Paul’s Letters to the Romans Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 15 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the

affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the

Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another,

envying one another” (Galatians 5:24-26).

Part 3

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that

your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8).

Paul praises the Church for their positive deeds and is thankful.

This should be practiced more among all of us. We should be

thankful for God’s blessings upon us as well as the blessings he

bestows upon others. In so doing, a pure soul draws God toward

the loving spirit of those that are appreciative. Being thankful

should not only be done when we are rich, in good health, or when

thriving but should be practiced when the reverse is true also.

As an example, we see Job stop the mouth of the devil and

gain a crown. When Job saw good days, it wasn’t because of his

wealth that he was thankful, but through his great love for God.

He wasn’t thankful for earthly gain but for faith and boldness of

speech in the truth. He wasn’t thankful “to God,” but “to my God,”

showing possession just as God does with His own, calling himself

the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

Paul states, “that your faith is spoken of throughout the

whole world”. Was it truly spread to the whole world? Yes, the

whole, according to him (at least at that time period). History tells

us that the Roman Church was under a spotlight. Their every move

was watched by all nations and peoples. Why, you might ask?

Because their preaching was so bold and powerful. Think about

it, in a short time period, from the mouths of publicans and

05/12/2019 2 | P a g e fishermen, the gospel message took hold in all cities and their

fame was spread abroad. “Your faith,” he says “is spoken of

throughout the whole world. Your faith,” not your verbal debates,

nor your questionings, nor your deductive reasoning. “It is spoken

of,” he says, “in all the world.” He did not say, it is manifested,

but, is spoken of, as if all men had that topic on their mouths.

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the

gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you

always in my prayers” (v. 9). What is Paul saying? And why is he

calling God to be his witness in the matter? He had to declare his

feelings toward them. Since he had never seen them, as of yet, he

called no man to witness, but Him Who entered in their hearts.

Paul was proclaiming, “I love you,” as a token he prayed

continually for them, wished to be present with them, and he

offers himself to the most trustworthy witness. If you bear

someone in your prayers, and have them there continually, think

what great affection and friendship that implies. But when he

says, “Whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son,” he

shows us at once the grace of God, and also his own humble-

mindedness; the grace of God because God entrusted to Paul

such a great a matter; but his own humility, because he does not

credit it to his own zeal, but to the assistance of the Spirit. The

addition of “the Gospel,” shows the kind of ministry he was

involved in. There are many and diverse modes of service. Paul

was serving in the preaching of the Gospel and for this reason was

he was appointed. Paul is sharing what he was entrusted with to

the Romans. He who has this put into his hands, must continually

To be continued…

Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 5

This entry is part 5 of 15 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:37-40). 

Part 5

Part 4 ended with a discussion about visiting the imprisoned and the joy of those imprisoned when they see their brothers and sisters IN Christ. When alone their spiritual life might suffer, but when united with the BODY, peace, joy, happiness, and hope are found. Therefore, Paul says, “to the end that ye may be established and comforted with us by our mutual faith.” When they see him arrive and he sees them, a mutual joy for the unity they share IN Christ exists and is seems palpable. 

“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles” (Romans 1:13). Paul was obedient to God’s command and did not go to the Roman Church until it was commanded of him, although he had a great desire to be with these brethren. He shows he is a slave to Christ in his compliance with waiting. When Paul says he wishes to gain some fruit from these brethren he is saying a similar phrase to the earlier verse where he says, “that I may impart some gift.” Again, Paul humbles himself and makes all equal. And again, he goes further in stating “even as among other Gentiles.” Here he gives the same respect to the sun and the moon and the earth and the sea and other things, not giving the rich and the wise a greater share of the benefits, and a less portion to the poor, but setting forth the enjoyment of them to all alike; he did this with regard to the preaching. Therefore, Paul repeatedly says, “among all the Gentiles,” to show that he in no respect favors them, but is fulfilling his master’s command.

“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise” (v. 14). Paul says this, to attribute all to God.  

“So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also” (v. 15). We must consider the task set before Paul. He faced danger, a voyage across the sea, temptations, plotting, and uprisings to name a few. Expecting to undergo these great troubles, for none of these did he become less energetic, but was swift and was in tribulation and was ready-minded. Therefore, he says, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.” 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (v. 16). Why do you think Paul says this phrase, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”? Paul dealt with the Roman world which was one filled with their riches, their empire, their victories; and their kings they reckoned to be equal to the gods. For this cause the Romans worshipped them with temples and with altars and with sacrifices. They were thus puffed up, but Paul was going to preach Jesus, who was thought to be

To be continued…

Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

In Christ Jesus there is neither bond nor free, much less is there

king and private, individual man. You were called and did not come

of yourselves.

Part 2

Paul mentioned being called by Christ to be an apostle, in

verse 1. Now he tells these Roman Christians that they, also, have

been “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (v. 6). Such a call involves

both privilege and responsibility. “To all that be in Rome, beloved

of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our

Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 7). Paul continually points

our attention to the fact that we are “called”. We may think that

we have some rank or authority, we are educated, we are elite in

this life but we in fact are none of those things. We are, the

“called”. Paul puts us together as one similarly to Christ’s prayer

before Calvary. “…for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also

might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these

alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their

word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I

in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may

believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest

me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are

one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect

in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and

hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:19-23).

Among them, at Rome, which believed, it was likely that

there would be some of the consuls and rulers as well as poor and

common men, casting aside the inequality of ranks, however, Paul

05/05/2019 2 | P a g e writes to them all under one designation. It is clearly seen that all

things that are needful and which are spiritual, all things are set

forth as common both to slaves and to free, for instance, the love

from God, the calling, the Gospel, the adoption, the grace, the

peace, the sanctification, all things.

Dignities are temporary positions and are over at the time

of a person’s death, and are often bought with money but our

promises have been given by God, the gift of sanctification and

adoption, is not broken even by death. He that holds on in the

adoption, and keeps an exact watch upon his holiness, is much

brighter and happier than he that is arrayed with the crown in this

life.

As for having a good nature and joy, it is not greatness of

power, not abundance of wealth, not display of authority, not

strength of body, not luxury of the table, not the decorating of

dresses, nor any other of the things in man’s reach that ordinarily

produces them, but spiritual success, and a good conscience

alone. He that has this cleansed, even though he wears rags and

is struggling with famine, has a better spirit than they that live so

delicately. For this cause Paul, living in continual hunger and

nakedness, and being scourged every day was joyful, and went

more gently than they that were emperors. This is why Paul says,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,

gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such

there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also

To be continued…

Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

He that has this put into his hands, must continually consider them that are to receive the word. 

Part 4

“Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you” (Romans 1:10). Paul had a great desire to come and see the Roman congregation, but he did nothing contrary to the will of God. Although his desire was strong, he would refrain from going to the Romans if God sent him to some other place. He shows his love for these people through his prayer life. He continually prayed for them even when God kept him from traveling to see them. While loving them, he yields his will to God, showing his reverence and fear of God. He desired to see them, but do we understand why?

“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (v. 11). We see Paul had a plan for his visit, although he only hints at its purpose to them through his writing. He did not write: “that I may teach you”, or “that I may instruct you”, but instead chooses his words carefully, “that I may impart”. This shows that it is not his own things which he is giving them, but that he was imparting to them what he had received. We see the hint of what he is imparting when he says, “to the end that ye may be established.” A gift which comes by grace. In choosing his words this way, he implies their need for much correction. Paul is basically saying the purpose for his desire was to “stablish, strengthen, fix” them thoroughly in the word of God, so that they would not waver. To prevent them from being harmed, he uses subtle speech, rather than shocking them from the very start. He next anticipates that they might become defensive to this remark and tries to lessen the blow through his next words.

“That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (v. 12). These words help the Roman congregation to understand that Paul is not trying to accuse them of anything. Paul knows they are facing tribulations and being attacked from every side, so what he means is to comfort the congregation and simultaneously obtain comfort from them; To the end “ye may be strengthened”. He once more smooths his speech making it more acceptable. He did not say “to be comforted,” but, “to be comforted together with you” and he also continues to soften the blow in saying: “by the mutual faith both of you and me.” He, through humble mindedness, shows his equality to them and refrains from showing superiority. He puts the disciples in the position of teachers when saying: “Through the mutual faith both of you and me.”  An example of what he means can be shown with fire. If you bring a flame and others do the same the end product is a greater quantity of light for all. When we are alone in our struggles it is easy to have a poor spirit, but when gathered together with others who also struggle and are entwined with the members of our own selves, great is the comfort we receive. We can easily see the importance of visiting those imprisoned in this scenario. If you were kept away from your brothers and sisters In Christ, consider the depression and discouragement you might suffer. Christ gave them a parable to help them understand this better: “Then shall the righteous

Paul’s Letter to the Romans

This entry is part 1 of 15 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle,

separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore

by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus

Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according

to the flesh” (Romans 1:1-3). Paul starts his letter to the Roman

Church in an odd fashion. We see that he speaks of the Gospel of

God which seems to be a pinnacle but next brings us to the flesh

when saying “the seed of David”. He seems to be starting this

book in a way which leads the reader from low to high; slowly

bringing us step by step to the pinnacle he intends to speak of.

This is ideal because we start with the milk of the word prior to

being able to handle the meat.

“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according

to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (v. 4).

This verse is challenging. We see that Paul first brings our

attention to the fact that the man Jesus came from the seed of

David, or David’s lineage, which seems to be a simple fact, but is

it plain to see that he, Jesus Christ, was also the son of God? We

have proofs given us from the prophets that verify these facts, he

broke the rules of nature in being born of a virgin, his miracles

demonstrated his power, from the Spirit which He gave to them

that believe upon Him, and through which He made them all holy,

and from His Resurrection from the dead, whereby He put an end

to the tyranny of death.

04/28/2019 2 | P a g e

“By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for

obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (v. 5).

Being an ambassador for Christ was given unto them, a gift, it was

nothing that one could achieve. It was not a dignity allotted

someone who accomplished a task neither was receiving the

grace or plan of God. However, grace is given to us “for

obedience to the faith”. In a like fashion, it was their part to go

into the whole world to preach the gospel, but God’s part to

persuade the hearer. “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller

of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard

us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the

things which were spoken of Paul (Acts 16:14). They were not sent

to argue, but to give those things which they had been entrusted,

to the world. Not that we should be curious about the nature of

God’s Word, but that we should believe on the Name; for this is

how the miracles were performed. “Then Peter said, Silver and

gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of

Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. This too required that

the hearer have faith, and no one can understand these things by

reasoning.

“Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ”

(Romans 1:6). Paul makes a distinction here that should be payed

attention to. He did not say that he called the others with you, but

you with the others. In Christ Jesus there is neither bond nor free,

To be continued…

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 45

This entry is part 45 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 44: Samuel, a servant of the Lord, and a prophet, served faithfully from birth till death. This man was a perfect example of what a Christian should do or how a Christian should serve throughout his/her life. How beautiful and fulfilling such a life might be. Knowing with certainty that you are heard of God and that your prayers are being answered. These truths are present in the lives of all Christians if they only believed or had faith in the promises of Christ.

Part 45

After greater than 40 weeks of study we have explored many of the faithful in Christ. If you hadn’t guessed, the series has been based on Hebrews chapter 11. This chapter speaks of those who had the type or the physical representations God intended all to know. They knew in part. God gave each generation more of the revelation of Christ, but they had parts; only that which they could understand. God revealed his son over the course of thousands of years. Pay attention to Isaiah 28:13 which states: “But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken”. And for further clarification: “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10). That which is perfect being the collected works (Bible).

Those named specifically in Hebrews 11 included: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, and Samuel all appearing in our studies over the last several weeks. The question posed and the title of the series is: WHAT DID THEY KNOW? We as Christians often take for granted the period of time in which we live, the written word being collected, the ability to have in hand the collected works of the Holy Spirit known to us as the bible. Questions posed throughout the series helped us explore each character’s understanding of the revelation of Christ or the mystery or the plan of God. Exploring what each knew can help us to understand faith. A simple way of understanding faith is believing what God has taught us. Being careful to understand that I mean specifically what God taught.

Each character presented in this chapter on faith had a certain understanding, but none had the complete understanding. None had the opportunities Christians today have. Most were commanded and were obedient but knew very little of God’s plan. It says that they could see it afar off. Seeing afar off means they saw a shadow. As you are aware, a shadow is quite different than the true form. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (v. 40).

Although we have the word of God in a written format to reference, faith as simple as theirs, is still commanded of us. We can complicate things and get in the way of the message of the gospel without realizing it. Christ said: “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-4). The message of the gospel is simple: Christ died, was buried, and rose again according to the scriptures. And similarly, we must be obedient to the message. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). Obey!

May the glory of god be with you all. Amen.

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 44

This entry is part 44 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 43: Nathan shares with David a story of a man that is mistreated. David, in an outrage, demands to know the man so he can be put to death. Nathan informs David that he is the man that has done evil in the sight of the Lord. David repented of this sin but loses a child in the process.

Part 44

Elkanah had a wife named Peninnah who wished to give her husband a son, but the Lord had shut up her womb. “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Samuel 1:11). When her son was born, later, she named him Samuel. After weaning the child from milk, she brought the boy to Eli and lent him to the Lord as she had vowed. Samuel became a prophet of the Lord and was the person God had anoint Saul king and later David. He, as a prophet, was God’s mouthpiece to the children of Israel.

Samuel brought good tidings at times of obedience and he brought God’s wrath in times of disobedience. He as a man followed God’s command and aligned himself with God’s will for his life. We as Christians must live a life of obedience putting God’s command above our selfish desires. We must live in the spirit and not in the flesh. We have to crucify the flesh daily and its desires. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:24-26). “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17).

As a child he was raised by Eli another prophet of the Lord. He served God his whole life from the time of his weaning, till his death in chapter 25. This was a life well spent. We read about his prophecies and very little more. We can see the person he was based on the story line. Psalms 99:6 reads: “Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them”. This means that Samuel had the authority or called upon Christ’s authority. We see this in the new testament church Acts 21:2 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. Also, in Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord”. All of these examples of calling upon the authority of Christ. Some denominations believe this to be “Christ, Christ….”, just verbalizing his name, but this is incorrect.

When you work in the power of God continually, on a daily basis, what can you expect? He dedicated himself to the Lord. He did God’s work and we read no complaints from Samuel. When you consider what Samuel might know, you have to wonder what God had revealed to him and what was outside of his understanding. Regardless of knowing and not knowing, if we are obedient through our entire life we should know with surety that God will keep his promises. We as Christians have the revealed plan of God in front of us and can read through its finished works. They, the people of the old testament, did not have this understanding. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10). This means that during that time period, the people could not wrap their minds around the concepts which we have the privilege of partaking in. We are blessed with the revealed word of God. If we are so blessed, we should not act as though we are not. What did Samuel know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 43

This entry is part 43 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Part 42 Recap: David Sees a beautiful woman bathing from his rooftop and desires her. He calls her to him and sleeps with her. She later becomes pregnant by him. Uriah the woman’s husband comes home from war and will not go home to lay with her, so David sends him into the hottest battle where he is killed. After the woman finishes mourning her loss, David takes her as his wife.

Part 43

God sent Nathan to David and instructed him to share a story about a rich man and a poor man. “…There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him” (2 Samuel 12:1-4).

Had you been in David’s shoes and heard such a story what might your reaction have been? A rich man that takes from the poor. He takes not only from someone in need, but, takes what is most cherished by the poor man. David listens to the prophet of the Lord and is upset by this. “And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity” (vs. 5-6). This might be the anger that any one of us might have for such a wicked man. This is a very sad tale. Nathan next reveals the person who committed the wickedness. “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun” (vs. 7-12).

Taking a look in the mirror at times can be hard. We fail to hit the mark continually and our weaknesses are exposed. At times it is quite frustrating to see how often we can fail and make the same mistakes. God sees these mistakes and knows our hearts. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13). Our hearts, however, must turn toward him. We can not be frustrated with our own pride thinking we can handle all situations ourselves. He did die for that purpose, to unite us all in one. Repentance is aligning oneself with God and turning to him no matter how difficult, it is our duty as Christians. Always remember Hebrews 4:14-16: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”. What did David know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 42

This entry is part 42 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 41: King David desires a house for the Lord, but is commanded: “I will set up thy seed
after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an
house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he
shall be my son” (2 Samuel 7:12-14).

Part 42

A story of conspiracy comes next. David returns to his home after battle and he walks upon
his rooftop. From that vantage point he sees a woman bathing. David calls and inquires about the
woman and is told: “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” (2
Samuel 11:3) He lays with her and at a latter date finds out she is pregnant by him.
David responds by trying to have Uriah go home from battle and lay with his own wife. But,
Uriah never goes home. When confronted about the matter, he responds: “The ark, and Israel, and
Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields;
shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy
soul liveth, I will not do this thing” (v. 11). David tries to solve his problem by getting this man drunk,
but again Uriah “slept at the door of the king’s house” (v. 9). Finally, David responds by sending him
into battle. “And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the
hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle,
and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die” (vs. 14-15).
The result is exactly what David had schemed. He saw a woman, took her, impregnated her,
and had her husband killed to hide his sin. “And when (her) mourning was past, David sent and
fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had
done displeased the Lord” (v. 27).
Some may find David’s sin to be ok, while others may think it extremely vile. David acted
selfishly. Did he act for Bathsheba’s benefit? Did he act for Uriah’s? Did he consider how Israel
would feel about the matter? Or most importantly, did he wonder how God would consider it? He as
king could take whatever he desired, and it was his right. No man could stop him from having exactly
what he desired. However, what is acceptable and what is righteous are two very different things.
Proverbs 14:12 tells us: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the
ways of death”.
Today in denominationalism, men will say that a sinner can pray to Jesus and be acceptable.
They say that prayer in your heart is equal to faith. What they fail to tell you is that this is not God’s
way. They did not die for your sins, they did not build the Church, and they are not the foundation
Christ had in mind. God’s way is Christ. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Do we believe his own words? Or should we
leave it to men to decide? What did David know?

Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 41

This entry is part 41 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 40: “And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of
instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and
on cymbals” (2 Samuel 6:5). “And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was
girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with
shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet” (2 Samuel 6:14-15). David was never a part of the
kingdom. We should not follow David’s example of worship because Christ has called us to a higher
ground.

Part 41

King David speaks to Nathan, a prophet of the Lord, and says: “See now, I dwell in an house
of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains” (2 Samuel 7:2). He returns later with the Lord’s
reply: “Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt
in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but
have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle… I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep,
to be ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut
off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, … I will appoint a place for
my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more;
neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime… when thy days be
fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out
of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish
the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son” (vs. 3-14).
David’s heart desires the right things for God. He wants to raise God to be his priority in life.
Do we as Christians do the same? Or do we find other things to place before God in our own list of
desires? Is God’s will most important? Or is it our own will?
How do we demonstrate that we truly love God and want to put His teachings first? The apostle
John provides the answer: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His
commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The evidence that we love God is our striving to
keep His commandments. “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a
liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him”
(1 John 2:4-5). We have to be honest with ourselves. Are we putting our personal relationship with
God first, or are we allowing other aspects of our lives to come before the worship of the true God?
Frequently it is difficult to choose between the affairs of this world and Christ’s teachings.
Christ stated: “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 disciple. And whoever does not bear
his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). Christ did not mean we should
stop caring for each member of our family. He was simply teaching that we are to put Him first in our
lives. Leaving God out of our planning is unwise (James 4:13-16). “No one can serve two masters, for
either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first
commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). What did David know?