Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 21 October 2022:
Note: Here is a short video summary of 1-2 Kings: https://youtu.be/bVFW3wbi9pk
1 Kings 1:1-4 — Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.
The Bible notes that, though this young woman was very beautiful, David did not have sex with her, addressing the obvious: why did David need a beautiful young woman to lie in his arms to “keep warm.” It would appear David was still a womanizer, and even if he wasn’t, this is still not the sort of thing an adulterer king should do because the perception alone is not good.
1 Kings 1:5 — Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
Adonijah did not consult God before assuming kingship. If your plan isn’t God’s plan, it is doomed from the start. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
1 Kings 1:6 — His father [David] had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom.
This chapter reveals David’s ‘fatal flaws,’ things about him that he never mastered and that caused great heartache for him and for others. First, he was a womanizer; second, he did not hold himself or people close to him accountable for their actions, particularly, his sons and Joab. Do you have fatal flaws?
Adonijah was very handsome like Absalom (and David). We are often enamored by the appearance, talents, personality, and popularity of those that would proclaim themselves as leader, rather than seeking to identify people of noble character and lifting them up.
David lost the ability to lead, but did not effectively transfer authority to a capable leader, causing a leadership void. To whom will you transfer your responsibility (particularly your responsibility to proclaim Christ), and are you preparing them?
1 Kings 1:7, 8 — He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him. But Zadok the priest and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and Nathan the prophet and Shimei and Rei and David’s mighty men were not with Adonijah.
There were priests on both sides of the “Adonijah” issue. Abiathar not only positioned himself against God, he counseled others against God. What a terrible place to be in life. Today we have many priests boldly proclaiming ungodly lies. They will face severe judgment.
Joab was a pragmatist who did what seemed right to him in his own eyes, right to him was what appeared to serve how own interests. Ultimately, he was loyal to no one but himself. His ways were not God’s ways.
1 Kings 1:9,10 — Adonijah sacrificed sheep, oxen, and fattened cattle by the Serpent’s Stone.
Adonijah attempted to validate his kingship with religious ceremony, but he did not invite the faithful followers of God. We may act like our selfish deeds are being done for God’s glory, but God sees through that and will not honor our actions. One indicator that your successes may not be God’s successes is if they are not being celebrated with truly holy people within your church who recognize them as the clear activity of God in your life.
1 Kings 1:15 — Now the king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was attending to the king.
In their old age, David and Bathsheba had grown apart, and this had a negative impact on their adult children.
1 Kings 1:49-52 — Under pressure, the character of Adonijah and his friends was revealed.
1 Kings 1:52 — And Solomon said, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.”
Solomon chose justice and mercy over revenge. He was willing to give his brother a chance, but was also ready to hold him accountable.
Note: Here is a short video summary of 1-3 John: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/1-3-john/
1 John 1:1 — That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.
Jesus is the physical manifestation, the human form of God’s word. When you read, study, meditate upon, memorize, and obey God’s written word, you will naturally draw closer to Jesus.
1 John 1:3, 4 — …that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
When you proclaim God’s word, you help others grow closer in fellowship to the Father and the Son, which was Jesus’ final prayer in John 17. In John 15, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus wants you to have the fullness of Joy by being united in Him, and God gives us His word that we might learn how to be united with Jesus. How important is daily Bible study and practice for your life?
“John the apostle never ceased to marvel at the life-changing relationship he enjoyed with his Lord. It overwhelmed him to know that, at a particular time in history, the God of the universe chose to have fellowship with him, a simple fisherman. John was so overjoyed that he earnestly wanted to share his joy with others so they, too, might experience the same joy. A special fellowship or “bonding” developed between those who had personally encountered Christ as they rejoiced together at God’s goodness to them. Those around you desperately need to be encouraged by your latest encounter with Christ. Some have lost hope that they can experience the reality of God’s presence in their lives. They don’t need your philosophies or theological speculations. They don’t need to hear your opinions on what they should do. They need to hear from someone who has just come from a personal, life-changing encounter with the living Christ. When you have had such an experience you will be like the apostle John, hardly able to contain yourself as you rush out to tell others of your amazing encounter with God. Your responsibility will not be to convince others of the reality of God, but simply to bear witness to what your Lord has said and done for you. The change in your life will be your greatest testimony of your relationship to Christ. There is nothing more appealing or convincing to a watching world than to hear the testimony of someone who has just been with Jesus.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Our joy is made complete when we follow Jesus in truth, together. Jesus said this: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)
1 John 1: 5-10 — This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
The mark of the Christian life is striving for holiness while trusting in grace. Christians never take sin lightly, but neither do they minimalize the purifying work of Jesus. (Hebrews 9:14) The Christian’s motivation for holiness and purity isn’t self-righteousness or the worldly benefits of good living but rather fellowship with Him (see John 17:3), and fellowship with Him naturally produces fellowship with others who are earnestly seeking Him in loving obedience.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves….” A self-righteous Christian is an oxymoron. So is an unrepentant Christian or one consumed in unresolved guilt – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Christian life naturally produces fruit in keeping with repentance – “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) The fruit comes naturally from being connected to the source of Life and all good things (John 14:6 and James 1:17), Jesus – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) So, what is this fruit? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) These attributes are impossible apart from Christ, but also require our effort – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) Yet, even the fruitful branch requires continual pruning by God – “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” The truth is in Christ our hearts have been cleansed from an evil conscience, and the blood of Christ “will” continue to purify our consciences from dead works, but we must also “practice the truth” by striving to maintain a clear conscience before God and man. This is a resting in God’s grace while simultaneously working out God’s grace in our lives to His glory – active rest in continual joy. Only God can produce fruit, but he created us to cultivate it.
- 1 Timothy 1:5 — The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
- Hebrews 10:22 — Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Hebrews 9:14 — How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
- Acts 24:16 — So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
- Hebrews 13:18 — Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
- Proverbs 4:18 — But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 21 October 2022: Pursue righteousness while walking confidently in grace. Walk in mutually supportive relationships with others who are headed where you are headed, closer to Jesus, and notice how much closer you get with each other along the way.
Memorize 1 John 1:9, practice it today, and make it your daily habit.