Saturday, June 30, 2012

2 Samuel 5.1-10

This Sunday we will be focusing on 2 Samuel 5.1-10. In this passage we see the culmination of David's rise to power. Previously, David had been made King of Judah ----- but not of all of Israel. Instead, there was one of Saul's sons that had been made King of the other tribes. That son was Ishbaal. Ishbaal had been assassinated by some of the captains of his raiding bands [2 Samuel 4]. So, now the 11 other tribes had no king ----- so they came and gave into David's rule. This was done with a great deal of humility where the elders made a covenant with David and anointed David King over Israel [2 Samuel 5.3]. Interestingly, David's first act as the newly anointed King was to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and make Jerusalem the center of power for the Kingdom of Israel. This move was of huge significance for David and all of Israel. For Jerusalem was not a city that was occupied by any tribe of Israel. By David taking a city that was not in any particular tribes political grip he was making a statement about how he would rule. His rule would not be to favor a particular tribe or family ----- but instead it was to be King for all of Israel.

In considering the significance of Jerusalem at the time of David ----- I was thinking about how significant that city has been on the world stage since that time. Jerusalem has become the place that is the focus of tension for Jewish people and Muslims. But it has also seen tension from Christians with the Crusades. It was also the scene of tension as Jesus paraded into the city on a donkey ----- and a few days later he was crucified on a Roman cross. The shepherd boy David had the city of David for him to shepherd the people of Israel [2 Samuel 5.2]. Jesus now promises us the new Jerusalem that will come down out of heaven from God. The light of this city is the very Lamb of God [Revelation 21.23]. Those will enter into the gates whose names are written in the lamb's book of life [21.27] And Christ says from his throne: "See, I am making all things new" [21.5]. Let us go up to Jerusalem ---- the city of David ----- the very place where victory was claimed by dying on a Roman cross.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2 Samuel 1.1-27

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on 2 Samuel 1.1-27. In this passage David gets word that King Saul had been killed in battle. This word comes to him from an Amalekite who is the son of a resident alien of Israel (v13). Come to find out this Amalekite claims to be the one who killed King Saul because he had been mortally wounded in battle and convulsions had seized him (v9). David ends up calling for the Amalekite's life because he had taken the life of King Saul. What is perplexing is the fact that Saul had been seeking to kill David ---- yet David avenges the King's life. After fasting and mourning for King Saul, David then issues a command to teach "The Song of the Bow" to all of Judah (v18).

In this song David says three times: "How the mighty have fallen!" (vv19,25,27). The mighty that David is singing about are Saul and Jonathan. In reflection on this phrase I cannot deny that I have seen the mighty fall. I have seen the mighty of politics, religion, Hollywood, business, sports stars, and the like ------ fall! Over and over in the media we see the mighty fall. Some have fallen ----- and have never risen from the devastation. Some have fallen ------ and have grown in success and respect. What are the differences in these "mighty" that have fallen? What causes the "mighty" to fall?

N.T. Wright Singing Bob Dylan

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Annual Conference 2012

We are here at Annual Conference 2012. We are meeting at the Raleigh Convention Center. This year we are expecting some really exciting things for us as Warren's Grove. On Friday at 2pm our own Ms. Virginia Wrenn will be receiving a tremendous recognition. She is being given the 2012 Saints of God Award for Outstanding Christian Stewardship and Service. Like you all know ----- we are blessed to be in ministry with Ms. Virginia Wrenn and I would like to encourage all of you to congratulate Ms. Virginia for this award.
Also, on Saturday at 9:30am there will be the Ordination Ceremony for Pastor Philip Chryst. This has been a long process for me that started 8 years ago. If any of you are interested in attending this service please plan on being at the Raleigh Convention Center by 8:45am for a seat. Follow this link to find out about parking. Follow this link to find a map of downtown Raleigh and how to find the Raleigh Convention Center.
I am planning on blogging throughout the Annual Conference. Please check back and I will write about some of the pastors that I run into that have served at Warren's Grove.
Lastly, you can see a live feed of Annual Conference by clicking this link. Post any questions you might have.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

1 Samuel 15.34 - 16.13

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on 1 Samuel 15.34 - 16.13. In this passage we see how the Lord chooses David to be the new king of Israel. The Lord tells the prophet Samuel in 16.1: "Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." As we read further the Lord tells Samuel not to look on the outward appearance when choosing a new King. After seeing all of the sons that Jesse parades before Samuel ----- Samuel asks if there are any others ----- and there is! ----- the one who is tending the sheep. When the young shepherd boy comes in the Lord says to Samuel in v12: "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." The one who is with the sheep and is a ruddy young boy is the one! How mysterious and magnificent. King David emerges as the one.

The Lord says in v7: "for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." The interesting thing is that we too often look at the outward ----- without ever taking into regard the heart motivations and inclinations. When the Lord looks at your heart, what does God see?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

King David

During the months of June, July & August we are going to study the life and character of King David. In the book of 1 Samuel it says that David was "a man after God's own heart" [1 Samuel 13.14]. While at the same time the Lord was not too pleased the elder's desire to have the monarchy. What a mysterious beginning for this King whose life helps identify a new King in the New Testament. In the book of Matthew Jesus has people call out to him and they say: "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" [Matthew 9.27]. Obviously King David has a prominent role in all of scripture ----- so what we are going to do is study his rise to power and how he acts in that powerful position. As we journey through King David's life we will see great peaks and valleys as he lives into being a man after God's own heart. We would like to invite you to journey with us at Warren's Grove. We will be doing this study during our 8.45am & 11am worship services. If you need to know how to get to Warren's Grove please follow this link.