Tag Archives: King David

God and Idols

There is no comparison between the Almighty God and idols. In order for us to separate the living God from the non-living or dead gods, it is necessary to actually clarify the concept of the Almighty God, for he is the Omnipotent and Omniscient, the self-existing, as well as the everlasting Sovereign God. HE is the “I am that I am”, the Beginning and the End. The living God cannot be seen with our naked eyes and yet we can talk with Him. He hears us, we feel Him. He speaks to peoples’ hearing at times audibly or quietly putting in our thought system. His greatest attribute is that of being eternal, from age to age, He remains the same everlasting Jehovah, the creator of heaven and the earth, the unchangeable changer as well as for us a conqueror of all evil forces that tend to militate against us.

Conversely, each idol or the dead god, from age to age continues to be the creation of man. An idol has ears but cannot hear, has eyes but cannot see, has legs but cannot walk neither can its hand be used to hold anything. Its movement is characterized by man moving it from one spot to the other. Above all, it is a physical representation of evil or Satan that delights in sorrow by seeking to steal kill and destroy as exemplified in John 10:10

The Almighty God gave the Jews the order not to have any other God beside Him, the God of Israel as contained in Exodus 20: 3-4. In the history of the children of Israel, we read that, anyone, and especially a King who fails to worship, obey and honor God  “YAHWEH” always succeeded. David was a case in point. He defeated Goliath because he convinced himself that the battle was God’s own and HE would never fail. The scenario instantly became a story of the unexpected. Overtly, there was no possible way a novice, an inexperienced young man like David could have dared to challenge Goliath, a veteran of so many battles without the help of the God of Israel. Jeroboam as king over the Northern kingdom with its capital in Samaria. He severed relations with the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem and also created man-made gods for his people to worship to ensure his subjects did not have any connection with Shiloh or the temple in Jerusalem. His reign showed that he was desperately wicked and caused the children of Israel to sin. His act of rejecting God to embrace worship of idols was so sinful that it continued to be a reference point of wicked sin against God that led to their going into slavery once more.

Nebuchadnezzar was originally empowered by God to be able to enslave the children of Israel as punishment for their rejecting their God; but later became proud and self-conceited to the extent that he asked people to pray to him instead of God. He was punished at the peak of degrading the Almighty God, he was turned into a beast with hairy body and long nails. It was only when he got back to his senses that God restored him to his erstwhile position. His golden image could not save him as God dramatically saved the three Hebrew young men namely; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

 

Advertisements

God’s Call is Irresistible 

Whatever begins as an unexpected call or starts in a small way tends to have potentials for becoming great especially when handled with seriousness of purpose. What has an end must surely have had a beginning, great or small. If at first there is a feeling of inadequacy, it is not unusual to first appear like that, but a Christian should know or is expected to have learnt the biblical history of characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, and even Saul, who after conversion became Paul the Apostle. Moses and Jeremiah openly tried to adduce reason why they were not qualified to be a Prophet of God.
When the sin of the then world was too much for God to condone, He called on Noah to build an ark in which those qualified to be spared were to be kept when there was to be a deluge to wipe out the exceedingly sinful people. He obeyed by following the dictate of God concerning the measurement as well as the type of wood to use. No one has ever built an ark like that; so Noah was only daintily following instructions from God without any template to adopt.The people confronted him with discouraging attitude but he remained undaunted. At the end, he was saved along with the specified people, plants and animals as well as birds, while others perished in the deluge.
Abraham did start life as Abram before God asked him to leave his fatherland and go to a place he would show him. It was more or less a wild goose chase. God knew before hand what stuff Abram was made of. He obeyed and set out with his father Terar, Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot. Based on his character and love of God along the line, his name was changed to Abraham – Father of many nations. Tripartite covenant began from him and God fulfilled it all. God prospered him immensely.
Moses was born in Egypt many centuries after the death of Joseph, a Jewish Prime Minister of Egypt. It was at a time when the patriarchal blessing per the covenant was at its lowest manifestation because the Jews seemed to have forgotten their God and had embraced the god of their host in Egypt. Although, they were suffering an exploitative slavery, they were just producing healthy children unlike the Egyptians. This fear-driven envy made Pharaoh to order the killing of all male children born by the Hebrews. God orchestrated saving the life of Moses and even got him to be very well preserved in the palace with Pharaoh watching him grow as Prince of Egypt. His first forty years was in the palace, the next forty years he was a fugitive in the land of Midian. At the end of the second segment he had God’s call to be a deliverer of the Hebrews. He found excuses to avoid being killed for homicide committed in Egypt and basically he was a stammerer. God provided Aaron and Miriam to assist him. He accepted the challenge with humility and was able to demonstrate the power of God over Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt through the ten plagues. This represented the third segment of his life. God granted him the enablement to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Red Sea. He led the stiff-necked People of God across the Red Sea with so much trouble from the people he was leading. He could not resign and the people could not fire him because it was a divine assignment from God. There were times when he was on the verge of being stoned, at another time, he prayed God to kill him for the sin of idolatry committed while on Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments- The Decalogue or God’s Constitution – meant to enable the children of Israel to live right before God. God showed him the land that was flowing with milk and honey but did not allow him to get there and he was 120 years old when he was no more.Exodus 2: 23-25 and 3: 1-22.(KJV).
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel, there was no doubt that his call to serve God was surely irresistible. 1Samuel 3: 1-21 (KJV). At the time of Samuel’s full ministry, one has to recall that Prophet Eli had died as well as his two sons Hophni and Phinehas for their uncontrolled bad behavior in the house of worship. Prophet Samuel was instructed to go and anoint David as King designate since God had rejected Saul and had already been serving in King Saul’s army of Israel. The first spectacular victory was the encounter with the Philistines’ war-lord Goliath. David had so many challenges to face with Saul who tried to get rid of him out of jealousy and the obvious reason of David’s being a preferable successor to King Saul in preference to Prince Jonathan, whose friendship with David was greater than that of twin brothers. David had a humble beginning but his penchant for loving and always depending on God as well as tending his father’s sheep even at the risk of his own life became the obvious human reason why God found him a better alternative to King Saul when he violated the divine rule on division of labor between the king and Prophet Samuel. The Omniscient God what destiny each individual carries and so HE did not have any problem choosing who to do His job whether easy, difficult, dangerous or peaceful.
David road to rulership was with much difficulties, trials and triumphs, but all said he was a perfect fit for the job. King David was declared very dear to God. He was a human being like me or you but was head and shoulder higher in the virtues of obedience, contrite heart ready to admit guilt without rationalizing over his sin even unto God. He, as a ruler in his era, was remarkable and really inimitable. He fought battles and won all just because he made God the winner of battles he fought as he was always making God the fighter of battle that he ever led. David was able to bring all the 12 tribes of Israel together with headquarters in Jerusalem, the city of David and God promised him that the throne of David shall never lack who to occupy it. He never defied or rejected God like Kings Jeroboam and Jehu of Northern kingdom based in Samaria and did not usurp the Saul’s kingship like Hazael did to King Ben Hadad of Syria. 2King 8: 1-15 (KJV) The reign of King David became a reference point in the history of rulership in Israel. So also Jeremiah received divine call, Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (KJV). He like Moses, tried to justify why God need not call him to do a task as onerous as being a Prophet over the Israelites. He claimed, “I cannot speak because I am a child”. God in a trance touched his lips signifying putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. He throughout his life did the work of God with passion, weeping as he has spiritually known the impending period in exile.
Paul was another example of those God called into his vineyard. He was efficient and very effective in taking orders from the Priests and Chief Priest to go and hound the emerging disciples of Jesus after Peter has assumed the leadership of the apostles. Lord Jesus had to virtually “arrest” Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus with the intension to bring any disciple bound to Jerusalem for punishment. Acts 9: 3-6 The passage reads thus;

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you prosecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘who are you Lord?’ Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are prosecuting’. ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads’. So he, trembling and astonished, said Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Mandate received, Paul used his hitherto energy for destroying the Apostles to encourage and even charted a new course of evangelizing the heathens or the worshippers of idol. Paul the apostle, did so much to take the gospel to the Gentiles more than any of the apostles in spite of his personal ill-health and risk to his life including shipwreck. In it, the prisoner became the ship’s Captain. He gave them the massage of hope that no life would be lost.    

BLAME GAME AMONG BELIEVERS

To play “blame game” is a means of talking or behaving in a manner to make it seem that one is faultless, or a form of “holier than thou” attitude. One does not want to be blamed for any misdeed. One tries to hide the truth at times, it may be in the form of alibi, as if one was not connected with the offence. Call this tendency other names like ”Passing the buck”, or ”Blame shifting” , the fact remains that a guilt has occurred and one does not want the blame. The habit is as old as human race. Remember the story of Adam and Eve’s tasting the forbidden fruit. Although, Eve was tricked into it by the deception of the serpent; but they, on their own, whatever the circumstance disobeyed the rule of God’s Law already known to them. Eve rather than blaming herself for not obeying God blamed the serpent. Adam, the head of the family, refused to take responsibility, found it convenient to blame Eve. Genesis 3: 12-13

On the contrary, God was not being partial to King David when any time he fell into sin, he never felt the need to cover up or blame his sin on someone else. For instance, God did not want him to have population census of his subjects , Joab, his war commander warned him as well, still he went ahead with the project and incurred God’s wrath. After the end of the exercise, David felt guilty for disobeying the God of Israel, and started praying for God to “take away the iniquity of thy servant; I have done very foolishly”. In consequence, God gave three alternatives from where to choose one punishment. Prophet Gad was sent to deliver it to David. Out of the three punishments he chose to fall into the hand of the Lord–Three days of pestilence–. I believe that since David has humbled himself before God, because David was sensitive to his sinful act, God caused the angel to stop the killing of the population. 2 Samuel 24: 17. I believe all believers should emulate King David in never to engage in blame game. It saved the people from being wiped out during the punitive pestilence.
 In the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 21-30, the servant with one talent to work with resorted to blaming his master’s wickedness who the servant described as trying to reap where he did not sow. Self-deception and envy did not allow him to realize that the one talent given him was his master’s seed sown into his life. He should not have blamed anyone for his refusal to let the investment on him yield quantifiable returns. The parable is still relevant to our everyday life where man continues to blame God or the devil for self-induced disaster. An apparently great man indicted for financial impropriety or sexual abuse would always blame the devil or his fate that led him into the ignoble act. At times, not knowing why a loved one died, the surviving spouse would rather blame God for the personal tragedy of losing the most valued person to him or her. Proverb 19: 3 says “The foolishness of man perverteth his way; and his heart fretteth against the Lord.” (KJV) The above verse tends to describe the approach to life of those who engage in blame game.
We were all born in sin, and some seem to behave as if they are holier than others. They tend to castigate others as to shift blame on such people whereas their own load of sin is heavier than those they were projecting as miserable offenders. Matthew 7: 1-5 puts it in this way: “Judge not that ye be not judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how will thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (KJV). The Executive who is never able to manage his time effectively will always find it easy to put the blame on his spouse, the family or on phantom traffic jam on his way to work. Any believer who engages in blame game is playing with his eternity. We all commonly sing and say “Only Jesus can save.” Yes, but it is only they who are with renewed spirit and who worship the Lord in spirit and truth that we believe will be saved or possess a secured eternity.
Relating our foregoing discussion to our daily life , one who does not plan to succeed and consequently fails to succeed must not blame the devil, witches or wizards for his or her failure and its resultant suffering and anguish. Praise the Lord !!!.

The Lukewarm Believer

A lukewarm believer is worst than a non-believer or a heathen. One has to be a true believer because there is no middle-of-the-road believer. There is no room for fair-weather believer. Lukewarmness entails slackness in the worship of God, the Almighty as well as in one duty towards ones fellow-men. A back-slidden christian fits into this mould of lukewarmness. Such person remains a nominal christian, fully sold to the worship of God. His duties and love of god has waned and waxed cold. He would not have strong  conscience against not loving and obeying God or rendering any brotherly love to the needy. When there is work to be done in the House of God he or she does not feel obligated. He would rather leave such for the pastors and Ministers to carry out. God does not reward title in his Church but the faithful commitment to one’s profession of faith and duties.

Lukewarm attitude stands for coldness in work and behavior. To relate it to man’s relationship with God, it stands for coldness or death for man is meant to be on fire for God. Such a Christian is of no use to God. This brings to mind the warning given to the Church in Laodicea. Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV), it states: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth”. Prophet Jeremiah preached doing God’s work with zeal and passion otherwise one’s labor would not receive returns to money, soul and spirit invested in God’s work. Jeremiah 48: 10 . It says “Cursed be he  that does the work of the Lord deceitfully, ad cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood”. Jeremiah fought for the Lord, not with physical sword with truth that pricked people’s conscience. it hurts like double-edged sword. That was why he suffered much persecution but remained adamantly committed to God’s massages he was constantly delivering to the children of Israel of his days. He was fearlessly undaunted and remained on fire for God is spite of all odds. One who doubts and entertain fear in the course of serving God. would in most cases know how to do good but because of fear of man and the attendant consequences, he will not rightly or decisively do it fo God; it is sin before God. We are enjoined to be our brother’s keepers but if we fail we are either cold lukewarm or insensitive to the need of God’s created person(s).; it is also sinful. Proverb 21: 13 (KJV) says “Who so stoppeth at the cry of the poor, he also shall himself, but shall not be heard”. In other words, if one fails to love others, others will fail to love that person. Failure to love God can be rewarded with rejection from God.

Looking at the effect of lukewarmness, it is obvious that there is danger in it. one in consequence would most likely be passed up as an unstable person. In interpersonal transaction,, no one would vouchsafe for him: James  1: 6-8 declared: “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways”. In contemporary times in political arena, some politicians especially in developing countries, do decamp to join the party in government. Such politicians have unstable mind and invariably in the new party no one would really trust him/them. How much more when one fails to honor God in life. The second or eternal death awaits such lukewarm believers. Such ought not to be our portio as born again Christians. Double-mindedness, fear of people, consulting a medium made King Saul fail before Samuel and God. Eli, a great prophet of God fail to honor God in the life of his two sons and died out of the consequence of his not bringing his two sons up to honor God.King Jeroboam rather than coming to The Temple at Jerusalem, he substituted baal for Yahweh the God of his Patriarchs and bore the consequence.

Great but Dented Series # 7

May the good Lord deliver man from sin emanating from pride, prejudice self conceit and many more.  All these behavior patterns tend to make man fall pray to devil’s temptation or deceptions.Throughout history when man is at his lowest ebb financially, spiritually and without any social worth, the tendency is to turn to God. God’s love for man is the deepest love  or the agape love. What we notice is that God will always listen to His children ‘s distress call during the time of dire need. The first King of Israel faltered along the line as he usurped the priestly duty against divine instruction concerning the duties and obligations of the King and the priest. Assuming Saul committed sin out of fear of the Amalakites and  the Philistines, with fear of the Lord in him, when Prophet Samuel queried him he should not have engaged in lying to justify his action.

The focus of this post is on King Uzziah who ascended to the throne of his father at a tender age of sixteen  II Chronicles 26. He belonged to an age when teenagers of nowadays are still slogging it out in their High School grades. He reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. In chapters 4 – 5, the bible recorded it thus: “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all his father Amaziah had done. He sought God in the days of Zachariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper” (NKJV). Any King that reigned for fifty-two years should have been grateful to the God of Israel in those days. At that point in time, ascension to the throne was full of intrigues and assassination unlike when King Solomon was aged King David’s choice or King Rehoboam that followed Solomon. King Amaziah, father of Uzziah, reigned for twenty-nine years during which  he embraced the God of the Edomites. He fell prey to King Joash of Israel. At the end there was conspiracy against him and therefore ran to Lachish. The conspirators. the bible recorded it that they pursued him and got rid of him there. He still had a king’s  burial among his fathers in the city of Judah. Uzziah, at the peak of power and glory wanted to usurp the power and privileges of the priests. Eighty priests withstood him,and while still holding the censer to burn incense to the Lord, leprosy broke out on his forehead. He died a leper and was not buried in the king’s field of burial.  In conclusion,  when shall man learn from history? To start well  like King Uzziah is good but never better than ending well.

l

A Matter of National Pride

There is time for everything, so says the bible. There is time to come together for the preservation of the group and time for dissolving it based on the prevailing circumstances II Samuel 5: 1-5. The reign of King David brought together all the twelve tribes of Israel; while the reign of King Rehoboam caused the Northern Israel with 10 tribes to opt out of the Union to become separate autonomous kingdom with capital in Samaria I King 12:1-16. The Northern kingdom under King Jeroboam went to replicate the God of Israel as known by the Patriarchs with “The Golden Calves” which are mere man-made gods, rather than maintaining theocratic relations with Jerusalem I King 12: 21-24

Between Kings Rehoboam and Jeroboam, can it ever be said that their concept of national pride was in consonance with peaceful co-existence? Definitely not. They both negated the good governance that helped King David to earn the unification of all the twelve tribes of Israel and sustain as well as bequeathed the united kingdom to KIng Solomon. One can easily identify in the two leaders the interplay of pride, intoxicating power or “absolute power that corrupts absolutely”; listening to bad advisors in the case of King Rehoboam and vendetta as it was with King Jeroboam. They forgot the lessons from their historical antecedent. They never remembered and were neither advised nor reminded to recall the harrowing experiences of Jacob and Joseph followed by the 430 years in servitude plus the great deliverance from bondage. A forty-day journey turned into forty-year God-guided journey coupled with the wasting away of erring generation. For the sake of Jewish corporate existence, Joshua sent home the eastern tribes of the Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh after their patriotic fighting along with other tribes to establish them on Canaan land. They had the apportionment of land “on this side of Jordan” but refused to relent effort until all tribes were settled down Joshua 22: 1-6. To me, fighting for the common good signifies national pride.

Europe had seen centuries of wars and had adjusted the people’s psyche to a level that they never considered war as the first option, especially at intra-national level. Kudos to the Scottish people for choosing to seek their desired opting out of the union by ballot box and not by the barrel of gun. The options in the present age include diplomacy, negotiated settlement possibly after civil disorder, but short of fratricidal war. Nowadays, it often involves trading in and out certain conditions to avert ravaging wars and consequent colossal loss. Civil disorder could bring economic loss but would never be comparable to fighting in the present age that now could involve use of weapons of mass destruction. This was why the world rose against Syria when she used chemical weapon against her kith and kin that rose in rebellion against the State. Russia , the strong ally of Syria joined the world to condemn the use of such weapon and advocated diplomatic solution to the problem.

The United kingdom must have to identify reason(s) for Scotland’s request for separate nation to be  independent of the United Kingdom. The problem has to be solved through feasible diplomatic solution in truth and in spirit. For a tiny instance, how is the Scottish pound viewed at the malls or on the Streets of London even though it has the same value as the pound sterling. They are all accepted as negotiable instrument on equal basis.

I want to believe that Great Britain scored first place among equals in terms of honoring the course of history in shaping their future. United Kingdom is a union of nationalities that was able to hold its own for 300 years. The feat is unique and I fervently hope the union is not allowed to crumble. May God save England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, from apparent and real “Berlin Wall of Separation” threatening the United Kingdom. May “Shibboleth and Sibboleth syndrome” Judges 12: 1-6 that can cause possible break-up of UK be nipped in the bud by divine intervention. Humility, tolerance, sense of equality without superciliousness among members of the union, and altruistic love of one another need be re-awakened among the component parts. Let there be put in place internal healing of sociopolitical strained nerves, if any, and reform processes to re-solidify the basis for the age-long unity in the kingdom. There are innumerable advantages for staying together because ” united we stand, divided we fall”. The Parliament and the citizenry must rally round the monarch and ensure that the fore-going maxim concerning United Kingdom remains universally and perpetually valid. United Kingdom should not be allowed to become the next Tower of Babel.