All posts by John (HFJ Director)

Do Not Add to His Words or He Will Reprove You

YHWH has gifted us much wisdom securely in the scriptures. The Bible is like a gold mine. We should get out our pick and shovel routinely and dig joyfully and expectantly for wisdom and direction as if digging for gold we know is there.

We must not add to what is there, take away what is there, or change it. We must seek to understand it in discreet parts and as a consistent whole that works together to further illuminate our Father’s instructions for us. When we see an apparent contradiction, we should study and pray to find the answer… for the error lies not within the holy text but within our interpretation and understanding. We should not fail to remember that the original Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, so sometimes we must dig deep and study to understand context and language as it was originally written rather than just relying on a variety of translations.

Proverbs 30

The Words of Agur

1The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle.
The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

2Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.

3Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.

4Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!

5Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

6Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

7Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:

8Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,

9That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.

10Do not slander a slave to his master,
Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.

11There is a kind of man who curses his father
And does not bless his mother.

12There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.

13There is a kind—oh how lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.

14There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords
And his jaw teeth like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men.

15The leech has two daughters,
“Give,” “Give.”
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:

16Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.”

17The eye that mocks a father
And scorns a mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.

18There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:

19The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

20This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wrong.”

21Under three things the earth quakes,
And under four, it cannot bear up:

22Under a slave when he becomes king,
And a fool when he is satisfied with food,

23Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.

24Four things are small on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:

25The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer;

26The shephanim are not mighty people,
Yet they make their houses in the rocks;

27The locusts have no king,
Yet all of them go out in ranks;

28The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
Yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29There are three things which are stately in their march,
Even four which are stately when they walk:

30The lion which is mighty among beasts
And does not retreat before any,

31The strutting rooster, the male goat also,
And a king when his army is with him.

32If you have been foolish in exalting yourself
Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.

33For the churning of milk produces butter,
And pressing the nose brings forth blood;
So the churning of anger produces strife.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Freedom In Christ

Many in the USA celebrate freedom as a key part of the heritage of our July 4 national holiday. It commemorates independence for the USA from England and the policies of the government there for which the colonies were not represented. We can be reminded to value our freedom and not take it for granted. Fireworks and parties are commonplace. The birth of a free nation is celebrated. We do not celebrate this freedom by rebelling against the very nation that protects and provides our freedom. We do not declare that our freedom means we are no longer subject to any laws.

This day is a good opportunity for us to reflect deeper on one who is greater than us who also allows us the freedom to make our own choices. Our Creator made us in His image and allows us the freedom to follow Him or live in rebellion to Him, choosing instead to honor and follow the desires of our flesh and sin nature. All of us are inherently sinful. Babies at birth need not be taught to scream when they want something. Young children need to be taught to share, taking what they want comes naturally. We must learn to focus on the needs of others just as we must learn God’s ways in order to be set apart and different than the world.

Our Father, YHWH, provided us instructions to follow as any good father does for His children. Often the instructions are for the benefit of the children themselves, even if they don’t understand that fully. The instructions have been communicated through thousands of years and neatly compiled into the Bible we have so readily available to us today, so long as we choose to open it or click the link to it. We need only pray for enlightenment from the Spirit and read with a desire to learn and change our behaviors to follow God’s instructions. We should not read with a desire to justify all of our current actions and attitudes… that is redefining God in our image rather than redefining ourselves in His image.

We talk often in Christian community about freedom through Christ. It is amazing, but sadly many get confused by false teaching about this freedom. What are we set free from?

The short answer is that all too often people essentially say we are set free from all boundaries and can do anything and God will be pleased. This is false. This would be akin to saying we are free in the United States and then pretending that there are no laws or boundaries governing what is acceptable behavior and what will land you in prison. God has established guidelines and instructions for us to follow to help us, as a father does for his children. Are we to use our freedom to rebel against the one who gives it to us? No. Christ sets us free from the law of sin and death. He sets us free in that we can be reconciled to YHWH even when we do not live out his instructions perfectly to his standard. This means, simply that we can be forgiven for our sins, because Jesus already paid the price required by the law for our sins. We can be set free from condemnation and guilt, but we are to repent from the sinful ways and do things according to God’s instruction. We are to follow Christ.

Romans 8:1-4

1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Many teach that we are set free from the law, from God’s instructions, but this is absurd. Jesus followed God’s instructions throughout His earthly ministry and so did His disciples. In fact, he was judged righteous in that he lived perfectly according to the law. He never taught against following God’s law, only against following the man made traditions of the Pharisees and Sadducees that were overburdening people with meaningless traditions and distracting from or even contradicting God’s law. We must ask ourselves… “Is Jesus our example to follow? or our excuse to live how we want rather than how God tells us to?”

Throughout the scriptures, God’s law is highlighted as good, as worthy of love, of setting us free from the lure of sin by showing us what is right. It is a light unto our path to guide us. I have included a few excerpts from Psalm 119, but you should click the link and read the whole Psalm. Many others have similar content. The law of God is to be obeyed. Jesus did not come to set us free from it.

Psalm 119 (excerpts – I encourage you to read 119 completely)

97O how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

98Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.

142Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.

143Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
Yet Your commandments are my delight.

162I rejoice at Your word,
As one who finds great spoil.

163I hate and despise falsehood,
But I love Your law.

164Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous ordinances.

165Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.

171Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.

172Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Would it make sense that Jesus came to set us free from wisdom, delight, truth, and peace? Certainly not. This would be absurd. Jesus came to set us free from the law of sin and death. Yes, we all sin, and thus deserve death. However, Jesus sets us free from that guilt and condemnation and judgment because He already paid the price for us. What He calls for in return as part of this freedom is that we submit to God, repent of our sinful ways, and seek after God. True repentance transforms us to be different from the world and to become more and more like Jesus as we continue to grow in wisdom and maturity in our faith over the course of our lifetime.

Just as we see so obviously in the physical world, freedom brings responsibility and accountability for the choices we make. It is similar with our Father in heaven. Freedom comes with responsibility and accountability. There are spiritual consequences in our relationship with God and ultimate destination when we die from this life and go into eternity to heaven or hell. There are also physical and emotional impacts in our lives today based on how well we follow the instructions He has provided. After all, the loving Father and Creator knows how best to guide His creations. He gives us the answers, but we need to listen and obey… even when we don’t understand fully.

Learn more:

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Dealing With Sin and Restoring Relationship with the Father

There is a lot going on in the last chapter of 2 Samuel. David sins against the LORD despite Joab trying to persuade him not to take a census.  When it is complete, David recognizes his sin and asks for forgiveness. The LORD gives David a choice for punishment. David’s punishment affects his people, not just him. (Others often share in consequences of our sin.) David throws himself on the mercy of the LORD, and receives it. He then gets closure by building an altar.

David does ask the LORD to let the punishment fall on him rather than others. I deeply respect this request. I also respect that David did not take for free the property and sacrifice offered to him, but rather paid a fair price for it. He did not take advantage of his position as king.

This chapter basically sums up David’s relationship with YHWH. What made him different from so many others? What made David a man after God’s own heart? I believe it was that when David sinned, he sought forgiveness and turned to YHWH and accepted consequences and changed his behavior.  That is something for us all to model.

We also see YHWH’s mercy at play as he stops the pestilence before it if fully rolled out.

Of course, we could also ask…”why is it a sin to take a census?”  “Was it YHWH who was angry that caused David to sin?”

If we cross reference with 1 Chronicles 21, we learn that it was Satan who rose up and incited David to conduct the census. It is likely that the sin here is not counting the people. There are other examples where the people were counted. Perhaps the sin here was pride growing within David and the people about their own might and power as a nation. Let us take care to avoid that trap (pride) that Satan sets for many of us.

Remember also that when sin occurs, and we repent, that does not mean we will not still experience consequences.

As perhaps a last thought, when David sinned with Bathsheba, there is no mention of Satan. That was just a sin motivated by David’s own sin nature. This event is different. This is an example of spiritual warfare in which Satan tempted or incited David to sin. We must be on guard for both.

2 Samuel 24

The Census Taken

      1Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 3But Joab said to the king, “Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel. 5They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. 6Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, 7and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9And Joab gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

      10Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12“Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the LORD says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 13So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

Pestilence Sent

      15So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

David Builds an Altar

      18So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the LORD had commanded. 20Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23“Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Test Christian “Norms” Against the Biblical Text

Much of what is taught in churches today has drifted far from the early church and the followers of Christ… from those like Paul and the written record we have in the Bible. I think in many cases, it is hard for us to accept it because so many of us just accept what we are told by others around us, by our parents, by people at the local church. How often do we really test it against what is actually written in the Bible? The following develops only one example. We should test everything against the absolute truth of scripture.

2 Thessalonians 3

Exhortation

1Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, 8nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; 9not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 12Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 13But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.

14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

16Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Reflect prayerfully on the following, some of which may seem contradictory to what many Christians teach or how they act.

  • We are not to hang out with others who lead an unruly life, even if they claim to be Christian and come to the same church we do.
  • Work hard to support yourself and your family. Seek not to be a burden on anyone. Do not take or demand handouts on a recurring basis if you don’t need them, even if you could justifiably ask for them.
  • Do not continually support and feed those who refuse to work for themselves. This does not mean those who can not work, but those who choose not to work. Let them eat their own bread. While this may seem offensive to some, think about it. If we screen out the lazy who could support themselves, we will have more to help those who really need it and can not help themselves. Charity is not intended to support sloth.
  • Shame has a place. It is useful and appropriate at times for someone to be or feel shamed when they are doing something wrong. Our world tries to teach that no one should be “shamed”. This is false. Shame can help lead to repentance. We are to separate ourselves from those who claim to be Christian but live as the pagans do. They are not enemies, but they are to be admonished. This includes pastors and churches teaching false doctrine which is not consistent with the Bible.

These are not my opinions… these are the words of Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit and included in the Bible for our reference from YHWH Himself. They are intended both to protect us from drifting away from Him and also to help encourage others to avoid drifting away from Him to be more like the culture around them. These instructions lead to helping the body of Christ shine as a light to others, different from the world around them and lead to glorifying God. We never glorify God by simply adopting the ways of the pagan culture around us and blending in.

As we close, spend time praying and reflecting on the following:

  • Pray that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith.
  • The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one if you seek Him and submit to Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Prayer for Defense Against the Wicked

There are no special words that must be repeated in prayer. However, I find it rewarding to sift through the word of YHWH and to find the prayers of his people as examples of how to pray in certain situations. It helps to guide and mature my prayer life and gives me perspective.

One such prayer is from Psalms and is a prayer for YHWH to defend against the wicked. I think this is a prayer today that we can pray not only for an individual, but for our nation, recognizing that the wicked which seem intent on destroying us are within our own nation trying to separate us from YHWH as a nation and instead desiring that we should all answer to and serve an all powerful central government which provides for us. (That will not work well, it never has.)

Psalm 7

The LORD Implored to Defend the Psalmist against the Wicked.

Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

1O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge;
Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

2Or he will tear my soul like a lion,
Dragging me away, while there is none to deliver.

3O LORD my God, if I have done this,
If there is injustice in my hands,

4If I have rewarded evil to my friend,
Or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary,

5Let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it;
And let him trample my life down to the ground
And lay my glory in the dust.

Selah.

6Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries,
And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.

7Let the assembly of the peoples encompass You,
And over them return on high.

8The LORD judges the peoples;
Vindicate me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me.

9O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous;
For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds.

10My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.

11God is a righteous judge,
And a God who has indignation every day.

12If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword;
He has bent His bow and made it ready.

13He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons;
He makes His arrows fiery shafts.

14Behold, he travails with wickedness,
And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood.

15He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made.

16His mischief will return upon his own head,
And his violence will descend upon his own pate.

17I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness
And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

David’s Mighty Men

The deeds of David’s mighty men are recorded in part in scripture. We certainly get the idea that they were very impressive fighters and brave and bold. They were fiercely loyal to David. I think it was surely a gift from the LORD to give David these loyal and brave companions. We each may consider praying the LORD send mighty and brave companions for us and help us to be mighty and brave. We may or may not have to do physical battle, but we certainly need to face spiritual battles and many challenges in the world if we are to stand apart from the world while remaining in it.

I pray that the LORD would raise up more men like these that would be mighty in spirit and stand with YHWH and his chosen leaders through difficult times. I pray that I would be one like them and that I would find others in my life who also would be like these.

2 Samuel 23:8-39

His Mighty Men

      8These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time; 9and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had withdrawn. 10He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the LORD brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.

      11Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it and struck the Philistines; and the LORD brought about a great victory.

      13Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the LORD; 17and he said, “Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

      18Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he swung his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name as well as the three. 19He was most honored of the thirty, therefore he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the three.

      20Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21He killed an Egyptian, an impressive man. Now the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and had a name as well as the three mighty men. 23He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David appointed him over his guard.

      24Asahel the brother of Joab was among the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the sons of Benjamin, 30Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39Uriah the Hittite; thirty-seven in all.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

David’s Last Song – Walking with YHWH

David was a gifted musician and a man after YHWH’s own heart. He saw both the blessing of obedience and the punishment of disobedience personally in his life as well as in those around him through his life. He wrote many psalms and songs that capture an important perspective on how YHWH interacts with people who are righteous vs. wicked. We should reflect on both. Let our focus always remain on our Father. Let us seek to be righteous and find favor with YHWH.

2 Samuel 23:1-7

David’s Last Song

      1Now these are the last words of David.
David the son of Jesse declares,
The man who was raised on high declares,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
And the sweet psalmist of Israel,

      2“The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.

      3“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,

      4Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’

      5“Truly is not my house so with God?
For He has made an everlasting covenant with me,
Ordered in all things, and secured;
For all my salvation and all my desire,
Will He not indeed make it grow?

      6“But the worthless, every one of them will be thrust away like thorns,
Because they cannot be taken in hand;

      7But the man who touches them
Must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And they will be completely burned with fire in their place.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, government, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Praise YHWH for Deliverance

Included within the book of 2 Samuel, we find a psalm of deliverance from David. Surely we all do well to reflect on and rely on deliverance by the LORD from what comes against us. We do well to praise Him and thank Him and not forget or take for granted what He has done on our behalf.

2 Samuel 22

David’s Psalm of Deliverance

      1And David spoke the words of this song to the LORD in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

2He said,
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

      3My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.

      4“I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.

      5“For the waves of death encompassed me;
The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;

      6The cords of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

      7“In my distress I called upon the LORD,
Yes, I cried to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.

      8“Then the earth shook and quaked,
The foundations of heaven were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.

      9“Smoke went up out of His nostrils,
Fire from His mouth devoured;
Coals were kindled by it.

      10“He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.

      11“And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.

      12“And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

      13“From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

      14“The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.

      15“And He sent out arrows, and scattered them,
Lightning, and routed them.

      16“Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were laid bare
By the rebuke of the LORD,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

      17“He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.

      18“He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

      19“They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my support.

      20“He also brought me forth into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

      21“The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.

      22“For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not acted wickedly against my God.

      23“For all His ordinances were before me,
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.

      24“I was also blameless toward Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

      25“Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness before His eyes.

      26“With the kind You show Yourself kind,
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;

      27With the pure You show Yourself pure,
And with the perverted You show Yourself astute.

      28“And You save an afflicted people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.

      29“For You are my lamp, O LORD;
And the LORD illumines my darkness.

      30“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.

      31“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the LORD is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

      32“For who is God, besides the LORD?
And who is a rock, besides our God?

      33“God is my strong fortress;
And He sets the blameless in His way.

      34“He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me on my high places.

      35“He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

      36“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation,
And Your help makes me great.

      37“You enlarge my steps under me,
And my feet have not slipped.

      38“I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
And I did not turn back until they were consumed.

      39“And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise;
And they fell under my feet.

      40“For You have girded me with strength for battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

      41“You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me,
And I destroyed those who hated me.

      42“They looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.

      43“Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth;
I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the streets.

      44“You have also delivered me from the contentions of my people;
You have kept me as head of the nations;
A people whom I have not known serve me.

      45“Foreigners pretend obedience to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.

      46“Foreigners lose heart,
And come trembling out of their fortresses.

      47“The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,

      48The God who executes vengeance for me,
And brings down peoples under me,

      49Who also brings me out from my enemies;
You even lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from the violent man.

      50“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations,
And I will sing praises to Your name.

      51He is a tower of deliverance to His king,
And shows lovingkindness to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forever.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Prayer of Moses, The Man of God

Take time to consider how this prayer may still apply in your life today. It certainly gives perspective on our temporary nature compared to YHWH’s eternal nature. What shall we do with our limited time? Whom shall we serve, ourselves or YHWH? Will we let our sin continue to separate us from YHWH or will we repent and submit to him and ask forgiveness? Let us seek him with humble heart.

Psalm 90

God’s Eternity and Man’s Transitoriness.

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

1Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

2Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

3You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”

4For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.

5You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.

6In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.

7For we have been consumed by Your anger
And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

8You have placed our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

9For all our days have declined in Your fury;
We have finished our years like a sigh.

10As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.

11Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

12So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

13Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.

14O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.

16Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.

17Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.