Make me a channel of Your peace.

Kings and queens, prime ministers and presidents - what are we to say about them? Some say, "This one's good - and that one's not so good." Others say, "No! It's the other way round." No -one seems to be agree about what makes a good king, a good queen, a good prime minister, a …

Continue reading Make me a channel of Your peace.

Responding to God’s Word (9): O love that will not let me go / A new commandment I give unto you that you love one for another, as I have loved you.

David was greatly distressed... But David found strength in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6). David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1). Growing strong in the Lord is more than knowing about his love. It's, also, showing his love to …

Continue reading Responding to God’s Word (9): O love that will not let me go / A new commandment I give unto you that you love one for another, as I have loved you.

Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph - and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

Continue reading Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Revival broke out when God’s people returned to “the ancient paths” – “the good way.”

2 Samuel 21:19-23:3  You never know what’s going to happen next! There was repair work going on at the House of God (2 Samuel 22:5-6). It seemed so mundane. What happened next was certainly not mundane. Revival broke out! A book was found. It was ‘the Book of the Law’ (2 Samuel 22:8). The rediscovery …

Continue reading Revival broke out when God’s people returned to “the ancient paths” – “the good way.”

We start out well – and then something goes wrong.

Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 1:1-27 So often, Lord, we start out well – and, then, something goes wrong. Our heads go down. We lose our way. We fall away from You. Where does this spirit of defeat, this spirit of giving up, come from? – It comes from Satan. He sweeps …

Continue reading We start out well – and then something goes wrong.

A song of praise, a song which exalts the Lord, a song which gives glory to the Lord.

David sings his song to the Lord (2 Samuel 22:1-51). It’s a song of praise. It’s a song which exalts the Lord. It’s a song which gives glory to the Lord. At the heart of David’s song of praise, there’s a particularly rich section, which is full of precious statements concerning the Lord. * God’s way is perfect (2 Samuel 22:31). * Who is God but the Lord? (2 Samuel 22:32). * God arms me with strength (2 Samuel 22:33). * He makes my feet like those of a deer (2 Samuel 22:34). * He trains my hands for battle (2 Samuel 22:35). * You have given me the shield of Your salvation (2 Samuel 22:36). * You make a wide path for me to walk on so my feet do not slip (2 Samuel 22:37). These great verses jump out from the particular historical circumstances out of which David speaks. They speak to us as words which jump across the centuries. These words begin as David’s confession of faith. They become our confession of faith.

There’s a difference between human popularity and divine approval.

2 Samuel 14:1-15:12; Acts 5:12-42; Proverbs 14:15-24 There’s a difference between human popularity – “Absalom’s following kept on increasing” (2 Samuel 15:12) – and divine approval – “more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number” (Acts 5:14). A man can gain popularity because the people are gullible …

Continue reading There’s a difference between human popularity and divine approval.

There are things happening which bring great distress to the Lord’s people.

2 Samuel 13:1-39; Acts 4:23-5:11; Psalm 71:9-18 There are things happening which bring great distress to the Lord’s people. “When King David heard all this, he was furious… Ammon… had disgraced his sister Tamar” (2 Samuel 13:21-22). “Why do the nations rage … against the Lord and against His Anointed One” (Acts 4:25-26). “My enemies …

Continue reading There are things happening which bring great distress to the Lord’s people.

The child died, but the love of God did not cease.

 2 Samuel 11:1-12:31; Acts 4:1-22; Psalm 71:1-8 “David pleaded with God for the child”, born of his adultery with Bathsheba, but “the child died” (2 Samuel 12:18). David prayed that “the Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live” (2 Samuel 12:22). The child died, but the love of God did not …

Continue reading The child died, but the love of God did not cease.

Raised, with Christ, to eternal life

2 Samuel 7:1-8:18; Acts 2:22-47; Proverbs 14:5-14 “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went” (2 Samuel 8:14). The victory, given to Jesus, was a greater victory than any victory given by God to David. Concerning David, Scripture says, “David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day” (Acts 2:29). Concerning …

Continue reading Raised, with Christ, to eternal life

Jesus reigns – forever and ever.

2 Samuel 3:22-5:5; Acts 1:1-22; Psalms 69:13-28 David ascended to the throne of Israel – “they anointed David king over Israel” (2 Samuel 5:3). “He reigned for forty years” (2 Samuel 5:4). Jesus ascended “into heaven” (Acts 1:11), to the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. There, He reigns forever and ever. As we …

Continue reading Jesus reigns – forever and ever.

Listening to God and speaking for him (Travelling Through God’s Word: 1 and 2 Samuel)

1 and 2 Samuel In 1 Samuel 3, we read about the boy, Samuel, responding to the call of God: "Speak, for your servant is listening." Towards the end of 2 Samuel,, we read these words of David, "The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His word is on my tongue." If we are …

Continue reading Listening to God and speaking for him (Travelling Through God’s Word: 1 and 2 Samuel)

How are we to die? Dying in shame, or dying in glory?

2 Samuel 16:15-18:18; Acts 7:20-43; Psalm 72:1-20 How are we to die? This is an important question. There’s a difference between dying in shame and dying in glory. The death of Absalom (2 Samuel 18) is a shameful death. The death of Stephen (Acts 7) is a glorious triumph. Stephen’s death is preceded by a …

Continue reading How are we to die? Dying in shame, or dying in glory?

When everything seems to be getting out of control

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we have words that are very encouraging and very empowering: The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and a sound mind (or self-disicipline). We come to God with our fears. He comes to us with his love. We come to God in our weakness. He …

Continue reading When everything seems to be getting out of control

‘Paul Planted, Apollos Watered, But God Gave The Growth.’

2 Samuel 19:40-20:26 ‘The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel’(43). At the heart of all this conflict was Sheba. He was a real trouble-maker. ‘A worthless fellow’, he was up to no good. A complainer, he wreaked havoc among God’s people. He was out to …

Continue reading ‘Paul Planted, Apollos Watered, But God Gave The Growth.’

‘My Grace Is Sufficient For You, For My Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness.’

2 Samuel 1:1-27 ‘How are the mighty fallen!’(19,25,27). The tragedy of Saul was there for all to see. He had made a right mess of things! What are we to think when we read of this tragic figure? He started out so well. He ended so badly. There were high hopes - but it all …

Continue reading ‘My Grace Is Sufficient For You, For My Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness.’

The Name of Jesus Christ is the Name of our salvation.

More notes can be found at my One Year Bible blog. 2 Samuel 11:1-12:31; Acts 4:1-22; Psalm 71:1-8 “David pleaded with God for the child”, born of his adultery with Bathsheba, but “the child died” (2 Samuel 12:18). David prayed that “the Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live” (2 Samuel 12:22). The …

Continue reading The Name of Jesus Christ is the Name of our salvation.

Keep on believing that there will be a breakthrough – from the Lord.

2 Samuel 4:1-5:25 ‘…They came into the house… and slew him…’(4:7). What are we to make of this kind of thing? - ‘What’s the world coming to?’ Where’s it all going to end?’ It is difficult to maintain real faith in the Lord when this kind of thing is going on. What are we to …

Continue reading Keep on believing that there will be a breakthrough – from the Lord.

‘Christ Died For Sins, Once For All, The Righteous For The Unrighteous, To Bring You To God.’

2 Samuel 18:1-33 Some die young. Others live to a ripe old age. None of us can predict what lies ahead of us. There are some things that are beyond our control. We look at what is happening and we say, ‘I wish things could be different’. Absalom had been killed. David wished he could …

Continue reading ‘Christ Died For Sins, Once For All, The Righteous For The Unrighteous, To Bring You To God.’

What happens when God hears and answers prayer?

2 Samuel 20:1-21:22; Acts 8:1-40; Proverbs 14:25-35 “God answered prayer on behalf of the land” (2 Samuel 21:14). At the heart of all the confusion of many events involving the nations, there is God – the God who hears and answers prayer. What happens when God hears and answers prayer? – People hear and believe …

Continue reading What happens when God hears and answers prayer?

What Is More Important To You – Your Own Reputation Or The Glory Of God?

2 Samuel 16:1-23 What is more important to you - your own reputation or the glory of God? ‘Curse David’- This was the last thing David wanted to hear. It may, however, have been what he needed to hear. Here, we see David’s true spiritual stature. This was not a ‘feel good’ message. David recognized …

Continue reading What Is More Important To You – Your Own Reputation Or The Glory Of God?

Are we trying to impress other people? or Are we seeking to please God?

"Appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have" (1 Samuel 8:5). Why did the people of Israel want to have a king? - They wanted to be like "all the other nations." Why do we do the things that we do? Are we trying to impress other people? or Are …

Continue reading Are we trying to impress other people? or Are we seeking to please God?

We walk by faith – not by sight.

In 2 Samuel 15-16, we have a very human story. It’s just like our life today. We read it, and we think about our own life. We ask, “Where is the Lord in all of this?” We need to maintain the Lord’s priorities. We need to keep “God’s ark”, His Word, among us, seek His favour and honour His servants   (2 Samuel 15:25; 2 Samuel 16:18). If we are to keep sight of the Lord, we must maintain His priorities. If we fail to maintain our focus on the Lord, we will be swept along by events that do not seem to be filled with any real sense of the purpose of God being fulfilled in our lives. When God seems far away, we must remember this …

Continue reading We walk by faith – not by sight.

God answered the prayers for the land.

In 2 Samuel 20 - 21, there are so many names. As we read these chapters, we must not overlook the spiritual dimension. We must respect the Lord and His servants (2 Samuel 20:19). We must seek the Lord’s blessing. “God answered the prayers for the land” (2 Samuel 21:14). We must look to the Lord to do this in our generation.

“The Peace Of God, Which Passes All Understanding, Will Keep Your Hearts And Minds In Christ Jesus.”

2 Samuel 17:1-29 Here, we have a tragic train of events. Ahithophel’s advice was ‘not good’. His advice ‘was not followed’. He ‘hanged’ himself (7,23). Without going into detail about this particular suicide, we may make some general comments about coping with life’s difficulties. Things don’t go according to plan. Our hopes are dashed. Nothing …

Continue reading “The Peace Of God, Which Passes All Understanding, Will Keep Your Hearts And Minds In Christ Jesus.”

This is what can happen if you forget about God!

2 Samuel 13:1-39 Lust is very different from love. What appeared to be ‘love’ turned into ‘very great hatred’- ‘The heart is deceitful… and desperately wicked’(14-15; Jeremiah 17:9). Things went from bad to worse. The ‘one-off’ event became a consistent and continuing rejection (16). Things continued to get worse. ‘Absalom hated Amnon’. He refused to …

Continue reading This is what can happen if you forget about God!

How the mighty have fallen! How true! – but it’s not the whole story!

“How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19,25,27). How true! – but it’s not the whole story! Life in this world is a combination of tragedy and triumph. In the life of Saul, the first king of Saul, there was a lot of tragedy, and not much triumph. In the life of his successor, King …

Continue reading How the mighty have fallen! How true! – but it’s not the whole story!

The Lord forgives our sin – and He calls us to walk with Him on the pathway of holiness.

In 2 Samuel 13-14, we read about sin - rape, murder and deception. This realistic account of human behaviour highlights the sin which separates us from God. This shows us very clearly our need of salvation. We need the Lord’s saving grace in our lives, if we are to be kept from going further along the road of sinful living. By His grace, He saves us. He forgives our sin. He calls us to walk with Him on the pathway of holiness.

‘Every virtue we possess, every victory won, every thought of holiness, are His alone.’

2 Samuel 8:1-9:13 David was involved in many battles with his enemies. Their antagonism had been aroused by his strong stand for the Lord. David enjoyed many victories. Why? - ‘The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went’(8:6,14). Jesus said, ‘Apart from Me you can do nothing’(John 15:5). We are not left on our …

Continue reading ‘Every virtue we possess, every victory won, every thought of holiness, are His alone.’

When you’re feeling down, let God’s love lift you up!

2 Samuel 12:1-31 Here, we learn much about God’s dealings with sinners. In verse 7, there is conviction of sin - ‘You are the man’. In verse 13, we have confession of sin - ‘I have sinned against the Lord’- and forgiveness of sin - ‘The Lord has taken away your sin’. In verse 20, …

Continue reading When you’re feeling down, let God’s love lift you up!

Be Filled With The Spirit, Addressing One Another In Psalms, Hymns And Spiritual Songs, Singing And Making Melody To The Lord With All Your Heart.’

2 Samuel 4:1-5:25 ‘… They came into the house… and slew him… ’(4:7). What are we to make of this kind of thing? - ‘What’s the world coming to?’. Where’s it all going to end?’. It is difficult to maintain real faith in the Lord when this kind of thing is going on. What are …

Continue reading Be Filled With The Spirit, Addressing One Another In Psalms, Hymns And Spiritual Songs, Singing And Making Melody To The Lord With All Your Heart.’

Worship, Trust And Obedience

“David worships the Lord” - “I will celebrate in the Lord’s presence”, “You are great, Lord God. There is no one like You, and there is no other god except you” (2 Samuel 6:21; 2 Samuel 7:22). David trusts God - “Almighty Lord, You are God, and Your words are trustworthy” (2 Samuel 7:28). David obeys God - “David ruled all Israel. He did what was fair and right for all his people” (2 Samuel 8:15).

Beyond The ‘Pain’ Of ‘Discipline’, There Is ‘The Peaceful Fruit Of Righteousness.’

2 Samuel 7:1-29 David was king. God was looking ahead to the next king, Solomon. Knowing the kind of man Solomon would become, God speaks of chastening: ‘When he does wrong, I will chasten him’. This chastening is an expression of God’s ‘steadfast love’: ‘Those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten’. How do we …

Continue reading Beyond The ‘Pain’ Of ‘Discipline’, There Is ‘The Peaceful Fruit Of Righteousness.’

God is greater than His servants.

David’s work was intended by God to bring blessing to the people. He was “raised up” by God (2 Samuel 23:1). “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through him" (2 Samuel 23:2). David’s influence on the people was not always a good influence. He “sinned” against the Lord, bringing judgment upon the nation (2 Samuel 24:10,15). Sin and judgment are not, however, the last word concerning God’s dealings with His people. “So the Lord heard the prayers for the country, and the plague in Israel stopped” (2 Samuel 24:25). The Lord’s servants are not perfect. There is sin in us. This affects our usefulness in God’s service. God is greater than His servants. His grace reaches out to men and women through His very inadequate servants. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” Why? - “To show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).