Saturday, October 4, 2014

David's Last Words for Leaders

READ 2 Samuel 23-24

“The last words of David” refer to a song (psalm) that is evidently the last one written by David. Notice these words: “The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” (23:3-4)

Let’s take a lesson of biblical leadership from these words. If one is going to lead he should do so “in the fear of God.” To do something in the fear of God means to do it from a deep understanding of exactly who God is and from deep reverence for the Lord and a holy desire to honor the Lord in all he does and never bring shame on His name. What a lesson for those of us who lead!

And reality is that almost everyone of us leads something. We lead in church, a class, a ministry or in our vocations. And don’t forget that most crucial place of leadership… in our homes. So, men, let’s lead “in the fear of God.” Let’s purpose that our leadership will bring honor and glory to the Lord through the loving, servant-minded way that we lead.

Prayer: Father, help us as leaders to lead reverently, humbly, as grateful servants who love you and want to please you. Give us the strength to lead and the grace to lead that will reflect your power and your grace to those whom we lead.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beginning of Barley Harvest

READ 2 Samuel 21-22          

Twice in the OT the phrase “the beginning of barley harvest” occurs—here and in Ruth 1:22. It’s interesting how different these occasions are. For Ruth, who was returning to Bethlehem with a bitter Naomi, the beginning of barley harvest was a harbinger of the coming redemption of the Lord through Boaz. Here in 2 Samuel the 7 sons of Saul are given to the Gibeonites to atone for Saul’s sin against them. They were then put to death at the beginning of the barley harvest…hardly a time of great rejoicing for David and the people. But the reason for this was so that God would relent of the 3-year famine he had brought against Israel. So, in reality, both mentions of the barley harvest are indicators of times that God is about to turn the fortunes of His people for good.

Do you have a time like that in your life? Is there a particular time of year or a date in your life that brings to mind a particular moving of God in your life? Reminders of God’s mercy and grace are good things for us, whether it’s a place or a time. Let them be to us cause for worship of the God who works all things after the counsel of His will.

Father:  Thank you that you do not leave us in the depths of despair. Thank you that your mercy and grace come to us in the deep valley and bring us out of the depths to a new and fresh love and praise of you. Help us to remember all your faithfulness to us and humble ourselves in gratitude to you.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gospel Joy

READ 2 Samuel 19-20

Though David seems, at times, to do so many things wrong, one very good thing he did was to pardon his enemies after the death of Absalom. He is in a joyful, celebratory mood because the people are returning him to Jerusalem to reestablish his reign as king. While in this good mood he will not entertain the thought of taking revenge on others. He has been saved so he is kindly disposed to others, even those who have wronged him.

There’s the lesson for us. It’s gospel thinking. We have been saved through the gracious work of Christ on the cross and given new life, eternal life, in Him. So we should be loving toward all those around us, even those who have wronged us. Since we have been forgiven, we can forgive. Since we are loved with an everlasting love, we can love others, even our enemies. When we truly grasp the greatness of God’s saving love to us, we are freed to offer it to others.

Prayer:  Father, help us to love because you have first loved us. Help us to forgive because you have forgiven us in our Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to be a channel of your grace and love to all those in our lives.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dads, Love Your Sons

READ 2 Samuel 17-18

Nathan’s prophesy against David has come to pass. After his sin with Bathsheba, Nathan said, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. ’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” (2 Sam 12:10-12) From within his own house his own son Absalom turned against him and sinned against him grievously and now he has died a rather ignominious death in the forest.

David is overcome with grief (18:33). It’s the cry of a father who did not have a good relationship with his son. It’s a cry of anguish that I have seen many times when a son has died and the dad’s know they had not been the best of fathers to them. It’s a reminder to us fathers of sons to do all we can to love them as God loves us and to stay close to them, at least as close as possible. Start as early as you can but it’s also never too late to start.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for my son. Help me to love him as you love me as your son. Help me to show him your love and faithfulness in all that I do. Help all the fathers of sons in our church to demonstrate your steadfast love in all they do.