Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

“David also said, “As the LORD lives, surely the LORD will strike him [Saul], or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish.” (1 Sam 26:10)
 
David had multiple opportunities to take vengeance on King Saul for all the wicked things he had done to David. David, an innocent man, fled for his life, hiding in caves, begging for food, fleeing to foreign countries for refuge… all because of Saul.
 
So why didn’t he kill him when he had the chance?! David trusted God’s protection and timing. David was unwilling to murder a man to fix his problems. Two wrongs never make a right. How others behave should not dictate who we are. David refused to stoop to Saul’s level.
 
Christians trust in the LORD. We wait for Him and we overcome evil with good (see Rom 12:21).
 
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Pr 3:5)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

Broken and Healed

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” (Ps 51:17)
 
Creative people love broken things. In the hands of an artist, broken pottery becomes a mosaic floor and shards of glass can be pieced together to make a stained glass window. A creative mind sees beauty in the broken – a new creation waiting to happen.
 
There is none more creative than our God. The One who imagined all the beauty of the flora and named every star in the heavens can envision and create like no other potter. He loves broken things and broken people. He loves them because He can make them new and transform our shattered lives into beautiful stories of new creation and shining joy. All of these, He can and will do through His Son.
 
But we must be both broken and contrite. Contrition is to accept that we are broken and that we are responsible for causing it. It is the humility to acknowledge our cracked and torn lives and that He made us whole and that after abusing the gift, we need to be made whole again. He cannot mend what is pretending to still be healthy.
 
God loves broken people. He loves to renew and rebuild, and He sent His Son to prove it.
 
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

Stronger Together

“Now the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail.  And the woman was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings…” (1 Sam 25:3)

Marriage at its finest is two people who are stronger together than apart.  When God made Eve, it was because Adam was not meant to be alone (see Gen 2:18).  Two people of shared moral goals become a force that is stronger than sum of its parts.

Inversely, marriage at its worst is two people that are weaker because of their bond.  Abigail and Nabal were of vastly different character and Abigail suffered for it.  She was married to a man that made it harder for her to serve God, harder for her to be good, and harder for her to grow.  He was the weak link, and her life is the epitome of being “unequally yoked” (see 2 Cor 6:14).

If you are married – do you make your spouse stronger?  Are you helping them serve God and get to heaven?

If you are single – don’t settle for anyone that won’t help you be a better Christian.  Your spouse should help you be the best person, the best light, and the best child of God you can be.  Accept nothing less.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” (Eccl 4:9)

Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

The Great Deliverer

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Ps 34:19)
 
No good deed goes unpunished. Choosing to do the right thing is almost always synonymous with choosing to do the difficult thing. At least in the short term, it is much easier to lie, cheat, and deceive. Life has fewer demands when you are selfish, or at the very least you are apathetic to the needs of others.
 
A righteous life comes with heartache and trials. It involves sacrifice and labor that often goes unrecognized. It is the road less traveled for a reason.
 
But those with endurance find a pattern to the troubles associated with living as servants of God. The trials keep coming, but the Lord’s deliverance always shows up. The Lord rescues His servants and redeems them. Weary days are replaced with strength and refreshment at just the right time. Don’t ask me how He does it, that’s above my pay grade. But He always does.
 
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Actions Define Us

“As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’: but my hand shall not be against you.” (1 Sam 24:13)
 
The natural tendency of man is to think well of himself, to assume that we are good. Saul thought he was good and David thought he was good. But our lives are defined by what we do, not by what we think we are. Saul was a king attempting to kill an innocent man and David was an innocent man that spared Saul’s life even when he had the chance to kill him.
 
Wicked people do wicked things and righteous people do righteous things. It is the choices that define who we are, not our intentions or motivations. The sluggard that stays in bed had the best of intentions, but he still never got up.
 
We are what we do. So get up and do good. Choose to do what is right regardless of how you feel about it. Stop waiting to be motivated and simply start moving. Motivation is overrated. You are what you do.
 
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:16-18)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

Trying New Things

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Ps 34:8)
 
We can miss out on delicious foods because we never try them. We turn our noses up and show disdain before we even give them a chance. Sure, french fries and ice cream is an unusual combination, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
 
Those who have tried the “taste” of a life guided by God get it – this is how life was meant to be lived. Sure it’s hard sometimes, but it’s also transcendently beautiful, full of contentment, and your cup overflows with unexpected blessings.
 
A life of service to an unseen God? A life of allegiance to an ancient book that most of society laughs at? Seems like an unusual recipe for joy, but don’t knock it til’ you’ve tried it.
 
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Ps 23:6)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

A Sword Prepared

“The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself take it. For there is no other except it here.” (1 Sam 21:9)
 
Faithfulness has unintended consequences. This verse is a prime example of that. David kills Goliath, the giant’s sword is given to the priests in memoriam of the victory, and then David goes his way.
 
Flash forward years later… as David fled for his life from Saul, he left unarmed and hungry. He was on the run and desperate by the time he got to Ahimelech the priest. David was unprepared and in need of a weapon for whatever might come next.
 
And lo and behold, the finest sword in the country is waiting for him – a sword he never knew he would need when he fought Goliath. We reap what we sow folks. You never know what sort of beautiful connections God is making out of the tapestry of our lives when we do things His way.
 
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” (Eccl 11:1)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

Precision Timing

“But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God. My times are in Your hand.” (Ps 31:14-15a)
 
Timing is a tricky thing – just ask any major league batter attempting to hit a 90 mph pitch. Good timing is the difference between a well-struck double and a missed opportunity. Having the right things happen at the right time is not just an issue in athletics; all engineering relies on proper timing, too. That is why your car has a timing belt and we talk about the precision of Swiss timepieces.
 
So, who times your life? If you try and force your own timetable, you’ll miss opportunities and potentially even cause harm. Our times are in His hands. Whether it be the time when our child is to be born or the timing of that promotion (or even the timing of a lay off), these moments of our life are best left in the hands of the Master Watch Maker.
 
Jesus tells us that we are sufficiently equipped to handle one day at a time (see Matt 6:34). There is something freeing about knowing your limitations. If I know what I can’t do, then I can stop wasting my time worrying about it. It will all work out. He promises it will. No need to overthink it.
 
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

The Gift of Worship

“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.” (Ps 27:4)
 
David penned these words as a man that knew what it was like to be driven away from the house of the LORD. When Saul sought David’s life, David had to flee to foreign lands and he couldn’t worship God at the tabernacle or make the feasts and festivals.
 
The ability to freely worship God is a precious gift. One that is often wasted on those who have the ability to do it. When we are old and feeble or sick or persecuted, we realize what a rare gift it is to gather with God’s people to encourage each other and strengthen our faith.
 
It is a tragedy that we often miss the value when we are healthy or have the freedom to assemble. It is most often the young, healthy, carefree person that forsakes the assembly only to yearn for the company of God’s people when we are in need.
 
Don’t waste the gift. Whenever you can, be with God’s people, worship Him and seek His face amongst His people. You will never regret the Sunday you showed up, but you are likely to regret the ones you skipped.
 
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites