Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All The World Sought Out Solomon For Wisdom

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. I Kings 4:29-34

Steps: 4, 5, 11, 12

God’s gift of wisdom through Solomon spread throughout all of the neighboring countries and all the kings of the earth wanted to hear this wisdom and get all of their questions answered. The most famous ruler to come to Solomon seeking this wisdom was the Queen of Sheba. She came with great riches to pay for this knowledge, she had her suspicions, and yet she came. When she was done communicating with Solomon (I Kings 10) her heart was totally enthralled with the glory of God. She too became a believer for all of her questions had been answered and more. She accepted that God was the ruler of heaven and earth and she wanted what Solomon had and God blessed her through His servant Solomon.

Prayer for Today: God, bless us like You blessed the Queen of Sheba, and all of the kings of the earth. Help us to seek You and to open our hearts to Your love and Your wisdom. Help us to be willing to ask You our questions, and send us someone like Solomon to us. Thank You for Your grace and Your mercy and Your willingness to answer our questions. Help us to grow in grace and truth.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Solomon Wins the Hearts of Israel Through God’s Gift of Wisdom

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment. I Kings 3:28

Steps: 11, 12

After granting Solomon the gift of wisdom God allows him to display this gift by settling the impossible task of discerning who was the true mother between two disputing harlots fighting over one live child. These two harlots were symbols of the two groups of people in Israel – Judah and the northern tribes who will eventually be called Israel. God’s gift of wisdom so captivated Israel that they feared and respected King Solomon and saw that the wisdom of God was displayed in him. They accepted that God was working with King Solomon and they blessed him in their hearts and were willing to follow Solomon as king.

Prayer for Today: God, we ask today that You will grant us both wisdom and discernment regarding spiritual issues. We see many things around us but are not wise enough to know what to do. Please help us to recognize Your movements in the kingdoms of men, and help us to realize that only You can solve the issues we see. We want to be blessed in our relationship with You and help us to maintain our relationship with You so that we can be blessed like Israel of old. Thank You for Your great mercies and love to us.

Just an alert that I am going on vacation for two weeks. I will be camping out in the boonies and my computer may not have Wifi Access. But if I can post I will be happy to continue. Keep this ministry in prayer please.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

God Gives More Gifts to Solomon

And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. I Kings 3:11-15

Steps: 12

God was so pleased with Solomon’s request for wisdom that He grants the gift of wisdom for He only is able to give this gift. In addition God grants Solomon more than what he asked for. In addition to wisdom, God, the Dispenser of all gifts, grants Solomon riches, honor, and long life. All of these gifts come from God, and only God can grant these gifts.

Prayer for Today: You know that we tend to think that we get good gifts because of our hard work and energy and creativity. We often forget that without You we would receive none of these gifts. Thank You for watching over us and granting us those things that we ask for and those things that we don’t even know we need. Help us to become more aware that it is only You that can grant us these wonderful things. Help us also to use these gifts in such a manner as to be a blessing to You and to Your people here on earth.

Monday, July 19, 2010

God Grants Solomon’s Wish

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. I Kings 3:5-10

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

God knew the strengths and weaknesses of Solomon but God wanted Solomon to be aware of them as well. Solomon recognized that he needed special help from God. God helped Solomon to ask for the thing he needed most, the awareness of his need. Then God answered his prayer by giving Solomon a wise and understanding heart. This allowed Solomon to lead Israel to unprecedented heights of service to God.

Prayer for Today: God help us to be aware of and acknowledge our need of You. We too are like children that don’t know where we are going when it comes to spiritual issues. Help us to go to You and no one else to get our help. Help us to trust that it is You who are calling us, and it is You who will help us as well. Thank You for Your grace and love.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

David’s Son Solomon Becomes the New King

And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom. And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. I Kings 1:43-48

Steps: 11, 12

David lived a long life and had the blessing of seeing his son Solomon sitting on his throne. God had blessed him and preserved him from many dangers. Now David passes the kingdom to his son and praises God’s holy name for allowing this blessing to happen. Solomon raises the kingdom to the next highest stage, builds God’s temple, and starts one of the saddest periods of history among God’s people.

Prayer for Today: God we thank You that You were able to bless David, and we take hope that You will bless us the same way. We know that we have not always obeyed You, or even thought of You, but now that we are communicating with each other, please help us as You helped David. Thank You for these stories of hope for us. Thank You for Your help.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

David Loses His Third Son of Four

And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! II Samuel 18:31-33

Steps: 10, 11, 12

David had said that the man who stole the ewe lamb must repay four times. God said this would be part of David’s punishment. David had already lost his first born child by Bathsheba, his son Amnon, and now he loses Absalom. In the future he will lose his son named Adonijah. All of this because of his sin of murdering his body guard Uriah the Hittite. Because of his guilt David did not address issues in the family as he should have done and these little issues allowed to grow to fruition caused much chaos and difficulty and these natural events, not checked by God, grew to issues which cost the lives of these 4 boys, including the greatest tragedy, that of Absalom. Absalom, was a very handsome young man, who had great energy and talents, and vanity. When David did not address the crime of Amnon, then Absalom took it into his hands to correct the problem. Then after killing Amnon Absalom concluded that David was not fit to be the king anymore and Absalom would be king. In the process of time God used this civil war to chastise Israel and to correct a number of abuses in the kingdom. God used David’s crime to work out His holy will in Israel and to communicate the message to all of His children that sin always comes back to haunt us with unseen suffering.

Prayer for Today: God, You know what effect our sins will have on us and on those we love. Please help us to want to have victory over sin and help us to ask You for this victory. We acknowledge that we can not stop our sins but we come to You to get Your help. Thank You for Your loving care over us.

Friday, July 16, 2010

King David’s Amends

Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun…Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. II Samuel 12:9-12, 14

Steps: 8, 9, 12

God tells David that he has been forgiven for his acts of murder and deception but because he did these things two things will happen: 1st many people will use this occasion by David to justify the person’s sins, and 2nd evil will rise up out of David’s own house to punish him for his defects. Also, as a result of David’s sin he will lose 4 sons, the first one will be the first born child of David and Bathsheba. This innocent baby will be the second person to suffer for David’s sin, the first being Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband who was killed by David. The baby, a symbol of Jesus, will die - the innocent will die for the guilty.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how many evil sleazy, seemingly innocent things we have done and yet we still try to pull the wool over Your eyes to protect ourselves. We are so sick of doing these things that today we ask for Your forgiveness. We cognitively know that cheating You is not a good thing and we ask for Your help again today. Help us to be willing to change today. Help us to be open, honest, and willing to not take advantage of others.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

David Repents

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. II Samuel 12:13

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7

David repents and God accepts David’s repentance. By David’s own pronouncement of death (II Samuel 12:1-5) God could have allowed David to die, but because David changed then God changed His response. But David also pronounced a fourfold amends on his case and God will hold him to that. God says that David will lose four sons as a result of his killing of God’s son Uriah the Hittite. God also tells David that the sword will never leave his house because of what he has done. But God will soften it as much as possible while still holding to the truth and to the law, as well as to grace.

Prayer for Today: God You know how many times we have done things that are worthy of death to us. Yet You keep us alive. It is amazing how You do these things and why You do these things. We don’t know why You love us as much as You do but sometimes we even appreciate Your mercy and Your grace. Help us today to have a change of heart and that rather than rebelling against You we may accept Your grace. In addition Lord we also ask that You will change us so we don’t keep hurting ourselves or others, or You. Do Your holy will in us we pray.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

David Sins Against God

Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. II Samuel 12:9-12

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

David, when he was the most powerful king in his region, decided that he would sleep with the wife of one of his personal bodyguards. Not only that but when she gets pregnant David tries to hide his sin and when that doesn’t work out he plans to murder his friend. After he does all of these things he thinks he has gotten away with “murder”. But God confronts him and gets David himself to pronounce the penalty upon his own behavior. Then God confronts him as the murderer. David is devastated by his own behaviors. In the next part we will find out what David does and what will God do.

Prayer for Today: God, it is always amazing when we try to hide our addictive behaviors from You as though You can’t see us and don’t know what we are doing. Help us to be open and honest with you and with ourselves. We need Your help Lord and we ask that You won’t give up on us before we change. You know us, help us to know You and help us to hang onto You by faith. Thank You Lord for Your mercies toward us.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

David – King of All Israel at Age 30

Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. II Samuel 5:1-5

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12

David waited for God to accomplish His tasks and God united Judah and Israel into one nation and God made David the king over all of Israel – His people. God had anointed David king when he was young and after many years of persecution by King Saul, God had finally completed His tasks of developing David and was prepared to set David as king over Israel. In God’s timing and in His special ways He had prepared David to rule righteously over Israel and in truth David was one of Israel’s greatest kings. David was certainly not without faults but even when he displayed his faults he was great for taking care of issues and getting things done. David was also a type of God’s Messiah, His Anointed One. David was an example of what every man, or woman, of God would be like.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to remember that as you cared for David so You can care for us. Help us to trust Your plans for our growth, and help us to trust that You have a plan for us and that You will carry out Your plans in us and for us. Help us to grow up and become stable and pure in You.

Monday, July 12, 2010

God Places David as King of Judah First

And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. So David went up thither, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail,Nabal's wife, the Carmelitess. And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. II Samuel 2:1-4

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 11, 12

God tells David it is time to be the king of Judah, and He would arrange for the rest of Israel in His own time. David asks God where to go and God tells him to go to Hebron to be anointed King of Judah. Judah, the most powerful tribe anoints David in Hebron. David starts to the process of being king in Israel, but there is more that God must do to establish Him in His way.

Prayer for Today: Help us to remember God, that Your time in not our time. You have special plans and Your plans will unfold in Your time. We get easily impatient when we can not see, nor understand all of Your ways. Help us to learn to trust in Your ways and in Your plans, and in Your time. Thank You for Your patience with us.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

God Removes Saul from Physically Being the King

So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse. I Chronicles 10:13-14

Steps: 8, 9, 10, 12

God allowed Saul to continue to war against David until David grew strong spiritually and until Saul committed the unpardonable sin. God had used Saul to remove all of the witches and warlocks from Israel. But finally Saul had grown so rebellious that Saul chose to not listen to God and chose to go and seek a witch to consult with about his future in I Samuel 28. Saul wanted to have her call up Samuel from the dead to consult with him whom Saul would not listen to when he was alive. When Saul chose to listen to the evil and the deceptive and to reject the true and the honest, there was nothing else that God could do to save Saul but everything to do to rescue and enhance David. David was now ready to take over being the king of Israel in God’s way rather than by warfare.

Prayer for Today: God, help us to remember that You can save us in a thousand different ways of which we know nothing. We don’t know when You want to deliver us but we do know that when the time comes You can, and will, do all that is necessary to accomplish Your holy plans. Help us to trust in Your wisdom and grace.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

God Reminds David That He is Still God

And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid. I Samuel 25:23-31

Steps: 4, 5, 11, 12

God, in His training of David, allowed David to be chased all around the country to develop trust in God’s ability to care for him and his soldiers. In one episode a man named Nabal – fool – chose to embarrass and frustrate David and David was ready to use power to care for himself. Nabal’s wife Abigail came out to intercede for her family and protect them from David’s anger. She reminds David that God is in control and David accepts the correction and gets stabilized in God again.

Prayer for Today: You know how quickly ego, and anger, can get us into trouble. Help us to remember that no matter what happens You are still there and You are still in control. Help us to trust in Your care for us, no matter how it appears by sight. Help us to trust You by faith.

Friday, July 9, 2010

God’s Unique Way of Establishing David in the Hearts of His People

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. I Samuel 17:45-51

Steps: 1,2,3,11,12

God arranged for the conflict between the Philistine nation and Israel. Their champion Goliath was over 9 feet tall and was a mighty warrior. All Israel was afraid of Goliath and the champions like Jonathan were held by the hand of God until His champion – David – was ready to come on the scene. This drama lasted for 40 days until all hearts were asking God to raise up His champion to come onto the battle field to address Goliath. When David came on the field all eyes were shocked with the simply way in which God took care of the problem. God sent His choice for King, and He sent him in the name/character of the Lord, without armor but clad in glory, to deliver Israel. David was clear to give God all of the glory but he was willing to do his part. He had trained as a youth by saving literal flocks of sheep from lions and bears, and when he saw Goliath he had full trust in God’s power to give him victory over any enemy. God prevailed through His servant, and God was glorified as was God’s servant Jesse. He was a hero in the eyes of the people and in due time he would lead Israel all of the time as God’s king.

Prayer for Today: Help us to have simple trust in You Lord. You can deliver us from Goliath and from our addictions, whatever those addictions may be. Thank You for Your power and grace.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

God Selects A King After His Own Heart

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORDS anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. I Samuel 16:6-13

Steps: 4, 5, 11, 12

God had rejected Saul as His king and sends His prophet Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem to find a king. Samuel sees Jesse’s eldest son and thinks that this man is God’s anointed. But God instructs Samuel by informing him that God chooses after the heart not by the external appearance. God chooses Jesse’s youngest son to be His king and then spends much time and effort training this young man to be His king over His people.

Prayer for Today: God, You do so many different things in such a unique way that it is always surprising working with You. Teach us to trust Your uniqueness and help us to be willing to cooperate with You because we know that Your ways always work out better than our ways. Help us to trust that how You worked with David is how You will work with us. Keep us in recovery and help us to be willing to learn more about You.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

God Rejects King Saul from Being King

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of he Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, He hath also rejected Thee from being king. I Samuel 15:22-23

Steps: 4, 5, 12

God worked for Saul and did everything that a God can do to help Saul become the king that God wanted. But Saul continued to rebel against whatever it was that God wanted to say and to do. As a result of his rebellion and stubbornness and his rejection of God, then God also rejected him from the priesthood of the believers. God labeled Saul’s behavior as like that of the Canaanites, those do not obey God are rejected.

Prayer for Today: God You have watched us for thousands of years. We acknowledge before You that we have sinned against You. Please come to us and help us figure out how to related to You according to the truths of life. Thank You for not giving up on us. Please help us to live our lives in harmony with Your laws.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

God Performs the Gospel in King Saul

And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. I Samuel 10:6-10

Steps: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

God knows that Israel wants a tall, handsome, powerful, charismatic, leader to be their king. God chooses a man who best fits Israel’s desires. He then turns this man into another man. He assures him that God is with him. God will give this king another heart and that the Spirit of God will come upon him as is testified by the gift of prophecy. God will do everything He can to help this man be a spiritual leader to bless His people.

Prayer for Today: Thank You God that You do not turn on us even when we turn on You. We thank You that even when we ask for foolish things You try to make the best of it for our sakes. Help us to trust You, and to distrust ourselves. Please deliver us from us.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Israel Rejects God as King

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. I Samuel 8:4-9

Steps: 1, 2, 3

Israel is tired of being different. They do not want judges to rule over them, they want kings, like all of the other nations had. They want a powerful person to rule over them so that they do not have to exercise personal responsibility. They chose to reject God as their king, because they can’t see Him and they can’t control Him, and He does things in ways that they do not approve of. God focuses on spiritual responsibility and they want physical power with no responsibility. God chooses to allow them to have their way and will choose a king that fits their hearts request.

Prayer for Today: God, please help us even though You already know what kind of chaos is in our hearts and minds. Grant us deliverance from our lusts and desires. Protect us from ourselves and help us in ways that will help us to change into Your likeness.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Samson Becomes a Christ Figure

Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Judges 16:22-30

Steps: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Samson’s hair began to grow back and Samson chose to repent and ask for forgiveness. God chose to grant him the gift of strength again. The Philistines decided to praise their God’s by abusing Samson in public. They filled up their temple with people and mocked the True God of Israel. When they were at the peak of their addictive experience Samson asked to be taken to the central pillars of the temple and when he spread out his arms, like being on the cross of Calvary, Samson was empowered to pull the temple down. His death granted freedom to Israel.

Prayer for Today: God, we don’t want to become martyrs if we don’t have to. Help us to get it right with You before it is too late. Help us to trust You with our lives and get done the good things with us before we can mess it up. Thank You that You don’t give up on us.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Delilah Causes Samson to Lose His Vision

And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. Judges 16:4-6

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12

Since Samson perceives himself as successful in dating the last Philistine woman, he tries it again. This time he falls in love with Delilah who contracts with the Philistine Lords to find out the secret of his strength and then to betray him to them for money. Delilah starts working Samson to find out his secret. After 3 attempts and failures Samson finally gives in and tells Delilah that his strength comes from his faith relationship with God and if he ever had his hair cut, a sign of the Nazarite vow with God, he would lose his supernatural strength. Delilah gets Samson drunk and has his hair cut and he is correct, he loses his strength and is captured by the Philistines and his eyes are put out. Now instead of being free in God, he is a slave to his enemies, and is daily grinding out his wages at the granary. He is a captive to his own lusts and addictive behaviors.

Prayer for Today: God, You know how often we try to get captured by our addictions, if we can only have one more experience, one more addictive run. You know how many times we should have become captives, yet You tried to get our attention one more time. We ask today that You will help us to get our thinking straightened out before we get into trouble again. Grant us deliverance from ourselves, and our addictions.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Samson Finds A Harlot

Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him. And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron. Judges 16:1-3

Steps: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Again Samson finds a Philistine girlfriend to relate to, seemingly willing to challenge the Philistine armies in their own city. The men of the city find out that Samson is in the city and they lock the gates hoping to keep Samson captive until the morning and then they would try to kill him. The last time the Philistines tried to do this he killed 1000 men by himself with the jawbone of a donkey. That same night at midnight Samson got up and picked up the city gate, put it on his back, and carried it a number of miles into Israel to show the Philistines his strength. This was both his physical strength and his spiritual undoing. This rash act showed his trust in physical strength and his lack of awareness of a spiritual way of life by disregarding the counsels of God.

Prayer for Today: God, You know our strong points and how much trust we put into ourselves rather than into You. Help us to be aware of our need of You before we get ourselves into trouble. Rescue us from our overconfidence in ourselves and help us to grow an awareness of You. Thank You Lord for Your love.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Samson Wanted A Philistine Wife

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel. Judges 14:1-4

Steps: 4, 5

Samson, as a Judge of Israel, should have wanted a Hebrew wife to maintain unity of household and focus. But Samson saw a women and she pleased him well, and thus Samson started to mentally break his relationship with God, for God had warned Israel not to marry people who were not in recovery. God knew that people who are not in recovery make difficult marital partners for those who are in recovery. Samson also would not listen to his father’s counsel, and sure enough he got into all kinds of difficulty. God wants us to listen to our parents, especially if they have a recovery experience of some kind, and if we learn to listen to them, then it increases the possibility that we might listen to Him.

Prayer for Today: God, in this story it appears that You were willing to work with Samson even when he was difficult. We hope that You will be that willing to work with us, because we know that we can be difficult. We thank You that You even use our addictive impulses to accomplish Your purposes. Thank You for Your creative activities.