2 Samuel 24, 1 Chron 21-22, Ps 30
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****IMPORTANT READ**** Forgive the length of this entry, but there are SO many things that are so important for our understanding not just in this reading but for our futures. Soak up all that God has for you to soak up….and next year when you read again….you’ll soak up even more… I PROMISE!!
Before I get into the details of the story, it is important to remember that these chapters, chronologically, fall somewhere in the middle of David’s life. In MY mind, I see them happening possibly after David’s affair with Bathsheba, the murder of Uriah, the attempted cover up of his sins, and the death of his child. This is my PERSONAL opinion of when it occurred chronologically because David CHOSE NOT to go off to war with his men prior to Bathsheba and then he commanded Joab to put Uriah at the front line and leave him there to die. I IMAGINE (after much reading and research of the chapters we read today) that after Uriah’s murder, David is feeling proud and is “incited” to do a census. In 2 Samuel 24 we are told that “the anger of The Lord burned against ISRAEL.” Then in MY mind…. when we see David having to CHOSE one of three of the punishments God lays out….I believe David and Bathsheba’s baby had died, Nathan had stepped in, David confesses his sin and turns back to The Lord. But we will discuss the three choices God gives David and what he chooses later in our reading.
The second thing is that in 2 Samuel 24 it appears that God told David to take a census BUT in 1 Chronicles 21 we read that satan (sorry … still refuse to capitalize that name!) told David to take the census. Last year when I read this I was TOTALLY confused first because I was not remembering that this chapter was NOT written chronologically and second because I could not understand who REALLY had David do the census.
Think back to our reading of Job!! One HUGE point with Job is that satan IS alive, he IS real, and Jesus himself tells us in John 10:10 “The thief (satan, the enemy) comes ONLY to STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY; I HAVE DOME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL.” It is IMPORTANT to KNOW WHO our enemy is and all he is capable of. How else can we do battle unless we know who the enemy is? God felt it SO important that we understand this that in HIS Word HE gave us instruction to put on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6, and in 2 Corinthians 10 he tells us: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” I do not share this to cause fear, but so YOU KNOW we ARE in a battle and God’s Word is how we fight the battle. As we have seen with David, sometimes we bring things on ourselves, repent, but still must live with the consequences. Sometimes, the battle is in our minds because we allow “things” to persuade us rather than being transformed by the Word. And other times, satan is on the attack. KNOW that God has given us HIS strength to stand firm, fight our battle, or simply live our life KNOWING HE is working it out. I’ve read the end of the book….I KNOW how it ends and it is ALL good.
If we believe in God, heaven, and redemption; we must believe there is satan and all his forces and there is a hell where people who CHOOSE NOT believe in Jesus Christ will spend eternity. The Chronicler inserted that Satan is a huge part of this story.
What did David do that was so wrong? Strictly speculating, it might have been taking the census (prompted by Satan) was David’s way of sizing up his power for battle. When we are in a battle ALL we need is the Lord. After all the Lord had done, David had forgotten (ummmmm….nothing any of us can relate to…right??) Could he have been counting his men pridefully, to see how many he had? EVEN JOAB… YES.. JOAB asked David: “BUT WHY does my lord the king want to do such a thing?” Joab KNEW this was something that David should not be doing. (WARNING WARNING *** DANGER DANGER!) But David moves forward.
The parallel account of this incident surrounding the census is important. Remember the purpose of Chronicles is to show historically what happened to Israel, the UNITY David brought which was his purpose, and Israel’s actions during that time. It is Chronicles that reveals it was satan who incited David to take the census: “satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:1). The wording of 2 Samuel 24:1 indicates God moved David to take the census. Why the discrepancy?? Just like in Job, sometimes God sovereignly permits satan to act in order to achieve His purposes. God uses satan in various ways, among them the refining, disciplining and purification of disobedient believers (OUCH.. I KNOW!!) (Luke 22:31-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). God allowed David to be tempted by satan, David sinned, revealing his pride, thus allowing God to deal with him for it.
BUT EXACTLY WHY was God angry at David? In those times, a man ONLY had the right to count or number what BELONGED to him. Israel did NOT belong to David!!! Israel BELONGED to God. Back in Exodus 30:12 God told Moses, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one MUST PAY the LORD a RANSOM for his life at the time he is counted. THEN no plague will come on them when you number them.” ONLY God could command a census!! David should have known this. But this is NOT the first time we see where David either did not remember the law, didn’t know the law, or simply ignored it. Remember when David had the Ark moved to Jerusalem? When he had it moved he built a cart to place the ARK on (WRONG). It was ONLY to be CARRIED on the back/shoulders of LEVITES. The men in charge of the cart were not Levites. Then one of the men touched the ARK to try to protect it and he was KILLED INSTANTLY. The second time David moved the ARK, he KNEW the LAW and followed it to the letter. We see satan’s power of deception at work in David, appealing to his pride…..and WHOOPS…..there he goes performing a census. God’s law was TOTALLY being IGNORED!! God didn’t command it and no ransom was made to “atone” for each man counted. So, does it make a little more sense not WHY God was so angry with David??
IMMEDIATELY after the census, David was “conscience-stricken.” David KNEW it was wrong and begged God to take away the guilt of his sin (2 Samuel 24:10.) ALL I can say is I am so blessed to be under Jesus Christ now…I mean can you imagine ALL the laws the Israelites had to remember? AND the Pharisees and Sadduces (sp?) kept adding laws to laws!!! The process is the same in that “we all fall short of the glory of God” and sin. And we all become “conscience-stricken” by the Holy Spirit, if we are listening, and repent directly to our Lord and Savior who forgives us with HIS love, mercy, and grace.
If you are wondering why David was called “a man after God’s own heart” it is because when he sinned (we ALL do) he recognized it, confessed it and repented from it immediately. Again, our process is the same as David’s when we sin. But how do we often handle our sin (until we simply can’t bare the pressure any longer?) Do we brush it under the carpet, say “well no one is perfect”, “we all do something wrong,” “at least I don’t do xyz like so and so,” continue it, rationalize it (ouch), or bring it before The Lord in all humility, confess, and ask for HIS help in changing?
So God gave David 3 choices. 2 of them were at the hands of men (three years of famine which would become the survival of the fittest, and three months of fleeing before his enemies –which would result in great death by those who hated him and Israel); and 1 was at the hands of the Lord (three days of plague). God IS more powerful, but God is just and right and loving. We all must look within ourselves with the help of THE ONE who love deeply, work on getting our “stuff” with God, and humbly ask HIM to “deal with me ever so severely”..BEFORE people who have no mercy for me, no love for me, no compassion or grace for me…. deal with it. We can all stand to “pull a David” … confess “it,” agree with God that what we did was wrong, and REPENT…. TURN AWAY from it.. David chose to be at the hands of the Lord. Look at David’s words here: “David said to Gad (the prophet), I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of The Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”
OH MAN… I could so feel David’s pain, his regret for his sin, his confession and repentance and then he had to make a choice not only for himself but also for his PEOPLE, Israel. David KNEW he did wrong as soon as he did it. David also TRUSTED God’s mercy, grace, love, and justice to be much more fair than anything man could do to him. I think about myself and how when I do wrong… I quickly condemn myself and tell God I don’t understand HOW HE can forgive me…but HIS Word tells me there is no longer any condemnation in Christ Jesus, and if I confess my sins HE will forgive. THEN HE will help me (give me strength, lead me not into temptation, etc) to change my way…one day at a time…one step at a time!! OOOOOOO OOOOOO… I just have to shout AMEN!!!
David chose the third (at the hands of The Lord and not man), and the Lord then punished Israel with a plague which killed 70,000 men from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. WHY did God punish the entire nation of Israel? I mean the were just following orders right? David even asked this in 2 Samuel 24:17, why God punished the whole nation for the sin of the king. Why, when he was the one who had sinned, did the people have to suffer? He even requested that God’s hand be against him and his family only, and that God would spare the people. NOW THAT is integrity for a humbled, repentant man to ask God please not to harm his sheep!! WOW!!! But as with the account of Job, God chose not to give a reason for His actions. We know David’s sin was pride. Some of the reasons the entire nation suffered according to different commentaries are: perhaps it was because of Israel’s multiplied sins and rebellion against God throughout the centuries; perhaps it was due to their support of the rebellion of Absalom and Sheba (chapters 15-17); perhaps the Israelites had placed their TRUST in their nation’s military strength and financial prosperity rather than in God; or perhaps it was a lesson to the people (and to us as well) that the people suffer when their leaders go astray. The disturbing part for me is the direction our USA is heading concerning SO many things that are NOT God’s ways. Is it our leaders’ faults? Is it our faults? Whatever the answer, God will hold EVERYone accountable in a nation for the direction of the nations (as we see happened with David and Israel.) Again, I am probably sounding like a broken record…. but PRAY for our leaders on all levels in all things!! PRAY as if your life depends on it!! Prayer does change things!!
The bottom line is that God does not have to justify HIS actions, reasons, to anyone. Just as in Job, the more important lesson is we have the CHOICE to serve an AWESOME God. Did you look at the sunrise today, or the sunset yesterday? Have you been to the majestic ocean or mountains recently? Have you ever witnessed the birth of a baby..human or animal? If you have seen these things (and so many more),then you have seen God’s awesomeness. We also have HIS Word, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us in all HIS ways. How deep would a person’s love have to be to give up their son to death so ALL could be saved from eternal damnation? I know parents who watch the children they raised go off to war and some don’t return. I KNOW their grief is great. Yet, LOOK at what God did for US…you and me…. in HIS son Jesus… in challenging times when there are no words for what is happening around us… we must do like David and TURN to God and HIS love.
God’s love was so apparent today in 1 Chronicles 21:15-25 — God sends an angel to destroy Jerusalem. However, The Lord saw what the angel had done at HIS command and HE GRIEVED and said ENOUGH and tells the angel to withdraw HIS hand!! David SAW the angel of The Lord standing between heaven and earth!! God tells David to build an altar to HIM so the plague can be stopped. David obeys God. Araunah who owned the threshing floor where the angel of The Lord told David to build the altar, offered to GIVE David ALL he needed to build the altar and make sacrifices. However, David KNEW he could not make a sacrifice for HIS people on land that did not come with a PRICE. So David pays Araunah more than a fair price. Back in the day… bartering was the way of life…. a man gave a price much higher than something was worth EXPECTING the “buyer” to come in with a lower bid. But David paid full price. The word SACRIFICE implies something that COSTS the giver in terms of self, time, or money. To give sacrificially requires more than a token effort or gift. God WANTS us to give voluntarily, but he WANTS it to mean something to us. Jeremiah 17:26 says: “we bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of The Lord.” THINK about that…. PRAISE as a SACRIFICE!!!
This land of the threshing floor owned by Araunah is a VERY important piece of land. It is also known as MOUNT MORIAH!! THIS is the very place where an Angel stood in this reading, where Abraham brought Isaac for a sacrifice (Genesis 22:2), where David built the altar in today’s reading, and where Solomon will build the Temple, the Temple will last 500 years before it will be destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies in 587/586 B.C. under Babylonian control. 70 years later the Temple was rebuilt by the Jews after the Babylonian captivity. In the 1st century AD, Herod claimed the temple as his own. It was the Temple where Jesus cleansed (John 2:15). Around 70 A.D. the Roman armies led by Titus, destroyed the temple. All that remains of the Temple Mount of that era is a portion of a retaining wall known as the “Western Wall” or the “Wailing Wall.” It has been a destination for pilgrims and a site of prayer for Jews for many centuries.
THIS spot on earth is SO HOLY!! It is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate and one of the most hotly contested on earth. This is a profoundly sacred area to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Sitting atop Mount Moriah today is the Temple Mount, a 37-acre tract of land where the Jewish temple ONCE stood. Several important Islamic holy sites are there NOW, including the Dome of the Rock – a Muslim shrine built thirteen hundred years ago – and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. (We will read why this was allowed to happen in future readings.)
OUR GOD STILL has BIG plans for this HOLY place. Daniel 9:27 indicates a third temple will be built on or near the site of Solomon’s temple. From our human eyes, this would seem an impossibility since this would seem to present a problem since the religious activities on the Temple Mount are currently CONTROLLED by the Supreme Muslim Council (the Waqf). Yet NO THING can put a wrinkle in God’s sovereign plans. Muslim control of this area simply fulfills the prophecy of Luke 21:24 that “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
THINGS to think about — WHO OWNS this land today??? David PAID for it…so does it still really belong to the Israelites? There is NO documentation it was ever SOLD again, or LEGALLY released. We know Jesus was crucified on Golgatha/Calvary and will come again on the Mount of Olives. It is hard for me to tell if all of these are part of the same land or not. However in looking at a map, Moriah, Jerusalem, Golgotha/Calvary/ Gethsemane, and Bethlehem are ALL VERY close together. MAKES YOU THINK doesn’t it???
The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). Since God’s ways are “perfect,” we can TRUST ALL HE IS and all that happens, just as David TRUSTED HIM. then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. We can’t expect to understand His mind perfectly, as He reminds us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). So… we may not “get it all” … but we can REST in HIM and in HIS promises!
Psalm 30…The Lord lifted him out of the depths..healed him,,,and my favorite is “His anger lasts only for a moment, but His FAVOR lasts a LIFETIME; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning..” Once again, with our Heavenly Father… the IMPORTANT things last forever… the painful things are temporary (even if we must endure them for our entire life here on earth) … eternity is forever
Sharing HIS love,
GENESIS 1-12 – God the TRINITY created the entire universe in 5 days, on the 6th he created Adam and Eve. On the 7th day He rested. Adam and Eve were in paradise communing with God every day in every way, no financial, food, clothing, or shelter worries, no pain, no health deterioration, no death. Until, the serpent stepped up and spoke to Eve. Since the serpent could talk, do you think the other animals could too? He tells her “ssssssssurely, God didn’t say you couldn’t be wise and so ssssssurely you can know good from evil.” Eve doesn’t ask God and gave it all up for one bite. Adam was at her side, following with the next bite. God’s path to REDEMPTION begins right here in the Garden of Eden when he kills an innocent animal, SHEDDING INNOCENT BLOOD, as a SUBSTITUTE for their sin, covers them with the animal skin, and forever puts them out of the Garden of Eden where two Cherubim stand guard with flaming swords until the New Jerusalem comes. Adam and Eve each know pain now, have to suffer to have and provide for their family. Life is forever changed from only one bite.
Adam and Eve have Cain and Abel. Cain gives God some food from his garden (any food will do you know!!) But, Abel gives his best to God. Cain becomes jealous which turns to hate. God gives Cain another chance to give of his best but Cain only grows angrier and murders Abel. God still loved Cain and marked him so no one would murder him, but he became a wanderer with a way to make money, find a wife, and have children of his own. God didn’t just desert Cain, he made a way for him too.
Adam and Eve have many more children who are not named, but they had a son they named Seth who is their compensation for Abel. Seth had many descendants; one is Enoch who walked with God for 300 years. Before the days of the flood, God took Enoch up to heaven because of his walk with HIM saving him from the ravages of the flood. Noah was also a descendant of Seth who was also faithful to God. God tells Noah to build an ark because he will soon destroy all the earth and the ark will protect him. Noah follows God’s instructions to the letter, fills it with his family and two of every kind of animal. God shut the door on the ark to protect Noah and his family. (Gives new meaning to “shut the door”!!) 🙂 Then the rain came for 40 days and 40 nights. Once they were safe to leave the ark, Noah’s family repopulated the earth. Noah had three sons. Shem’s descendants became the Hebrew nation. Japeth’s descendants became the Gentiles. Ham’s descendants became the Canaanites. Ham’s descendants would be cursed by Noah because Ham mocked him after Noah became drunk one evening and Ham found him naked in his tent the next morning. God will not be mocked.
Before we depart Genesis 11 another descendant of Seth will be born, Abram/Abraham. We also find out that the people of the earth had once again become so corrupt that they built a tower of man-made bricks that reached high into the sky. God (The Trinity) came down and said this was unacceptable so the people were dispersed throughout the earth and no longer spoke one language (which is why it was called Babel).
JOB — We jumped to Job where we found a man God called blameless and upright. God allowed him to be tested with the wiles of the devil. God told satan he could do anything to Job except take his life. Satan believed if he could do all this bad stuff to Job then he would curse God and turn from HIM. Job was devastated, he grieved greatly because of so much loss .. his children, his home, his crops, his animals, everything but his wife. Job did not curse God or turn from HIM even with his wife’s encouragement. Satan took Job’s pain to a whole other level by attacking his body with boils and sores to the point where Job was barely recognizable to his friends. Job’s friends each gave him their opinion all of which told Job he MUST have committed some sin that he had not repented of which resulted in his suffering. Job’s sin did not cause his suffering but in his suffering he did sin. Once all 3 friends could say no more, another person had been standing in the shadows listening to all the conversations. He speaks and adds new dimension to the conversation but is still missing something. Job continued to profess that he had no confessed sin and wanted to be able to confront God himself to ask WHY all this had happened. Once God began a conversation with Job he reminded Job of who HE is, condemned Job’s friends for their judgment against Job, and Job is deeply humbled, confessed his sin of pride and self-righteousness and realized how wonderful and powerful God is. God gave Job back MORE than he had before. A true story of REDEMPTION.
We return back to GENESIS 12 to find Abraham married to Sarah and God told Abraham to LEAVE the land he knew, where his father lived, and where all his family was. God told him to GO to a land that He would show him. He promised Abraham to prosper him, give him much land, give him more descendants than he could ever count, and bless them greatly. He, Sarah, and Lot (his nephew whose father had died) set out for the land God had promised Abraham. Abraham believed God and God counted as righteousness. Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was receiving blessings because of his relationship with Abraham. An argument came up over the land Abraham and Lot were sharing. Abraham tells Lot to choose the land he wants so the quarreling stops. Lot chooses the land he thinks would be best. Lot chooses to live close to Sodom and Gomorrah and is heavily influenced by the life there. Because the people are so corrupt there God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah but spares Lot and his family because of Abraham’s prayer. God sends two angels to get Lot and his family and the angels LITERALLY had to PULL Lot out before the destruction. We never know the name of Lot’s wife because she was determined to “look back” and was turned into a pillar of salt. Because of Lot’s choices, he and his two daughters end up living in a cave. The daughters think they will never meet any men (and Lot does nothing to introduce them to Abraham’s community). Each daughter gets Lot drunk on different nights and each becomes pregnant. One gives birth to Moab (Moabites) and the other gives birth to Benammi (Ammorites.) YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!! God continues to keep his protection over Lot and his descendants for years because of HIS covenant with Abraham.
Although it was custom at that time for a barren woman to give her husband her maid servant … it was not God’s plan. Sarah asked Abraham to sleep with Hagar so he could have a son. A son was conceived and Hagar began to hate Sarah. Sarah began treating Hagar badly in response to her hate. Pregnant Hagar ran away and God spoke to and told her if she would return and submit to Sarah he would bless her son. Ishmael was born. Abraham thought Ishmael was the son God promised him. God told him he was not, but he would still bless Ishmael with many descendants; but he was not the son of the promise. God tells Sarah she would conceive a son a year later and she did. She and Abraham had Isaac. Once Isaac is weaned Sarah and Abraham have a feast for him where the young teen, Ishmael mocks Isaac. Sarah tells Abraham Ishmael and Hagar have to leave. God agrees. Abraham is saddened but comforted that God will bless Ishmael and look out for him.
As Isaac grew, God told Abraham to take Isaac on top of the mountain to sacrifice him to God. Abraham and Isaac went to the mountain top. As Isaac was about to put the knife into Isaac an angel from the Lord tells him to STOP and suddenly a lamb appears caught in the thicket. We witness another story of REDEMPTION and God’s provision. God REDEEMED Isaac with a SUBSTITUTION for his death. Abraham’s faith showed strongly in this action because he had told his servants that he and Isaac were going to go worship the Lord and THEY would return in a while. Abraham’s faith never wavered. He KNEW that either Isaac would be coming down that mountain from a provision God would make OR God would somehow bring him back to life so they would be coming back together!!
Isaac married within his family (with the help of Abraham and Abraham’s servant) and married Rebekah. Rebekah bore him twin sons – Esau and Jacob. Esau (the oldest twin) was Isaac’s favorite and Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. Jacob made Esau some stew one day when he came in from the fields. Esau loved food which is why his people were known as the Edomites. Jacob knew he loved food, so made him stew when Esau would be his hungriest and bribed him with the food …. Give me your birthright!! Esau felt his birthright would be no good if he starved to death so he gave his birthright over to Jacob. Once again in our short read, we have witnessed where another person gave it all up for a bite of food (remember Adam and Eve?).
As time passed, Rebekah encouraged Jacob to dress like Esau (hairy arms and all) and take the stew she made into Isaac who was aging. His eyes were no longer good. Isaac thought he was speaking to Esau, because he had sent Esau to the field to kill an animal and make him some stew. Isaac knew the voice was not Esau’s but after feeling of the clothing and the hairy arms, passed on the blessing to Jacob and there was ONLY one blessing to give. Esau returned from the field ready to feed his father, only to discover his blessing had been stolen. Esau threatened to kill Jacob.
Rebekah encouraged Jacob to go to her brother’s place to stay and allow Esau time to calm down. Jacob reached Laban’s (Rebekah’s brother) land and immediately saw Rachel. It was love at first sight. Laban saw Jacob was a good worker and asked him what his wages would be to work for him. Jacob tells him he wants Rachel and they agree if he worked for 7 years then he could marry her. Seven years later, Jacob readied himself for the wedding feast. They ate and celebrated all day. Laban brought Jacob’s new wife into the tent with him that night. In the morning Jacob saw that he was married to the WRONG sister. He was married to Leah, the older sister. It was custom that the older sister be married before the younger, but Laban did not bother to mention this until after the wedding!! Jacob had been tricked… deceived…. Maybe a little taste of “his own medicine”. Jacob agreed to work another 7 years so he could have Rachel. A total of 20 years passed and Jacob desired to return to the land of his father. Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and the handmaidens of each wife had a total of 12 sons and 1 daughter. These sons become the 12 tribes of Israel.
Isaac died and Jacob and Esau meet to bury him. Jacob was afraid to meet Esau for fear Esau was still going to kill him. However, Esau had forgiven Jacob. Jacob had two encounters with God. One was in a vision where he saw angels climbing a ladder going back and forth between heaven and earth. This was a foreshadow of Jesus paving the way for HIS people to have a personal relationship with God. The second event was when Jacob fought with the angel of the Lord and refused to let go of HIM until HE blessed him. Jacob came out of that with a dislocated hip but a new name… Israel… and a blessing.
Jacob lost Rachel during the childbirth of their second son, who was his 12th son. His name became Benjamin. Joseph, Jacob’s oldest son with Rachel was Jacob’s favorite. He did not hide his feelings from his other sons. Jacob lavished Joseph with a coat of many colors which was made like the cloaks of those of royalty. Joseph wasted no time bragging to his brothers about his new coat “Daddy” made him and oh yeah…. He had to mention the dreams he had been having about the family bowing down to him. The brothers did not take this well. Jacob sent Joseph out to be with his brothers, a tad irresponsible on Jacob’s part. The brothers decided to kill him. Reuben told them not to kill him and departed. Judah told the brothers not to kill him but just sell him into slavery with the band of Ishmaelites they see coming (as if he expected him to survive that experience!!)
Joseph’s journey began with betrayal from his brothers, slavery in Egypt, and then noticed by Potiphar because God was with him. He was placed in charge of all that Potiphar was over; until Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. Joseph refused her offer (did the right thing), but she had Joseph’s coat and told her husband that Joseph tried to take advantage of her for which he went to prison.
While in prison the head prison guard noticed that God was with him in all he did and placed him in charge of everything in the prison. Joseph even interpreted dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief bread maker while in prison. Joseph was accurate in the interpretations because God gave him the interpretations. He asked to be remembered when they returned to normal life. But he was forgotten. Until…….Pharaoh began to have dreams he could not understand. He own magicians/wise men could not interpret the dream. The head cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him. Joseph was immediately brought up from prison. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, and advised Pharaoh that the interpretations came from God .. not him. As part of the interpretation, Joseph tells Pharaoh what he needed to do to survive the upcoming feast to be followed by a famine. Pharaoh agreed with Joseph and asked him to do what he has suggested.
Pharaoh was able to see the favor of God on Joseph and all he did. Pharaoh added to his responsibility. Because of the famine, Joseph’s brothers came to him (not knowing it was him, or that he was even still alive) to ask for food since the famine was devastating everywhere. Joseph became the DELIVER for his family, for his people. He was and is a perfect example of what happens when we FORGIVE. Joseph told his family that he held no ill feelings toward any of them because what they meant for harm, God used for good. And if God had not sent him to Egypt their family would have died in the famine. Joseph REDEEMED his family and SAVED an entire nation. Joseph is a perfect example of what Jesus would do for HIS people.
Joseph and all his brothers died. The Hebrew people had forgotten the past. Approximately 400 years had passed since Joseph, a new Pharaoh was in charge and he HATED the Hebrews. Egyptians never liked the Hebrews even on a good day because they felt they were lower than the low… they were shepherds, had beards, were uneducated compared to the Egyptian’s education, were nomads, and to top it off they had grown in size (from 70 people to 2-3 million) which meant they were taking over THEIR land!!
THIS Pharaoh decided to put the Hebrews into slavery and did it with brutality. He wanted to kill all the male babies. However, one young baby HEBREW boy ended up as the adopted child of the Pharaoh’s daughter. He was named by an Egyptian as Moses. From the time he was weaned (between 3-6 years old) he was raised in the Royal Palace. He had all the benefits of royalty, a great Egyptian education, an abundance of food, and all anyone could possibly dream of. However, Moses KNEW the Hebrews were his people. In a fit of anger, he murdered an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew, thought he was not seen, found out differently and at the age of 40 Moses ran to escape the consequences of the murder he committed.
He went into the desert and became a shepherd with the Midianites. At the age of 80 God called him to return to his people and lead them out of Egypt. After God brought the 10 plagues upon the Egyptians, Pharaoh finally let the Hebrews go … well almost. The Hebrews departed and Pharaoh came after them which was when God performed his greatest miracle … the parting of the Red Sea. Moses DELIVERED the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was given the 10 commandments. While he was on Mount Sinai with God, the people began to complain (not the first time they did this). Aaron (Moses’ brother) gave into the complaining and built them a golden calf. Moses came down off the mountain top with God, saw the Israelites dancing around the golden calf, and broke the tablets of stone upon which God had written the 10 Commandments. The Israelites suffered consequences for their choices. Moses was called again to the top of the mountain to get the 10 Commandments again along with instructions for the Tabernacle. The people began to build the Tabernacle and the clothing for the priests according to the instructions given to Moses by God.
Exodus closes in a moment of glory!!
Now you are all caught up and can begin with Leviticus 🙂
Sharing HIS love,
Good Morning Everyone!! I apologize for being late with this post this morning (I KNOW some of you are EARLY risers and I want to honor that). However, today is the 24th anniversary of the day I married God’s gift to me, my sweet husband. By the grace of God we were able to celebrate all weekend by doing things we enjoy doing together, had a fabulous time, leaving me a little tired… thus late. Please forgive my tardiness.
Here we are, at the END of Job. WE have NOW completed our first book of the bible together!! Doesn’t it feel great!!! We started Job by saying the book asks a question we all desire the answer to which is “WHY do bad things happen to good, righteous, people?” Does God ever answer this question for Job or for us … nnnnnnnnooooooooo …… at least not directly.
BUT… what does God say. FIRST and foremost I think it is so important to note that GOD CAME TO JOB, demonstrating HIS love and care for him. And for those of you who are “playing my game of seeing Jesus on each page”… ISN’T THIS THE VERY REASON THAT JESUS CAME???? So we can have a personal relationship with HIM??? We can speak to Him every day. HE lives IN us!! HALLELUJAH!!
The Bible does NOT tell us that life will be fair, easy, or without challenges. It actually tells us that we will face challenges, trials, and tribulations, but when we have Jesus in our life we will NEVER be alone. HE is always with us to guide us, comfort us, give us strength, and love, and SO much more. I could not live without my personal relationship with HIM in my life.
Chapter 40 – God once again reminds him that HE has been listening to him. HE is the Almighty God who has created EVERY thing, so NOW Job in verse 2, has the opportunity to answer God’s question: “Let him who accuses God answer him!!” Again, this time that I am reading this I do not think God is angry with Job. Yes, he is speaking to him during a storm and I am sure the awesomeness was totally overwhelming. HE promises to use ALL things for our good. However, he does want us to grow more into the image of Christ. And think about this on a personal level…. Don’t our conversations often go back and forth with God just as God’s conversation with Job did??
Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) states:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
1 Peter 1:6-7(NIV) states:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I LOVE how Job answers God in verses 3-5 (The Message):
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
It is obvious in these verses that Job decided the answer to his question wasn’t really that important, after all, GOD ALMIGHTY came to him and reminded him of HIS greatness. God had revealed to Job that as a limited human being he did not have the ability or right to judge God. God’s actions do not depend on ours. HE will do what HE knows is best regardless of what we think or feel.
I also LOVE the way God uses animals to convey WHO HE is, HIS character. HE uses the animals as PROOF of HIS greatness. He discusses the behemoth in Chapter 40 and the leviathan in Chapter 41 (the ENTIRE CHAPTER IS ABOUT THIS CREATURE). Some scholars believe the behemoth to be either an elephant or hippopotamus, and the leviathan to be a crocodile. However, some scholars believe otherwise. One of the participants in last year’s bible study shared the following Christian links. These links are TOTALLY awesome … ESPECIALLY if you believe that the dinosaurs walked with humans AND if you believe in the mystery of an extinct sea creature (who played in the ocean and NO MAN could tame… not just a story for children J). These animals and creatures that God gives us in these chapters are more than examples for us. They should remind us that as powerful as these animals were/are … animals that men could not conquer… God could STOP their breath in a split second without any effort at all. Do you see how AWESOME and POWERFUL HE is??
Chapter 42 — IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE IN THE SCRIPTURES TODAY…. READ THIS CHAPTER!! It begins with Job realizing he was sinning because of his suffering not suffering because of sin. He confesses his sin to God in verses 2-6:
NOTE that Job is not confessing a sin of an action he did. He is confessing his sin of pride, his attitude toward God, his lack of conversation WITH God DURING his pain. God was there the ENTIRE time. If you get nothing more from this study …. GOD IS WITH YOU AND ME ALL THE TIME. HE WANTS to speak to us … but we must CHOOSE to take time to read HIS WORD and LISTEN…. He DESIRES a one on one relationship with us. Do you ask God: “WHY is “THIS” happening to me?” OR do you ask God “Lord, what would you like me to learn from “THIS”, show me your way LORD?” Job REPENTED. He did a total “360” , a total “U-turn” and STOPPED thinking His old way and began NEW. He began having conversations with God again. What is God saying to you right this moment??
Verse 7 states “AFTER … (again AFTER repeated for my emphasis)…. The LORD said these things to Job he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “ I AM ANGRY WITH YOU AND YOUR TWO FRIENDS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF ME WHAT IS RIGHT, AS MY SERVANT JOB HAS. Verse 8 states: “SO NOW…” Did you notice the scripture states “I AM ANGRY WITH YOU” as God is speaking to the “friends.” However, HE did NOT say this when speaking to Job!! AHHHHHMAZING!!! (Light bulb moment for me 🙂 )
God has the three friends GO to Job and sacrifice a burnt offering “FOR YOURSELVES.” God tells them EXACTLY how many animals to bring.
God also states in verse 8: “MY servant Job will pray for you and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly (because they had been judging Job.)”
Can you imagine the look on their faces? I mean they thought they knew it ALL. THEY had DONE NO WRONG… they were JUST there to give comfort. Yet God knows our heart which is why it is SO important to FILL our hearts with the WORD of God. I am CERTAINLY NOT pointing a finger at the friends because I KNOW that whenever I point a finger at someone else … there are 3 fingers pointing back at ME!!! (OUCH).
And Job, do you wonder what he was thinking when God commanded him to pray for these three friends. He may have been on auto pilot because he was so humbled from God’s speaking to him. However, I think about myself and how HARD it is to pray for people who have hurt me (Luke 6:28 states: ” bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”) …. Ummmmmmmm….with an ouch … AND part of his prayer ALSO showed forgiveness of their judgement.J Just two scriptures (there are MANY) that you can check out about what God says about forgiveness are: Colossians 3:13 and Hebrews 8:12. And Job was so obedient. He obeyed God.
Verse 10 – “AFTER JOB PRAYED for his friends the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” WE ARE TALKING RESTORATION FOLKS. Restoration is not about money and things although it was so like God to bless Job in this manner. However, EVEN if God did not give Job double for his trouble in earthly things …. The ending would have been the SAME in regards to Job’s restoration.. the restoration in his soul!! This also reminds us that JESUS is written ALL over this reading because that is why HE came!! LOOK at ALL the ALMIGHTY GOD gave back to Job…… I’m singing Hallelujah, tears running down my cheeks, and have the deep “peace that passETH understanding.”
Talk about DEVINE REVELATION!! Job had a RELATIONSHIP with ALMIGHTY GOD!! GOD spoke to him!!! And, guess what…… God speaks to us TODAY. When you read this Scripture today (or any scripture) did/do you “hear” a still small voice inside of you telling you something over and over??? WELL…. That is God!! The Bible is the major way he communicates to us, after all it is HIS LIVING WORD. Open your heart and listen to HIM. This is not simply another history book with “good stories”. IT IS THE LIVING WORD OF GOD … BREATHED BY GOD… JUST FOR YOU AND FOR ME!!!
One other note before closing, one of the GREAT things about reading in the KJV at times is that you will see many verbs with an added “ETH” at the end. Above when I said I have a deep peace that PASSETH understanding, that “ETH” is VERY IMPORTANT. WHY you ask? It is because whenever you see this “ETH” it means that God does it OVER AND OVER AND OVER … TO INFINITY AND BEYOND OVER AGAIN FOR US. Take a look at the KJV and SEE how AWESOME our God is and to know HE REALLY is the God of second chances (and third, and forth… etc)!! Check out Psalm 23 from the KJV:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makETH me to lie down in green pastures: he leadETH me beside the still waters.
3 He restorETH my soul: he leadETH me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runnETH over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS (Joshua 1:9) … (Thank you Dawn E for allowing God to use you and making this scripture come alive for me)!! And make it a GREAT day … go on an adventure WITH God today … ASK HIM what HE would like you to know. GOD is PERSONAL and desires a personal, daily, consistent relationship with HIM. This is NOT about rules and regulations, rituals, formality, length of time we spend in prayer, where we pray, or timing… it is simply about making a commitment to HIM to be a part of our daily… moment by moment …lives. HE is waiting with open arms 🙂
Sharng HIS love