Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 25 December 2022:
1 Chronicles 11:2 — In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD your God said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.”
Leaders should be selected based on a long record of past performance and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Leadership is not merely a question of positional authority but on authenticity, credibility, and anointing. David was anointed (1 Samuel 16:13) well before he was appointed, and in between time, he revealed the truth of his anointing. Who has God anointed and appointed to lead God’s people today? Where has God called you to be a leader? Have you demonstrated your credibility?
1 Chronicles 11:6 — David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander.” And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief.
In America there is a adage, “Talk is cheap,” and another which says, “Put your money where your mouth is.” In Afghanistan there is an adage, “Talk doesn’t make the flowers grow.” Proverbs 25:14 says, “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.”, and James 2:17 says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” David chose leaders who were men of action, fully committed, willing to put it all on the line, and ready, willing, and able to do what needed to be done at the right time, the right place, and in the right way. Leaders lead boldly from the font. Are you a leader? Just as David sought leaders, so does God – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30)
1 Chronicles 11:9 — And David became greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him.
Successful leaders are first and foremost followers, followers of the Lord. Someone once said, “Leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way.” Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and only those who truly know Him and follow Him are worthy to lead. Anyone else is a false leader, an antichrist because they lead others astray.
- Luke 11:23 — Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
- 1 John 2:18 — Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
- 1 John 2:22 — Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
- 1 John 4:3 — …and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
- 2 John 1:7 — For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
1 Chronicles 11:18-19 — Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and took it and brought it to David. But David would not drink it. He poured it out to the LORD and said, “Far be it from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.
When David led as a godly leader, He refused to be personally advantaged at the cost of his followers, and he refused to receive benefits which were not available to his subordinates. Godly leaders give it all to their followers as a model of the Gospel. When David led this way, he was unstoppable, and his men were blessed. Unfortunately, David failed miserably in his leadership when he failed to lead his men in battle, committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had Uriah killed in an attempt to hide his guilt. Trust is hard to earn but easily lost, and breaking trust can be like popping a balloon, often unrepairable.
- John 10:11 — I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
- 1 John 3:16 — By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 Chronicles 11:26 — The mighty men were….
God knows everyone of His faithful followers by name, those who proclaim His Name and reveal His Name in their Christlike character (Romans 8:29). Bring honor and glory to your Lord and Savior through all your words and deeds today.
- John 10:3 — To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
1 Chronicles 11”41 — …Uriah the Hittite….
Uriah the Hittite, betrayed by David, was one of the mighty men, remembered in God’s word for eternity. He is even mentioned in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:6). You may have been betrayed and deeply hurt by others, but remember, God knows you by Name and will be your ultimate defender and rewarder. No one was betrayed like Jesus, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Trust in Him, and rejoice through it all that He is your Salvation.
Revelation 12:1-6 — And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns….
“Chapter 11 of Revelation concludes with the opening of the heavenly temple, giving John a view of the ark of the covenant. Signs such as thunder accompany this unveiling (v. 19). Such phenomena attended God’s revelation of the law on Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:16). Moreover, under the old covenant, only the high priest could enter the room in the earthly temple that held the ark (Lev. 16). All this suggests that something normally hidden is about to be seen, that something not immediately apparent will be revealed.
Revelation 12:1–6 indeed gives us a new revelation of something that has been invisible to our physical eyes. Remember that Revelation 6–11 says much about the suffering of God’s people, the assault on the church by her enemies, and the ultimate safeguarding of believers through it all. Revelation 12 explains that this all happens on account of Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s plan and harm Jesus’ followers.
We read in 12:1–6 about a woman, her male child, and a dragon. Verse 5 identifies the male child as “one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” This language comes from the description of the Messiah in Psalm 2:9, indicating that the male child is Jesus. Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as the serpent—that is, Satan. This dragon, or Satan, has ten horns, just like the beast in Daniel 7 who wages war on God’s people in the day that the Son of Man receives His kingdom. Since Jesus is the Son of Man and the dragon is trying to consume the male child (Acts 7:56; Rev. 12:4), these various threads come together to depict Satan’s warring against Jesus as He inaugurated His kingdom in His first coming and ministry. The devil fails, however. The male child is taken up away from him to the throne of God (Rev. 12:5). Jesus, of course, rose from the dead victorious over Satan and his principalities and powers, and He ascended to heaven, from where even now He reigns (1 Cor. 15:20–28; Col. 2:15).
That leaves us to identify the woman. Some have suggested that she is to be identified with Mary the mother of Jesus, but that is too limited in its description of her identity. The woman is clothed with the moon, the sun, and twelve stars, all of which correspond to figures in Joseph’s vision of nascent Israel recorded in Genesis 37:9. Given that the Old Testament also speaks of faithful Israel in maternal terms (Isa. 54:1; Mic. 4:9–10), we are to understand the woman as the remnant of Israel, as God’s faithful people. They receive God’s protection in the wilderness (Rev. 12:6).
Today’s passage reminds us that the attempts to destroy God’s people and our Lord occur as a result of a spiritual battle. The enemies we face are primarily Satan and his minions, and we must fight accordingly. This means spiritual warfare in which we pray for Satan’s schemes to be thwarted, for the conversion of the nations, and for protection of the church from false teaching.” (Ligonier Ministries)
Revelation 12:11 – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
God uses your faithful testimony to defeat Satan.
Revelation 12:17 — Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
You are in a spiritual battle in a war that has already been won by Jesus. You will remain in a struggle with evil as long as you live, unless Jesus returns in your lifetime. Do not be surprised by the enemy’s actions in your life. You are on a mission and must stand as a mighty spiritual warrior for Jesus. Semper Fidelis Coram Deo — Always Faithful Before the Face of God!
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 16 December 2022: Be a great leader today by following Jesus wholeheartedly and leading others along the way.