Wrong Choices Do Have Their Consequences!

[Bible Scripture:  2 Samuel 16:1-13; 19:16-18, 19-20, 23; 1 Kings 2:36-38, 39-46]

“First Impressions Are Often Lasting Impressions” – (A Proverb) 

His Name is SHIMEI – (2 Samuel 16:1-13)

I believe we are all confronted with “first impressions” and the  questions that arise in our minds:

Was his handshake firm, or like a wet dish rag?  Does that family really let their daughter wear revealing clothes to church on Sundays?

Can our first impressions of people we run across everyday, without really knowing them, leave us with an impression that sits in concrete forever?

SIMEI introduced in 2 SAMUEL 16 – Scene One

The first impression I got of this man was not a good one.  King David is forced to temporarily leave the throne, along with his family, friends, and servants from Jerusalem.

The reason for the hasty retreat –

David’s son Absalom had conspired against his father, gathered to himself a bunch of malcontents, and is bent on overthrowing his own father’s role as King.

David fears for his safety, and that of his family, friends and servants.  He knows that at this point and time, it’s best to flee, and fight later!

It must have been a sad day as they all gathered their belongings, and fled from their home.  Although a different story, it reminded me of the 1971 Musical and movie, Fiddler On The Roof, where the leading character Tevye and his family, friends and neighbors were forced to leave their town of Anatevka, Russian Empire in 1905.

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Fiddler On The Roof

The story found in 2 Samuel 16, the exodus was made even more difficult because Absalom, the King’s son, was the one causing the problem.  And I’m almost certain there wasn’t a Fiddler following this group with the king.

As David, his friends, family and servants exit, they cross over the River Jordan, and over the Mount of Olives.  It’s on the other side of the Mount of Olives that David encounters SHIMEI.

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CURSING THE KING –

Talk about kicking a man when he is down!  That’s what SHIMEI does here.

To be threatened by your own son is as bad as it gets, I would think.  BUT SHIMEI adds insult to injury by coming out of his home, and cursing the King as he came by.

Oh, by the way, he also picked up rocks and threw them at King David and his servants…he called the King names and…charged him with being a violent, and wicked man (vv. 7-8).

“What is this man’s problem?” 

He is a relative of Saul the King, whom the Lord rejected, and the one from whom David inherited the throne, and just maybe…it’s time to get even!

I don’t know the whole story, but I wonder if SHIMEI lived in fear of King David, or…could this have been a reaction from all the anger, bitterness, and jealousy that he allowed to build in his heart over the years?

I wonder how many times he said,  “It’s just not fair!” 

How many times in your life over the years have you said,  “It’s not fair!”

Vengeance Is Obviously Something Shimei Had On His Mind (v. 8):

[8] The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. Behold, the calamity is upon you because you are a bloody man!

Notice David’s response.  He could have killed him, or had him killed.  In fact, one of his faithful servants Abishai [David’s nephew] volunteers to do it for him (v. 9).

Yet King David allows him to live.

David knew what it was like to find MERCY.  David also knew the need to show MERCY!

How good are we at showing MERCY to those who wrong us?

SHIMEI COMING TO THE KING – (2 Samuel 19:11-18)

The THREAT is over.  The CONSPIRACY has ended and Absalom is dead.  A great victory for the people of Israel, but a tragic loss for King David.

The Return of The King

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After a time of mourning for his son, David begins the journey back to Jerusalem where he is restored to power.  

As he crosses the Jordan River, who do you suppose comes out to meet him.  The ‘Cursing Rock Thrower’.

I’m not sure how much common sense SHIMEI has, but one thing he does have is nerve!

2 Samuel 19:19-20 (Amplified Bible):

[19] Let not my lord impute iniquity to me and hold me guilty, nor remember what your servant did the day my lord went out of Jerusalem [when Shimei grossly insulted David]; may the king not take it to heart.  [20] For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I am today the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.

SHIMEI confesses his SIN to the King!

He is now willing to be a SERVANT!

He does not refer to himself as being a descendant of Saul, but of the house of Joseph!

SHIMEI CLEARED BY THE KING 

There is nothing wrong with Abishai’s memory!

“Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”

Notice the words of MERCY out of David’s mouth (v. 23):

[23] “You shall not die” [at my hand].  And the king gave him his oath.

What welcome words to the ears of a sinner!

CALLED BY THE KING SOLOMON (1 Kings 2:36-37):
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King David is dead now, and his Son Solomon assumed the throne of his father.

Solomon sends for SHIMEI, and as he comes to the King, Solomon tells him to build a home in Jerusalem.  However, there’s a catch; there are boundaries that come with the promise.

Reminded me of when I was a young boy growing up.  My mother would give her consent for me walking to the nearby theater for Saturday Matinees with specific instructions–“come straight home afterwards, because moms always have ways to find out when little boys break the rules.”

Solomon specific instructions to SHIMEI–don’t travel out of Jerusalem beyond the Kidron Brook.  If you do, the consequence shall be DEATH!

Although my mom never put the consequences of disobedience with death, in a young boy’s mind, I wasn’t going to take the chance.

SHIMEI agrees and promises to abide by the King’s wishes.

“BUT AFTER THREE YEARS…” (verses 39-46)

The agreement to the terms of his mortgage is forgotten.  

Two of SHIMEI”S SERVANTS run away and Shimei decides to saddle up his donkey and pursue them. Perhaps he thought the King has forgotten or never finds out!

Caught In The Act!

Word comes to the King and he calls for SHIMEI, to remind him of the OATH he originally made three years earlier.  He also reminds him of the CONSEQUENCES OF MAKING POOR CHOICES!

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Don’t think for a moment that OUR CHOICES do not have consequences!~

SHIMEI DIES as a result of DISOBEDIENCE to the King!  (1 Kings 2:46)

We Too Have Cursed the King!

We have sinned against Him!

We have thrown rocks at Him every time that we have rejected Him!

Every time that we have forsaken Him, and every time that we have questioned His authority over our lives!

Here’s the GOOD NEWS!

We can come to the KING!

We can find MERCY at the feet of the King!

IF…we will CONFESS,

He will FORGIVE!

MAKING RIGHT CHOICES –

If you are reading this and are already SAVED, as a Believer, you have a responsibility to the KING.  He has placed LIMITS upon us and there are certain things that He expects from His own children.

 


CREDITS:

Photo Credits:  Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible, except where noted in text.

 

What I Call Good Isn’t Necessarily What God Calls Anointed!


00020013_h Today’s Scripture: 1 SAMUEL 16:1-13

VERSE 13:  Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward…”

TRANSFORMED FROM A NOBODY TO A SOMEBODY

[10] Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel.  And Samuel said to Jesse,  “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”

[11] Then [he] said to Jesse,  “Are all your sons here?” [Jesse] said,  “There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said to Jesse,  “Send for him; for we will not sit down to eat until he is here.”

In some Pentecostal circles we talk or refer to the “ANOINTING” a great deal, almost with exclusiveness.  And that’s not true.  There are many non-Pentecostals that have an understanding of the anointing.

What is missed within the conversations of the anointing is having a good understanding of it.  I think the first thing we all need to do is to get a clear picture of what the Bible says about “anointing”.

So to get a better understanding of what anointing is, we should first attempt to understand what anointing is NOT.

In much of today’s church world, we don’t always get a clear idea of what God’s Anointing really is.  The anointing of God has been reduced to a Pastor’s performance in the pulpit: “Oh, wasn’t pastor’s message this morning anointed?”  

In some circles, large attendance numbers and a wealth of programs are considered as clear evidence, that particular church has God’s anointing upon it.

If a song brings goose bumps on your arms during the church service,,,then it has to be anointed.

If after leaving the morning/evening worship services and you feel good about your experience, then surely it was “anointed.”

I want to make a clear point right here.  I like good preaching and good singing as much as the next person, but I’ve come to the understanding, what I call “GOOD” isn’t necessarily what God calls “ANOINTED”!

I think it’s safe to say, not everything we see and hear in today’s church world is ANOINTED, and you can fill in your own blanks.  Suffice to say, not everything is set apart for the purpose of bringing glory and honor to God.

GOD IS PARTICULAR WITH HIS ANOINTING –

In reading the verses in 1 Samuel 16:1-13 this week, I found that God is not “willy nilly” in placing His anointing on everything that simply looks good to the natural eye.  One of the greatest threats to God’s work today is the supposed anointing that people and ministries have, based on who they are and what they are doing.

christian-poetry-by-deborahann-what-god-sees-doorpost-verses-comGod clearly doesn’t look on the outside as man does but rather God is most interested in what a man looks like on the inside.

It’s the INSIDE of the HEART that hold all the secrets of man (Psalm 44:21).

The Bible mentions the human heart almost 300 times.  In essence, this is what it says:

“The HEART is that spiritual part of us where our emotions and desires dwell”  [See Footnote [i] ].

Since God also has emotions and desires, He too can be said to have a “HEART’.

What may appear to be PERFECT on the outside of man, can be quite putrid on the inside.

God tells the prophet Samuel in VERSE 7 “Look not on his appearance or the height of his stature, for I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees,; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” —  [the intent]

God is particular in His Anointing!

Although Eliab was the eldest son, probably the strongest and most fit for the job as king, God overlooked him along with 6 others for the one that was the youngest.

Things aren’t always as they appear.

It’s all to easy to do as Samuel did.  Mistakenly over the years, I too have thought of others, including myself, in thinking “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.”  It’s easy to do, to ANOINT someone or something that God has not himself anointed.

God considers the HEART, always!

Notice God already knew which of these 8 sons of Jesse that He was going to ANOINT king of Israel.

He said to Samuel in verse 1,  “… Fill your horn with oil; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite.  For I have provided for Myself a king among his sons.”

God’s task seems to make certain Samuel knew who He would ANOINT as king in the process.

“Things aren’t always as they appear to be”!

God understands this better than anyone, so He looks in the place of human beings wherein lies the true nature of a person…

THE HEART!

God’s Impression.

God will never be IMPRESSED with what we are impressed with.

God is NOT impressed with an “impressive” resume.

God is NOT impressed with our talent.

God is NOT impressed with our strengths.

God is NOT impressed with our abilities.

God is NOT impressed with our good looks.

God is NOT impressed with our position.

God is NOT impressed with anything other than what is impressive in our hearts!

The Psalmist said, “Let my heart be sound (sincere and wholehearted and blameless) in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame”  (Psalm 119:80).heart

Proverbs 14:20 states,  “A calm and undisturbed (SOUND) mind and heart are the life and health of the body…”

Most of us will agree how important a “healthy heart” is to our physical body.  And, as with our physical nature. a healthy heart is just as important to our spiritual nature. 

According to God’s standard of ANOINTING, a healthy Heart is the first and foremost requirement in receiving His Anointing!

THE HEART WON’T LIE!

Matthew recorded Jesus as referring to “false prophets” saying, “You will fully recognize them by their fruits.”  WHY IS THIS?

Because the HEART will always tell on itself!

THE HEART, being the truest representation of who a person is, is the very reason God looks upon it always!

God’s Anointing Can Cause Others to Dislike You.

Several times in Scripture, we see incidences of those God anointed for specific reasons; seeing those that despised the ones God chose to ANOINT.  And DAVID is no different.

When Samuel anointed David, it wasn’t a private religious ceremony–it wasn’t conducted secretly.  No, it was done openly and in the presence of all those that had been “overlooked.”

VERSE 13:  Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers;  and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward…

Imagine for a minute, that you have just been interviewed for the position of King of Israel. You’re strong, talented, you’ve abilities that are unmatched…AND, you are overlooked!

AND…to pour rubbing alcohol in the open wound, your younger, weaker, scrawny brother gets the job!

My first reaction, and by the way, I have a younger brother that wasn’t “scrawny”…might be, “What just happened here?”

The Bible goes on to say, from that day forward, the Spirit of the LORD was upon David.

A Matter of the Heart.

God’s ANOINTING is particular, a matter of the heart and can be confrontational.

God will never ANOINT just anything or just anyone.  The anointing of God is much too valuable to simply make it available to anyone or anything.

God is the One Who chooses who walks in His anointing, not Pastors, Elders, church leaders or anyone else.  No one can declare God’s Anointing is yours except… the One Who ANOINTS!

God will look on the HEART, always.

First, If the HEART is not PURE, you’ll not have God’s anointing upon it.  God doesn’t anoint PRIDE, ARROGANCE, JEALOUSY or HATE.

He does ANOINT HUMILITY, KINDNESS and SERVITUDE.

And yet, even God’s Anointed can make mistakes.

In study, we can look at David’s life and rule as King of Israel in the bible, and even this great man, a man after God’s own heart, is not immune from making mistakes.

We are not perfect, and that’s why the apostle Paul tells us:

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing to full completion in you”  (Philippians 1:6).

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THANK YOU JESUS!!

We are all a work in progress.  But the GOOD NEWS is, unlike the Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament, that came “upon” God’s ANOINTED, the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant, SEALS and INDWELLS God’s ANOINTED PEOPLE.  (John 2:27; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). 

 

 

 


Footnote(s) & Credits –

Footnote [i]:  Got Questions? .org

BIBLE TRANSLATION:  The Amplified Bible (AMP).

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

Looking At The World From A Different Perspective:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (AMP):

[1] BUT UNDERSTAND THIS, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble–hard to deal with and hard to bear.  [2] For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate (greedy) desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffers); disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.  [3] [They will be] without natural (human) affection (callous and inhuman);  relentless–admitting of no truce or appeasement.  [They will be] slanderers–false accusers, trouble makers; intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.  [4] [They will be] treacherous (betrayers), rash [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.  [5] For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it–their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession.  Avoid [all] such people–turn away from them.

A Praying Mantis & A Tree Limb
A Praying Mantis & A Tree Limb

Looking at the world from a BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE, it is not difficult to reach this conclusion from the title to this blog-post: “Things Aren’t Always As They Seem”–

Although this planet is inhabited by more than six billion human beings, there are only two types of people: Those who BELONG TO CHRIST and those WHO DON’T.

Now that, at first, may seem like an oversimplification, but the fact is reflected in…

1 Corinthians 10:21: 

You cannot drink the Lord’s cup and the demon’s cup. You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the demons’ table.”

Unfortunately, in comparison to the rest of the world, the TRUE CHURCH, that is to say, ALL BELIEVERS not willing to compromise, do not compromise their FAITH by following the norms and the evil current running through this world, is a FACT.

It is a sad fact to think that out of more than six billion people, only a small group or percentage will be SAVED.

Look at the words JESUS speaks in clarity–John 14:6:  “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.”

THIS WORLD is full of people who are just like described in our text (2 Tim. 3:1-5), appear to be one thing, but in all reality something very different.

The world is full of people who profess to be “Christians”; people who with their mouths loudly (and some, not so loudly) DECLARE they are men and women of God, but in REALITY are very far from God.

How do I know this?

Because there are numerous doctrines and teachings that appear to be beautiful and good, but when examined against the Truth, the Word of God, quickly find that there are DOCTRINES & TEACHINGS designed to separate men from God’s presence.

The apostle Paul tells us here to SEPARATE ourselves from them–yet way before Paul’s instruction to us in Timothy, Jesus warned us to stay alert, “take heed”; don’t let the world catch anyone napping.

Mark 13:21-23 (NASB):

[21] “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ; or ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him;  [22] For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray.  [23] “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”

At this point, I want to take a pause–a “time out”.  I am NOT stating nor implying we should JUDGE and CONDEMN someone.  None of us are worthy to judge anyone!  There is but on Judge!  (John 5:22-23)

I want to make myself very clear on the fact that we are not called to JUDGE or CONDEMN anyone because they may be confused or find themselves trapped in a RELIGION or a SECT.  Let’s always remember when we find ourselves in a situation to EVANGELIZE…our first words must never be “you are going to hell.”  

Our responsibility is to PREACH God’s TRUTH.

So I am NOT implying that we must judge, rather what I am trying to convey to you is we can not trust everything that we see or hear.

The MAJORITY of people, I believe, allow themselves to be led by first impressions, being it positive or negative, and these influence their attitude and behavior toward others.  How do I know this?  Because I am in a spiritual battle as I write–concerning my attitude, my first impressions of others.

If we are honest with ourselves, we are ALL GUILTY of doing just this.  Look at what JESUS tells us regarding our attitude toward others; our judging based on first impressions or otherwise:

Matthew 7:1-2:

[1]  DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.  [2] For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

But then the question arises in our minds, “How can we distinguish between good and the bad without counting on appearances?”

The LORD tells in Matthew 7:15 (VOICE):

“Along the way, WATCH OUT for false prophets.  They will come to you in sheep’s clothing, but understand that quaint and innocent wool, they are hungry wolves.”

I capitalized two words in this verse, for the KEY to answering the question is to “WATCH OUT” !!!

There are many people in this world who appear to be something that they are not. People that disguise themselves by wearing masks of religions, that seem to speak eloquently with fancy words, but “inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

WATCH OUT!

There is but ONE WAY that we can prevent ourselves from being deceived; to distinguish these persons from the rest.

EXAMINE THE FRUITS that they produce (Matthew 7:20):

“You will fully know them by their fruits.”

In other words, although my first impression may be good or bad, although the appearance of a group or individual is good or bad, as a true believer, I have to start by learning to wait on God.  This “waiting”, many will say, places the BELIEVER in Christ Jesus at a disadvantage.  

But in reality, the opposite is true.

What happens is, that once we receive conviction, we separate ourselves from all of those things that we have learned that displease God; we will be accused by many saying that a TRUE CHRISTIAN is called to LOVE.  That as Christians, we are CALLED TO LOVE GOD and our neighbors.  That we are CALLED TO FORGIVE even those that may have seriously offended us in the past, and because of the “callings”, we can never distance ourselves from, or stop sharing with, a particular group or individual.

I can tell you that there is some TRUTH to these types of accusations; a Christian Believer IS called to love God and to love his neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40).

Therefore, ONE TRUTH IS…Christians are CALLED to LOVE & FORGIVE.

BUT another great truth is that Christians are NOT CALLED to be Accomplices; Doctrines, rituals, and Sects that serve only to drive a wedge between man and God.

Our responsibility is to TEACH the TRUTH, to PREACH the Gospel of Salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

BUT if they are unwilling to HEAR, unwilling to ACCEPT the Truth, wishing to continue in those things that don’t please God as pointed out in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, then we are to SEPARATE ourselves from them.

Look at how this instruction from Jesus is clearly reflected in Matthew 7:6 when we read…hqdefault

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.  Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!  They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you”  ~ New Living Translation (NLT).

WE MUST BE CAREFUL–WATCH OUT!!!

We must be take care of what God has given us–our “PEARLS” of wisdom and understanding.

Read in Revelations 2:11 at how our Lord tells us,  “Behold I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

We must AVOID those persons who disguise themselves to confuse us; we must SEPARATE ourselves from this wicked and evil world, no matter the form we see it appear.

But we must also EXAMINE ourselves very closely to find the FRUITS that we are bearing are in fact pleasing to God.  [See Footnote [i] for a reference to read]

We must examine ourselves to find, if perhaps, that we have become so preoccupied with those around us that our life has stopped testifying of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I…we have to examine ourselves closely, because we find that by CRITICIZING, and HATING those around us, we must realize that we are not bearing GOOD FRUIT.  We must be very careful with what we HEAR & SEE, we have to TEST EVERYTHING using the Word of God.

But just as important, is our self-examination; we have to EXAMINE ourselves and discover if our life is truly hidden in Christ, or perhaps just hidden.

APPEARANCES can be deceiving, so let’s be very careful that we may not be deceiving ourselves in the process.

 


Footnotes & Credits:

Footnote [i] :  https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/its-not-easy-b…ruit-inspector/

Photos:  Google Search Images

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.