As God in whom there is no darkness shines on you, will you reflect it into the lives of those around you who are walking through this dark world?
As God who is love shines on you, will you reflect into the lives of those around you who are walking in worry, fear, despair, and lack of hope?
As God who grants us peace and hope and joy shines on you, will you share it those God brings into your life so that it will have a multiplying effect and impact more people with the grace and mercy of God?
Will you share the reflection of God with those around you?
Today’s reading begins with David’s last words…God spoke to David in his youth and all the way till the end of his days and David shared it and was a man after God’s own heart…Will you share God with others?
1Now these are the last words of David, the utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet singer of Israel: 2“The Ruach Adonai has spoken through me and His word is on my tongue. 3The God of Israel has said, the Rock of Israel has spoken to me, ‘He who rules over men righteously, he who rules in the fear of God— 4he is like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a cloudless morning of glistening as grass springs from the earth.’ 5Is it not true that my house is with God? For He made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered and secured in all things. Will He not make all my salvation and every desire come to fruition? 6But the worthless, all of them will be thrust aside like thorns, for they cannot be picked up by hand. 7But the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear. They must be completely burned up with fire on the spot.”
David’s Mighty Men
8These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains—he wielded his spear against 800 and slew them in one encounter. 9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodo son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle. The men of Israel retreated, 10but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines until his hand became weary and stuck to the sword. So Adonai brought about a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to strip the slain. 11Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. Now the Philistines were assembled in formation where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it, and struck down the Philistines—so Adonai brought about a great victory. 13Once the three of the thirty chiefs went down and came to David at the cave of Adullam during the harvest, while a troop of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was in Bethlehem. 15David said longingly, ‘“Who would get me water to drink from the well which is by the gate in Bethlehem?’” 16So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem by the gate, took it and brought it to David. However, he would not drink it but poured it out to Adonai 17and he said, “‘Far be it from me, Adonai, that I should do this—the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?’” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. 18Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, son of Zeruiah, was chief of the Thirty. Once he wielded his spear against 300 and killed them—he had a reputation among the Three. 19He was the most honored of the Thirty, so he was made their commander; however, he did not become one of the Three. 20Then there was Benaiah son of Jehoiada, son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds. He killed the two from Ariel of Moab. Once, on a snowy day, he went down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit. 21He also killed an Egyptian—an impressive man—the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff, snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22These sort of things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, so that he had a name as famous as that of the Three mighty men. 23He was most honorable among the Thirty, but he attained not to the first Three. So David set him over his guard. 24Asahel brother of Joab was one of the Thirty, also Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Aviezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmavet the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Ararite, 34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor-bearer to Joab son of Zeruiah, 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39and Uriah the Hittite—37 in all.
–from 2 Samuel 23
Do you realize the core team God has given you? Just as David has his mighty men, God has surrounded you with people who can help. We were never meant to go it or do it alone! He gave us one another! Do they know how important they are to you? Do you let them know how much they mean and how much you appreciate them? Have you ever told them? Is today your day?
Who do you trust? See how the world around us is trying to push God out of it? Do you realize the impact of trying to walk outside of the covering and the protection of God? Do you really want to walk out from under that protective umbrella and then find yourself getting pelted with everything that is being thrown at you? Do you really want to try and take God out of everything and then actually find hope in something else? Be it fiery darts! Be it fiery words! Be it fiery emotions! Be it attacks! Be it violence! What is it going to take for everyone to turn back to God? How bad does it have to get before you turn back to God! How far away from Him do you have to get before you turnaround and run back into His loving arms? Will you invite Him back into your life? Will you invite Him back into your family? Will you invite Him back into your community? Will you invite Him back into your country? … Before it is too late…? How will you choose? What will it take? If you are reading this then it isn’t too late yet…What will it cost? How much are you willing to pay? Will you make a difference? Will you help point others to the power and the love of God through Jesus?
David’s Unauthorized Census
1Now the anger of Adonai again flared up against Israel, so He incited David against them saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, so that I may know the sum of the people.” 3But Joab said to the king, “May Adonai your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king looks on! But why does my lord the king desire such a thing?” 4Nevertheless, the king’s command to Joab and the army generals remained firm. So Joab and the army generals went out from the king’s presence to number the people of Israel. 5They crossed over the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the town that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and toward Jazer. 6Then they went to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi. Then they came to Dan-jaan and round about to Sidon, 7and came to the stronghold of Tyre, to all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8So when they had gone throughout all the land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and 20 days. 9Joab reported the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: there were in Israel 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword and the men of Judah were 500,000 men. 10But David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David prayed to Adonai, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done! But now, Adonai, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11When David rose up in the morning, the word of Adonai came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying: 12“Go and speak to David, thus says Adonai: ‘Three things I am proposing to you—choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.’” 13So Gad came to David and told him, saying to him, “Shall seven years of famine come on you in your land? Or will you flee from your adversary for three months while he is pursuing you? Or shall there be three days of pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should return to Him who sent me.” 14Then David said to Gad, “I am in a great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of Adonai, for His mercies are great, and let me not fall into the hand of man.” 15So Adonai sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, so that 70,000 men of the people died from Dan to Beersheba. 16When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Adonai relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand.” The angel of Adonai was then by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17When David saw the angel that was striking down the people, he spoke to Adonai saying, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong! But these sheep, what have they done? Please, let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” 18On that day Gad came to David and said to him, “Go up, set up an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up according to the word of Gad, as Adonai had commanded. 20Now when Araunah looked down and saw the king and his courtiers crossing over toward him, Araunah went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground. 21Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you in order to build an altar to Adonai, so that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good in his eyes. Look here, the oxen for the burnt offering, as well as the threshing sledges and the ox yokes for the wood. 23All this Araunah gives to the king.” Araunah said further to the king, “May Adonai your God accept you.” 24But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you at a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to Adonai my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver. 25Then David built there an altar to Adonai, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. So Adonai was moved by prayer of entreaty for the land, and restrained the plague from Israel.
–from 2 Samuel 24
Will peer pressure make you do something you shouldn’t? Will you take responsibility to turn things around? Will you do something about it? Will you turn and help others turn from their wicked ways, humble yourself and help them to be able to humble themselves, pray and seek God’s face so that He will hear from heaven and heal our land? The devil will tempt you and each of us but we need to resist the devil and he will flee. Where are you at today? What is God asking you to do? What is God’s calling you to do? Will you answer? Will you obey? How will you respond? Who will you trust? Who will you trust more? Who will you trust most?
Census and Plague
1Then satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count Israel. 2So David told Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go, count Israel from Beersheba to Dan. Then bring me a report so I may know their number.” 3But Joab said, “May Adonai multiply His people 100 times over! But my master the king, are they not all my master’s servants? Why does my master require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” 4Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and finally came back to Jerusalem. 5Joab gave the number of the census of the people to David: in all Israel there were 1,100,000 sword-wielding men; Judah had 470,000 sword-wielding men. 6But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s word was detestable to Joab. 7But God was displeased with this thing and He struck Israel. 8Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. But now, I entreat you, take away the guilt of Your servant for I have behaved very foolishly.” 9Then Adonai spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying: 10“Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says Adonai, “I offer you three things; choose one of them and I will bring it upon you.”’” 11So Gad went to David and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: ‘Select for yourself 12either three years of famine, or three months being swept away from before your adversaries and the sword of your enemies overtaking you or three days of the sword of Adonai, pestilence in the land and the angel of Adonai ravaging throughout all the territories of Israel. Now, consider what I should reply to the one who sent me.’” 13David said to Gad, “I am in a great anguish! Let me fall into the hand of Adonai for His compassion is very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14So Adonai sent a plague upon Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but while he was doing so, Adonai saw and was grieved over the calamity. He said to the destroying angel, “Enough! Now withdraw your hand!” The angel of Adonai was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of Adonai standing between the earth and the heaven with a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17David said to God, “Was it not I who commanded to count the people? I alone am the one who sinned and behaved wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand, Adonai my God, be against me and against my father’s house, but do not let the plague be on Your people.” 18So the angel of Adonai told Gad to instruct David that David should go up and build an altar to Adonai on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19So David went up by the word of Gad, which he spoke in the Name of Adonai. 20While Ornan was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel. His four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21When David came to Ornan, Ornan looked up and saw David. He went out from the threshing floor and bowed to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan: “Give me the site of this threshing floor that I may build an altar to Adonai. Sell it to me for full price, so the plague on the people may be stopped.” 23Then Ornan said to David, “Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever seems good in his eyes. Look, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this.” 24King David said to Ornan, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. For I will not take for Adonai what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that cost me nothing.” 25So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the place. 26David built there an altar to Adonai and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on Adonai and He answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27Then Adonai commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath. 28At that time, when David saw that Adonai had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29For the Tabernacle of Adonai, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to seek God for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of Adonai.
–1 Chronicles 21
Jesus paid it all! No discounts! No reductions! It cost Him everything! He has provided a way to bridge the gap! He paid once for all! It wasn’t a weekly, monthly, annually, or daily payment, He paid once for all of eternity! David was a man after God’s own heart, he knew that to make an offering he had to pay full price.
Jesus paid that we could be reconciled back to God! We need to be instruments of forgiveness! We need to be God’s ambassadors of forgiveness! Not only receiving but also giving it! The world needs this message of hope! The world needs this message of love! So let’s reflect God into the world around us!
Greetings to a House Group
1Paul, a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved and fellow worker. 2To Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the community that meets in your house: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Messiah Yeshua!
Thanks for Love and Comfort
4I thank my God always when mentioning you in my prayers, 5hearing of your love and the trust you have toward the Lord Yeshua and all the kedoshim. 6May the fellowship of your faith become effective, with the recognition of all the good that is ours in Messiah. 7For I’ve received much joy and comfort in your love, brother, because the hearts of the kedoshim have been refreshed through you.
Request for Philemon’s Runaway
8Therefore, though I have plenty of boldness in Messiah to order you to do what’s right, 9yet for love’s sake I appeal to you instead. I, Paul, am an old man and now also a prisoner belonging to Messiah Yeshua. 10I beg you for my child Onesimus—for whom I became a spiritual father while in chains. 11He once was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and me. 12I sent him back to you—he is my very heart. 13I really wanted to keep him with me, so that on your behalf he might serve me while I am in chains for the Good News. 14But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your goodness wouldn’t be by force but by free will. 15For perhaps he was separated from you for a while in order that you might have him back forever, 16no longer as a slave but more than a slave—as a beloved brother, especially to me but even more so to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18But if he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay. (Not to mention that you owe me your very self.) 20Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Messiah.
Added Request and Farewell
21Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than what I say. 22At the same time also, prepare a guest room for me—for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you. 23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Messiah Yeshua, greets you. 24So do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25May the grace of our Lord Messiah Yeshua be with your spirit. Amen.
–from Philemon 1