Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 105/260: David

Read 1 Chronicles 16

Sanctify God in Your Heart

David took great joy in the blessings of God and often expressed his gratitude to the Almighty. The words of the psalm recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 can also be found in the inspired collected psalter (Psalms 96:1-13; 105:1-15; 106:47-48; etc.).

David was not shy in speaking of the Lord’s blessings. Don’t we love to share good news? Many times, by the way we talk, it seems like we have nothing but agony in our lives! Let’s refocus on the positive things and see how much praise is due the Lord! Take note of David’s words:

  • “Make known His deeds among the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:8)
  • “Talk of all His wonderful works!” (1 Chronicles 16:9)
  • “Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” (1 Chronicles 16:23)
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” (1 Chronicles 16:24)
  • “Give to the Lord the glory due His name.” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Are we successful in carrying out these instructions? Perhaps we fail so often at expressing joy in God because we don’t fully appreciate who He is. David declared, “For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26). The heathen nations in the times of David worshiped whatever god they deemed convenient at the time. Even David’s wife, Saul’s daughter, Michal, had an idol in her house (1 Samuel 19:13).

Do we have idols today? Perhaps we do not “worship” them as gods, but do we ever elevate them to a place of importance above God? Consider your list of priorities. Where does God rank? Does He ever take a backseat to a ballgame? Work? Maybe even family?

Sanctify God in your heart. Set Him above all else, acknowledge His blessings, and tell others what He has done for you!

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 104/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 6:1-12; 1 Chronicles 13:1-14; 15:1-15

Learning From Mistakes

While there are many positive incidents in the life of David, and we can learn from the many godly actions and encouraging attitudes he often displayed, there are also some bad examples from which we can learn. There is great value in learning from your own mistakes, but if we can learn from the mistakes of others, isn’t that even better?

David said, “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:3). He had a great idea but failed in the proper execution of it. He did not take the time to determine the correct procedures to transport the ark. “So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart” (1 Chronicles 13:7).

God had given specific instructions about transportation of the ark with specially made poles placed through engraved rings (Exodus 25:12-15; 37:1-5). These instructions were not followed. When the oxen that were pulling the new cart stumbled, Uzza reached out to steady the ark. He did not want it to fall. “Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13:10).

Was David wrong in wanting the ark nearby, so that he could consult with the Lord before making big decisions? Was Uzza wrong in his desire to not see the ark fall to the ground? The intentions of these men were good; the execution of their intentions was wrong. God had spoken on the matter and they had ignored God’s instructions.

David learned from his mistake and admitted his error. In instructing the Levites later to transport the ark, he said, “For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult him about the proper order” (1 Chronicles 15:13).

David learned from his mistake, and we can learn from his mistake as well. When we seek to do something for the Lord, should we not consult His Word to be sure we are acting according to His will? Whether it concerns salvation, or worship, or everyday life, should we not strive to serve Him according to His wishes?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 103/260: David

Read Psalm 110

A View of the Messiah, His Rule, and His People

Writing by inspiration, David prophesied about the coming Messiah in Psalm 110. We know that this Psalm was written by David because Jesus Himself said that it was (Matthew 22:41-45). Peter also, by inspiration, ascribed the Psalm to the pen of David when the apostle quoted from it in Acts 2:34-35. Paul alludes to it in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 in reference to Christ’s enemies, and the Hebrews writer quoted from the Psalm in making the point that God never said these things to any of the angels but to the Son only (Hebrews 1:13).

Christ is the King; He rules over His kingdom. That kingdom is currently in existence; it is not a future institution, but a present one! Paul says that God has “conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). The kingdom is none other than the church. Jesus Himself equates the two in Matthew 16:18-19.

Not only is Christ the King, but He is also Priest. Only one other man in history served as both king and priest—Melchizedek. Indeed, David writes, “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4). The Hebrews writer quoted this verse as well in Hebrews 7, pointing to Jesus as One who “has become a surety of a better covenant” (Hebrews 7:22).

In Christ’s kingdom, His followers are “volunteers” (Psalm 110:3). Christians become Christians by choice, and that choice often comes with consequences in this life. Jesus must have the preeminence in one’s heart and mind. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciples. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple….So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).

Do you serve Jesus as your King, knowing that He gave His own life as a sacrifice as your High Priest? Are you willingly following as a volunteer? He is the One appointed by the Father to rule.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 102/260: David

Read Psalm 21

God – The Source of Strength

David was the king over all Israel, yet even with all the power and might he possessed, he recognized there was One even more powerful. “The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” (Psalm 21:1).

Notice the gratitude of the king toward God in this Psalm. He is thankful that God has not only heard but granted his requests. “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips” (Psalm 21:2).

He recognizes that God is the source of “blessings of goodness”; it was God who even “set a crown of pure gold upon (the king’s) head)” (Psalm 21:3). God would lengthen the king’s rule and provide salvation, honor, and majesty to the throne (Psalm 21:4-5).

God’s blessings created steadfast joy in the heart of the king, knowing that He would guard and protect His faithful followers and execute justice upon those who oppose Him and His people. “For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved. Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You” (Psalm 21:7-8).

Those who set out to oppose God will not succeed. He “shall swallow them up in His wrath” (Psalm 21:9). “They devised a plot which they are not able to perform” (Psalm 21:11).

No man’s strength can ever overtake the Almighty; He is the One who provides strength to men. “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power” (Psalm 21:13).

Do we not serve the same Almighty God today that David served while he sat on the throne? Our wildest imaginations cannot match the power, the strength, or the blessings that are available to the children of God. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 101/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 3:1-39; 5:1-5; 1 Chronicles 11:1-3

Unity Under David

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Those words are attributed to the fifteenth-century monk and poet John Lydgate. And there is truth in it. Even if you do everything right, there will be someone who thinks you should have done something better.

In the transition from Saul’s kingdom to David’s, there was division. Saul’s son Ishbosheth assumed the throne and reigned for a short time in Benjamin, while David reigned over Judah from Hebron. For seven and a half years, the kingdom was divided until a dispute between Ishbosheth and Abner.

Abner tried to switch sides, but Joab refused to trust him and decided to murder him. David’s reaction won the respect of many. “And when all the people came to persuade David to eat food while it was still day, David took an oath, saying, ‘God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!’ Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the king did pleased all the people” (2 Sam. 3:35-36).

They proclaimed, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel’” (2 Samuel 5:1-2). After seven and a half years of reigning over Judah in Hebron, he was anointed king over all Israel and began to rule from Jerusalem, “according to the word of the Lord by Samuel” (1 Chronicles 11:3).

Was David’s reign perfect and without incident? Did he always have the support of all the people? Sadly, no. David was human and failed at times. He sinned and brought harm upon the nation and upon his family. But here for a moment, Israel was united under one king, and “whatever the king did pleased all the people.”

The King we serve today is none other than Jesus Christ. Sadly, there are people who are not pleased with Him. They want to do things their way and ignore His authority. If we serve Him and follow the will revealed by inspiration, we can enjoy unity in the kingdom—His church—today. Are you pleased with your King?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 100/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 2:1-11

Inquiring of the Lord

After learning of Saul’s death, David consulted God on his next steps. He asked, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?” and, “Where shall I go up?” (2 Samuel 2:1). Previously, David asked regarding the Amalekites who had invaded Ziklag and captured David’s family, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” (1 Samuel 30:8). David came to recognize the wisdom in asking God how to proceed when it came to an important decision. We do not see that wisdom recorded in his flight to Achish at Gath; such actions put him in a precarious situation now that Saul was dead.

Because of his alliance with the Philistines, many Israelites did not trust David, thus he was not immediately crowned king over all Israel. “Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. Only the house of Judah followed David” (2 Samuel 3:10).

How important is it to inquire of the Lord? When we have important decisions to make today, we should weigh all of our options. Look at the positives and negatives of all aspects. Do not act too hastily. Ask for wisdom from God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

God will not speak to us in the same way today as He spoke to David. There is no voice whispering in our ear regarding the path God wants us to take. We must use the common sense He has granted us and consider as many variables as possible when making a big decision. Perhaps we are considering a move to another city. We should research the spiritual climate and find out if there is a sound congregation with which to worship and serve. Certainly, we need to think about family and financial situations.

Don’t leave God out of the decision-making process. Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). David learned a valuable lesson the hard way when he failed to inquire of the Lord. He made rash decisions that delayed his ascension to lead all Israel. May we be patient in our decisions, inquiring of the Lord and using the tools with which He has blessed us to make wise choices.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 99/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 1:17-27

Our Attitude When Our Enemy Falls

The last chapter of 1 Samuel is the inspired account of the death of Saul and Jonathan; the first chapter of 2 Samuel begins with an Amalekite’s dishonest report of how Saul perished. Thinking he would receive a reward for bringing good news to Saul’s perceived enemy (2 Samuel 4:10), he instead was met with the end of his own life.

David shows in his lamentation for Saul that he was no enemy; he truly grieved for the fallen king. This lamentation also included David’s thoughts concerning his close friend, Jonathan, the king’s son. Three times, the line is repeated: “How the mighty have fallen!” Saul’s shortcomings and sins are not recounted here. David’s focus is upon Saul as “the Lord’s anointed” (2 Samuel 1:14-16).

“Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon—lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph” (2 Samuel 1:20). Those who were enemies of God’s chosen people would have expressed great joy in the news of Saul’s death. David did not want this to be an occasion for joy for his foes.

Children of God are expected to behave better. “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him” (Proverbs 24:17-18). The International Critical Commentary concludes, “The implication of the passage is that God might be more concerned with punishing his disobedient follower than that of the outright wicked.” Indeed, we should know better, while the unbeliever perhaps acts in ignorance.

Jesus explains how we should treat our enemy and why. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:44-46).

Rather than joy at the downfall of our adversaries, perhaps we should experience a pang of regret that we did not make a greater effort to bring them to repentance so that they may stand justified in the sight of the Lord (James 5:19-20).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 98/260: David

Read 1 Samuel 30

Sharing God’s Blessings

While David and his men were away, their families were attacked and taken as captives in Ziklag. Upon David’s return to the city, they experienced great anguish over this situation. “Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” (1 Samuel 30:4). Have you ever faced that level of grief?

When we suffer greatly, we are generally either motivated to go above and beyond to better our situation or our energy becomes so depleted we don’t feel like moving. We see both responses in David’s camp. After inquiring of the Lord and being told by God that David could indeed recover their losses, only two-thirds of the company was able to pursue with David. “But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not ross the Brook Besor” (1 Samuel 30:10).

Not surprisingly, when the four hundred men with David came home with their spoils, some didn’t want to share with those who had stayed behind. In fact, “the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, ‘Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart’” (1 Samuel 30:22).

This was in direct contradiction to God’s established practices, and David knew it. In Moses’ day, when Moses was commanded by God to “take vengeance on the Midianites” (Numbers 31:1), he was instructed to “divide the plunder into two parts, between those who took part in the war, who went out to battle, and all the congregation” (Numbers 31:27). Those who remained at home were not to be excluded.

David rejected the proposal of “the wicked and worthless men” and said, “But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike” (1 Samuel 30:24). They had all already suffered greatly at the hands of the Amalekites; they should not suffer at the hands of their own brethren.

When we suffer, are we motivated to do better? Or do we become so discouraged we don’t want to move? And when our suffering subsides, do we recognize God’s hand in our blessings and refuse to bless others?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 97/260: David

Read Psalm 22

A Declaration Of Praise

Have you ever gone through a time in your life in which it seemed nothing could go right? You felt like you were losing at every turn, and even spiritually, it appeared that the God had turned His back on you, too? These emotions surfaced in David’s writing of the twenty-second Psalm.

This passage is what is called a “Messianic Psalm.” While David reflected on his own life, the Holy Spirit inspired the poet to write things that would also be applicable to the Son of God when He came to save man. What is stated in hyperbolic fashion about David’s tribulations are fulfilled to the letter in the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant. In fact, the first line of this Psalm is quoted by Jesus from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

David writes, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” (Psalm 22:6-8). Is this not precisely what happened, as passersby “blasphemed Him, wagging their heads” (Matthew 26:39ff)? They mocked Him, saying, “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (Matthew 27:43).

David prophesied about the Son of God’s thirst (Psalm 22:15; John 19:28-29), the piercing of Jesus’ hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25), the spectacle of His public crucifixion (Psalm 22:17; Luke 23:27, 35), the division of His garments (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24), the declaration and praise of His name “in the midst of the assembly” (Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:12).

James Burton Coffman points out one more marvelous fact about this inspired poem: “The words here are free of any consciousness whatever of sin; there is no hint of confessing wrongs; there is no call for vengeance against enemies, only unfaltering trust and faith in God. This is utterly unlike David or any other human being who ever lived. The spiritual state of the Sufferer indicates no human being whatever, but the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 96/260: Samuel

Read 1 Samuel 28

Repeated Warnings

How many times do you have to be told something before you believe it? Quite some time had passed since Samuel told Saul, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28). Saul witnessed the rise to popularity enjoyed by David, and believed that this young man would take his throne. And yet, when he was faced with the threat of the Philistine army, Saul’s “heart trembled greatly” and he “inquired of the LORD” (1 Samuel 28:5-6). Yet, this time, “the LORD did not answer him” (1 Samuel 28:6).

Should Saul have been surprised? He knew that the kingdom was no longer in his control (nor was it every, really). God was the one who would exalt the righteous and God was the one who would punish the wicked. As Saul had disobeyed and rebelled, he faced the wrath of God.

Still, Saul sought out the word of God from the deceased Samuel via the medium in En Dor. The witch was surprised that she was able to conjure the spirit of Samuel because her entire practice was built on deception; she had no actual power to summon the dead. There is a strong message for readers today: witchcraft is imaginary. Do not believe the fortune tellers or psychics who pretend to receive communication from those beyond the grave.

Saul told Samuel his dilemma, but Samuel responded, “So why do you ask me, seeing the LORD has departed from you and has become your enemy?” (1 Samuel 28:16).

Had God left king Saul? Yes, but only because Saul had evicted Him from his heart. God watches over and blesses the faithful; Saul had proven on multiple occasions that he was not interested in what God had to say. He wanted to reign over the kingdom his own way and take matters into his own hands, even if that meant defying God in heaven.

Saul was repeatedly warned about his sinful actions; Saul had repeatedly ignored those warnings. There comes a time when God says, “Enough is enough!” Saul had tested His patience for far too long and it was time for Israel to experience a change in regimes.