Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

2 Chronicles 14

2 Chronicles 14 has a huge turnaround as Asa takes the throne from Abijah.  Things went differently for one reason: “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God”.  They returned to the relationship that David had with God, and His favor returned upon the kingdom.  Talk about a huge change.  Asa doesn’t do anything besides getting right with God.  But the outcome of that – the impact of walking with God and living God’s way – is significant.  It matters much!

So what does that look like?  Scripture describes it this way:

–       “took away the foreign altars and the high places

–       broke down the pillars

–       cut down the Asherim

–       commanded Judah to seek the Lord….to keep the law and the commandment

–       took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars

It simply came down to obedience.  It was back to the basics of what it meant to follow God and walk in His ways. Asa led the people back to God.

What is the result?  “The kingdom had rest under him….He built fortified cities….He had no war….the Lord gave him peace”.  Talk about a change from the prior leadership.  Abijah was in constant conflict and war.  He hadn’t walked well with God.  And the cost was significant.  So God gave Asa peace for 10 years. He allowed the kingdom to experience a time without being on guard and under attack. And then it came again.  The Ethiopians come to do battle.

The lines are drawn and Asa assembles about 580,000 men, but the enemy has over 1 million so the odds are not good.  The draw up battle lines, and Asa “Asa cried to the Lord his God”.  And God showed up in a big way.  In fact, “they were broken before the Lord and his army”.  God did a number on the other army.  In fact, scripture says “the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive”.  That is quite a victory – no survivors.  But it went beyond just destroying the enemy army.  We are told that Asa also:

–       “carried away very much spoil

–       attacked all the cities

–       plundered all the cities

–       struck down the tents

–       carried away sheep in abundance

Asa kicked some behind and came out smelling like a rose.  Not because of anything he did except pray.  God did all the work.  God ruled and reigned!


Psalm 123

Psalm 123 has the psalmist putting God where He belongs – on the pedestal of his life.  Look at how the psalmist views God:

–       “I lift up my eyes

–       you who are enthroned in the heavens

–       as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master

–       as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress

–       our eyes look to the Lord our God

The psalmist begins by reminding us that we have to choose to lift up our eyes to God.  We make a choice to put Him on the throne.  We make a choice to put God where He belongs – right in the center of our life.

God sits in the heavens – He is above us in every way.  He is our master, and we need to remember that we are His servants.  Often we get that backward.  We treat God like He is our servant.  We come to Him with a list of things we expect Him to do for us.  That is how our prayers often go, don’t they?  God please do this.  God please do that.  God I want this or I want that.  We need to keep in mind that He is Lord.  He is in control.  He is the one whom deserves our praise and submission.

The psalmist goes on to remind us that we need to seek God for His mercy. “Have mercy upon us, O Lord”.   If not for God’s mercy, we have no future.  Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve.  As sinners, or people who fall short of God’s expectations, we deserve condemnation leading to death.  That is what a Holy God needs to deliver.  But because of His love for us, He made a way through Jesus for us to escape the penalty of death.  That is based on His mercy.  That is us not receiving what we deserve.  God is a merciful and loving God.  He loves us oh so much.

Psalm 142

Psalm 142 has David communicating with the Lord.  David is going through a rough patch – he actually goes through a lot of patches like that.  For a guy who was anointed to be king, it sure isn’t a smooth process.  But we learn here that it is ok to just be real with God.  We don’t have to pretend.  We don’t have to talk to Him in any certain way.  We just need to seek His face openly and honestly.  We need to be willing to humbly approach the throne.

So what do we see David do?  He shows us four different ways he approached God:

–       “I cry out to the Lord

–       I plead for mercy

–       I pour out my complaint

–       I tell my trouble

Let’s face it – David isn’t shy about letting God know how he feels.  He isn’t quiet about being real.  He just lets it all out.


He is feeling pretty low.  Sort of a woe is me attitude – “no one cares for my soul”.  He is in a very lonely spot.  No one is on his side save God.  David asks God to do three things:

–       “Attend to my cry

–       Deliver me from my persecutors

–       Bring me out of prison

David asks God to show his hand.  He asks God to take action and respond to his needs.  He is in a lonely spot.

But David knows where he sits in relationship with God.  He knows God is the source to fix his problems.  “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living….you will deal bountifully with me”.  David understands one key thing – that God never leaves nor forsakes.  God never lets us down.  People will fail us over and over.  They will run when trouble comes and leave us to deal with it on our own.  But God is always there.  He is our portion.  He is our refuge.  He is the one who will stand with us.  We just need to be honest with God and ask Him to take action.  He is there and listening and waiting for our call.

Psalm 120

Psalm 120 has David responding to the lies of his enemies.  They were out to destroy him – and these were not outsiders – but people he knew and proclaimed themselves to be his friends.  How did he deal with it?  He prayed.  He asked God to deal with it.  And scripture tells us that when David prayed – “he answered me”.  David called out to God and He responded.  That is what God does!

So what did David pray?  He asked God to deliver him.  He asked God to set him free “from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue”.  Lies can be very damaging – and they certainly were in David’s case.  Lies have been the demise of many throughout history.  Jesus Himself was crucified because of lies told by his accusers.  The power of the tongue for evil is great.  We need to guard our tongues closely, and realize that God does not look kindly on a deceitful tongue.

David does whine a bit about the result of the lying tongues that were creating a challenge for him.  The reference to the people of Meshech and Kedar refer to people who were a bit barbarian and rough around the edges.  Remember that David was to be king, and yet because Saul pursued him he was forced to live in less than kingly places.  He lived amongst the rough with “those who hate peace”.  Lying, even though it is filled with untruth, can cause us to be put out of what should happen.  The power of a lie is very great as David experienced.

David reiterates what we have seen in his life – that he is a man of peace.  “I am for peace”.  Remember that at least twice he had opportunity to kill Saul and did not – sparing his life.  Yet Saul, and likely those David was forced to live with, were not focused on peace.  They were for war.  They wanted to express their feelings outrightly and do things that would cause hurt, pain and death.  David walked his talk.  He was not caught up in the rhetoric, or driven by the actions of those around him, even when he was the target of their efforts to kill him.  Bottom line is that David trusted God.  He went to Him with his challenges, and trusted Him for the outcome.  We can learn much about how to be a man after God’s heart by observing how David lives.

Psalm 56

Psalm 56 is filled with David’s call to God to protect him from his enemies.  Are you ever afraid?  David was.  He was a mighty warrior yet he had fear.  But he also knew the source of power to deal with that fear – God.  “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you”.  That is the secret – when we are afraid – we need to trust God.  He is still in control even when we are afraid.  He is still at the helm even when we feel like the world is falling around us.  He is still God.

David gets it right when he says “in God I trust; I shall not be afraid”.  He identifies the reality that fear is a choice.  We don’t have to be afraid, but it is what happens when we take our eyes off the One who has it under control and put our faith in self.  We choose to be afraid.  We choose to stop trusting God.  David then asks the all important question: “What can flesh do to me” and later “What can man do to me”?

Here’s the deal.  When we fall into the trap of taking our eyes off Jesus and letting fear rule in our lives, we need to stop and ask that question.  What’s the worse that can happen?  It is never all that bad, particularly compared to the situation of most around us.  And even if the worst we can think of is death, if we are true Christ followers, we have to have the attitude of Paul who said “to live is Christ but to die is gain”.  That seems pretty strong, but it is absolutely the truth as a believer.  Dying is not the worst thing that can happen.  Living without Jesus is!

David knows that God is in control.  He knows that God will protect him. He has been faithful through his life.  “You have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life”.  God is our deliverer and strength.  We need to trust in Him and Him alone.  We need to walk in His light.  He is the answer to fear.  He will keep our feet from falling.  He alone is Lord of all.  Thank you God for your faithfulness!

Psalm 31

Psalm 31 has David talking about God and his relationship with Him.  David tells us how he acts – which can give us some ideas of ways we should interact with God in our own lives.  Check out what he does:

–       “I take refuge

–       I trust in the Lord

–       I will rejoice and be glad

–       I trust in you

–       I cried to you for help

–       I hear the whisperings

–       I say

Notice anything about how David interacts with God?  It is action – it doesn’t say ‘I sat on my rear end and waited for God to do something for me’.  That is how we often act.  Or, we do whatever we want without even considering what God may do.  Then we come running when we have things messed up.  A relationship with God requires us to do something.  It requires us to interact with the Father!

We can learn the kinds of things David is seeking from God here too.  It’s one thing to try and connect with God, but about what?  What do we ask for?  Check out what David seeks:

–       “Incline your ear to me

–       rescue me

–       Be a rock of refuge

–       save me

–       Into your hand I commit my spirit

–       Love the Lord

–       Wait for the Lord

David comes to God for lots of things.  But the key is – he asks.  He seeks God’s face and asks God to get involved.  He realizes that without God things are not going to go well.  He is seeking God’s help.

God does hear.  God did respond.  He responds today too.  We just need to ask.  Here is what God did from David’s pleas:

–       “you are my rock and my fortress

–       you lead me and guide me

–       you take me out of the net

–       you are my refuge

–       you heard the voice

–       the Lord preserves the faithful

–       abundantly repays the one who acts in pride

God doesn’t sit on the sidelines either.  He is active and alive and listening and responding.  We sometimes have to wait for His time, but He is not ignoring us.  He is not unable to take action.  We need to come to Him with our requests and then watch for His response.

David understands the reality.  Life is not about us.  Left to us alone, we will fail.  “My life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away”.  Remember who this is – a man after God’s heart – the king of Israel.  If he struggles, guess what, you and I will too. We need to take a cue from his playbook and realize that God is our only plan.  There is no plan B.  “Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage”.  The plan is simple.  Love God, seek His face, wait for His response.  He is the only plan!

Psalm 27

Psalm 27 is a clinic on how we should relate to God.  David begins with two powerful statements that describe how we should see God:

–       “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear

–       The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid

Those two statements define the relationship between God and David.  Light, salvation, stronghold – God is central and center of everything in David’s world.  God is protector, director, and emancipator.  He is all to David.

David has a desire and a focus in his life.  “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after”.  He has it pretty well boiled down.  It is this: “that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple”.  David’s desire is not money or fame.  It isn’t stuff.  It is to be with God.  It is to live with Him.  It is to be in the presence of the Almighty.  David knows that if he can be blessed with this one request – everything else falls in place.  If our relationship with God is right – nothing else matters!

Here is a short list of things David says will happen IF he is with God:

–       “hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble

–       conceal me under the cover of his tent

–       lift me high upon a rock

–       my head shall be lifted up above my enemies

Not a bad set of outcomes.  With relationship comes benefits of being with God.  It is good stuff.  It is the important stuff.  David knows what really matters and it is a personal relationship with God.

But what happens next?  David reminds us that when we have that relationship, it isn’t just for us to keep quiet.  “I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord”.  We need to shout it from the mountaintops.  We need to let people know that we are His.  And we need to keep seeking.  David reminds us that God says “Seek my face”.  Far too often we spend our time seeking God’s hands and the stuff He can do for us.  We need to focus on His face – on the relationship.  That is what matters.  David goes on to ask “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path”.  We need to seek God’s wisdom and counsel.  We need to learn from Him.  And then David reminds us of one other important thing:  “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage”.  We need to wait for His time.  We aren’t necessarily very good at that.  We want to do it our way and have it done right now.  That is not God’s way.  We need to let God be God and we need to focus on the relationship with Him!

%d bloggers like this: