Psalm for the week: A humble victim of a violent take-over

Greetings to all. I have been away from the blog for a short while. It turns out that I needed a break from blogging just to find time to recharge. I’m back fresh, eager, and hopefully humble.

Today, we dig straight into Psalms. The last article in this series was about King David prophesying about Jesus being the King of all the kings of the world. It was a bold prophesy that most likely upset the giant kingdoms of the day.

Now comes Chapter Three, and David is in deep problems. He has had a take-over from within. One of his children has decided to take over the throne instead of waiting for a succession plan. Absalom has moved the people of Israel to rally behind him, forcing David to run away from Jerusalem to seek refuge in the wilderness. The story is covered in the book of Chronicles. It is a moving narration.

Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.

But this is what Psalms records:

“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”

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Psalms‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬ http://bible.com/1/psa.3.1-8.kjv

Absalom, the vindictive

Of all the characters of the Old Testament, I find Absalom a very disturbing figure. He does not have a forgiving heart, he’s very ambitious and he’s a skimmer par-excellence. His character first shows up when his half-brother forced himself on Absalom’s sister. This shameful act caused Absalom to react. He plotted an elaborate plan to avenge his sister’s shame. He effected a 2 year plan, and finally managed to kill the perpetrator.

For taking matters into his own hands, the king banished him out of the kingdom. After some years, he was brought back but never enjoyed audience with the king. The state of affairs made him a bitter man. So he planned how he would gain audience again. And it involved setting on fire the harvest of the Army General, just to get his attention, and used him to ask David to meet him.

It worked. But this did not satisfy him. He went on to plan a super grand coup de tat of all times. He hatched a 40 year plan to take over his father’s throne. Talk about focus and determination. 40 years is equal to a generation. And that’s how long he took to implement his evil plan.

In the end, it worked just as he had planned. He took over the throne, kicked the king out of his city, slept with the king’s concubines to debase the public image of David, and had the backing of the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, he missed a point or two in his plan.

David, the humble but wise

Now, enters King David in the picture. When David fled the throne, the High Priest joined him, and came along with the Ark of Covenant. This was the ultimate symbol of God’s presence, and by extension, the spiritual proof that the king was indeed God’s chosen.

But then David does the unthinkable. He asks the priest to take back the Ark to Jerusalem, right in the domain of the enemy. He wanted to see the Ark in its rightful place, rather than clinging to it to legitimize his kingship. He does not utilize the Ark, to serve his personal needs.

And David refuses to fight the young man. Yet, he plans to set his counsel to nought. So he sends into the victorious plotter’s camp, a strategist whose sole purpose was to bring down the new rulership.

By the way, along the way, those that had a gripe or two with king David took advantage of the situation to bad mouth the king. The king’s followers were not pleased with this, and one of them demanded to chop off the offender’s head. David, not surprisingly declined, and took the insults in his stride. What a man!

In the end, Absalom got defeated, killed, and David got restored. The king used the power of humility and wisdom, to get rid of his enemies, and left a big lesson for us all.

Jesus, the more humble and much wiser

Again, this is a prophesy for Jesus. His enemies planned against His downfall for much longer than 40 years. For we are told that He was crucified before the foundation of the world. Genesis introduces the anti-Christ in the Garden of Eden that would bruise His heel. And when He came to the world some 2,000 years ago, the enemies were right beside Him, doing all they could to frustrate His ministry, and in the end terminated His life.

But just like David, Jesus resolved not to fight back. In fact, He forgave those that were baying for His Holy Blood. That’s an amazing character. He died, but that was not the end of it. He rose up Immortal, and is beyond the powers of this world. He is the most powerful person as we speak.

King David, the Brave

So here comes my favourite part:

Verse 6: I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Whoa! There’s more than meets the eye here. Ten thousands of people, is a huge crowd if they constituted the camp of the enemy. So King David was not a coward after all. He just wanted God to intervene. Those are the words of a brave warrior, who never allowed fear to dominate his life even in the darkest moment. He never lost sight of his God, and believed that he would return to Jerusalem in his former glory.

In our day to day life, often we get disturbed by what people say about us. It may be a mouth or two. It may not even be 20 individuals. But then, we allow this to ruin our day, our lives and even our relationships. David here says, even if they were more than 10,000 souls, it would mean nothing as long as God was in control. Think about it.

King Jesus, the Ultimate Warrior

The humble King who was struggling to carry His cross on the way to Golgotha had much more to offer than what the people of His day saw. He was not afraid to face death. He was not ashamed to be crucified as a sinner on our behalf. For He knew He would emerge a victor, having conquered hell and death.

Just like Absalom, the devil got hoodwinked. The external humility of these kings, masked the powerful wisdom that figured out the enemy’s plot, exploited the enemy’s pride, and both emerged victors. And behind that vulnerability, beat a heart that knew no fear.

Of all the prophesies about Christ, I find this one outstanding. And yes, there’s so much to learn from it on how we should deal with life, when caught in our weakest moments. We must turn to God, and not fight back the way the world expects.

When push comes to shove, try to use humility, wisdom and bravery, and see what God will do for you.

Psalm for the Week: Kings Be Wise and Judges Be Instructed

Psalms 2: Be Wise and Be Instructed

This is our second week in the weekly series on the Book of Psalms where David introduces the Lord Jesus Christ as the all powerful, wise King of kings. Last week we saw David, the king of Israel open the Praise and Worship songs with a powerful statement. As a true leader, he set down the principles for his people to be blessed and remain prosperous.

This week, he turns his attention to the entire world and admonishes them to be wise, listen and learn. Let’s dig in:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭2:1-12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/psa.2.1-12.kjv

The Great Wise King is Coming
The Great Wise King is Coming

David the Wise King

It must be great to serve under a spiritual king, especially one who is well rounded like King David. David was a humble man, but he was also very shrewd. He could quickly read situations, seek solutions and bring about tremendous results. Let’s just say David was very wise since sometimes the word shrewd is seen in the negative light.

David the great composer and inspired musician

His exploits inspired others to express conquest with flourish like the time he defeated Goliath, the Philistine Commando. His act inspired women to compose a song that exposed the hate that Saul had for David. But on top of this David himself was a prolific composer. His works are still a masterpiece across the world many generations later.

David the educator

David brought life and meaning to the Law of Moses. Whatever he knew he shared. The more he shared, the more he was inspired with insights on the Word of God. He was responsible for teaching his court, his army, the temple and the citizenry. He was an amazing man.

David the deeper worshipper

He believed in the Supreme Authority of his maker, Jehovah, the God of Israel. And for that reason the spirit of prophecy would fall on him and make him prophesy about the future. Like the case with this Psalm.

Jesus, the all wise anointed King

When David declared this Psalm, most people thought he was talking about himself. After all, prophet Samuel had anointed him as the king of Israel.

It must have been a very difficult position for a humble king to declare this prophecy. It is a big statement to say that the entire world is heathen and that it will be an inheritance to Israel. I can see the envoys from neighboring kingdoms raising their eyebrows very, very high. And diplomats from big and prosperous kingdoms like Egypt must have laughed it off as a wishful statement from a new, young king.

But the spiritual knew different. In the New Testament, the apostles took the same Scripture from Psalms. They said Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophesy. You find this in a moving story in the Book of Acts chapter four. I believe it too.

So what does that mean?

Reading the chapter again, King David introduces Jesus in the most powerful way as an effective leader. He is the One that will take over all the kingdoms of the world. He is not coming back to be a partner to the Republic of Malawi, or any other country as we know them today.

He’s not coming back to understand our way of life, and strike a compromise with modernity. This is one chapter that speaks of complete takeover, and forcing every knee to bow down. Not even King David could achieve that status. No one else can.

Way Out

But before we become engrossed with a picture of power and unbending rule, look at the chapter again. There’s a way out. David instructs all the wise kings and judges to follow and serve the Lord. This has nothing to do with religion, race, or politics. He invites them to submit to God. What’s more? He promises those that do so blessings from heaven.

But are the kings of the world wise? Can he instruct the judges? Are the composers, musicians, educators and worshippers listening? At least, David the humble, wise king did.

A Psalm for the week: Be Blessed and Prosperous

Be Blessed and Prosperous! Psalm 1: 1 – 6

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭1:1-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

http://bible.com/1/psa.1.1-6.kjv

You are blessed. A beautiful sunrise in Salima, Malawi.
You are blessed. A beautiful sunrise in Salima, Malawi.

A Little Bible Challenge for You and Me

The Holy Bible is a work of beauty. It has so many moving parts and will satisfy the driest thirst known to man. Apart from containing Holy Scriptures, it offers instructions for a fulfilling life, it offers questions that allow us to discover the beauty of this life, and contains promises for the life to come. Now, that’s what I would call a wholesome package.

Nothing stands out as inspiring and gorgeously beautiful than the book of Psalms. I can’t show the depth and height of it, as I will remain its student for life. But I can surely share the parts I love.

So for that reason, I want to challenge myself to nibble at a chapter from Psalms per week. I’ll pick a point of interest and share a small part from it. Let’s go.

Listen oh Man!

I love the way Psalms opens. It speaks to the heart. It appeals to our deepest longing. But I also love about what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say blessed is a Malawian. It doesn’t say blessed is a black man. It doesn’t say blessed is an African. It doesn’t say blessed is that tribe, profession, or qualification. No. It says it just as it is. Blessed is the man. Blessed is THE Man.

Why doesn’t it say blessed is the woman? Well, that’s for you to find out. But you can be assured the answer will be lovely. For there is no hate, harm or bad with our God.

Stay Away from the Ungodly, Sinners and Scorners

I remember when I was growing up, those that seemed to understand about life and started enjoying the power of knowledge and wisdom looked amazingly advanced. And one of their demonstrations of that new found power was poking jokes and jabs at the Bible stories. They looked so cool contradicting the stories with flourish. Oh foolish man. Don’t you know God cannot be mocked?

Nothing has changed much. Each time I shrink from the spiritual life because of their worldly wisdom, I lose my connection with God. I drift away. I become a boat without a Sail, without an Anchor. But when I gather courage to declare the beauty of the Holy One Of Israel, something in me wakes up. I’m alive. I’m strong. I can do ALL things in Christ which strengthens me. Ah yes! This is the life. This is what I should be everyday.

So stay away from the ungodly, sinners and scorners. It will pay off in the end.

Blessed and Prosperous

Isolation is painful. When others are enjoying the pleasures of life, here you are being asked to deny yourself and pick up the Cross and follow the Savior.

So God doesn’t want us to enjoy life?

No, no, no! Look at the promises in this chapter. First of all, we are being called blessed. If God says I’m blessed, nothing can exceed that. The Creator Of Heaven and Earth, the Provider of All things, the Healer Of our body, spirit and soul, calls us blessed. Hey! Don’t rush it. Soak it in. Let it tenderize in your heart. Think about it. It’s an answer to everything. Call me blessed, and I know everything will be alright.

Mary, the mother of Jesus called herself blessed, for bringing the Savior into the world. I wonder what she must have felt that day when inspiration from Heaven struck her. Today, we have the Saviour living in our hearts. It’s better, bigger and deeply spiritual. We are blessed beyond measure.

But here is my challenge. Until today I didn’t notice the following passage: Psalms 1:3b. It says whatsoever the blessed man doeth shall prosper. What? Everything shall prosper? Everything as in e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g? My health, my family, my friends, my work, my projects, my adventures, my praise and worship, my school, my country, my church, my world, my prayers? Everything? I’m in. No hesitation there. I’m all in.

Food for Thought

It’s convenient for lazy minds to declare God mysterious and incomprehensible. Ah c’mon! You can do better than that. The psalmist has laid down a plan to follow to unlock those blessings. To make anything you do prosperous.

Now, that is for you to find out. Read the chapter again. Meditate on it. Meaning think about it. Pray about it. Chew on it. Follow the way of the righteous. It says so. I wish I had done it all the days of my life. But what’s done is done, and the past is gone. Today is ours and tomorrow could take a different direction.

Choose today to be a blessed man and prosper in EVERYTHING you do.

With love,

God bless you.

Read It Again: Lead Me to the Rock

Lead Me to a Rock That is Higher Than I

One of the toughest activities in the wild is rock climbing. At first sight, a rock may seem bare with no place for a foothold. Upon careful study a path appears and a pattern will reveal itself to take you to the top.

This is one craft I want to master. It will take years to perfect my skill but in the end it will be worth it. Which brings us to the topic of the day. In Psalms 61: 1 – 2, King David is in deep trouble. His heart is overwhelmed and he’s crying to God and he’s praying to God.

Then he asks for an impossible request. Instead of asking God to remove his problems, or to be taken to a soft bed of roses, he asks for a bigger challenge. He tells God “lead me to a Rock that is higher than I”. Neither does he ask God, fly me to the Rock, nor pull me to the Rock. Lead me he says. It means he’s ready to FOLLOW.

When he gets to the Rock, there will be the part of climbing it to get to the top. That is not a small matter. If this is a solution to solving problems when our hearts have been overwhelmed then help me Dear Lord.

So read it again. God wants to toughen us through the challenges we face. When we face problems God does not help us escape by running in the opposite direction. No, he leads us to a Rock that is higher than us. I want to learn from such a God. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.