Following Authority

 

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So today we continue to take a look at the life of King David, but today we start in 2 Samuel! I thought I would have to read a little bit for today’s post, but honestly it didn’t take me long at all.

2 Samuel opens with King David just after Saul’s death. He is unaware of what has happened, but an Amalekite comes to him covered in ash and mourning. When asked what has happened, the Amalekite tells David that Saul and Jonathan both died in battle. David’s immediate reaction is mourning. I find this very curious because of the life David has been forced to live since Saul was hunting after him. Honestly, I’m aware that the idea of a king is foreign to me since I am an American and we haven’t had a king in 237 years. Yet still, his reaction is interesting to me.

Not only is David mourning the death of the king, but also family. If you remember, David’s first wife is Saul’s daughter. Jonathan is not only David’s brother-in-law, but also his best friend. So David gets hit pretty hard from the news of these deaths.

What does this mean for us today you may be asking?

At first glace I would say nothing, but the thought that struck me was about the death of the king. For David, he had gave his allegiance to his king no matter what. This even applies to the fact that David is hiding from Saul for his life. It’s this allegiance that makes me say that a point to becoming the Heart Man is to submit to the authorities over you. Jesus spoke to this many times, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17 NASB) “You would have no authority over me, unless it had been given you from above;…” (John 19:11 NASB). Even the entire 13th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans is about being subjects of the government.

I have heard many times people complaining about the things our government is doing, and who is the President, or even insulting the intelligence of the President. To be after God’s own heart we must realize that God has placed these people into positions of authority for a reason. I believe that the worst case of “political warfare” was during this last election season. It was so bad that I feel that people stop paying attention just to get away from it all (I know my wife did).

I guess what I’m trying to say is, that as Christians we should be supportive of our government, not to demean it and call people names (that’s not even Christian practice in the first place!). Please don’t read this wrong, I’m not saying that we have to support everything Obama says, and I’m not saying that I wish Romney had won. What I’m saying is that the right people are in power because God allowed them to be. We are to be supportive of our government until it begins to directly oppose biblical law. If you have trouble remembering what that is I would direct you to look up Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:7-21.

Now I know that this might cause some controversy because of some recent events. This post isn’t meant to profess one side or the other. What I’m trying to stress is that claiming anything negatively of people who have authority over you is not very Christian. I’m sorry if this brings up any concerns for you, but I’m trying my hardest not to be controversial. This blog is meant to glorify God, not to be a battlefield over current events!

So my encouragement to you is to think about what you say about your authority figures. I talked a lot about government, but this could easily apply to your boss, teacher, or any other type of authority. As Christians we should pray for the people with authority over us, just as we should pray for those who we have authority over. So think about the way you act and talk about authority. Because ultimately the way you view and act towards authority is the way to feel and act towards God. We must give him honor, so authority must be honored as well.

When Emotions Get The Best of You

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Man, 1 Samuel was definitely a good choice to start this blog with! So many life lessons!!!!!!!

In my reading today Saul becomes jealous of David. If you don’t remember, Saul is the king of Israel and after disobeying God, God decided to make a new king. This new king was found in David, a simple shepherd boy from Bethlehem. David then is brought to Saul’s court as a musician, to help sooth the king’s trouble spirit. David then finds favor with Saul and becomes his armor bearer. Then David threw a rock at a giant’s head and saved all of Israel!!!! Now Israel has seen many victories over the Philistines under the leadership of David.

After a particular battle, both David and Saul return and the people celebrate shouting “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” (1 Samuel 18:7 NLT) This planted the seed in Saul’s mind that the people preferred David over him. Saul then begins a series of attempts to take David’s life. These ranges from things as obvious as lunging a spear at him, to covertly sending him against a Philistine army (this was to be the price David had to pay to marry Michal). His actions are so out-of-place that his son calls him out saying, “He’s never done anything to harm you. He has always helped you in any way he could. Have you forgotten about the time he risked his life to kill the Philistine giant and how the Lord brought a great victory to all Israel as a result? You were certainly happy about it then. Why should you murder and innocent man like David? There is no reason at all!” (19:4-5 NLT) Then again Jonathan (Saul’s son) refused to eat with his father at a festival because he was ashamed of his father’s actions against David (20:34).

So what does this mean for us today? Being a man after God’s own heart means that we must keep our emotions in check. If you notice from the story, Saul gets angry and jealous and acts out, but David remains cool and content and continues doing his job as if nothing had happened. I’m sure I’d better pretty heated after one failed attempt on my life, let alone the amount David endured.

Saul’s anger and jealousy turned away all of the people that mattered to him. Do we want to have the same fate? In today’s world we are encouraged to express our feelings in any way that we want. While I disagree, I would also like to say that you should still express your emotions, but to God. Jesus said “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB) God wants to know our pain and troubles. He wants us to find our peace, and it is only in Him that our souls will find it. So talk to God about your distress. Don’t take it out on someone, even though its our first inclination. God wants us to maintain our relationships, not destroy them through fits of rage.

So be in prayer with the Lord today, and ask for His peace. Especially if there is something bothering you. He may show you a better and healthier way to deal with your pain.