Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Reality Of Partial Submission


2 Samuel 5:1-5

The Story

When King Saul and his three elder sons died, the kingdom of Israel was in disarray.

David returned from exile and went to the city of Hebron.

When he arrived, he was crowned as king by the people of Judah.

It must have been a jubilant day for him.

All the years of isolation and exile were over.

And the days of waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled are at hand.

In a few more days, the entire nation of Israel would be bowing down before him....

But....

A little farther north, Abner, the head of Saul's army, quickly proclaimed Ishbosheth, Saul's youngest son, to be the king of Israel.

And all the people of Israel, except the tribe of Judah, bowed to Ishbosheth as king.

This event set the stage for the first real division within the nation of Israel.

Two kings were attempting to rule the same nation....

This meant troubles....

There would be brutal civil wars in Israel.....

Lessons

When believers first put their trust in the LORD Jesus Christ, the people of God rejoice.

But Satan and all his demons will not leave them alone.

All believers know that the road to heaven is not an easy one.

To overcome sin, they must battle against the flesh, the pulls of the world and Satan.

And to be worthy of The LORD Jesus Christ, they must take up their cross and follow Him everyday.

No christian can live nobly and worthily without struggle, battle, self-denial....

Remember...

The road to the throne wasn't an easy one for David.

So also is the road to heaven for believers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Death Is Not The End


1 Samuel 31:1-13

The Story

When King Saul died, Israel lost hope and fled away in fear.

The Philistines occupied the Israelite cities.

They mutilated the corpses of Saul and his sons.

They sent Saul's head from city to city as a testimony to the powers of their gods.

They rejoiced in their victory over Israel....

It looked like the hope of the Israelites had been vanquished by hopelessness.

But.... the death of king Saul opened the way for David to be the next king.

It ushered in a new era of hope and prosperity.

God also used this event to change the royal line of Israel to prepare for the advent of the Messiah, The LORD Jesus Christ.

Lessons

When the disciples and followers of The LORD Jesus Christ saw Him hanging dead on the cross, they lost hope and fled away in fear.

It looked like the enemies of God had been victorious.

It looked like Satan and his minions had won the battle against God the day The LORD Jesus Christ died on Calvary.

The demonic hordes rejoiced in the death of the Messiah.

It looked like life had been defeated by death.

It looked like death is the end....

But.... death signifies a new beginning.

The death of The LORD Jesus Christ signaled the end of the Old Testament system of sacrifice and worship.

This was graphically pictured when the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

God would no longer be approached through the blood of animals and a Jewish priest.

He would now be approached through the shed blood of The LORD Jesus Christ and through The Person of His Son.

The death of The LORD Jesus Christ ushered in a new era of mercy and grace.

Remember...

Saul's death was not the end for the Israelites; God would raise for them a new king.

The LORD Jesus Christ's death was not the end for us; it opened the door of Salvation for all of us!

Let's come to Him and be saved!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Terrible And A Tragic Death


1 Samuel 31:1-13

The Story

On the battlefield that day, many had died.

Both the poor and the rich had died....

Both the king and the slave had died....

Both the godly and the sinner had died....

Both the Israelite and the Philistine had died....

Both the weak and the powerful had died....

Death came to many people on that battlefield....

*******

Lessons

Whether we like it or not....

Death is coming for us all.

That is the testimony of every grave, every funeral, every hospital, every accident, every war and conflict, every disaster....

We have better be ready when it does....

The death of a sinner can be a terrible and tragic event.

The death of a saint is a victory over death and the devil.

...Let us put our trust in Him who alone holds the key of life and death...

... and die well.

Remember...

Saul died a terrible and a tragic death.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Sad And Shameful Death


1 Samuel 31:1-13

The Story

The armies of Israel were badly defeated and humiliated.

Their wounded and dead bodies scattered all over the landscape.

King Saul was struck by the arrows of his enemies.

The dead bodies of his three sons were beside him....

King Saul sought the help of his armor-bearer to end his life.

But the man would not help the king.

King Saul finally committed suicide by falling on his own sword........

*******

The dead body of King Saul was then desecrated by the enemies of Israel.

He was beheaded and his head was sent from city to city as a symbol of the Philistine victory.

His body and the bodies of his three sons were taken to Bethshan and nailed to the city walls.

Lessons

King Saul had a sad and shameful death.

It didn't have to be like that if he had obeyed God and did all His biddings.

Forty years earlier he was a handsome young man.

He had been humble, brave and obedient when he was first inaugurated as king.

But little by little, he compromised and became weak and wicked.

When he died, he was only a short distance from Ramah where he had been crowned king before.....

But spiritually he was very very far away from God......

Remember...

Saul had rebelled against God to his sad and shameful death.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Mighty Had Fallen


1 Samuel 31:1-13

The Story

Saul had ben a good and godly man in the beginning of his reign.

But he had rejected God's plan for his life.

He had refused to walk with the LORD.

And God had rejected him.

Saul began to fall into insanity.

He showed jealousy and hatred toward David.

He wanted him dead.

But God in His sovereign plan protected David.

David survived and thrived during those years when he was on the run from Saul.

He grew stronger while his enemy Saul grew weaker.

And here was recorded the awful and tragic death of Saul and his three sons.

Lessons

Many of us have tested the goodness of God.

Some of us have rebelled against God and refused to listen to Him.

It is terrible to fall into the hand of God.

Blessings will be withdrawn and punishments will await us.

Remember...

Saul had rebelled against the LORD God to his death and God had punished him.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Time To Repent Of Our Foolish Decisions


1 Samuel 30:6-8

The Story

David finally hit the bottom of his life.

He lost everything and everyone was against him.

He was reaping the results of his many foolish decisions.

David decided to look toward Heaven again.

He wanted to turn to God in humble repentance.

He called on the LORD in prayer to seek God's will and God's help.

The moment he heard the LORD's direction for his life, he did not hesitate any more, but he went out immediately to do the will of God.

David was back in God's will.

he was walking in God's path again.

The LORD God had fully restored him.

Lessons

All of us are capable of making foolish decisions.

Sometimes we listen to our heart when it is telling us lies...

... and we start to do things our own way.

We have enough warnings from David.

We must get back to God fast before it is too late,

The price of disobedience is very high.

Remember...

David repented of his foolish decisions and the LORD God finally restored him.