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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel! (chapter 20) Murderous Jealousy and Friendship!

[Our text is a bit long this morning!]

Jonathan doesn’t believe that his father Saul is trying to kill David. David is convinced that “there is only a step between me and death” (v. 3).

David comes up with a plan for Jonathan to lie to his father about David’s hiding in the field. Jonathan asks David to show kindness to himself and his family. They make a covenant, a covenant out of love (“because he loved him as he loved himself”- v. 17).

Jonathan’s lie about David being ordered by his brother to observe a sacrifice (v. 29) in Bethlehem isn’t believed by Saul who tries to kill his own son who defends David (v. 33)!

Jonathan leaves the feast in “fierce anger,” grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David (v. 34).

The three-arrow-plan is enacted; David is informed of Saul’s threat. Jonathan and David weep together. Their sworn friendship is reaffirmed. David leaves and Jonathan returns to town.

Some takeaways for me:
1. Isn’t it true that for each of us, “there is only a step between [us] and death”?
2. The genuine love and friendship between Jonathan and David is admirable (and sadly perverted by the gay community). Oh, to have a friend like that! [Oh, to be a friend like that!].
3. Saul’s jealousy and murderous heart causes him to try to kill his own son Jonathan! We must never underestimate the evil power of our sinful nature!
4. There is no despair in either Jonathan or David’s heart about the sovereign power of the Lord. But they make human decisions to remove David from the wicked intentions of King Saul.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2018 in I Samuel 20

 

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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel (2:18-26) God’s Will?!

While the sons of Eli were villainous, Samuel the young boy “was ministering before the Lord” (v. 18).  He wore a linen ephod, one part of a priest’s wardrobe.

His little robe was replaced annually by his mother who hand-made the garment and would deliver it to him at the annual sacrifice (v. 19).

What a contrast:  Eli’s sons showing contempt for the Lord’s sacrifice; Samuel’s mother providing clothing for her son as he was serving the Lord!

Eli prays for Elkanah and his wife [note the non-mention of Penniah] — that she would bear more children to take the place of the one she “gave to the Lord” (v. 20).  We read, “And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters.”  And the boy Samuel “grew up in the presence of the Lord” (v. 21).

We learn of the further wickedness of Eli’s sons.  They even slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting!  They effectively treated the Lord’s presence as an opportunity to pursue prostitution! (v. 22).  Eli tries to rebuke them, asking them why they do such things, that their deeds are wicked, and that there can be no mediator for their sins against the Lord! (vv. 22-25).  We then read, “His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death” (v. 25).  What an amazing statement!

Here we have the juxtaposed positions of man’s refusal to listen and the Lord’s will to execute them for their wickedness.  But we read of Samuel that he “continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people” (v. 26).  This reminds us of the Lord Jesus of whom we read in Luke 2:52- “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  Thank God for our great Intercessor, the Lord Jesus, for all our sins are “against the Lord,” aren’t they?

 

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2018 in I Samuel 2

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 101)

Psalm 101

Of David. A psalm.

I will sing of your love and justice;screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-42-32-am
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
    on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do;
    I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
    I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
    I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    I will not tolerate.

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
    that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
    will minister to me.

No one who practices deceit
    will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
    will stand in my presence.

Every morning I will put to silence
    all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
    from the city of the Lord.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in evil

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 94)

Psalm 94

The Lord is a God who avenges.screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-6-59-20-am
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.

12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in judgment

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 36)

Psalm 36

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 5.37.01 AM

I have a message from God in my heart
    concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
    before their eyes.

In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
    they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
    they commit themselves to a sinful course
    and do not reject what is wrong.

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

10 Continue your love to those who know you,
    your righteousness to the upright in heart.
11 May the foot of the proud not come against me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 See how the evildoers lie fallen—
    thrown down, not able to rise!

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in the wicked

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 12)

Psalm 12Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.26.27 AM
For the director of music. According to sheminith.[b] A psalm of David.

1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold[c] refined seven times.

7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2016 in Psalm 12

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 140)

Psalm 140

For the director of music. A psalm of David.Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 5.59.27 AM

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 6.02.26 AM

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,
    into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
    and the upright will live in your presence.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 12

We continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

We have seen that God’s grace is a SAVING grace (v. 11).  It is also a TEACHING grace (v. 12) that helps us learn what to deny and what to affirm.  We have also seen that God’s grace is a WAITING grace (v. 13), assisting us to wait for God the Son to return for us.  In thinking about the Son, we have seen that He is the One who gave himself for us (v. 14).

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 7.15.29 AMBut why did He give Himself for us?  The text is quite clear: to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own . . . (v. 14).  We needed REDEMPTION!  The term λυτρώσηται is from a word group that means “to release by paying a ransom, to redeem.”  It is used three times in the New Testament:
(1) In Lk. 24:21 we read of Jesus meeting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  They were devastated because their Rabbi had been executed.  They say to the risen Jesus (not knowing that He had conquered death): “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel . . .”

(2) In I Pe. 1:18-19 we read: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

(3) Here in Titus 2:14 we read that Jesus “who gave himself for us to redeem Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.24.37 AMus from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own . . .”

Slaves get redeemed.  Those who don’t see themselves as slaves don’t need redemption.  Jesus declared in John 8- “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (v. 34).  That includes everyone.  Everyone is a slave to sin — and needs to be redeemed out of that slavery.

Notice:  He redeems us from all wickedness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.54.56 AMThe term ἀνομίας is a simple word meaning “no law.”  It can be translated as “lawlessness” or “iniquity” and describes the condition of one without law, either because ignorant of it, or because violating it.  The term is used 15 times in the New Testament.  Here are a few of those uses:
Mt. 7:23-  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν (literally, “the ones practicing the lawlessness”).
13:41- The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. καὶ τοὺς ποιοῦντας τὴν ἀνομίαν (literally, “the ones doing the lawlessness”).
Rom. 4:7- “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered. Μακάριοι ὧν ἀφέθησαν αἱ ἀνομίαι καὶ ὧν ἐπεκαλύφθησαν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, (“transgressions” [literally, “lawlessnesses”] can be forgiven!
2 Cor. 6:14-  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις· τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ, ἢ τίς κοινωνία φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος; (here the term is translated as “wickedness”).
Heb. 10:17- Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts
 I will remember no more.” καὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ἀνομιῶν αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ μνησθήσομαι ἔτι·  (here the term is translated as “lawless acts”).
I Jn. 3:4- Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  Πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ, καὶ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία. (literally, here we are told that everyone doing sin is “also doing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”).

In our text, the expression is ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας and can be translated as “from every lawless deed . . .”

One of the questions that occurs to me is this:  Is Jesus redeeming us from the wickedness of the world — or the wickedness in ourselves? (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 94)

Psalm 94Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 7.56.13 AM

The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 7.58.25 AM

12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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