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.

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What Your Heart Looks Like

David being anointed in the Bible miniseries
David being anointed in the Bible miniseries

Continuing on with reading in 1 Samuel, we have finally come to David, the man I intended to begin this blog with. But the Lord clearly had other plans since I began with Saul.

Up to this point we have seen Israel gain a king, and we’ve seen that king rise and fall. God then decided to make a new king, “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 NLT). But we have yet to see who this new king is. It wasn’t until after Saul disobeyed God over the Amalekites that Samuel was sent to anoint a new king.

Samuel is sent (by God) to the town of Bethlehem to meet with a man named Jesse and his sons, in order to anoint one as king. (Now Jesse is the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. This isn’t important to the story, but I like to see how biblical characters are related!) Jesse brings along 7 of his sons. Yet God tells Samuel “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord look at the heart.” (16:7b NLT) Upon seeing these 7 sons, God does not chose any other them. Which leads Samuel to ask if there are more sons, to which Jesse replies that there is one more. Upon meeting David, God tells Samuel to anoint him.

This decision of God’s is based solely on David’s character, not his outward appearance. So what does that mean to us? As the Psalmist writes “O Lord, You have searched me and known me.” “You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1,3 NASB) This says to me that God knows us better than we may even know ourselves (definitely more than another person can).

This means we cannot hide things from God. Just because we maybe alone does not give us permission to act in an un-Christian way. We must be Christian all the time, otherwise our hearts do not truly belong to God, and He knows it. I am reminded of a scene from the movie Left Behind. After the Rapture happens, an associate pastor is left behind. The scene shows him praying to God, lamenting that he knows what has happened but God’s gaze pierced into his heart to know the truth. From that point on wards the pastor is a changed man.

God wants us to be that changed man. Not because something terrible has happened, but because we chose to be. God wants us men to be searching for His will for our lives, so we can lead our families and the Church according to Him. This change, this task, is most certainly the first step in becoming a man after God’s own heart.

So I encourage you today to think about your own life and walk with the Lord. If you have to make changes, than do it today! God desires to be close to you, and our souls are searching to be close to Him. So look for that time, and just have a conversation with God today.