Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #4

Sunday, February 18, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Once Absalom assassinated his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar, he fled to his mother’s relatives in Geshur (2 Samuel 13:37-39). For three years Absalom was exiled. In chapter 14, Joab, commander of King David’s army, arranged Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Chapter 15 documents how handsome Absalom captivated the Jews. Inciting an uprising, he assumed his father David’s throne, David thus swiftly absconding Jerusalem.

Chapter 18 reports: “[5] And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom…. [9] And Absalom met the servants of David. 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 the mule that was under him went away.

“[10] And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. [11] And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle…. [14] Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts [spears] in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. [15] And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. [17] And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood….”

David wanted beloved Absalom apprehended alive; sadly, David’s servants executed him. King David is utterly heartbroken (2 Samuel 18:31–19:4). Absalom is the third son he must bury. Yet, one more son must perish….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #3

Saturday, February 17, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

A few years after David and Bathsheba’s baby died, Amnon—David’s firstborn son (2 Samuel 3:2)—schemed to eventually rape his half-sister Tamar. Although king of Israel, appointed to lead God’s people in His ways, David does not punish his son and does not comfort his daughter. You can read the horrific account in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 if you desire. As the second half of the chapter now proves, Absalom—Tamar’s brother and Amnon’s half-brother—will take vengeance where their father David did not.

“[28] Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. [29] And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

“[30] And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left. [31] Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. [32] And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. [33] Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead. [34] But Absalom fled….”

Amnon is the second son of David to perish. However, as per today’s Scripture, there are two more impending and heartrending deaths….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #2

Friday, February 16, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Continue reading from 2 Samuel chapter 12: “[7] And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; [8] And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. [9] Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. [10] Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

“[11] Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. [12] For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. [13] And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD [cf. Psalm 51]. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. [14] Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

Time and space limit us here, but you should read verses 15-23 to see David’s baby with Bathsheba indeed dies. David is forgiven, but his sin has now begun to devastate his family….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #1

Thursday, February 15, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

In 2 Samuel chapter 11, we find the familiar account of King David lusting after and committing adultery with Bathsheba. After learning of her pregnancy, David had her husband, Uriah, one of his most dedicated soldiers, killed in battle. David then took Bathsheba to be his wife.

Chapter 12 reports: “[1] And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. [2] The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: [3] But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. [4] And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.”

Once David has intimate relations with Bathsheba, murders her husband, and marries her, the LORD, displeased, sends a spokesman to tell David a story. A rich man, who owns many sheep, has stolen and slaughtered his poor neighbor’s solitary lamb. “[5] And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: [6] And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” David, outraged, demands the thief’s execution and the poor man’s compensation fourfold. The rich man will not escape justice.

In verse 7, God’s Spirit speaks through the Prophet Nathan to utter grave words to King David: “Thou art the man!”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘daysman?’

God’s Grace on Parade

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20 KJV).

Today, especially here in southern Louisiana, the Catholic festival of Mardi Gras takes advantage of God’s grace. God’s grace abounds even when drunkenness, lasciviousness, and gluttony are committed overtly on our streets for religion. Because we live in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, they can flaunt their sin without being consumed by fire from heaven!

“Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a day when religious people—professing “Christians”—lose self-control (excess alcohol, food, and partying). The following day, Ash Wednesday, they promise to live “holy” for the next 40 days (Lent). A priest will then place ashes on their foreheads proving that God forgave them for that riotous living. Blasphemy!

Regardless of all its biblical allusions (illusions!), Mardi Gras is still evil and anti-God. It was never Christian, originating from pagan Roman festivals, Saturnalia and Lupercalia (interestingly known for riots, drunkenness, gluttony, and fornication, and subsequent repentance).

The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles Peter and Paul, was clearly against Mardi Gras reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:3). So why do professing Christians engage in the very activities that God the Holy Spirit condemned?! As Christians, we should “deny” the activities of Mardi Gras (Romans 6:11-15; Titus 2:11-15).

If I appear offended, I am. Mardi Gras, despite its godly façade, is offensive to the great God and my Saviour Jesus Christ! God’s grace continues to tolerate such foolishness from mankind. Man parades his sin, and God parades His grace, holding back wrath.

Are you a Mardi Gras reveler? I declare unto you the wonderful Gospel of the Grace of God. God did for you at Calvary what you could never do: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to put away all of your sins, Mardi Gras revelry included.

If you rest in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour, God will save you forever, make a trophy of His grace, and then YOUR life will be God’s grace on parade!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study with the same name. The Bible study can be read here or watched here.

You may also see our archived Bible study Q&A, “Should Christians celebrate Mardi Gras?

Three Third Chapters

Monday, February 12, 2018

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Genesis 3:9 KJV).

Adam fell into sin, but God has an answer!

Genesis chapter 3, the fall of man: “[9] And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? [10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. [11] And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”

Romans chapter 3, the forgiveness of man: “[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Ephesians chapter 3, the Body of Christ: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;…. [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

When we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour (Romans), we escape our separation from God because of Adam (Genesis) and we are joined to Him via the Church the Body of Christ because of Christ (Ephesians). Simple!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What are the ‘posts’ in the Book of Esther?

Just Be Thankful!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Romans 1:21 KJV).

Drop the attitude; show some gratitude!

Turn on your television, read a newspaper, scroll through social media sites, talk with others. Everyone is “offended” about something—even the silliest of matters. Unable to keep their mouths shut and their pens down, they bicker, “This is outrageous,” “That is offensive!” We naturally crave such garbage information too. Professionals, parading as “reporters” and “journalists,” are paid enormous sums of money to rile up the public. Attention-seekers eagerly jabber incessantly about something blown way out of proportion. We hear about “my feelings,” “my body,” “my rights”—it is me, me, me, ME, MEEEEE. (How we also love to wallow in self-pity, friends!)

How did society wind up in such a wretched predicament? Today’s Scripture in context: “[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; [19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: [21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

They first removed any thoughts about the Creator God. Never forget: when we refuse to think about God, when we reject His thoughts, He gives us over to our preferences (read to verse 32). That is how much the God the Bible loves free will. If you want empty thoughts and a foolish and darkened heart, have them (like most)!

Perhaps, though, just perhaps, you are not interested in being like everyone else. Great!!! Today’s Scripture says that God, not you, is God. Believe that. God is the most important Person in the universe—not you! Moreover, be thankful that He has given you life. Remember, He does not owe you anything! 🙂