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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Isaiah 37)

When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”

When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia, “He has set out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?”

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord , and see; hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

“She despises you, she scorns you— virgin daughter Zion; she tosses her head—behind your back, daughter Jerusalem.

“Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I came to its remotest height, its densest forest. I dug wells and drank waters, I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.’

“Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins, while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded; they have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown.

“I know your rising up and your sitting down, your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because you have raged against me and your arrogance has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will turn you back on the way by which you came.

“And this shall be the sign for you: This year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Then the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. As he was worshiping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.

New Revised Standard Version: Isaiah 37:1-38 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Isaiah%2037:1-38&version=NRSV

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ACAD – Rejected: Psalm 89

God’s Covenant with David

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,[a] forever;
    with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
    your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to my servant David:
‘I will establish your descendants forever,
    and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
    your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
    Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
    great and awesome[b] above all that are around him?
O Lord God of hosts,
    who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
    Your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
    you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
    the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.
The north and the south[c]—you created them;
    Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
You have a mighty arm;
    strong is your hand, high your right hand.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
    who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;
they exult in your name all day long,
    and extol[d] your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength;
    by your favor our horn is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the Lord,
    our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:
    “I have set the crown[e] on one who is mighty,
    I have exalted one chosen from the people.
I have found my servant David;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him;
my hand shall always remain with him;
    my arm also shall strengthen him.
The enemy shall not outwit him,
    the wicked shall not humble him.
I will crush his foes before him
    and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;
    and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
I will set his hand on the sea
    and his right hand on the rivers.
He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
    my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’
I will make him the firstborn,
    the highest of the kings of the earth.
Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
    and my covenant with him will stand firm.
I will establish his line forever,
    and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
If his children forsake my law
    and do not walk according to my ordinances,
if they violate my statutes
    and do not keep my commandments,
then I will punish their transgression with the rod
    and their iniquity with scourges;
but I will not remove from him my steadfast love,
    or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant,
    or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
    I will not lie to David.
His line shall continue forever,
    and his throne endure before me like the sun.
It shall be established forever like the moon,
    an enduring witness in the skies.” Selah

But now you have spurned and rejected him;
    you are full of wrath against your anointed.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
    you have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls;
    you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
All who pass by plunder him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
Moreover, you have turned back the edge of his sword,
    and you have not supported him in battle.
You have removed the scepter from his hand,[f]
    and hurled his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with shame. Selah

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how short my time is—[g]
    for what vanity you have created all mortals!
Who can live and never see death?
    Who can escape the power of Sheol? Selah

Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
    which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted;
    how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,[h]
with which your enemies taunt, O Lord,
    with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed.

Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and Amen.


Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 89:1 Gk: Heb the steadfast love of the Lord
  2. Psalm 89:7 Gk Syr: Heb greatly awesome
  3. Psalm 89:12 Or Zaphon and Yamin
  4. Psalm 89:16 Cn: Heb are exalted in
  5. Psalm 89:19 Cn: Heb help
  6. Psalm 89:44 Cn: Heb removed his cleanness
  7. Psalm 89:47 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Psalm 89:50 Cn: Heb bosom all of many peoples


New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD – Rejection: 1 Samuel 16

David Anointed as King

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely theLord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”[a] But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lordchosen this one.”  Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. TheLord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

David Plays the Lyre for Saul

Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the Lord is with him.” So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David who is with the sheep.”  Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him.


Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 16:6 Heb him

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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You speak either truth or falsehood.

Either all of your words are true or your whole statement is false.

If you want me to believe you, don’t use false words because I am aware that subtle deception led to the fall of mankind.

Someone who is fiercely opposed to my views regarding the innateness of human dignity and equality of every human being, no matter what our skin looks like or what faith someone claims, tagged me to a video last week. The video was of Marcus Rogers, a black male member of the United States Army who is stationed in South Korea (the link was via the Tea Party). He was talking about how all our trust needs to be in God… and nothing should be done on our own behalf because God will do it all (paraphrased). To support his premise, he equated Black Lives Matter to ISIS. When he stated that people fighting for the right of human beings to live, simply to live, and the right to live without the threat of state-sanctioned physical abuse or murder to a group of people whose primary agenda is to destroy human life and culture wherever they go, everything else he said was tainted and suspect and I was unable to agree with anything he said.

God says that He will fight our battles, but He also calls us to be present for the battles. We have to physically prepare. He does not send us into battle unprepared which means we will have many skirmishes. We have to show up. We can’t fight if we aren’t present. We have to believe – have faith – that He will deliver us as victors in the battles He has placed us in. Without faith it is impossible to please God, ergo to do anything for Him (Hebrews 11:6).  If we choose not to show up, not to prepare, not to believe, then we have removed ourselves from the battle and from the possibility of victory.

The difference in the two above statements is why it’s important to know your Bible. It’s important to know what God’s instructions are. His instructions inform us of His expectations for us. If people who yearn for freedom only sit home and wait for God to free them, they will never become free. They will forever be trapped in their own cage of inactivity and faithlessness.

For illustration, I point you to shepherd David (1 Samuel 17) and shepherd Moses (Exodus 14). David went into battle, with no military experience, with his sling, five stones, his shepherd’s staff and his faith in God. His declaration to Goliath is one of my favorite in the Bible, it was also paraphrased by Bree Newsome when she removed the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House on June 27, 2015: “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!”

David said:

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”  ~ 1 Samuel 17:45-47

During the Exodus, Moses instructed the people to stand still and watch God save them. God corrected him immediately – “Tell the people to keep going!”

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”  ~ Exodus 14:13-18

The person who tagged me to the incredibly offensive video and instructed me to listen to it with my “spiritual ears” also instructed me to stay home when many in my city took to the streets to protest the non-indictments of police officers who had killed people in the public view, i.e. on camera and in front of witnesses. I don’t live any part of my life without my faith, so everything I hear is filtered in the presence of the Spirit who envelops me. May this also be true for you.

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given —and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”  ~ Mark 4:23-25

just America Andy_Marlette_Ferguson_Cartoon

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ACAD – Praise: Psalm 34

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

[a] Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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ACAD – Praise: 1 Chronicles 29

Offerings for the Temple

And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God. So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 3,000 talents[a] of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house,[b] and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself[c] today to the Lord?”

Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and The officers over the king’s work. They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics[d] of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

David Prays in the Assembly

Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.[e] O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”

Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king. And they offered sacrifices to the Lord, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness.

Solomon Anointed King

And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the Lord, and Zadok as priest.

Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of David his father. And he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. And the Lord made Solomon very great in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The Death of David

Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. Then he died at a good age, full of days, riches, and honor. And Solomon his son reigned in his place. Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles of Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of Gad the seer, with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances that came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 29:4 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
  2. 1 Chronicles 29:4 Septuagint; Hebrew houses
  3. 1 Chronicles 29:5 Or ordaining himself; Hebrew filling his hand
  4. 1 Chronicles 29:7 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams
  5. 1 Chronicles 29:15 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew hope, or prospect

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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ACAD – Praise: 1 Chronicles 23

David Organizes the Levites

When David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel.

David[a] assembled all the leaders of Israel and the priests and the Levites.The Levites, thirty years old and upward, were numbered, and the total was38,000 men. “Twenty-four thousand of these,” David said,[b] “shall have charge of the work in the house of the Lord, 6,000 shall be officers and judges, 4,000 gatekeepers, and 4,000 shall offer praises to the Lord with the instruments that I have made for praise.” And David organized them in divisions corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The sons of Gershon[c] were Ladan and Shimei. The sons of Ladan: Jehiel the chief, and Zetham, and Joel, three. The sons of Shimei: Shelomoth, Haziel, and Haran, three. These were the heads of the fathers’ houses of Ladan. And the sons of Shimei: Jahath, Zina, and Jeush and Beriah. These four were the sons of Shimei. Jahath was the chief, and Zizah the second; but Jeush and Beriah did not have many sons, therefore they became counted as a single father’s house.

The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, four. The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to dedicate the most holy things, that he and his sons forever should make offerings before the Lord andminister to him and pronounce blessings in his name forever. But the sons of Moses the man of God were named among the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer. The sons of Gershom: Shebuel the chief. The sons of Eliezer: Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. The sons of Izhar: Shelomith the chief. Thesons of Hebron: Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. The sons of Uzziel: Micah the chief and Isshiah the second.

The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. The sons of Mahli: Eleazar and Kish. Eleazar died having no sons, but only daughters; their kinsmen, the sons of Kish, married them. The sons of Mushi: Mahli, Eder, and Jeremoth, three.

These were the sons of Levi by their fathers’ houses, the heads of fathers’ houses as they were listed according to the number of the names of the individuals from twenty years old and upward who were to do the work for the service of the house of the Lord. For David said, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has given rest to his people, and he dwells in Jerusalem forever. And so the Levites no longer need to carry the tabernacle or any of the things for its service.” For by the last words of David the sons of Levi were numbered from twenty years old and upward. For their duty was to assist the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the Lord, having the care of the courts and the chambers, the cleansing of all that is holy, and any work for the service of the house of God. Their duty was also to assist with the showbread, the flour for the grain offering, the wafers of unleavened bread, the baked offering, the offering mixed with oil, and all measures of quantity or size. And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening, and whenever burnt offerings were offered to the Lord on Sabbaths,new moons, and feast days, according to the number required of them, regularly before the Lord. Thus they were to keep charge of the tent of meeting and the sanctuary, and to attend the sons of Aaron, their brothers, for the service of the house of the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 23:2 Hebrew He
  2. 1 Chronicles 23:4 Hebrew lacks David said
  3. 1 Chronicles 23:7 Vulgate (compare Septuagint, Syriac); Hebrew to the Gershonite
English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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SERMON: If Only David Had Called For His Chariot by Pastor Carter Conlon

Revelation 2:1-7 – To the Church in Ephesus

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

1 Samuel 17:23

As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”  ~ 1 Samuel 17:23-27

Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”  ~ 1 Samuel 17:36-37

Notes & Quotes:

“If you are going to be used of God, you’re gonna have to press through the envy – which is part of the cup of leadership – evil speech. You are not going to get into leadership without this hazing (if I may). You want to lead in the body of Christ, you get prepared for the lies, the rumors and innuendos, the envies that will all come your way. And that will challenge the very core of who you are as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus Christ. Ultimately we are called to represent the one who went to the cross and gave Himself for all of mankind. And said, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ You will never be a genuine leader in the body of Christ or in the kingdom of God without suffering some of these things.” ~ Pastor Carter Conlon

“God promises to bless, but we make the choices. You make the choices. I make the choices. The blessings are not unconditional. We can’t walk away from God and expect the same blesses we had when we were with him. They can be taken away. Your choices will change your future.” ~ Pastor Carter Conlon

“Press through the unbelief!”

Success is a dangerous place to be – because you can fall asleep.

Candlestick = your testimony; your light; your strength.

Don’t lose your testimony due to your choices.

Additional reference verses:

1 Samuel 18:7-9
Matthew 16:25
2 Samuel 7
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ACAD – Giving Thanks: 2 Samuel 7

God’s Covenant with David

Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.”

Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Would you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house.[a]

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, 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 his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.[b] Your throne shall be established forever.”’”

According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Thanksgiving to God

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord God? Now what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant. For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore You are great, O Lord God.[c] For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name — and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land — before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods? For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God.

“Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.

“And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant. Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 7:11 That is, a royal dynasty
  2. 2 Samuel 7:16 Septuagint reads Me.
  3. 2 Samuel 7:22 Targum and Syriac read O Lord God.

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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Seeing Your Enemies As They Are: David vs. Goliath

from 1 Samuel 17, New Living Translation Version

How Goliath and the Israelites saw Goliath (the enemy)

Then Goliath, a Philistine championfrom Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.  (v. 4-7)

How Goliath taunted the army of Israel

“Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!”

When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.  (v. 8, 11, 16) 

How David (servant of God) saw Goliath (the enemy)

“What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” (v. 26)

What David’s people thought of him and how they saw him

Eliab: But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” (v. 28)

King Saul: “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” (v. 32-33)

What David thought of himself

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (v. 34-37)

How Goliath taunted David

Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. (v. 41-44)

Why David fought

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (v. 45-47)

Every time I read this story, my heart swells with home team pride! 🙂 Everyone saw David as the unfortunate underdog, but he knew that the LORD he fought for made him a conqueror! There is POWER in our knowledge of God. There is STRENGTH in knowing what God will do for us and bring us through. There is VICTORY in defending the honor of God and those associated with Him.

Think of how the enemy (Goliath in this situation) taunted the Israelites. He terrified them with his presence, his apparent dominance of the situation and his words. He had esstentially defeated the army of Israel before they even went to battle. Imagine that! The army of Israel was the Army of the Living God – as such they were guaranteed victory, but in their minds, they were no match for the “Philistine Champion from Gath.”

How are you viewing your enemy? Do you listen to what your enemy says about themself or are you listening to what God says about you?

David was not intimidated. David did not look at the physical situation. What David proclaimed was: (1) I am a servant to the king, (an anointed king postioned by God), (2) the Philistines defied/disgraced the armies of the Living God (the offense was deserving of death), (3) the battle was the Lord’s, (4) the Lord will conquer His enemies, (5) all will know the Lord rescues His people.

Honestly, what more do we need to know for our own personal battles? See Ephesians 6:12.

Our victory is already written in God’s Word. We need to stand firmly on His Word in order to continue to walk in victory. To “stand on the word” means to know and believe the Word – you have to trust the Word of God. It’s your belief and trust in God that allows Him to carry you victoriously through your battles.

Encourage others and share your victory over Goliath in the comments.