Category Archives: Kindness / Gentleness

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.

Even the Mighty Need Help Sometimes

Even the mighty need help sometimes. They need help from YHWH and from others who remain loyal and faithful to them in times of difficulty. David was a strong king, but due to his sin YHWH brought about some difficult times for him to face as punishment. David repented. There were still consequences, but YHWH and others who were faithful to David remained on his side to help him bring about victory.

We like to feel like we can control much or most of what happens in our lives. Some situations we can not control. We may need help from friends and from YHWH. Let’s be sure we are willing to ask for it and be thankful when it comes.

2 Samuel 17

Hushai’s Counsel

      1Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight. 2“I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone, 3and I will bring back all the people to you. The return of everyone depends on the man you seek; then all the people will be at peace.” 4So the plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

      5Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” 6When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Ahithophel has spoken thus. Shall we carry out his plan? If not, you speak.” 7So Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the advice that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8Moreover, Hushai said, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are fierce, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is an expert in warfare, and will not spend the night with the people. 9“Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the caves or in another place; and it will be when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10“And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely lose heart; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men. 11“But I counsel that all Israel be surely gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that you personally go into battle. 12“So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13“If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the valley until not even a small stone is found there.” 14Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring calamity on Absalom.

Hushai’s Warning Saves David

      15Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “This is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I have counseled. 16“Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be destroyed.’” 17Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a maidservant would go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18But a lad did see them and told Absalom; so the two of them departed quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. 19And the woman took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

      21It came about after they had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.

      23Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

      24Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

      27Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28brought beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, 29honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

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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.

Like An Ornament Of Fine Gold, So Is A Wise Reprover To A Listening Ear

Ask the Spirit to enlighten the meaning and relevance of scripture to you each time you sit to read and reflect on scripture. He is counselor and guide. All scripture is still relevant and worthy for use in teaching and rebuking.

Proverbs 25

Similitudes, Instructions

1These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.

2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

3As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.

4Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;

5Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

6Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of great men;

7For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.

8Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
Otherwise, what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor humiliates you?

9Argue your case with your neighbor,
And do not reveal the secret of another,

10Or he who hears it will reproach you,
And the evil report about you will not pass away.

11Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.

12Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

13Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14Like clouds and wind without rain
Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

15By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

16Have you found honey? Eat only what you need,
That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

17Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house,
Or he will become weary of you and hate you.

18Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow
Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.

19Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

20Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda,
Is he who sings songs to a troubled heart.

21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

22For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the LORD will reward you.

23The north wind brings forth rain,
And a backbiting tongue, an angry countenance.

24It is better to live in a corner of the roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

25Like cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a distant land.

26Like a trampled spring and a polluted well
Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

27It is not good to eat much honey,
Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.

28Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit.

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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.

Show the Kindness of YHWH to Others

David showed kindness to Jonathan’s son on behalf of the true friend that Jonathan was to him. Even as he was king, he still wanted to show “God’s kindness” on someone from Jonathan’s family. He was humble. It was not all about “David”. It was still about YHWH. There was nothing convenient to David about pursuing this kindness. He went out of his way to seek it.

Let us similarly seek opportunities for kindness to others and for the opportunity to give the glory to YHWH.

2 Samuel 9

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

      1Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 3The king said, “Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” 4So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” 5Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 6Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” 7David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” 8Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

      9Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10“You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.

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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.

Who Are My Mother And Brothers?

There is truly treasure packed all throughout scripture for us to find as we study and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us. While it may be good for a beginner in the faith to read the Bible in a year to get an overview of the whole historical account, let us take caution that there is also great value in going more slowly. Taking it one bite at a time and thoroughly going through it, pausing and praying. Considering verses that may otherwise be overlooked in our hurry to read 3 chapters a day.

Yeshua was teaching and sharing parables with crowds. His biological mother and brothers were trying to get to Him. Yeshua took that opportunity, not to disparage His earthly family, but to highlight another important perspective for us as believers and followers of Christ. While blood relatives are important and are an important organizational structure in society (refer to the organizing of God’s people by tribes throughout the Bible), we should also be keen to focus on the strong relationship that should exist between fellow believers. I should not overlook that fellow believers and followers in Christ are like brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. We should hold them close, support one another, and work together with grace for one another.

Luke 8:19-21

19And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. 20And it was reported to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.” 21But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

As you go throughout your day engaging in life with other believers and followers of Christ, remind yourself to think about them as brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in Christ. It may seem a subtle shift, but I find myself suddenly willing to engage more and help more, supporting one another. I find myself naturally extending more grace to them, more kindness and gentleness, more love. They are not simply strangers, but family in Christ.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? 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.

A Gentle Answer Turns Away Wrath

Proverbs 15

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

      2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

      3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.

      4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

      5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.

      6Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.

      7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.

      8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

      9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

      10Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.

      11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,
How much more the hearts of men!

      12A scoffer does not love one who reproves him,
He will not go to the wise.

      13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

      14The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

      15All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

      16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

      17Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.

      18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

      19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.

      20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.

      21Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.

      22Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.

      23A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!

      24The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.

      25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

      26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.

      27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.

      28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

      29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

      30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.

      31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.

      32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

      33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

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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.

Not All Who Offer Advice Are Wise

The Amalekites raided the city of David and his men while they were away. They took spoils including women and children. David sought the LORD and followed guidance to pursue and YHWH delivered victory. Some of the men were tired and could not continue the pursuit the whole way.

After the victory, we see Satan at work trying to divide David’s men through greed. Rather than simply rejoicing that they had recovered what was taken, some of the wicked among them tried to convince David to return nothing but the family members to the portion of the men who did not complete the journey. These were men that had fought together for awhile. This was not some great plunder from a raid they carried out, but simply recovering what was taken. David took a good course of action and kept his men together.

Let us also look after one another and not only ourselves and ask YHWH for wisdom like David had in this situation to know the right decision to make when we have people advising us based on their own self interest.

1 Samuel 30:21-31

The Spoils Are Divided

      21When David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also been left at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. 22Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart.” 23Then David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us, who has kept us and delivered into our hand the band that came against us. 24“And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” 25So it has been from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

      26Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Behold, a gift for you from the spoil of the enemies of the LORD: 27to those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the Negev, and to those who were in Jattir, 28and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Bor-ashan, and to those who were in Athach, 31and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to go.”

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Contrast the Upright and the Wicked…Again!

YHWH has a lot to say about righteousness and wickedness. We should listen carefully, ask for His help and turn from wickedness and toward righteousness.

Proverbs 11

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.

2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.

3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

7When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of strong men perishes.

8The righteous is delivered from trouble,
But the wicked takes his place.

9With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.

10When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.

11By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

12He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.

13He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.

16A gracious woman attains honor,
And ruthless men attain riches.

17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.

18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

19He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.

20The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

21Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.

22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.

23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.

25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.

26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

27He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.

28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

29He who troubles his own house will inherit wind,
And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.

30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.

31If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth,
How much more the wicked and the sinner!

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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 Approach the Needs of Others Matters

Contrast the response to David’s request by Nabal and by his wife, Abigail. It is clear which is pleasing to the LORD. The LORD’s anointing was on David and his men had acted honorably and been helpful to Nabal’s servants. Nabal reacted with selfishness and arrogance and spurned them. Abigail interceded with grace and wisdom and a servant’s heart.

Let us reflect personally on how we respond to situations like this in our lives, even if they are not quite so dramatic as 400 armed men coming to get supplies from us. People around us do have needs. We should pray and ask the LORD to give us the right attitude.

1 Samuel 25:2-38

Nabal and Abigail

      2Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel; and the man was very rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it came about while he was shearing his sheep in Carmel 3(now the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was a Calebite), 4that David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, visit Nabal and greet him in my name; 6and thus you shall say, ‘Have a long life, peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7‘Now I have heard that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us and we have not insulted them, nor have they missed anything all the days they were in Carmel. 8‘Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

      9When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David’s name; then they waited. 10But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. 11“Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men whose origin I do not know?” 12So David’s young men retraced their way and went back; and they came and told him according to all these words. 13David said to his men, “Each of you gird on his sword.” So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed with the baggage.

      14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, and he scorned them. 15“Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, while we were in the fields. 16“They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17“Now therefore, know and consider what you should do, for evil is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him.”

Abigail Intercedes

      18Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread and two jugs of wine and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19She said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20It came about as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by the hidden part of the mountain, that behold, David and his men were coming down toward her; so she met them. 21Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good. 22“May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if by morning I leave as much as one male of any who belong to him.”

      23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face before David and bowed herself to the ground. 24She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant. 25“Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him; but I your maidservant did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

      26“Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, since the LORD has restrained you from shedding blood, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be as Nabal. 27“Now let this gift which your maidservant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who accompany my lord. 28“Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil will not be found in you all your days. 29“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30“And when the LORD does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the LORD deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

      32Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, 33and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand. 34“Nevertheless, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male.” 35So David received from her hand what she had brought him and said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and granted your request.”

      36Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she did not tell him anything at all until the morning light. 37But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became as a stone. 38About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal and he died.

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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.