No Good Deed…..

No Good Deed…..

1 Chronicles 19:1-5

Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

Nahash, the king who dies at the beginning of these verses, had shown King David kindness at one point in his life.  Nahash or one of his sons may have protected David from his enemies who were looking to destroy him.  And it is possible that Hanun, the son and successor of Nahash and now the new king of the Ammonites, may be David’s half-brother.

Now I looked up this information because in Chapter 18 of 1 Chronicles, David set about conquering all his enemies, and was quite successful in his endeavors.  The question I had was why David decided to deal kindly with Hanun since he really didn’t have to.  And I came to the conclusion that I wrote in the previous paragraph, Nahash or Hanun had helped David and Hanun may be part of David’s family. Continue reading

For Comfort and Convenience

For Comfort and Convenience

1 Samuel 8 is the story of Israel going to Samuel and demanding he appoint a king to rule over them.

At that time Israel had Judges who weren’t kings or supreme rulers.  They were chosen by God to help deliver Israel from oppression, administer justice, and settle disputes according to the laws given to Moses.  So they were called Judges.

They were a kind of government but somewhat sporadic.  Israel had the laws of God to follow and in doing so there was little use for a formal government other than the aforementioned settling of disputes, etc.

Samuel was the last of the Judges of Israel.  When he became too old to continue in his duties he appointed his two sons to be Israel’s new Judges, but the boys were corrupt.

In 1 Samuel 8:4-5 the elders of Israel come to Samuel to let him know they are fed up with his sons and their corruption.  And after seeing how neighboring nations had a king to rule over them, well the elders wanted one too. Continue reading

By Their Fruits

By Their Fruits

Matthew 7:15-16

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:20

Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Months ago I wrote a piece titled, Household Gods.  In that post I referenced Zachariah 10:2, in which Zachariah speaks of household gods who utter nonsense and diviners who see lies, tell false dreams and give empty consolation.  I wrote about how the household gods of today, gods that are not carved images setting in a little shrine tucked away in the corner, but are setting in a prominent place.  These modern day household gods are showcased on a 40, 55, 60 and 72 inch or larger screen. Continue reading

Words We Want To Hear

Words We Want To Hear

Jeremiah 10:3-5

for the customs of the peoples are vanity.
A tree from the forest is cut down
    and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so that it cannot move.
Their idols
are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
    and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
    for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
    for they cannot do evil,
    neither is it in them to do good.”

The theme of these verses seems to be a common one throughout the Old Testament.  False idols, and the destruction of a nation that turns to them is reported throughout the Bible, especially in the books of the prophets.

I have written a number of times about false gods and idolatry, and this will be another piece on that subject.  I’m sure there will be a few more times I will write about this, since I am currently reading the book of Jeremiah and still have fifteen more books to go in the Old Testatment. Continue reading

Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7:7-10

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

 

Ask and it will be given…

Many think, that according to this verse, all you have to do is pray really hard and voila, there it will be.  Then after taking this naïve approach, they are extremely disappointed when it doesn’t appear before their eyes or happen as planned. Continue reading

The Arrogance Of Man

The Arrogance Of Man

Job 40:2

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Job and his friends are trying to find the answer to why Job, a very righteous man, has suffered horrific losses.  He lost all his wealth and possessions, his family has been killed, except his wife, and his body is covered in boils and sores.

Jobs friends are convinced it must be retribution from God for a great sin or sins.  Job is steadfast in his declaration of innocence and righteousness, and he is correct.  Job is convinced it is some horrible trick being played on him by God.  Throughout the Book of Job the men are professing to know why God has done this to Job.

Job’s friends proclaiming their knowledge of God demonstrates the arrogance of man. Continue reading

Doing Good

Doing Good

1 Peter 3:17

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

I read this verse and the first thing that came to mind was one of my favorite old sayings; “No good deed goes unpunished.”

There is no known origin for this phrase, although it’s been attributed to the likes of Billy Wilder, Andrew Mellon and Oscar Wilde. Continue reading