Daily Devotion for April 27, 2018
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
This old slave spiritual, My God is a Rock in a Weary Land, takes its first line from Isaiah 32:2.
My God is a rock in a weary land, weary land, weary land
My God is a rock in a weary land
A shelter in the the time of the storm.
Stop and let me tell you about chapter one
When the lord God's work had just begun
Stop and let me tell you about chapter two
When the lord God preached that Bible through
Stop and let me tell you about chapter three
When the lord God died up on Calvary.
Now stop and let me tell you about chapter four
When the lord God visits among the poor
Stop and let me tell you about chapter five
When the lord God brought all the dead alive
Stop and let me tell you about chapter six
When he went to Jerusalem and healed the sick.
Stop and let me tell you about chapter seven
When he died and he risen and he went to heaven
Stop and let me tell you about chapter eight
When the lord God was standin’ at the golden gate
Stop and let me tell you about chapter nine
When the lord God turned all the water to wine.
Prayer to be Ready
Keep me, O Lord, while I tarry on this earth, seeking after you each day, in a loving and faithful walk with you; that when you come, I may be found not hiding my talent, nor serving my flesh, nor with my lamp empty or hidden; But waiting ready for my Lord, longing for you, my glorious God forever and ever.
I Take Your Hand Sweet Jesus
When my world falls down around me
And the ground is sinking sand,
When peace can’t be found on this earth,
I reach out for Your hand.
When Your hand wraps ’round my own
A strength pours from Your Spirit;
It brings to me a quiet calm
Til once again I’m whole
A peace beyond all reason,
A rest there in Your touch,
Something in Your quiet words
My heart yearns for so much...
If I but rest my worries
Upon Your shoulder there,
Strength that pours forth from Your Spirit
Will wash away each care.
Like a cool sweet taste of water
For a tired thirsty man,
My heart finds peace, my soul is calm,
When I reach out for Your hand.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
2 Samuel 2 (NLT) (abridged)
David Anointed King Over Judah
After this, David asked the Lord, “Should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?” “Yes,” the Lord replied. Then David asked, “Which town should I go to?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
David’s two wives were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. So David and his wives and his men and their families all moved to Judah, and they settled in the villages near Hebron. Then the men of Judah came to David and anointed him king over the people of Judah.
When David heard that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul, he sent them this message: “May the Lord bless you for being so loyal to your master Saul and giving him a decent burial. May the Lord be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love! And I, too, will reward you for what you have done. Now that Saul is dead, I ask you to be my strong and loyal subjects like the people of Judah, who have anointed me as their new king.”
But Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, proclaimed [Saul’s son] Ishbosheth king over all the rest of Israel. Meanwhile, the people of Judah remained loyal to David. David made Hebron his capital, and he ruled as king of Judah for seven and a half years.
One day Abner led Ishbosheth’s troops from Mahanaim to Gibeon. About the same time, Joab son of Zeruiah led David’s troops out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. The two groups sat down there, facing each other from opposite sides of the pool.
A fierce battle followed that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the forces of David. . . . Abner shouted down to Joab, “Must we always be killing each other? Don’t you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?” . . . So Joab blew the ram’s horn, and his men stopped chasing the troops of Israel. All that night Abner and his men retreated through the Jordan Valley.They crossed the Jordan River, traveling all through the morning.
Meanwhile, Joab and his men also returned home. When Joab counted his casualties, he discovered that only 19 men were missing in addition to Asahel. But 360 of Abner’s men had been killed, all from the tribe of Benjamin.
Notes on the Scripture
Did Samuel not warn the people of Israel against having a king? (1 Samuel 8:4-22) Was he not a prophet, warning them in the name of God?
aving been given a king, rejecting the Lord and replacing their reliance on Him with reliance upon a modern government, the Hebrews almost immediately become embroiled in civil war. This internecine strife will not end until the Temple is finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. and the Jews have been repeatedly conquered and dispersed. The only respite they will have is the brief moment of unity and material prosperity under David and Solomon, around 1000 B.C. But Solomon, unable to reconcile great wealth, power, and human wisdom with obedience to God, will aggrieve Him and seal the fate of Israel. Only Christ will be able to rescue them—and us.
Note how similar this is to the history of “Christian” kings and governments.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. David did not take over all of Saul's kingdom at the time covered in today’s lesson. He became king only over his own tribe, the tribe of Judah. Saul still had a son alive, and the other eleven tribes were generally still loyal to Saul's lineage. So as of today's lesson, “Judah,” the remnant of Israel that still enjoyed God’s favor, comprised only the one tribe (and the land it held).
Joab is an odd figure. He appears practically out of nowhere; the only previous mention of him was in 1 Sam. 26:6. We glean from 2 Samuel and 1 Kings that he was the premier general of his time, leading first David’s and then Solomon’s armies in the conquest of Canaan and unification of Israel. Yet, we are told almost nothing about him as a person.