Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rats! I can't remember the exact chapters I read Samuel somewhere and I chronicles 17 ...since I am reading chronologically it skips around.
anyway... I read about David and his dancing...his linen ephod and how michal despised hinder for doing such. The Bible even says "he danced with all his might." Maybe I am just revealing my humanity but that presents a very funny pic in my mind. He probably did look like an idiot out there, but it says that he danced before the Lord. Funny I should read this after sitting through an hour of a "christian" dance recital. After leaving there Jon and I discusses the seeming hypocrisy of such a thing. The music wasn't God honoring and the dancers didn't seem too glorifying in their apparel. I have learned though that good well meaning people are dance instructors and dancers themselves, but I wonder what the difference was in David's dancing and what we saw today? I think it was David's intentions, his reason for was joy, excitement...not a memorized routine. In fact, He probably looked like a crazy man out there by Michal's account. That is what she was probably most embarrassed about...not that he was dancing, but that he seemed a little "overboard" for Jesus. Abba, I guess this lesson has taught me to not to become afraid of looking a little overboard myself. It seems those who were serious in prayer and worship were accused of looking drunk. Help me to get a little drunk in the Holy Spirit and not care what others think, too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A variety of psalms

Serve the Lord with gladness...
That is a good reminder for me to remember that serving, You Abba, is wonderful and a great way I can influence my family is by serving You with a happy attitude.
One Psalm emphasized the importance of surrounding yourself with the right influences.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eye...forward hearts, slanderers, deceit, prideful hearts. I must always be aware of the things/ people I have surrounding me and thus influencing me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Doing Right Rightly Lesson

I Chron. 13-16

The account of David carrying the ark back to the children of Israel...Uzza and his friend "drave the cart". Upon a crossing, Uzzah tries to steady the ark and touches it. God then kills him because it was commanded that noone could touch the ark of God. He had said it back in Joshua

Jos 3:3-4
And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure:

God was specific to the instructions of how to carry it. Only the Levites could and there is no mention of animals helping to carry it. Because David didn't plan and do right "rightly" a man lost his life. The secular thinking "the end justifies the means" does not apply to God's thinking. He has rules for a reason. Everything is a symbol to something and when we choose to alter it to make the "end" we want, God does not bless that, in fact, He curses it. Sad thing is, that we tend to think that when He does punish us, He's being mean and cruel. When truthfully, we knew the rules before we started and felt breaking them was honorable for our cause of "right." Abba, help me to not be guilty of excusing bad actions to get right results.

Later David realizing his mistake:

Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.

For because ye [did it] not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.
So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.
And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.

It's sad that Uzza had to lose his life first. If they would have carried it the way God said, it would have never become unstable and had to be "held." What a tragic leadership mistake. This teaches me not only to do right rightly, but to teach those who follow me to do right rightly and never put them in a position that makes them do right wrongly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Hello my beloved blog---I've been off the routine. I have been reading, but it so much more enjoyable when I have to "chew" on what I have read.

A variety of Psalms, a chapter in Chronicles, a chapter in Samuel--since I am reading through the Bible chronologically it does tend to skip here and there.

What did I read at home...oh yeah. I read about David and his mighty men. I came across that story about how they were at Bethlehem at David just wished for a drink of water. Crossing dangerous territory, they brought it to him, and David pours it out. Man! I would be man. I know David says it's almost sacred like blood the fact that they put their lives in danger for his simple request, but to toss it away! I would be offended. I think of how I would feel if I saved up some money for someone and gave it to them as a gift, and then they said, "I can't spend this. It's too valuable since you worked so hard to save it. In fact, I am going to rip it to shreds instead so I won't spend it." I guess this story teaches me to be grateful and show appreciation to people when they do acts of kindness. Though David was grateful, he sure had a strange way of showing it.

I read in Psalms about the turmoil You went through with the children of Israel. I was thinking about their attitudes the other day. It's not like they complained when things were bad, they complained when things weren't perfect. It's like You were always on trial. Abba, You are not on trial with me. You are good all the time no matter the circumstances. I will praise You in the dark and in the night. You are wonderful and greatly to be praised!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Variety of psalms...
I'm texting this from my phone, so I'm not able to copy and paste the verses.
I came across the God, my exceeding joy. I immediately felt convicted at how I don't behave like I believe that. Im guilty of treating You like an exceeding bore. It's really silly when I think about it. Once I start reading my Bible and meditating on what I have read, I do enjoy it.
Lord, I also read the verse about Your being the health of my countenance. May others see You in my expression, my attitude. I love You, Abba.
Variety of psalms...
I'm texting this from my phone, so I'm not able to copy and paste the verses.
I came across the God, my exceeding joy. I immediately felt convicted at how I don't behave like I believe that. Im guilty of treating You like an exceeding bore. It's really silly when I think about it. Once I start reading my Bible and meditating on what I have read, I do enjoy it.
Lord, I also read the verse about Your being the health of my countenance. May others see You in my expression, my attitude. I love You, Abba.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Living By Principles, Secret Sins

A variety of Psalms

So many good ones, but these jumped out at me...

I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

These verses prove the importance of living by the Bible (principles and convictions). If God says it, then I can rely on it, so that when the "night" the hard times comes, it is His word that are my reins. People don't get the chance to see what I truly believe until I am tested.

[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

I wonder how anyone can look at the stars and believe there is no God.

Who can understand [his] errors? cleanse thou me from secret [faults].
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Secret sins....hmmm...guilty. I never noticed before how those verses are "conveniently" before the famous "let the words of my mouth." Abba, reveal to me those secret, presumptuous sins in my live that keep me from being upright. I don't want them to have dominion over me. I can be so guilty of thinking that since I don't drink, do drugs, etc. that I am covered, but Lord, You see the me that no one else sees----my sins of prayerlessness, critical attitude, unthankfulness, slothfulness. Abba, when You have control and not my faults, I feel free. Your bondage is much more freeing than the bondage of sin.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Vicious Circle of Vengeance

2 Samuel 1-4

It seems as though so many are trying to impress David by avenging his enemies. David really had a soft heart and remembered people for who they were and even trusted that they had changed when they said.
It seems David was so misunderstood. His friends felt like they were helping him when they took part in killing Saul, Saul's family, or his men. Joab killed Abner thinking he was doing him a favor. And to try and gain favor with David, two of Saul's sons kill their oldest brother.
It seems that when we get our minds focused on vengeance and vindication, our judgment becomes skewed, and we feel what we're doing "wrong" to make vengeance come about is justified.
Abba, please help the root of bitterness to never take root in my soul. To never let the attitude of vengeance for me or my family to take hold of my mind. It seems when I or anyone is guilty of this is only becomes a vicious circle that never ends.

Pro 19:22
The desire of a man [is] his kindness: and a poor man [is] better than a liar.

I love this verse. It reminds me to always be kind--that's what draws people to you, not sarcastic cutting remarks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Forgiveness & Slothfulness

A variety of Psalms

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

As I read verse 4, I found it kind of odd that it talks about forgiveness...that thou mayest be feared. That usually doesn't seem to go hand in hand, but the more I thought about it. It's true. Your power of judgment is great, Lord, but an even greater power is that You can forgive. You have the authority to forgive. More so, when I understand Your forgiveness that makes me want to please You more. It's such a precious characteristic about you, I don't want to take it for granted. Now as I am typing that, conviction hits my heart. I do take it for granted, Lord. I am guilty of not pleasing you again and again. Help Your forgiveness to create a healthy fear daily for You.

I am going back to daily reading my proverbs again. I have missed the good meat of them, and I really need to have verse to take to heart all day. Such good medicine those proverbs are.
Chapter 18

Pro 18:9
He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

This is a good one for me. I officially deleted my forum links on my favorites so I cannot "waste" time on them anymore at work. Yes, they can be used for good, but I tended to use them to waste time too often. Help me, Lord to be more profitable with my time today.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Your Lovingkindness

Variety of Psalms,
I came across some of my favorite verses...

Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

I love that word...lovingkindness. You think kindness would be enough for You to bestow, God, but it's more than that...lovingkindness. I looked up the meaning in Webster's..tender and benevolent affection. You truly bestow a lot of that to me, God. Amazing how that can be seeing that You are not tangible. Because of that, my lips shall praise thee. I will bless thee while I live.
My grandpa is in from out of town, and I had dinner with him last night. We enjoyed a meal together and then played dominoes. Afterwards we talked a little about life. He's 84 now, and so full of bitterness, unforgiveness, and regrets. Abba, help me to bless You and love You all the days of my life..praise You and remember Who You are and what You have done for me in my life, Your's better than life!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was thinking this morning as I was reading...what do I need to help me today? What trials am I facing that I need something from You. Our house situation....Lord, we have tried to hold up our end of the bargain in every way possible. We have tried to be patient and kind to those involved. Lord, we need your wisdom there. You are obviously closing a lot of doors, please open up the right one, so we know which path to take...DIRECTION...that's what I need. My family drama...I am not having anyone attack me personally, but I am caught in the middle of the mess. Help me to know how to treat my mom, my brother, and my sisters. DISCRETION...that's what I need.

1 Samuel 25-27

Nabal, a son of Belial, a wicked hard man that only cared about his possesions. Nabal's wife, Abigail, understood he was a jerk, but was used by God to keep David from avenging himself. David had done so well at keeping from avenging himself from Saul, but I am sure eventually he got fed up with another person being a jerk to him. He felt it was time for some vengence. Luckily, or actually by God's sovereignty Abigail intervened and reminded him that God would fight his battles. Nabal ends up dying of a heart attack or stroke. David is then thankful that he didn't do "evil" and kill Nabal himself.
In Chapter 26, David faces Saul again. He had another opportunity to kill him, to avenge himself. David vows again to not touch the Lord's anointed. After realizing David spared his life, Saul again recognizes David's greatness.
David flees to Gath and Saul finally decides to not seek him anymore. Now David is in Ziklag.

I don't know how these stories personally apply to me today, but I am learning some principles to ingrain for the future.
1. Let God defend me when I am personally attacked. If I am in the right, He will avenge. Maybe this is what you are teaching us through the house, God we would like to avenge and certainly not kill anyone, but we feel like we have done everything right, and we've been done so wrong. Abba, please avenge us of a bad deal. :)
2. Abigail did right despite her husband's bad behavior. She became blessed by that later. God had her in that position for a reason.
3. David did good by helping Saul not to do evil. He fled the situation instead of continuing in the chase of it. When someone is trying to do me harm, avoid them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Focus

Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

Such wonderful verses in these passages that I needed today. Thank you, Abba for reminding me of your goodness.

Pslams 7 reminds me to take my burdens to you. When I feel overwhelmed by enemies, You are the One my soul should cry out to---give my deep feelings to even about how much I want them hurt.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.
One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

No matter what befalls me, I feel this is my same plea. Lord, help me never to be victim of my emotions, but forever let my focus still remain on You and serving You.

[I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

So many times, I can faint with the weight of burdens, but I can go on because God IS good.

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

I feel like this a verse FOR ME. My father is no longer here, and I feel like I don't have a "mother" figure. You are that for me, God. You are my Abba. I feel closer to You than I ever have to my mom or dad.

For thou [art] my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

I love that word for You...Rock...stable, steady, unmoving, dependable structure in my life. When everything else in life is chaos, You are my constant. For that reason, I choose to follow You. Thank you, Abba.

O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

The older I get, the more valuable that word becomes to me....faithful. Anyone can be a flash in the pan, but it's those that stick through it again and again no matter the circumstances that deserve great honor. Faithful...that's what I want as a epithet on my tombstone.

O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].

So true, God, I am lacking nothing. I have all I need. I am happy. I am very blessed.

What man [is he that] desireth life, [and] loveth [many] days, that he may see good?
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Here's the formula for many days...many good days.
1. No potty mouth.
2. Don't be a meanie.
3. DO good things, not just "be" good.
4. Try to diligently make things right.

Thank You, Lord, for reminding me of my Focus, my Faith, & the Fulfillments required to see good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Facing Your Enemies

1 Samuel 21-24

David is running for his life from Saul. The run down:

1. David first goes to the priest, Ahimelech and asks for bread and a sword.
David could have used this time to "spill the beans" on Saul and let Ahimelech know what a jerk Saul is. He tells him nothing of the sort, just takes the bread and runs.
2. David comes to Gath. He hears the people talk about what a great man he is in that he has slain in ten thousands. I guess this makes him afraid that they will take the opportunity to kill him. So he acts like a mad man....I love this description....

And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Lesson...if you feel your life is in danger, act like a looney...surely they will leave you alone as they did in David's case.

3. David flees to the cave Adullum, and his friends and family come to him. What a motley crew of people....

And every one [that was] in distress, and every one that [was] in debt, and every one [that was] discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

I laugh about this. Here David is trying to run for his life, now he's in charge of a whole group of people with issues while running for his life. Isn't that how leadership comes. David wasn't looking for a position as leader, but the people were looking for someone who could understand them, and they were willing to fight for someone who was "in their shoes." Perhaps, this kept David from getting too discouraged because he was taking care of some other people to besides himself.

4. Saul finds out David was found when going to Ahimelech. He is ticked. He rebukes his servants accusing them of being disloyal.
What a stark contrast of the leader David was. Saul demanded loyalty because they were servants. David earned loyalty because they wanted to be servants.

5. Saul confronts Ahimelech, and he is so mad at him that he has all the priest killed---85 of them. Even women, children, and animals were killed, too, in the city of Nob.
What a sad realization of what anger and bitterness does to someone. Innocent people are killed because Saul is so blinded by bitterness and vengence.

5. One of Ahimelech's sons escape and tell David what has happened. David's army flees and then they are told by God that he will deliver the Philistines into their hand in the land of Keilah. They do destroy the Philistines.
Though David had a personal battle going on, the battle for the Lord still raged. He couldn't just put down defending the Lord to be able to defend himself.

6. David's army is in Keilah. Saul's men feel this is their golden opportunity to besiege him. Instead, God puts Saul in David's path. In the cave, David cuts off a small piece of Saul's robe as he is sleeping.

7. David feels so incredibly guilty for just doing that although Saul sought his life. David still calls Saul "my lord". David chose to remember the good of Saul. He decided not to reward evil for evil. Even Saul recognizes that....

And he said to David, Thou [art] more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil

Saul realizes God's blessing is truly on David.
Wow. I would hope that I would be as valiant as David. My opportunity so show true righteousness is not when I am treated well, but rather when evil delivered to me. Reward evil with good. Help for hurt. Blessing for cursing. Love for hate. Help me Lord to rememeber when evil does is not just a trial but an opportunity to show true righteousness.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Behaving Yourself Wisely

I fell off the bandwagon this past weekend, but I'm back. It's a new week. Amen!
1 Samuel 18-20
Saul is beginning his vengence against David. Because of his own pride, he wishes to destroy David. But instead of returning evil for evil, David returns evil with good. David could have rightfully defended himself. He probably could have even fought against Saul and killed him, but over and over the Bible mentions..."He behaved himself wisely." Not he gave into his temper and emotions like Saul did. Rage is the result of festered anger that is rooted in bitterness and envy. Saul let his emotions consume him, no longer was he seeking God's will or even thinking rationally. All of his time, his energy was set on destroyind David.
I think of David's incredible sorrow he must have felt. Here he had given his life and loyalty to Saul, and because of his obedience to him it made Saul jealous. David was completely undeserving of Saul's rage. I'm sure David loved Saul deeply, and I know how much it deeply hurts when you love someone, and they not only don't love you back but seek your hurt and destruction.
Why did God let David go through such a trial? Why couldn't it have been an easy transition into him being king? It was through this trial that so many of the Psalms are written that bring comfort to so many. I personally appreciate the revealed "humanity" of David in the Bible. He hurt just like I hurt. He loved like I love. He felt angry and jilted just like I do sometimes. It's through these unjust times in my life that I cling to my Abba the most---Understanding that it's His will that I pass through a fire to refine me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fighting God's Battles

1 Samuel 17

I have read and heard countless sermons from this passage---David and Goliath. I asked the Lord to show me something from the story I hadn't noticed, heard before, or something that I just needed today.

I noticed how David's brother, Eliab, treated him...

And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
And David said, What have I now done? [Is there] not a cause?

Though not as famous as the battle against Goliath, this was David's first battle. From within. Eliab's pride was hurt because here he had heard the rantings and ravings of Goliath for 40 days and had not done anything about it, and here David comes having just been there shortly claiming that he can win the victory. I would think that they would be glad that they found a willing servant, but instead I find this of critical people when I decide to fight for something.
1. They question your motives.
2. They automatically play the double standard game. They feel they should question other areas of your life.
3. They assume your motives are self-righteous just like theirs ours.
4. They feel like if they criticize you, it will excuse them of their responsibility to do the right thing that you're willing to do.

I have faced criticism in my family, in fact, from my older brother. We were both in the same "battle" at one point, and when I wanted to stand and continue on, instead of encouraging he would nit pick another area. Sadly, it's often those that you are in the "battle" with that criticize you the most. Expect that. I notice the Bible doesn't say anything about David responding and criticizing Eliab personally. Rather, he continues his focus to the real battle at hand. So must I.

I love seeing David's courage and extreme confidence...

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee.....And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.

Will, will, will. David was confident that God would be not only with him, but that He would defeat Goliath with him. I noticed that David said..."and take thine head," later another verse says "but [there was] no sword in the hand of David." David made this bold statement even when he had no sword in his hand! Perhaps he was staring looking at Goliath and saw his sword and was picturing that he would be the one using it. What courage!

Of course, I don't fight any literal "giants", but the cause for standing and fighting for right still exists. I consider these thoughts.
1. Anyone who defies God should be fought against.
2. Remaining silent to someone defying God will not win the battle.
3. Those that don't defy God, but aren't willing to fight will criticize those who are.
4. Remaining silent to those critics is the answer to that battle because they are not defying God, but rather defying my personal character. My continued actions for right will defend that.
5. Be confident that God will not only be with me in the battle when I defend Him but He will also defeat the enemy.
6. Expect God to use unconvential methods to fight His battles. (Just like He uses unconventional people. :) )

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Are Your Insides Showing?

1 Samuel

I love reading about how God came about choosing David to be king.
First of all, Samuel had to get out of his depression.

And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

Certainly, Samuel was very close to Saul, and though Saul blatantly disobeyed God, Samuel was still sad that he could no longer be king. Perhaps harder that accepting the consequences for my own sin is seeing the ones I love suffer the consequences for their sins. But I must trust God in His judgment and look toward the future as Samuel had to do.

I love how God chooses the unlikely character. I don't know (I still need to get my hands on a good book about Bible culture.) if Jesse knew Samuel was looking for a king among his sons. He just knew that he was going to anoint one of them with oil. They pause at his first son, Eliab, he's the oldest, he's tall and has all the physical expectations of a king. But God says...

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

I'm glad that with God's servants, it's not a pageant or a contest on what the outward show is. God sees the heart and knows the sincerity of me. That's refreshing but sometimes that's convicting. Wonder what I would look like if God turned me inside out and my "inside" became my "outside" appearance. Would I be dissheveled, crude face, dirty from filth I allowed in my mind. The critical thoughts would become free words out of my mouth. Honestly, really thinking about that is humbling. Sure, I know God SEES me, but really thinking about that hard...God really sees everything in me. I hang my head in shame. But at the same time, I feel free with that fact because God also knows my motives and when others question or criticize how I respond, I don't feel responsible to them because it's God that truly knows my heart, and it is Him whom I desire to please.

I notice, too, that God chose someone who is working. Not someone who was waiting in line to "certainly be chosen" but a worker, someone who was out in the field often looked over. I once heard in a sermon "God used all sorts of men in the Bible--murders, liars, adulterers, etc., but God has never used a lazy man." So true. Position should come to those who are not looking for it, but rather those who are working as if it does belong to them.

Thirdly, God chose a balanced person:

Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, [that is] cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD [is] with him.

A lot of us try to be "fat" or excel in one area of our lives, but God proves by choosing David that it was the balance that was important. Help me, Abba, not to focus so much on being the BEST at this or that but rather at being GOOD at a lot of things.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Am I a Witch?

1 Samuel 16

Another example of Saul doing right wrongly. This is the famous passage where he is told to kill all the Amalekites. Everthing, the king, men, women, children, sheep, every animal. Instead Saul choose to take Agag as a captive and save the best sheep, oxen, etc for a sacrifice. God is not impressed.

It repenteth me that I have set up Saul [to be] king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Wow, those are some tough words. Here Saul is trying to do right, well just do it in his own way. Sure God told him to kill everything, but that didn't make sense. Surely, God wouldn't want the best to go to waste? So Saul felt he had obeyed...

And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

How prideful Saul was to think that half obedience was full obedience. But Saul felt the end justified the means. When he realized he had been found out, he even blames the people instead of taking responsibility. Samuel had some harsh words for Saul.

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.

Wait a minute, Saul wasn't summoning evil spirits, performing Satanic rituals, or doing anything we would feel is great disobedience. In fact, he did MOST of what God wanted. Witchcraft? The sin here....some obedience isn't obedience at all. Saul was guilty of "doing what was right in his own eyes." When I obey I don't completely understand, shows God that I trust Him. He loves trust, because that's what obedience is...saying "I trust you know what's right for me to do." instead of showing great sacrifice to God.

There was a consequence for Saul's disobedience. He could no longer be king. Sin always has consequences. Yes, sin can be forgiven, but the consequences still remain.

I think of how the sin of disobedience applies in my life today. I can be a great servant to others and help them out, but if I slack on my duties as a wife to do so or have an unsubmissive spirit to my husband...I'm am just as guilty as a witch. Half obedience? That's an oxymoron. Can't be. Lord, reveal to me today what I am "half obeying" You about.

There's so much good stuff in the three chapters from today's Bible reading that I must break it up into a few days.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Doing Right the Wrong Way

I Samuel 13-14

Saul, indeed an intriguing fellow. He decided that he was tired of waiting for Samuel, the priest, so he offered the burnt offering himself. His impatience assured him that he would not be king forever.
And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

I must admit, I am a little confused about the story with Jonathan. He initiates a great battle against the Philistines, and Israel has a great victory. Saul tells the people not to eat until the evening. Jonathan, not hearing his father's command, eats honey. The people tell him of his mistake and then he tells the Israelittes to enjoy in the spoil even meaning they eat the blood the of the animals they spoil---a known wrong for the Israellites. Saul tells Jonathan he must die for his disobedience, but the people saved Jonathan and his life is spared.
Jonathan didn't directly disobey, but he did later when he encouraged others to do wrong. I've never heard stories about Jonathan in a bad light, but I would think this is not a good example of Jonathan here. He may have had his life spared, but this may be the reason why he is not chosen to be king later. Usually the son takes the father's place, even when the father is wicked, but this one is completely taken from their family lineage.

Both of these accounts remind me that the end does not justify the means. I must not take God's commands lightly and do them in my own manner. What are my motives? Do I go about doing right in the wrong way? Do I speed to get to church on time? Am I dishonest in giving taxes, so I can give more to the church? Do I help others, but disregard to help my own family first? Help me Lord to do right, rightly.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Leaning on God, not man

1 Sam 4-8

The ark of God has been taken and then returned. Samuel's sons are wicked, and the people want a king instead of God to rule over them. The words that struck me were...."that he may fight for us." Truly I can't imagine how this grieved your heart, God. Here they were so willing to give up the privilege of taking things to you. They gave up freedom, though hard at times for bondage. They wanted to be like other nations that had kings rather than lean on You.

I see our nation much like this today. Rather than trust in the Lord they trust in the government to take care of them. The king rule became the demise of Israel, and so it will be our demise in America.

Now for my personal application. I think you are teaching me that it is just as wrong for me to have my leaders go to You for me. I have the great opportunity and privilege to beseech you myself. Leaders are necessary, a picture of You, but they are not to be substituted for You. I remember as a senior in college, I went to Dr. Schaap, so he could help me decide what I needed to do with my future after graduating. Actually I didn't want him to "help me", I wanted him to tell me. After explaining the circumstances, he looked at me and said "I can't tell you what God's will is for your life." Though I left frustrated that day, I learned a great lesson. Instead of beseeching You and asking for Your help, I was leaning on a man of God to tell me what You want. I could have taken the time and asked You myself. Though, I do now go to leaders to get their insight, I have learned to go to You for my final decision. Nothing is quite as satisfying as knowing I am doing exactly what God wants me to do and has told ME to do personally.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Praying for Your Children

1 sam 1-3

Wow, I learned some amazing truths about child rearing in this passage. It really is amazing that Samuel turned out to be great.

Although he wad raised in a priest's home, it wasn't a great situation. Eli's sons were wicked and God rebuked Eli because he "honored his sons above me (God)".

So basically...

1. Samuel had horrible influences around him.

2. Samuel had a weak father figure raising him.

3. To add to it, Samuel didn't even have a Bible to help guide him..."there was no open vision."

The only thing I can attribute to this child's tenderheartedness to God was God's grace and a praying mother. She wasn't there to create the "perfect enviroment". She had decided the greatest control she had over her son was to plead God's control.

Oh so convicting. Sometimes I am guilty of thinking that a perfect or atleast a really good environment would be the key to helping to raise a godly child, though that is important...greater importance is fervent prayer like Hannah's. Lord, I fail miserably at being a praying mother for Destiny and a praying sister for Ariel. Help me to change this. This is encouraging to know that the circumstances, that I cannot control, are not the key, but that my prayers, which I can control, can make all the difference.