I Kings 12
must it be like to be the son of the wisest man who ever lived, and
the grandson of the incomparable King David? This is the position and
relationship of Rehoboam who inherited the throne of Israel upon the
death of Solomon. The nation had reached its zenith of prosperity,
power, and popularity under the forty year reign of Solomon and now
it was Rehoboam’s turn to rule the nation of God’s covenant
Among the very first actions of Rehoboam upon ascending
to the throne of Israel, was seeking counsel from two sets of
advisors. One set was the older generation who had served well under
Solomon. The other was a younger set anxious to flex their
bureaucratic power and authority. Contrary to the advice of the
older, more experienced bureaucrats, their advice was to further
burden the people with great increases of taxation, and build yet a
greater kingdom than Solomon had built. That advice was set in place
and it led to not only a revolt, but to an actual split of the nation
into two kingdoms. The southern kingdom was made up of the tribes of
Judah and Benjamin ( near half of the population of the nation), and
constituted the nation of Judah over which Rehoboam continued to
reign. The other was the northern kingdom of Israel, made up of the
remaining ten tribes over which Jeroboam reigned in Samaria.
what did Rehoboam do that was so wrong? As a new king, he was lifted
up with pride and looked for advice in the wrong places. Unlike his
grandfather, he was not a man after God’s heart who sought His will
and way in the affairs of government. Unlike his father, he did not
seek the advice and wisdom that only God could give to enable one to
fulfill such an overwhelming task of governing the nation.
what Rehoboam did that was so wrong after inheriting the throne of
God’s covenant people was to seek the advice of sinful men, rather
than that of God, about how to rule. Consequently, he suffered great
loss and the people also suffered much loss and hurt. We must not
forget the sin of Rehoboam and blindly repeat it. God’s ways are not
man’s ways. There is only one source from which we can know the will
and way of God. It is not from man or his reasoning however logical
it may appear. It is from the Holy Spirit empowered, infallible Word
of God, the Bible. May we be quick always to seek its advice in all
matters of life.
MARCH 17 – Consult with the Lord
2 Samuel 7:1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
There are times where we decide compulsively to do something. It sounds great and wonderful and we think surely the Lord will be pleased with what I do for Him. What we need to realize is, God has His plans for us. His plans may not be what we are looking to do for Him.
One of the problems we seem to have is the same problem that David had. He did not consult the Lord about what he wanted to do. I know of a preacher that is pastoring a small struggling church. As I visited with he and his wife, they expressed to me of what their vision encompassed. It was a place of position and notoriety. Instead of slaving away pastoring a small struggling Church a ministry that would be noticed by many people and would be championed by many people. I was perplexed with what they desired to do and wondered if they had consulted with the Lord about their desire. Notice I said their desire. I have no insight about what the Lord wanted them to do. I can see the appeal that their desire had for them.
What is God’s plan for them? This is the question that should be asked. Our friends and loved ones might agree with us but the important agreement is, does the Lord agree with our plans. His thoughts are always higher than our thoughts. His ways are better than our ways. His plans are better than our plans. He can see the end. We sometimes are blind to the will of God because we are blinded by our will.
May we, in our exuberance to serve and minister consult with the Lord what he would have us do and what way He would have us do it.
MARCH 14 – Bound in the Bundle of Life
1Sa 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
What a wonderful story of David and his dealings with Nabal. David had provided protection for the sheep of Nabal and thinking that the idea of appreciation might induce this man to extend a full hand toward David as a gracious tribute because of that protection. The Word of God calls Nabal churlish. One of his young men calls him a son of Belial. David was prepared to take care of this situation. Here we find a woman, a wife that rights a wrong. She makes a statement that we should consider.
She said you have a man that is pursuing you that wants to kill you. But you are bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God. This such a profound statement. I want you to know that this very thought should exalt God in our heart, mind, and life. Picture this, God reaches down and picks up out of the muck and mire and presses us to His bosom and us both in a swaddling blanket of love. We have been cleansed by the blood of His Son and made fit to be brought to His Holy and Righteous bosom.
Consider the exaltation of man. Those that have been cleansed by the Blood are exalted to the presence of God We are inextricably tied to God because of His Son’s sacrifice. This shows God’s great delight and love for those that trust in His Son. Consider; as long as God is rich, we are rich; as long as God is happy, we are happy; as long as God is wise, we are wise. This a very precious thought that God poured His life into our lives. We are bound by that gossamer web of love.
Could we in our quiet time before the Lord, experience this great depth of love expressed toward us.
MARCH 11 – Great sin
2Sa 24:10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
There may be a time when we are overcome by temptation. We yield to it. Then as we reflect on what we have done or maybe a friend or enemy lets us know that we have sinned, remorse sets in and we begin to feel sorry. We know that God will bring retribution. This should bother us and cause us to seek forgiveness.
Prayer is the answer to forgiveness. We should humbly appeal to the Lord for His mercy and grace. David’s heart smote him. There are times we sin and become very callous about that sin. Even to the point that we say we would do it again. David had gone against the direct command of God. Do not count the people. O how we resist the Lord at times. We are stubborn and intractable in our relationship with the Lord.
Even worse David’s sin involved the people also. Even with repentance and forgiveness, punishment was meted to David and the people. David was offered three punishments. David knew that God was full of love and mercy. Knowing the love and mercy of God, David said, “let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
David put his trust in the true mercies of God and not man. The people were punished for David’s sin. Have you ever considered how your sin might affect others. We must realize the effect our sins have on others.
May we trust in the Lord, his punishment for sin and his forgives because of his mercy.
MARCH 10 – Are we prepared to do battle.
1Sa 17:37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
David did not go into battle unprepared. He had faith in the deliverance that God would provide. How did David know about God’s deliverance? Many hours with the sheep and pondering the ways of God. He came prepared. His faith was only a partial preparation. We need to see the rest of his preparation. We know his weapon was a sling and he was very familiar with it. We know as he crossed the brook he took 5 smooth stones. Outwardly that was his only preparation.
He had his helmet of salvation. This had already been provided as a free gift of God. We find in Psalm 51, he cried unto the Lord to restore the JOY of THY salvation. He wore the helmet of salvation into the battle. His loins were girt about with truth. This could be what we are missing today. Minimizing some truths and emphasizing others. David knew there was one true God. We find in Davids writings much of truth that we would call doctrine. Timothy was exhorted by Paul to teach others what Paul had taught him. II Tim. 2:2. Paul did not lessen any truth. We are called to study. The Great Commission says to teach them all things. These are defensive weapons.
Our help in conflict or battle is the Lord and the shield of faith. David did not have a physical shield but the Lord went before him. It is called the shield of faith. He had faith the Lord would deliver the victory. This faith was buttressed with pray. In my mind’s eye, I can see David as darkness begins to cover the land and the sheep start bedding down. The quietness that descends and soft simmering glow of the stars as they start shining and the moon filters down with its gentle shining. David sitting and gazing at the great and grand expanse of heaven and the beauty of the mountains that were outlined. The prayers that would proceed from those youthful lips for a safe that was had. Prayers for tomorrow. The prayers that would be utter for his nation and his family. No doubt, David spent much time talking to God.
He was prepared for battle. May we as children of God become bedrock anchored in the love of God and His truth. May we drive new converts to bedrock in truth and include our youth.
MARCH 9 – In The Name of The Lord
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
There are several things that very important about this encounter. Here is David, a young man that is displaying maturity and faith.
It is common for enemies to say things to each other about what they will do to their opponent. Goliath said he would give David’s flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the world. This same braggadocio takes place today between heads of countries. It is a form of intimidation. It is meant to cast fear into the heart of the opponent.
Too often we try to win the lost and dying world through worldly means and activity. Others try to win the lost with human wisdom and logic. Years and years ago when I pastored in Arkansas, I went to a church that celebrated a pastor being the ministry for 50 years. I listened to all the accolades and then one man went to the podium and related a story about this pastor. This man came to the pastor and asked him to go right now to one of his relatives and get him saved. The pastor willingly went and entered the house and after greetings and purpose were exchanged, He read to the man all the scriptures on salvation. After the man simply nodded to the scriptures, the preacher got up and told his church member it was time to go. They got in the truck and started home and the church member exclaimed, he didn’t get saved. The preacher replied, I did my part, I gave him the plan of salvation, now it is up to the Holy Spirit.
What are you using to reach a rebellious and sinful world for Christ? Years and years ago, a mission organized into a church and was meeting in an old store building downtown. One evening church had dismissed and the members were standing on the sidewalk visiting. A drunk walking through the people noticed the pastor. He stopped and look closely at the pastor’s face and exclaimed, “I-I-I know you, you are the one that saved me.” The pastor’s reply, “yes and you act like someone I saved.” Let us not be saving people but give them the gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.
I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
MARCH 7 – Defying the armies of the Living God
1Sa 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
David had a great courage. This courage was on display when a lamb was attacked by a bear and a lion. He had a responsibility to respond to this challenge. Responsibility is a big word with a mature meaning. We must teach our children responsibility. Even though David was young, possibly late teen, he was serious about his responsibility.
David felt that responsibility when he came to the army of Israel. One big, loud mouth bully had caused the men to quake and fear. I remember the preachers of 50, 60 years ago. They were bold against sin. They were bold on the church and what it is. They were bold on membership. They were bold in setting the saved and members on a solid foundation. They never apologized for the Word of God, the Church, and the doctrines that were built on the foundation of God’s Word.
We have a responsibility today. The question to be asked, are we being responsible. Satan opposes all we do. Satan uses every form he can to twist the truths of God’s Word. In the Old Testament, Pharoah, an emissary of Satan, copied the stick to a snake. The separation of the nation into the northern and the southern division, Satan used Jereboam to change the worship and built two golden calves and sent the priests of God packing and brought in his personal, corrupt priests. We know this was not acceptable to God. Ten tribes were led astray from the true worship of God.
Satan is busy today attacking what Jesus has built. The world has been offered on a platter to the Lord’s church. The church is not declining because of the strong preaching of the Word of God. It is declining because the world is creeping in. Many terms are used to make the world acceptable to the church. Some use the term method. Do we not have the Lord’s directive on what method to use? The instruction is very clear, entice them? No. We are not in the enticing business. We are in the going business. We are to carry the gospel to a lost and dying world. We are not called to use the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom of God. Let us stand against the world. Let us stand for God.
Let us do it God’s way.
MARCH 2 – A ready answer
1Sa 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
I will fight! That was David’s answer to the great challenge that was presented to Israel. We as a people must make up our mind if we are really for the Lord. We must decide if we love the lost enough to fight for souls. We must make up our mind if we are going to stand against sin. Let us break this down. What is sin? Have you noticed it is easy to say we are against sin and yet it is difficult to name the sins.
Lying is a sin. Stealing is a sin. Adultery and fornication is sin. Coveting is sin. Gossiping is sin. If God is not the most important person in your life, it is sin. Now there are many more sins that could be listed, such as not giving the first day of the week to the worship of God. It seems as if we cower before the enemy and that enemy is called sin. We cower before the lost and they are sinners.
We fondly say there is no problem that is too big for God and we live as cowards, not willing to fight the battles for the Lord. We proclaim how much we love the Lord and refuse to serve Him. We need more Davids. David did not see a problem with the Giant. He saw the victory of the Lord. Would to God, we as people of God saw the victory instead of experiencing the fear.
Dare to be a David and see victory in every battle. Let us be triumphant for the Lord.
MARCH 1 – Is There Not a Cause?
1Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
Is there not a cause? David’s brother attributed some characteristics to David that was wrong. David was surprised that the men in the service of the King would not answer the challenge of Goliath. David believed that someone should step up and be depending on the Lord to answer the challenge of Goliath. We certainly have challenges today that we need to step up to.
We need to step up to the challenge of soul-winning. We render excuses for why we cannot win lost souls to the Lord. He has given us all the equipment we need to be soul-winners. He has given us His Word that we are to speak. Get comfortable speaking it. He has given us a voice that we use to speak to people with. We even speak to strangers about the weather, the ball game of family. While shopping with my wife, we saw a baby in a buggy. Yes, comments had to be made about the baby. Yes, the mother and the grandmother had to pull out their phones to show pictures so yes, my wife pulled out her phone because she is a proud grandmother/great-grandmother. Before the two ladies left, the Lord and the Church had been spoken of. There is a cause.
There is a cause. We need to step up to the truth. We have the Word of God which is the final authority. This inspired Word fitly spoken give people divine direction. So many today lack purpose, meaning, and direction in their life. Those without purpose are living meaningless lives and have no direction and no goals. We need to step up with the truth that there is a Savior that give meaning to life. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit gives purpose. Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. We have direction, becoming a new man in Christ. Our goal is a new place. That heavenly home.
There is a cause: Exalt Christ, Worship Christ, and serve Christ.
David’s Charge to His Son, Solomon
I Kings 2:1-12
Key Verse: “Be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; and keep the charge of the LORD Thy God,” I Kings 2:2, 3.
David was a man after God’s own heart. Very simply that did not mean that David was without sin. It meant that when he did sin, he turned to God for forgiveness. He knew that forgiveness began with God. David was a sinner and committed some heinous sins. He confessed those sins to God and received forgiveness.
Now comes the time that all men experience. Death. He wants to leave some advice to Solomon who will follow David as King of Israel. “Be thou strong.” A simple piece of advice. Strength is what is needed to live life to its fullest before a righteous God. There are many trials and tribulations in this life. Strong living does not mean that we will not mourn events, be broken hearted, or suffer grief and indecision in this life. It means we will lay all our cares upon the LORD and depend upon Him to restore us to the Joy of serving God and living a life of honor.
Notice the part of the passage that says, “and shew thy-self a man:”. David knows that the man was given responsibility to guide the household in a Godly manner. He wanted Solomon to take his place before God and fulfill his duties to his family and nation in an appropriate manner. That means to lead the nation in a Godly manner and to take the lead in the family in worship in the house of God and in family devotion. I am always happy to the man take the lead in service and worship in the church. He then is shewing himself a man.
“Keep the charge of the LORD thy God.” The LORD has given us many instructions for life, living, and serving Him. To the lost, its repent and believe on my Son for everlasting life. For those that are save and heaven bound it is live a life that is an imitation of Jesus Christ while he walked this earth. We have some excellent pointers from the sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, 6, 7. Matthew 5:1-12 gives us how our relationship with God and our relationship with man should be. The rest is directions for our life and how we should live. This was given to the church. A charge to be faithful and tell others about a Saviour is a charge that each of us should keep.
Thought – “A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5).