1804.) 2 Samuel 10

March 31, 2016

2 Samuel 10   (NRSV)

The Ammonites and Arameans Are Defeated

This chapter on the war with Ammon gives the reader background to the next story, which deals with David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah.

Some time afterward, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him. 2David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent envoys to console him concerning his father.

When David’s envoys came into the land of the Ammonites, 3the princes of the Ammonites said to their lord Hanun, “Do you really think that David is honoring your father just because he has sent messengers with condolences to you? Has not David sent his envoys to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” 4So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half the beard of each, cut off their garments in the middle at their hips, and sent them away.

The insult of the half-beards and half-bottoms is avenged — illustration by Barbara Griffiths

Humiliating and insulting.  Particularly in the East in ancient times, a man’s beard was considered his finest ornament.  Slaves were clean shaven, but a free man pledged oaths by his beard.

5When David was told, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

Jericho had remained almost empty since the time of Joshua.  It was not rebuilt until Ahab’s reign (1 Kings 16:34).  There the men can heal in privacy.

6When the Ammonites saw that they had become odious to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, twenty thousand foot soldiers, as well as the king of Maacah, one thousand men, and the men of Tob, twelve thousand men.

7When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army with the warriors. 8The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the gate; but the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the open country.

The Ammonites in front and the Arameans behind.  Doesn’t look good . . .

9When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the picked men of Israel, and arrayed them against the Arameans; 10the rest of his men he put in the charge of his brother Abishai, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11He said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12Be strong, and let us be courageous for the sake of our people, and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him.”

Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

13So Joab and the people who were with him moved forward into battle against the Arameans; and they fled before him. 14When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites, and came to Jerusalem.

15But when the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the Euphrates; and they came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head.

17When it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Arameans arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18The Arameans fled before Israel; and David killed of the Arameans seven hundred chariot teams, and forty thousand horsemen, and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19When all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel, and became subject to them.

When King David fights with his mighty men, God blesses them with victory. This should encourage David to be with his army at their battle sites (not lolling around in Jerusalem . . .).

So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.



HERE.  “Our God Is Greater”  by Chris Tomlin.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
God vs. enemies.    https://himalayanmind.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/untitled.jpg
Griffiths.    http://www.barbaragriffiths.com/images/bod/griffiths_bod_12.jpg
weight lifting man.    http://exercisemenu.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/weightlifting-svg-hi.png

1803.) 2 Samuel 9

March 30, 2016

“The Invitation” by Morgan Weistling

2 Samuel 9   (NRSV)

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

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

In 1 Samuel 7 David asked, “What can I do for God?” and he proposed to build a temple for the Lord. Now David asks another question we should each ask: “What can I do for others?”
–David Guzik

2Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

And he said, “At your service!”

3The king said, “Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?”

To whom can I show “the kindness of God” today?



“If We Are the Body”  by Casting Crowns  HERE  puts the question even more directly.


Ziba said to the king, “There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.”

The day that King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle, the nurse picked up Mephibosheth and ran with him, since the usual practice for new kings was to kill the family members of the former king. In her haste, the nurse tripped and dropped the child.  (See 2 Samuel 4:4.)

4The king said to him, “Where is he?”

Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.”

We will see Machir son of Ammiel become a strong supporter of King David.

5Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. 6Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth!”

He answered, “I am your servant.”

7David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan;

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.”

8He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?”

9Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him, and shall bring in the produce, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat; but your master’s grandson Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)

11Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.”

Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s servants. 13Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

Luke 14:15 (NLT)

Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Weistling.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/the-invitation-zoom.jpg
David assures Mephibosheth.    http://lh5.ggpht.com/_4c4oIkGB8K0/ScGBkrQp58I/AAAAAAAACPU/sLT6BTK73bI/ShababChristian+The+United+Kingdom-14.jpg
banquet.    http://www.evangile-et-peinture.org/

1802.) 1 Chronicles 18

March 29, 2016

Chapters 18, 19, and 20 show David the Victorious Warrior! By his military successes he achieves peace for the kingdom of Israel.

1 Chronicles 18 (NLT)

David’s Military Victories

1 After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. 2David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.

David’s great-grandmother on his father’s side was Ruth, a Moabite.

3 David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.

5 When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6 Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

7 David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem,

a model of the ceremonial gold shield of Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character in Homer’s “Iliad”

8 along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.

One needed two things to build the temple: security and money. These chapters show how David, though he could not build the temple himself, obtained the security and money necessary for his son to build the temple.

–David Guzik

“In view of the desire of the king to build the Temple of God, the chapter is of special interest; it shows how in these wars he was amassing treasure with that purpose in view, not for himself, but for his son.”

–F. B. Meyer (1847-1929; British evangelist and friend of D. L. Moody)

9 When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.

11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.

Now David has taken pretty much ALL of the land that God had promised long ago to Abraham and to his descendants!

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.


David’s cabinet, if you will. We never find such a list regarding the organization of King Saul’s government. This is because David’s government had much more form and structure than Saul’s.

There is a limit to what we can be and what we can do for the Lord without order and organization. It isn’t that order and organization are requirements for progress in the Christian life; they are progress in the Christian life, becoming more like the Lord.

Nothing is accomplished in God’s kingdom without order and organization. While it may seem so to us, it is only an illusion — behind the scenes God is moving with utmost order and organization though sometimes we cannot see it.

–David Guzik



HERE   is a song I remember from long ago — “Faith Is the Victory.” But it is sung in Xhosa (the language of the second largest ethnic group in South Africa after the Zulus) by Sonwabo Gila. Start practicing now for the choir in heaven singing in many tongues!

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.


Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwinds breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.


On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.


To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be given.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heaven.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conquering Name.



New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Lights, camera, action.     http://dsdtglobal.com/images/Bollywood_Lights_Camera_Action.gif
Ruth and Boaz.     http://creativedreamers.com/Gallery/ruth%2Bboaz-web.jpg
gold shield.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/achilles-gold-shield.png
teamwork.     http://febird.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/teamwork.jpg

1801.) Ten Thoughts about Easter

March 28, 2016

Easter. alleluia

Christ Is Risen!  Alleluia!

“Think on these things.”

TTR grave cloths

“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

~Timothy Keller


Easter. I am the res

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?”

~John 11:25-26


"The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulcher on the Morning of the Resurrection" by Eugène Burnand, c.1898.

“The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulcher on the Morning of the Resurrection” by Eugène Burnand, c.1898.

“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.”

~Brennan Manning


"Women at the Tomb" by He Qi.

“Women at the Tomb” by He Qi.

“Life [had] replaced logic.”

~Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment


"Guards at the tomb of Christ" drawing by J. R. Howley, 2011.

“Guards at the tomb of Christ” drawing by J. R. Howley, 2011.

“Perhaps [the critics are right and] the drama is played out now and Jesus is safely dead and buried. Perhaps. It is ironical and entertaining to consider that at least once in the world’s history those words might have been said with complete conviction, and that was on the eve of the Resurrection.”

~Dorothy L. Sayers


"Christ on the Cross" by Sir Anthony van Dyke, 1627.

“Christ on the Cross” by Sir Anthony van Dyke, 1627.

“The Bible says he was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so perfect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.”

~John Piper


TTR Easter-cross-daybreak

There are times when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause, but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!

~Madeleine L’Engle


TTR empty tomb

Today is the day of salvation for the world… Christ is risen from the dead: arise with him. Christ returns to himself: you also must return to him. Christ has come forth from the tomb: free yourselves from the fetters of evil. The gates of hell are open and the power of death is destroyed. The old Adam is superseded, the new perfected. In Christ a new creation is coming to birth: renew yourselves.

~Gregory Nazianzen


TTR two-spring-leaves

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.  
~Martin Luther


TTR joy

“Now let the heavens be joyful,
Let earth her song begin:
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein;
Invisible and visible,
Their notes let all things blend,
For Christ the Lord is risen
Our joy that hath no end.”
~John of Damascus




“Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, performed  HERE  by the Royal Choral Society.  You are cordially invited to sing along!


Images courtesy of:
Alleluia!    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/alleluia.gif
empty grave clothes.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/emptytomb.jpg
I am the resurrection.    https://everythingforhisglory.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/whiterosejohn11.jpg?w=625
Burnand.    http://www.artbible.info/images/grafspoed_grt.jpg
He Qi.    http://auroratrinitylutheran.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/womenatthetomb.jpg
Howley.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/guards.jpg
van Dyke.    http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/13/1347/UGCS000Z/posters/sir-anthony-van-dyck-christ-on-the-cross-1627.jpg
cross at sunrise.   https://illinoisaxiom.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/eastercross.jpg
empty tomb.    http://media.photobucket.com/user/clchco/media/emptytomb1.jpg.html?filters[term]=stone rolled away&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=1
spring leaves.    http://wallpaperstock.net/two-spring-leaves_wallpapers_11823_1024x768_1.html
JOY.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/ttr-joy.jpg?w=450

1800.) Good Friday from the prophet Isaiah

March 25, 2016
"The Beautiful Mess" painting by Daniel Bonnell (Woodland Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN)

“The Beautiful Mess” painting by Daniel Bonnell (Woodland Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN)

Isaiah 53 (NLT)


The sky peels back to purple
and thunder slaps the thighs of heaven,
and all the tears of those who grieve
fly up to clouds and are released
and drench the earth.
The ones who see and hear
that all is lost.
The only One named Savior
upon a cross.
The ones who believed and loved
huddle together
All night long
the angels weep.

–Ann Weems



Samuel Barber wrote “Adagio for Strings” in 1938 as part of a work for string quartet;  he then transcribed it for voices in 1947 as a setting for the “Agnus Dei.”  Performed  HERE  by The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.


1 Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

"Christ on the Cross" oil on canvas by El Greco, 1577.

“Christ on the Cross” oil on canvas by El Greco, 1577.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.

Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
–Isaac Watts

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
and love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
When Christ, the Mighty maker, died
for his own creatures’ sins.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear Cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.

But tears of grief can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away–
‘tis all that I can do.

6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

Romans 5:12-15 (NLT)

When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.  Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.  Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.

Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come.  But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

"The Entombment" oil on wood by Raphael, 1507 (Gallerai Borghese, Rome)

“The Entombment” oil on wood by Raphael, 1507 (Gallerai Borghese, Rome)

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.

John 10:14-18 (NLT)

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

“Fix your mind on the mercy of God,
His love for us,
and all that He suffered for our sake.”

–Teresa of Avila


Images courtesy of:
Bonnell.    http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/the-beautiful-mess-daniel-bonnell.jpg
El Greco.    http://www.artnet.com/magazine_pre2000/news/tully/tully209.asp
crown of thorns.    http://eardstapa.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/crown-of-thorns.jpg
1 + 3 = 4.   http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z5yfMgiXL._SL500_SS500_.jpg
Raphael.    http://www.abcgallery.com/R/raphael/raphael26.html
Good Shepherd icon.    http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj152/toulasmom/GoodShepherd.jpg
heart.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/heartlou.jpg

1799.) 2 Samuel 8

March 24, 2016

map of nations defeated by King David

2 Samuel 8   (NRSV)

David’s Wars

Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; David took Metheg-ammah (that is, Gath, Goliath’s hometown) out of the hand of the Philistines.

2He also defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length for those who were to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

David’s conquests are laid end to end — illustration by Barbara Griffiths

To explain David’s cruel act, Jewish tradition asserts that the king of Moab had killed David’s parents, who had been entrusted to his care (1 Samuel 22:4).

3David also struck down King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to restore his monument at the river Euphrates.

The border of Israel was carried to the Euphrates River, so that promise made by God to Abraham was fulfilled:

Genesis 15:18   (NLT)

So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River.”

4David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for a hundred chariots.

Perhaps not as cruel as it sounds. It may have been there were simply too many horses for them to take care of while on a military campaign.

5When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. 6Then David put garrisons among the Arameans of Damascus; and the Arameans became servants to David and brought tribute. The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

7David took the gold shields that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8From Betah and from Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a great amount of bronze.

9When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to greet him and to congratulate him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. Now Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze; 11these also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah.

13David won a name for himself. When he returned, he killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

David now rules over a vast territory, from the Euphrates in the northeast to the Egyptian border in the southwest. The honor for this success is given to God.

Psalm 115:1   (NIV)

Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

David’s Officers


15So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

No great ruler succeeds by himself. Only the smallest organizations are governed well without a gifted and committed team. Part of David’s success as a ruler was found in his ability to assemble, train, empower, and maintain such a team.

–David Guzik



All these battles and wars!  How grateful I am that we serve a King who is victorious!

HERE  is “Lead On, O King Eternal” — arrangement by Diane Bish;  Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (FL) Chancel Choir, with Bish on the organ.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
map.    http://www.bible-history.com/maps/Map-of-Nations-Defeated-byDavid.gif
Griffiths.    http://www.barbaragriffiths.com/images/bod/griffiths_bod_11.jpg
teamwork.    http://www.salajka.com/johnny/TeamworkProject/teamwork-games.jpg

1798.) 1 Chronicles 17

March 23, 2016

“Dreaming of Ancient Israel” by Eva Deutsch Costabel, 2007.

1 Chronicles 17 (NLT)

The Lord’s Covenant Promise to David

subtitled:  Who will build God’s house?

1When David was settled in his palace, he summoned Nathan the prophet. “Look,” David said, “I am living in a beautiful cedar palace, but the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant is out there under a tent!”

an example of the cedars of Lebanon

Remember — David’s neighbor, King Hiram of Tyre, had sent him cedar, a highly valued wood. Evidently that had been used to build a palace for David and his many wives and children. But it is weighing now on David, and he is distressed with the gap between his lovely home and the simple tent in which God’s Name dwells. David wants to build a temple for the Lord.

Learn about a discovery believed (by some, not by others) to be the ancient palace of King David!  Very interesting!  Click HERE.

2 Nathan replied to David, “Do whatever you have in mind, for God is with you.”

3 But that same night God said to Nathan,

4 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord has declared: You are not the one to build a house for me to live in. 5 I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle. 6 Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s leaders, the shepherds of my people. I have never asked them, “Why haven’t you built me a beautiful cedar house?”’
7 “Now go and say to my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I took you from tending sheep in the pasture and selected you to be the leader of my people Israel. 8 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before your eyes. Now I will make your name as famous as anyone who has ever lived on the earth! 9 And I will provide a homeland for my people Israel, planting them in a secure place where they will never be disturbed. Evil nations won’t oppress them as they’ve done in the past, 10 starting from the time I appointed judges to rule my people Israel. And I will defeat all your enemies.
“‘Furthermore, I declare that the Lord will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings! 11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong. 12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me.

But God has a different idea. David will not build a house for God. Instead, God will build a house, a dynasty, for David! God is the architect of David’s legacy and his kingdom. And a son (Solomon) will build the actual temple.

And I will secure his throne forever. 13 I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my favor from him as I took it from the one who ruled before you. 14 I will confirm him as king over my house and my kingdom for all time, and his throne will be secure forever.’”

“Root of Jesse” by German artist Walter Habdank.

The family of David did rule over Israel for more than four centuries, but was eventually removed because of evil added upon evil. Yet out of the “stump” of Jesse, God raised up a new branch that would reign for ever and ever (Isaiah 11:1-2).

–David Guzik



HERE  is “All Hail, King Jesus!” by Dave Moody.  I like the five titles that are listed for the One whose name is high and lifted up!


15 So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said in this vision.

David’s Prayer of Thanks

16Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed,

“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great, O Lord God!
18 “What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. 19 For the sake of your servant, O Lord, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.

David is in awe of the greatness of God and amazed that God would so elevate him. He has come to appreciate that to ask God to do according to his word is better than to act precipitately according to his own perceptions, even if highly intentioned. Of course, we must always ultimately act on the basis of our perceptions. But they must be informed, and transformed, by unremitting exposure to the word of God.

–J. G. McConville

20 “O Lord, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God.

David has also come to see that God is not only his God, but the God of all Israel — and not just for now, but forever. Of course, “forever” presupposes obedience! God made that clear in 1 Samuel 2:30 — “Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me will be lightly esteemed.” For the Israelites and for us, choices have consequences!

23 “And now, O Lord, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever. 24 And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
25 “O my God, I have been bold enough to pray to you because you have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him—a dynasty of kings! 26 For you are God, O Lord. And you have promised these good things to your servant. 27 And now, it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, so that it will continue forever before you. For when you grant a blessing, O Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”


New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Costabel.     http://static1.squarespace.com/static/555377c0e4b0a9ac7391ad7a/55ba6a96e4b070f0b987334a/55ba6a9de4b0acc4176151a8/1438280350941/5e00853e0f12433485f218508e52caf8.JPG?format=750w
cedars of Lebanon.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/cedar_of_lebanon_1.jpg
Habdank.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/root-of-jesse1.jpg
Thank You, God.     http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lj21hjeCB61qeax09o1_250.jpg