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Old Testament: 2 Samuel 1:1-2:11
There was between Saul and David much strife, after Saul died David was only the king of the south but was free to be live his life.
2 Samuel 1:1-16 The “No Honor” Roll
David got a report from an Amalakite purporting to have killed Saul after he asked to be run through. Of course, his account differs from the official Israeli report and so we would deem it false. He was probably hoping for some special honor from David for returning Saul’s crown and bracelet. He was most likely on the scene when Saul died since his account had so much truth in it. Instead of honor, David, not knowing the official account, took the man at his word that he had killed Saul. Checking his background, David determined that the man had enough information to know he shouldn’t have killed God’s anointed. David had him executed.
2 Samuel 1:17-27 A Sad Song
David, who later wrote most of the Psalms, lamented the loss of Saul and his three sons in a dirge or funeral song. In it, he especially grieves over the loss of his close friend Jonathan who would have been a co-ruler of Israel with him (v. 25-26). Have you ever heard the phrase, “O, how the mighty have fallen!”? Check out verses 19, 25 and 27.
2 Samuel 2:1-11 North and South
David asked Yahweh if he should go to one of the cities in southern Israel, Judah. Yahweh told him to go to Hebron. He went with his two wives and all his men. He was crowned King of Judah in Hebron.
The men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul and was the town Saul first rescued after becoming king. David commended them for their action.
On the other hand, in the north, Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth, was made king of all the other parts of Israel. David was king exclusively over Judah for seven and a half years.
New Testament: John 12:20-50
Many thought that Jesus was their Judge and were stirred but He told them that not He would be their judge but only His Word.
John 12:20-26 An Uneven Exchange
There were some Gentiles at the Feast who wanted to see Jesus. Jesus said that unless a piece of grain sprouted, it was useless but once it split open it could become a source of nourishment for many. He followed up with the pronouncement that a if anyone was willing to forfeit his life for Jesus, instead of living for the here and now, would be honored by God the Father. Jesus was trying to tell the Greeks that the big deal was not seeing Him but trusting Him and following Him.
John 12:27-50 Flip The Switch Or Get Lost
Some of the crowd following Jesus heard some thunder but others actually heard the voice of God. Isn’t it the same today? Some heard God say that He would glorify Jesus’ name and others couldn’t hear it. Jesus said that judgment was coming but that He would be “lifted up” meaning He’d be crucified (v. 32). Jesus told them to walk in the light or they’d get lost and never find their way. John said the same thing in his epistle, 1 John 2:8-10.
The time was getting late but some still didn’t “get it.” Isaiah had predicted this kind of thing (Isa. 53:1; 6:10). Some of the religious leaders “caught on” but didn’t say anything because they were afraid they’d get kicked out of the Temple. They lived their lives more for what people thought of them than for what God thought of them.
Jesus kept the theme of light and darkness going. He yelled out, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (v. 46). Jesus said He didn’t come to judge anyone but His word would judge people on the Judgment Day. He said His Father had given Him words of life and His goal was to save people not to condemn them.
Psalm 118:19-29 A Thanksgiving Psalm By Anonymous
The cornerstone was rejected but if they had just known He was the most important stone.
Psalm 118:19-29 Turning A Corner, Part 2
Psalm 118 is a thanksgiving psalm. It is the last of the six Hallel or praise psalms (113-118). McGee believes that because of that and Matt. 26:30 that this is the psalm Jesus and His disciples sung after the Last Supper. It’s possible.
Today we look at the second half of this psalm.
Psalmists keep pleading with God to answer them (v. 19). Don’t they believe that God will answer their prayers? I think it is to encourage themselves that God is listening.
Here, the psalmist is entering the Lord’s “gates” (vv. 19a, 20a) with thanksgiving (vv. 19b, 21a). Psalm 100 said we should begin our prayers with thanksgiving as we enter His gates (cf. Ps. 100:4; also see John 10:9, Christ is the gate; cf. John 14:6). We should remember that when we pray, we are entering the throne room of the King (cf. Heb. 4:16). God has saved those of us that have trusted Him so He is deserving of thanks (v. 21b)!
I have called this psalm “Turning The Corner” because of verse 22. I think it is the key verse of the entire psalm. Christ is the chief corner stone. The cornerstone was the first stone laid in a building and the entire building was keyed to it. Christ is the center of Christianity. If Christ did not die for our sins, we are men most to be pitied (cf. 1 Cor. 15:19).
Peter, Paul, and Jesus Himself quote this verse (Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-8). Christ is the stone that unbelievers stumble over (cf. Rom. 9:32-33; 1 Pet. 2:8; Isa. 8:14). If you don’t believe that Christ rose from the dead, you are not a Christian. That is the cornerstone of all our beliefs and doctrine. A person who trusts Christ turns the corner in his life and moves toward God. If that person doesn’t turn, he will fall headlong. And it is a very long fall.
It is the Lord who saves us through the corner stone (v. 23). He seeks the sheep (cf. Isa. 53:6; Luke 15:1-5). When we realize that, we are amazed (v. 23b).
We sing a song based on verse 24. Do you believe that the Lord has made this day for you to rejoice and be glad? Try this. Do something today that you really enjoy. But actually, really enjoy it. You are fulfilling Philippians 4:4 and Nehemiah 8:10.
It might not look like it but verse 25 was quoted at the Lord’s Triumphal Entry on the colt (cf. Matt. 21:9). “Hosannah” literally means, “save now” or “save us”!
Jesus quoted verse 26 when He was doing His spring cleaning at the Temple. In Luke 13:35, Jesus says “Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time cones when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” In AD 70 the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. The nation of Israel will not see Jesus again until He comes again and then they will say, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord”! (Sandi Patty sang a great song with that name.)
Verse 27 is a reference to Christ’s sacrifice for us. It is as if He was bound to the horns, like literal animal horns, near the altar. They were projections at the four corners of the altar and were made out of acacia wood and covered with bronze (Exod. 27:1-2).
What could be more appropriate for a thanksgiving psalm than to end with thanksgiving (v. 28)? Well, I guess you could mention hesed (v. 29). And that He is good (v. 29a, cf. James 1:17; Ps. 136:1; Jer. 33:11).
And when you believe God is good, you have turned a corner in life.
Proverbs 15:27-28 Solicited And Unsolicited Junk
The wise know how to use their mouth but the evil have no couth.
Our neighborhood has signs that say that solicitors are not welcome. They come anyway. If someone solicits a bribe, that person should be unwelcome in your house (v. 27). If not, your whole family could be ruined.
A person who really wants to be upright in the eyes of God will think before he says anything to anybody (v. 28a). He will wait and see if the Lord has anything to tell him in prayer before he does or says anything (cf. Ps. 27:14).
A disreputable person just pours out whatever rotten thing is inside of him (v. 28b).
Scripture: John 12:49 NASB “Getting In Tune”
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49
There used to be a TV series called Different Strokes. I never saw it. But I heard it had a famous saying, “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?”
Jesus never wondered what His Father was saying to Him. They had perfect communication.
In the reading a couple days ago, Jesus said that His sheep knew His voice (cf. John 10:27). Do you spend any thought on trying to learn Jesus’ voice? He’s best heard when you fill your head with Scripture. When we know Scripture, we’re better suited to hear Him and do His will (see blog Get The Led Out). Just like Jesus.
Have you spent time studying the Word and listening to God today? Don’t be asking Willis what to do, he doesn’t know. Ask God.
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
There used to be a song by Ray Stevens called “Turn Your Radio On.” I used it for the theme song for a Bible exposition radio program I had in the mid-seventies, right after Marconi invented radio. I liked it because of the lyric, “turn your radio on and get in touch with God.”
The only way to truly know if you are hearing God is when you hear God in Scripture. Hearing God in Scripture is objective, any other way is subjective and can lead to error (see blogs Sensitive To The Spirit and Sensitivity To The Spirit).
Remember that the Christian life is a journey, three steps forward and two steps back. Don’t chastise yourself if you don’t get God’s will right all the time. And remember the rule, if you think you were hearing God and you were wrong, it wasn’t God’s fault. It is only Scripture that is “profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16, NIV).
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 “No Honor” Roll