Bible Pathways - May 17, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
David learns that God does not overlook ignorance of His Word. David's kingdom is fully established. A misunderstood kindness leads to a battle and the Ammonites and Syrians are defeated.
Of no other person in Hebrew history do we find David's equal in the often-recorded phrase, David inquired of the Lord (I Samuel 23:2,4; 30:8; II Samuel 2:1; 5:19,23; 21:1; I Chronicles 14:10,14). All of us need to meditate upon his prayer in today's reading. Although he is the king of Israel, he opens his prayer with a deep sense of humility and dependency: Who am I, O Lord God? (17:16). Then he magnifies the Lord: O Lord, there is none like Thee (17:20).
His love for the Word of God and his prayer life were the key to his greatness. In fact, knowing the Word of God is the foundation to anyone's true wisdom that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God (I Corinthians 2:12). Although we are reminded of the importance of prayer, not many learn to actually take time to pray and even less to read through our prayer manual — the Word of God. Christians are usually loyal in attending worship on the Lord's Day because Christ also loved the Church . . . That He might sanctify and cleanse it (Ephesians 5:25-26). The Church is essential for spiritual stability. If we fail to be faithful to the Church, we fail to accomplish God's best in our lives. When we are faced with a critical situation we may say with our lips that only prayer can solve it, yet we often talk more than we pray, worry more than we pray, and scheme more than we pray. Other activities are placed in prominent positions while prayer is often put aside for a more convenient time.
Once we have been awakened to the importance of knowing His Word, taking time to pray and become loyal to His Church, numerous things will interfere with our intent to remain faithful. It may be some unexpected knock at the door, the ring of a telephone, or children causing a disturbance — unexpected situations, etc., etc., etc. These are not coincidences — they may be Satan's planned strategy to keep us from praying or the Lord's best for our lives to give ourselves to prayer and to reading His Word. Both God and Satan know that spiritual work which is established on the foundation of prayer and knowing His Word will eventually prevail. Because of this, Satan's strategy is to keep Christians so busy about other things that they fail to allow Christ to be Lord of their lives.
Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Thought for Today:
Today, we should ask the Lord as the disciples did: Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 1:11).
By David, the shepherd-king (I Chronicles 17:7; compare Matthew 1:1-2; Romans 1:3), symbolic of Christ as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and King of saints (all believers) (Revelation 15:3).
17:7 sheepcote =b> pasturelands; 18:4 houghed =b> crippled by cutting leg tendons; 19:4 hard by =b> close to; 19:6 odious =b> detestable, morally offensive.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Government Officials: Rep. George Miller (CA) and Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) • Country: Pakistan (146.5 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Urdu and English • There is no freedom to convert Muslims to Christ. Pakistan is an Islamic republic • 73% Sunni Muslim; 20% Shi'a Muslim; 3% Ahmadiya; 2% Christian; 2% Hindu; .1% Other (Baha'i, Animist, Farsi, Buddhist) • Prayer Suggestion: Wives, ask the Lord to give you a submissive spirit to your husbands as if it were to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 4
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:18