It's Leader Day for the women's ministry at my church. It's a time for the bible study leaders and other leaders in the women's ministry at both campuses to come together and build one another up so that we can go back to the ladies and shine the light back to them....continue reading "Leader Day 2021"
Continuing through the bible chronologically and working through the Psalms aligned with I Chronicles and the assigned gatekeepers, the Sons of Korah....continue reading "Of The Sons of Korah (Psalm 46)"
As mentioned in previous posts, I am working my way through the Old Testament chronologically and am in I Chronicles. So, following chapter 26 on the organization of the Temple gatekeepers are Psalms by the Sons of Korah. Korah is one of two families assigned to the gatekeeper responsibilities. Below is a closer look at two of these Sons of Korah "gatekeeper: Psalms 42 and 43....continue reading "Of The Sons of Korah (Psalms 42-43)"
July 9, 2020
I'm trying to read through the Old Testament chronologically and I am in the book of I Chronicles. I had, what I consider, a substantial insight yesterday about David and his obsession with God's Temple; but ran out of time before I could explore it. It's been on my mind and I want to try and capture my thoughts, as they can be quite fleeting....continue reading "David Pursues the King of Glory"
In my work, I get to work on different projects each year. One of the projects I am working on this year is a digital game in which the player runs a business. It is replacing a predecessor that was notoriously buggy and it's off to an inauspicious beginning itself. We are beta testing (8 weeks behind schedule) and the math and game logic is deeply flawed. We've brought in a specialist to help fix the algorithms and logic and the more I hear in these meetings with the expert the more I understand just have flawed the math is.
The reason this work-related problem has made it to the blog is that the game is haunting me. Because this game is related to business and accounting, I have always been intimidated by it. I always felt that the project would have been better served by someone else sitting in my seat. Someone better skilled and gifted in these areas. But I have relied heavily on the experts to do the parts I cannot....continue reading "The Business of Life"
The Song of David
Almost identical to Psalm 18, this is David's song after being delivered from his enemies and King Saul. I'm not clear if this is upon Saul's death, or after the grieving process in which he wrote a nice song about Saul?
He praises the character of God that could save him. And he points out that he asked and was saved.He points out how severe the situation was and how close to death. Then reiterates that he cried out for deliverance and the Lord heard and shook the earth....continue reading "II Samuel 22"
The Gibeonites were the people in Canaan who tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them. They pretended to be from far out where the Lord didn't require complete extermination, so Joshua made a deal with them. In exchange they ended up being workers for Israel.
But this puts them in a position to expect protection from Israel, not attack....continue reading "II Samuel 21 (Wiersbe)"
I've been dreading this chapter. David has been so great until now.
I learned in college that American Literature invented or greatly expanded the idea of a flawed hero. Previously, heroes, by definition, were "perfect" or ideal characters to whom we should admire and emulate. Greek and Roman adventures and warriors who showed us courage, wit, strength, and valor, even when they were losing, they were still winning.
Then along comes the settling of the American West and cowboys and Indians and bank robbers and somehow, America started to have a soft spot for characters who did some bad things but had the "hooker with a heart of gold" soft spot that, ultimately, led them to do the right thing and save the day.
Now that's how we like our heroes. Not perfect. Approachable. Maybe you would even enjoy getting a beer with one of them. Who wants to have a beer with a larger than life Greek hero. We're the country of throwing off the binds of the monarchy and manifest destiny...we don't abide snooty, perfect heroes.
I am particularly prone to this genre. I love Mitch Rapp, Jack Ryan's darker counterpart, John Clark/Kelly, The Grey Man. Orphan X. If they have a sad childhood story and shoot the bad guys...I'm in.
There is, however, a serious flaw with the flawed hero. I think we love these guys (and sometimes, but rarely women) because we want to believe there is a hero out there who, like the kryptonite-sensitive, love-sick, and vulnerable Superman, will fly in at save the day.
See the problem? We want to be...saved. We know in our hearts that there is evil in this world and that a lot of it is stronger than we are. There are bad men (and sometimes women) who are plotting and scheming to take things from us, to hurt or even kill us, to make us feel helpless. For kids it can be a vague fear of the bogey man; but then we grow up and some people fear the government, others fear big corporations, or certain types of people, some fear diseases, or money-related problems. Some know that all of the evil comes from the enemy of God.
And the truth is...they're all correct to be afraid to one degree or another. All of those things can be very real and very scary, bringing great pain, tragedy, and harm to our lives. So we were correct all along. We. Do. Need. A. Savior.
The problem is...the FLAWED hero is just as big of a myth as the classic. perfect hero. Our longing for a hero is real and should drive us to the only savior that can actual save us. Jesus Christ.
C.S. Lewis makes the point in several of his books that we can't long for anything that doesn't exist somewhere. And the longing for peace and safety and security and provision and health and happiness is a longing for paradise lost, as we live in this fallen world. Jesus is the way God designed to restore us to what was lost, but it has to be on His terms- through Faith in Him.
That's the real flaw in the flawed hero. The fallen actually cannot save the fallen. And that's what we want. The flawed hero IS approachable. We could buy him a beer after his next big adventure saving the world. But he actually cannot fight the bogey man, or pay the bills, or fight cancer, or any of our personal battles.
And that brings me to David. I kept stalling from starting the chapter and I didn't know why. It's because David has been such a fun hero to read about. A man after God's own heart, slaying his ten thousand, but refusing to slay the man trying to kill him in obedience to God. He's been flawed, but in, relatively minor ways. But now David is about to fall and fall hard taking with him the idolatry I have in my heart for men who can save us without having to kneel our (my) rebellious heart and cry out to the only one who can really save me. Jesus.
Jesus, I'm sorry I'm still on the trail looking for heroes to save me when you already have. You're all I need and all I want and I am so disappointed to find such a rebellious heart every time I turn a corner. I long for the day that my worship of you is incorruptible because of the work you have done for me by suffering and dying on the cross.
The good news is David is an archetype of Jesus in many ways. So I can keep looking for those and waiting for the day of Jesus, crying out to him alone to save me.
And...now I have to go do taxes, so I'm still only on verse one of the chapter. 🙂
David asked if there was anyone left in the house of Saul for whom he could show kindness of God for Jonathan's sake. I get the impression that he had settled the military issues, got the government underway, had his house, relatively, in order and had some time to think and missed his dear friend, Jonathan, with whom is was going to co-rule. I'm reading into that, of course.
David brought in a servant of Saul's and found out the Jonathan had a son, crippled in both feet. David brought him to the house and called him by name, Mephibosheth fell on his face before David.
David told him not to worry and assured him that he, David, would show him kindness (for Jonathan's sake), restore the land that belonged to Saul, and share his meal table regularly.
Mephiboseth, again, fell on his face and asked why David would regard him like this. He called himself a dead dog. Then David assigned Saul's servant, Ziba, and Ziba's 15 sons, and Ziba's 20 servants to work Saul's former land and property and to bring in the harvest, even though Mephibosheth would most often be with David.
Mephibosheth ate at King David table, as one of his sons.
Mephibosheth had a son, named Mica.
Ryrie footnotes point out that the word "kindness: in verse 1 is the Hebrew word "Hesed" It means loyal love. The footnote references another footnote in Hosea 2 that talks about it being a love of belonging together. This would support my early theory that once David's life settled down, he missed his friend and wanted to know if there was any part of Jonathan left to belong with.
There's a lot here to unpack and I don't know if I would have caught it by myself, but I heard a message about this chapter at the women's retreat last summer.
- David and Jonathan had a covenant with one another and although it may have ended with Jonathan's death, David felt the need to pursue it. Our speaker this summer asked if we had any covenants in our life that needed tending to and I thought of my commitment to be the God Mother to my nieces and nephew. I didn't totally know what that meant at the tie, beyond being flattered; but now feel the weight of sharing in the spiritual journey.
- It also shows us grace. We live in a fallen world and all walk with a limp of one sort or another. We are all crippled apart from the King who showed us grace and made provision for us. Just like God said to Israel just across the Jordan: You'll live in houses you didn't build and you'll eat food you didn't grow. Don't forget who provides for you."