Highlights In Today's Reading:
We note Satan doesn't like to admit defeat, so the house of Saul continues to war against the house of David (3:1). In today's reading we have political deceit, back-stabbing, murder, war, and betrayal.
The Jebusites were a small tribe with very little territory compared to most of the Canaanites. What they had, they held for more than 500 years as they were a peaceful people and had never attacked the Israelites.
Centuries had passed since the land of promise had been won by Joshua. Yet Jerusalem, the stronghold of the Jebusites, located in the heart of the promised land, was still held by them. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David (II Sam. 5:6-7; I Chr. 11:4-5).
This battle was for Jerusalem, where God chose to place the only Temple in history where He would dwell on earth. It will eventually become the city of the King of kings when He returns.
This strong hold of Zion illustrates something that may lie deep within our hearts and may never be exposed to anyone. It does not object to us giving the Lord some of our time, talents, and tithes. However, the fleshly mind with its physical impulses (Col. 2:18) secretly demands its own way. It is this mind that we must yield to the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16). That part of us must be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2) — by the washing of water by the Word (Eph. 5:26).
Sin is so deceitful that even spiritual experiences can be occasions for sin when they lead us to pride and focusing attention on ourselves rather than on glorifying Christ.
Is there such a “place” hidden from human view close to the center of our hearts where self still has control? Perhaps it is a forbidden love, self-interest, or treasured habit that we have never surrendered to God — where Satan has a peaceful coexistence in our life. It could be the lust of the flesh (craving for sensual gratification), and the lust of the eyes (greedy longings of the mind), and the pride of life (confidence in one's own resources or in earthly things) (I John 2:16-17). It may seem to be as harmless as the Jebusites were to Israel, for it never interferes with our religious activities. But the Jebusites held the very spot God wanted for His capital. It depicts the place where self still sits enthroned.
It is our heart that God must control without reservation. The Holy Spirit often brings it to our attention, urging: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5).
Thought for Today:
Satan's strongholds in our lives are of our own will, but all can be torn down through the Word of God (II Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:17).
By David, the anointed king over Israel (II Sam. 5:3). Christ is the Lord's anointed. "Christ" is Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah (Anointed One) (Ps. 2:2; John 1:41). Jesus is the rightful King of the world. Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. . . . and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin (John 19:19-20).
3:1 waxed =grew; 3:10 translate =transfer; 3:12 league =covenant; 3:27 smote =stabbed; 3:31 bier = stand for carrying a corpse; 4:2 reckoned to =considered part of; 5:8 getteth up to the gutter =enters the city through the water tunnel; 5:23 fetch a compass =circle around.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Mr. G.R. Bettle • Country: Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that faith is a vital tool in your prayer life to ensure your prayers are answered (Rom. 12:3).
Optional Reading: Acts 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:11-12