April 24

Luke 19:28-48

In verse 44, Jesus says, “YOU DID NOT KNOW THE TIME OF YOUR VISITATION.” For this reason, Jerusalem would be destroyed, their precious temple torn down, families separated and dispersed, Jews scattered around the world, and many killed, including children. Why? Because the Jews did not recognize their Savior, their Messiah, when He came to sacrifice His life for them.

This rejection and dispersing of the Jews around the world was prophesied through many prophets. However, it was also prophesied that the nations would be gathered in. It was also prophesied that the Jews would be gathered to Jerusalem again in the end.

In 2018, Israel celebrated 70 years of independence as a nation. Are we discerning the times in which we are living? Do we see that God is establishing the Jews in their land? Do we see that Jews are returning to this land? Do we see that Israel is prospering in their land?

Is this a coincidence that the land would simply be given to Israel in 1948? No.
Was it by their own strength that they fought and won over their enemy is six days? No.
Is it by their own ability that Jews are accomplishing great things as a nation? No.

Jesus is coming back.

Prophesies point to a covenant confirmed between the Jews and other nations that will be at the beginning of a final seven years. Israel must be a viable nation in order for that prophesy to come to pass. They are being prepared.

Prophecy states that the abomination of desolation will remove worship for the nation, which tells us there has to be worship and a nation in place before the prophecy can be fulfilled. This is a time of preparation for Israel.

Nations are growing in hatred of the Jews, surrounded by enemies and terrorist groups. There is much, much conflict that will come to a head. The Bible tells us that Jerusalem will be a key player in the conflict. It is being set up now.

Everything will happen according to prophecy, the Hebrew forefathers. Everything will come into place in God’s timing.

Will we have spiritual discernment? Will we help pray? Will we help prepare? Will we do our best to help build the kingdom of God?

2 Samuel 10-12

David continues to be at war, establishing dominance for Israel over her enemies. In chapter 10, we see Joab, a military general, surrounded with Ammonites on one side of them and Syrians on the other. Joab says, “Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may THE LORD DO what is good in HIS SIGHT.” He wasn’t doubting that God would fight for them, but Joab was leaning on the Lord for HOW He would bring the victory.

God doesn’t always bring the victory the same way, or with the same methods, so we need to lean on Him. If God did everything the same way every time, then we wouldn’t have to look to Him. Oh, but Joab knew. He was in a tight place, surrounded on all sides. David was also part of the battle from his location, actively participating in war, fulfilling part of his purpose to care for the sheep of Israel.

In chapter 11, we see that David is home in spring, when kings go out to battle. David has always activity participated in the fight for Israel; however, this time he was at home. He had stepped away from his purpose.

When David was misaligned with his purpose, he failed. He was not relying on the Lord in obedience, which led to even further sin. He took another man’s wife, got her pregnant, then had the husband killed in battle to hide the sin.

David had multiple wives and concubines. He could have been with any of them, but David wanted something outside of God’s sphere for his life.

David knew Bathsheba belonged to someone else, someone that served underneath the care of this shepherd of Israel. David understand the marriage covenant, and he personally knew the man he was taking from. David’s was Uriah’s boss, his military leader.

In addition, David was the king, in authority over Bathsheba. When the king called for Bathsheba, she had to come. His authority over her was definitely in play here.

Furthermore, as far as we know, this was Bathsheba’s first pregnancy. Knowing that Hebrews married as teenagers, Bathsheba could have been a teen herself. David was most likely much older than her. He was also a strong man of war, overpowering a young girl. She was at a disadvantage.

We don’t know what went through Bathsheba’s mind. I’ve heard people criticize Bathsheba, making her out to be whorish for bathing on the roof or for not crying out for help as someone being raped. Bathing on the roof at night, when people were not around, was a custom, so I’m not sure that criticism is valid. Feeling at a disadvantage and dominated by authority could have caused her to keep quiet, so I can’t say I that judgment is valid either. The idea that David’s roof was higher than hers, knowing that people bathed at night – to me, is illustrative of the king’s dominance over her. Why was he on his roof at night, looking at other roofs? Why then did he send servants to bring her in? He didn’t go for her himself; he had people to do that for him.

In 11:27, it says that “the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.” If you have ever been sexually, verbally, or physically manipulated or abused, please have the confidence that the abuse displeases the Lord. Too often we hear from adults who were abused as children talk about blaming God for not intervening and stopping the abuse; however, people, like David, make choices. God has given us all a free will, allowing us to make choices, even sinful choices.

In 12:23, the prophet says that David did more than sin against the victim, Uriah, and the people of Israel, but he sinned against God.

As a leader, we also see that David did not only defile Bathsheba and himself, and murder an innocent man; but he also, as a leader, gave the opposing nations occasion to blaspheme the name of God. God wanted to reach the nations through Israel, but countless lives were instead turned away from putting their trust in Jehovah.

In 12:10, God said, “YOU HAVE DESPISED ME.” David’s actions – not going to war, having an affair with a married women, killing her husband – all of it was seen by God as acts of devaluing HIM as David’s love and David’s authority.

David, as an adulterer and a murderer, according to Mosaic law, should have been stoned to death. However, God said He would show mercy on David and his house. David repented, crying out to God for forgiveness, as we can read in Psalm 51. There was a consequence; the child conceived with Bathsheba died. Another consequence was trouble in his house, which we see later on a couple of occasions, including his son, Absalom. However, David accepted the consequence, mourned, then washed his face and worshipped. Later, he and Bathsheba have a son, Solomon, who inherits the throne and is include in Jesus’ bloodline.

Thank God for His mercy. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. God loves us all, no matter what we have done. God’s desire is to forgive, heal, and restore our broken places. The difference between David and Saul? David was humble. He repented. He turned around. This should encourage us to humble ourselves. Humility is a choice we make, not something God forces us to do. It’s a choice we make, not a feeling we feel. Sometimes we have to lay our emotions aside and do the right thing, no matter how we feel.

An additional lesson we see here is that David mourned, washed his face, and he had another baby. Whenever there have been disappointments in my life or in ministry, this example encourages me to keep moving forward in my calling and my purpose. Whether I made the mistake or someone else made the mistake, we have to stay humble and keep moving. When people quit things, it’s often because they don’t mourn, they don’t wash their face, or they decide to stop having babies. Let’s learn from David and live our lives in the mercy and grace of God, leading us to repentance and obedience through everything we experience in this life.

One more thing, I have a sign in my office that says, “We’re all just walking each other home.” Whenever we fail or someone fails us, let’s try to reconcile here. However, we’re imperfect, and sometimes people cut themselves off from us. We must remember that one day we will all be together as one family in heaven. We may miss it here, but one day there will be a great reconciliation. The things of earth will grow dim, and we will reunite in the light of His glory and grace. Let’s turn our eyes on Jesus!

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