A Christian Journey

Archive for November, 2014

Turkey Be GONE!!

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Humility And Faith

“And the woman became pregnant and sent and told David, I am with child.”  2 Samuel 11:5

In the story of David and Bathsheba we generally focus on David, the king, but what about Bathsheba, our woman of the Bible for today.

We don’t know much about her other than she is the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. In the story we find she is home alone, her husband is fighting with Israel’s army. On the evening that King David calls for her she is bathing on the balcony. Now pardon me for thinking this, but she had to know that her balcony could be seen from the roof of the palace. The scripture says that it was springtime when kings go forth to war, so she may not have known that David was there. Then again, I would think the people would know if the king was in town or not. So did Bathsheba do that on purpose? Since her husband was a soldier and from the scriptures it sounded like a pretty devoted one, maybe she was very lonely. Also, I’m sure a lot of the women in the area were captivated by David, not only was he the king, but the Bible tells us he was handsome as well.

Once David calls her to him there’s no indication that she puts up much of a fuss, though no one usually argues with the king anyway. An interesting side note, people didn’t bathe a lot back then, women particularly usually bathed only after completing their menstrual cycle each month, as they were considered unclean during that time. The end of the cycle was the least likely time for her to become pregnant, yet she did. Then she goes through losing her husband, then losing the child she and David conceived, but she is made queen.

Little more is said about her until her son Solomon is to be made king, then she is a key factor in making sure that happens. Most interesting of all is the fact that she is one of only five women named in the lineage of Jesus.

So what can we learn from Bathsheba? It seems, whatever situation she found herself in she is content with. Whether the wife of a neglectful husband, an adulteress, a childless mother, the queen, or the mother of the wisest man ever to live. Let us model Bathsheba’s humility and faith.

A Tangled Web

“David sent and inquired about the woman. One said, is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 2 Samuel 11:3  Amplified

Our woman of the Bible today is Bathsheba.  Most everyone knows that name and some think wrongly of her, that she was wicked for having an affair with David. According to the story recorded in the eleventh chapter of second Samuel, David the king, sent for her to be brought to him. He knew she was married, as told to him in our verse today, but he saw her and he wanted her. Like those in power, he got what he wanted. The scripture doesn’t say she didn’t consent, sin is sin, though, and since it doesn’t say she resisted, we assume she at least complied, after all he was the king.

As we know, she goes back home and finds she is pregnant. Now her husband has been off fighting in the army, so she knows it’s not his. She lets David know that she is with child. He realizes the fruit of his sin and devises a plan to cover it up. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. He brings Uriah home, has some drinks with him and tells him to go home to be with his wife, but Uriah doesn’t do that, he’s a soldier all the way and camps outside the palace. So then David sends a note with Uriah to the front lines and tells the commander to put Uriah in the heat of battle so that he can be killed. I’m sure the commander didn’t know why David wants this done, but poor Uriah delivers his own death sentence and it’s carried out. After a reasonable time of mourning David takes Bathsheba as his wife and everything is okay. Of course we know it isn’t, sin is like a horrible disease lying beneath the surface only to slowly reveal itself for all to see.

Many have dissected the preceding story from David’s point of view, tomorrow we’ll look at it from Bathsheba’s.

A Woman Of Good Understanding

“The man’s name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail; she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful. But the man was rough and evil in his doings; he was a Calebite.”  1 Samuel 25:3 Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is Abigail, and what could be better said of any woman but that “she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful.”

At the time of this story David was still running from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. David had been protecting Nabal’s men out in the fields and now he needed provisions for himself and his men. He sent messengers to Nabal requesting he provide for them. Nabal basically sent the messengers off stating he didn’t know David and didn’t believe the messengers.  When the messengers returned to David and told him what happened, David prepared to attack Nabal. One of Nabal’s young men, who had been with David, went to Abigail to tell her what had transpired and that David was about to attack them. He even added that Nabal was such a wicked man that he wouldn’t listen to anyone.

I’m sure Abigail was not surprised by what Nabal did, she knew the man she was married to. She hurried and prepared food for David and his men, and went out to meet him. David reminded her of how he had taken care of all that belonged to Nabal and now he was being repaid evil for good. Abigail got off her donkey and bowed down before David saying, “upon me alone let this guilt be.” She told David that she knew Nabal was a foolish, wicked man, but asked to not let everyone suffer for what he did. She asked David to forgive her of any trespass and offered him the goods she brought.

David responded to Abigail saying, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who sent you this day to meet me.” He also thanked her for preventing him taking revenge as only the Lord should do that.  He accepted her offering and sent her home in peace, but the story doesn’t end there.

Abigail returned home and found Nabal having a feast and drunk. In the morning she told him all that happened and the scripture says, “his heart died within him and he became paralyzed, helpless as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord smote Nabal and he died.” When David heard of this he blessed the Lord for handling the situation and then took Abigail as his wife.

People will sometimes treat us wrong and it’s always the fleshes response to return evil for evil.  We must be aware of the carnal man’s urge to lash out and let the Lord handle it. He will, if we let Him, and He will do a much better job than we ever could.

Walk To Please Him

“So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled and escaped.”  1 Samuel 19:12   Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is Michal, David’s wife.  She was King Saul’s daughter and David’s first wife.  They met when they were young and David was still in King Saul’s court.  Our verse today is the turning point when he decides to flee from the king, who is so jealous of David he wants to kill him.

So Michal’s father wants to kill her husband, because he’s jealous of his notoriety. That must have been a tough spot for her to be in, but she loved David and he was her husband. The scripture says she tricked the king’s men when they came to the house to find David by placing a household image and pillow of goats hair in his bed.  The Amplified Bible says it was a household good luck image, a teraph. Sounds like Michal was relying on the good luck image instead of God to save her husband.

Later, after King Saul’s death, in 2 Samuel 6:16, King David is bringing the Ark of the Lord into Jerusalem. He is filled with such great joy that the verse says he was leaping and dancing before the Lord.  Michal, his wife, was looking out of the window while this was going on and she was not happy. She told David later that he was acting like a commoner instead of king by behaving like that. David explained that he was making merry in pure enjoyment before the Lord and would be held in more honor for it. The last verse of Chapter 6 states, “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.”

Now I’m not saying she was unable to have children because of her attitude, but it surely didn’t please God. I wonder, though, if it wasn’t her attitude toward David dancing that displeased God, but her trust in the household good luck image.

Sometimes people have a tendency to tell us how we should worship God. What we should say, do, wear, go.  Certainly we have direction from the Lord in that area, but we each need to seek God for how we should walk out our relationship with Him.  Philippians 2:12 tells us to work out our own salvation, this doesn’t mean we save ourselves through works, but that we walk out our salvation in our daily walk through life.

The most important thing to remember is to do what David did, he lived for the enjoyment of the Lord, live out your daily walk to please Him.

Rejoice In Your Salvation

“But to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had given her no children.”  1 Samuel 1:5  Amplified

Our woman of the Bible for today is Hannah.  Her story starts in the book of 1 Samuel, and tells about the prophet Samuel.  Hannah was married to a man, Elkanah, who loved her greatly, but she was barren. We’ll call the man Elk, and he had another wife, Peninnah, we’ll call her Penni, who was able to have sons and daughters. Unfortunately Penni rubbed it in to Hannah that she was able to have children, but Hannah couldn’t.  This made Hannah very sad, she moped around and wouldn’t eat.  In typical male fashion Elk couldn’t understand and asked her why she was crying and sad, isn’t having me enough he told her. She ate a little bit and then went for a walk.  She was praying and vowed to the Lord, “If You will indeed look on the affliction of your handmaid and earnestly remember and not forget Your handmaid but will give me a son, I will give him to the Lord all his life, no razor shall touch his head.” While praying this she happened to walk by Eli, the priest of God, who was sitting near the temple. He saw her lips moving, but didn’t hear her speaking and accused her of being drunk.  She told him she was sorrowful and praying and that she wasn’t a drunken woman. The prophet then told her to go in peace and said, “may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked.”  She thanked him and went away no longer sad.

The family returned home the next day and the Lord remembered her, she became pregnant. She named the child Samuel, which meant “heard of God”, because she said, I have asked him of the Lord. Once the child was weaned, around three years old, she went back to Shiloh and presented him to Eli the priest. Hannah reminded him of their encounter and that she was giving young Samuel back to the Lord. Her prayer of praise to God is recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, the first verse says, “My heart exults and triumphs in the Lord, my horn, my strength is lifted up in the Lord. My mouth is no longer silent, for it is opened wide over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.”

Hannah is a beautiful example of a woman seeking God’s will for her life. When life was not going her way, the people around her didn’t understand her or gave her a hard time, she didn’t get down and give up.  Getting down is one thing, staying down is another. Hannah did what all of us should do during trials, she turned to God and asked for His help. He helped her and He is wanting to help us as well.

Found Favor

“Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, Why have I found favor in your eyes that you should notice me, when I am a foreigner?”  Ruth 2:10   Amplified

Yesterday we looked at Naomi, today it is Ruth, our women of the Bible.  Ruth has followed Naomi, her mother-in-law, back to Naomi’s home town.  Ruth is not jewish, she is a Moabite woman, but she cares deeply for Naomi and goes with her.  She is rewarded for her faithfulness to Naomi as a wealthy relative takes a shine to her.

Ruth has gone to glean in the fields of Boaz so that she and Naomi might have food to eat. Boaz sees her and she finds favor in his eyes. He offers her protection and the food she is seeking. When Naomi finds out about Boaz she instructs Ruth in what to do to bring her closer to Boaz, humility. Ruth didn’t presume to demand anything even though they were family, but she went to him as a servant and asked him for continued protection. He followed cultural protocol and made sure others who were closer in relation were given the opportunity. When the way was clear he took Ruth as his wife and they were blessed with a son, Obed, who is named in Jesus lineage.

Ruth is a wonderful example of a gentle, humble, willing woman. She cared deeply for those around her and spoke softly.  In turn she was greatly blessed and loved. Though she was a foreigner she was accepted, just as we are accepted by God when we come in faith to Him.