Ever had a plan but things didn’t happen the way you expected? Ever had a plan but things didn’t happen in the timing you expected? Ever had a plan but events didn’t happen in the order you expected?
God’s timing is perfect! God’s plan is perfect! God’s Word is true! God’s faithful to His Word! So we need not worry, but press on and continue to trust in Him!
Today’s reading starts with David becoming king…
Judah Anoints David King
1Now it came to pass after this that David inquired of Adonai saying, “Should I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” Adonai said to him, “Go up.” “Where shall I go up?” David asked. “To Hebron,” He said. 2So David went up there, along with his two wives—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. 3David also brought up his men that were with him, each with his household, and they settled in the towns of Hebron. 4Then the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah. Then they told David saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” 5So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “Blessed are you of Adonai for showing this kindness to Saul your lord, by burying him. 6So now may Adonai show you kindness and faithfulness; and I also will show you goodness because you have done this thing. 7Now therefore, be strong and brave, for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”
Forces of Abner and Joab Battle
8Now Abner son of Ner, Saul’s army commander, had taken Saul’s son Ish-bosheth, and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9Then he made him king over Gilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin—over all Israel. 10Saul’s son Ish-bosheth was 40 years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 12Once Abner son of Ner and the troops of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13Meanwhile Joab son of Zeruiah and the troops of David went out—they met each other by the pool of Gibeon, so they sat down, one group on one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14Then Abner said to Joab, “Now let the young men get up and compete before us.” “Let them get up,” Joab replied. 15Then they got up and came forward by number—12 for Benjamin and for Saul’s son Ish-bosheth and 12 from David’s servants. 16Then each grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they all fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17The battle was very fierce that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated before David’s servants. 18Now the three sons of Zeruiah were Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was as swift-footed as one of the gazelles of the field. 19Asahel pursued Abner, not swerving to the right or to the left from pursuing Abner. 20Then Abner looked behind him and asked, “Is it you, Asahel?” “It is I,” he answered. 21So Abner said to him, “Turn away to your right or to your left, seize one of the young men and take his armor for yourself.” But Asahel would not turn away from following him. 22Once again Abner warned Asahel, “Turn away from pursuing me! Why should I strike you to the ground? How would I ever look your brother Joab in the face?” 23But he refused to turn aside, so Abner struck him with the butt end of the spear in the groin, so that the spear came out through his back, and he fell down there and died on the spot. When all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, they stood still. 24But Joab and Abishai continued pursuing Abner. As the sun was setting, they reached the hill of Ammah, which faces Giah on the road to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25Then the sons of Benjamin rallied to Abner and became one group, taking their stand on top of one of the hills. 26Then Abner called out to Joab and said, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize how bitter it will be in the end? How long until you order the people to stop pursuing their kinsmen?” 27“As God lives,” Joab replied, “if you had not spoken, then surely the people would have gone up until the morning, everyone after his kinsman.” 28So Joab blew the shofar, and all the soldiers halted, and pursued Israel no more, nor did they continue to fight any longer. 29So Abner and his men marched all that night through the Arabah, then they crossed over the Jordan, and marched through all morning until they reached Mahanaim. 30Joab returned from pursuing Abner, and when he had gathered all the troops, nineteen of David’s soldiers besides Asahel were missing. 31But David’s soldiers had struck down many of Benjamin and Abner’s men, so that 360 men died. 32Then they took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Beth-lehem. Joab and his men marched all night, until the day dawned on them at Hebron.
–from 2 Samuel 2
Will you be a mighty man for God? Will you step up and step out to be a man after God’s own heart? Will you step up and step out to be all that God desires, planned and purposed for you? Will you answer the call?
David’s Rise and Capture of Zion
1Then all Israel gathered to David at Hebron, saying: “Behold, we are your own flesh and blood. 2In the past, even when Saul was king, you were the one that led out and brought in Israel. Adonai your God also said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel and you shall be ruler over My people Israel.’” 3When all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Adonai. They anointed David king over Israel, in keeping with the word of Adonai by the hand of Samuel. 4Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem—that is Jebus, where the Jebusite inhabitants of the land lived. 5Now the residents of Jebus said to David, “You cannot get in here!” Nevertheless David captured the stronghold of Zion, which is now the city of David. 6David had said, “Whoever strikes down the Jebusites first will be commander-in-chief.” So Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became commander. 7David lived in the stronghold; for this reason it is called the city of David. 8He fortified the city all around, from the Millo to the surrounding walls, and Joab repaired the rest of the city. 9David grew more and more powerful because Adonai-Tzva’ot was with him.
David’s Mighty Men
10Now these were chiefs of David’s mighty men, who strongly supported him in his kingdom, together with all Israel to make him king, according to the word of Adonai, over Israel. 11This is the list of David’s mighty men: Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, was the chief of the 30; he wielded his spear against 300 and slew them all at one time. 12After him was Eleazar son of Dodo the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighty men. 13He was with David at Pas Dammim, when the Philistines assembled there for battle. There was a plot of ground full of barley where the army retreated from before the Philistines, 14but they took a stand in the middle of the plot; they defended it and struck down the Philistines. Adonai delivered a great victory. 15Three of the 30 leaders went down to David at the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. 16At that time, David was in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was in Bethlehem. 17David had a craving and said, “If only someone would give me water to drink from the cistern by the gate in Bethlehem!” 18So the three broke through the Philistine camp and drew water from the cistern by the gate in Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But David refused to drink it. He poured it out to Adonai 19and said: “Far be it for me that I should do this before my God! Can I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives?”—for they brought it at the risk of their lives and he would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the Three mighty men. 20Abishai, Joab’s brother, was chief of the Three. He once wielded his spear against 300 and slew them. Thus he won a name among the Three. 21Of the Three, he was more highly esteemed than the other two and became their commander, even though he was not one of the three. 22Beniah son of Jehoiada was a valiant man from Kabzeel who had done mighty deeds. He killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab, and went down and killed a lion inside a pit on a snowy day. 23He also killed the giant Egyptian man who was five cubits tall. In his hand the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s beam, yet Beniah attacked him with a club. He snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 24These were the exploits of Beniah son of Jehoiada, who gained renown among the three mighty men. 25Behold, he was more honorable than the 30, yet he was not one of the Three. Nevertheless, David set him over his bodyguard. 26The mighty men were: Asael Joab’s brother, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 27Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, 28Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, 29Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, 30Mahrai the Netophathite, Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, 31Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, 32Hurai of Nahale-gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, 33Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, 34the sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan son of Shageh the Hararite, 35Ahiam son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal son of Ur, 36Hepher the Meherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, 37Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, 38Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar son of Hagri, 39Zelek the Ammonite, Nahrai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah, 40Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 41Uriah the Hittite, Zabad son of Ahlai, 42Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, a chief of the Reubenites, and 30 with him, 43Hanan son of Maacah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, 44Uzzijah the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotam the Aroerite, 45Jedaiael son of Shimri and Joha his brother the Tizite, 46Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah, sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite; 47Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.
–from 1 Chronicles 11
Will you be ready? Will you be prepared? Will you invest in your talents so that they will grow and multiply? Will you put all your hope and trust in Jesus?
Parable of the Ten Virgins
1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3For when the foolish ones took their lamps, they took no oil with them.
4But the wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps.
5“Now while the bridegroom was taking a long time, they all got drowsy and started falling asleep.
6But in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
8Now the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, since our lamps are going out.’
9But the wise ones replied, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.’
10“But while they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.
11Now later, the other virgins came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open up for us!’
12“But he replied, ‘Amen, I tell you, I do not know you.’
13Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Parable of the Talents
14“For it is like a man about to go on a journey. He called his own servants and handed over his possessions to them.
15To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
16“Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them and gained five more.
17In the same way, the one with two gained two more.
18But the one who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19“Now after a long time, the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20The one who had received the five talents came up and brought another five talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed me five talents. Look, I’ve gained five more.’
21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’
22“The one who had received the two talents also came up and said, ‘Master, you handed me two talents. Look, I’ve gained two more.’
23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a little, so I’ll put you in charge of much. Enter into your master’s joy!’
24“Then the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you didn’t sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
25So I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26“But his master responded, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow and gather where I scattered no seed?
27Then you should have brought my money to the brokers, and when I came I would have received it back with interest.
28Therefore take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
29For to the one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance. But from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
30Throw the worthless servant out, into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
The Righteous Judge
31“Now when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33And He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on His left.
34Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited Me in;
36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink?
38And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in? Or naked and clothe You?
39When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40“And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Go away from Me, you cursed ones, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44“Then they too will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not care for You?’
45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’
46These shall go off to everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.”
–from Matthew 25