonathan 33son of Shammah the Hararite,

     Ahiam son of Shararb the Hararite,

34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,

     Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

35Hezro the Carmelite,

     Paarai the Arbite,

36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,

     the son of Hagri, 37Zelek the Ammonite,

     Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

38Ira the Ithrite,

     Gareb the Ithrite

 39and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.

23:3 In the style of a prophet, David spoke of a just and righteous ruler. This will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ when he returns to rule in perfect justice and peace. For similar prophecies, see Isaiah 11:1-10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-18; Zechariah 9:9-10. For the fulfillment of some of these prophecies, see Matthew 4:14-16; Luke 24:25-27, 44-49; John 5:45-47; 8:28-29. 23:8-39

These verses tell of some of the exploits that the special corps of David’s army carried out. There were two elite groups of men: “the Thirty” and “the Three” (23:18, 23; 1 Chronicles 11:11-25). To become a member of such a group a man had to show unparalleled courage in battle as well as wisdom in leadership. “The Three” was the most elite group. The list of “the Thirty” actually contains 37 names, but it mentions some warriors known to be dead (Uriah, for example, in 23:39). Apparently, new members were appointed to replace those who had fallen in battle.

David poured out the water as an offering to God because he was so moved by the sacrifice it represented. When Hebrews offered sacrifices, they never consumed the blood. It represented life, and they poured it out before God. David would not drink this water that represented the lives of his soldiers. Instead, he offered it to God.

David’s Mighty Men

One way to understand David’s success is to notice the kind of men who followed him. During the time he was being hunted by Saul, David gradually built a fighting force of several hundred men. Some were relatives, others were outcasts of society, many were in trouble with the law. They all had at least one trait in common—complete devotion to David. Their achievements made them famous. Among these men were elite military groups like “the Three” and “the Thirty.” They were true heroes.     Scripture gives the impression that these men were motivated to greatness by the personal qualities of their leader. David inspired them to achieve beyond their goals and meet their true potential. Likewise, the leaders we follow and the causes to which we commit ourselves will affect our lives. David’s effectiveness was clearly connected with his awareness of God’s leading. He was a good leader when he was following his Leader.

Strengths and accomplishments:

Able soldiers and military leaders Shared many special skills Though frequently outnumbered, were consistently victorious Loyal to David

Weakness and mistake:

Often had little in common beyond their loyalty to David and their military expertise

Lessons from their lives:

Greatness is often inspired by the quality and character of the leadership Even a small force of able and loyal men can accomplish great feats

Lets Bring it Home: Do you know whom the people you respect most are following? Your answer should help you decide whether they deserve your loyalty. Do you also recognize God’s leading in your life? No one can lead you to excellence as your Creator can.