|Passage: 2 Samuel 4-7|
On Monday, April 15, 2013, Yujin wrote,
When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers,I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him,as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
This is what theologians call the "Davidic Covenant." It is the promise of an eternal reign. Along with God's covenant with Abraham (cf. Genesis 12) and the New Covenant in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31), these stand as the greatest promises of God in the Old Testament. All three are unconditional and eternal. What is more, Jesus would be the ultimate fulfillment of all of them. That is why when Matthew begins his gospel, he begins by introducing Jesus as "the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1). He was the culmination of the Abrahamic and the David covenants. Then, in His death, He would fulfill the New Covenant. These were the promises God gave to Israel and into which, we as Gentile believers, have been adopted, so that we might be co-heirs with them of these great and wonderful promises by God.
|Passage: 2 Samuel 4-7|
On Sunday, April 15, 2012 (Last Updated on 4/15/2013), Yujin wrote,
So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”The LORD replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.” (2 Samuel 5:19 NLT)
Again and again, David inquired of the LORD and He answered him. How awesome is that?! But why is it that when we pray, we don't get such direct and immediate answers? In the New Testament we are commanded to pray, even to persist in prayer, and to do so without ceasing. Yet, it seems so rare that we hear the voice of God. And those that claim to have heard His voice lose credibility because they can never be sure of it, and those that claim certainty are at least half as often wrong about it.
Even as I consider my own experiences, when I thought God was speaking to me, I'm now more than ever convinced that they were simply my own thoughts. This does not minimize or negate God's involvement, but my perception of it at the time may be suspect. In the biblical record there was no such confusion. The voice of God was no mere impression, as it is often claimed today. Even in the terrible command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, which might be considered out-of-character for God to ask, there was no hint that Abraham doubted that it was God that commanded him to do it.
Now, one somewhat difficult passage in Scripture reads, "Love never fails, but where there are prophecies, they will cease. Where there are tongues, they will be stilled. Where there is knowledge, it will pass away" (1 Corinthians 13:8). It makes me wonder whether we are living in that time when prophecies, tongues, and knowledge (i.e. supernatural revelation) have, at least for this time, ceased to be given by God.
The inconsistencies and manipulations by those that claim to have had such revelation today lead me to conclude that most, if not all, such claimants are self-deceived, charlatans, or possessed by demons. This is verified by their fruit, that is, their teaching, because what they teach often fail to align with Scripture. Such claimants, like Benny Hinn, Mike Bickle and the Kansas City Propets may fit the bill of those Jesus described as wolves in sheep's clothing.
When I consider our present-day Christian experience in light of Scripture, I compare our time more to the intertestamental time between the OT and the NT, where God, though not absent, was nevertheless silent. They had the Old Testament writings from Genesis to Malachi to guide them in their time. We have both testaments to guide us in our time. Until the time of the end, there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that there is another "new thing" for God to do. When Jesus came to establish the church, He did the last "new thing" before the end would come.
I am always open to a different point of view if it aligns with Scripture. As I favor open-mindedness toward every sincere pursuer of truth, I am certainly open to my Christian brothers and sisters and their testimony of this or that experience. But their stories are often inconsistent and biblically unsupported. While I cannot categorically deny that they had some experience, the lack of connection with Scriptural truth at least make what they experienced suspect. I also yearn to "experience God" more, but what passes for this today is simply ignorance, naivete, and childish thinking. Swooning, shaking, sounding like animals? Angelic tongues? Gold teeth? Sparkles? Uncontrollable laughter? If such people are not self-possessed, they are certainly not possessed by the Holy Spirit, who is not the author of any kind of disorder or confusion. This is rather the evidence of demons.
As Paul writes, "In your thinking be adults." And again, he writes, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." In my nearly thirty years now in the faith, I have never needed any emotional or mystical or healing experience to accompany my faith. I have simply and wholly trusted in the Word of God, and in doing so, I have never felt any lacking of His Spirit in me.
The way of the LORD is not the way of "experiencing God," as most of the popular Christians books and songs seem to hammer away at ignorant believers today. But the way of the Lord is in knowing Him through the truth of His Word, embracing this by faith, and diligently applying oneself to obey what pleases Him in His Word. I hear some people cry every time they pray. Some people are intent to be the loudest voice when all are praying in unison. Some people make such grand commitments to the LORD in their prayers, even in the hearing of other people, it makes me shudder. Others clap, some pound their chests, others simply shout, and still others burst out in melodic gibberish, which they imagine is tongues-speaking. There is a time for repentance. There is a time for mourning. There is a time for shouting. But these people do it as a matter of ritual and as a means of relating to God.
The late Garry Frieson wrote a book called Decision-making in the Will of God. Every Christian would do well to consider the main thesis of this extensively-researched study on knowing God's will. It doesn't deny the supernatural, but it embraces what is truly supernatural versus what is self-conceived and crowd-induced counterfeits. Dear friends, test everything. Hold on to what is in keeping with God's Word and have nothing to do with the rest.
|Passage: 2 Samuel 4-7|
On Friday, April 15, 2011, Unmi wrote,
1 After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” (2 Samuel 7:1-2)
This is why it is said that David was a man after God's own heart. The previous great leaders of Israel were considered good because they obeyed God. Not only did David obey, he went one step further. David was thinking about what he could do for the LORD beyond what was commanded. For this heart, God gives him a tremendous blessing, the "Davidic Covenant." (2 Samuel 11-16) The Davidic kingdom will last forever. God promises that He will discipline those who need discipline, but He will never take His love away as He did to Saul. This covenant that the Lord makes with David is like that of the Abrahamic covenant in that it is "unilateral." God will fulfill his promises no matter what! There are no stipulations made for David or his descendants. God will do what He will do and it is not dependent on man.
Even with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, they was still hope. Jeremiah prophesied about the righteous Branch from David, a King who will reign wisely (Jeremiah 23:5-6) and Isaiah prophesied about the "child" who would reign on David's throne "forever". (Isaiah 9:6-7)
When the angel appeared to Mary, the angel told her: 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
In the epilogue of the book of Revelation: 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” .....20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:16, 22)
The scriptures testify that the LORD keeps all His promises. So we live with this hope as Jesus himself testifies "I am coming soon."
“Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)
|Passage: 2 Samuel 4-7|
On Friday, April 15, 2011, Stephen wrote,
What a bloody mess, literally, in today's reading! Since the Israelites asked unduly for a king for themselves, the sinful nature of men rapidly crept into their political realm of their lives. There is no more interest or passion in pleasing God. They followed their sinful instinct to survive and succeed exactly as their wicked neighboring nations did. Murder after murder! It feels like I could smell blood from here at this age! The glorious coronation of David as a king of Israel came with violence, hatred, revenge, and murder. Because of so many warfares, people might have considered murder nothing but butchering chicken or cow for food these days! The greatest comfort that I can still have even while everything seems to be happening randomly is the fact that it follows a predetermined course laid down according to His sovereignty. Sometimes my heart becomes a size of pea when facing a seeming chaotic situation and feeling totally helpless and no control over it. That's when I need to look up and see, like king David in Psalm 121:2, "where my help comes from" and to be certain that "my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Are you feeling lost or helpless today, brothers and sisters? It's time to feel the presence of His help and comfort in a tangible way because He is real, not a man-made object.