Monday, June 29, 2015

Temptations, Tricks, and Traps


John 8
1   But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2  Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
3  Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
4  they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5  "Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?"
6  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

Wouldnt it be nice if we could simply avoid answering those who only want to tempt us, trick us and try to trap us into answering in such a way that they might gain public support to accuse us of being ungodly and crucify us but alas we may not be given the luxury of being silent on some issues. Therefore we must study to answer and be wise and deliberate in our response.

The scriptures admonish us to be slow to speak and to avoid questions which gender strife. Proverbs tells us to not answer a fool according to his folly and then again to answer a fool according to his folly whatever do these two statements mean? That we should choose our words wisely when we are approached by fools with foolish questions. Again, foolish questions gender strife and do not cast your pearls before swine lest they turn on you and devour you with the very things you say.

At any rate Jesus was not quick to answer even though He had a clear word for everyone in the picture. Gods word and will is never ambiguous on the truly important matters such as those dealing with such sexual conduct as had been described concerning this woman. Nonetheless there was something more sinister on the minds of these people than simply wanting to know what the Word of God says about adultery.

This was more about the temptations, tricks and traps of the enemies of God, not the friends of God wanting to know what to do with this girl. Their were laying a trap in attempts to discredit Jesus in a public setting. And as they persisted Jesus realized that He could not avoid answering.

Before Jesus addresses the adulterous woman and gives her the Word of God for her life and the situation she has gotten herself into, Jesus decides to address the hearts of those scribes and Pharisees who really think they know more about God and are more godly than Jesus but who are actually lost as a goose in this matter.

John 8
7  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
8  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Having dealt with the accusers and their temptations, tricks and traps Jesus turns His attention to the sinner and the sin of adultery. Jesus by no means intended to make light of the sinful acts of the woman He calls it what it is then acted exactly like God in this matter. Even though she should be stoned according to the law, grace was going to give another chance not to continue in sin or make excuses for sin but a chance to repent and choose a lifestyle pleasing to God. God does this for us everyday ...

In fact those who were trying to trick Jesus didnt know the half of it not only should adulterers be stoned they should then be cast into hell! Jesus came to save sinners from that eventuality. But no one is going to get saved through the condemnation of others but only through the love and forgiveness of God which comes through repentance and acceptance of God's will as my way ... Embracing Jesus as both Savior and Lord.

John 8:10  When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"

Sin is a personal matter but not a matter of personal interpretation. Sin can only be dealt with between the sinner and Jesus alone. You see, Jesus was at that time and still is today in love with sinners and the He is the only forgiveness for sin. Its just like Jesus to give everyone another chance. It is His hope and the hope of all who follow Him that those who are living in sin will stop it and begin to live a life that is pleasing to God.

This is the Gospel of Christ:

John 3
16  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17  "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus posed the question and she answered

John 8:11  She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

This is the Good News and God is moving by His Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of men and women throughout the United States and around the world today encouraging them to simply repent of their sins and live a lifestyle which is pleasing to Him.

As Christians we follow our Saviors teachings therefore we do not condone sin and neither do we condemn sinners. Golden Triangle Church On The Rock holds to the doctrines of Christ as taught in the Holy Bible which define sin as a departure from that written will of God.

Dont be tempted, tricked or trapped Sin is Sin and Unless we all repent, we shall all perish! Neither the Church nor the Christian has the authority to decide or otherwise determine what sin is and is not. It is the duty of the Church to teach sinners and saints alike to identify sin in accordance with the Bible and not according to the current cultural opinion or world view. So as not to be ambiguous about sexual sin and leave anyone wondering what the Bible, define as sexual sin, allow me to speak plainly.

Any and all sexual conduct which occurs outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman as defined by the Bible as sin. According to both the Old and New Testaments:
       Pre-marital sexual conduct is sin
       Extra marital sexual conduct is sin
       Homosexual sexual conduct is sin
       Sex includes and encompasses the way one person thinks about another person sexually; talks to or about another person sexually; looks at another person sexually; touches another person sexually; or allows another person to talk to or touch or look at them sexually.
       Irrespective if it occurs online or by way of text or magazines or TV. Just because it is legal and or socially accepted does not exempt it.
       Adultery is sin
       Prostitution, although legal in some places, is sin
       Pornography, although legal in most places, is sin
       Pedophilia, although not prosecuted in some countries, is sin
       Same sex sex, although approved of by the US Supreme Court, is sin

It is important you know these things because of the power and the potential of sin. However, it is also important for you to know that you have not been given the right nor the responsibility to condemn the sin of others nor do you have the authority to condone those things God says are wrong.

Dont fall for the temptations, tricks or traps coming your way. If you feel the need to accuse others of being either too pious, as the Pharisees did Jesus, or being too sinful, as the Scribes did the adulterous woman, I encourage you to hear the admonitions of Jesus:
       Those of you without sin may cast the first stone
       Those of you in sin, Go your way and sin no more

Have you recognized your need for a Savior?

When given the opportunity encourage others to recognize, repent, receive Jesus as Lord and then to live a lifestyle pleasing to our Heavenly Father by following the Biblical guidelines, especially when it comes to matters as impacting as sexual conduct can be. 

Sunday Circles Independence Day

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: Without Him
Memory Verse: Exodus 23:25 So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.

Lesson: Independence Day

                Pastor remarks and intro of first principle
(Independence Day is whatever day you decide to be free. Independence Day is celebrated on the day of declaration not on the day of Realization. The time between Declaration and Realization can be difficult, filled with gains and losses, victories and defeats – heroes and zeros - however, without declaration, there may never be a realization.)
First Principle: Decide to be Free
Scripture Reference: Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.
Freedom is a decision.
Freedom costs.
Question: List some things people need to gain freedom from?
Follow Up Question: Is it possible to make a decision for someone else?
Conclusion: Until the person who needs to be free decides to be free, they will never be free.

                Pastor remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: Declare Your Decision
Scripture Reference: Job 22:28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.
When God wanted things to change, the first thing He did was to declare His decision.
What we say makes a difference.
Our words have power.
Question: What makes a declaration more than mere words?  
Follow Up Question: Name and discuss some declarations common to man.
Conclusion: A declaration constitutes a commitment, whether a marriage declaration or a declaration of war. We most often begin and end the important events in life with words. Words are so powerful, God chose to use them to create the universe.

Pastor remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: Defend Your Freedom
Scripture Reference: 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Freedom is not free. It costs to obtain it and it costs to maintain it.
The devil, this world’s system, and/or your friends may not always support your cherished freedom in Christ.
Sometimes other influences attempt to enslave us again.
Question: What does defending your freedom mean to you?
Follow- up Question: Are you able and willing to defend your freedom?
Conclusion: Our freedom from the evils of sin, sickness, poverty, and eternal separation from God were paid for by the blood of Jesus. However, to worship God, witness for Christ, and live an abundant life are obtained and maintained by our efforts as we are strengthened to do all things through Christ. We must be ready, willing, and able to defend those things God has freely given through His Son. Decide, declare, and defend in the Name of Jesus.

Pastor closing remarks
·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Father’s Day 2015 Father Abraham


Romans 4
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?
3  For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
10  How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.
13  For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Abraham was both a Father of Faith and a Faithful Father

Genesis 17
1 ¶  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
2  "And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."
3  Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
4 ¶  "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5  "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6  "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 ¶  "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
8  "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
9  And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10  "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;
11  "and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Why did God choose circumcision as a sign of the covenant in those days?
·        Reproduction is the most spiritual thing humans can do
·        And humans can reproduce with or without God
·        God chose to withhold from man the power to reproduce eternal life
·        However, God was willing to give a father the ability to pass the covenant life on to every member of his family
·        No descendent of Abraham was intended to be born outside of the covenant - thus circumcision - each one passed through the covenant
·        Circumcision was both the sign of a man to whom this covenant had been passed and a covering of this covenant over the man’s family.
·        When the father is in covenant with God the whole family is covered.

It was never about the circumcision itself but about the covenant it represented. Genesis 17:11 “… and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.” This covenant was between God and a father concerning his family and their future and was in place to insure covenant to future generations.

It is the primary duty of the father to reproduce covenant within his family.

The circumcision God was always looking toward is a circumcision spoken of in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah and again in Romans chapter 2 – it is circumcision of our hearts unto God. The true sign of a man in covenant with God is found in the heart. Instead of an outward sign of trust in and relationship with God, the Holy Spirit now looks to the inward man and covenant is a matter of the heart … a heart in right relationship with Jesus.

It’s a Faithful Father’s responsibility to insure that his family is:
1.   Covered by the Covenant
2.   Connected to the Covenant
3.   Counseled within the Covenant

4.   Corrected through the Covenant

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Sons of David Adonijah – And the Uninvited


1 Kings 1
1 ¶  Now King David was old, advanced in years; and they put covers on him, but he could not get warm.
·        David is 69 or 70 years old at this time
·        The difficulties and hardships of life were more than his years
·        The Psalms allude to continual maladies of his body and mind
·        The rape of a daughter and the tragic loss of 4 sons thus far have no doubt served to wear him down
·        After a decade of running from King Saul and 4 decades of being King of Israel
·        It appears the much loved King is now bedfast or near immobile
2  Therefore his servants said to him, "Let a young woman, a virgin, be sought for our lord the king, and let her stand before the king, and let her care for him; and let her lie in your bosom, that our lord the king may be warm."
3  So they sought for a lovely young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4  The young woman was very lovely; and she cared for the king, and served him; but the king did not know her.
·        Although the King did not know her and consummate a relationship with her as wife or concubine, she nonetheless became his property and as such would pass from David to the next King in succession.
·        It was at this time in David’s life, when he was most noticeably weakened and without strength to lead the nation in battle …
5 ¶  Then 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.
·        Bless his heart … I really feel sorry for Adonijah in some ways
·        Adonijah is the next in line and rightful heir by birthright to his father’s throne
·        The King has a superior right to choose his own successor but left to run its natural course without interdiction the crown would legally pass to the eldest son upon the death of the King … however David was not dead yet and therefore still had the choice.
·        It appears Adonijah was coaxed into prematurely promoting himself by Joab, the captain of the armies of Israel, and by Abiathar the High Priest.
·        Adonijah is the son of Haggith. Nothing more than a name is known about her but her name suggests that she was lovely and feminine. Her name means: Festive and Dancer – perhaps that was her charm.
·        It is noted that Adonijah was a good looking man who presented well
6  (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, "Why have you done so?" He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)
·        David had never disapproved of Adonijah’s behavior or choices in life
·        David never even asked for an account of any actions he took
·        Never having been corrected or told he was wrong or asked to give a reason for his actions by his father, Adonijah no doubt developed a false sense of security and believed he could do anything he wanted and the King would not challenge or correct him.
·        This was to David’s discredit as a good father, just like it was with Eli the priest who never corrected or disciplined his sons.
7  Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they followed and helped Adonijah.
·        They no doubt hoped to maintain power and control of the Kingdom
·        However, it was not the time and they did not confer with the King
·        Classic examples of self promotion, self provision and self protection
8  But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David were not with Adonijah.
·        It just wasn’t the right time or the right way …
·        Had this been David’s decision, they would have supported it
9  And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel; he also invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants.
10  But he did not invite Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, the mighty men, or Solomon his brother.
·        It’s not always about those who are invited to the party
·        Darkness wants no true light to shine on their parade.
·        Perhaps we should take more account of who is not being invited …
·        Like Absalom, Adonijah decided to infer God’s blessings on this and evidently prayer, sacrifice and support won’t change the will of God

The account continues as the focus shifts to Solomon, the son of Bathsheba. When word gets out that Adonijah has promoted himself to become King, those loyal to King David went to confer with him. Note here that Adonijah had not conferred with his father the King nor sought his will, his agreement or his blessing; Joab the second in command of the kingdom had not seen fit to counsel with the King; Abiathar the High Priest decided not to discuss the realignment of his loyalties with the one who had initially appointed him to his position … do you see a pattern here?

Darkness naturally shuns the light – especially in the conspiracy stage. When those making these kinds of decisions choose to make them in a vacuum without fatherly counsel and without the person who gave them their position in the first place and to whom they are suppose to be loyally submitted and committed to, there is a problem. Even though Adonijah had the permission and support and counsel of two others in high positions, one the captain of the whole army and the other the High Priest in charge of the Ark of the Covenant of God … Adonijah did not have the permission or counsel or support of his father – a father who loved him and without whom none of them would have had any position or any claim …

Saddest note of all – if only Adonijah had have gone to the King, or Joab or Abiathar, perhaps the king would have supported Adonijah or could have gained Adonijah’s support for Solomon and guaranteed his position and his life. Sad to know we will never know. But what we do know is that Joab and Abiathar weren’t willing to support David’s choice of Solomon as his successor and neither was Adonijah ready to relinquish his claims!

When Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba the mother of Solomon went to see King David and informed him of their concerns, (v. 18  “So now, look! Adonijah has become king; and now, my lord the king, you do not know about it.”), and asked him for his counsel and support, things changed! David proclaimed Solomon as his successor and confirmed the coronation.

Immediately upon hearing the news and the crowd’s jubilant response, Adonijah became afraid and ran to the tabernacle and laid hold of the horns of the altar hoping for mercy from Solomon that he might not be killed.

1 Kings 1
51  And it was told Solomon, saying, "Indeed Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon; for look, he has taken hold of the horns of the altar, saying, ’Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’"
52  Then Solomon said, "If he proves himself a worthy man, not one hair of him shall fall to the earth; but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die."
53  So King Solomon sent them to bring him down from the altar. And he came and fell down before King Solomon; and Solomon said to him, "Go to your house."

What a great story … and, although we hope not and pray not nonetheless we know what’s going to happen next … Adonijah and Joab and Abiathar just won’t be content to live and prosper in the place God has placed them and where David and Solomon have shown them mercy. Nope – they won’t let it go. They are delusional and foolishly imagine they can outsmart David and Solomon without concern for God’s will. Some men imagine their will to be God’s will. Greed, pride, selfish ambition … these have such a hold on those bent on serving their own interests and not God’s interests.

1 Kings 2
12 ¶  Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.
13  Now Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. So she said, "Do you come peaceably?" And he said, "Peaceably."
14  Moreover he said, "I have something to say to you." And she said, "Say it."
15  Then he said, "You know that the kingdom was mine, and all Israel had set their expectations on me, that I should reign. However, the kingdom has been turned over, and has become my brother’s; for it was his from the LORD.
16  "Now I ask one petition of you; do not deny me." And she said to him, "Say it."
17  Then he said, "Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you, that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife."
18  So Bathsheba said, "Very well, I will speak for you to the king."
19  Bathsheba therefore went to King Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king’s mother; so she sat at his right hand.
20  Then she said, "I desire one small petition of you; do not refuse me." And the king said to her, "Ask it, my mother, for I will not refuse you."
21  So she said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife."
22  And King Solomon answered and said to his mother, "Now why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also — for he is my older brother — for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah."
23  Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, "May God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life!
24  "Now therefore, as the LORD lives, who has confirmed me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has established a house for me, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death today!"
25  So King Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he struck him down, and he died.

And afterwards Solomon also executed Joab and exiled Abiathar – then had the kingdom rest and peace and so ended the claim of others to the crown which God had given Solomon in David’s place.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Sons of David: Absalom – Smoke and Mirrors


Absalom had a rebellious heart and a treasonous intent. For him to succeed in his self promotion attempt he needed two groups of supporters:

Two groups needed for every rebellion -
  1. Those who know what they are doing and have reasons why they participate
    1. They did not like something about David
    2. They were promised prosperity, power or position by Absalom
    3. They wanted to be the ruler themselves
    4. These are used as leaders for the rebellion to draw innocents
    5. Many worship a rising sun expecting something from it which a setting sun does not promise … only setting suns reveals rising stars.
  2. Those who do not know what they are doing but can be swayed to support
    1. The innocents who would be used to legitimize the rebellion
    2. People who wanted nothing and had nothing to gain
    3. Those who recognized no difference between Absalom & David
    4. These are not the brightest people in the group and are used as pawns by the leaders of the rebellion

In order for the whole thing to work these two groups had to be unified. There had to be a common bonding experience of such magnitude that it transcended initial concern, overwhelmed opposition and demanded unquestioned support. In order to unify these two groups Absalom needed a noble cause and must appear to be chosen instead of self promoting. To accomplish this magic trick – welcome to the stage: Ahithophel, a well known public figure who is a recognized former high counsel of King David.

Ahithophel will legitimize the rebellious effort and give it a certain high quality sense about it all but how will we solidify and unify the masses of innocents and get them to support the takeover? Brilliant strategy – a strategy that has been used through the ages and is still in use today! “Let’s pray and offer sacrifice and involve God in our rebellion.” – In fact, let’s make God the head of it all and then the people will not dare withhold support – if only we can make them believe that God is running this show!

2 Samuel 15
10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ’Absalom reigns in Hebron!’"
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything.
12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city — from Giloh — while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

There was no devotion to God in these sacrifices. Prayer was but a pretense to infuse a god aroma into the plan, like spice sprinkled on a spoiled truffle in attempts to fool the innocent and undiscerning – it’s only Smoke and Mirrors! Absalom is a charismatic charmer who flattered his way into the hearts of these innocent and unsuspecting people. If he had been straightforward and honest with them, no one would have followed.

Ahithophel, the grandfather of Bathsheba as some say, was Prime Minister of Israel and a very opinionated man. He could not stand it when the King did not take his advice over everyone else’s. He was prideful and arrogant and believed he was wiser and smarter than everyone else. This attitude had put him at odds with King David and Ahithophel decided it was time to change his support and back a younger man who he thought he could control. All of this was behind the scenes … nonetheless without Ahithophel and his advice Absalom would never have made it. Ahithophel did not realize that this young Absalom was using him to gain credibility and legitimize the takeover. Absalom never intended on becoming Ahithophel’s puppet … and neither of them realized that they were both driving on dead end streets.

Sure this team looked good and could draw a crowd and gather support by making the takeover look like God’s idea, however time has a way of dealing with deception and in just a little while these two leaders, King Absalom and would be king maker, Prime Minister Ahithophel, would both be dead. Maybe God wasn’t the one responsible for this treason!!!

However, during the mean time things looked pretty bad and got pretty bad for King David and his family and followers. David did not want to go to war with his son or have to harm him or those innocent supporters of Absalom. David was a man after God’s own heart and his godly heart broke because of this split. Nonetheless David could not give up the crown God had given him … what could he do?

Although our lesson is not about King David but rather about his son Absalom, it behooves us to at least read the account of this man chosen by God to shepherd His children: David maintains an unselfish and magnanimous spirit towards others throughout this whole unfortunate event. David did not want to see the city or nation divided or the people hurt. Absalom however only wanted to be king at any cost. God allowed it but did not support it … however people did and the numbers grew.

2 Samuel 15
13 ¶ Now a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."
14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee; or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword."
15 And the king’s servants said to the king, "We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands."
16 Then the king went out with all his household after him. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.
17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts.
18 Then all his servants passed before him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place.
20 "In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you."
21 And Ittai answered the king and said, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be."
22 So David said to Ittai, "Go, and cross over." Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 ¶ There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place.
26 "But if He says thus: ’I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him."
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 "See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me."
29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.
30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.

David’s Prayer:
31 Then someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O LORD, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!"

As I said earlier, this lesson is not about King David, although he figures heavily into the stories of all of his sons and none more than Absalom. However, the account God had chosen to give us of this event calls it a conspiracy. What is a conspiracy? This one was smoke and mirrors …

When one person decides they are going to self promote or that they deserve more or better or something God that has given to others, the act on their part to involve others in their decision is a conspiracy. This rebellion, as with any rebellion, began with one person and spread from there. Perhaps there were no initial intentions to divide the kingdom or kill the king but conspiracies evolve and grow with each new person added to the group. Sometimes conspiracies get out of hand and go beyond mere disgruntled talk and end up dividing families and destroying lives.

But … if God be for you, then who can be against you! And if God is not … He needs no help in removing you from planet earth!

What can we learn from these things?

  1. God does not commit to a man’s charisma
  2. God is not impressed with numbers
  3. God does not divide His Kingdom
  4. God does not support everything He allows
  5. We need to keep a humble heart and keep our future in God’s hands