In 1 Samuel 16 the last judge and prophet meets Jesse and his sons to anoint one of them with oil as the next king. Eliab, a handsome man and the oldest brother is the first to appear. Samuel thinks to himself this must the Lord's anointed; however, God clearly rejects him. It is an unfortunate truth that people look at the outward appearance and make poor decisions, even godly people. God looks on individuals and situations from the inside out not the outside in. God judges the heart.
In 1 Samuel 17 David asks a couple of pointed questions. Eliab reacts in anger and makes accusations that criticize David's motives for being at the battle and wanting to challenge Goliath (1 Samuel 16:28). Had Samuel heard Eliab's comments to David, he would have known why God refused him (16:7).
How is your heart before the Lord?
This month marks the beginning of a new Bible study journey in the Life of David. When it comes to men in the Bible, David is a colorful character filled with masculine attributes as well as sinful weaknesses. Most men can identify with many of his strengths and sins. I know I do. As I write this I am filled with hope that such a man as this is viewed by God as a man after His own heart. I hope you will find the upcoming blogs inspirational and challenging.
How about you? What do you think of David?
I am currently reading The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. He makes the following comment in regards to the wrath of God, our view of sin, and the culture of western churches.
"Sermons stressing the fierce wrath of a holy God aimed at impenitent human hearts do not fit with the civic meeting hall atmosphere of the local church. Gone are the Gothic arches; gone are the stained-glass windows; gone are the sermons that stir the soul to moral anguish. Ours is an upbeat generation with the accent on self-improvement and a broad-minded view of sin."
Personally, I do not miss Gothic art or stained glass windows. I do however think far too many churches focus on the love and mercy aspects of God and neglect to preach His wrath and justice. Consequently, our culture reflects the state of our worship and theology in the local church.
Sproul, R. C. (2008-09-18). The Holiness of God (p. 175). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Yesterday I attended a conference on the supremacy of Christ taught by David Bryant. During the session he made several points that challenged my understanding of Christology and the outworking of my faith. Over the next few writings, I will post some of the key points.
Because Jesus is supreme – because of who He is to us, for us, over us, before us, within us, upon us – this gives us every confidence to remain open and ready for Him to advance His mission through us without limits! (David Bryant)
While I know this to be true in my intellect, if I am honest with myself and others, I have limits. I shouldn't but I do.
How about you?
In my reading through The Life of Elijah, I noted the following quote by AW Pink. This was written during WWII. Very profound! What are your thoughts?
In avowedly Christian countries like Great Britain and the U.S.A., it is the churches which regulate the pulse of the nation. They act as the salt upon the corporate body, and when their ways please the Lord, He gives them favor in the eyes of those round about them. When the Holy Spirit is unhindered, His power is manifested, not only in calling out the elect, but in subduing sin in the non-elect and by causing the machine of state to support godliness, as was more or less noticeably the case a hundred years ago. But when error comes into the churches and discipline is relaxed, the Spirit is grieved and His power is withheld, and the evil effects of this become more and more apparent in the country by a rising tide of lawlessness. If the churches persist in a downward course, then the Spirit is quenched and Ichabod is written over them, as is the case today. Then it is that the restraining hand of God is removed and an orgy of licentiousness comes in. Then it is the government becomes an empty tide, for those in power have no power except what the people have delegated to them, and therefore they act in accord with the depraved desires of the masses. This then is ever the order: turning from the true God, turning to false gods, and then the disturbance of the peace --either social revolution or international war.
Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) wrote and published these chapters as a series of articles in his monthly magazine, Studies in the Scriptures, from January 1940 through December 1942.
Pink, A.W. (2010-07-21). The Life of Elijah (Kindle Locations 3820-3826).