When to Ask for Help (2 Chronicles 19-20)

“Our God, will you not judge [our enemies]?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) When Jehoshaphat found himself facing the imminent attack of a large number of armies, he assessed the situation and realized that his army did not stand a chance.  Then Jehoshaphat did ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting to Be King (2 Samuel 13-15)

Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city.  If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.  But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” (2 Samuel 15:25-26) David never fought to be king.  That was true when Saul was ... [Continue Reading]

Misunderstanding God (2 Samuel 5:11-6:23; 1 Chronicles 13-14)

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled.  The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7) God has been misunderstood by many over the years, and some have even surmised that the ... [Continue Reading]

God’s Guiding Presence (2 Samuel 5:1-10; 1 Chronicles 10, 11:1-9)

And [David] became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. (2 Samuel 5:1-10) A very stark contrast existed between King David and King Saul as it came to God's presence in their leadership.  The difference between the two men was that David sought to bring glory to the Lord and Saul sought to bring glory to himself.  Since David's efforts were ... [Continue Reading]

Authority’s Origin (2 Samuel 1-4)

David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” (2 Samuel 1:14) Authority always answers to a higher authority. It's true.  Just think about it. I own my house, but the government could confiscate it at any time.  At work you probably have a boss, who has a boss, who has a boss, who has a board of directors.  The board of ... [Continue Reading]

The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8) When things don't go the way we want in life, it's tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to ... [Continue Reading]

On the Throne (1 Samuel 7-9)

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. (1 Samuel 8:6-7) God allows us to have things that are outside of His plans for our lives.  Though He's omnipotent, He allows ... [Continue Reading]

Beauty from Ashes (1 Samuel 1-3)

Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year.  Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. (1 Samuel 1:6-7) It seems that brokenness is often a character trait of those who are going to be used by God.  Why?  Perhaps it's because ... [Continue Reading]

A Home for God (Exodus 40)

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34) One of the remarkable features of the Old Testament tabernacle was the presence of the Lord's glory, which was displayed in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar by night.  The Israelites knew that God was with them because they could see a physical manifestation ... [Continue Reading]

Be Still (Exodus 13-15)

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14) There are moments when time seems to stand still, aren't there?  When the sun slowly descends below the horizon.  When a heavy blanket of snow covers a forest of unrelenting pines.  When a parent holds a newborn child for the first time.  There is an inexplicable mystery in those moments where God's ... [Continue Reading]