The Men of Israel Deserted David

February 23, 2019: 2 Samuel 19-21.

 

Three bloggers I follow gave a review of the book “Girl’s Club.” Two loved the book and one was less than enthusiastic. I liked the last review best!

Friendship comes in many forms. Some friends are only in our lives for a season – like school chums.

* * * * * * *

After Bible study last night, Sarah told me she defended me to a mutual acquaintance. She told them, “I can’t be your friend if you treat my friend this way.” 

She will never know how deeply that touched me!

 

I thought of Sarah as my friends’ daughter. She didn’t see me as her mom’s friend. I am her friend!

Friendship crosses generational lines. I get advice from Aunt Nellie and from my daughters-in-law. I am not in the same season of life as any of them!

My closest friends travel – sometimes for weeks at a time. (I. Go. To. Church. Period.) But when we talk it’s like no time has passed.

And my best friend? My sister-in-law, Melinda! I’m close to my sisters but they live in different towns. When I need help – she comes running and I do the same. (She’s afraid I’ll send her brother back!)

* * * * * * * *

After his war with Absalom, David lost most of his friends. All the men of Israel followed Sheba, the son of Bicri.

2 Samuel 20:2, “So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba the son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.” The Message

David won the war but lost his son and most of the people. Only his family – his tribe – stuck with him. He didn’t have time to grieve because of the war with Sheba. Then the Philistines came to fight.

2 Samuel 21:15, “War broke out again between the Philistines and Israel. David and his men went down to fight. David became exhausted.” The Message

David was heartsick and tired. Why did God allow more wars?

For the next generation!

 

David killed the giant, Goliath. There were 4 other descendants of Rapha. (That’s why he picked up 5 stones for his slingshot.)

The younger generation killed the other four:

  1. Abishai son of Zeruiah killed Ishi-Benob, a warrior descended from Rapha, 21:16, 17.
  2. Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another warrior descended from Rapha, 21:18.
  3. Elhanan son of Jaar, the weaver of Bethlehem, killed Goliath the Gittite whose spear was as big as a flagpole, 21:19.
  4. Jonathan, son of Shimeah, David’s brother, killed a giant with twenty-four fingers and toes, 21:20, 21.

Two of these men were David’s nephews: Abishai and Jonathan. One was the son of a weaver! Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother.

1 Chronicles 20:5, “In another war with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite whose spear was like a ship’s boom.” The Message

When we keep in touch with the older generation we show our children that they matter. They have wisdom and experience that only comes from living a long life.

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March 2019 “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide Chapters

March 2019 Readings

  • 1 – 1 Chronicles 26-28
  • 2 – 1 Chronicles 29; 1 Kings 1; Psalms 2, 110
  • 3 – 1 Kings 2, 3; Psalms 45
  • 4 – Psalms 72, 127; Song of Solomon 1-5
  • 5 – Song of Solomon 6-8; 2 Chronicles 1; 1 Kings 4
  • 6 – Proverbs 1-4
  • 7 – Proverbs 5-9
  • 8 – Proverbs 10-13
  • 9 – Proverbs 14-17
  • 10 – Proverbs 18-21
  • 11 – Proverbs 22-25
  • 12 – Proverbs 26-29
  • 13 – Proverbs 30, 31; 1 Kings 5; 2 Chronicles 2
  • 14 – 1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; 1 Kings 7
  • 15 – 2 Chronicles 4; 1 Kings 8
  • 16 – 2 Chronicles 5, 6; Psalms 46-48, 87, 93
  • 17 – Psalms 95, 97-100, 132
  • 18 – 2 Chronicles 7; 1 Kings 9
  • 19 – 2 Chronicles 8; 1 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 9; Ecclesiastes 1
  • 20 – Ecclesiastes 2-5
  • 21 – Ecclesiastes 6-10
  • 22 – Ecclesiastes 11, 12; 1 Kings 11; Psalms 73
  • 23 – 1 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 10, 11; 1 Kings 13
  • 24 – 1 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 12, 13; 1 Kings 15
  • 25 – 2 Chronicles 14-16; 1 Kings 16
  • 26 – 1 Kings 17-19
  • 27 – 1 Kings 20, 21; 2 Chronicles 17
  • 28 – 2 Chronicles 18; Psalms 44; 1 Kings 22
  • 29 – 2 Chronicles 19; Psalms 82; 2 Chronicles 20; Psalms 14, 15, 53, 83, 117
  • 30 – Psalms 118; 2 Kings 1-3
  • 31 – 2 Kings 4, 5

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David Organized His Forces

February 22, 2019: 2 Samuel 18; Psalms 61, 62, 89.

 

I plugged our tax refund into the “Every Dollar” app. I set money back to pay the CPA next year. I overpaid for years when I did my own taxes. She knows what is due and where we can save.

I left the rest uncategorized until David and I can decide together. We tithe on and save 10% of our gross income. We won’t tithe on this again but we will give a designated offering.

It’s like a little army. We decide categories and then deploy each dollar.

2 Samuel 18:1, “David organized his forces. He appointed captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. Then David deployed his troops…” The Message

* * * * * * *

My friend Jill called. She is going on an extended trip and wanted to print off the 2019 March Bible Reading Guide. She said she read I was struggling to complete it.

“Yes,” I admitted, “I lost Ezra 4.” (Sigh.)

I sent her the March guide because I thought everything was good through May. It wasn’t.

I found Ezra 4 and moved things around to keep the average. Then I saw earlier I had moved things around in March!

I made corrections and emailed it to her. I called to let her know. She said they wouldn’t return until April and she would catch up the readings then.

I told her that would be difficult. I corrected April and emailed it to her. She thanked me and said she couldn’t believe I went through all of that work. I didn’t know how to respond.

Psalms 62:12, “Love to you Lord God! You pay a fair wage for a good day’s work.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Make God’s will the focus of your life day by day. If you seek to please Him, you’ll find yourself satisfied with life.” Kay Arthur

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” February 22

* * * * * * *

I ordered a shower and wedding gift for the bass player. Then David and I decided on a TV antenna. While going over reviews, we saw it was 1/2 price at Amazon. Why didn’t I order it with the gifts? I could have saved on shipping!

That prompted me to make an Excel spreadsheet for purchases. I listed all the stores where we shop. Next time, I’ll research it and find the best deal.

“…God has a plan for you that’s unique and personal. His methods may sometimes seem strange and His training laborious, but His results are always worth waiting for.”

The Word for You Today,” February 22, 2019

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I Have God’s More Than Enough

February 21, 2019: Psalms 3-6, 8, 64; 2 Samuel 17.

 

Today I set my favorite Pentel blue pen aside and picked up a pencil. Satan wants us to write with ink. He wants us to see each scribbled-out word, scrawled-out sentence, and crossed-out paragraph. He wants us to believe our mistakes are permanent. He wants us to think we are a mess – just like our notebooks.

But with Jesus, everything is in pencil. He erases mistakes for us. We correct the error and go from there. We can even change our mind and write something new! We know where the erased mistakes are but no one else sees them.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and got up. That was a mistake! I was groggy at 8 a.m. – even after 3 cups of coffee. God reminded me that Jesus was napping in the boat when the storm hit. If Jesus could take a nap – so could I! I stretched out on the couch for an hour.

“But it’s not enough to know God’s will, you’ve got to do things God’s way. Moses was working from early morning until late at night, six days a week, with no vacations and no time off. He was eating on the run, planning appointments, meeting deadlines, and seeing everybody who wanted to see him. …‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Exodus 33:14 New King James Version”

“The Word for You Today,” 2-21-19

* * * * * * *

I knew it was coming. The first verse I wrote down warned me that there would be a test.

David picked up the finished taxes on his lunch hour. As he was making his sandwich, he grumbled, “I wish I didn’t have to make my lunch.” We’ve had this conversation before and it still hurt my feelings. Without that nap, I would have reacted badly.

Psalms 4:1, “When I call give me answers, God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!” The Message

I told myself, “He’s having a bad day,” – several times. David likes a sandwich and chips for lunch. It’s not healthy. I quietly reminded him, “If I make your lunch, it will be a salad!”

* * * * * * *

I’m studying, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker. He recommends figuring your net worth every month. We made changes since starting “Financial Peace University.”

Curious, I printed off the form. I even looked up the value of our van at edmunds.com. I told David my goal was to have a net worth of X dollars. I added it up and we are almost to the next X!

Psalms 4:6-7, “Why is everyone hungry for more? ‘More, more,’ they say, ‘More, more.’ I have God’s more than enough, more joy in one ordinary day.” The Message

I traded more stuff for God’s “more than enough!” When Laura stopped by I shared some of the good things God has done. Then I gave her some old hand towels. The joy of living is found in giving!

Psalms 8:1, “God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.” The Message

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God’s Business is Putting Things Right

Making my task list, I thought I wouldn’t get it all done before church. God instructed, “Stop cleaning at noon.”

Psalms 11:4, “But God hasn’t moved to the mountains; His holy address hasn’t changed. He’s in charge, as always, His eyes taking everything in, His eyelids unblinking.” The Message

I wanted to tuck the rug under the china cabinet. I would have to unload it first. I didn’t clean the house yesterday or my zone. (I deep-clean one room a week.)

I started with the china cabinet. I moved the appliances to the guest room on cookie sheets. I stacked the china on the chairs moved to the living room. I corralled cups and glasses in baskets. I moved the table and turned the rug.

I was in the “moving mood!”

Earlier, while working in the office together, David commented there wasn’t enough room. I moved the filing cabinet over to the door frame. Shifting the desk over to it gave him three more inches of leg room.

My zone for this week was the girl’s bathroom. The lid of the white, Rubbermaid hamper was filthy. I soaked it in the tub with dishwasher soap and hot water. After a few hours, I scrubbed it with a battery operated toothbrush. It looks new! (I did the garbage pail next.)

I took a break to change the sheets and get out green pillowcases. I wrapped the accent pillow in St. Patrick’s Day material. That refreshed my spirit.

Back in the bathroom, the tub cleaned easily. I scrubbed the toilet – using the same toothbrush around the hinges. (No, it was not David’s!) Then I swept and mopped the floor.

At noon, David and I discussed the rug. If I put it under the china cabinet the table would be off-center. We decided to slip it under the stove. David dutifully lifted the stove and it wouldn’t fit! The rug fits exactly between the stove and china cabinet. I need to find a way to keep it from sliding and bunching up. We added the leaf to the table and ate lunch.

David went back to work and I turned on Christian music. I loaded the china cabinet and called it my workout! I put everything back in the bathroom. Then I dusted, swept, and vacuumed the rest of the house. I rewarded myself with a long soak in the tub.

Psalms 11:7, “God’s business is putting things right; He loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look Him straight in the eye.” The Message

I practiced while my hair air-dried. The bass player is sick and I’ll need to cover for him. I usually play 2 keyboards on the first song – one on strings and the other piano. But I also needed to play bass.

At church, I split the top keyboard between bass and strings. That meant both hands were jumping up and down between keyboards. The intro was strings and piano. The verse and chorus were strings and bass. The bridge was strings and piano. My left hand went back and forth between the strings and the bass.

The practice wasn’t pretty.

Before the service, I prayed, “God, You and I both know I can’t do this alone. I really need your help!”

Psalms 31:24, “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.” The Message

He answered! My hands jumped up and down and landed on the right notes!

Psalms 13:6, “I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.” The Message

After worship, I told the other instrumentalists I was relieved it was over. God came through! I fell asleep on the drive home from church.

©2009-2019 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

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I’m Writing the Book on Your Wonders

February 19, 2019: 2 Samuel 14, 15; Psalms 9.

 

They say “less is more.” Then why do we keep buying more? The momentary happiness of having something new fades quickly.

We went shopping last Saturday. I determined to buy only what I “needed.” We went to Shopko because they are going out of business. Their 20%-40% off was still higher than Wal-Mart!

I bought:

  1. A few Christmas items – half off of clearance.
  2. Smaller scrunchies to sleep in – also on clearance.
  3. Lotion – that was cheaper than Wal-Mart.

If these were things I needed, why did they stay on the day bed for three days?

I bought 3 new bath towels. My daughter, Laura, gave me the matching hand towels for Christmas. We bought the matching washcloths later.

Some of the towels in my cupboard are over 20 years old. As they frayed I zigzagged the edges. Later, I hemmed them. Then I ran a zigzag stitch across them when the ends started to separate.

I cleaned out the cupboard in my bathroom. I put in the 3 new towels and took half of the hand towels downstairs. (Laura bought me 14!) I put the most recently purchased towels in a box for consignment. (They weren’t 100% cotton.)

I was joyful for the rest of the day. I have what I need and was able to share.

Psalms 9:1-2, “I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders. (2) I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.” The Message

* * * * * * *

David saw the teaser line from yesterday’s post on Facebook – “…I gave up sex for Lent.” He didn’t have time to read it. He told me he saw it and was curious.

Then he called Dish. They offered yet another package. He wisely brought the phone to me and made her explain it all over again.

I told her I would think about it. We will make this decision together.

Psalms 9:4, “You took over and set everything right; when I needed you, you were there, taking charge.” The Message

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Was In Love?

February 18, 2019: Psalms 69-71; 1 Chronicles 20; 2 Samuel 13.

 

When I got up this morning, I found a note on my desk. David canceled Hulu. We didn’t even try it for 24 hours! He decided without talking to me.

I feel like we are roller skating while holding hands. When he makes a decision alone, he changes direction, whipping me around the corner. I’m getting whiplash!

I handled the finances for the first 30+ years of our marriage. I made a few decisions on my own and he was the one with whiplash! (He lost his head a few times.)

I want to leave him a note – “I gave up sex for Lent. Happy Easter!”

But I won’t because that’s not love – that’s revenge. I turned to Proverbs to read the cross-references and notes on a few verses. I got stuck on the first one.

Proverbs 24:29, “Do not say, ‘I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.’ ” The Message

Ouch.

* * * * * * *

“There’s no love without commitment; the level of commitment shows the level of love. …Love is never lust. Someone wanting you is not them loving you.”

Pastor Gary Van Nyhuis, “Love Like You Mean It,” February 17, 2019

* * * * * * *

Amnon shows us the difference between love and lust – and the consequences.

2 Samuel 13:1, “…Amnon, also David’s son, was in love with Tamar.” The Message

  1. Amnon was obsessed…to the point of making himself sick over her, v. 2.
  2. She was a virgin so he couldn’t see how he could get his hands on her, v. 2.
  3. Jonadab was exceptionally streetwise, v. 3.
  4. Jonadab made a way for Amnon to get his hands on Tamar without marrying her, v. 5.
  5. Amnon cleared everyone out of the house. That left Tamar unprotected, v. 9.
  6. He asked her to bring the food to his bedroom. Normally, she never would have entered his bedroom, v. 10.
  7. She got too close and he grabbed her, v. 11.
  8. She said no, v. 12, 13.
  9. Amnon did not listen, v. 14.
  10. Since she was alone, unprotected, in a room she never should have entered, he raped her, v. 14.
  11. His lust turned into hate, v. 15.
  12. He rejected her and threw her out, v. 18.
  13. She had no place to go! She couldn’t return to the palace to live with her virgin sisters. She moved in with her brother Absalom and was desolate and bitter, v. 18-20.
  14. Absalom said…let’s keep it quiet – a family matter, v. 20.

But it never stays quiet. It always comes out. That event destroyed Tamar and cost Amnon his life!

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Ignore What the World Worships

February 17, 2019: Psalms 51, 25, 32, 38-41.

 

We discussed options and debated when to cancel Dish. In the end, I told David I didn’t want to cancel in the middle of the month. I wanted to get my money’s worth.

Psalms 25:15, “If I keep my eyes on God, I won’t trip over my own feet.” The Message

I pulled up our bill online. The new month started on the 17th. (Sigh.) We should have canceled on Saturday!

Psalms 40:4, “Blessed are you who give yourself over to God, turn your backs on the world’s ‘sure thing;’ ignore what the world worships.” The Message

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Thirty-Seven and a Half Tons of Silver

February 17, 2019: 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19; 2 Samuel 11, 12.

 

I asked God for money to replace the shower.

He replied, “I sent it. You gave it to Dish.”

* * * * * * *

We are going over our expenses with a fine-toothed comb. We want to increase our retirement savings to 15%. That money has to come from somewhere!

When we signed up with Dish, we had three teenagers and 4 TVs. We ordered a “Hopper” and “Joey” for the girls and the same for the boys. The men’s “Hopper” is full of sports. The ladies “Hopper” has dramas and movies. When our kids started working full-time, they paid one-fifth of the bill.

As they moved out, we sent the “Joeys” back and got rid of TVs. We were down to 2 “Hoppers” and 2 TVs. It was nice knowing we could afford both “Hoppers.” But do we want that more than we want to remodel the bathroom? Do we want to be comfortable now or comfortable in retirement?

I added up what we spent on Dish over the last 10 years – $13,000. That would have given us a nice second bathroom!

* * * * * * * *

1 Chronicles 19:6-7, “When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned, they stank to high heaven, (7) they hired, at a cost of a thousand talents of silver (thirty-seven and a half tons!), chariots and horsemen…” The Message

The Ammonites sent 37½ tons of silver to the Arameans to hire them to fight. That was not a good investment. When the Arameans found themselves facing the best soldiers, they ran away!

1 Chronicles 19:14, “But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat.” The Message

* * * * * * *

What was King David doing during this war? Taking it easy. He took a nap and then went for a walk admiring his kingdom.

2 Samuel 11:2, “One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful.” The Message

Uriah stayed diligent. He had – as David Ramsey puts it – “gazelle intensity!”

2 Samuel 11:11, “Uriah replied to David, ‘The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah – in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I’ll not do it!’ ” The Message

Uriah’s priorities were in order: God first, his work second, and pleasure last. David let his priorities slip until “pleasure” had first place. His actions slipped to a place he never would have gone.

  1. He committed adultery with Bathsheba.
  2. He ordered the murder of Uriah.
  3. He had the gall to send Uriah’s death sentence with him to Joab!

2 Samuel 11:14, “In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.” The Message

* * * * * * *

In our discussion of canceling Dish, David said one thing that stuck with me. “It will all be on again.” We really don’t miss out – we postpone.

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. What is your focus today?”

“Hugs – Daily Inspirations for Women,” February 16

Keeping Dish instead of getting a new shower would definitely be settling for less!

“Satan tried to get Jesus to settle for less, and he’ll try the same with you.”

“The Word for You Today,” February 16, 2019

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Fair and Even-Handed

February 15, 2019: 1 Chronicles 17; Psalms 1, 86; 2 Samuel 8; 1 Chronicles 18, Psalms 60, 2 Samuel 9.

 

The billing company for that medical bill replied. They said we owe the money but ignored the double payment. The bill is for David’s appointments.

I borrowed his phone. I took a picture of the October bill and the payment. Then I took a picture of the November bill with both appointments on it and the payment. I emailed them to the billing company.

David had one shoe on when I asked him to see if the email went through. It was not the best time to ask.

2 Samuel 8:15, “Thus David ruled over all of Israel. He ruled well – fair and even-handed in all his duties and relationships.” The Message

It was not fair to ask David when he was leaving for work. My response was not even-handed. I texted, “Sorry.”

* * * * * * *

Marriage is a three-legged race. I turned it into a tug-of-war. I wanted to deal with that email right now!

A three-legged race is usually run with an adult and a child. The adult has to shorten his stride and slow down to the child’s speed. The child has to stretch their legs. They also have to run in sync.

Most marriages include a spender and a saver. The spender has to slow down and the saver has to loosen up.

A couple has to run at their own speed. The fastest runners don’t win three-legged races! They get ahead of their partner, trip, and fall down.

The winners move slow and steady. But they keep their feet. They cross the line together. The goal is to work together – to stay together. That way no one gets hurt.

In a marriage, we are not only tied to each other – we are tied to God. Had I asked God, He would have told me to wait until lunch to check on that email.

* * * * * * *

David wanted to build a temple for the “Chest of God” or “Ark of the Covenant,” (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17). God said no. The Ark was a movable shrine. David could take it with him to battles. Had he built a temple – the ark would probably have stayed put!

How often do I try to put God in a box? He wants me to take Him everywhere I go. He wants to help me fight my battles. He’s the reason I’m still married.

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