Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Canadian Bible Engagement Study

read bibleIn 2013, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, in partnership with the Bible League of Canada, the Canadian Bible Society, The Gideons, Open Doors, Wycliffe and a few others, released the results of a survey that asked Canadians about their engagement with and belief in the Bible.

It is important for Canadian Christians to understand the results of this survey as it applies to our culture. But the results of this survey are also a wake-up call for Canadian Christians.

One line stood out above all of the others in the report of the survey. It is this line: “The Bible engagement of self-identified Christians as a whole is not very different from Bible engagement of Canadians generally.”

Brothers and sisters, this should not be so!

There are positives. People who read the Bible regularly are 6 times more likely to attend church regularly, and 10 times more likely to consider the Bible God’s Word.

13% of Canadians and 23% of Canadian Christians agree that the Bible is relevant to daily life.  That is encouraging! Those who believe that the Bible is relevant to daily life are over 10 times more likely to read the Bible frequently and are four times more likely to attend church weekly.

The Bible engages and changes lives! But we as Canadian Christians need to be setting the example and leading the conversation.

For more information about the survey, please go to: http://www.bibleengagementstudy.ca/

Here are the survey result files:
CBES Executive Summary
CBES Full Report

Let me encourage you my friends: be engaged with the Living and Active Word of God!

Psalm 119:1-88: DON’T RUSH THIS!

It goes without saying that my hope and desire for you as we journey through the scriptures together is that you will come to a fresh and deepening understanding of who God is, how He acts, how He loves and His restorative plan for humanity and creation. One thing might need to be said: please don’t rush through your readings! I know that it can be difficult to slot time in the Bible into your day. A little thought that has helped me work through that is this: stop thinking about needing to “make time” to read your Bible and start thinking about “taking time” to read your Bible. There is a fair bit of distinction between the two thoughts.

Making time means that reading your Bible become another thing to add to your schedule, something that you have to add to your list of to do’s. We have this mistaken thought in our minds that we can somehow manufacture more time in order to squeeze one more item into our schedules.

The other way to look at it is to “take time” to read your Bible. That means that you have to take time away from one activity (or several activities) in order to have time to spend doing something else. The amount of time does not change, but how you use and arrange that time has to change. Andy Stanley (Charles Stanley’s son) says: “Our time is limited, so we have to limit how we spend our time”.

He has an excellent message about time management from a Biblical perspective. (http://northpoint.org/messages/breathing-room/time/). As a side note, if you are looking for a fantastic preacher to listen to, maybe you miss church or need a different voice to listen to from time-to-time (I won’t be offended), check out Andy Stanley. He is one of my favourite preachers and you can watch his sermons online for free (http://northpoint.org/messages).

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the “big rocks” illustration. It goes like this: a pile of big rocks, smaller rocks and sand all need to fit into a jar.  At first it might seem impossible for this to happen. You can try putting the sand in first and then the smaller rocks and then the big rocks, but you will find that they won’t fit properly. There is only one way to make this happen: by putting the big rocks in the jar first. Then the smaller rocks, and lastly the sand. The small rocks fill in the spaces around the big rocks, and then the sand fills in the rest of the space.

jar-rocks-1 jar-rocks-2 jar-rocks-3

In the illustration, the big rocks are the important things in life (kids, spouse, family, friends, character, Bible reading, prayer, Sabbath/rest, etc.), the smaller rocks are the next important things in life (jobs, volunteering, hobbies, vacations, recreation, etc.) and the sand is everything else in life (grocery shopping, email, Facebook, gaming, hobbies, dusting, etc). By taking care of the big stuff in life first (the important stuff) all of the smaller stuff falls into place accordingly.

The glitch in this illustration is that we sometimes mix up what the big rocks actually are. You may think you know what the big rocks, the important things in your life are, but if you actually take a second to look at how you spend your time, you may find that your big rocks are different than you want them to be. What you spend your time on shows you what you really think is important. So if you spend 20 hours a week watching T.V. and only 30 minutes a week reading the Bible, you CANNOT say that reading the Bible is a big rock in your life. You are deceiving yourself. Same rule applies across the board.

As your read Psalm 119, half today and half on Sunday, consider just how valuable the author of this Psalm thought God’s Word was. The whole thing extols the greatness and value of God’s instructions and decrees.

That takes me back to what I said at the beginning: please don’t rush through your Bible reading! Take time for it! Let the living, breathing Word of Holy Eternal God speak into your heart, illuminate your mind and set your feet on a good and right path; THEN everything else will fit in the jar.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 72

1 Kings 1-2, Psalm 37, 71 & 94: Time and heart

The king is dead! Long live the king.

David passes the crown on to his son Solomon, an event that is not without its share of drama. Adonijah tries to take the crown for himself, then tries to secure a wife in Abishag (the girl who attended to King David in his old age). Of course all of this foolishness ends in his own death.  Then there’s the cleaning up Solomon has to do. Some like Adonijah were a threat to the throne itself. Others, like Abiathar the priest, had betrayed David and needed to be dealt with. Others, like Joab, had justice coming to them. All in all, Solomon had a rocky couple of months after he started wearing the crown.

Allow me to make two points. First, notice what it says about Abiathar’s punishment: “So Solomon banished Abiathar from being the Lord’s priest, and it fulfilled the Lord’s prophesy He has spoken  at Shiloh against Eli’s family.” Remember back at Shiloh (1 Samuel 2) when Eli’s sons were abusing their rights as priests and God had promised to end the line of Eli. This is the final fulfillment of that promise. God carries out his will and his plans, even though it may take a very long time for them to come about (in this case about 100 years). 2 Peter 3:8-9 gives us a reason for this perspective, that God’s definition and understanding of time is limited like ours. It is not uncommon in the Bible to see God’s plans taking a century or more to reach fulfillment. (Psalm 90:4, Habakkuk 2:3 also mention this truth)

Second, pay attention to what David warns Solomon of at the beginning of chapter 2. While Solomon takes all of this time to remove the physical threats to the throne and the kingdom, he must pay attention to the internal threats as well, namely his own heart. If you know Solomon’s story, you know that in the end this is his ultimate downfall. When he hands over the throne, David warns Solomon to take care of his own personal life as the greatest of priorities, his devotion to God as chief above all else.

We would all do well to heed that warning!

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 119:1-88

Psalm 111-118: Not worthy, but worth it.

praise the lordGood morning my friends! It is good to be back from Manitoba. Let me just say, Steinbach is actually quite a lovely small’ish town, but Winnipeg really is a different experience. The touristy parts of the city are nice, but overall it is a very confusing city. The main detraction though: THE ROADS! I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head a couple of times! I honestly began to wonder how people kept shocks in their cars or how they kept the alignment. So rough.

Enough about Winnipeg. Psalms 111-118. By and large, these Psalms are all about praise and thanksgiving. Praise for God’s works, his grace and compassion, his mercy and help for those in need, his deliverance from slavery and his victory in battle. Perhaps as you read through these verses you can begin to offer up your own praise to God in the areas mentioned in these verses. What has God worked in your life lately? What work of deliverance, mercy or compassion have you experienced? When was the last time God set you free from slavery (in the spiritual, financial, relational sense)? What about victory; over a sin, a habit, an enemy?

When was the last time you simply praised God for who he is? If you read through those Psalms again, notice all of the words used to describe God. Notice all of the ways his Sovereignty and Majesty are described. Notice his command of the earth, the heavens and everything in them. And then think of this: all of who God is, his Sovereignty, his Majesty, his compassion, his mercy, his ability to make the earth tremble and melt mountains, his mighty voice that speaks truth, his mighty hand that lifts the needy from the ashes; all of who God is IS FOR YOU! He is interested in your life; interested in your hurts, interested in your pains, interested in bringing you victory and freedom and joy and truth.

Some of will you recoil from that truth. Some of you will read those words and think: I don’t deserve that. I don’t deserve God’s attention, I don’t deserve God’s compassion, God’s might working for my good. Let me share with you the thing that stuck out for me from this past weekend (not the only thing that stuck out, but the one that has had a great impact on me): when it comes to God working in my life or yours, when it comes to Jesus dying on the cross to take our sin and transform our lives, you and I are not worthy of it. But we are totally and completely worth it.

Not worthy of it, but God assures us in the Bible that we are completely worth it.

Now…praise the Lord!

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Kings 1-2, Psalm 37, 71 & 94

2 Samuel 22-23, Psalm 57: Thanksgiving

As you consider 2 Samuel 22 today, take some time to look at two things: 1) the variety of ways David describes God and 2) the variety of things David gives thanks for.

I enjoy reading the Psalms, not because they discuss very real situations, very real doubts, fear, triumphs and faith, but because of their description of God. This chapter of 2 Samuel is the same. I am amazed at David’s experience of who God is, of how his mind’s eye pictures God and of the various ways that David extols God’s character. David seemed to have such a rich, awestruck understanding of God. I can only assume that he came by that understanding because of his direct experience of God. When I read these words from David it inspires me to drive deeper into God’s presence to experience more of who he is.

David also takes time in these verses to talk about all that God has done for him, the rich blessings, the times of rescue, the refuge in times of trial, the triumph brought by God’s presence. When was the last time you sat down and thought though, in detail, the goodness of God in your life or the richness of the blessings he has laid before you? It is good for the soul. Remember, David is coming to the end of his days here, he will soon pass from the Biblical narrative. Yet his writing, his words of thanksgiving remind us that part of living in awe of God is realizing just how faithful and good he is.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 95, 97-99

Psalm 5, 38, 41-42: Expectant

sunriseI didn’t have to read very far today to find something to ponder.

Psalm 5:3 “At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.”

The image here of someone pouring their heart out before God and then watching to see God’s response. There is no doubt in David’s mind that there will be a response, and he watches with great expectation to see what that response will be. There is great faith in this response by David. Older translations have David saying: “in the morning I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” That image of someone looking beyond the scope of their earthly situation to the heavens for help is a wonderful picture.

Notice as well that David does not attempt to dictate to God’s. Warren Wiersbe equates this picture to one of “a soldier presenting himself to his commander to receive order and an army set in battle array on the field. In past years, may soldiers had presented themselves to David to get their orders, but David first presented himself to the Lord.” (Be Worshipful: Psalms 1-89, pg 36) David is spending this time in the morning reporting in to God and then waiting to see where God would send/use him in the time that followed.

There has been much written lately about the concept of seeking to find where God is working and then joining him there. Essentially this is what David is doing here.

Also let me make mention of the morning time. I know, you may read what I am about to say and think: “But I’m not a morning person.” It has nothing to do with being a morning person. Repeatedly, the scriptures talk about the blessing of mornings and the blessings that come when we meet God in the mornings. I am a morning person (perhaps less so as we’ve had children because mornings are no longer peaceful affairs!) so I have never understood the dread with which some people face the start of the day. If nothing else, our devotion to God should drag us from our beds, a devotion that is marked by the expectation that David writes about in this verse of Psalm 5.

Charles Spurgeon writes: “This is the fittest time for communication with God.  An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. While the dew is on the grass, let grace drop upon the soul. Let us give to God the mornings of our days and the morning of our lives. Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night. Devotion should be both the morning star and the evening star.” The Treasury of David comment on Ps. 5:3)

To be so passionate about our time with God that we simply cannot wait for the sun to break the horizon and awaken us to a fresh time of communion with Him. That is what David is writing about here.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 22-23, Psalm 57

Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55

Have you ever been betrayed by someone? Someone close to you? If you have, you know how David was feeling at this point in his life. Amnon has raped his half-sister. Absalom has plotted against and killed Amnon to avenge his sister. His top military official, Joab, has schemed to bring Abaslom back to Jerusalem after killing Amnon. Then to top it all off, Absalom schemes to take the throne from David through treachery and shrewdness.

So David writes Psalm 55, the cry of one who has been betrayed by those closest to him. Again, I am struck by the call David puts out to God for vengeance. This is not he first time that David uses this language in the Psalms, and it won’t be the last. Repeatedly, David calls on God to act on his behalf in defeating his enemies, asking God to bring everything from humiliation to death and destruction down on them. David repeatedly showed a very strong reluctance in his life to defend himself or seek vengeance against those who did him wrong. He shows this most strongly while Saul is seeking to kill him and David refuses to raise his hand against Saul. Instead, he pleads with God to be the one to enact justice.

Perhaps David did not trust his own motives or emotions in dealing with these situations. I think we have all been in situations when we have spoken or acted in vengeance only to realize later that our action or word was worse than the offending incident. David displays a very godly attitude in these moments, recognizing that God is judge, that he is truly righteous and truly understands the fullness of the situation. Only that perspective gives God the right to act and work accordingly.

It is also a sign that David truly respected God as sovereign. He put the responsibility for acting on God’s shoulders, something that perhaps we could and should learn from. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” is something that God utters (Hebrews 10:30) but it is also something he displays repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. God is the judge, it is his right to repay the wicked for their transgressions, not ours. It is our right to bring our petitions before God and then leave it with him to deal with.

The other thing that I would point out is this: even in their betrayal, David does not hold a grudge against these people. He mourns fully and deeply when Absalom is killed (spoiler alert). He had no desire to harm Abaslom or hold a grudge against him. If we truly let God be the Sovereign Judge, then we would not hold grudges either.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 16-18

2 Samuel 13-15: Manipulation and horror

This is another disturbing account that many of us may wish were not in the Bible. To be clear, Amnon and Tamar are not half-siblings, same father (David), but different mothers. Tamar and Absalom are full siblings, which is why Absalom gets so upset about Tamar’s rape and is willing to kill Amnon. While this entire account is rather horrific, from Amnon’s lust to Absalom’s revolt, I want to point something out for us to ponder from these events.

Notice through all three of these chapters the manipulation that takes place. Jonadab hatches a scheme to lure Tamar to Amnon’s bed, a scheme Amnon carries out. Absalom hatches a scheme to get his brother drunk at a party and then have him killed. Joab hatches a scheme to get Absalom back to Jerusalem through manipulating King David. And finally, Absalom hatches a scheme to lead a revolt against Kind David (a revolt that was more successful than it should have been).

Consider how all of these manipulations reflect David’s manipulation of the situation with Bathsheba and Uriah. He plots to satiate his lust with Bathsheba, he plots to cover up the pregnancy (which fails) and then he plots to have Uriah killed in order to take Bathsheba as his wife. David’s manipulation breeds manipulation within his whole family. Nathan warned David (2 Samuel 12:10-12):

Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife.’ “This is what the Lord says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them publicly. You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.’”
 

 The truth is that this prediction from Nathan comes true in these events in David’s family (including where Absalom publicly has sex with David’s concubines in 2 Samuel 16).

While the events of this section of scripture are disturbing and dire, they teach us an important spiritual truth: when a father leads his family in rejection of God the consequences can and often will be felt for generations. As one author stated: “If a father rejects the covenant of God and takes his family into sin and rejects God, the children will suffer the consequences–often for several generations. Whether or not this is fair is not the issue. Sin is in the world; consequences of sin affected many generations.” (from http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/do-sons-bear-sins-fathers-or-not). 

Generational sin is a real and vibrant issue in our own churches today. There are simple examples of this: alcoholism will often lead to addictive personalities in following generations; grudge holding will often lead to generational conflict between families or within families. There are deeper, less easily recognizable generational sins as well. Insecurity among women can sometimes be traced back to an abuse against a mother or grandmother. Lack of self-confidence can be traced back to lies told about self-worth to a father or mother (or heaped on you by people at school while you were growing up, in which case people may be putting on you the sins of their own family). If you grow up being told that you were no good or could do nothing right, chances are that pattern started somewhere in the past and has been propagated through the generations. This is a sin on two fronts: telling the lie and believing the lie. God makes it plain in the Bible that we are all valuable (Matthew 10:31), his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and that God is concerned even about the hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).

Not many of us take time to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the consequences of generational sin in our own lives so that we can confess them, repent of them and be freed from them. That may seem strange to you, confessing sins that are not your own, but the truth is that the road to restoration begins with confession. Confession is not an admittance of guilt, it is simply an acknowledgement that something outside of God’s will has taken place. Any 12 step program begins with admitting that something is wrong. We so strongly shy away from the act of confession in our Canadian Christian culture, thinking that to confess means to bring shame or reveal shame because of our actions; we see it as completely negative. But as I was trying to point out in yesterday’s posting, confession is actually the way to freedom, to relief, to rest and peace with God and with others. We have it backwards.

For the sake of your children and your grandchildren, don’t allow generational sin to get any further down the line. Root it out, confess it and be free of it.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55

Psalm 32, 51, 86, 122: Relief

Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve made a decision that turned out to be a really bad decision? Perhaps the decision is made in the heat of the moment, or out of curiosity or maybe you just made the decision in haste. Whatever the extenuating circumstance behind the decision, the outcome leaves you standing with jaw open wondering: “What am I going to do now?” When I was a kid, I had the run of the neighbourhood.  There weren’t a lot of kids around, so the small number of us basically had the entire area as our playground. Everyone’s back yards, there were a couple of barns (we lived on the edge of town), a small bush; basically nothing was off limits. I did some pretty stupid things. Broke a couple of windows throwing rocks from far away. Not maliciously just with the thought “I wonder if I can hit that”, not really thinking that I could. Then that one rock leaves your hand and you know as soon as you let go of it that it’s going to hit. All you can do is stand in awestruck horror as you watch it fly straight and true through the glass. My parents gave me a bow and arrow one time, one of those fiberglass starter ones, you can image the things that got stuck with arrows. Thankfully nothing living. But many of those “I wonder if I can hit that” type of moments. I think my parents shed had more holes in it than solid wood at one point.

Then you carry around the guilt, hoping no one finds out, hoping that it won’t be noticed. It is a weight that grows in your chest, and instead of getting better with time it just gets heavier. Maybe you get used to carrying it around, but you don’t really get relief from it.

As we read David’s words in Psalms 32 and 51 today we catch a picture of someone who is released from that weight. We read David rejoicing in the release that comes when a wrong is admitted and forgiveness is given. We tend to think that admitting a wrong is the worst possible thing we can do, as if not saying it makes it go away or protects our image as a good, upright, “perfect” person. The truth is that we have this thinking backwards. The truth is that none of us are perfect and the absolute best thing we can do is admit wrong and seek the release that comes with forgiveness.

Don’t get me wrong, David makes it very plain that the process of admittance, the process of manning up to your mistake is not easy. But the pain of that moment is better than the weight we carry when we try to hide or distance ourselves from our wrong. Instead it is better to be honest about our failings than to live the lie required to hide them. Really that is what we do, we lie and keep secrets to cover our inadequacies, and as Aunt May (Spiderman’s Aunt) always says: “All secrets have a cost”.

David’s sin was grievous, his crimes were astounding, his moral failure was off the scale, but the realization of that truth drove him into God, into a process of admitting those mistakes, instead of trying to hide them or running away from God. God already knows what you’ve done (just like my Mother always seemed to know what I’d done), but God is waiting not to condemn or punish you, he is waiting to forgive you and release you from the burden of your mistakes. Broken-Window

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 13-15

2 Samuel 11-12/1 Chronicles 20: Eyes off the prize

david-and-nathanSo far, we’ve walked with David through the up times of his life. Being called and anointed as Israel’s King, surviving Saul’s jealousy and murder attempts, uniting the tribes of Israel into one cohesive kingdom, establishing Israel as a political and economic powerhouse and centralizing the worship of God in Jerusalem. A pretty good resume. To top that all off Acts 13:22 tells us that God declares that David is a man after his own heart (referring to 1 Samuel 13:14).

We must remember that David is human, as fallen and prone to temptation as the rest of us. It is this side of David that we now begin to journey with. And it all starts with a very simple line in 2 Samuel 11:

In the spring when kings march out to war, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem.

In the time when David was supposed to be in the field leading his army, defending the nation, building relationships with other nations, he remained home. There is an inference here that David took his eyes off of the prize, off of his responsibilities as King and God’s man. Not that David’s intent was wrong necessarily. Not that he deliberately thought: “I will send Joab out with the army so that I can stay home and see how many women I can seduce while their husbands are away at war…” He probably had other things on his mind or other responsibilities to deal with. But the author of 2 Samuel makes the point of saying that David stayed at home instead of leading his army, and as a direct result of that decision he sees Bathsheba bathing, sleeps with her, gets her pregnant and then has Uriah killed when he can’t cover up the affair. A snowball of decisions that ends in the death of the child born of the affair.

It seems that David’s issues just continue to pile up after this point, although not all of them are his fault or the fault of his sin. His sons create their own problems that end up affecting David and the Israelite kingdom, issues that you will read about in the following days. Overall, however, the themes in all of the stories remain the same. Decisions are made based on lust, greed, thirst for power, and those decisions bear our undesirable and damaging fruit.

An interesting thing to remember in this whole process is that God does not show his displeasure with David, but with David’s actions. This is an important distinction to remember. At no point does God remove his love and grace from David’s life or house, nor does he take away his statement that David was after God’s own heart. David shows true repentance for his actions with Bathsheba and Uriah. But the consequences of his decisions and sin continue to act themselves out in David’s family from this point forward. This is not a sign of God’s wrath, but it is the truth of the consequences of sin. It reminds us that we must not be cavalier or flippant when it comes to sin in our lives. We must take it seriously and learn to flee from it.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 32, 51, 86, 122