Spiritual Rants: May 23 “Ish Gets An Itch” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39 John 13:1-30 Psalm 119:1-16 Proverbs 15:29-3

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Old Testament: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39

David was never one for easy remedies, he even respected all his enemies.

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2 Samuel 2:13-31  Not So Civil War

Abner was still commander of the forces for Saul’s family meaning specifically Ish-bosheth who had become king.  One day Abner and Joab, David’s commander, met by a pool and proposed a contest between their best warriors.  So they squared off, twelve against twelve.  They ended up offing each other by grabbing the others’ hair and thrusting the other through!  All twenty four fell dead.

Then a battle broke out with Joab’s forces putting Abners’ on the run.  In fact, one of Joab’s brothers, Asahel, was overtaking Abner.  Abner told him to back off and kill someone else.  Asahel wouldn’t back off.  So Abner stuck him with the butt of his spear and it went all the way through his back.  Asahel’s spirit abruptly separated from his body.  The battle came to a stand-still at the place where Asahel lay.

Joab and his other brother, Abishai, took off after Abner.  Abner got up on a hill and called out to Joab, “Hey, let’s knock it off or it’ll never end.”  Joab replied, “If you had just shut up, everyone would’ve gone home anyway.”  And the fighting stopped and Abner took his men back  across the Jordan.

When a count was taken after the battle, twenty of David’s men were missing but three hundred and sixty of Abner’s men had been taken out.

2 Samuel 3:1-26  Ish Gets An Itch

David’s forces continued to fight Saul’s family with the result that David became more and more powerful.

David had sons named Amnon, Chileab, Absalom, and Adonijah, Shephatiah and Ithream.  They were all born to different women.

While the war was going on, Ish-bosheth complained that Abner was trying to gain control of Israel by taking one of Saul’s concubines.  Abner was insulted and said he was going to do all he could to make sure all of Israel fell to David’s rule.  So he sent messengers to David to negotiate a treaty.  “Sure,” David, “We can put something together but bring my rightful wife, Michal, back to me when you come.”  Michal’s husband, Paltiel, started following her, weeping all the way, until finally Abner said to him, “Cut it out.  Get out of here.”  So Paltiel went back home.

Abner tried to persuade the leaders of Israel that since they had been wanting David as king for a long time, they should coronate him right away.  He said they all knew that Yahweh had promised to deliver them through him.  He had Israel’s approval and went with twenty men to meet David at his home in Hebron.  They seemed to have a deal.

Joab had been out raiding and when he came back and heard what had happened between Abner and David, he had a fit.  Joab thought that Abner was snookering David and that he’d turn on David the first chance he got.

David’s forces continued to fight Saul’s family with the result that David became more and more powerful.

2 Samuel 3:27-39  A Dirty Joab

After Joab had the conference with David, he sent messengers out after Abner and asked him to come in for a “pow-wow.”  When Abner approached him not realizing Joab’s intentions, Joab jabbed him through the gut and killed him.  Joab did it to recompense the death of his brother, Asahel.

David was infuriated.  He pronounced a curse on the progeny of Joab that they all have infectious discharges, leprosy, have to do the work of women, get run through themselves or starve.

David mourned the death of Abner.  He lamented, “Abner didn’t deserve to be tricked into being murdered!”  Everyone was weeping.  David refused to eat until sundown, he was so upset.

David said that even though he had been anointed king, the day was tainted by such a dishonorable deed.  Then he cursed Joab and his family again wishing Joab the same fate as Abner.

New Testament: John 13:1-30

Everyone before they would eat would have to clean their feet.

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John 13:1-20  Taking The Disciples To The Cleaner

Before the Feast of the Passover, the devil had already moved Judas to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew He had come from God and was soon returning.  He got up after eating and took off his robe and wrapped a towel around his waist.  He poured water into a basin and started to wash the disciple’s feet with the towel.

Peter objected vehemently.  “You can’t wash my feet,” he said, meaning it should be the other way around.  Jesus told him if He didn’t wash his feet then he wouldn’t have fellowship with him.  Without having Jesus wash our feet, we might be able to talk the talk but we won’t be able to walk the walk.  Our feet will be dirty!

Peter said, “OK, then give me an entire bath then!”  Jesus corrected him saying that if a person is clean he only has to have his feet washed everyday (cf. 1 John 1:9).  He excepted Judas from the bunch because he knew Judas was going to betray him (v. 10b, 11).

When He was done, He asked the disciples if they knew what He had done.  He told them that if they really thought of Him as their example and Master, they ought to make sure others are cleaned as well.  As subordinates, they should imitate Him and they’d be blessed if they did.  But He again predicted His betrayal by quoting Ps. 41:9, David’s recounting of his own betrayal by his friend, Ahithophel in 2 Samuel 15-17.  Jesus knew that the disciples would be able to look back and feel secure that Jesus had known Judas was going to do what he did.  He also wanted the disciples to know that He was God (“that I am,” v. 19).

John 13:21-30   The Lights Went Out

Jesus became distraught after this because He knew He was going to have to make it clear who it was that was going to turn Him in.  All the guys had guilty consciences apparently since they all suspected themselves as the perp.  John himself was the closest to Jesus since he was resting his head on Jesus’ shoulder (v. 23a).  He always referred to himself as the “one Jesus loved” (v. 23b).  Peter motioned to him to find out who Jesus was talking about.  Jesus gave him a code, it’d be the one who Jesus dipped a piece of bread and gave it to.  He gave it to Judas and Satan entered into him about a second later.

Jesus told Judas to get on with his plan.  The boys just figured He was telling Judas, as treasurer, to go out and buy something or give some money to the poor.

Right after Judas took the bread, it got dark.

Darkness and night are symbolic of sin and spiritual problems in Scripture.

Psalm 119:1-6    A Wisdom Psalm By Anonymous

All Hebrews would have to learn Psalm 119 under threat and to help them each line started with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

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Psalm 119:1-16  The Word is the Word

Psalm 119 is a wisdom psalm.  And here is your word for the day:  didactic.  Didactic means “teaching.”  Psalm 119 is a psalm written to teach us something.  All the epistles are didactic because they deal with teachings as opposed to stories, history, poetry, or prophecy.

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and longest chapter in the entire Bible.

As a teaching psalm, it has 22 sections since each section is based on a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  In other words, it is an acrostic in that sense and runs through the alphabet consecutively.  Since the OYB has allotted ten days to this psalm, I’m going to try to make things easier by only writing a couple summary sentences for each section each day.

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Every stanza of this psalm has eight verses.  Thus, there are 176 verses in the psalm (8 verses x 22 stanzas).   Only three verses, verses 90, 122 and 132, do not mention the Word of God specifically.  That means 99.98% of the verses mention the Word of God by some destination.

Each line begins with Aleph in this first grouping.  You can learn the Hebrew alphabet by studying this psalm.  The next stanza has verses that all begin with the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet, Beth.  Beth is like a “B” in English or if it does not have a dot in the middle of it, it sounds like a “V.”

All verses in this psalm are addressed to God of the Word except two are addressed to God in prayer.

Aleph  (vv. 1-8)

Those who learn and do the word of God are blessed (vv. 1-8)  If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, you may think you need to make an ugly woman your wife, but really what you need to do is memorize the Word!

Beth   (vv. 9-16)

Verses 9 and 11 should be memorized by all Christians . . .  immediately!  Memorizing the Word is important and it is the standard by which you should measure your entire life!  After you memorize it, you should meditate on it (v. 15).

Proverbs 15:29-30  Healthy Fat

Be careful when you and the Lord meet, you will be responsible for what you eat.

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Does the Lord hear the prayer of the unsaved?  Generally, He is nowhere near the unsaved (v. 29a).  The one prayer I know He would hear is the one asking God to accept their faith in Christ to be their Savior.  Then He will hear all their prayers after that (v. 29b, cf. Ps. 66:18-19; 1 Pet. 3:12).  Biblically speaking, someone who has trusted Christ is righteous (cf. Rom. 3:26; 4:5).  

If you want to be happy, eat honey.  Honey brightened the eyes of Jonathan in battle (cf. 1 Sam. 14:29).  Bright eyes make someone happy (v. 30a).  Therefore, eat honey to be happy.  OK, maybe that was a syllogism with an “undistributed middle.”  In other words, a piece of logic that isn’t organized right.

More likely, this means that when you are happy, your heart is healthy (v. 30a, cf. Prov. 4:23).  Watch what you watch and your heart and the rest of you will be happy.  Try not to get stressed!

McGee says that a good way to lose weight is to get bad news.  But I think bad news causes me to rush for a gallon of ice cream.   Most likely, fat here in verse 30 stands for muscle, in the sense that it meant prosperous and healthy.  It didn’t mean obese.

And being happy yields fitness and health.  Living a healthy spiritual life leads to happiness and leads to physical health.  Check out Proverbs 3:7-8, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.”

I know you think I’m kidding but I’m not.  Did you realize that doctors now are saying eat more fat?!  But they are not talking about the fat on a T-bone steak.  They are talking about good fats like in coconut oil and avocados.  Check it out.

Choose Life: Scripture:   John 13:10    NASB    “Your Feets Smell”

“Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.'”      John 13:10

After we are saved, we are clean.  In technical theological jargon, it is called being sanctified.  But to further complicate things, sanctified is mentioned in Scripture as being in three phases (cf. blog You Look Maavalous).  So Jesus here is telling His disciples that they are clean because they have already believed in Him.  But they still need to have themselves cleansed every day to be practically sanctified.  They need to be progressively cleaned up to measure up to the way the Father sees them in Christ.

How do we do this?  By applying 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We need to confess the sins we know that we commit.  We need to do that everyday.  When we do God will forgive all the rest of our sins that we don’t realize we’re committing.  We’re only responsible for the ones the Holy Spirit brings to our attention.  (If the Holy Spirit brought all our sins to our attention at once, we’d probably explode!)

So in summation, our feet stink.  They symbolize the smells that we pick up on the “road of life.”  Well, and the cheese that naturally grows there.

We need to let Jesus cleanse us daily but applying 1John 1: 9.  We are clean because of accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.  But we need to ask forgiveness for our daily sins (cf. Matt. 6:11-12, our “daily” sins just as ask for “daily bread”).

Have you asked for forgiveness today?

If you have, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:   

Since you heeded the day before yesterday’s blog, you probably won’t be getting an iWatch real soon (just kidding, go ahead if you want).  But if you did get a smart watch or even if you have a smart phone, you can set it to remind yourself to pray everyday.  Here is a helpful way to make sure you get everything into your prayers with the priorities being pretty much right.  The acrostic A-C-T-S will help you.

A – Adoration . . .  start with praise of God (cf. Eph. 1:3; 3:14; 1 Pet. 1:3)

C – Confession  . . .   confess what you know you need to and God will cover all the rest of your sins (cf. 1 John 1:9)

T – Thanksgiving  . . .  you’ll make requests in a second but make sure they are accompanied by thanksgiving (cf. Phil. 4:6)

S – Supplication  . . .    supplication is a old-timey, fancy word for requests . . .  ask for things last and make sure you are praying for other people, too!  When you ask for things, always ask that the answers will glorify God  (cf. John 14:13-14; 16:24)

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   The Nights The Lights Went Out In Jerusalem

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