Taunted

How many times in our attempts to manage our troubles do we eventually get to the point where our troubles overtake us?

Advertisements

2 Samuel 5:3-7, 10 (Amp) So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them [there] before the Lord, and they anointed [him] king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began his forty-year reign. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, You shall not enter here, for the blind and the lame will prevent (stop) you; they thought, David cannot come in here. Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David… David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.

If David had never dealt with Goliath, or the taunts of one man, how could he have ever dealt with the taunts of an entire city?

1) How have I dealt with opposition in my life? (Taunts)

Proverbs 21:22 (Amp) A wise man scales the city walls of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

A wise man sees the obstacle in front of him, a wise man considers the strategy of the enemy, and he plans the engagement carefully.

The enemy trusts in his walls, the same walls that supposedly are keeping you out, are holding him in. He’s trapped in what he thinks is his salvation all the while hiding behind deaf, dumb, lame and blind gods.

If you are always trying to accomplish things on your own, and using your own means, power and provision, then the enemy sees you as an easy kill. In fact he sees you as such an easy opponent that the blind and the lame, could keep you from getting that which has been promised to you.

Judges 1:21(NKJ) But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

At one time Jerusalem had been a conquest of the tribe of Benjamin, but they allowed the Jebusites to dwell among them. And eventually the Jebusites took over the city.

How many times in our attempts to manage our troubles do we eventually get to the point where our troubles overtake us? Little problems and sins that we fail to completely surrender, now taunt us every time we perceive to confront them.

Strongs: 2982 Yebuwc (yeb-oos’); from 947; trodden, i.e. Threshing-place;

947 buwc (boos); a primitive root; to trample (literally or figuratively): KJV– loath, tread (down, under [foot]), be polluted.

Trample: to tread heavily, or to tread heavily on something or somebody so as to cause damage or injury.

Trample: to behave in an insulting contemptuous way or to treat somebody in a hurtful insulting way

Pollute: Corrupt or Defile: to make somebody morally or spiritually impure.

Pollute: Desecrate: to violate the sacred nature of a holy place. (Encarta Dictionary)

Those very people whom the tribe of Benjamin allowed to live and dwell among them ended up taking over, they became a reproach. The possession of peace became a threshing place.

The promise of God became polluted, desecrated, this strategic location, this central city, this city on a hill, became a place where its inhabitants worshipped blind and lame gods, (idols) and they didn’t even dispute that. They didn’t hide that fact they trusted in their walls.

2) If you were David, what would you be prepared to do?

• Turn back and come another time?

• Be so twisted by the taunts that you lose your cool and make a mistake?

• Question God?

Or Would You…

• Prepare to take your city!

• Prepare to get what’s promised!

• Prepare to fight with valor.

The Jebusites have taken the city and have fortified themselves in it, and if you weren’t a threat they wouldn’t be looking for you to come.

They glory in their walled fortress. But the Bible says:

Proverbs 18:10 (NKJ) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

The very name of our Lord should be a fortress to me.

Romans 10:13 (NKJ) For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

They glory in their advantage, but the Bible says:

Hebrews 13:6 (Amp) So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to Me?

Psalm 27:1 (Amp) The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 118:6 (Amp) The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

They glory in their pride and strength. But the Bible says:

Psalm 56:9 (ESV) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.

Romans 8:31 (ESV) then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

• I’m not taking that city alone

• I’m not facing this difficulty alone

• I’m not dealing with this obstacle alone

3) Who is my fortress, pride and strength?

Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the unrighteous and ruthless man. For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. Upon You have I leaned (stability) and relied from birth; You are He Who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You. I am as a wonder and surprise to many, but You are my strong refuge. My mouth shall be filled with Your praise and with Your honor all the day. (Psalm 71:4-8 AMP)

I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. (Psalm 121:1, 2 MSG)

4) Have I considered who I surround myself with?

Because even the blind and the lame could keep me out. If you let them!!!

If I surround myself with people of no vision, and no walk!

Ah ha! There’s the catch!

Who are your companions?

• Those who have no vision.

• Those who can’t walk.

• Keep me from my destiny.

2 Samuel 5:7 (TLB) But David and his troops defeated them and captured the stronghold of Zion, now called the City of David.

Father God, help us to righteously deal with opposition and taunts, enable us to stand up and do something, because we know that it is not in our strength and sufficiency that we move on, and finally help us to be discerning when choosing our companions, because your Word says a companion of fools suffers harm.

And ps. Lord may your Word work mightily in the lives of every reader in Jesus’ Precious name. Amen.

Soiled

It never fails! It seems like every time I cut my lawn I'm wearing a white tank top or T-shirt, and in the middle of my lawnmowing activities I reach down grab the hem of my shirt and wipe the sweat off my face with my shirt resulting in a dirty, sweaty, grass stained T-shirt.

After I am done I will grab the whites throw them in the washer on the highest heat setting we have, I put extra detergent and plenty of bleach and the shirts come out relatively white.

Compared to a dirty shirt, clean shirts are white, but compared to a brand-new shirt the clean shirts are not quite White at all.

Our lives are a lot like the T-shirt… Circumstances, trials, troubles, tribulations , and suffering has reached out grabbing the hem of our shirts and left a messy stain.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. (Life is messy) When we display our righteous deeds (when we try to wash off the mess), they are nothing but filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6 a NLT
(emphasis is mine)

King David wrote these words after one of the most troublesome time in his life “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalms 51:10 NLT

He discovered as king, even with all his power, a cover up was the best he could hope for. He needed a new created clean heart. He needed his heart RE-NEWED (new again). You see there is no amount of scrubbing, cleaning, bleach or detergent that could take a soiled shirt and make it brand-new!

So we try to live pure lives, and we try to be holy, or if you are not religious you are trying to be good or you try to be moral, and since the very best of our human examples are clean or relatively clean, when we raise our shirts compared to them, we think that we are all right.

Because when I compare my shirt (life) to those of pimps, prostitutes, politicians, actors, athletes and rockstars my shirt (life) seems pretty clean, BUT unfortunately that is not the standard of white that I am going to be held up against eternally.

Jesus Christ lived the standard, and if I continue to try to act like my right doing is the standard I'm going to be in for a rude awakening.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' Podcast today and he said this, "The closer you get to the holiness of God the more you feel the weight of how unholy you and I are."

There is a young man at work that wears white T-shirts all the time. They have got to be at least 10 years old, they are worn for the wear and they are off-white at the very best. If I stood next to him my shirts would glow in comparison. BUT he isn't the standard! I will NOT eternally be measured against him. Christ is the standard and against him I'm dingy and tattered, and it's terrifying.

All my scrubbing is of no value!

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NLT

It's a good thing I don't have to stand against Him, he can take my tired, tattered, worn-out mess of a life and STAND in my place.

Make me new Lord, make me NEW.

-John

It’s not my job!

Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

1 Samuel 23: 1 (ESV) Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” 2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” 5 And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

It seems like every post lately has been about David running from Saul, and in some way that has been the prevailing theme of the last few chapters in 1st Samuel. I may have stated this before but it is worth saying again, “If it’s getting tedious for me having to write about it, I’m sure David and his men were even more frustrated having to live through it”.

This portion of scripture (verses 1-4) just stood out, why would the welfare of this town be so important to David? What was so special about Keilah that it would cause men that are running for their lives to risk going into battle with their enemy’s enemy?

Isn’t that the heart of a leader? Perhaps this is the reason David was called in from the fields by Samuel and anointed in the first place. While King Saul is pre-occupied with hunting down David, and David is concerned with the welfare of the inhabitants of Keilah. Shouldn’t that be where Saul’s focus should be?

Ask yourself 

  • Do I do the same thing? 
  • Do I get so sidetracked with personal stuff, anxieties, and concerns, that I am letting my everyday obligations suffer?
  • Are there times when someone else has to step in and cover for you because you were not around to handle your duties?

I work for the Department of Transportation and every year we have performance reviews, and at these reviews  my job duties are broken down into percentages. 85% of the time I’m doing inspections 10% of the time I’m supposed to be doing office work and 5% of the time just says “other”  duties at the descretion of the Resident Maintenance Engineer

That means this… I can never say, “It’s not my job!”

Lord help us not to be easily sidetracked, Lord enable us to be your hands and feet even through the most trying situations, and finally Lord give us a heart, compassion and concern for your people despite our current trouble, trials & tribulations. Strengthen our hands for battle, when everything and everyone around us is saying, “It’s ok to relax.”

And help us to step up and fill in the gap when others drop the ball. 

That’s a whole lot of distress!

If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 

1 Samuel 22: 2 NKJV“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”

‭‭

Perhaps this is where they get the saying, misery loves company. Here is David running for his life running from a powerful crazed man who is bent on destroying him. It’s bad enough when you have trolls & haters, enemies with nothing else to do but make your life miserable. It’s even worse when you have powerful adversaries, and that’s what David had… a King with unlimited resources out to get him.
When I was 10 years old we left Chicago, Illinois and moved to San Bernardino, California near Seccombe Lake. There were plenty of kids around to play with, and one of our favorite games was Hide-and-go-Seek which we played in our neighborhood at night. 
Now that I think about it, it was just a bunch of knuckleheads trespassing on other people’s properties. To us there was nowhere sacred and nowhere off-limits when we played Hide-and-go-Seek. 
We would hide under houses, on roofs, in abandoned cars, in backyards, in trees and under parked cars. I once found this pink fluffy material stacked in a neighbors side porch that I dove into headfirst. The minutes hiding in the fluff seemed like hours, and when I heard, “All-lee All-lee in come free!” I knew the game was over, I didn’t get caught but I itched for a few days. I guess no one in my neighborhood thought that anyone was crazy enough to hide in that fluffy pink stuff. Before then I didn’t know what fiberglass insulation was. What kind of monster creates something that looks like cotton candy but itches like poison ivy??? 
I said that, to say this, when you find a place to hide there’s no way in the world you let other kids hide with you! Its a well known fact, it’s impossible to keep two kids quiet. You are bound to get caught. 
So I wonder what David was thinking, fleeing from King Saul was hard enough with a couple of loyal guys, but how in the world was he going to pull it off with 400 discontented, debt ridden and distressed men?
If you were assembling a team would the Job Posting read… Looking for men, must be in debt, discontented and in distress. Those without serious issues need not bother to apply. 
I didn’t think so. 

It’s a mystery the way that God works. We know that eventually this rag-tag bunch will produce men who; jump into pits with lions in the snow, stand alone in a field of beans and fight when others ran, one who would slay 800 men with a spear, three who broke into enemy territory just to fetch their leader a cup of water, others killed giants, ferocious animals and preformed other amazing acts of bravery. 

We don’t always get to choose who follows us, but we do choose who we will be as a leader. Seeing these men could have broke David, it could’ve caused him to quit to surrender and eventually to forfeit his life. But David chose to lead these men. 
There are men and women today looking for a leader. If and when they find you, what kind of leader will they find?
Will you be able to minister to their brokenness? Will you be able to look beyond their distress and dysfunction and direct them towards their destiny? Will you be the catalyst that reaches into their chaos and creates champions who preform greater feats than even your own?
That’s what David did. What will you do?
-John Rosado

A different level of Cray-Cray (CRAZY)

1 SAMUEL 18: 10 (NLT) The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

David is brought into Saul’s house (palace) soon after the defeat of Goliath. There was something about David, that Saul appreciated and he wanted that influence and attitude near him, specifically in his home and around his family. But there was also something about David that brought out the very worst of Saul.

Saul was so insecure that he was constantly looking over his shoulder; I guess that insecurity was a byproduct of having the Prophet tell you, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you”.

I can almost feel for Saul; who could withstand the amount of stress and anxiety that would put on an individual? He was paranoid, raving mad at times. The evil spirit that was allowed to take him at times was overwhelming! Enter David; a skilled musician that could play a tune which would sooth Saul’s tormented soul.

But how cool was David? …Dude had ice in his veins! How in the world could he continue to minister to this madman? 

Imagine having to continue to play his instrument while getting spears thrown at you by a man of war?

How would you perform under that pressure? …Could you? …Do you?

We have a hard enough time ministering to people who get on our nerves. We have difficulty being cordial with folks who write nasty things about us on social media. We lose our salvation when the Pastor doesn’t acknowledge our hard work, or god forbid he doesn’t stop to shake our hands on Sunday!

Do you wonder how he did it?

• How did David manage to retain the frame of mind to continue to strum and sing?

• How did David maintain the composure to go to work the next day?

• How did David muster the strength needed to keep his mouth shut and complete a task?

I know most of us would have failed if this was all just to test David’s character. How could God expect him to minister and serve this man under those conditions? And if this sticky situation which David is placed in is in the Bible to help us in our lives (using 2nd Timothy 3:16 as a standard) then, what can we, or better yet… What do we need to learn from it that will help teach us to live righteously?

2nd Timothy 3:17 that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

God help us! It would have been so easy for me to pick the scriptures in this chapter which spoke on Jonathan and his love and affection for David. Heck it would have been easy to write about David’s exploits on the battlefield, and how he eventually gets the girl. But once again I’m left with a Scripture that challenges me. A Scripture that forces me to take a long look at myself and make changes. 

Father God, I (we) can’t do this one without you. I (we) know this one is going to require a higher amount of grace than usual. I’m (we are) going to have to make some attitude and character changes and they are going to hurt. But I’m (we are) looking forward to the man (person) I’m going to become. Once again thank you for your Word. May it accomplish in me (us) what you desire in your heart for it to accomplish so that I (we) may be complete, equipped for every good work. -Love John

How many times is enough?

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬ “For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.”

They say it takes approximately 21 days to develop a habit. 

Well how long does it take to believe a lie?

You can’t easily tell by just seeing that scripture, but this is the story of David and Goliath!  

This is one of my all-time favorite Bible stories. I’m sure most boys have daydreamed of fighting enemies, killing giants, rescuing princesses or slaying dragons. 

Stories like these swam in my imagination as a youngster. 

Stories like these made the Bible come alive to me. 

I remember the picture Bible we used to read from as children. I loved the full color picture illustrations of Bears, Lions, Furnaces, Giants, Shipwrecks and Battles. 

The Bible to me was a graphic novel, and in many ways it still is. 

I’m the person who you lose two paragraphs into your sermon, because I’m enthralled in the story, the daydreamer, I’ve placed myself in those situations and battlefields. I’ve felt the heat of the furnace, heard the roar of the lion, saw the dust rise as the temple pillars were toppled and I’ve heard the taunts of the Giant. 

I’ve imagined his hot breath spewing forth spittle as he yelled his taunts across the canyon. I’ve pictured the veins in his neck bulging as he grows more and more impatient with each passing day. I’ve seen his fist clenched, tight around his spear jabbing it in the air as he gestured towards the cowards across the way. I’ve even speculated him thinking, “Perhaps this will be the day that someone answers my call to battle!”

Eighty times this is what they heard…

“Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us… I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 

When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.” 1 Samuel‬ ‭17:8-11 ESV

So, how many times is enough? 

If you heard that you were insufficient 80 times- twice a day for 40 days and 40 nights would you start to believe it?  
What If you heard you weren’t able… that you were lacking… that you weren’t strong enough… or that you weren’t man enough? 

When does a lie become the truth?

NEVER! 

Never!!! No matter how many times it’s repeated, no matter how many times it is reiterated, no matter how many times you are remindedA lie will always be a lie!

Goliath, told Saul’s men, that they were the Armies of Israel. David knew that they were the Armies of the Most High God. 

Goliath managed to separate the Army from its power. If only by changing a single word. 

He made them “servants of Saul”, instead of Children of God. 

Words HURT and they carry POWER. 

The King and ALL of Israel were dismayed. Goliath got them all not only to question their manhood, but also to forget about “WHO” was on their side. 

It only took David one time to hear these taunts for him to see it for what it really was. It was a direct assault against God Himself. And since David knew the battle was not his, but the Lord’s he didn’t see the enemy as invincible.

What taunts have you heard over and over that have you dismayed and greatly afraid?

What lies has the enemy repeated that have been etched in your mind or burned in your spirit?

Perhaps you have heard things like…

You will never amount to much! You are a dummy!

You’re ugly, you’re fat! 

You’re just like your mother!

You’re just like your father!

You’re worthless, or you’re lazy!

I’m here to remind you that…

You are the child of the Living God. You are a Son or Daughter of a King. You are worthy and you have value, and you are loved beyond measure. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word, thank you for your everlasting love. And thank you for your grace and mercy towards us. Forgive us for the times where we have taken our eyes off you and focused on situations, problems and the enemy. Help is to remember that the battle is yours and we give you all the glory and honor due you. Forever and ever Amen. – Love John

Anointed

‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:10-13‬ ‭(NIV) “Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David…”‭

So we end the last chapter with Saul being rejected by the Lord, and this chapter starts with the Prophet Samuel once again looking for the person that’s going to lead God’s people as king.

 

There are some interesting things to look at in this chapter.

 

Saul is a young man head and shoulders above the rest. He was a fine specimen of a man. He’s tall and he looks the part. If we were to look up the features & qualities necessary to be king, Saul met the qualifications, he passed the eye test. 

David on the other hand was the little brother everyone forgot. No one bothered to even call him in from the fields for this special visit from the Man of God. He was fine looking, handsome, a good complexion and some versions say he had pretty eyes. Not a very kingly description to be sure.

Saul was out looking for his dads lost donkeys when he was chosen. David was tending and protecting his father’s sheep, tasked with their wellbeing.

It is curious to note later in the chapter, that David was also given the task of soothing Saul on the occasions when an evil spirit would torment him. David was also an armor bearer to the king. Much like Moses and Joseph; God had placed David exactly in the right place He needed him to be until the proper time of His choosing.

 

Most sermons based on this chapter are about how man looks at the outside and God looks at the heart. That point is obvious, but what stuck out to me this time are the contrasts. 

Is it possible that God was trying to make a point? 

This is what you get when you do the choosing! He (Saul) may have passed the EYE test, but he didn’t pass the HEART test. 

When you got Saul you got an impulsive, impatient, man-pleaser; a rebellious man who the Lord regretted ever choosing and whom the Lord rejected as king over Israel. 

God went so far as pulling His Spirit from the man! 

How much of a mess do you have to be to get to that place with a God whose very character is LONGSUFFERING and ABIDING in LOVE?

But if God is so displeased with Saul, why allow him to continue to lead for a period of time?

I believe this time was used to develop Davids character, and to refine him. 

How would we preform under the same circumstances? 

  • If we were David would we be able to play a tune that calmed the very man we were anointed to replace? 
  • If we were David would we be able to carry a shield and protect this mans back in difficult and dangerous situations? 
  • If we were David would we be able to sit still and calmly wait for God’s appointed time?

I can only speak for myself, but I would bet that the same holds true for you… I don’t think I would !

I tend to be impatient, I have a propensity for speaking my mind, I don’t think I could hold it together knowing the seat that Saul is occupying will shortly be mine…. Oh wretched man that I am!

But then again…

I am using the Scriptures to lead and guide me, and I am acknowledging my faults as a fallible man. I am NOT able! But if that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me, He can quicken this mortal body by His Spirit. So therefore I can do all things thru Christ which strengthens me! 

Oh Heavenly Father, once again thank you for your Word. It doesn’t return to you empty but it accomplishes that which you have purposed in your heart for it to accomplish….In me!!!! Cut away the filthiness of this flesh, soften the hardness in this heart. Empower and embolden me to walk out my Salvation with fear and trembling. Help me to serve others even those who seem like they are far from you. Give me the patience I need to wait on your perfect timing. And lastly… thank you for choosing me. -Love John