Daily Reading: August 19th


#DailyDevotion Watch Out What You Fix Your Eyes On

August 19th
Read 2 Sam 11:1–27
2Sa 11:1-5 ESV In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. (2) It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (3) And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” (4) So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. (5) And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

Whoops! It was battle season for the Israelites. The Spring and the Fall were the times of the year when nations went to battle. For the ancients it was a lot like baseball and football season except there weren’t any rules, people died and the victors won the possessions of the defeated.

In this particular season David did not go out to play but stayed behind and lo and behold he saw the wife of one of his loyal players. He desired her, he took her and he got her pregnant. Well David does his best to cover this matter up. He tries every trick in the book to get her husband to lay with her so it would appear as if it were his child conceived in her womb. Under the law of Moses, adulterers and adulteresses were condemned to be stoned to death.

Well that didn’t work so David did the next thing which seemed reasonable to him so the he and the woman would not face the death penalty, he had Uriah murdered in battle. And then he did the next reasonable thing, he took the woman for a wife, one among his already many, so the child would be born in his house.

Well who among us has not done similar reasonable things. We mess up. We sin. We hurt other people because we want what they have whether it be possessions, reputation or esteem. So we sin to get those things. When it seems we might get caught we sin to cover the sin we committed. We keep digging a hole so deep we don’t think there will be anyway out. Or we relax because we think we have gotten away with it. But the thing is, the Lord God, the King of Universe knows what we have done. We not only can hide our dastardly deeds but He sees through the thin veneer of respectability we try to cover our wrongs with. He not only know what we do but why we do it. He knows what we are thinking in our hearts. There is no escape from His eyes or His justice. Well there is no gospel in this lesson. There is no good news. There is no hope.

So we shall look to this. David took Bathsheba into his house. Jesus in like manner, while not guilty of our sin or collusion in it, takes us into his house, guilty as we are and covers us with his righteousness so all in Heaven and on Earth cannot see our sin or accuse us of it. All the Father sees is Jesus’ righteousness. His righteousness is our only hope. His taking us as a bride into His house is our good news.

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that you have covered our sins with your righteousness and made us your own. Grant us faith to always remember and believe this. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 18th


#DailyDevotion The Lord’s Promises Are Great And Wonderful And Are Fulfilled

August 18

2 Sam 7:18–29

2Sa 7:18-19  Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?  (19)  And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD!…28 And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.  (29)  Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

 

David having received a revelation from the Lord begins to prophesy and praise the Lord God who had made such great promises to him. It is a great thing to David to have the Lord bless his house, yet he recognizes it is a small thing to God. It is a small thing for the Lord because of the Lord’s power and might. Yet in this small thing of the Lord all mankind is going to be saved. David looks into the future and sees that his house and the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to take a while. Indeed, the Lord is still building that house. This promise is not just for David, nor it is just for Israel, for David says, “this is instruction for mankind…”

 

David sees Jesus and Jesus’ work in the future. David sees all that Jesus shall do in his life, his suffering, his death and resurrection, his ascension to the Father and Jesus’ return in judgment. His house shall be blest and enlarged and made a blessing not only to Israel but to mankind as a whole. He is like Abraham who is shown that his seed (singular) shall be a blessing to the whole world. David’s descendent will be the seed of Abraham who redeems not only Israel but the whole world, indeed all creation.

 

It must have amazed David to see and realize the Lord who made this great and marvelous promise would down the line of his house, join himself to this house by taking on their flesh and be himself a descendent of David. Since the Lord is forever, David’s house is forever for the Lord becomes David’s son. So David’s house is blessed forever.

 

And now all who have put their trust in King David’s greater son Jesus Christ become a house for the Lord God. They are joined to Israel through baptism and faith in Jesus. In baptism they become the temple of the Holy Spirit and the Lord places his name upon them. Joining all believers into one body of Christ Jesus and one Holy Temple of the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord is fulfilling his promise to his servant David.

 

Now the Lord Jesus is inviting you too to become part of his temple, part of his people, his holy habitation. Repent of your sins, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized into his name and you will be.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us such amazement as your servant David for all you have done for him and for us that we may always give thanks and praise for the salvation you have procured for us by the fulfillment of all your promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 17th


#DailyDevotion The Lord Is Building A House For His Name

August 17th
Read 2 Sam 7:1–17
2Sa 7:1-5  Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, (2) the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” (3) And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” (4) But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, (5) “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?, (11) … the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 2Sa 7:12-13  When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. (13) He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

The Lord God had established the kingdom for David and David is living in a palace of his own. Realizing that the Lord had done all this for him he desires to do something for the Lord. David wants to build Him a house, a temple. Sounds like a good idea to Nathan who initially gives his approval but the Lord corrects Nathan.

Instead of David building the Lord a house, the Lord is going to build David into a great house. David’s kingdom will rule forever. His offspring, from his body will establish the kingdom and build a house for his Name. The most amazing thing is that while Solomon does seem to fulfill this promise to some extent, because of the sins of the descendents of David it does not seem to come to pass, until Jesus.

Jesus is the One who ultimately fulfills the Lord’s promise to David. He takes on the iniquities and the rod and through His death and resurrection Jesus establishes the kingdom. Not just some earthly kingdom, but the kingdom of God. Jesus is the Lord who makes this promise to David and it is Jesus, the Son of God, who takes on David’s flesh and joins Himself to David’s house.

Now this house is His body the Church. In the Church, the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, resides. This house will remain forever. The gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Jesus sends forth his ambassadors into the world with His Name and His Word gaining Himself citizens through the Holy Spirit who works through this Word and the Sacraments in which the Word is attached. You have been called now to be citizens of His kingdom. Even greater you have been called to be kings and priest in this kingdom ruling with Christ Jesus. This kingdom the Father promises to give to you whom He gives His Son, Jesus.

Lord God, Heavenly Father, you have called us to be the house where your name dwells and you have placed David’s Son, Your Son, Jesus as Lord, God, and King of your kingdom. Ever grant us your Holy Spirit that we may rejoice in Jesus’ reign of mercy and peace in our lives. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 15th


#DailyDevotion Listen To The Lord. Trust And Do What He Says

August 15th

Read Sam 2:5:1–25

2Sa 5:22-25  And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.  (23)  And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees.  (24)  And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”  (25)  And David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.

 

Three very simple but important lessons can be learnt from these verses if we pay attention.

 

Before beginning any endeavor inquire of the Lord.  We should begin each task asking the Lord’s blessings.  We should seek His direction and care in all things.  Everything we do should be dedicated to His glory and that is best done by invoking His name upon all our tasks.

 

Secondly, we must believe the Lord is with us.  Even as the Lord went before David and defeated his enemies we must trust the Lord’s promise that He will fight all our battles for us.  It is written, Deu 3:22  “You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.” Jos 23:8-11  “…but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day.  (9)  For the LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you to this day.  (10)  One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.  (11)  Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.” 2Ch 32:8  “With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”

 

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has all power and authority and lives and uses that power and authority for our good, that is all who believe and call upon His name.  So then live courageously in Lord’s name.

 

Thirdly, trust in the Lord, do what the Lord has commanded you.  I don’t mean that we should expect to hear voices from heaven.  I don’t even mean that the Lord will put into your mind or the minds of others what needs to be done particularly the details like with David.  But we have all of Holy Scriptures that give us broadly and narrowly what the Lord wants us to be doing in every endeavor or task.  First we are to trust Jesus.  Secondly, we are to treat other people like we want to be treated.  In these two things we know the Lord Jesus will be with us in all that we do.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith that trust in your Name, call upon it in prayer, praise and thanksgiving and act out that faith in our daily lives. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 14th


#DailyDevotion You Have A Friend In Jesus

August 14

2 Sam 1:1–27

2Sa 1:17  And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, 26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women. 27 “How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”

 

David is truly a man after God’s own heart. One would expect that someone in David’s shoes would rejoice that his enemy, Saul, had died in battle. But throughout Saul’s reign, even though David was anointed to be king of Israel after Saul, he was loyal to Saul because the Lord had also anointed Saul. David loved Saul and did not seek Saul’s destruction even to become king sooner. So David laments over the death of the Lord’s anointed.

 

David also lamented over Jonathan, Saul’s son. David deeply loved Jonathan and it was mutual. Jonathan even knew that David would become king over Israel instead of himself, which would have been the normal course of action at the death of Saul. Now David and Jonathan did not have a homosexual relationship. People who think such things never probably had a real friend. All of their ways are perverse. It is written, Pro 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” And, Pro 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Such was the friendship of Jonathan and David. Their friendship made them as one. Each looked to the life of the other. Nothing could tear such a two apart, not even Saul trying to pursue and kill David.

 

Do you have such a friend who sticks with you even when all others have abandoned you? Indeed you do! Jesus is your friend. He has said, Mat 11:19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” If you are a sinner and confess your sins to him, you are his friend for he came to call such people to himself to deliver them from their sinful ways. More than that, Jesus says, Joh 15:14-15 “You are my friends if you do what I command you. (15)  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” When Jesus calls you to himself out of your sinful life, we are much more than servants (though we are servants). Jesus calls us his friends. How are we Jesus’ friends? Because he has given us everything the Father has given him. First and foremost he has given us his Word. Everything the Father has told Jesus he has told us and we have it right here in what we call the Bible or Holy Scriptures. Then Jesus also gives us hi s Holy Spirit that we may understand the Scriptures.

 

On top of that Jesus gives us his righteousness, wisdom, grace, mercy, forgiveness and sanctification. Everything we need to enter into eternal life with God in his new creation, our Friend Jesus Christ has given to us. As our friend, Jesus is also always with us. He loves us at all times. Jesus will stick closer to us than any brother or sister, mother or father will ever do. He is with us in the good times, the bad times and the boring times. There is no greater friend we can have than Jesus.

 

If we believe Jesus is our friend, then we will stick to him. As Jesus’ friends we will do what he commands. What is that? To believe in him and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Will we do this all the time? No, but that is why we are so blessed to have a friend like Jesus who forgives our failings and restores

 

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you have sent us your son Jesus to be our Friend who sticks with us and gives us everything we need to be joined to your life. Grant us faith always to recognize this and to return the friendship to Jesus by always being faithful to him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 13th


#DailyDevotion Those Who Don’t Trust God’s Word End Up In Destruction

August 13th

Read 1 Sam 31:1–13

1Sa 31:4-7  Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.  (5)  And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.  (6)  Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.  (7)  And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley and those beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their cities and fled. And the Philistines came and lived in them.

 

One might not think that this chapter or really the preceding chapters are very spiritual.  We do import a lot of weird thinking into that word “spiritual.”  But this is the Word of God.  The Word of God is never without the Spirit of God and vice versa.  Hence, being the very Word of God it is indeed spiritual.

 

The Word of the Lord spoke about this day and why it would come about.  The Word of the Lord then is shown to come to pass.  God’s Word is true and every man is made a liar.  The Lord in the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) made the promise that if Israel listened to Him, trusted Him and obeyed Him he would give the land promised to Abraham into their hands.  Their enemies would be scattered.  They would be 1 to 1000 against their enemies.  If they did not listen, trust and obey certain destruction would come unto them and one of their enemies would scatter a 1000 of them.

 

Saul did not hearken to the commandments of God.  He did not listen, trust or obey.  He always went about doing things the way he thought would be best for the Lord rather than just trusting the Lord and doing things the way the Lord had told him to do.  Adam and Eve were like this.  They added to the Word of Lord, didn’t listen, trust or obey the Lord.  Now we their descendents, Saul being a prime example, inherited this trait and continue to do so unto this day.  We simply won’t take the Lord at his Word.  We try to read between the lines but there’s really only empty space there.  So then we add on to God’s Word and get even into a bigger mess.

 

The spiritual lesson we are to learn here is simple but it is impossible without the help and grace of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Listen to God’s Word, trust it and do what it says.  We are not to subtract from it or add to it.  We are not to twist it or mold it until it says what we want it to say.

 

There are several most important spiritual things we must take away from the Scriptures and this is it: 1. We are sinners unable to fear, love and trust in God above all things by our own reason or strength and we deserve eternal damnation.  2. Our Father doesn’t want to damn us so He damned His Own Son Jesus Christ instead. 3.  He promises all who trust this Word eternal life and all who reject it will get what they deserve.  4. Through this promise He gives us the Holy Spirit to believe it and to live our lives according to the promises.  It doesn’t get any more spiritual than that.

 

Lord God, Heavenly Father, grant us to hear your promises and give us the Holy Spirit that we may believe those promises and live according to them.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 12th


#DailyDevotion Just Because God Forgives You Doesn’t Mean You’ll Escape Temporal Discipline

 

August 12th

Read 1 Sam 28:3–25

1Sa 28:5-7  When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.  (6)  And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets.  (7)  Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.” 1Sa 28:16-19  And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy?  (17)  The LORD has done to you as he spoke by me, for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.  (18)  Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day.  (19)  Moreover, the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”

 

Saul is just a pitiful sight.  He had disobeyed the Lord years before.  The Lord had forgiven him but he still had a temporal punishment coming so others would take note and not do as Saul did.  Just because we are forgiven by God on account of the innocent suffering and death of Jesus Christ, the Lord, does not mean we won’t receive temporal punishments to put to death the desires in our own flesh and to warn others from committing the same sins.  Indeed, judgment begins at the house of the Lord.

 

Saul the rest of his life continued to fight against the Lord’s decree because of his sin to try to keep it from happening.  Numerous times his tried to kill David who only respected and obeyed the commands of Saul and fought for Saul.  Twice Saul disobeyed the Lord’s commandments and for that the kingdom is taken away.  Now he breaks the commandments again by seeking a necromancer because the Lord will no longer speak to him.

 

He calls up Samuel.  Like Samuel is going to tell him anything but bad news.   Samuel speaks for the Lord and he speaks to Saul what the Lord had already spoken through him; Saul will fail and die that day along with his family.  Another whom the Lord has appointed, one who seeks do the will of the Lord with his heart will take his place.

 

Are you harboring sins which you try to hold back and hide from the Lord?  Are you trying to prevent the Lord’s discipline from happening to you?  Are you seeking to do things in a manner which you know the Lord has prohibited because you don’t like the way the Lord is doing things in your life?  Repent!  Throw yourself down before your Lord Jesus Christ and entreat his mercy.  Be willing to face the fruits of your ill-gotten labor.  Turn away from the things you know the Lord would not have you do to get your way.

 

God has promised us in Christ Jesus that he seeks our good and not our harm, even in his discipline he is showing how much he loves you.  If he ignored you, you wouldn’t be his children.  He disciplines those whom he loves so accept it with thanksgiving.  You will find mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus.

 

Lord God, Heavenly Father, help us to receive from your fatherly hand divine discipline and turn our hearts by your Holy Spirit to trust in Your Son Jesus Christ and receive from him forgiveness and a heart willing and wanting to do all that you command.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Reading: August 11th


#DailyDevotion Do You Submit Yourself To Those God Placed Over You?

August 11

1 Sam 26:1–25

1Sa 26:9-11  But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?”  (10)  And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish.  (11)  The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.”

 

David had been anointed by Saul to be king over Israel yet he does not strike Saul who also has been anointed as king over Israel. Even though Saul had become a wicked king and was trying to kill David. But David leaves Saul’s life in the hand of the Almighty. He recognizes what Paul teaches, Rom 13:1 “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” David is a man after God’s own heart and does not want to find himself in opposition to God.

 

David has a plan to show Saul that he is not opposed to Saul or is trying to take over his kingdom. He shows his righteousness by taking the spear and jar by which he could have killed Saul if that was his intent. Saul is the anointed of God and he is in God’s hand.

 

There is another David, another anointed of God. That is Jesus Christ, the Lord. At his trial he said, Joh 19:11 “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” The Jews should have recognized Jesus as their messiah, their anointed one of God, the new David. Unlike David, the Jews did not honor his being their anointed one. They betrayed him and turned him over to the other governing authorities. Like his ancestor David, Jesus respected the authorities his Father has placed over him and did not resist. Of course this was part of the Father’s plan for our redemption.

 

As Jesus subjects himself to Rome he does so even to the point of death. He does this to ransom you from death. He subjects himself to spill his blood for the atonement of your sins. Yet all authorities in heaven and earth and under the earth, all kings, prime ministers, presidents and legislatures shall bow the knee and confess Jesus as Lord over all.

 

So what are you going to do today? Are you going to subject yourselves to the governing authorities like David and Jesus and honor the Lord’s anointing? Are you going to bow the knee and confess Jesus as the Lord, your Lord and subject your life to his Holy Spirit?

 

Heavenly Father, grant us your grace that we may honor those you have given honor and subject ourselves in faith to your only begotten Son Jesus Christ, glorifying him in everything we think, do and say. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.