Category Archives: Forgive Others / Seek Forgiveness

Those Who Seek the LORD Understand All Things

Those who seek the Lord understand all things. Take time to read, consider and pray about each verse in today’s chapter of Proverbs. No matter how far I am in my walk with the Lord and how many times I read, I always find something, or many things that apply in my life and can serve as a guide to light my way… if I am humble enough to admit I need guidance and that Jehovah provides it and if I am willing to study and apply it in my life.

Proverbs 28

Warnings and Instructions

1The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.

2By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

3A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.

4Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.

5Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

6Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

7He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

8He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.

9He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.

10He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.

11The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.

12When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

13He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

14How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

15Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear
Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

16A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding,
But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.

17A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

18He who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

19He who tills his land will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

20A faithful man will abound with blessings,
But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

21To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.

22A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth
And does not know that want will come upon him.

23He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
Than he who flatters with the tongue.

24He who robs his father or his mother
And says, “It is not a transgression,”
Is the companion of a man who destroys.

25An arrogant man stirs up strife,
But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

26He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

27He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

28When the wicked rise, men hide themselves;
But when they perish, the righteous increase.

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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.

Restoration

David lost his throne to his son Absalom because of David’s sin with Bathsheba. There were many who remained loyal to David and many that did not. We see in Joab a true friend that is willing to even rebuke the king when needed, for the king’s own good. We all need a loyal and true friend, even when they tell us what is hard to hear.

We also see that politics and managing relationships matter. It was not enough to defeat Absalom, but how the king returned to the throne among the people of Israel mattered. Let us remember this in our own lives. We must not neglect relationships, neither those close to us nor those that are more tenuous, even in victory before the LORD.

We can also observe that David is not one to hold a grudge. He shows grace and mercy to some who crossed him when he was pushed out as king. Perhaps this is more significant when we realize he truly appreciated being forgiven by YHWH for his sins and now he too forgives others.

One last thought that comes to mind is to be encouraged in that when we sin and are suffering consequences as David was, we can also realize that it may not last forever. There is hope in restoration through our repentance and submission before the LORD.

2 Samuel 19

Joab Reproves David’s Lament

      1Then it was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourns for Absalom.” 2The victory that day was turned to mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said that day, “The king is grieved for his son.” 3So the people went by stealth into the city that day, as people who are humiliated steal away when they flee in battle. 4The king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7“Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go out, surely not a man will pass the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”

David Restored as King

      8So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate,” then all the people came before the king.
Now Israel had fled, each to his tent. 9All the people were quarreling throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10“However, Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?”

      11Then King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12‘You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13“Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’” 14Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan.

      16Then Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, with Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king. 18Then they kept crossing the ford to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 19So he said to the king, “Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king came out from Jerusalem, so that the king would take it to heart. 20“For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore behold, I have come today, the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21But Abishai the son of Zeruiah said, “Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’S anointed?” 22David then said, “What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be an adversary to me? Should any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” 23The king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” Thus the king swore to him.

      24Then Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25It was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26So he answered, “O my lord, the king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. 27“Moreover, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight. 28“For all my father’s household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should complain anymore to the king?” 29So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 30Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.”

      31Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan. 32Now Barzillai was very old, being eighty years old; and he had sustained the king while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 33The king said to Barzillai, “You cross over with me and I will sustain you in Jerusalem with me.” 34But Barzillai said to the king, “How long have I yet to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35“I am now eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36“Your servant would merely cross over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king compensate me with this reward? 37“Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant Chimham, let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” 38The king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever you require of me, I will do for you.” 39All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.

      40Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also half the people of Israel accompanied the king. 41And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why had our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king and his household and all David’s men with him over the Jordan?” 42Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative to us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense, or has anything been taken for us?” 43But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “We have ten parts in the king, therefore we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat us with contempt? Was it not our advice first to bring back our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of 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.

The Heart of David for His Son

David is a very interesting figure to study and since scripture identifies him as a man after God’s own heart, we should take heed. His son rose up against him and would have killed him, and yet David wanted not to kill him and then mourns him. Perhaps this is because David knows some of this is based on punishment for his sin with Bathsheba. Perhaps he just loved or favored his son, Absalom. Perhaps David was living out the example of forgiveness and grace that he experienced from YHWH in his own life and wished for Absalom to have a chance to repent.

None the less, we see David mourn genuinely.

The decision of Joab is a more traditional approach to deal with someone who is trying to take over your kingdom. He slays Absalom, despite David’s instructions to “deal gently” with him. This is an interesting choice to ponder as well given that Joab knowingly went against the desires and instructions of King David… likely to do what he thought best for David and the kingdom.

1 Samuel 18

Absalom Slain

      1Then David numbered the people who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2David sent the people out, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I myself will surely go out with you also.” 3But the people said, “You should not go out; for if we indeed flee, they will not care about us; even if half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore now it is better that you be ready to help us from the city.” 4Then the king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and thousands. 5The king charged Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king charged all the commanders concerning Absalom.

      6Then the people went out into the field against Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7The people of Israel were defeated there before the servants of David, and the slaughter there that day was great, 20,000 men. 8For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

      9Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going. 10When a certain man saw it, he told Joab and said, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11Then Joab said to the man who had told him, “Now behold, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? And I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12The man said to Joab, “Even if I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not put out my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Protect for me the young man Absalom!’ 13“Otherwise, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.” 14Then Joab said, “I will not waste time here with you.” So he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15And ten young men who carried Joab’s armor gathered around and struck Absalom and killed him.

      16Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the people. 17They took Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest and erected over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled, each to his tent. 18Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar which is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to preserve my name.” So he named the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

David Is Grief-stricken

      19Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and bring the king news that the LORD has freed him from the hand of his enemies.” 20But Joab said to him, “You are not the man to carry news this day, but you shall carry news another day; however, you shall carry no news today because the king’s son is dead.” 21Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran. 22Now Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said once more to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why would you run, my son, since you will have no reward for going?” 23“But whatever happens,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and passed up the Cushite.

      24Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and raised his eyes and looked, and behold, a man running by himself. 25The watchman called and told the king. And the king said, “If he is by himself there is good news in his mouth.” And he came nearer and nearer. 26Then the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man running by himself.” And the king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 27The watchman said, “I think the running of the first one is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “This is a good man and comes with good news.”

      28Ahimaaz called and said to the king, “All is well.” And he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. And he said, “Blessed is the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” 29The king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, and your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was.30Then the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.

      31Behold, the Cushite arrived, and the Cushite said, “Let my lord the king receive good news, for the LORD has freed you this day from the hand of all those who rose up against you.” 32Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!”

      33The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

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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 Punishment Comes Home To Roost

No sooner does David forgive his son, Absalom for a revenge killing than Absalom is recorded as conspiring against him to take the thrown. It was a plot that took time and was well thought out. Absalom should not have been trusted. He deceived the king to commit murder and then burned Joab’s field to get him to come and bring a message to the king. This man basically was out only for himself.

However, let us remember that some of this family trouble was brought upon David by his own sin, as he was punished for adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband. He repented, but there are still consequences. What we see now is the character of David in how he responds to the situation where his punishment for sin comes home to roost.

What is encouraging about David, is that he ultimately still submits to the LORD regardless of circumstance (2 Samuel 15: 25-26, included below).

2 Samuel 15

Absalom’s Conspiracy

     1Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him. 2Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” 4Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” 5And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.

      7Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. 8“For your servant vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the LORD shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.’” 9The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went innocently, and they did not know anything. 12And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.

David Flees Jerusalem

      13Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18Now all his servants passed on beside him, all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king.

      19Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. 20“You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.” 21But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” 22Therefore David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.

      24Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25The king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the LORD, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation. 26“But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 27The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28“See, I am going to wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29Therefore Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.

      30And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. 31Now someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness.”

      32It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat torn and dust on his head. 33David said to him, “If you pass over with me, then you will be a burden to me. 34“But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so I will now be your servant,’ then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35“Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36“Behold their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

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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.

Our Path to Reconciliation With Our Father

2 Samuel 14 chronicles a rather complex series of events staged to reconcile Absalom back with his father, King David. It is not a simple series of events even to read, but certainly to imaging the emotions and strategy developed to execute it we can see it was complex… and this was to bring Absalom back in right standing with David, while David was inclined toward Absalom.

We are truly blessed to be able to have a much simpler method for reconciling with our heavenly Father. Yeshua died for our sins. We must simply submit to Him as Lord, ask forgiveness, and believe He has died for us and our sins. If we are genuinely repentant, we would also expect to repent and change our ways and not continue repeating the sin which separates us from our Father.

Learn more about The Message of the Cross – Salvation.

2 Samuel 14

The Woman of Tekoa

      1Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was inclined toward Absalom. 2So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning garments now, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be like a woman who has been mourning for the dead many days; 3then go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.

      4Now when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself and said, “Help, O king.” 5The king said to her, “What is your trouble?” And she answered, “Truly I am a widow, for my husband is dead. 6“Your maidservant had two sons, but the two of them struggled together in the field, and there was no one to separate them, so one struck the other and killed him. 7“Now behold, the whole family has risen against your maidservant, and they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed, and destroy the heir also.’ Thus they will extinguish my coal which is left, so as to leave my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

      8Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.” 9The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “O my lord, the king, the iniquity is on me and my father’s house, but the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10So the king said, “Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.” 11Then she said, “Please let the king remember the LORD your God, so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And he said, “As the LORD lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

      12Then the woman said, “Please let your maidservant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 13The woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one. 14“For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him. 15“Now the reason I have come to speak this word to my lord the king is that the people have made me afraid; so your maidservant said, ‘Let me now speak to the king, perhaps the king will perform the request of his maidservant. 16‘For the king will hear and deliver his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy both me and my son from the inheritance of God.’ 17“Then your maidservant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be comforting, for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.’”

      18Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me that I am about to ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king please speak.” 19So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman replied, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant; 20in order to change the appearance of things your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is in the earth.”

Absalom Is Recalled

      21Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I will surely do this thing; go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, O my lord, the king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.” 23So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24However the king said, “Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face.” So Absalom turned to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

      25Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26When he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king’s weight. 27To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.

      28Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face. 29Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30Therefore he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there.”’ Now therefore, let me see the king’s face, and if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death.” 33So when Joab came to the king and told him, he called for Absalom. Thus he came to the king and prostrated himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.

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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.

How We Respond to YHWH’s Correction Largely Defines Our Relationship with Him

When it comes to submitting our lives to YHWH and becoming His people, none of us will be above rebuke. Not even King David was above rebuke. This is a good thing. We are all accountable to YHWH.  He is a loving father who will rebuke and discipline those He loves. We may not like being rebuked, but it helps us remain close to Him and as such, is a very good thing.

How will we respond to the rebuke? That is what will truly define our relationship with our Father. Will we accept it, ask forgiveness, and repent or will we deny and make excuses, rationalizing what we did as acceptable because of the circumstances?

Repenting, even genuinely, does not mean there will not be consequences for our sin. But it will help to guide us back in good relationship with YHWH after.

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

      1Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,
“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

      2“The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.

      3“But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb
Which he bought and nourished;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,
And was like a daughter to him.

      4“Now a traveler came to the rich man,
And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;
Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6“He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

      7Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8‘I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! 9‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11“Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. 14“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” 15So Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

       Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

      21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23“But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Born

      24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.

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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.

The Final Message

The final message at the end of Revelation should be worth our pausing to consider how it applies. What was the key message at closing of the Bible that YHWH had written through men?

He wants us to know about the prophecy or vision in Revelation. That means that we should spend time on it and try to understand it rather than just ignoring it because “it is too hard”.

YHWH knows some will continue to practice wrong and He will let us have that choice. He will not make us be righteous at the cost of our free will.

Further, when He comes, every man will be rendered reward (or judgment) according to what he has done. Our deeds matter, not just our thoughts or good intentions.

We are reminded that YHWH is the first and the last, all powerful and worthy of reverence.

We are not inherently righteous, but can wash our robes (be forgiven) at no cost to us by accepting Yeshua as LORD and submitting to Him, which means repenting of our sinful ways. We can see a list of a few sinful ways which are specifically called out here, but not assumed to be all inclusive. Note that loving and practicing lying is called out and in our society today we tend to make a lot of excuses about why lying is acceptable.

We are warned not to add to or take away from what is written with dire consequence stated if we do.

We are reminded of the grace of Yeshua.

It is a lot to take in. Dwell on it. Take your time. Reflect prayerfully.

Revelation 22:10-21

The Final Message

      10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11“Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

      12“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

      14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

      16“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

      17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

      18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

      20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

      21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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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.

The Foolishness of Man Ruins His Way

As relevant today as when it was written. Timeless wisdom from Proverbs.

Proverbs 19

On Life and Conduct

     1Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.

      2Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge,
And he who hurries his footsteps errs.

      3The foolishness of man ruins his way,
And his heart rages against the LORD.

      4Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend.

      5A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will not escape.

      6Many will seek the favor of a generous man,
And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

      7All the brothers of a poor man hate him;
How much more do his friends abandon him!
He pursues them with words, but they are gone.

      8He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

      9A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who tells lies will perish.

      10Luxury is not fitting for a fool;
Much less for a slave to rule over princes.

      11A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

      12The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.

      13A foolish son is destruction to his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.

      14House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.

      15Laziness casts into a deep sleep,
And an idle man will suffer hunger.

      16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is careless of conduct will die.

      17One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed.

      18Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire his death.

      19A man of great anger will bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

      20Listen to counsel and accept discipline,
That you may be wise the rest of your days.

      21Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

      22What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.

      23The fear of the LORD leads to life,
So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

      24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish,
But will not even bring it back to his mouth.

      25Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd,
But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge.

      26He who assaults his father and drives his mother away
Is a shameful and disgraceful son.

      27Cease listening, my son, to discipline,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

      28A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice,
And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.

      29Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And blows for the back of fools.

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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.

Be Humble and Admit When You are Wrong

As we continue to read in Revelation 16, we see YHWH continue to pour out wrath on unrepentant people who are blaspheming Him. They refuse to acknowledge they are wrong and submit to Him, even when confronted with his might and power.

Let us take note not to be like this, even in smaller situations. Let us be humble enough to admit when we are wrong and not hold foolishly to our position in the face of increasing and overwhelming evidence!

Revelation 16:12-21

Armageddon

      13And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

Seventh Bowl of Wrath

      17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

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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.

Message of the Cross – Salvation

God’s instruction to us is so complete and relevant that a scholar could spend a lifetime studying it, yet so simple that a child can understand it and come to a personal relationship with Christ.

The message of the cross, of Jesus Christ, is perhaps best summarized in the words of Jesus and Paul.

John 3

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]

Let us take care to understand properly in context the word “believe”. I believe that Greenland exists, but it has no impact on my life. Many believe that Jesus Christ was a true historical figure, but they do not live according to His instructions. Many even believe Jesus was Messiah, in an academic sense, but they do not submit to Him and live His way. If we truly believe that Jesus is Messiah, God, then we should submit to Him and the evidence should be demonstrated in our changed life through actions and attitudes that are increasingly more like Him and less like our old selves.

James 2:14-20

14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Some ask…”What is sin?” or “How can I know if I have sinned?” People are inherently sinful, not good. Sin separates us from God. The Bible tells us that “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]

Have you ever broken one of God’s commandments [Exodus 20:1-17]? Jesus makes clear that God’s standard goes beyond committing the physical acts but even includes the heart and mind. To hold anger against someone is to commit murder. To have lustful thoughts is to commit adultery. [Matthew 5:21-48]

God is love, but He is also holy and just. A price must be paid for our sins. It can not be ignored. We are not able to pay the price ourselves because we are not worthy. Our sins are so ugly before God that the penalty of sin is death.

God so loved the world that He became man in the person of Jesus Christ, living a sinless life, and suffered and died for our sins. He was buried and rose again. He has overcome death and gives us a path to eternal life through accepting Jesus as Lord.

The work of the cross has already been completed. The price has been paid for your sins and mine. We must each individually repent of our sins before God. This means we must turn away from them, not just feel bad about them and keep sinning. We accept Him as Lord, submitting our lives fully to Him. We cannot call Him Lord and then only submit to Him part way. If He is Lord we must submit to Him all the way. This is evidenced by a change in our thoughts and behaviors. We become different from the world. We do not rationalize and accept even some of our sin but rather reject it and seek to follow God. It is not enough to call ourselves Christians and go to church. We must fully submit to God.

Romans 10

10 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the [a]end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is [b]based on law shall live [c]by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness [d]based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 [e]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [f]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [g]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be [h]disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

16 However, they did not all heed the [j]good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ.

18 But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;

Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the [l]world.”

19 But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,

“I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation,
By a nation without understanding will I anger you.”

20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,

“I was found by those who did not seek Me,
I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”

21 But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Many will reject the message, but we are called to preach it to all the world. We as believers must not be silent or no one will hear the true word of God. If they do not hear it, they can not accept it and be saved.

If you have never submitted to Jesus Christ as Lord, please pray with me the following, but pray genuinely with your heart because it is not about the specific words but the condition of the heart and submission to God.

Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I admit that I have done wrong and ask your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sin and that you raised Him from the dead. I ask Jesus into my heart as Lord over my life. Help me to change my attitude and behavior to turn away from my own ways and the world’s ways and instead turn toward You and live the way You teach as revealed in Your word, the Bible. Help me to gladly and boldly proclaim Jesus publicly in my life. Thank you God for saving me.

This is not all there is! This is but the beginning… the doorway. Once you pass through this doorway you submit your whole life to Christ. It requires a combination of Intellect (knowing God), Emotion (loving God and fearing God), and Will (choosing to do His will instead of our own). It is an ongoing decision in our lives that starts us on a journey to know God more intimately and to obey Him more completely. It requires study and prayer and action. It is a journey we never finish in this life, but it transforms us along the way to be more and more like Jesus Christ.

If you made this decision today, we encourage you to reach out to us so that we can welcome you into the body of Christ as well as pray for you and provide more information and encouragement for your life changing decision. You can reach us through our Contact Us page.

Tell others you know have already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Tell them of your decision to follow Christ. Look to connect with a Christian mentor, local church or group of true Christian believers.

Why is it important to declare Jesus as Lord publicly? Jesus said so.

Matthew 10:32-33 32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Also, connecting with other Christians and publicly declaring your decision to follow Christ can help provide important support from other believers to help you on your journey with Jesus Christ. Remember, many who reject Jesus will try to talk you out of submitting to Him and following Him. Pray God will guide you to and connect you with the fellowship of true brothers and sisters in Christ that will help you to continue your lifelong journey to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ!

We invite you to study the Bible with us daily through our devotions via email, Facebook, Google Plus, or on our website Latest Devotions page. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has developed and shared the following wonderful tools to help new believers get started. (Steps to Peace God and Living In Christ)

If you have questions or want to know more, please Contact Us.

Understanding what the law means to us today can be confusing and requires careful study. In Romans 10:3-5, above, Paul is not saying Jesus came to change the law or abolish the law. Paul is specifically referring to the aspect of the law in which we are to be made right with God. Instead of being made right with God through perfect execution of the law, or through sacrifices and through the earthly priesthood, we are made right with God through Jesus Christ. John 3:16-18 confirms that Jesus came not to redefine sin or redefine God’s instruction by which we are to live (e.g. the law of God) but rather to address the judgment for our sin when we fall short of fully living up to God’s standard. Jesus did not end the law, which shows us how to live according to God’s instruction, but rather to provide a way for us to be reconciled to God when we fall short of perfectly executing God’s law. For more, please read our message on Understanding The Law – What Does It Mean For Us Today?

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

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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.