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Trip 371: David’s Census of Israel—Part 2

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 24:10-25

Focal verse(s): 2 Samuel 24:10:  “Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

When David learned the total of the census, he realized he had sinned against God because of his pride in wanting to know the size of his army, so he quickly repented.  God sent Gad the prophet to David so he could choose 1 of 3 punishments for his sin: (1) 3 years of famine; (2) 3 months of enemy pursuit; or (3) 3 days of pestilence. David chose neither, instead throwing himself on God’s mercies.  So God sent a plague that took 70,000 lives.  Gad told David he must build an altar and make a sacrifice to God in order to stop the plague, and the altar must be built in a specific place: The threshing floor of a Jerusalem citizen named Araunah.  When Araunah learned of David’s need for his threshing floor, he not only offered to give it to David, but to supply the wood for the sacrifices as well.  In a beautiful gesture of worship, David said he could not sacrifice to God on land that he had not purchased.  He therefore paid Araunah for the oxen and the threshing floor.  In the same place where Abraham had offered Isaac, David built an altar and offered an atoning sacrifice to God, interceding on the peoples’ behalf, and the plague stopped.  Solomon would later build his beautiful temple on this same location! (1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1)   Every time we sin against the Lord we must be prepared to accept His punishment, just as a child must be chastised by his parents in order to keep him upright.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Trip 370: David’s Census of Israel

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 24:1-9    __1 Chronicles 21:1-7, 23-24

Focal verse(s):2 Samuel 24:1:  “Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He incited David against them, saying, ‘Go and count Israel and Judah’.”

It is not explained, but the Lord became angry with Israel and His spirit moved David to take a census of the people.  In First Chronicles chapter 21 the Word says that “Satan stood up against Israel”.  There is not a contradiction, but God allowed Satan to incite David to take the census because the Lord wanted to use the census as a way of punishing the people for whatever He was angry about.  We know that God himself did not tempt David because the Word says in James 1: 13, “God cannot be tempted with evil and He himself tempts no one.” After nearly 10 months the census revealed that there were 800,000 eligible fighting men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah.  The difference in total figures in First Chronicles is not a conflict but rather a different method of counting.  The figures in Chronicles probably represent a grand total for Israel which includes the standing army and some other units not counted in Second Samuel.  The real sin that David was guilty of in taking the census was pride because his motivation for the census was purely egotistical.  The old saying “attitude is altitude” certainly applies in our spiritual growth…a humble attitude, not pride, determines how we grow spiritually.  Obadiah 1:4 says, “Though you soar like the eagle, and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down …”.  Christian, beware of pride in your life!  Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Trip 369: Vengeance against the Family of Saul—Part 2; War with Philistia

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 21: 9-22    __1 Chronicles 20:4-8

Focal verse(s): 2 Samuel 21:14: “They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the grave of Kish his father; thus they did all that the king commanded, and after that God was moved by prayer for the land.”

David allowed the Gibeonites to execute the seven sons and grandsons of Saul in public to avenge for Saul’s sin of killing Gibeonites.  The seven bodies were left hanging until it rained, symbolizing God’s curse that had been on Israel and was now ended, then the bodies were buried.  In a moving gesture of compassion toward Rizpah, mother of two of the murdered men, David allowed their bodies to be brought back and buried in Saul’s family grave.  The Bible says that after this God once again began to answer the prayers of the nation.  David was old and weak, and a Philistine giant named Isbi-Benob came threatening to kill him.  Fortunately for David, Abishai came to his aid and killed the giant.  David was then advised by his counselors not to go into battle in the future because of his weak condition.  However, he did not heed their advice and had several more incidents with Philistines where one of his men stepped in to save his life.  The latter part of David’s life was a vivid picture of how sin can erode a person’s life, affecting his judgment and ruining his family.  The famous artist Rembrandt’s life is also a picture of how sin erodes a life.  As a young man, he painted a self-portrait of himself.  At that age, he denied himself no pleasure and sought out every delight and followed his appetite.  In a self-portrait done some 20 years later, we see the result of Rembrandt’s godless life:  He looked sunken, and had dull and heavy eyes, without vision or beauty.  His body was mined by his own wickedness.  After 20 years of living life for himself and sin, the lights had gone out of his life. * May God help us to stay on course!

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 1286, #5716.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Trip 368: Civil War in Israel—Part 2; Vengeance against the Family of Saul

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 21:1-8

Focal verse(s):  2 Samuel 21:1:  “Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD.  And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

After assassinating Amasa, the coldhearted Joab took command of the army and acted as if nothing had happened, even taking Amasa’s body into a field and leaving him unburied.  He next laid siege to the city of Abel Beth Maacah, demanding that the head of Sheba be thrown over the wall. When Sheba’s head was delivered, he stopped the siege and came back to the city of Jerusalem. The amazing thing is that David seemed to let the entire incident of Joab’ s heartless assassination of Amasa go without rebuke, because Joab continued to lead the army until the beginning of the reign of King Solomon when Benaiah succeeded him. In the later part of King David’s reign the nation was struck with a severe three year drought. When David asked the Lord why they were having the famine, God revealed to him it was punishment for the fact that King Saul had killed some Gibeonites who were under a peace covenant with Israel. When David asked the Gibeonite leaders for their advice on the matter, they asked that seven of Saul’s male descendants be killed as vengeance for the famine.  David spared Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, because he had made a pledge to Jonathan to preserve his seed, but had seven of Saul’s descendants killed.  This is a good example of how one generation’s sins can affect succeeding generations. The principle of “you can’t sin in a vacuum” certainly applies here.  For the sake of your children and their children, keep your life pure and holy!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Trip 367: Restoration of David as King—Part 2; Dispute with Northern Tribes; Civil War in Israel

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 19:31 through 2 Samuel 20:10

Focal verse(s): 2 Samuel 20: 9-10: “Joab said to Amasa, ‘How are you, my brother?’  Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.  Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground.  Without being stabbed again, Amasa died.”

Also included in the delegation which greeted David upon his return from exile at the Jordan River was Barzillai, the 80 year old Gileadite who had given David and his men numerous supplies.  David was so grateful to Barzillai that he invited him to come live out his life on government support, but Barzillai refused, saying he was too old to move.  He did, however, ask that his son Kimham go in his place, and David granted his request.  When David crossed the Jordan and arrived at Gilgal, he was met by a large group of citizens from the tribes of Judah and Israel, with those from Israel arguing that David was from the tribe of Israel, not Judah.  The argument became so intense that the Israelites announced a revolutionary movement against David and deserted the king, so David and the Judeans continued their return to Jerusalem alone.  When David arrived in Jerusalem, he took control as king, re-gathering his harem, but not having any sexual relations with them because they had been with his son Absalom.  The first official act of David as king was to make Amasa the commander of the army and order him to reorganize the army in three days.  When Amasa failed to accomplish the task in the time allotted, David sent Abishai with his elite troops.  On the way they met, and Joab, pretending to greet Amasa, killed him with his dagger to avenge his demotion in rank.  Joab and Amasa were cousins and David’s relatives. Nathan’s prediction of continued bloodshed in David’s family again came to pass!  A home must be built on love, not war!  The following poem, entitled “Beauty of a House” by Frank Crane, expresses this thought:  “The beauty of a house is harmony, the security of a house is loyalty, the joy of a house is love, the plenty of a house is in children, the rule of a house is service, and the comfort of a house is God Himself.” *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 420, # 1568, “Beauty of a House”.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Section Two: Trips 366-730, David’s Restoration as King through the Prophesy against Tyre (979-586 B.C.)

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Trip 366: Restoration of David as King (Circa 979 B.C.)

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 19: 9-30

Focal verse(s): 2 Samuel 19: 22-23:  “David replied, ‘What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah?   This day you have become my adversaries!   Should anyone be put to death in Israel today?  Do I not know that today I am king over Israel?’   So the king said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’   And the king promised him on oath.”

After Absalom’s death, there was confusion in the land.  Those people who had rallied behind Absalom had no leader and were reluctant to recognize David as their king.  David sent the two priests Zadok and Abiathar to the people to ask them to restore him as king.  David told the priests to promise David’s nephew Amasa that he would replace Joab as the commander of the army.  Joab, the current commander, was also David’s nephew, but had fallen out of David’s favor because he killed David’s son Absalom as well as disagreeing openly with David’s way of ruling.  The people were unanimous in inviting David back to be their king, and sent a delegation to the Jordan River to greet David and return him from exile. The delegation included Shimei, who had cursed David on his way into exile, so Shimei fell on his face before David and begged for forgiveness, and David temporarily granted his request.  Also in the delegation was Mephibosheth, who had stayed in Jerusalem.  David forgave him and gave him back half of the estate that he had taken away because he had stayed in Jerusalem.  David could have easily had these men killed for betraying him, but he showed great compassion.  As much compassion as David showed in this case, God showed infinitely more mercy toward us as sinners by forgiving our sins at Calvary!  A little boy, being asked what forgiveness is, gave the beautiful answer, “It is the odor that flowers breathe when they are trampled on.” *   Has someone recently “trampled” on you in some way?  If so, remember the love of David and forgive that person today!

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 456, #1765.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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Trip 365: Absalom’s Death—Part 2; David Mourns for Absalom; Joab’s Rebuke

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 18:24 through 2 Samuel 19:8

Focal verse(s):  2 Samuel 18:33:  “The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept.  And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!  Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!

As Joab’s courier and Ahimaaz approached David they were both spotted from a distance.  When David was told that the closest runner was Ahimaaz, he assumed the news was good because Ahimaaz himself was good.  When Ahimaaz arrived, all he could do was talk in general terms of the victory over Absalom, and the bad news of Absalom’s death was left to the runner that Joab had sent, who appeared a short time later.  We see in our focal verse David was so overcome with grief that he “went up to the room over the gate and wept”, wishing he had died instead of his son.  This verse shows the undying love of a father even when his own son was trying to kill him!  Joab rebuked David for his insensitivity toward his army’s victory, saying it seemed David would have been happier had they lost to Absalom.  He urged David to give the troops a pep talk and rebuild their confidence.  This is a clear illustration of how sin can ruin the victories God has planned for us!  Dr. Walter Wilson, ever on the alert to share the Gospel of Christ with lost men, pulled into a Sinclair gas station to the full service pump.  As the station attendant filled his gas tank, he pointed to the lighted sign atop the gas pump and asked, “how did ‘sin’ get in Sinclair?’  ‘I don’t know, sir’, replied the attendant, ‘but I have wished many times that I knew how to get sin out of my own life!’  It was then that Dr. Wilson had the opportunity to tell the young man of the One who is the sinner’s friend and of whom it is written: ‘you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins’.” (Source unknown)  As you begin a new day, be sure you are reconciled with your parents, loved ones, and friends.  Don’t be like Absalom! If you’ve been doing a devotional trip each day, you have now completed one year of devotions!  We’re one-third of the way through the Bible!  Take some time to reflect over these past devotional trips: What were the most inspirational scripture references?  What were the best illustration(s)?  What did you find to be the most meaningful devotion(s)?  Finally, make a list of reflections for personal growth.  In our next devotional trip we see the restoration of David as King.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Bible Devotional, Chronological Bible

 

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