2 Samuel 15… Consider Him Who Does As Seems Good to Him

…let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” [15:26]

King David, once again finds himself on the brink of catastrophe.

Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” [15:13]

The hearts of the men were with Absalom; but it was only the heart of God that was David’s concern. The priests and Levites seemingly had the same concern as they carried the Ark of the Covenant of God.

Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25 The king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. [15:24]

But David would not attempt coercion through outer displays of religion. The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s Presence, but David knew… man does not dictate nor move the heart of God. He alone determines the course of events, not campaigns, conspiracies, calamity or coercion; for He Does As Seems Good to Him.

Consider Him Who Does As Seems Good to Him

  • No campaign will thwart His will; He Does As Seems Good to Him
    • Now it came about after this that Absalom …used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; … Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” … so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. [15:1-6]
  • No conspiracy will overpower Him; He Does As Seems Good to Him
    • But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” [15:10]
  • No calamity will hinder Him; He Does As Seems Good to Him
    • David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” [15:14]
  • No coercion will move Him; He Does As Seems Good to Him
    • Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. The king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation. 26 But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” [15:25-26]

How do we respond to Him Who Does As Seems Good to Him?

No matter the scheming campaigns of the enemy, the conspiracies against God’s people, the calamity so often accompanying our journey through life, or man’s feeble attempts of coercion to change God’s purpose, nothing will impede our God Who Does As Seems Good to Him.

For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
11 Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a far country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.
[Isaiah 46:9-11]

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
[Isaiah 55:11]

Oh that we would have the heart of David, wholly trusting Him Who Does As Seems Good to Him.

If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation. 26 But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” [15:25-26]

Let us refuse to fixate on circumstances or catastrophes, but rather let us set our minds on Him Who Does As Seems Good to Him.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. [Colossians 3:1-2]

Let’s Grow Together!

2 Samuel 14… Consider Him Who Brings Back the Banished

“For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.” [2 Samuel 14:14]

If we fixate on man, we will lose heart. Joab deceptively devises a scheme to turn the king’s heart for political gain. David still grieves, yet cannot forgive. Absalom has convinced himself murder is justified and he bears no guilt.

But there in the midst of it all, in the midst of man’s deception, grief, unforgiveness and pride, we see Him, Him Who Brings Back the Banished.

Consider Him Who Brings Back the Banished

The Law explicitly required the death penalty for premeditated murder

“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die. [Exodus 21:12-14]

And yet the hired woman appealed to King David on the basis God’s mercy rather than His judgment. She turned David’s attention to Him Who Brings Back the Banished.

“Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.” [2 Samuel 14:14]

Scripture clearly describes all men and women as born into sin and banished from experiencing life and fellowship with Holy God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [Romans 3:23]

For the wages of sin is death, [Romans 6:23]

It began in the Garden of Eden…

…therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. [Genesis 3:23-24]

And there is nothing in and of ourselves to Bring Us Back from His Banishment…

The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
[Psalm 14:2-3]

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
[Isaiah 64:6]

Scripture also turns our attention towards His mercy rather than His judgment, clearly declaring He saves us and Brings Us Back out of His great mercy and grace.

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. [Titus 3:5-7]

And in His great mercy…

  • He Brings Back the Banished that they may have life.
    • So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:7-10]
    • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23]
  • He Brings Back the Banished that they may know His Presence.
    • You will make known to me the path of life;
      In Your presence is fullness of joy;
      In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
      [Psalm 16:11]
    • But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; [Acts 3:18-19]
  • He Brings Back the Banished through faith in the crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
    •  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead— …11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:10]

How do we respond to Him Who Brings Back the Banished?

When we repent and place our faith in the sacrifice Jesus endured on the cross, He Brings Us Back to His life and presence.

Are you certain you are His, Brought Back to Him? Don’t let another day pass without the assurance of your salvation. Today you can repent and turn from sin to God, as you trust Him Who Brings Back the Banished.

When we place our faith in Jesus, we are adopted into His family as His child. And as His children, we are called to bear the family resemblance. The New Testament also redirects us towards God’s mercy; and we are to interact with others in the same way He has dealt with us.

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. [James 2:13]

As we ponder the great mercy of Him Who Brings Back the Banished, how can we not show mercy to others? Let us choose to live by His grace, overflowing with gratitude and love that others would know we belong to Him, and perhaps also be drawn to His great grace and mercy.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

Let’s Grow Together!

2 Samuel 13… Consider Him Forgotten

Now it was after this… [13:1]

Where is He? There is no mention of God in this chapter, no evidence any sought Him, as though Forgotten. Plots ensued, reactions arose, grief resulted, vengeance developed and transacted, as the LORD God, Almighty King was somehow, well… Forgotten.

Consider Him Forgotten

This was not a new thing… treating Him as Forgotten. It began early in their history, as the nation was being led out of Egypt by His great and marvelous redemption.

They made a calf in Horeb
And worshiped a molten image.
20 Thus they exchanged their glory
For the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God their Savior,
Who had done great things in Egypt,
[Psalm 106:19-21]

And when He had brought them into the Promised Land, in His grace He warned them of this propensity… to treat Him as Forgotten.

“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today…” [Deuteronomy 8:11]

And as He abundantly blessed them, as though they paid no heed to His warnings, rather than blessing Him… they Forgot Him.

As they had their pasture, they became satisfied,
And being satisfied, their heart became proud;
Therefore they forgot Me
. [Hosea 13:6]

2 Samuel 13 presents a grave portrait of the results and ramifications in disregarding Him, in treating Him as though Forgotten:

  • Frustration
    • Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, [13:2]
  • Ungodly counsel
    • But Amnon had a friend… [13:3]
  • Ungodly plans
    • Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill… [13:5]
  • Disgraceful wickedness
    • When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! [13:11-12]
  • Rejection of Godly wisdom
    • As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to her;  [13:13-14]
  • Violation
    • …since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. [13:14]
  • Hatred and desolation
    • Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!”… So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. [13:15, 20]
  • Revenge and murder
    • Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death… 29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. [13:28-29]
  • Irreconcilable estrangement
    • Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. [13:37]
  • Inconsolable grief
    • And David mourned for his son every day… The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom… [13:37, 39]

How do we respond to Him Forgotten?

All of us are born with this same propensity as the nation of Israel, to treat Him as Forgotten, as we create our own gods to worship.

 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. [Romans 1:21-23]

And in His amazing grace, the Father sent His Son that we would worship, learn and remember Him.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. [John 6:44-45]

And He sent His Holy Spirit to teach us that we would remember.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. [John 14:26]

In His grace, He has both warned us and provided all we need, that we NOT Forget Him.

“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today…” [Deuteronomy 8:11]

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:8-9]

He has given us Jesus, His Holy Spirit and His Holy Word that we would be strengthened to have true success, relationship and fellowship with Him.

Oh may we never treat Him as Forgotten. Let us daily seek to see Him in His Word as we depend on His Holy Spirit, that we would give Him glory for all He has given us.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
[Psalm 103:1-2]

Let’s Grow Together!

2 Samuel 12… Consider Him Who Has Taken Away Our Sin

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. [12:13]

Sin. It is deadly. I’ve read the story of David and Bathsheba so many times, and it never loses its sting. It’s so contrary to David’s beginnings as a humble shepherd and brave warrior against the giant, Goliath. But giants come in all shapes and sizes, and this giant named Lust, brought him down. Frightening…

David had taken Uriah’s wife and the Law required the death penalty for such an act.

If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. [Leviticus 20:10]

By law his sin deserved the death penalty; but by grace David would not die, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”

Consider Him Who Has Taken Away Our Sin

  • He Has Taken Away Our Sin and we will not die
    • Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. [12:13]
    • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [Romans 3:23]
    • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 6:23]
  • He Has Taken Away Our Sin but not His discipline
    • However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die. [12:14]
    • My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
      Or loathe His reproof,
      12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
      Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. [Proverbs 3:11-12]

How do we respond to Him Who Has Taken Away Our Sin?

We must begin at the beginning… Do you have assurance He Has Taken Away Your Sin?

Consider the following:

  • He Takes Away Our Sin as His gift, not by our own works or merit.
    • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; [Ephesians 2:8]
  • He Takes Away Our Sin while we are yet sinners; He does not expect us to clean up before we come to Him by faith for it is impossible to clean up enough.
    • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:8]
  • He Takes Away Our Sin when we confess Jesus as our resurrected Lord, believing He alone has paid the penalty to save us.
    • …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. [Romans 10:9-10]

If you have never called on Him for salvation, please do so today. Let go of your own efforts and come to Him in humility and faith. You will not be disappointed and you will be saved.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” …for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” [Romans 10:11, 13]

He Has Taken Away the penalty of Our Sin; but we must live mindful of the giants opposing our commitment to Him, that we would grow in His holiness.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16]

He Has Taken Away the penalty of Our Sin, but not His disciplinary consequences of choosing our own way.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
[Hebrews 12:6]

He Has Taken Away the penalty of Our Sin; may we never forget our humble beginning as to abuse His grace. As we begin this New Year, let us cherish His amazing grace as we grow in our love and obedience to Him Who Has Taken Away Our Sin.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15]

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? [Romans 6:1-2]

May we, in humility and faith, depend on Him Who Has Taken Away Our Sin to walk each and every day in the new life He has given.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. [Romans 6:4]

Let’s Grow Together!

A new year and a new schedule…

Happy New Year from The Planting Place!

Wow! A year of daily digging through His Word has certainly brought challenges, but they pale in comparison with the tremendous rewards of seeing Him Who is abundantly faithful!

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. [Ephesians 3:20-21]

I have been humbled by the gifts He has imparted each and every day, definitely beyond anything I could have possibly imagined; but I can’t say it has been easy. Many days I have questioned if I can keep the pace. And I have prayed many times asking Him if I needed to adjust the schedule.

Let me backtrack a bit…

At the time I laid out a three-year reading plan, it was to be that… a personal, daily “reading” plan. But when I felt the nudge to create a blog in hopes others would be encouraged to date our Savior, somehow the writing began; and it turned out to be much more than I ever expected.

In my reading plan I left no room for catch-up days from the unexpected, such as visits from family and friends, the holidays, illness (and yes I am four days behind in the writing), and now…the soon and coming arrival of our grandchildren…

Twins!

Yes, the Lord has double-blessed our family as my daughter is expecting twins next month! I covet your prayers for our daughter, Sara, and the babies; Eleanora Anne and Asher Benjamin… yes, one girl and one boy!

My daughter is a high school drama teacher. And as I was her high school drama teacher, I have had the joy and privilege of coming along side her to assist in past productions. But now, I will have to do more than assist, as I will be her substitute in getting the spring musical production ready to open in late April.

And because of all this, there must be a change in plans…

My plan is to personally continue the three-year reading schedule (and I pray you will as well), but the writing will be on a different timetable. After completing the “Considers” of 2 Samuel (sometime around January 15), I will take about a six-month break from regular postings in each chapter. I will try to post a reminder of the daily scheduled reading, and every now and then, as the Lord leads, perhaps a verse and some insight.

In the second half of 2017, Lord willing, the “Consider Him” postings will resume, however…

I will be taking weekends and holidays off, as well as any other unexpected needed times. I will do my best to post the new schedule before the postings begin again.

I look forward to digging together with you all. Please keep digging and reading. Only two more years and you will have read every word of every page through the most amazing love story ever written, His Holy Bible!

And please, let’s pray for one another… that as we read through His Word, our Heavenly Father will grow and strengthen us as He plants His truth and love deep within in our hearts.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. [Ephesians 3:14-19]

Let’s continue through the New Year and…

Let’s Grow Together!