Author Topic: Bible Pathways  (Read 40430 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1060 on: April 09, 2012, 08:09:58 am »
04092012
Read I Samuel 25 – 27

Highlights:

Death of Samuel; David's refusal to slay Saul; Saul confesses his sin; David flees to Gath.
Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear . . . And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? (I Sam. 26:8-9).

David had an opportunity to remove the only person blocking his reign over Israel (23:15-18).

Never were David's men more wrong than when they quoted a prophecy to justify killing Saul (24:4). Saul was still the Lord's anointed king — the man God had appointed to rule over His people Israel. David realized he must honor the powers ordained of God until the Lord Himself removed Saul from the throne.

On another occasion, Abishai insisted: God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand: now therefore let me smite him (26:8). On both occasions, David's reaction proved his submission to the authority of God when he refused to kill Saul and seize the throne. He had been anointed king of Israel long ago, but he would not mar this sacred responsibility.

Through many days of humbly seeking the Lord, God had prepared David to receive the kingdom in a spirit of grateful dependence upon Him. His prayer revealed his submission to God when he said: My times are in Thy hand (Ps. 31:15).

The most important lesson that we need to learn from David is that no one can keep us from the Lord's best for our life. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Rom. 8:35-37). Every person, problem, and disappointment that comes into our life is a servant of God to develop within us His mercy, patience, and long-suffering. Once these facts are recognized, we will realize how self-destructive ill will, resentment, jealousy, or envy are — even if we think someone else is getting the credit for what we have done or is keeping us from what we think is best for our lives.

Still today, the people of God are prepared for service to Him as we put the Lord's will above our own desires.

O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed (Ps. 25:2-3).

Thought for Today:

Decisions made without a regard for the will of God can never receive His blessings.
Christ Revealed:

By Abigail's efforts to make peace between David and Nabal (I Sam. 25:21-28). God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (II Cor. 5:19).
Word Studies:

25:3 churlish = harsh, cruel, rude; 25:14 railed on = insulted; 25:15 were conversant with = associated with; 25:21 requited = returned, repaid; 25:27 blessing = gift; 25:28 a sure house = a lasting dynasty; 25:29 bound in the bundle of life = safe in the care of the Lord; 26:5 in the trench = inside the barricade; 26:7 bolster = headrest, pillow; 26:15 kept = guarded; 26:24 set by = valued; 27:1 coast = territory; 27:10 road = raid; 27:11 manner = behavior.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Sam Hall • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Country: Austria (8.1 million) in central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 78% Catholic; 6% Protestant; 3% Other Christian; 2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 1.9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Offering praise and thanks to God is a sacrifice pleasing to Him (Heb. 13:15).
Optional Reading: Acts 10

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1061 on: April 10, 2012, 09:45:28 am »
Read I Samuel 28 – 31

Highlights:

Philistines declare war against Israel; Saul seeks counsel from the witch of Endor; David defeats the Amalekites; the death of Saul and his sons.
And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not (I Sam. 28:5-6).

God had given Saul the unique position of being the first king to reign over His people. But he forfeited this privilege because of his continual disobedience.

Saul was panic-stricken when the Philistines encamped against his armies at Mt. Gilboa. David, the champion, was gone; and Samuel, the prophet whom he had ignored for years, was dead. He offered a hurried prayer to God, who alone controls the destiny of all battles. But God did not answer him.

Often when prayers seem to go unanswered, we assume the request was not according to the will of God, when perhaps God was withholding His blessing because our lives were not in harmony with the biblical requirements for effective prayer. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me (Ps. 66:18).

Although Saul knew that spiritualist mediums were an abomination under the "laws of Israel" (Deut. 18:10-12; I John 4:1), he rode several hours through the night to seek counsel from the witch of Endor. It was a futile ride for the once-powerful king who had lived to please himself.

Those who reject the truth of God easily become victims of false prophets, fortune-tellers, astrologers, and the like (Matt. 24:24; I John 4:1). To these dupes God shall send strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (II Thess. 2:11).

Thinking it is a "fun thing" that will do no harm, many Christians read astrology columns and go to palm-readers or fortune-tellers. As we read the Word of God, the foolishness of seeking guidance from those who use crystal balls, palm-reading, or fortune-telling becomes apparent. Participating in activities that border on dealing with "spirits" is not only contrary to the Word of God, but it leaves that person open to satanic forces.

Idolatry, witchcraft . . . seditions, heresies . . . they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20-21). And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved (II Thess. 2:10).

Thought for Today:

The only True Source of Guidance is through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
Christ Revealed:

Through the Urim (I Sam. 28:6), which was used to determine the will of God. Today Christ speaks to us through His Spirit and when we read His Word. God . . . Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Heb. 1:1-2). When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come (John 16:13).
Word Studies:

28:2 keeper of mine head, permanent captain of my bodyguard; 28:7 familiar spirit, demonic spirit that works through a medium, spiritualist, witch, or fortune-teller (Lev. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:9-12); 28:14 mantle, robe; 28:15 sore, deeply; 28:21 sore, severely; 29:3 fell unto me, joined me; 30:12 his spirit came again to him, he revived; 30:21 saluted, greeted; 30:31 wont to haunt, accustomed to stay; 31:2 followed hard upon, overtook; 31:3 sore, badly.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Daniel Dalton • Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville, TN • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Country: Azerbaijan (7.7 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Azeri and Russian • Religious freedom • 65% Shi'a Muslim; 30% Sunni Muslim; 2% Russian Orthodox; 2% Armenian Apostolic; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to work in your life in whatever way pleases Him (Heb. 13:21).
Optional Reading: Acts 11

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!


Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1062 on: April 11, 2012, 08:21:32 am »

Read II Samuel 1 – 2
Highlights:

David mourns the death of Saul and Jonathan; David made king over Judah at Hebron; Ish-bosheth made king over Israel.
And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. . . . but Abner . . . captain of Saul's host, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul . . . And made him king . . . over all Israel (II Sam. 2:4,8-9).

What a temptation it must have been for David! Saul was dead and Samuel had anointed David to be king over all the nation many years earlier. Yet, David prayed and waited for direction from God rather than insisting on his rights to the throne. The fruits of his waiting are recorded, however, in the next chapter.

David had to wait seven years after Saul's death before he could assume leadership over all the tribes. If David had not prayed for guidance, he would not have accepted this delay. However, he acknowledged complete dependence upon God, who had chosen him as king.

One of David's greatest desires was to worship the Lord in the Temple at Jerusalem. With this in mind, we can better appreciate his patience in waiting for the Lord's appointed time (see Ps. 27:4).

During the next seven years of civil war, David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker (3:1). Finally Abner, former captain of Saul's army admitted: the Lord hath sworn . . . to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah (3:9-10).

In our fast-moving society Christians are confronted over and over again with the temptation to rush through life, hoping God will bless our hurried efforts. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).

So often we tend to get ahead of the Lord in our eagerness to have something. But there is a peaceful rest for those who wait patiently for the Lord's timing. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him . . . fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. . . . those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth (Ps. 37:7-9).

All who seek the will of God and wait for His timing will ultimately gain His victory.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57).

Thought for Today:

Spiritual victory is not dependent on human strength.
Christ Revealed:

In David's sorrowful poem (II Sam. 1:17-27). He did not dwell upon all his years of suffering at the hand of Saul but dwelt only upon the pleasant things. David typifies Christ, who forgave His enemies, crying from the cross: Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34).
Word Studies:

1:2 did obeisance, bowed in honor; 1:9 anguish, extreme pain; 1:18 use of the bow, song of the bow; 2:6 requite, repay; 2:14 play before us, hold a contest as to which side has the best soldiers; 2:17 sore, fierce; 2:26 following, pursuing; 2:32 sepulchre, tomb.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies • Major languages: English and some Creole • Religious freedom • 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for wisdom as you read His Word, and it will be given to you (James 1:5).
Optional Reading: Acts 12

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1063 on: April 12, 2012, 08:29:53 am »
Read II Samuel 3 – 5

Highlights:

Abner forsakes Ish-bosheth and joins David; Joab slays Abner; Ish-bosheth murdered; David made king over Israel; capture of Jebus (Jerusalem).
So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel (II Sam. 5:3).

After David had reigned over Judah for seven years, the elders of all the tribes anointed him as king. They did not ask David to be their king, but they reminded him that the Lord had said: Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel (5:2).

Before God allowed him to reign over all the tribes in the great and glorious promised land, David experienced many years of testing, trials, and suffering — especially during the years Saul was seeking to kill him.

In each new difficulty, God was preparing David to be His faithful servant — a man after the Lord's own heart — to be a true shepherd over His people. Each difficulty he faced was a step of faith upward.

The Old Testament prophets often referred to the shepherd as a symbol of the love and care God expects from His leaders. The true undershepherd of the Lord does not seek honor from men or the honor of being served, but he gives himself for the flock, as did our Messiah-Shepherd-King.

The Lord's preparation of His servants may involve long, hard days with seemingly fruitless efforts; but the one who waits for the Lord's best willingly yields to His guidance. We cannot afford to murmur about our disappointments or be proud of our accomplishments. Furthermore, we must never be jealous of the advantages other people have or fear that we are being cheated. Our supreme goal in life should be to do the best we can each day with what we have (Phil. 4:11). The only important thing is what we are in the eyes of God.

The greatest obstacle to being used of God is self. Only when we are willing to die to self can we be an expression of His life. But death to the self-life is brought about through years of hardship and heartache — even reaching a point of feeling hopeless. In some Christians, there is no clear image of them being Christlike. Even after many years, they still are not living by the principle of dying to self.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:3-4).

Thought for Today:

God always honors the faith that is established on thus saith the Lord (Ex. 4:22, 7:17 and other verses in the Old Testament).
Christ Portrayed:

By David, the anointed king over Israel (II Sam. 5:3). Christ is the Lord's anointed. "Christ" is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah (Anointed One) (Ps. 2:2; John 1:41). Jesus is the rightful King of the earth. Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. . . . and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin (John 19:19-20).
Word Studies:

3:1 waxed, grew; 3:10 translate, transfer; 3:12 league, covenant; 3:27 smote, stabbed; 3:31 bier, a stand for carrying a corpse; 4:2 reckoned to, considered part of; 5:8 getteth up to the gutter, enters the city through the water tunnel; 5:23 fetch a compass, circle around.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Elaine Servetto • Government Official: Rep. Tim Walberg (MI) • Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia • Major languages: Arabic and English • No evangelical work is permitted • 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Pray with unwavering faith so that your prayers may be answered (James 1:5-7).
Optional Reading: Acts 13

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1064 on: April 13, 2012, 09:10:05 am »
Read II Samuel 6 – 9 

Highlights:

Ark taken to Jerusalem; Michal criticizes David; David's victory; his kindness to Mephibosheth.
And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him . . . to bring up from thence the Ark of God, whose Name is called by the Name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims (II Sam. 6:2).

David conquered Jerusalem and established a united kingdom. It was his desire that Jerusalem not only would be the center of his government, but that it would be the center of worship.

During the forty years Saul reigned, there is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant (the symbol of the Lord's presence) being in the midst of Israel.

David immediately recognized that a successful reign as king of the chosen nation of God was dependent upon his obedience to the invisible King of kings. Therefore, he planned to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

David's wife, Michal, expressed the same indifference for the Ark as did her father, Saul. She criticized David as he led the procession, saying he uncovered himself . . . in the eyes of the handmaids (6:20). This simply meant that on this occasion, David did not wear the impressive royal robes of a king. Instead, he wore the simple white linen ephod garment (6:14) as the head of the kingdom of priests — a holy nation (see I Sam. 22:18; Ex. 19:6). Michal loved being married to the popular king, but she despised David when he dressed as a humble priest of God.

David's greatness can be attributed to his humble spirit, as expressed in his answer to Michal. He would gladly be more vile (be willing to take an even lower position) if it would bring honor to the true King of Israel (II Sam. 6:22).

All true greatness is dependent upon true humility. When given the opportunity to boast, do you see your advancements as totally dependent upon the mercy of God? Is it easy for you to step "down," as expressed in David's answer to Michal? Even if your friends criticized you, would you willingly be more vile — willing to take an even lesser position — if it would bring honor to the Lord?

The Lord's blessing will rest upon all who humble themselves and serve Him in whatever capacity He chooses for them to serve — regardless of how lowly the position may seem.

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11).

Thought for Today:

When we walk in the light of the will of God, we are protected from the darkness of the world.
Christ Revealed:

By the Ark of the Covenant which they . . . set . . . in the midst of the Tabernacle (II Sam. 6:17). The Ark contained the Ten Commandments, given to Moses (Deut. 10:1-5). Christ is the Living Word (John 1:1) and dwells within those of us who are the Temple of God (I Cor. 3:16) — Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Word Studies:

6:7 error, fault committed through negligence; 6:14 linen ephod, priestly, linen garment; 6:19 dealt, distributed; 6:21 play, celebrate, show my joy; 7:8 sheepcote, pastureland; 7:9 cut off, destroyed, eliminated; 7:12 seed, offspring, descendants; 7:23 terrible, full of wonder; awesome; 8:3 recover his border at the river Euphrates, establish his territory to the Euphrates River; 8:4 houghed, hamstrung; 8:5 succour, help; 9:8 look upon such a dead dog, show favor to such an insignificant person.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Joshua Belisle's baptism • Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Jim Costa (CA), Rep. Susan A. Davis (CA), and Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA) • Country: Bangladesh (125.7 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Bangla and English • Present religious freedom may become limited • 86.6% Muslim; 12.1% Hindu; .6% Buddhist; .3% Christian; .4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith, without doubting (James 1:6).
Optional Reading: Acts 14

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1065 on: April 14, 2012, 08:53:45 am »
Read II Samuel 10 – 12
Highlights:

Hanun abuses David's messengers; defeat of Ammonites and Syrians; David and Bathsheba; Nathan's parable and rebuke to David; David's repentance; birth of Solomon.
At the time when kings go forth to battle . . . David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself (II Sam. 11:1-2).

David was a man of exceptional character — a man after the heart of God (Acts 13:22). But he allowed himself to lust for a married woman. On inquiring, he learned that she was the wife of one of his soldiers who was away in battle. Instead of turning from the lust that was in his heart, he dishonored the God-ordained family relationship of Uriah and Bathsheba and committed adultery with his neighbor's wife. In an attempt to cover up one evil, David committed many other sins.

From the moment David first lusted after this woman until their marriage, there was not one adverse circumstance to interfere with his plan — except that it displeased the Lord (II Sam. 11:27). This is the treacherous thing about sin.

Although David's repentance was sincere, the inevitable, inescapable consequences of sin could not be evaded. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).

God forgave David's sin, but the prophet Nathan foretold the bitter consequences of suffering, incest, murder, rebellion, and civil war that would continue throughout David's lifetime (see 12:10-12).

During the first twenty years of his reign, David was very successful. But immediately after his marriage to Bathsheba, the kingdom began to crumble, and it never recovered. The last twenty years of David's life bear witness to the awful, unending consequences of sin.

As foretold by Nathan the prophet, David's trouble soon began. His son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Two years later, in revenge for disgracing his sister, Absalom murdered Amnon. Later, Sheba, supported by Amasa, led a revolt. Heartbreaking desertion by David's closest friends, distrust and division within his kingdom plagued David to the time of his death.

Oh, how many people have yielded to temptation in a moment of lust or other desire and spent a lifetime suffering the consequences! Sin seldom ends with one act alone, but one sin usually leads to another.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15; see also II Sam. 12:14).

Thought for Today:

Sin defiles everything it touches, but God gave His Son so that we can be free from the power of sin.
Christ Revealed:

In the prophet Nathan giving Solomon the name Jedidiah, which means beloved of the Lord (II Sam. 12:24-25). Christ was greatly loved by His Heavenly Father. Jesus prayed: Father . . . Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24).
Word Studies:

10:12 play the men, show our courage and strength; 11:1 after the year was expired, in the spring of the following year; 11:8 mess of meat, gift of food; 12:4 spared, refused; 12:11 in the sight of this sun, publicly for all Israel to know; 12:31 put them under saws, enslaved, made to work with saws.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Official: Rep. Laura Richardson (CA) • Country: Barbados (259,000) on the island farthest east in the West Indies • Major language: English • Religious freedom • 79% Protestant; 8% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for grace to overcome temptation, and God will reward you (James 1:12).
Optional Reading: Acts 15

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:25
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1066 on: April 15, 2012, 01:16:26 pm »
Read II Samuel 13 – 14

Highlights:

Amnon's sin against Tamar; Absalom's revenge; his flight; Joab's scheme for Absalom's return.
But Absalom fled . . . And David mourned for his son every day (II Sam. 13:37).

After the great sin that David committed became public knowledge, it appears that David was filled with remorse. He was no longer seen in public, but his palace became his hiding place.

Sin always produces side effects with consequences far beyond all possible human calculation. Although David had lived a godly life up to this time, his two elder sons did not follow his good example. Instead, they followed his sinful ways. His eldest son, Amnon, cruelly molested his half-sister, Tamar.

When David learned of the facts of Amnon's wicked sin against his daughter Tamar, he was very wroth (13:21). But no legal action was taken. The sentence of death in the Mosaic law was mandatory. But once again David became a slave to his own past sinful act. Being the king, under the rule of God, he was required to punish the guilty (Lev. 20:17). Although David's omission to punish is not expressly condemned, what followed shows that justice did take place. Amnon was the king's son — his firstborn, heir to the throne — but he was no less guilty than any citizen in the kingdom. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). It is a sobering fact that the way of transgressors is hard (Prov. 13:15; see also 6:15).

Eventually, Absalom murdered his half-brother Amnon, who was heir to the throne. The reason given for Absalom murdering Amnon was revenge for defiling his sister. But neither he nor his men could forget that Amnon was the only person who stood in the way of Absalom being the next king. The crimes of David's two sons must have caused him to recall memories of the two similar sins he had committed.

Amnon's name meant "faithful" but he was unfaithful to his father; to his sister Tamar; and to God. Absalom's name means "father of peace" — indicating David's hopes and spiritual aspirations for both his eldest son as well as Absalom. A parent can have no sharper suffering than the sight of his own sin reappearing in his child. Little did David realize, when he beheld the beautiful Bathsheba, that one night of enjoyment would lay the groundwork for his own sons' immorality.

The consequences of sin cannot be avoided, postponed, or ignored by anyone, whether king or peasant. It always brings immeasurable, unending suffering and sorrow.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13).

Thought for Today:

All who compromise their Christian convictions for worldly gain will one day be judged by the Lord.
Christ Revealed:

Through David's restoration of Absalom (II Sam. 14:33). If an earthly father's compassion reconciles him to his estranged son, how much more will our loving Heavenly Father reconcile us to Himself when we confess our sins. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing (counting, crediting) their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:19).
Word Studies:

13:4 lean, depressed, looking so wretched; 13:5 make thyself sick, pretend to be sick; 14:2 feign, pretend; 14:4 did obeisance, showed reverence, honor; 14:7 quench my coal which is left, destroy the last of my family; 14:11 suffer, allow; 14:21 done this thing, granted your request; 14:26 polled his head, cut his hair.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Howard L. Berman (CA) • Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to enable you to endure temptation (James 1:12).
Optional Reading: Acts 16

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1067 on: April 16, 2012, 09:04:27 am »
Read  II Samuel 15 – 16
Highlights:

Absalom gains popularity and conspires against David; David flees from Jerusalem; Absalom enters Jerusalem.
And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up (II Sam. 15:30).

One of the saddest scenes in the Bible is that of King David fleeing from his son, Absalom. Heartbroken, the aged king is described as barefooted, his head covered, fleeing across the rough hills leading to the Mount of Olives.

His own son, Absalom, gained the confidence of much of Israel. Absalom then led an at-first successful revolt and took control of Jerusalem (15:13-18).

David and many of his supporters voluntarily left the city of God rather than see it destroyed by civil war (15:14). David was more concerned for the well-being of the city and the people of God than for himself.

Shimei, one of Saul's relatives, followed David as he fled from Jerusalem, cursing him and stoning him. He accused David of being responsible for Saul's death and all the blood of the house of Saul (16:8). This accusation was not true, and Abishai asked David for permission to kill Shimei. David refused, saying: Let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David (16:10). David was willing to accept abuse because he recognized the sovereignty of God.

Although he knew he was being chastised, David did not blame God for the many tragic experiences that resulted after his great sin with Bath-sheba. David had made his choice, and he suffered the consequences without complaining. But he knew the presence of the Lord's loving-kindness, as his words testify when he fled from Absalom. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head (Ps. 3:2-3).

Too often we retaliate, fight back, or seek revenge, and do not see the hand of God in our sufferings. But once we see this Truth and yield to Him, we discover His perfect will. The highest privilege Christians can have is to yield our will to His ways. May God teach us the precious privilege of accepting and loving His ways!

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Is. 55:9).

Thought for Today:

God is our strength in time of trouble.
Christ Portrayed:

By David as he rebuked his followers when they wanted to execute his enemies (II Sam. 16:10-11; compare I Sam. 26:8-9). When Jesus' disciples wanted to do the same, He rebuked them, saying: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke 9:54-56).
Word Studies:

15:27 seer, prophet of God who has discernment (I Sam. 9:9); 15:28 certify, inform; 16:5 cursed still, shouted curses continuously.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by William Lupton • Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Clifford B. Stearns (FL) • Country: Belgium (10.2 million) in northwestern Europe • Major languages: Flemish and French • Religious freedom • 74% Catholic; 3% Muslim; 1% Protestant; .5% Orthodox; 20% Secular Humanism; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will obey the Word of God and not be just a deceived hearer (James 1:22).
Optional Reading: Acts 17

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1068 on: April 17, 2012, 08:26:40 am »
Read II Samuel 17 – 18
Highlights:

Counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai; Ahithophel commits suicide; Absalom murdered by Joab; David mourns Absalom's death.
And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth . . . And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him (II Sam. 18:9,15).

The majority of Israel's leaders and great numbers of discontented people joined Absalom in an attempt to overthrow King David. Absalom was declared king. He then entered and took control of the capital without resistance. Up to this point all his plans had been successful. But Absalom was determined to pursue and execute David (17:2-4). However, God allowed him to go only so far. In the battle that ensued, Absalom suffered heavy losses, a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men (18:7). Then God used a branch of a tree to seize and hold him until he received his just execution.

When the time of Absalom's judgment arrived, he didn't have a friend who cared to help him. There were many who had once stayed by him; but now, with his head caught in the limbs of the oak tree, everyone rushed past him, intent on saving their own lives.

Absalom's rebellion against David is typical of the men who take counsel . . . against the Lord (Ps. 2:2). Although this Scripture refers prophetically to Christ, it is also true that those who oppose the leaders God appoints oppose Christ. They seem to prosper for awhile, but after the purpose of God has been fulfilled, they are destroyed. It is impossible for anyone to defeat the purpose of God for his anointed servant. For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5). He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me (John 13:20).

When the desire for recognition, advancement, or power is motivated by a selfish ego, it results in hatred, envy, disunity, and sometimes, even death. This evil is often the cause of discontentment at work, disagreements in the home, and quarrels among individuals.

Jesus taught that we should do to others as we would have them do unto us (Matt. 7:12; Rom. 12:10).

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Phil. 2:3).

Thought for Today:

God always has a way of honoring the humble.
Christ Revealed:

Through Mahanaim, a city of refuge where David went when he was fleeing from Absalom (Josh. 21:38; II Sam. 17:27). Christ is our Refuge. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the Hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Heb. 6:18,20).
Word Studies:

17:8 chafed, angered; 17:17 wench, maidservant; 17:25 host, army; 18:3 succour us out of the city, remain in the city and assist by providing reinforcements; 18:9 taken up, left hanging, suspended.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bob Coleman • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Country: Belize (236,000) on the eastern coast of Central America • Major languages: English and Spanish • Religious freedom • 64% Roman Catholic; 26% Protestant; 2% spiritist/animist; 1% Hindu; 1% Muslim; 1% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a clean and pure heart (James 4:8).
Optional Reading: Acts 18

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26
  :angel:

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Bible Pathways
« Reply #1069 on: April 18, 2012, 09:46:45 am »
Read II Samuel 19 – 20

Highlights:

Joab rebukes David for mourning over Absalom; David returns to Jerusalem; Sheba's revolt against David; Sheba is slain.
So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem (II Sam. 20:2).

The general discontent of Israel gave Sheba, an ungodly, ambitious leader, the opportunity to create a civil war. The years of suffering, rebellion, murder, and civil war during David's reign were directly related to his sin with Bathsheba. Little could David realize, when he held the beautiful Bathsheba for one night of enjoyment, that it would bring him so much suffering!

Although the Lord put away David's sin (12:13), its consequences continued to plague him through his reign. Year after year, with each tragedy, his guilty conscience must have cried out, "Why did I do it? How could I have done it?" These can be the most pathetic questions men and women ask themselves — something done that is irreversible. The pleasures of sin always come at a price much higher than was expected!

When tragic events happen to believers we can trust that our lives are in the loving care of our Heavenly Father at all times. At times we must accept responsibility for the adverse circumstances and sorrows caused by poor choices, sins, mistakes, and failures. It may seem natural to condemn ourselves for our faults, failures, fears, frustrations, or the things that "happen" to us. But we know according to the Word of God that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins (John 1:9; see Rom. 8:28).

But, as Christians who have acknowledged our sin and accepted Christ as our Savior, with a sincere desire to obey His Word, we can be sure that God has forgiven us. We can let the indwelling Holy Spirit deepen our faith in the wisdom of God through these difficult experiences and bring us into a closer relationship with Christ. We have peace with God . . . and rejoice . . . knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope (faith): And hope maketh not ashamed (never disappoints); because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom. 5:1-5).

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Phil 3:13).

Thought for Today:

The enemy finds easy entrance into the life that is left unguarded by prayer and the Word of God.
Christ Portrayed:

By David, who wished to be invited back as king (II Sam. 19:11). Our Lord Jesus wants to be invited into the hearts of all mankind. He comes in only by our invitation. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him (enjoy sweet fellowship together), and he with Me (Rev. 3:20).
Word Studies:

19:14 bowed, swayed; 20:3 ward, guarded house; 20:18 were wont to speak, used to say.
Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Radio Broadcasts in memory of Claire Rachel Spreen • Government Officials: Rep. Justin Amash (MI), Rep. Bob Latta (OH), and Rep. Gwen Moore (WI) • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).
Optional Reading: Acts 19

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26
 :angel:
 

Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!