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Current study: Spiritual Warfare

05 May 2012

Week 18 Review

April 29 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalms 1-2; 33; 127; 132
April 30 2 Samuel 8-9; 1 Chronicles 18
May 1 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; Psalms 20; 53; 60; 75
May 2 Psalms 65-67; 69; 70
May 3 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20; Psalm 51
May 4 Psalms 32; 86; 102; 103; 122

What a week! We started by hearing God tell David that David is not going to build God’s house, but that God would build David’s house, and David’s son would  have the honor of building God’s house. Can you imagine hearing God say that God Himself would build for you? Did you know that He did promise to build you a house?

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 (KJV)

Jesus Himself promises to prepare a place for you if you have accepted Him as your Savior. Sometimes God’s grace astounds me. We receive salvation as a free gift – there’s absolutely nothing that you or I can do to earn our way into heaven. After that, Jesus, the One who voluntarily hung on a cross and died for me – for you – for the world, promised us that He was personally preparing a place for us!  What a God!

But I digress … God tells David that He will build David’s house, and David replies,

 “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 2 Sam 7:18 (ESV)

I have this verse laminated and placed on the inside of my door. Every time I leave my house, I am reminded of God’s love for me, and reminded that through all the struggles of my life, all the times that I have wrested control from God and made a mess, all the times that He’s rescued me, that He and He alone is responsible for bringing me along as far as I’ve come!

David is victorious (because of God) wherever he goes. When he finally gets back to the palace, he seeks out Jonathan’s son and brings him into his family, fulfilling the covenant he had made with Jonathan years before.

There was an interesting story in 2 Samuel 10. The Ammonite king died, and David sent emissaries to offer condolences. Hanun, the son of the dead king, thought that the emissaries were spies and cut of half their beards and clothes. What humiliation! David didn’t take that too well, and they battled. This eventually lead to the defeat of both the Ammonites and the Syrians, but before the war’s conclusion, we see the great sin of David.

David’s army was fighting the Ammonites when David “accidentally” saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof of a nearby house. Instead of turning his head, he looked … and he liked what he saw. He brought her to the palace and slept with her, and she became pregnant. Adultery was frowned upon in that day (contrasted to our day when we see daytime TV glorifying “who’s the daddy”) and David needed to cover his tracks. He orders Bathsheba’s husband Uriah back from the battlefield and tries to entice him to go home and sleep with Bathsheba so she could say the baby was hers.
Uriah acted similarly to David when The Three brought him the water from the well in Bethlehem. Instead of saying “woo hoo!” and going home to his lovely wife, Uriah stayed with his men (they apparently didn’t have similar privileges). This went on for a few days, and when it was obvious that Uriah wasn’t going to help David out, he was sent back to the battlefield with plans to kill him in battle.

After Uriah’s death, Nathan (a prophet) rebukes David and tells him that “the sword shall never depart from your house” and that his wives would be sexually humiliated in public. David’s sons Absalom, Amnon, and Adonijah would die by the sword. Before his death, Absalom had public sex with David’s concubines (2 Sam. 16:22).

Meanwhile, back at the palace… David’s son is born, and as promised, dies within the week. Sometime later, Solomon is born. This is the line through which the Messiah will be born.

Psalm 1 Happy men delight in God; wicked are chaff blown away in the wind. God watches over the righteous and the wicked are left to ruin.

Psalm 2 Why do people try to run away from God? why do the rulers revolt and try to harm the people of God? God laughs at them (4) and warns them to serve God with fear and to pay royal homage to the King.  Verse 7 is quoted in Acts 13:33 –

And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33  this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ Acts 13:32-33 (ESV)

Psalm 20 I love verses 1-5. This is a great passage to “pray through” as you speak to God about yourself, and what a wonderful passage to pray when you think of a friend. How would your life change if you thought of an enemy and chose to pray like this?

Dear Lord -- May the Lord answer _________in their day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect ______ today!  May You send ______ help that s/he needs from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!  May You grant _______ heart’s desire and fulfill all _______’s plans!  May we shout for joy over your salvation, _______, and in the name of our God set up our banners!  Psalms 20:1,  2, 4, 5 (altered)

Psalm 32 Only the forgiven are truly blessed. Confessing our sins is crucial for joyous living. Confess – don’t wait! God will give you instruction and correction. Don’t be stubborn. Admit your sins and accept God’s correction.

Psalm 33 Praise! Praise Him with music, righteous man! God is upright and just. He will bring all the nations to nothing and frustrate the plans of humans. God stands forever. God’s eye is on those who fear Him! God is our  refuge and shield.

Psalm 51 David’s song of repentance after his adultery with Bathsheba. We see God’s forgiveness, and if God can forgive both adultery and murder in David, ultimately using David’s seed to bring forth Jesus Christ, is there any sin that you have that’s too big for God to forgive? Verse 16-17 remind us that outward worship is unimportant. It’s what’s on the inside – our broken and contrite heart – that matters to God.

Psalm 53 We are all corrupt, but only the fool says, “There is no God”.

Psalm 60 Prayer for the nation during war. God speaks: Gilead, Manasseh, Ephriam, Judah, Moab, Edom, Philista – MINE! With God, we will be victorious: He will tread down our foes.

Psalm 65 Thanksgiving for a fruitful harvest (and for the blessing He pours out to us each day). God is faithful and due all praise.

Psalm 66  Thanksgiving for answered prayer. Come near and let me tell you what God has done for my soul. He listens because I have not cherished iniquity in my heart. This is a reminder that God wants us to ask for forgiveness as a condition to answering our prayers (18-19).

Psalm 67  May God bless us so the nations can see His mighty acts and equitable judgments.

Psalm 70  Deliver me quickly, Lord! May all who love you say, “God is great” Don’t delay, God!

Psalm 73  Are you envious of those who seem to be more prosperous? This Psalm is for you! Although not all prosperous people are “wicked”, we see what prosperity can do to those who don’t place their faith in God. At the end of this Psalm, the writer has reconciled his position with God: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Don’t look enviously at prosperity – your true riches are in God!

Psalm 86  God, please listen to me and be gracious to me. I lift my soul to You, for You are steadfast. No one is like You. All the nations will eventually worship You. You are the only God. Teach me so I can walk in Your truth. I give thanks to You for rescuing me from hell. Men are against me and may even want to kill me, but You can protect me. Please be gracious – give me strength – show me a sign of Your favor.

Psalm 102 Why are troubles coming to me? Lord, please hear and answer. I am in trouble. My heart is withered; I can’t eat or sleep. My enemies taunt me. It’s recorded: You will look down, hear us, and set us free. You have no end and all future believers will dwell in You.

Psalm 103 Bless the Lord – don’t forget that He forgives, heals, redeems, crowns me with love and mercy, satisfies and renews my strength. He doesn’t deal with me as I deserve because of His steadfast love. He removes my transgressions as far as the east is from the west. He shows compassion, and He knows me (and loves me anyway). God endures forever and is righteous to those who keep His covenant.

Psalm 122 Let us go into the house of the Lord! We use this on Sunday to express our excitement at being in God’s house, but if you read the whole Psalm, God reminds us that His house is in Jerusalem. As Christians, we carry out “tabernacle worship” in our churches, of course, but God’s house is Jerusalem. This Psalm ends with a command.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! 7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” 8 For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good. Psalms 122:6-9 (ESV)

Psalm 127 If God isn’t the builder of our house (the Lord of our life), everything is vain!

Psalm 132 This Psalm outlines God’s covenant with David.  God has chosen Zion as His dwelling place forever. This covenant is not to be taken lightly! Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, who was rendered mute in his disbelief of the prophecy of John’s birth,  quoted this Psalm in the Benedictus (the prophecy he spoke after John’s birth):

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, 70  as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71  that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Luke 1:67-71 (ESV)

We’ve covered a lot of ground this week. We see that no matter the sin, God can forgive. We noticed that God wants a contrite heart more than a legalistic sacrifice. We learned that God doesn’t hear our prayers and requests if we haven’t confessed our sins. We see portions of the Psalms that are quoted to prove Jesus’ lineage. We find that Jerusalem is God’s home, and that he has claimed certain territories as His own. I have issued a personal challenge to pray a portion of Psalm 20 toward someone you don’t like so you can see how God can work in that person’s life – and in yours!

My memory verses this week will be Psalm 103:11-14. Which will you choose?

It’s hard to believe it’s May already, with the end of school coming soon and the hot days of summer not far away. In Florida, we start to think about hurricane season; in other parts of America we look for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. If you live in other parts of the world, summer may have different meanings for you.

What parts of summer are you most anticipating? Which parts fill you with dread? I’d really like to know!

For me, the anticipation of summer vegetables from the garden is most exciting. I plan to can many veggies to enjoy throughout the fall and winter. Because I live in Florida, I look to the Atlantic with some trepidation.

I pray that if you are in Florida, you are preparing appropriately for hurricane season. Don’t be one of the masses who find themselves in long lines, trying to buy anything they can as a storm approaches.

May the God of all glory bless you richly this week, and may we all pray for the peace of God’s home, Jerusalem.

See you next week.

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