Success in the Kingdom

 

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,  but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  Mark 10:35-45

In late November 1961 I was called to active duty with 5 ½  hours of warning. I was in my first year of training in Internal Medicine at UTH. I had received a notice from my draft board advising me I would be drafted as an enlisted man if I did not volunteer for a commission as an officer in the National Guard. That was certainly a no-brainer so I was made a member of the Guard with the rank of First Lieutenant. In less than 6 weeks I was called to active duty with “orders cut” for Korea. My MOS was 3100, General Physician. I was sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for 6 weeks before being sent to Korea for 21 months.

I was one of 60 physicians “called up” out of training. As a result of the abrupt nature of “our call”, a Colonel from the Pentagon was sent to interview us to see how we might be helped. When I was given an audience with the Colonel, I asked him if it would be to my advantage to return to Knoxville to finish out my first year of Residency in Internal Medicine training and be qualified to be considered to be an Internist. He advised against it and said in Korea I would be working out of the back of a truck. So be it.

Later my orders were changed and I was sent to Ft. Eustis, VA. as a General Medical Officer. 6 weeks later I was called to the Chief Executive’s Office of the McDonald Army Hospital and he told me my MOS was changed from a 3100 to a 3108. I became an Internist by the stroke of a pen. Welcome to the Army.

Jesus had called 12 very different men to follow Him. They had reason to believe that He was the long awaited Jewish Messiah. James and John were jockeying for positions of importance in Jesus’ Kingship. To their surprise and perhaps to ours, they were informed that their job description, a kind of MOS, was that of servant or slave whichever you prefer.

Now if this is the offer to James and John and 10 others, it is likewise the offer to us. The job description is not too attractive but the benefits are unmatched.

If your heart is changed by the love of Christ in rebirth, this title is much more easily accepted since this is God’s will.

 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

 Matthew 6: 19-24

 

It is surely true that “you can’t take it with you, but you can send it ahead.”

 

A previous told story is that of a man whose request was that five thousand dollars cash be placed in his casket. His widow made one minor alteration. She substituted a check for the cash.

Scriptures makes it clear that we are to worship God only and not materialism. Perhaps, if you have a gift that allows you to make more money than you and your family need, you should give some away, but take care in your philanthropy.

A young physician, new to Knoxville several years ago, asked if he could speak to me. When alone, he confessed he was “making too much money” and was uncomfortable doing so. My advice was to pick honorable charities and give it away.

 

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

 Isaiah 53:8-12

 

The epitome of a servant is to give his life for others. When the Hebrews were presented with the 22nd Psalm and the Suffering Servant passages in Isaiah, they did not know of whom they spoke. It is only in the life and light of Jesus that this mystery surrenders to discovery. It is only in the conception, life, sacrificial death and resurrection from the grave of Jesus that the magnitude of the gift of eternal life is revealed.

The call to us as the followers of Jesus is to embrace servanthood. In so doing we glorify God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Our pursuing such places us in the Father’s will and provides joy, now and in the life to come.

 

Not Dead, but Merely Asleep

 

 

Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.  For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.  She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.  Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.  Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

1 Kings 17:13-24

 

Elijah is considered the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. He, along with Moses who had given God’s law to the Hebrews, was present with Jesus when He was transfigured on a mountaintop before the crucifixion of Jesus.

The story from 1st Kings tells of God sending Elijah to a widow in Zarapath, a gentile location. He was sent during a time of famine and through God’s action both the woman and her family and Elijah were provided with food.

Later, the widow’s son became ill and rather than recovering; he grew worse and died. In the narration we are told that Elijah stretched out on the lifeless body three times and following prayer, the boy’s life returned.

 

When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.”

“Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.”

But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.

Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.”

When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch.  He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord.  Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm.  Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.”  She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.

 2 Kings 4:27-37

Elisha as a follower of the Prophet Elijah took over the role of prophet when Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. We are presented with another story of revival of life in a boy in a manner similar to that of Elijah. It is not unexpected that Elisha would follow the same sequence of Elijah with initial prayer followed by lying on the supine body. The child was restored to life.

A few millennia later, in the 1960’s, a trio of investigators at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore refined this technique and modern day external cardiopulmonary resuscitation was born. Dr. James Jude, Chief of Surgery, Dr. Kouwenhoven, Chief of Biomedical Engineering, and Guy Knickerbocker, a graduate student, refined the technique of chest compression along with the application of an electric shock to the chest to restore the heart’s function as a pump. This technique was worldwide in short order. When I was there in training in 1966, Guy’s father was resuscitated by this same technique.

To have a maximal effect on the restoration of life, this technique must be initiated in 4 or less minutes.

 

1-7_Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days,  and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

 

38-44_Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

 John 11:1-7, 38-44

We move from a diagnosis of cardiac arrest to one of death. The latter diagnosis, death is not responsive to medical techniques or therapies.  Martha warns Jesus that by this time “he stinketh” as recorded in the King James. Jesus requires faith from Martha and she testifies that “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus then calls Lazarus from death to life.

Jesus clearly steps beyond the role of a prophet to demonstrate His power over death. Only God can do so.

 

Jesus, Power over Life and Death

 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

 Genesis 2:15-24

 

God first created man from the dust of the ground. God declared that it is not good for man to be alone, so Eve was created from a rib of Adam. Symbolically they were one and as man and wife they revealed this oneness in procreation. It is here that the Biblical plan for marriage was revealed.

To teach Adam and Eve obedience, God prohibited their eating of the fruit from a solitary tree in the garden. To disobey God’s directive was prohibited and the result of disobedience introduced sin into the perfect world. They chose to accept the word of the Satan over that of God. God declared that they would die but Satan assured them that they would not.

Shortly thereafter God confronted them with their sin and although physical death did not immediately ensue, physical life became finite as God had warned.

  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 

Ecclesiastes 3:11

The human heart begins as a tubular organ which develops into a striking propulsive machine that contracts 86, 400 times in a 24 hour period. If faster than 60 beats a minute, the final count is higher. At the completion of its formation it is turned into the left chest. Rarely does it fail to turn to the left, but if it does fail to turn, the human heart points to the right.

I heard a story 50 years ago in Baltimore about a gypsy family that brought a young boy in to the ER to be examined. If the doctor after his exam said, “I find nothing”, they promptly left. However if he said, “Did you know that his heart is in the right chest?” they would go to the wagon to get the sick family member to be seen. The doctor had passed the test.

For the Hebrew, the human heart was composed of the soul (your essence) and the spirit. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and from this statement we understand that God has placed eternity there. As a result, your soul is eternal and cannot die. So, when Satan declared to Eve, “you will not die”; he was guilty of only a half lie. This one statement conveys the nature of the Satan. He is a liar.

 

 

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”  But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her,“Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).  Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.  He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

   Mark 5:35-40

Jairus was the leader of a synagogue and his daughter was dying. By this time Jesus was not invited to witness in the synagogues. Jairus swallowed his pride and asked Jesus “to lay hands on my daughter so that she might live.” Jesus agreed to go to her but en-route messengers told Jairus and Jesus that she was dead. Jesus ignored the news and they went forward. Mourners were already grieving the loss when Jesus declared that she was “asleep” They laughed.

Taking her by the hand, Jesus said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” Up she came. Were the messengers wrong in their diagnosis of death? Not likely.

This shows the power of God through the ministry of the Son. Dead or merely asleep, the power of the Christ is manifest. To Jesus, sleep and death will both surrender to His call if you have faith in His person.

Jesus is the Master Physician. His greatest feat is not of the physical but of the soul. His mere touch on your soul can raise it to eternal life with God.

 

 

 

 

How Can the Death of Jesus 2000 Years Ago Save?

 

 

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:1-11

The author of Romans is the Apostle Paul. He was transformed from the chief persecutor of the 1st Century Christian Church to its strongest advocate. This transformation began with Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul’s short coming was certainly not the result of a lack of zeal, but was secondary to a lack of understanding. Despite his brilliant mind and zeal for Judaism, he determined that Jesus of Nazareth was a false messiah and witness. He was stopped in this vendetta by none other than the personal witness of the Christ which began his transformation from persecutor to re-born witness for Jesus as the true Messiah and the Son of God.

Just as with all who believe the message of Jesus as Son of God and Savior, Paul was gifted faith to believe the witness of Jesus. The receptiveness of his soul caused by faith in Jesus, prompted God to declare Paul as “justified.”Justification is a key legal term which declares that one is “treated as sinless.”

In this modern age we talk often about the “love of God.” This is a grand, true, and wonderful statement of God’s character. However, God has other equal important characteristics, one of which is “God is just and justifier.”  God’s character never changes. He may change His mind but never His character. God as our Master Creator is disturbed and angry about our disobedience which is simply defined as sin. To meet the necessary payback price must be an offering of equal value to the affront and sounding of God. Only the blood (life) of an eternal being can reach this standard. Only Jesus, as this standard, qualifies for He is and Eternal Being.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,  “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.  Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.  If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.  The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.  Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.  Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs.  That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.  Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs.  Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.  This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

 Exodus 12:1-13

The concept of the salvific (saving) action of shed Blood is seen in the shed blood of the Passover lamb. Without the shed blood on the door fame of the home, the first borne male of every household would die as the Angel of Death “passed over” Egypt. The Israelites were spared, the Egyptians were not. The blood of a sacrificial lamb was essential in this prevention and saving. The standard is set. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.

In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.  In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.  No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.  So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat,  for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1st Corinthians 11:17-26

 

This is from a book of the New Testament that is a letter from Paul to the Church at Corinth. Rather than praise, he scolds them for their practices. They have violated the intent of this meal that through symbolic elements focuses on the life and blood of the Savior. They have made this celebration common place rather than sacred. They grieve the Holy Spirit that they had received when they sought to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord. God’s Spirit had been gifted to indwell the believer with rebirth. This gift is to all and not to merely some.

God stands outside of time and His actions are eternal. If you have accepted Jesus as Savior by the faith given you by God, your sins were nailed to the cross of Christ 2000 years ago. Jesus paid your and my redemptive price with His life’s blood 2000 years ago. Simultaneously, the created soul was awarded the Holy Spirit to indwell it to direct this new life.

To claim this gift of salvation and transformation it is necessary to both seek it and then to claim it in humility. God requires that we publically seek it and claim it. It is essential that we seek Jesus not merely as Savior but to submit to Him as well as Lord.

 

 

 

A Man after God’s Own Heart

 

 

“What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash,  I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.  But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

1st Samuel 13:11-14

 

The books of Samuel as a prophet follow the tumultuous period of the Judges which lasted 450 years. The people of Israel clamored for a king who would lead them and protect them as the leader of the army. The first choice was Saul. This scripture deals with Saul’s disobedience to God’s directions and Samuel’s discovery of this. Samuel declares that Saul’s Kingdom will end and he will be replaced by a man after his own heart. The reference is to David who is to be anointed as the new king as God’s choice.

Although this critical statement goes unexplained, if we examine the early life of David the shepherd boy we find him to be humble and seeking to please God. It would appear that humility is essential to please God. Such a state of mind inspires David to pursue God in obedience.

David is possessed of both physical and spiritual courage. He is successful in slaying the Philistine’s champion, Goliath. David becomes the king of Israel and is blessed by God.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:1-12

 

David was blessed by God with many gifts. He was obviously a fearless warrior, a leader of men, esteemed by his subjects, and blessed by God. Despite all of this he temporarily lost his focus on Godly obedience and broke 2 of God’s basic commandments. Firstly, he was guilty of adultery by taking the wife of one of his soldiers and then in an attempt to cover his crime, he arranged for her husbands’ death in battle.

The 51st Psalm is a plea not from David the King and Warrior but from David the sinner. His confession and sorrow result in a renewing of his relationship with God but the consequences of his sins remain. His family was never again the same.

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23

 

One of David’s obvious gifts was as a writer of poetry. The Bible doesn’t tell his age at the time of the writing of this song but surely it was when David was a young shepherd. He speaks in a tender manner of his dependence on God and God’s faithfulness. It is David’s dependence on God that surely causes God to give David a peek at life after the physical with the conclusion “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This view is a quantum leap beyond the expectations of David’s day.

The life of David reflects the short comings of us all. He commits sin in a major fashion and attempts to hide from it. Exposed, he confronts it, confesses it, and repents and is restored to fellowship with God.

This serves as a blueprint for each of us.