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  • James McFerrin 5:35 pm on 2017-03-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chronological Bible Study   

    Mar. 11. Plea for Forgiveness 

    Ps. 38:1-22

    David was a man after God’s own heart, BUT as a man, he also had sin in his life. The first thing one must do to find forgiveness is to become aware of his sinful condition. At times, it was necessary for David’s sins to be pointed out to him. The same is true today as we sometimes struggle to please God. In penitence, the psalmist confessed the wretched condition of his soul and humbly pled for God’s forgiveness and salvation.

     
  • James McFerrin 8:52 pm on 2017-03-09 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 10. Voice of Wisdom 

    Ps. 37:1-40

    This psalm of David made a bold contrast between the rewards of the wicked and the righteous. It is natural for a righteous person to become discouraged and possibly envious when he sees the earthly prosperity and power of a wicked person. One may fall, but the hand of the Lord will lift him up. Throughout the verses of this poem, the psalmist urged patience and trust among God’s people. The riches of this world are only temporary, but the inheritance of the righteous is eternal. As David concluded his psalm, he stated, “The future of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord…”

     
  • James McFerrin 9:21 pm on 2017-03-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chronological Bible Study   

    Mar. 9. Psalms of David Continued 

    Ps. 35:1-36:12

    The psalmist continued lamenting to the Lord about his persecutions. In calling for the punishment of his enemies, one might conclude that David was vindictive and harsh. However, he was pleading his case to a just God to mete out a fair justice against the wicked. They had plotted his destruction, had rewarded him evil for good and had hated him without a valid reason. This psalm described a period in David’s life that could well have been during the pursuits of King Saul. It also described the time when his son, Absalom was seeking his life. As in his other laments and pleas, David was thankful as he expressed his hope and faith that God would deliver him.

    David described various characteristics of the wicked. The wicked person was summed up as, “There is no fear of God before his eyes.” He followed that with a direct contrast as he described the fullness of God’s house—mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, judgments and lovingkindness. The psalm ended with a prayer.

     
  • James McFerrin 5:44 pm on 2017-03-07 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 8. Lord, A Fortress 

    Ps. 31:1-24

    In an era when man trusts in his own strength and power, one should follow the example of David as he turned to the Lord for His strength and protection in times of persecution and distress. He stated numerous laments over the pursuits, traps and slanders of his enemies. As with everyone, he also had health issues. However, in all of those trials, the psalmist maintained his trust for, “You are my God.” He praised God for His goodness as he was protected in a strong city. As David found refuge in Ziklag from the army of Saul, we also may receive the protection of God as if in a strong city, “All you who hope in the Lord.”

     
  • James McFerrin 5:52 pm on 2017-03-06 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 7. More Psalms of David 

    Ps. 26:1-28:9

    David spent many of his early years fleeing from his enemies. He addressed the Lord and pled his case for vindication. One can point out his strengths without self-righteous boasting. He listed various areas and aspects within his life in which he had served God with a clear conscience. In the end, however, even the most obedient among us must rely upon God’s mercy for salvation not only from those who would harm us, but also from His wrath in the final judgment.

    From the time that David had left the flocks of his father, Jesse, his life had been one of conflict and turmoil. One person along with God makes a majority. He recognized that principle and attempted to live a life of righteousness in order to, “dwell in the house of the Lord.” With God in his life and at his side, he could be of good courage with a strong heart and be victorious in the end.

    The psalmist cried in prayer to the Lord to save him from death (the pit). He prayed for separation from the punishment of the wicked. However, he did ask for them to be rewarded according to what their deeds deserved. David praised God for hearing and saving His people. The Lord is their Shepherd.

     
  • James McFerrin 7:59 pm on 2017-03-05 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 6. We Belong to God 

    Ps. 24:1-25:22

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” David gave tribute to that fact as he declared, “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness…” That statement includes man and all of his presumed possessions. God in His majesty can be approached, but the psalmist noted certain restrictions placed upon who can come into His presence. The King of glory whether the God of Glory who appeared before Abraham or the Lord of glory who was later crucified for the sins of man is portrayed as being a mighty warrior in battle. Those who follow the glorious King will defeat their enemies.

    The psalmist shifted from praising God to pleading with Him. He began with a personal prayer for strength, deliverance from his enemies and mercy in the forgiveness of past sins. Interspersed within his pleas was praise for God’s goodness. He concluded his psalm with further pleas for mercy, forgiveness and strength. David not only considered his own needs as he prayed, but also expressed his care and concern for his people, Israel.

     
  • James McFerrin 7:31 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 5. Psalm of Messianic Prophecy 

    Ps. 22:1-31

    “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Those words of despair were cried out by the Messiah as He hung upon the cross hundreds of years after this psalm was written. Other prophetic statements regarding the suffering Savior were made as the psalm continued. Those statements also described the wretched condition that David had found himself in at times. In times of suffering, it sometimes seems that one has been forsaken by God, but He is always near and will intervene when He sees the need. Like David, the Christ suffered ridicule and mocking in His time of suffering.

    Bulls are symbolic of strength and power. David suffered at the rebellion of Absalom and others and Jesus suffered at the hands of the Jewish leaders. The scene of the cross is depicted as dogs (Gentiles) crucifying Christ and the Roman soldiers casting lots for His clothing.

    After all of the hardships that the psalmist and the Lord had suffered, there was victory. All nations, both the rich and the poor now worship the Christ in His kingdom, the church. Those who refuse to bow down to Christ will eventually confess His name, but it will be too late.

     
  • James McFerrin 8:04 pm on 2017-03-03 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 4. Prayer and Victory 

    Ps. 20:1-21:13

    The psalmist entered into prayer for the children of Israel instead of seeking blessings only for himself. The Law of Moses was a law of works. David called on the Lord to remember the sacrifices of His people and to reward them according to their desires. Since they had trusted in God and stood upright instead of trusting in material things as chariots and horses, David was confident of a positive response to his prayer. Christians have that same confidence today through grace and mercy in the law of Christ.

    David expressed his joy and praise for God’s salvation. The desires of his prayers had been granted. David’s own personal powers as king were derived from the Lord. He further wrote of the future victory God would have over His enemies. The psalm ended with an exclamation of praise for God’s power.

     
  • James McFerrin 6:01 pm on 2017-03-02 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 3. Devotions and Prayer to God 

    Ps. 15:1-17:15

    As the psalmist asked a serious question, he answered it himself. Those who live according to the precepts outlined in the body of the poem are the ones who are pleasing to God. Both positive and negative aspects of one’s life and conduct were mentioned.

    Trust is the key topic of the writer. Goodness is vain without the Lord. Those who follow and trust idols are truly living empty lives. A child of God has a heavenly inheritance in that life after the grave.

    David was confident that his life was just and pure. He had been tested in life but still needed God’s mercy as he continued his walk with the Lord. He prayed for future protection from his enemies. Those enemies were like fierce lions stalking their prey. He further described them as being gratified by worldly treasures of the present life instead of trusting God. As for the psalmist, his portion would come when he awakened from the grave.

     
  • James McFerrin 5:39 pm on 2017-03-01 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 2. Dependence upon God 

    Ps. 11:1-14:7; 53:1-6

    In times of peril, one may be tempted or even urged to flee, but safety and refuge are in the Lord. Trials and persecutions will come upon the righteous. Those are like the smelter’s fire that purifies the soul. Society may try to destroy our foundations, but God is above in heaven and sees all. The wicked will be punished and the righteous rewarded.

    “Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases!” To the psalmist, it seemed that the righteous had disappeared and only evil men had remained. Their words were rebellious toward God. Again, God sees all and will refine and protect His people.

    In one of his periods of despair, David cried out, “How long. O Lord? Will…my enemy be exalted over me?” He had confidence in the Lord’s salvation, but wondered when. David feared that his enemy would celebrate in victory over him. He expressed his faith at the end of his prayer. “But I have trusted in Your mercy…shall rejoice…will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

    Psalms 14 and 53 are almost identical and will be discussed together in our study.

    “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” One’s lack of intelligence is not being displayed in that statement. Satan has used many highly intelligent individuals to sow the seeds of his deceit. A person may deny God by a direct statement of unbelief or he may display a lack of genuine faith by his actions even though he may profess that God does exist. It is the foolish person who refuses to submit to God in faithful obedience. Man has a corrupt and sinful nature that tends to seek his own desires and pleasures instead of following God. The two psalms ended with a plea for the salvation of David’s people, Israel.

     
  • James McFerrin 5:15 pm on 2017-02-28 Permalink | Reply
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    Mar. 1. Righteous Judgment 

    Ps. 9:1-10:18

    The psalmist, David was richly blessed by God. He expressed his praise to the Lord for those blessings and related how his enemies, who were also the enemies of God had been destroyed by the righteous Judge. Those who are oppressed as they serve God can find a refuge in Him, but the wicked will find that hell is their place.

    When one is being oppressed, it is easy to think that God has forgotten him. He may cry out in despair for deliverance to a God who seems to be hidden. David described many of the actions of the wicked. When they seem to prosper and avoid punishment, they forget that God the righteous judge will reward them according to their evil deeds. However, God does see and does execute righteous judgment to both the good and to the evil.

     
  • James McFerrin 8:19 pm on 2017-02-27 Permalink | Reply
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    Feb. 28. Psalms of David Resumed 

    Ps. 4:1-6:10

    David was the author of many of the poetic verses that we call the Psalms. As our Bible study nears the end of His life, it is needful that we observe the remainder of David’s literary works.

    It may have been that this prayer was uttered to God by David during Absalom’s revolt against him. He recognized previous blessings from God and petitioned Him for continued mercy. Those who put their trust and obedience in God are the ones to whom the Lord will hear. David was confident that he could rest in peaceful sleep because of his safety provided by God. To the faithful Child of God, all is well regardless of what “all” is.

    David prayed following peaceful sleep showing a continued dependence upon God for His daily protective care. He again recognized the importance of righteous living and expressed his determination to fear and reverently worship the Lord. The psalmist invoked God’s wrath upon the wicked because of their rebellion against Him. David called upon those who put their trust in God to rejoice because of His peace and protective care.

    Even though David was a man after God’s own heart, he was subject to the spiritual and physical frailties all men face. No one can overcome the consequences of his sins without the mercy of God. In his prayer for mercy, he depicted his grief as if he were swimming in a bed drenched with his tears. David’s grief came from his own sins and health issues as well as persecutions from his enemies. BUT, the Lord hears the cries of His children and answers in His time and according to His will.

     
  • James McFerrin 8:14 pm on 2017-02-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chronological Bible Study   

    Feb. 27. Praise for God’s Deliverance 

    II Sam. 22:1-51

    This song of salvation is also recorded almost verbatim as Psalm 18. David as a “man after God’s own heart” continued to look to Him for protection and deliverance. He was lavish in his praise to God for his blessings.

    The song began with an expression of the writer’s love for God. It continued with praises for the many blessings that he had enjoyed from God’s hands.

    David further pointed out that it was through his own obedience that God had looked upon him with favor. He was not a self-righteous boaster, but he recognized that God loves righteousness and hates sin. He had accomplished many things, but God was the One who had provided the strength.

    Pagan gods are lifeless images of wood, stone or precious metals. David concluded his song by recognizing Jehovah God as a living savior and deliverer.

     
  • James McFerrin 8:16 pm on 2017-02-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chronological Bible Study   

    Feb. 26. Gibeonites Avenged; Philistine Giants Destroyed 

    II Sam. 21:1-22; I Chron. 20:4-8

    Many years earlier as the Israelites were taking possession of Canaan, Joshua had made a covenant with the Gibeonites that they would not be attacked for their land. Sometime later, that covenant had been violated by Saul and his army.

    God took Joshua’s covenant seriously and punished the Israelites with a famine that had lasted three years as a result of Saul’s disobedience. In order to satisfy the demands of the Gibeonites, David arrested seven descendants of Saul and allowed them to be executed for Saul’s sin. “And after that God heeded the prayer for the land.”

    In an act of respect for Saul and Jonathan, David removed their bones from their burial place and brought them to the tomb of Saul’s father, Kish.

    The Lord was with David’s army as his men were able to subdue the Philistines, including the giants who were among them.

     
  • James McFerrin 1:38 pm on 2017-02-24 Permalink | Reply
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    Feb. 25. David’s Return to Jerusalem 

    II Sam. 19:9-20:26

    There was confusion and hesitancy surrounding David’s return to Jerusalem. David was in a delicate position as he attempted to unify the Israelites. The tribe of Judah with Absalom had led the rebellion against him and they had not made any effort to bring him back as their king after Absalom’s death. He made two strategic moves to insure the desired unity. The priests, Zadok and Abiathar were sent to the elders of Judah to intercede for him. He also elevated Amasa, Absalom’s former army captain to the same position in his army in the place of Joab. Those moves secured the unity that he desired and King David returned to the capitol, Jerusalem.

    Shimei, the Benjamite who had cursed David earlier as he was escaping from Absalom realized his perilous condition. In humility, he returned to the king, confessed his sin and begged for mercy. He received his pardon from the king.

    Another matter came before David. During his flight from Absalom, Ziba, the servant of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth had reported the disloyalty of his master. He had convinced David to give him Mephibosheth’s property. After Mephibosheth had properly informed David of the deception, he was returned to his previous relationship with the king.

    During David’s exile in Mahanaim, Barzillai had provided food and beds for him. As a reward, David proposed to care for him for his lifetime in Jerusalem. The aged man declined the invitation as he preferred to remain in his own city.

    Even after David had resumed his kingdom in Jerusalem, there continued to be division among Judah and Israel. That division escalated as Sheba, a Benjamite declared that, “We have no share in David…” He led another rebellion against the king.

    In organizing his defense against Sheba, Amasa failed to prepare in a timely manner. David sent Abishai, accompanied by Joab to prevent Sheba from escaping. As stated earlier, Joab was a ruthless man. Upon meeting with Amasa at Gibeon during the pursuit, Joab stabbed him to death thus eliminating another of his rivals for power. With Amasa being dead, Joab again resumed command of the army.

    A woman of the city of Abel produced the head of Sheba. Joab blew the trumpet to withdraw from the city and returned to David having ended another rebellion against the king.

     
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