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Trip 348: David’s Gratefulness to God—Part 3

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Psalm 18:1-29

Focal verse(s):  Psalm 18:25-26:  “With the kind you show yourself kind; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; 26 with the pure you show yourself pure, and with the crooked you show yourself astute.

In this Psalm of praise to God, David used many figures of speech to describe all that the Lord is to him.  He pictured the Lord as a “rock” because of His security and stability, and the word is used some 20 times in Psalms to describe God.  He compared God to a “fortress”, picturing a high place of refuge and defense which one might flee for protection.  Taking refuge in the Lord is far better than hiding in a man-made fortress behind a huge rock.  After using other descriptive terms for God such as “shield”, “stronghold”, and “salvation”, David reviewed his sufferings and perils and how God had delivered him from them.  The term “cords of death” means he was is such difficult distress that without God’s help he would have certainly died.  David described the earth trembling and shaking because of God’s anger toward His enemies.  It almost sounds like David is describing a huge dragon when he says that God had “smoke and fire coming from His nostrils”, but then he pictured the Lord coming down out of the clouds, soaring on the wind and responding with bolts of lightning.  David spent much time outdoors as a warrior and as a sheepherder when he was young, so nature played a large role in his fellowship with the Lord. Take some time today to observe how God works in His creation by spending some quiet time looking at His marvelous creation!   Take a nature walk and do the following exercise: (1) Stand by an object of nature that symbolically reminds you of where you used to be in your spiritual life; (2) Find an object of nature that reminds you of your present spiritual condition; (3) Stand by an object of nature that reminds you of where you want to be in your spiritual walk.  Be sure to record these thoughts in either this devotional guide, your spiritual journal, or your Bible.

 
 

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Trip 347: David’s Gratefulness to God—Part 2

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 22:21-51

Focal verse(s):  2 Samuel 22:21:  “The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me

David mentioned that the benefits of God are often obtained in this life by living a righteous and godly life.  He was not suggesting that works are necessary for salvation, but that God rewards those who keep the Lord’s commandments and laws and refrain from iniquity.  On the other hand, because of the pride and evil in their lives, the wicked cannot expect God’s favor.  God gives His light as a lamp to the righteous person, who can break through barricades and scale the highest walls because of God’s power working in his life.  In the last part of 2nd Samuel 22, David focused on the attributes of God and connected them with specific ways in which the Lord had worked and would work on his behalf.  He described God as a “Strengthener” who would give speed and power to His servants and as a “shield” who protected His children from slipping and falling.  He pictured the Lord as a “Subduer” of armies, allowing David to pursue and destroy his enemies so they could not rise again.  God is a “Support”, and a “Savior”, not allowing any enemy to prevail over His children.  When we think of all God is to us, it almost “short circuits” our thinking process!  The gospel song “You Are So Wonderful to Me”, sung by Larnell Harris comes to mind.  Truly God’s love for us is impossible to describe in human terms! Thank you, God, for all you do and continue to do in lives of those who love you.  Why don’t you pause today and write a “love letter” to the Lord, telling Him why He is “so wonderful” to you!  Don’t forget to include your salvation experience, your friends, relatives, and Christian brothers and sisters whom God has placed in your life as a blessing!

 
 

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Trip 346: David’s Mighty Men—Part 3; David’s Gratefulness to God

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Chronicles 11:26-47    __2 Samuel 22:1-20

Focal verse(s):  2 Samuel 22:2:  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer

The final list of the mighty men of David in First Chronicles chapter 11 is almost identical to the one in Second Samuel chapter 23, except for spelling variations and some other minor differences.  The list in Chronicles has 16 names after Uriah the Hittite which is not in the Second Samuel list.  Second Samuel 22 is David’s account of his Philistine wars in a poem celebrating God delivering him from all of his enemies.  Psalm 18, which we will study soon, has almost the same identical wording.  David first acknowledged God’s greatness and glory with a series of descriptive words: ”Rock”, “Fortress”, “Deliverer”, “Shield”, “Horn of Salvation.”, “Stronghold”, “Refuge”, and “Savior”.  The setting of this song, which is flight, conflict, and victory, makes these descriptive words for God extremely appropriate!  David compared his circumstances to death, because his situation had been so perilous that death seemed imminent. David thanked God for rearranging creation on his behalf so he could be victorious. All Christians should thank God for rearranging creation on our behalf when He made the earth dark in mid-day during His son Jesus’ crucifixion as He was in the process of redeeming us from our sins!  Dr. Howard Kelly, the famous Christian physician, once said that the first recorded words of Jesus were, “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV) and His last words were, “It is finished (John 19:30). *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 666, #2757:  “First and Last Words”.

 
 

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Trip 345: David’s Mighty Men—Part 2

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __1 Chronicles 11:10-25

Focal verse(s):  1 Chronicles 11:10:  “Now these are the heads of the mighty men whom David had, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel

In the list given of David’s mighty men in First Chronicles, the inner circle of Joashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah are listed first, followed by the mention of 3 men who obtained precious water for David at Adullam.  Benaiah became known in First Chronicles for his slaughter of the 2 mighty Moabites, plus a lion in a pit and an Egyptian 7 foot 6 inches tall!  Because of these feats, Benaiah was made David’s personal bodyguard, and years later became the commander-in-chief of King Solomon’s army.  In the Old Testament we see heroic and daring deeds on the battlefield elevated men to the position of prestige and honor in the nation.  After Jesus Christ came and brought the new covenant, we read in the book of Acts and other epistles that deeds of courage and daring in witnessing for the Lord Jesus (the spiritual battlefield) have been the way to grow close to the King of Kings.  Just as David had his mighty men, so does Jesus!  The list starts with John the Baptist and moves on through the disciples, Stephen, then through Paul of Tarsus.  Next are all the great saints of God who have been martyred for the cause of Christ since His crucifixion, and finally those modem day ministers of the Gospel like Billy Graham!  Your name can be part of the list of God’s “mighty men” if you will faithfully serve Him…just stay with it!  Who is your modem day hero of the faith?  Mine is my pastor, Dr. Jack Graham.  Call, email or personally tell that person how thankful you are for the inspiration and help they have been to you personally in your faith!

 
 

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Trip 344: David’s Mighty Men

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __2 Samuel 23:8-39

Focal verse(s):  2 Samuel 23:8:  “These are the names of the mighty men whom David had…”

David listed a group of 37 of his heroes, which he called his “mighty men”, because they had all distinguished themselves by doing heroic and mighty deeds for Israel and for the Lord.  These men evidently were part of David’s elite troops, a type of “green berets” or “special forces” as we would know them today in our modern army.  This group of 37 consisted of 3 leaders, 2 men of a second rank, and 32 men on the rest of the list.  Joab, the commander of the army of Israel was not a part of the group, probably because he was already recognized as a mighty warrior.  The same list appeared in the 11th chapter of First Chronicles, with some of the names spelled differently and more names added to the original 37.  The first 3 men listed are: Josheb-Basshebeth, who killed 800 men in one battle; Eleazar, who struck down many Philistines; and Shammah, who brought great victory over the Philistines.  These same 3 men also obtained water for David when he was besieged in the summer by the Philistines.   David was so moved by that act that he refused to drink the water and instead poured it out as an offering to the Lord. This is a great lesson for the Christian: When something wonderful is done for us by others we should always give God the glory!  Showing kindness to others is also a great Christian witness! In the play “Les Miserables”, the character Jean ValJean’s only crime is the theft of a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving children.  After serving 19 years in prison, he is released. Unable to find work because he has been a convict, he comes to the home of a good old bishop who kindly gives him his supper and a bed for the night.  Yielding to temptation, he steals the bishop’s silver plates and flees, only to soon be caught and returned.  When asked about the crime by the police, the kind Bishop says, “Why, I gave them to him. And Jean, you forgot to take the candle sticks.”  Jean was astounded at such kindness, and this brought about his salvation.  A little deed of kindness can turn a sinner to the Savior! *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 703, #2934: “The Kind Bishop”.

 
 

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Trip 343: David’s Reign over Palestine—Part 3; Reign of Righteousness

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THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Psalm 60    __Psalm108    __2 Samuel 8:15-18    __1 Chronicles 18:14-17

Focal verse(s):  Psalms 60:11-12:  “O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. 12 Through God we shall do valiantly and it is He who will tread down our adversaries.”

Psalm 60 is a prayer for victory.  David was waging war in the north against the Arameans and Edam was invading Judah.  Israel was in a disastrous situation, so David turned to God to ask for deliverance.  Verse four states that David felt God was letting his troops be defeated, so he asked God to deliver those whom He loved.  David quoted back to God the Lord’s own words of how He had promised Israel victory.  David used three rhetorical questions (ones that don’t expect an answer) to recognize that the Lord who had rejected the Israelites in battle would lead them to victory.  David recognized the futility of human effort and asked God to aid them in defeating the enemy.  In other words, David acknowledged the fact that victory or defeat is in the hands of God alone, not men.  In Psalm 108, David sang praise for the Lord’s loyal love, knowing that all of his enemies would be destroyed.  He asked that God be exalted over the whole earth so all of the Lord’s saints (believers) could be delivered.  The phrase, “His right hand” symbolizes the power of God.  With the creation of his empire came the need for the establishment of a bureaucracy to administer the nation’s affairs.  The principle leaders were Joab, commander of the army; Jehoshaphat, record keeper; Zadok and Ahimelech, chief priests; Seraiah, secretary; and Benaiah, “commando” leader.  David’s own sons were royal advisers, so it was truly a family affair!  How unified is your family?  Study the following poem, entitled “The Christian Home“, and think of ways you can help make your family more Christ-centered: “How God must love a friendly home which has a warming smile, to welcome everyone who comes to abide a little while!  How God must love a happy home where song and laughter show, hearts full of joyous certainty that life means ways to grow!  How God must love a loyal home serenely sound and sure!  When troubles come to those within, they still can feel secure.  How God must love a Christian home where faith and love attest that every moment, every hour, He is the honored guest! *

* Paul Lee Tan, “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times” (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1984), 419, #1564:  “The Christian Home”.

 
 

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Trip 342: David’s Reign over Palestine–Part 2

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:   __2 Samuel 8:9-14     __1 Chronicles 18:1-13

Focal verse(s):  1 Chronicles 18:13b:  “And the LORD helped David wherever he went.”

Tou, the king of the Aramean city-state Hamath, decided to surrender to David without a fight because he had witnessed David’s remarkable military successes. He sent his own son Joram to David and presented him with many precious gifts of silver, gold, and bronze to announce to David he was surrendering and becoming a vassal of Israel. David took all of the spoils from the defeats of Moab, Edam, Ammon, and Philistine along with these gifts and dedicated all of them to the service of the Lord for the temple construction.  David also gained fame by defeating the Aramean army of 18,000 troops in the Valley of Salt, a marshy plain south of the Dead Sea. Wherever David went, God gave him victory.  As long as we serve God, we will live victorious lives, and the life of David is a wonderful lesson of this principle (remember, “victorious” cannot always be measured in earthly victories!)  We shall see that David went through a period in his life where he turned away from being obedient to God and would therefore suffer dearly. Rededicate and consecrate yourself today to serving God and being faithful to His commands!

 
 

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