...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40:31

A Blog for Kids and Everyone.

This is a journey through God's word. The Bible is so amazing! There are a lot of great stories. Some that we know well and some will surprise us. We will have a lot of fun as we color, watch short cartoons and tell funny stories.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Solomon Becomes King of Israel (1Kings1)

 As we get into the book of 1Kings, we find that David is getting old. He is sickly and cannot even stand, so he rules over Israel from his bed. Everyone knew that David did not have much longer to live, including his son, Adonijah. Adonijah was next in line for the throne according to birth order, but Israel was not like other nations. God appointed the next king, not birth order. But Adonijah didn't see it that way. He got 50 men together and some horses and chariots to escort him around. He figured if he looked like a king and acted like a king.... the throne would be his for the taking. He recruited a few of David's top officials including Joab, his top military leader and Abiathar, the leading priest. They agreed to support Adonijah in his bid to become king even though David had promised the throne to Solomon. Joab and Abiathar thought about what was best for them and not about God's will.

 We do that all the time, don't we? I know that is is God's will for me to forgive, but I want to hang on to that feeling I have toward someone that has hurt me. But God's will is ultimately for our own good, and He knows that forgiving is the key to setting our mind and our hearts free.

 Well Nathan the prophet, (Remember him? He confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba.) heard about Adonijah's plan to become king and told Solomon's mother, Bathsheba about it. He told her that she must tell David right away because Adonijah had already made sacrifices and was throwing a huge banquet to honor himself as king. Nathan told Bathsheba to go to David's bedside and tell him about Adonijah, then he said that he would come in and confirm the story so that David would have no doubt that it was true.
 So Bathsheba went in and asked David. "I beg your pardon my lord, but didn't you promise me that my son Solomon would succeed you as king?  (1Chronicles 22:5-9) It appears that Adonijah has not even waited for your blessing. He has declared himself king, and is having a great feast right now as we speak."
 Then Nathan came in and asked the king, "Have you appointed Adonijah as the next king without consulting any of your trusted advisors? He has already exalted himself as the next king!"

From his bed David declared to Bathsheba, "As surely as the Lord lives, your son Solomon will sit on the throne!" Then He said to Nathan, Zadok the priest and Benaiah, "Quick, gather up my officials. Take Solomon down to Gihon Spring. Let him ride my royal mule for the journey. When you get there, anoint him with oil, blow the trumpet and shout 'Long live King Solomon!' Then when you return with him, Solomon will sit on the throne."
 The 3 men did as David had asked. They anointed Solomon, blew the trumpets and shouted "Long live king Solomon." Then there was a great parade back to the castle. The people were all shouting, playing flutes and making a joyful ruckus.
 When Adonijah and Joab heard all the noise, they were confused. Just then the son of Abiathar, the priest who supported Adonijah, came running up to them in the middle of their feast..
 "I hope you have good news for us so we can continue celebrating." Joab said.
 "No, in fact it is troubling news for Adonijah and all who have supported him. King David has just made Solomon king. The loud roars that you heard were all the people cheering as they paraded back to the palace where Solomon is now sitting on the throne!"
 When all who were celebrating with Adonijah heard the news, they were afraid for their lives. They all got out of there as fast as they could, because the new king could have anyone executed. Adonijah feared for his life especially. He ran to the sacred tent and grabbed ahold the horns of the altar. (This was a holy place and Adonijah hoped that king Solomon would respect that and not have him killed). Word soon reached Solomon that Adonijah was pleading for his life in the sacred tent. Solomon sent one of his men to the tent to assure Adonijah that as long as he was loyal to the king, he would not be harmed. Adonijah went to the temple, threw himself at the feet of king Solomon and thanked him for his mercy.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Consequences of the Census (2 Samuel 24)

  So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel because they had rebelled against His decision.... again. God used David's sin to enact punishment against the entire nation of Israel. When we left last time, the prophet Gad had relayed God's message to David. David had a choice to make about the punishment that would be executed against the nation of Israel. Here were the three choices. Either three years of famine, three months of fleeing from their enemies or 3 days of a deadly plague.

  If you had a tough decision like this, what would you choose? I know what I would NOT choose. Since I would be the king, I wouldn't have to worry about a famine, because the king had plenty of food stored up. Or I wouldn't have to worry about fighting off the enemy, because as king, I would be protected at all cost. I wouldn't pick the plague, because death could strike anyone at any time. As king, I would be as vulnerable as anyone else in the kingdom. So that would definitely NOT be one of my choices..... but that is exactly what David chose. He knew that he had sinned. (he takes full blame at the end of the chapter) and he says in verse 13., "Let me fall into the merciful hands of our Lord. If he sees fit to inflict me, then so be it."

  So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel and it last three days. Seventy thousand people died throughout the nation. But as the death angel was in Jerusalem, he stopped at the threshing floor of Araunah. (A threshing floor was a hard floor where a wheat farmer would crush his crop to remove the grain from it's husk by having oxen drag a large heavy board over it) When David saw the angel of the Lord. He prayed that the plague would end and that if anyone else should die, it would be David himself. Just then Gad the prophet came to David and said, "Build an altar to God on this very site. So David went to Araunah, the man who owned the site where the altar was to be built. Araunah was a little nervous because the king wanted to talk to him. "Why have you come my lord?" he asked.
  David replied. "I have come to buy your threshing floor so that I could build and altar to the Lord there, so that He will stop the plague."
 "Please take it my lord. And here are some oxen for the offering and wood to make the fire. I will give it all to you, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice." Araunah answered.
   David insisted. "No. I must pay you for the place, the oxen and the wood. For what kind of sacrifice would it be if it cost me nothing?"

  The word sacrifice itself means to give up something. If David took the threshing floor, the oxen and the wood and offered it up to God, it would have been Araunah's sacrifice. We must remember that when we live our lives for Jesus, we are giving up our own desires and plans and replacing them with God's. But the amazing thing is that God loves us so much! His desires and plans for us are for our own good. He wants the best for us! The Bible says that the more we give up for Him, the more we have! That is called a paradox, and the Bible is full of them. (The last shall be first..... the humble will be exalted... to name a couple of examples.)

 So David bought the threshing floor, the oxen and the wood. Then he built and altar and sacrificed to the Lord. The plague stopped right there at the threshing room floor!

  The amazing thing about where that threshing room floor was located was that it was on Mount Moriah. The same place where Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac to God a thousand years earlier. And it is also the same place where Jesus sacrificed his life for us on the cross a thousand years later! God is so amazing!
 Well that finishes the books of First and Second Samuel. Next time we will be starting First Kings.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

David Takes a Census (2 Samuel 24)

 So now Israel was enjoying a time of peace and unity. However, God's anger burned against Israel. David was God's own anointed king. The people had sided with Absalom because he seemed more kingly to them. He was tall, good-looking and charming. But David was God's chosen king. God was going to discipline the people and He used David's pride and yielding to the devil's temptation to do it.

 David knew God's Word. In Exodus 30:12 it says not to count the people because counting equals ownership..... and Israel is God's people. But David gave in to the temptation and called in his general, Joab. After David finished explaining how he wanted Joab to go throughout the kingdom, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, and count the people, Joab replied. "May the Lord allow you to live long enough to see a hundred times the amount of people in the kingdom as there are today. Please do not sin against God by doing this." Never the less,  the kings word prevailed over Joab and the captains of the army. (The captains warned David as well. When there are several objections to your plan, it is time to rethink what you are about to do.)

 Why did Joab object so vehemently to David's plan. Perhaps he knew how it would affect the people, or he was looking out for the king. Or maybe he was thinking about himself. he was a general after all. Why should he stoop so low as to be a people counter. His pride was at stake! Speaking of pride, by ordering the census, David was feeding his own ego. Israel had grown enormously, he wanted to take the glory and the credit for himself.
 Pride is the sin of all sins. It was pride that toppled Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Pride is a preoccupation with ones self. What letter is in the middle of pride? I. And what letter is in the middle if sin? That's right....I. Putting ourselves above everyone is sinful pride. Pride also puts God in second place. God should always be first, and at the center of everything we do or say.

 So the census was taken. It took about 10 months to count the people. David had 10 months to change his mind and stop the census, but he didn't. God will always give us a way out of yielding to temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) When faced with temptation. STOP and pray. God has an exut strategy for you and He will show it to you. Sometimes it is simply saying "no".

  It turns out that there were 130,000 fighting men in the kingdom, which translates to 6 million people. Do you think David confidently sat back after the census was complete and said, "That's what I'm talking about!"? No. He did just the opposite. He felt guilty. He knew that he had sinned.
  Why do we feel guilty when we sin. It is because The Holy Spirit convicts us. We have Jesus living inside of us (If we have made Him the Lord of our life. Here is a link from a past blog telling how we can have this.  http://mrbiblehead.blogspot.com/2010/03/choosing-god.html). And Jesus would not be content with sin. So it is time to repent. I know, the word repent sounds harsh, but it is simply being sorry and turning from our sin and toward God. And that is just what David did. However, there was still a consequence. When I repent, I do not get off scott free. There is a price to pay. God was going to discipline Israel because of their recent actions, so he sent a prophet named Gad to give David this message.  "Choose one of these 3 punishment and I will do it says the Lord. Will you choose three years of famine, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout the kingdom."

"This is a desperate situation!" David replied. But he knew how he had to answer.

Next time we will see which punishment king David chose, and why.

Monday, January 2, 2017

David returns to his throne. (2 Samuel:20-23)

  So David started back to Jerusalem to reclaim his place as king of Israel. But now there was major disunity among the people of Israel. Half of the Israelites were supporters of Absalom, and now that he was dead, the people were arguing among themselves. David knew that he had to unify the country again, so he began with a few individuals who had been against him and showed them mercy.
One was Shimei, a man who cursed David as he was running from Absalom. Shimei begged the king's forgiveness. David ignored the advice of his advisors and did not have Shimei or any other person that showed remorse put to death. David showed kindness and mercy to the people of Israel.

The tribes were also fighting among themselves about which one supported David more faithfully. David put an end to the bickering and treated all the tribes equally and fairly.

 There were some individuals who still were completely against David. They began small revolts against David's leadership. One was Sheba. He blew a trumpet in the streets and shouted. "We will have nothing to do with David. Come on men of Israel! Follow me!" Sheba began to muster up a small group of revolutionaries, but David quickly put and end to it by sending his general, Joab, to take care of Sheba once and for all. Joab chased Sheba to the city of Abel-beth-maacah. The town's people saw Joab and his men ready to knock down the walls of the city to get this one man. They sent a woman out to speak with Joab. " Please don't knock down the walls of our good city. If it is one man you are seeking, we will find him and take care of him for you. Don't worry, you will be sure that we have taken care of him." She pleaded with Joab.
"Ok." He replied. Then Joab and his men waited to see what would happen. Pretty soon, Sheba's head came flying over the wall! I guess they took care of Sheba all right! Joab blew the trumpet and the troops returned to Jerusalem with the news.

David also knew that some of Israel's allies like the Gibeonites were not happy, so he went to them. He made peace with them.  David knew that the Gibeonites had been angry with Israel since Saul treated them badly. But now they were on David's side.

Finally, the Philistines were up to their tricks. They knew that since Israel was in such disarray, it was their opportunity to attack and finally defeat Israel once and for all. The sent in some giants from Gath. A few of them were relatives of Goliath. But David and his men defeated them in several battles.

So God used David to bring peace and unity back to Israel. David set a wonderful example of how a leader can unite his people after a time of disunity, and we can see some things we can do when we are leading, whether it is a small group or a whole country.

 Then David sang a beautiful song of praise to God. It is found in 2 Samuel chapter 22. David recalls all the times that God was there for David during his most difficult times. Then David praises God for who He is....not only for what He has done. We should think back in our own lives about all the times God was with us during tough times, and praise Him for who He is, the creator of the universe!.... and out Father who cares deeply for each one of us as individuals.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The death of Absalom (2 Samuel 18-20)

  David and his men traveled through the wilderness to escape from his son Absalom. They finally arrived in the town of Mahanaim, where they were warmly greeted. The people of the town brought sleeping mats, bowls, barley, flour, grain, beans honey, butter sheep and cheese for David and his men. "You must be hungry thirsty and tired from your long trek through the wilderness." They said.

  Then David split his troops into three groups and appointed three generals to lead his men as they set up camp in Mahanaim. David wanted to go with them into battle, but his men talked him into staying back because they knew that he was the one that Absalom wanted to kill. So David stood by the city gate as the troops headed out to battle. He gave these orders to all the men as they passed by. "Please deal gently with my son Absalom. Spare his life for my sake."

  So the troops went out and the battle began. The Israelite army was beaten back by David's army and 20,000 men lost their lives that day. During the battle, Absalom unexpectedly came upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the branches of an oak tree, his hair got tangled in the branches. His mule kept on going  but Absalom was left hanging there defenseless. One of David's men saw what happened and he went back to report what he saw to Joab, one of David's generals.

 "What?" Joab demanded. "You saw him hanging there and you didn't kill him? I would have given you 10 pieces of silver if you had."
  "You heard king David say, 'For my sake do not harm young Absalom.' I would not have killed him for a thousand pieces of silver!"
  "Enough of this nonsense!" Joab shouted as he grabbed three daggers and headed toward the oak tree where Absalom was still dangling. Joab stabbed Absalom. Then Joab's men took Absalom down from the tree, threw him in a pit and buried him with stones.

  David was waiting for news of the battle at the city gate. He saw a man in the distance running toward him. The man finally approached David. "All is well my lord. The Lord your God has handed over the rebels who dared to stand against you." But David was more worried about his son.
  "And what of young Absalom?" David inquired. "Is he alive and well?" The man was afraid to tell David that his son was dead, so he lied and told him that he didn't know. Just then another man showed up with news, and David asked him about Absalom. David was completely heartbroken when he found out that Absalom had been killed. He walked slowly back to his room, weeping the entire time.

Word soon reached general Joab that David was very upset about Absalom's death and that there was no joy among the men for his victory over the Israelites. Joab was very angry and went to see David. "It seems to me that you would have been happier if we had all died and lost the battle and Absalom had lived. You are making me and all your men feel as if we had done something wrong." Joab said.
  David realized that the troops needed to be recognized for their victory, so he went out to the city gate and congratulated them. In the meantime, all the people all over Israel were in a huge discussion about reinstating David as the king over all of Israel. The people finally agreed that it shall be done, but not without a few revolutionists who continued to plot against David.

  Did you even notice that in life.....it is never all good or all bad. We have to be thankful for the good things in the midst of trouble. And celebrate with our eyes open and hearts receptive to people around us who may be struggling. Don't let our emotions (joyful or downcast) blind us to loving others so that God may be glorified.

Monday, October 10, 2016

David's own son rebels against him (2 Samuel 13-17)

 Two years later, David's two sons, Amnon and Absalom, got in a terrible fight. Finally Absalom ended up killing Amnon. When David found out about it, he was heartbroken. Absalom left Israel
and went to stay with his grandfather Talmai, in the territory of Geshur. He stayed there for three years. Finally David stopped mourning for his son Amnon and longed to be reunited with Absalom.
David called in his right hand man, Joab, and asked him to go to Geshur to bring back Absalom. But David was still unsure about seeing Absalom. So even though Absalom was staying at a house in Jerusalem for two years, David never sent for him. Absalom was getting tired of waiting and he confronted Joab. "Why did the king summon me to Jerusalem if he never intended to even see me? I was better off staying in Gershun!"
 "I will tell the king how upset you are." Joab replied. "Perhaps he will finally request your presence."
Then at last David summoned his estranged son and Absalom bowed down before the king and David kissed him. But Absalom held contempt in his heart for his father.

After that, Absalom began hanging out at the city gate and greeting the people. Many of them were on the way to see the king with their problems. Absalom intercepted them. "Too bad the king is so busy and won't be able to hear your concerns, however, I as his son, would be glad to act as an advisor in any situation you have."
 The people were very grateful and started to bow down before him, but Absalom stopped them and instead, he gave them a big hug. So in this way, Absalom began to steal the hearts of the people in David's kingdom. He did this for four years until he felt like he had the loyalty of enough people to take over Israel!

 One day Absalom came before the king and asked for permission to go back to Geshur to make a sacrifice there. David granted the request and while Absalom was there, he sent word to all of Israel that he was starting a rebellion against the king.  The rebellion soon gained momentum and Absalom had many, many people on his side.
  Of course the news about the rebellion reached David quickly, but it was too late. Absalom was being crowned king of Hebron and he was getting ready to take over Jerusalem. David urged his men, "Hurry! If we leave the city quickly, Jerusalem will be spared a horrible disaster."
There was great sadness as David and his men crossed the city and headed toward the Valley of Kidron and then into the wilderness.

Imagine how David must have felt. He forgave his son for the horrible thing that he did, and now his son has betrayed him! Have you ever forgiven someone only to have them hurt you again? Let's see how David handles the situation and how it all turns out. Don't forget, after David's terrible sin, God told him that his family would suffer many things.... even death. I'm sure David was hurt, but maybe not surprised.

As they reached their destination in the wilderness David turned to his advisor, Hushai. I want you to go back to Jerusalem. Tell Absalom that you will be his advisor. If he asks about your loyalty to me. Tell him that you are not loyal to a person, but to whomever is king. Then when he asks for your expertise, give him faulty advise. In time, his kingship will falter and the people will see that he is not king material.
 So Hushai arrived in Jerusalem just as Absalom was arriving. He offered his services to Absalom and told him what David had suggested. Absalom already had an advisor. His name was Ahithophel. But he agreed to keep two advisors and choose which ever advice he deemed best.
 After Absalom had settled into the throne. He called in his two advisors. Of course they each had different advice. God put it into Absalom's heart to choose Hushai's advice because it would bring disaster upon him.
 Hushai sent word to David about Absalom's plan. He advised David and his men to pull up camp, cross the Jordan river and head into the wilderness. So David and his men took Hushai's advice. Absalom and his men showed up at the Jordan river shortly afterward. But David and his men were not there.
 Next time we will see what God has in store for Absalom and David.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nathan Confronts David About His Sin (2 Samuel 12)

  Last time we saw how David messed up....big time! So God sent his prophet, Nathan, to confront King David about the bad choices he made. Remember Nathan? He was the prophet that told David that he would not be the one to build the temple of God. This time, Nathan has come to tell David a story. The object of this story is to make David think, and take a look at himself. Here is the story that was told to David by the prophet Nathan.

  There were two men in a certain town. One was rich and one was poor. The rich man owned many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but a little lamb that he had worked hard to buy. He raised that little lamb and it grew up with his children. The little lamb ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing a lamb from his own flocks for food, he took the poor man's lamb, killed it and served it to his guest.
 When Nathan finished his story, David jumped up. He was so mad! He said "Any man that would do that, deserves to die. He should repay the poor man four lambs for killing his and having no pity."
 Nathan pointed at David and said. "YOU ARE THAT MAN! The God of Israel says, " David, David, David, I anointed you king of Israel and I saved you from Saul on more than one occasion!  And I would have given you much, much more. Why have you done this horrible thing? From now on, you will have many family troubles. Some of them even ending in death."
 When Nathan finished speaking, David cried out and confessed to Nathan, "Yes, yes, yes! I have sinned against the Lord!
  "Well, the good news is that the Lord has forgiven you." Nathan said. "There will be death in your family, but it will not be you. The Lord still has many plans for you." Nathan continued, "Do you see what a horrible thing this is against God? Now the enemies of God will have great opportunity to despise and blaspheme Him!"

 Do we ever think about how our actions reflect on God? Other people are watching us. If we profess to be followers of Jesus, why do our actions say just the opposite? If someone was thinking of following Jesus, our actions could point them toward Jesus or away from Him. If our actions point to God, then we are glorifying Him.... and that is what He wants.

 After Nathan returned home, David and Bathsheba's baby got very sick. David prayed, laid on the bare floor and went without food for seven days, asking God to heal him.... but the baby died. David's men were afraid to tell him about his son, but David could tell by the looks on their faces. David got up, washed his face and ate. His men were confused and asked him, " While your son was sick, you cried and refused to eat. But now that the baby has died, you stopped mourning and are eating again."
 David answered, "I fasted and prayed while the baby was alive. I was hoping that God would be merciful and let the child live, but since he has died, why should I continue to fast? I can't bring him back to life. But one day, I will see him again in heaven."

 It is so hard when someone dies. We feel sad because we won't be able to see them anymore. But we will.... in heaven. It's OK to be sad for a while, then God wants us to get back to what He put us on this earth to do. David knew his purpose.

  Then David went home and comforted Bathsheba. Soon she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. They named him Solomon. (the next king of Israel)