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DAILY RENEWAL – A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART FALLS INTO BLATANT SIN

DAILY RENEWAL – A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART FALLS INTO BLATANT SIN

Scripture of the Day || February 24th, 2018

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s  men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

One evening, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Then David sent messengers to get her.  She came to him and he slept with her…Then she went back home. The woman conceived and she sent word back to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”  

2 Samuel 11:1-5

David was described by God as “a man after my own heart.” God had so much faith and trust in David. He elevated him from being a humble shepherd to ruling over God’s people. David had a very close relationship with God. He intimately declared in Psalm 23 that, “the LORD is my Shepherd and I shall not want.”  David was not a novice when it came to the things of God. He knew the word of God and he knew the heart of God!

But alas, this man “after God’s own heart” was not immune from temptation. When the “price” was right, David threw every caution to the wind and had intimacy with a married woman. Perhaps, one of the saddest things about this was that Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, was one of David’s most trusted, loyal and godly military officers.

So much could be said about the anatomy of David’s fall into this sin of adultery; but I think a few things are worth noting.

First, even though it appears that David “fell” into temptation in a “moment of weakness,” that was probably not the case. David must have harbored thoughts of lust well before he fell into sin. I am inclined to believe that because David had multiple wives against the established will of God. In fact, when Nabal died, David’s immediate action was to ask Abigail, Nabal’s wife to become his wife. David seemed to harbor lust and lacked self-control. So, when he saw Bathsheba in her nakedness, he could not resist the temptation.

Second, David committed premeditated adultery. He saw Bathsheba naked, lusted after her, sent someone to inquire about her, was told that Bathsheba was married to one of his most loyal officers but still sent someone to bring Bathsheba to the palace solely for the purpose of having intimacy with her. These were the actions of a person blinded by lust. Lust is reckless and senseless. It does not stop to think until the damage is done!

The world we live in is saturated with temptation. Advertisements are so laded with sensuality that we have almost become impervious to it. Our smart phones can take us from the Gospel of John to the pit of lust in a flash. Like Daniel, unless we purpose in our hearts in a predetermined fashion not to sin against God, the floods of temptation can sweep us off our feet no matter how strong we think we are. But the good news is that God is always ready to make a way of escape for us. Take the way of escape before it is too late

Prayer: Father, I thank you that it is by your grace that I stand. Please help me to draw the appropriate boundaries so that I will not succumb to temptation. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – GOD NOTICES EVEN A DEAD DOG

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD NOTICES EVEN A DEAD DOG

Scripture of the Day || February 23rd, 2018

David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They summoned him to appear before David, and the king said to him… “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet…he is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.” So King David had him brought from Lo Debar…

When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor…“Don’t be afraid, David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?”…

So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons…and all members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.

2 Samuel 9:1-13.

“What is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?” Those were very telling words! That was a true summary of how Mephibosheth felt about his lot in life. He was the grandson of the first king of Israel, King Saul. His father, Jonathan, was next in line to the throne but never became king because of the sins of his grandfather. Both his father, grandfather and two uncles were all killed on the battlefield in one day. His once promising family was now a by word in Israel and to make matters worse, he was lame in both feet. Being lame meant he could never become king. The physical deformity precluded him from ever sitting on the throne.

Physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically, Mephibosheth seemed to be nothing but a wreck – he saw himself as nothing but “ a dead dog!” This was undoubtedly an expression of deep self-abasement. He saw himself as the lowest of the lowest! But, in the eyes of God, he was not a dead dog! God had a plan for his life. God was about to elevate him beyond his expectations! God was about to give Mephibosheth great honor through King David.

God touched the heart of King David and he restored to Mephibosheth all that belonged to his grandfather Saul. In addition, David gave Mephibosheth the honor of eating at the king’s table just like one of his own sons! In doing this, David kept his covenant promise to his friend Jonathan never to cut off kindness to Jonathan’s family (I Sam. 20:15).

There are times when the circumstances of life might cause us to see ourselves as “dead dogs.” Our once promising future seems to be in tatters and there is simply nothing to look forward to. But we never know what blessings God might have for us just around the corner! God is gracious and merciful. He notices even a “dead dog.” Don’t give up because God might just be  about to surprise you. You are very precious to him! God can elevate even “a dead dog!”

Prayer: Father, I must confess that there are times when situations seem so hopeless and helpless that I am tempted to see myself as “a dead dog.” But I also know that in your eyes, I am not a “dead dog.” I am very precious to you. Please help me to gird myself up in you and believe you to elevate me to new heights. Thank you father. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – MAY GOD GIVE YOU VICTORY WHEREVER YOU GO

DAILY RENEWAL – MAY GOD GIVE YOU VICTORY WHEREVER YOU GO

Scripture of the Day || February 22nd, 2018

In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines. David also defeated the Moabites…so the Moabites became subject to David and they brought him tributes.

Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer…David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers…When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them…and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.

David took the gold sheets that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem…

King David dedicated these articles to the LORD, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek…And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites…He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.  

2 Samuel 8:1-14

After ascending to the throne, David embarked on an ambitious expansion of the territories controlled by Israel. Battle after battle, we see David subduing his enemies and plundering them of their silver and gold. He dedicated these articles to the LORD as an act of worship.

Question: How did he expand his kingdom so rapidly? What was the secret to his success? The answer is given right in the passage: “The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.” That was the key to David’s success. The Bible makes it clear that, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle but victory rests with the LORD” (Prov. 21:31).

There are two things worth noting in David’s victories:
First: Victory comes from our individual preparedness. God will not grant us victory if we are not prepared to step into battle. We have to get “the horse ready” to fight. In other words, we must individually do whatever is required of us. Our dreams and visions will never come to pass if we do not step out to battle for them. God never blesses inactive hands and feet. God grants victory only when the horse has been prepared for the day of battle.

Second: We must acknowledge that without supernatural help from the LORD, our labors would accomplish very little success. David was successful because, “the LORD gave David victory wherever he went.” As you actively prepare yourself and engage to accomplish your dreams and visions, God will grant you success because He is your true source of victory.

May God grant you success wherever you go.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the dreams and visions you have placed in my heart. As I take practical measures to pursue them, I ask that you grant me success wherever I go. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – THERE IS A REASON FOR MY DANCE

DAILY RENEWAL – THERE IS A REASON FOR MY DANCE

Scripture of the Day || February 21st, 2018

Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the city of David with rejoicing…Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

As the ark of the LORD was entering the city of David, Michal, daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart…

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal…came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today, going about half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

David said to Michal, “…I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this. I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.  

2 Samuel 6:12-23.

Bringing the ark to Jerusalem was a big deal for King David and Israel. The ark signified that the God of all the earth was present amidst His people. David had now found the right way to transport it and he offered a countless number of bulls and calves as sacrifice as the ark was being transported. In fact, Scripture says, “When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.” That was definitely a lot of sacrifice from a grateful heart!

Not only did David offer that incredible amount of sacrifice but he also stripped off his kingly robes and vigorously danced in what might as well be described as a ”one piece undergarment.” Out of deep gratitude, King David set aside his dignity and danced with all His might to the God who lifted him from being a humble shepherd to be ruler over His people.

David’s wife was displeased with him for dancing in an “undignified manner” and she despised David in her heart. She confronted and ridiculed David. But David did not mince any words. His words were poignant, “I will celebrate before the LORD. I will be even more undignified than this. I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” David’s desire to please God was far greater than his personal dignity and ego as king! For uttering those words of disrespect to David, Michal, his wife, remained barren for the rest of her life.

We can only dance like David if we are as grateful as David. Maybe your reason for dancing is: God forgave a terrible sin; or God showed you undeserved mercy; or God healed you; or God saved you from a huge mess; or God gave you a big financial breakthrough or a job. You know what others might never know.  So do you have a reason to dance before the LORD in an “undignified manner?” If you do, then never shy away from glorifying God with every ounce of your being. People might castigate you. But may your response be, “If you knew my story, you would join me in my dance!”  There is a reason for my dance.

Prayer: Father, I have many reasons to dance before you. I dance for my salvation; I dance for divine protection; I dance for divine provision; I dance for grace and mercy; I dance for my healing; I dance for forgiveness; I dance for giving me a second chance. I dance for you, for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – DON’T DO THE RIGHT THING THE WRONG WAY

DAILY RENEWAL – DON’T DO THE RIGHT THING THE WRONG WAY

Scripture of the Day || February 20th, 2018

David again brought together all the able men of Israel – thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which was called by the Name, the name of the Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim and the ark.

They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD with castanets, harps. Lyres, timbrels, sistrums, and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me? He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the city of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.

The Ark of God remained in the house of Obed-Edom for three months and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.   

2 Samuel 6:1-11.

The ark of God was of great importance to Israel. It signified the very presence of God. The ark was in the forefront when the Israelites journeyed from the wilderness into the Promised Land. The ark led them when they were about to cross the Jordan: “See, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you…And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD – the LORD of all the earth – set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

The significance of the ark was that it served as the footstool of God’s earthly throne. Knowing that God was the true King of Israel, David was determined to give the ark a place of prominence so he decided to bring the ark to the city of David. The ark was no longer to be neglected as had been the case in the days of king Saul. But David tried to do the right thing in the wrong way and the result was the painful death of a priest. Good intentions alone are sometimes inadequate. Doing the right thing in the right way is important. The word of God should not be violated on the pretext of the “good” intentions behind our actions.

There was a prescribed way to handle the ark: The ark was only to be transported by consecrated Levites who would carry it with poles on their shoulders. David in his exuberance, failed to follow divine instructions and God killed Uzzah on the spot when he touched the falling ark. God was sending a message that those who follow him must be reverent and serious in acknowledging His prescribed rules and regulations. We must always be cognizant of God’s holiness and never for a moment take His presence for granted. God is real, powerful, righteous, holy and fearful. Uzzah’s death was painful but avoidable.

Prayer: Father, please help me not to take your holiness for granted, even innocently. Help me to do things in your prescribed way so that I can always reverence you. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – GOD WILL BREAK OUT AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES

DAILY RENEWAL – GOD WILL BREAK OUT AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES

Scripture of the Day || February 19th, 2018

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed King over Israel, they went out in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The LORD answered him, “Go for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, so the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.   

2 Samuel 5:17-21.

David had become king and his enemies continued to pursue him. From the days of conquering Goliath through the time he spent on the run from Saul till this point in his life, one thing remained constant with David: He always sought the face of God. David was inexperienced when he fought Goliath and we saw him depending upon the LORD who saved him from the lion and the bear to give him victory. But now, as an experienced fighter with many troops under his command, we see David still inquiring of God before setting out for battle. If God said yes, he went. If God said no, he stayed put.

God said yes to his inquiry about pursuing the Philistines. God promised to deliver them into his hands and God did. David rightfully attributed the victory to the hand of God declaring, “As waters break out, so the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.”

God broke out against the enemies of David only because David inquired of God. David went out to battle under divine directives. God will only break out against your enemies if you depend on Him.

No matter how high we ascend, we should never stop inquiring of the LORD. We should continually seek the will of God in all we do. Then and only then will the LORD break out like waters against our enemies and give us victory.

May you continually seek the will of God in all you do and may God continually break out like waters against your enemies and give you victory against every opposition you encounter.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for all that you have helped me to accomplish. When I had nothing, I acknowledge you as my sole source of help. As I continue to prosper and gain greater prominence, please help me never to forget that you are my true source of strength and help. May I never stop inquiring of you and please never stop breaking out like waters against those who rise up against me. I ask this in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – IT MIGHT TAKE A WHILE BUT IT WILL ALWAYS COME TO PASS

DAILY RENEWAL – IT MIGHT TAKE A WHILE BUT IT WILL ALWAYS COME TO PASS

Scripture of the Day || February 18th, 2018

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on her military campaigns. And the LORD said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’ “

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over all Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.  

2 Samuel 5:1-5

God instructed the prophet Samuel to anoint David king over Israel while Saul was still reigning as king. Saul sought to eliminate David and derail his kingship. For a long time, he pursued David but God protected him. David led a rather miserable life. He slept in caves; took refuge in foreign lands, did odd jobs and went on raids to survive. All he had to “rule” over were six hundred disgruntled men! There was a time when David’s men even threatened to stone him. Was the promise of David becoming king ever going to be fulfilled?

Finally, king Saul died and there was a fierce power struggle. David was made king over Judah and Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth ruled over the rest of Israel. David ruled for seven and a half years over Judah until the elders of Israel came to him at Hebron and made him king over the entire nation. The journey was long, dangerous, tiring and very trying. I can’t even begin to imagine how David must have felt as he waited for the promise of God to be fulfilled in his life. But when the fullness of time came, David ascended to the throne. David was never idle as he waited. He fought to survive. He did everything to keep himself going. He was ready when the time was ripe.

It might take awhile but God’s promises to you will be fulfilled. The vision will surely come to pass. The words of the prophet Habakkuk are instructive in this regard: “The vision is for a future time. It describes the end and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

Like David, don’t be idle. Work actively toward the fulfillment of your vision. Fight the necessary battles; sleep in caves if you have to; faithfully work with the “disgruntled” team you may have; “rule” for however long it takes in Hebron. Remain humble. Do not despise your current lot. At the right time, God will elevate you and establish you over much. It might take a while but it will surely come to pass.

Prayer: Lord, please help me not to give up because your promise seems to be delaying. You are a Promise-Keeper so help me to faithfully press on until I fully accomplish my destiny. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – A GODLY RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF AN ENEMY

DAILY RENEWAL – A GODLY RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF AN ENEMY

Scripture of the Day || February 17th, 2018

After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites…

On the third day, a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head… “Where have you come from?” David asked him, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.” “What happened,” David asked… “The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”

“I happened to be on Mount Gilboa.”… “And there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit…He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “ ‘An Amalekite,’   I answered.

Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’ So I stood beside him and killed him…And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my LORD.”

Then David and all his men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

2 Samuel 1:1-12

King Saul and his son Jonathan along with his two other sons were killed in battle. It was evident that Saul’s tragic death was the result of of God taking His hands off him. He had blatantly disobeyed God and murdered innocent priests, women, children and even animals because one priest had given food to David and inquired of God for him. David had spent years on the run just to escape from the murderous pursuit of Saul.

Question: How would you have reacted if you heard the news that your arch enemy who had spent years trying to kill you had lost his life in battle? How would you have responded to the man who brought you the “good” news? Most of us would rejoice at such news and praise God that alas our enemy was dead. We would give testimonies in Church and probably reward the man who brought us the crown from the head of Saul. But not David. David responded with pain, sorrow and fasting for the tragic death of Saul and Jonathan. He even had the man who brought the news killed for helping Saul to end his life – taking the life of God’s anointed. David’s response to the tragic death of Saul is worth learning from.

God is not pleased when we rejoice at the suffering of our enemies. Even though He brings judgment, he does not want us to wish ill upon our enemies. In fact God poses a question in Ezekiel, “Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked?…Rather am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” As much as it goes against our grain, let’s purpose to sincerely seek the well-being even of our detractors for a lost soul is nothing but a tragedy.

Prayer: Father, I know you do not delight in the death of my enemies. Your desire is that all will repent and turn to you. Please help me to be sorrowful when my detractors fall into hard times; for that pleases you. Help me to genuinely seek the repentance of my “enemies.” Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – THE END OF A GODLESS LIFE

DAILY RENEWAL – THE END OF A GODLESS LIFE

Scripture of the Day || February 16th, 2018

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fell before them and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malkishua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons…they put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul…they took down the bodies of Saul and his sons…and went to Jabesh where they burned them. Then they took their bones and buried them…   

I Samuel 31:1-13.

What an inglorious end to an otherwise very promising king with incredible potential!

What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?

What shall it profit a man if he gains all the power in the world but ends up committing suicide and having his body impaled by his enemies on a wall? It is important to finish well.

Saul started out as a very promising king. He had everything going for him. Saul was handpicked by God as the first king of Israel. He was ratified through a public lot directed by God’s prophet, Samuel. Samuel wrote down all the laws that pertained to the kingship. Saul was given divine guidance about how to rule God’s people. Saul was set up for success. But, somehow, Saul put himself on a path of disobedience to God. He disobeyed God by sparing the king of the Amalekites and taking spoils of choice cattle for himself when God had specifically instructed him to annihilate everyone and everything. He set up monuments to honor himself whilst he dishonored God through disobedience.

He also crossed a sacred line by offering a sacrifice, a duty reserved by God only for the priest. Saul had no fear of the divine. He killed eighty-five priests and every living person including women, children and animals in the town of Nob where the priests resided.

Saul was consumed with the desire to kill David. He spent vast resources pursuing David from town to town with three thousand soldiers. He almost killed his son Jonathan for shielding David. His whole kingship was fixated on eliminating David and entrenching himself in power.

God took his hands off Saul and gave the kingship to David. The end of Saul was dismal.

Godlessness and disobedience never pays off. It leads to nothing but death! Scripture is clear: “There is a way which seems right to a man but the end of it is death. “ (Proverbs 14:12). Would you be authentic in your walk with God and walk in obedience to Him? You will never regret choosing the path of righteousness and obedience. Life without God is a hopeless end!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the privilege you have given me as your disciple. Please help me to walk the straight and narrow way to please you at all times. Amen.

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DAILY RENEWAL – DON’T LISTEN TO EVIL MEN AND TROUBLEMAKERS

DAILY RENEWAL – DON’T LISTEN TO EVIL MEN AND TROUBLEMAKERS

Scripture of the Day || February 15th, 2018

David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken…David brought everything back…

Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor valley…As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder  we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”

David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.  

I Samuel 30:18-25.

David had six hundred men with him who set out to pursue the Amalekites in a bid to recover what had been stolen from them. Two hundred of the men were too exhausted to continue the journey so David left them behind to guard the supplies that belonged to the group. The normal practice was to share the plunder of war among the entire group. But, “all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers” did not want the two hundred men who stayed behind to be given any of the plunder.

David stepped in and made a ruling that no one was to be left out; each person, including the two hundred were to enjoy the spoils of war. This became a law in Israel from that point on.

This ruling by David gives us a glimpse into the righteousness of his heart. If he had cowardly followed the unfair dictates of the “evil doers and troublemakers,” it could possibly have resulted in a schism within the group since the two hundred men were a third of his team of six hundred. The righteousness of the decision is seen in the basis of David’s thinking: “You must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us.”

David recognized the fact that all that they had as a group and the very fact that they all came back alive from the battle was entirely attributable to the grace of God. Every decision made had to take that into account. In other words: “God is the source of our blessings so let’s handle those blessings in a way that honors God.” David did not listen to the evil men and trouble makers in spite of the fact that those evil men could have stirred trouble for him within the group. David chose to listen to the divine voice which always leads to righteous and fair decisions.

As you face various decisions, there will be a pull from the voice of evil attempting to influence you. But heed to the voice of righteousness. Do not succumb to the demands of evil men, no matter how intimidating and influential they might be. Don’t listen to evil men and trouble makers. They will lead you to a path of destruction. Listen to the voice of righteousness.

Prayer: Father, please help me to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit at all times. Amen.

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