Pat Damiani | March 19, 2019
Even though I haven't posted for a few days, i have been keeping up with my Bible reading, which brings us to Hebrews 12 today. This week, we are putting the text in our own words, so here's my paraphrase of at least a big chunk of this chapter.
Jesus is our example of how to handle difficulties in our lives. Because He kept His focus on His main purpose, He was able to endure the cross with joy because He knew that would lead to us becoming children of God if we trust in Him. Because we are God's children, God loves us too much to let us just do things our own way, so He often brings difficulties into our lives in order to discipline us so that we become more like Jesus. So don't give up when that discipline comes. Instead persevere so that God might accomplish His sanctifying work in our lives.
I posted a picture of a belt this morning because it reminds me of the discipline of my earthly father. He used the pain inflicted by that belt because he loved me and he wanted me to develop the right kind of character in my life. That belt did not harm me for life or make me into a violent person, but it did cause me to think twice about being disobedient to my parents. So while it was painful at the time, I am thankful that my dad loved me enough to use it when it was needed.
That's the way we ought to view God's discipline in our lives.
Ryan Fregoso | March 19, 2019
As stated yesterday, the next several chapters detail how David went along preparing the temple for Solomon. Here, we see him organize the decendents of Aaron, and appoint them as priests. At this point, you could imagine that the decendents of Aaron would have grown, so there were many to organize. Organizing a large group like this and appoint them a fair distribution of duties is no easy task. David divided them into 24 sections, and did it with some help. This established duty and a pattern to be followed.
Verse 6 tells us that the scribe had recorded all of this. This was to ensure that the established guidelines would be met, even after David's death. I suppose by now you may have seen a pattern developing. I know that I have. I see here that the Lord is using ordinary men to do an extraordinary service to Him. The Lord also has a role for each of us in His work. I continue to find this amazing. The Lord does not need us, but chooses us to serve Him in a certain way. If you are being used by God, be sure to thank Him.
Ryan Fregoso | March 17, 2019
In verse 1, David declares that this will be the house of the Lord. Here, he continues his campaign to gather workers, materials and make what is needed for the temple. Verse 5 we read that Solomon was not yet at the right stage in his life to begin building, but we see in verse 6 (obviously some time has passed) that he was summoned when ready to begin to build the temple. This section, and others like it are extremely important. David tells his son of this promise that the Lord made, and that it would be Solomon who will build the temple. In verse 11 and following, David blesses his son, and commissions him for this project for the Lord. He helps his son to understand that holy living was part of this covenant, as we see the conditions in verses 11-13. We saw that in Deuteronomy 30 and Joshua 1, and we see it here again. This was common for the Lord with individuals or nations, as we’ve also seen with Israel. Out of response to what the Lord had done for us, it should produce obedience to His will for us. You can see here from the language that David desired for his son to live this life. This is a great lesson for us. What an encouraging word and warning to a son from his father. David didn’t want Solomon to make the same mistakes that he did, and wanted Solomon to begin what David’s heart began. We know that today a building is not needed to experience the Lord, He is present with all believers through the Holy Spirit. But the same is true, Christians must be obedient to the Lord, not because it is required for salvation, but because we love Him.
Ryan Fregoso | March 16, 2019
Verse one sets the stage for this chapter. It says that Satan “stood before Israel and incited David...” One Bible teacher calls the event in this chapter David’s biggest sin. What was it that Satan incited David to do? David commanded Joab and his commanders to "number Israel." Now, this doesn't seem like a big deal, does it? Joab seemed to understand that this is wrong. Many people point to Exodus 30:12 that speaks to God's ownership of His people. We know from verse 1 that Satan had caused this thought in David, so his motive of this was off. David's pride got the best of him, as we see here that his motive was not for God's glory, but instead to pridefully boast of what he was able to do. He grew the people, and defeated the enimies. But he failed because he turned that holy victory into pride. Joab showed his character in standing up to David, but also realized his position and did what David wanted. David, in verse 8, acknowledged his sin, but only after the Lord's anger came over Israel. In a unique judgement, the Lord gave David three choices for his punishment. In requesting that the Lord would take him, rather than falling into his enemies hands, David effectively the chooses three days of plague. This devestating plague cost Israel 70,000 people, and the Lord sending out an angel of the Lord to destroy Jerusalem. David and the elders intereceded for thier people, and the angel left.
Once again we see the sin of man demonstrated by David. As a response, David begins to build the foundation and begin preparing for the temple. An interesting point during this interaction with the land owner was that David was not willing to take resources from the man (Ornan), but paid him full price. David knew that a sacrifice must personally cost you something. Think about it. Didn't the death of Jesus, God's only Son, cost Him something? Yes, it cost Him pouring out His wrath on His only Son! David responded well. He repented, he built an altar, he made a sacrifice, and he prepared for the temple to be built. We must respond in the same manner when the Lord calls for our repentance.
Ryan Fregoso | March 15, 2019
This chapter omits a very well known story in David's life, that it his sin against Uzziah with Bathsheba. In those days, wars usually ceased during the winter time due to harsh terrains and weather, so any ongoing battles commenced in the Spring. This is what we see here, and we read that David stayed in Jerusalem while Joab lead the troops in battle. After this, we see that David rejoins Joab and the soldiers agains the Philistines. Back in 2 Samuel 12:29 we see that David returned to Rabbah and helped Joab defeat the Ammonites, after he was rebuked by Nathan for not being at the battle, and his activities regarding Bathsheba. When he returned, we see that Israel was victorious. Consider what one commentator says about this situation: "David was in victory once again. His sin did not condemn him to a life of failure and defeat. There was chastisement for David's sin, but it did not mean that his life was ruined" (Guzik). Next, we see David and his men victorious again against Philistine, and Goliath's brothers.
What a great lesson regarding our sin. When we are children of God, we have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. I recently met a man of God who lived a past of illegal activity and spent a lot of time in jail. But, he has been made clean because of Jesus. Just like David, who's sin with Bathsheba wasn't even mentioned here in this account shows that while the Lord does keep account, He also forgives and provides us these victories. Frankly, we have a tendency of holding our sins over our heads more than the Lord does. Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves, knowing the the Lord has already paid the price for that sin. We are no longer slaves to that sin! Thank you Lord for this gift!