"God be merciful to us & bless us, & cause His face to shine upon us.
That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad & sing for joy!"
Lord God, bring your searching Spirit to examine
the deep, dank, dark places of our hearts and lives, and then move our hearts
with the hopefulness of this chapter, for the sake of your well-beloved Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord!
In my experience over the years I have noticed
that when things blow up, when life becomes filled with hurt or trauma, many
people look for help – but the help they seem to want is an emotional or spiritual
Tylenol – pain-reliever, not problem-fixing. “Pastor/Dr./Counselor, Help! I
need you to relieve my pain. What? How dare you tell me to change! How dare you
point out that my lifestyle/habits/actions are the problem! Who made you my
judge?!” Chapter 14, coupled with 13 is about - not pain-relief, but
We ended chapter 13 trembling with David before
the holiness of God. But also we were left with some subtle doubt: What will
David do? Will he respond like Saul and remain angry, snubbing God, hardening
his heart? That’s where chapter 14 comes in. Chapter 14 initially looks
unnecessary, like a break in the flow of the story. Chapter 13 will be finished
and filled out in chapters 15-16. So what is 14 doing here? Let’s see.
Historical Interlude: There are
couple of connections between chapter 13 and 14 (which I will highlight in a
moment), but there is also a contrast with Saul. In 10.13-14 Yahweh took away
the kingdom from Saul because he did not “seek guidance” from the LORD. In chapter
13, David did not seek guidance either! What does that mean for David???
Prosperity 1-2. Surprisingly, instead of taking the kingdom from him, God
continues to establish it. Why? Hold that thought for a few minutes.
bountiful household 3-7.
C. Success in War 8-17.
 More Play on Paratz and Peretz,
(13.11 and here: As Paul notes in Romans 2.9, “For God shows no partiality.” As
Ralph Davis once noted: “God’s lethal holiness levels both pagans and
churchmen”). Both Uzzah, God’s clergyman, and the Philistines, the
kingdom-resisters, are in essence doing the same thing. One is doing it inside
the kingdom, the other from outside. They are challenging God’s rulership, his
kingship. And so God, who shows no partiality, levels both pagans and priests.
 Observe the importance of David’s change of modus
operandi – 10 and 14. He is now doing what he didn’t do in chapter 13! This
is crucial. This is the hinge that connects the doorpost of Chapter 13 to the
Revival-Reformation-door of Chapters 15-16.
 But this chapter is also essential for us to
see how God’s chastisements are FOR us – not against us! Revelation 3.19: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline,
so be zealous and repent.” Therefore there is hopefulness for David and the
Kingdom. Proverbs 10.17: “Whoever heeds
instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others
astray.” And 13.18: “Poverty and
disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is
 What we see going on is Paul’s point in 2
Corinthians 7.10: “For godly grief
produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly
grief produces death.” David’s fear (and grief) in chapter 13 is showing
itself to be a godly grief (chapter 14) that is producing repentance without
regret; unlike Saul’s grief which led him to his demise! Or think of Judas and
 The Flow of the Chapter – 10a, 14a, 16a = 15b
& 17! David’s changed heart prospers the Kingdom. The Way of Revival and Reformation often begins with repentant restoration,
and so the repentant restoration of chapter 14 will lead to the Revival and Reformation
of 15-16. We’re being given a huge illustration of 2 Chronicles 7.14 in the person of King David!
Those returning from exile in the mid-300s BC
needed to embrace this: (1) God loved them so deeply and intensely that, for
their good, he disciplined them through defeat and exile. (2) Their grief
needed to produce repentance, like David’s. And (3) the way forward, the way to
Revival and Reformation is through repentant restoration.
I don’t know, but does some of this speak to any
(1)Maybe what you’re going through now is God’s
discipline (defeat, decline, disorder…whatever) – his dripping-with-love
discipline. He doesn’t want to kill the pain, but to heal the gash in our hearts
(2) Sorrow and
sadness are not repentance. They can be part of it, but only what you do with
it shows if it is godly grief which produces repentance; or if it’s worldly
grief producing death. The First
Catechism that we recited this morning asks, “How do you repent of your
sin? I must be sorry for my sin, and
hate and forsake it.”
(3)Whether for the larger church, say, in North
America – or a denomination, or a congregation, or family or individual – the
way to Revival and Reformation is through repentant restoration: 2 Chronicles 7.14. 1 John 1.7, 9.
When I was 20 years old, I was stationed in a Muslim country for two years. During that time I read the Quran (in an English translation from Oxford), interacted with Muslim acquaintances, and saw Islam lived out in it's communal context. Therefore I was excited when my mother gave me a copy of "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus". With bazillions of reviews already plastered on the various sites and venues, mine will be short and succinct.
Nabeel Qureshi has woven together a very personal and personable volume written to give "an insider's perspective into a Muslim heart," as well as equip readers "with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam," while chronicling his own inner struggles, sacrifices and doubts when grappling with the Christian faith. The style of writing is autobi…
"When evil looms and darkness falls And tragedy is breaking When all that's good seems overturned By God I'm not forsaken For though I fall or wander far I'm not too far for saving And when my Shepherd seeks and finds How can I keep from singing" (229)?
So cantillates Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, mother, wife, writer, musician and abuse survivor, in her new 240 page hardback "Not Forsaken: A Story of Life After Abuse". This volume is the tale of her terrors and troubles at the hands of an abusive father, and it is far, far more. It is truly a story of life after abuse, abundant life found only in the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. An easy to read book, it is ideally suited for those who have been traumatized and those who long to help the trampled! "I am not my abuser. I have a choice. I aspire to heal and grow by God's grace" (82).
It's a memoir, a series of journal entries telling a very human set of stories in a very friendly, personable way. It's not fully polished, but it's real, sometimes raw, and always forthright and frank! Holly Rench, Executive Director and co-founder of The Welcome Mission, has penned a touching series of real-life exploits, escapades, agonies and adversities of the women she has been involved with for over twelve years in this 231 page softback "At Home: The Incredible Story of The Welcome Mission".
Rench unravels the tangled lives of several of her and Marcus's "adopted" adult children describing their destructive pasts and how many of them, through love and hospitality, have moved further up and further on. But the tales are also filled with pitfalls and potholes that will jar the reader's suspension system's and rattle any self-righteous lug-nuts s…