The Promise of a King

2 Samuel 7.8-16

What kind of King are you looking for this Christmas? David was a great king in many ways. He was fearless and passionate, strong and brave. He loved the Lord and his family. But David wasn’t the King God had promised. Solomon, his son, was also an outstanding king. Maybe even greater than his father. His wisdom was renowned. He was a brilliant strategist. He was wealthy beyond imagination. But he too fell far short of the King God had promised. There have been many kings and great leaders throughout history, but as amazing as anyone of them may have been, none comes even close to our coming King. He’s the King of righteousness and the King of peace. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He alone will rule over the nations of this earth.

We as believers are not looking forward to Jesus’ first coming…as a Baby in a manger. No we are looking for Jesus to return as the promised King. So I have to ask you, this Christmas are you anticipating Christmas festivities and the giving and receiving of gifts, or are you anticipating the return of your King…Jesus?

Jesus is our conquering King. He is the long-awaited, much anticipated Davidic King through whom God will establish an enduring kingdom…the true kingdom. Not an earthly kingdom that is destined to crumble and fade away, but an everlasting heavenly kingdom that encompasses both heaven and earth. Jesus is the One who will rule over all of creation. He is the One who provides life…true life that is eternal and reflects perfectly the Creator. He is the One who brings reconciliation so that we can be adopted into God’s family…sons and daughters of the King.

Is Jesus your King today?

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our Advent series, Once Upon a Christmas. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Prayer

Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is often the first bit of Bible that folks commit to memory. And rightly so. It’s brought comfort to countless numbers of folks throughout the ages.

When I was a new believer, I didn’t really know how to pray or what to pray for. In fact, I struggled with prayer for years…because I didn’t know what to say and my prayers always seemed to be the same. I figured that until I had something new to tell God or something new to ask from Him, we were good. I wouldn’t have said it out loud, but my attitude toward God in prayer was I ask and You give. I should apologize when I mess up, but I mess up a lot…and let’s be honest, most of my mess ups are the same. That way of thinking crippled my prayer life for years.

It really wasn’t until I graduated from seminary and landed my first job in ministry that I felt like I learned to pray. I was preparing to teach a class on the spiritual life, and I realized that I had no idea what I would say about it. I was spending time in the Word. I was spending time with other believers. But I wasn’t really spending time in prayer, and I felt kind of far from God. And so I went on a quest to find out what the spiritual life, what the abundant life, was all about. Prayer was a huge part of that.

The more I read about prayer and intentionally began to practice praying, the more I enjoyed it. And the more easily it came. I started with praying Scripture. I would use the language that the Bible used when I talked to God. I asked Him for the things that the Bible said He wanted for me…to be more like Jesus. I began to pray the Bible for my family and friends. And I freed myself up from whatever preconceived expectations I might have had about what prayer was supposed to be.

One of the books that I read on prayer was by a monk named Brother Lawerence called Practicing the Presence of God. What a great book! His goal was to figure out how to pray without ceasing. If the Bible calls us to that, surely there must be a way. Anyway, that book helped me see that prayer can happen at anytime…when I’m on the step mill at the gym, when I’m driving my car (eyes open please!), when sitting in my office or wherever I am. I am always in God’s presence. Prayer reminds me of that. It also redeems the mundane moments in my life. “He who has learned to pray, has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.” (William Law (1686-1761), Christian Perfection [1726], London: W. Baynes, 1807, p. 290)

Someone asked me, “Is prayer for us or for God?” Interesting question, isn’t it? When you have a conversation with your spouse or your kids, with your parents, or friends, or co-workers, or neighbors…who is the conversation for? When we pray, we share our hopes and dreams, our fears and concerns, our failures…our lives with our Father who cares about all of those things and who walks with us, leading and guiding us through both the good and bad times, if we will let Him. It’s not that He needs us to tell Him those things…He already knows, but we need to tell Him.

But what if prayer doesn’t work? Still sick. Still in pain. Loved one still hasn’t accepted Jesus. Another interesting question. God is not a divine Vending Machine. He’s a Person. Better yet He’s our Father. We won’t always know the why of the things that happen to us…we live in a fallen world where my sin and/or the sin of others and/or the cosmic effects of the fall can combine to create some pretty nasty circumstances…, but if we believe that the LORD is our Shepherd…then we know that He that He is leading us and never leaves us alone in the midst of our darkest times. He will see us through, whatever the storm.

Another interesting question that I was asked, “Does it matter what I ask God? Isn’t He going to do what He wants anyway?” What I appreciate about all of these questions is that they reflected my own thinking at some point in time. I do think what we ask God is important, but primarily for this reason…it reveals where we are with Him, where we are on our spiritual journey. God wants to conform us to the image of His Son. He wants to make us like Jesus. The more we grow spiritually, the more we will want the same things He does. The details of our circumstances begin to become less important…it’s how can I best represent Jesus in this particular circumstance. That takes time and time spent in prayer just talking to your Father.

Psalm 23 reminds me of who God is. So when I come to Him in prayer, I can thank Him for taking care of me…guiding me, directing me, providing for my needs, protecting me, His presence with me.

I want us to practice praying. We’re going to use Psalm 23 as a guide. You can pray right where you are. Start with… “The LORD is my shepherd…” Take each part of that statement and emphasize a different word. Thank Him for being your Shepherd. 

Ask God to provide for your needs.

Ask God to direct your paths.

Thank God for being with you in both green pastures and dark valleys, in both good and bad times. If you are in a bad time right now, ask Him to remind you often of His presence with you and for His help to weather the storm.

Thank God for His goodness and His lovingkindness that pursues you…for His abundant grace in your life.

Thank God for the promise of the kingdom and eternal life that is yours.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our Central Summer Series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Just Like Momma

Psalm 86

David’s prayer reflects his humility before God and expresses his confidence that God is not only willing to help, but is able to help as well.

And while prayer and time in the Word aka learning the LORD’s ways are foundational to our walk with Jesus, I wanted to spend a little time focusing on the importance of a parent’s faith…a momma’s faith…to the faith of her kids…

I think it’s awesome that in a moment of desperation, David not only cries to God, but also maybe, just maybe thinks of his momma. He thinks about her faith and how she has trusted in God. Who knows? Maybe he learned to turn to God first because he saw it in her. You see, kids tend to do what they see their parents doing. They tend to value the things that their parents value, and respond to things the way that they have seen their parents respond. I think David’s momma would have been proud of how he handled this situation.

Moms have the incredible responsibility of caring for their children, and, in this passage, I think we see a testament to that most significant of a mom’s responsibilities when it comes to raising children…to train them up in the fear and admonition of the LORD…to teach them to follow God and love Him with their whole heart. That’s where prayer and Bible stories and taking them to church and a lived-out faith come into play.

You won’t always do it perfectly, and your kids won’t always respond the way that you would have hoped, but moms, when you have done all that you know to do, continue to pray for your children and be in the Word. You won’t always see the fruit of your labor…it may not seem like it’s “taking”, but remember…when they are in distress, when they are alone, when their worlds are crumbling they will remember what their momma taught them. Just like David. So take courage. 

Remember that God is a God of relationship, and He has designed us for community. Don’t go at this alone mom. Find other Christian mothers to help you and guide you along the way.

If you can, thank your mom today for all she has done…give her a hug, send her a text, make a phone call… and let her know how much you love her and that you appreciate all that she has done for you.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Mother’s Day sermon. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Weekend Passage – August 15

2 Samuel 9

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” The king said, “Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

Then the king called 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. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

I Will Be King!

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

If you are keeping up with the reading, we have finished 1 & 2 Samuel are moving into 1 Kings.  Where as 1&2 Samuel were dominated by the story of David’s rise and reign as king, 1 Kings begins by telling us that “King David was old and advanced in years.”

So here, our story continues with yet another run at the crown.

David had already put down two rebellions, one by his son Absalom and the other by Sheba the Benjaminite. Here, David’s oldest living son Adonijah makes a run at the crown.

In his own mind Adonijah sees himself as next in line, so he attempts to make himself king.  “I will be king”, he declares in I Kings 1:5.

Israel did have a royal succession policy – it was by divine appointment.  God decides! As far as God is concerned, Solomon, the tenth in line, was God’s chosen King.

Both Absalom and Adonijah exalted themselves.  In essence they did not accept God’s choice, but instead exalted themselves.  They would not even wait for their father to die – in Absalom’s case he even sought the death of his father David.

Adonijah hired his own chariots and fifty men to run in front of him to let people know that someone important was coming.  Yep, he had his own entourage, his own posse!

He must be important – right?  In addition, he gained the support of some of Israel’s most powerful leaders including Joab the former commander of Israels’ army and Abiathar the priest.

Joab had lost favor with David after killing his son Absalom during the rebellion, as well as the other commanders who got in Joab’s way – Abner and Amasa.

Abiathar the priest appears to be making a power grab as well. Did he want to be high priest?

By throwing his parties, aligning himself with people of power and self promotion, Adonijah was strengthening his political position. Some might even think he was deeply religious!

Yet it is clear that Adonijah was doing it all for his own glory.  As we read through Chapters one and two – we see how David, Nathan and David’s Captain of the King’s bodyguard – Benaiah, (Yes the same Benaiah of “In a Pit With a Lion on A Snowy Day” fame – a book by Mark Batterson), put down the rebellion.

Solomon following David’s advice consolidates his power and removes his enemies. I will expand upon this more in my next blog.

When reading through this story, I am reminded of how often we are tempted to exalt ourselves, to put ourselves first.

When we seek to be King or Queen, we put ourselves on the throne.  In essence we have decided to not accept God as our king. When God is no longer the King, he becomes one of our servants.

This can also impact our ministries – we want God to do what we want when we want it.  And why can’t God make every one see that our way is better?

In essence, we are in danger of tearing down the Lord’s work as described Romans 14.

We want to use Him to do our bidding to make our lives better; we want to call all the shots.

We forget we exist for His glory and to make disciples – the bible in a nutshell.

Our lives instead should be lives in submission to Jesus, the true and rightful King for the people of God.

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts for this blog were taken from: The Reformed Expository Commentary Series – 1 Kings by P.G. Ryken

 

July 23 – OT Reading

1 Kings 1-2

1 Kings 1

David in Old Age

1 Now King David was old, advanced in age; and they covered him with clothes, but he could not keep warm. So his servants said to him, “Let them seek a young virgin for my lord the king, and let her attend the king and become his nurse; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.” So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The girl was very beautiful; and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not cohabit with her.

Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” So he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen with fifty men to run before him. His father had never crossed him at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?” And he was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. He had conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and following Adonijah they helped him. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En-rogel; and he invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants. 10 But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, and Solomon his brother.

Nathan and Bathsheba

11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, “Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become king, and David our lord does not know it12 So now come, please let me give you counsel and save your life and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go at once to King David and say to him, ‘Have you not, my lord, O king, sworn to your maidservant, saying, “Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne”? Why then has Adonijah become king?’ 14 “Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king, I will come in after you and confirm your words.”

15 So Bathsheba went in to the king in the bedroom. Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself before the king. And the king said, “What do you wish?” 17 She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your maidservant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Surely your son Solomon shall be king after me and he shall sit on my throne.’ 18 Now, behold, Adonijah is king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know it.19 He has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the sons of the king and Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he has not invited Solomon your servant. 20 As for you now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come about, as soon as my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be considered offenders.”

22 Behold, while she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They told the king, saying, “Here is Nathan the prophet.” And when he came in before the king, he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Then Nathan said, “My lord the king, have you said, ‘Adonijah shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne’? 25 For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons and the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking before him; and they say, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ 26 But me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and your servant Solomon, he has not invited. 27 Has this thing been done by my lord the king, and you have not shown to your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

28 Then King David said, “Call Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. 29 The king vowed and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 30 surely as I vowed to you by the Lord the God of Israel, saying, ‘Your son Solomon shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this day.” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever.”

32 Then King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” And they came into the king’s presence. 33 The king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.34 Let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne and be king in my place; for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.” 36 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, “Amen! Thus may the Lord, the God of my lord the king, say. 37 As the Lord has been with my lord the king, so may He be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord King David!”

Solomon Anointed King

38 So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon.39 Zadok the priest then took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people went up after him, and the people were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth shook at their noise.

41 Now Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “Why is the city making such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came. Then Adonijah said, “Come in, for you are a valiant man and bring good news.” 43 But Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “No! Our lord King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king has also sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites; and they have made him ride on the king’s mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon, and they have come up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise which you have heard. 46 Besides, Solomon has even taken his seat on the throne of the kingdom.47 Moreover, the king’s servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make the name of Solomon better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!’ And the king bowed himself on the bed. 48 The king has also said thus, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has granted one to sit on my throne today while my own eyes see it.’”

49 Then all the guests of Adonijah were terrified; and they arose and each went on his way. 50 And Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, and he arose, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Now it was told Solomon, saying, “Behold, Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon, for behold, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he is a worthy man, not one of his hairs will fall to the ground; but if wickedness is found in him, he will die.” 53 So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and prostrated himself before King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”

 

1 Kings 2

David’s Charge to Solomon

2 As David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that the Lord may carry out His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

“Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; he also shed the blood of war in peace. And he put the blood of war on his belt about his waist, and on his sandals on his feet. So act according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to Sheol in peace. But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for they assisted me when I fled from Absalom your brother. Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood.”

Death of David

10 Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hebron and thirty-three years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12 And Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peacefully?” And he said, “Peacefully.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and that all Israel expected me to be king; however, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 Now I am making one request of you; do not refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 Then he said, “Please speak to Solomon the king, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”

Adonijah Executed

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him also the kingdom—for he is my older brother—even for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life. 24 Now therefore, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and who has made me a house as He promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him so that he died.

26 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, “Go to Anathoth to your own field, for you deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

Joab Executed

28 Now the news came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. And Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 It was told King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall upon him.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “Thus the king has said, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, for I will die here.” And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus spoke Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah.33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David and his descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.”34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

Shimei Executed

36 Now the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go out from there to any place. 37 For on the day you go out and cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 Shimei then said to the king, “The word is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your servants are in Gath.”40 Then Shimei arose and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned. 42 So the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word which I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I have laid on you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore the Lord shall return your evil on your own head.45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him so that he died.

Thus the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

July 22 – OT Reading

Psalm 111-118

Psalm 111

The Lord Praised for His Goodness.

111 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever. He has made known to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure. They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

 

Psalm 112

Prosperity of the One Who Fears the Lord.

112 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries. He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor.

10 The wicked will see it and be vexed, He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked will perish.

 

Psalm 113

The Lord Exalts the Humble.

113 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 114

God’s Deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

114 When Israel went forth from Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion.

The sea looked and fled; The Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, The hills, like lambs. What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, Before the God of Jacob, Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of water.

 

Psalm 115

Heathen Idols Contrasted with the Lord.

115 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.

O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless those who fear the Lord, The small together with the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, You and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 116

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.

116 I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord In the land of the living. 10 I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? 13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord. 14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. 15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones. 16 O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds. 17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord. 18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people, 19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 117

A Psalm of Praise.

117 Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Saving Goodness.

118 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let those who fear the Lord say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 12 They surrounded me like bees; They were extinguished as a fire of thorns; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 13 You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

15 The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. 16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. 17 I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the Lord. 18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; The righteous will enter through it. 21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O Lord, do save, we beseech You; O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)