Monday, April 7, 2014

"Honoring God's Anointed"

Day #101:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - April 8th

Scripture Reading:  I Samuel 21 - 25 ...

Samuel had anointed David as king, but it was not yet time for his rule to begin.  In some ways it reminds me of Jesus' ministry.  He was God's anointed King, but His reign had not yet begun.  David knew he would be king, yet he respected the office and God's anointing and would not harm Saul or allow his men to do so.  David was a valiant warrior.  As he had defended God's honor against Goliath, now he led a small band of several hundred soldiers and fought against anyone who was an enemy of God's people.  Even though he, himself, was an exile within his own country, he was ready to do battle for the Lord.

Meanwhile, Saul was searching for David to kill him.  When Saul heard that the priests at Nob had aided David by giving him food and the sword of Goliath, he had eighty-five priests murdered and killed the men, women and children of the town.  Saul then continued his search for David, though even Saul's son, Jonathan, helped David escape.  At one point David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but he would not kill the Lord's anointed.  When David told Saul that he had spared his life, Saul wept and asked David's forgiveness and also asked that David promise him that he would not completely cut off Saul's descendants when he became king.  David gave his word and went on his way. (Remember this for later!)

Later, a man named Nabal dishonored David by refusing to give food and drink to him and his men, even after they had protected Nabal's herds and possessions.  David was about to take his men and kill all the males in Nabal's household, but his wife, Abigail, showed honor to David and brought food and drink and gifts to David and his men.  Because of this gesture, David spared Nabal and his household.  Ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal and he died, and David took Abigail as his wife.

Does any of this have application for us today?

First of all, there are things that went on in those days because of the hardness of men's hearts that God allowed, but certainly didn't approve of.  We need to remember that some of these things happened as examples for us of what NOT to do!  The Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out as after Jesus' resurrection and most of mankind was utterly evil.  Even those chosen by God were bent toward the evil of the sinful nature.  Our world today has been influenced by the morality of the Church in greater ways than most people realize.  Civilization, even during the Middle Ages, was not much different than it was in the days of the kings of Israel.  Following the days of exploration and the spreading of the church, God's law became a basis for standards of right and wrong for civilizations around the globe.  Still, the evil "within" comes out in various places at various times.  We need a Savior!!!

Secondly, it is important to note David's honor for Saul as God's anointed, even though God had determined to take the kingdom from his descendants.  And those who honored David were blessed by God.  David was, at least in some ways, a type of Christ.  Jesus descended through the line of David and is God's anointed King who now reigns at His right hand and who will reign over all the earth during the Millennium.  Those who dishonored David, God's anointed, received a harsh judgment from the LORD.  Those who dishonor Jesus Christ will face God's holy wrath, as we read in Psalm 2:

"The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One ... The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 'I have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill.'  ... Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment"  (verses 2,4-5,10-12).

Many today refuse to believe that God is angry at sinners.  You have heard that we are to "hate the sin, but love the sinner," because that's what God does.  But the Bible tells us that only those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will escape God's coming wrath and judgment.  Honoring God's anointed brings the blessing of forgiveness and life.  Dishonoring Him by rejecting His sacrifice on the cross or ignoring His invitation to come to Him will bring the same judgment that David's enemies received - only worse.

What a privilege to know who Jesus is and to live as one of His servants in this world, and ultimately, in the world to come, forever and ever!  Honor the Lord's Anointed One and have the assurance that you will reign with Him in His coming kingdom.  What a glorious day that will be!!

"Oh LORD, our God, You are almighty and wise in all that You do.  We confess that apart from Your Spirit we would not be moved to honor Your Anointed One, Jesus, the Christ, Your Son.  Thank You for graciously opening MY eyes to see Him as He is and to confess Him as my Savior and my Lord.  Empower me to serve Him all my days and then to enter His kingdom.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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