2 Samuel 2:24-32
Joshua 7:16-26 – The Sin of Achan. The reason Joshua was so effective in administering judgment was that he obeyed the word of the Lord. The method the Lord used to show Joshua who the offender was, was through a process of elimination (16-18). After witnessing the process how could Achan deny his actions (19-21)? The stuff Achan took was destroyed because a man and his family lost their lives taking it (22-26). Giving the items to the Temple would make the Lord complicit in theft. After all, the Personal Notes: As a leader, one of the hardest we have to do is discipline the people under us. Along that same vein, we are to hold ourselves to the same standards that we hold those who are under us.
Psalms 66:1-12 – How Awesome Are Your Deeds. When we place our trust in the Lord and do not set limitations or time constraints on him, He will bring everything to its conclusion. It’s not fun waiting though because all we can see is the waters rising, feeling the winds buffeting us, and watching our lives seemingly falling apart. Yet, one day we wake up to find the storm clouds have passed on, and “Joy came in the morning” (1-4). The thing is, no matter how threatening the clouds look or how bad the winds blow, G-d is still in control, and you may be just one corner away from victory (5-7). Sometimes we need to go through the fire to test our metal so that we will be ready for whatever mission the Lord has in store for us (8-12). Personal Notes: When I first went into the Navy, I wrote a letter to my dad about how bad Bootcamp was, how to mean the instructors were, and how I felt I was going to fail. I missed home desperately and all I could think was “I’m not going to make it”. Yet, I graduated on time and went to Pensacola FL for Apprecenticeship schooling. This is the same way we feel when we first put our trust in the Lord because the pressure of the enemy of our soul coupled with “naysayers” tears at our soul. Yet our Lord speaks to the quiet parts of our soul saying “Peace be still”. After 35 years of walking with the Lord, I understand all too clearly that you are never too old in the Lord to have “no further struggles with faith”.
Proverbs 24:1-16 – Words of the Wise. Envy is a discontented feeling of longing based on what somebody else but we do not. “O beware, my Lord of jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster which doth mocks the meat it feeds On” (1-2, ). The problem is that we want what we cannot have or are not ready for and because of it we become jealous, envious, angry, and resentful like the case of Gehazi (3-7, 2 Kings 5:15-27). The Devil wields our anger by cajoling us with reasons to justify ____ should belong to us the problem is, the Devil is nowhere in sight when it comes time to face the music (8-9). It is easier to be a “World Class Counselor” when life is good but when the storm clouds gather, we tend to run away. In the same way, when people are enjoying the fertile winds, we gather around that person; yet, when he/she faces trouble like a major illness we don’t go to see that person (10-12). For these reasons we need to know how to live according to the Lord’s model because without it, we will become as vile as the people we are told to reach out to (13-16). Personal Notes: Envy is a deadly thing because at its inception it sees something it does not have and will secretly long for it. As time goes on, the seed becomes firmly seated in our soul compelling us to take steps that we might not otherwise have taken.
Isaiah 2:6-22 – The Day of the Lord. When we become so full that we have no room left for the Lord in our lives, He will leave (6). Things cannot save us, they cannot fulfill us, and nor can find happiness in them because the stuff is like receiving a disposable heat pad when we are frozen to the bone or a 5-minute sun shower when what we really need is a soaking rain (7-9). Sin compels us to hide from the Lord because we fear “being found wanting when should be full” (10-11). The thing we need to always keep in mind is that the Lord has a day for judgment in mind although only foolish man thinks “He won’t do anything because nothing has been done” (12-19). When that day comes, all of the things we hold so dearly to will be thrown away out of fear that we will be found out and be as guilty as the rest of mankind (20-22). Personal Notes: There is no direction on earth that we can go to find salvation from the messes of our lives except the Lord. Part of the reason people have trouble in this world is that we have a place in our hearts reserved just for the Lord. In 2020 I saw a cartoon in which lawmakers were trying to shove enough money into a burning inferno and the hole was surrounded by a cement structure and it was labeled “Corona Virus”. That cement structure is the heart of the nation and the world at large; the burning inferno is Hell.
2 Samuel 2:24-32 – Abner and Joab. Joab was out for blood to avenge Asahel’s death. The long march through the Arabah was about going after Abner. 20 of David’s men were killed in battle and that included Asahel. Abner and his army suffered the loss of 360 men of the tribe Benjamin. Asahel was killed because he refused to quit maybe hoping to kill Abner himself. After all, Joab, the commander of David’s army had commanded it (29-34). Rightfully Asahel’s death was on Joab’s hands, not Abner’s. Personal Notes: Vengence in the world’s eye is, “A dish best served cold” (Eugene Sue “Memoirs of Matilda). In the Lord’s eyes, though, “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord, I will repay” (Deuteronomy 32:35). The reason we are told not to take vengeance in our hands is that when we kill somebody a little of us dies as well. The problem I have with waiting on the Lord, and pretty sure you do too, is that He does not do things in our time and, like Jonah, we think “He’ll forgive them and leave me looking like a fool”. The thing is, He knows the pain we feel and He will not forget about us although the pain pulls at the core of our being.