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O God, Be Merciful to Me!

Ash Wednesday

O God, Be Merciful to Me!

Text: 2 Samuel 24:10-25

Life was good.  Really good.  David had been king in Israel for almost 40 years.  There had been plenty of strife over those 40 years.  Wars.  Enemy attacks.  Even a rebellion led by David’s own son Absalom.  Of course there was the whole murder/adultery scandal between David and Bathsheba, too.  But over time David and Israel matured spiritually, politically, and economically.  Now, with the Lord bringing crushing blows to their Philistine enemies, Israel was enjoying a time of peace and economic prosperity.  The kingdom was strong.  The people were wealthy.  Their veteran, 70-year-old king was seated securely on his thrown.  Life was good.

That meant the timing was perfect.  The Bible tells us about this time:  Satan rose up against Israel and incited David.”  When everything was going well and no problems were in plain sight, Satan knew the opportunity was ripe for temptation.

He started amongst the people.  He whispered arrogant thoughts of ingratitude in the ears of the Israelites.  After defeating their enemies and attaining peace and prosperity, the Israelites didn’t thank their God.  A feeling of pride in their own achievements arose.  A spiritual laziness sprouted in their hearts because they didn’t really need God all that much while things were going well.

But why stop with the people?  Why not shoot for the top?  The best way to take down a kingdom is to take down the king.  So Satan set David in his crosshairs, too.  Read the rest of this entry

God’s People Embrace Tragedies

6th Sunday after Pentecost

God’s People Embrace Tragedies

1. With repentance
2. With trust
3. With worship

Text:  2 Samuel 12:11-25

Intro

They are words no daddy—no parent—ever wants to hear.  “Your child is sick.  Really sick.”  It’s bad enough when your child has a fever and isn’t acting quite right.  Your heart aches when your child has the flu and can’t hold anything down.  Your anxiety and blood pressure levels rise when your child has to go to the emergency room.

But no parent wants to hear this:  “Your child is really sick.  I’m not sure there’s anything we can do.”  “What do you mean you can’t do anything?  You’re a doctor.  There’s gotta be a medicine.  There’s gotta be a new technology.  Figure something out.  Fix it.”  If only your child were better!  If only you could switch places!  If only this never happened! Read the rest of this entry

You Are the Man

Ash Wednesday

You Are the Man

Text:  2 Samuel 12:1-13

Intro

Jim and Bill couldn’t have been more different.  Jim had everything the world could possibly offer—cars, flat screen TVs, gourmet foods, designer clothes.  Jim lived in a massive mansion right on the ocean in Hammock Beach.  Bill didn’t.  Bill had the clothes on his back, a few nickels in his pocket, and one pair of shoes with holes in it.  Bill lived in Bunnell technically, but moved around to wherever he could find shelter that night.

Though the lives and societal classes of Jim and Bill were light years apart, they had one thing in common.  They both loved dogs.  Jim practically owned a zoo in his colossal coastal castle.  But his prize possession was his prize-winning pooch, Prince.  Bill however, had just one dog—a mangy mutt named Max.  Max was really the only possession to Bill’s name.  Max was truly his best friend.  It scrounged for food with him during the day.  It snuggled with him and kept him warm during the night.  Bill had lost everything in the recession, but he still had Max.  All was well, as long as Max was by his side.

One day rich Jim saw poor Bill and his mangy mutt Max.  He knew exactly how to handle the situation.   He knew his life was missing something.  He knew just what to do.  Jim held out a fat, juicy T-Bone steak from his limo door, and Max jumped right in.  Immediately, Jim slammed the door and sped off.  Now, Max had a proper home—with Jim’s other exotic animals mounted on his living room wall.  Read the rest of this entry

Daily Devotion on 2 Samuel 7:8-16

Text:  2 Samuel 7:8-16

In the Old Testament, there are three different kinds of prophecies about Jesus. Some prophecies are direct prophecies–specific only to Jesus. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son.” That’s only happened once in all of history with Jesus.

Other prophecies are typical prophecies. This means that the fulfillment reminds us of Jesus, but is not necessarily specifically about him. Read many of David’s psalms and you will find words specific to David’s life that also shadow events of Jesus’ life.

In the devotion today there is the third kind of Messianic prophecy–an intermediate one. In this kind of prophecy, Jesus is definitely a fulfillment of the prophecy, but so is someone else (or several others).

Take a look at all the things the Lord foretold he would bring about for king David:

  • A son would be born to him
  • He would establish this son’s kingdom
  • He would build a house for the Lord

These three things were definitely and specifically fulfilled by David’s son Solomon. At the same time, we can see fulfillment in Jesus who came from the line of David and built a new Church for the Lord–the gathering of believers.

But from this point things turn a little more specifically toward Jesus. The Lord also promises David:

  • His kingdom will last forever
  • The Lord would be his father, and he would be his Son
  • He would be punished with the rod and by floggings

In certain ways we could see Solomon fulfilling these as well. Solomon would have an eternal kingdom as a believer. Any believing man is a “son of God.” Solomon would see consequences for his many poor choices. But at the same time Jesus is the ultimate and obvious final fulfillment of these prophecies.

Today we certainly marvel at the validity of the Bible. It is most certainly God’s Word. How else could it be known 1,000 years in advance that such things would happen with Jesus?

Today we also fall on our knees to thank and praise our God who carried out his plan and promise to send the son of David, his own son, who would suffer at the hands of men and redeem the world from sin! What a faithful God! What a loving God!

Prayer:  Lord God, we marvel at the mystery of your divine will, that you would send your own Son through the line of King David to be our Savior. You have fulfilled every promise for us, and your mercy never fails. Strengthen our faith in your firm promises until we see their final and end result–life with you and your Son in heaven. Amen.