Standing up to bullies

How do you deal with bullies in the church, workplace, community, even in your own family? Continue reading

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Whose Agenda …and whose glory?

Abner’s political manoeuvrings and boasting lead to a tragic fall (2 Samuel 3). The man who believed he could deliver the kingdom to David meets a sticky end when Joab avenges his brother’s death. Abner has been the strong man in Israel, the commander of Saul’s army and now the power behind the throne of puppet king, Ishbosheth. Continue reading

Murder (2 Samuel 2-3)

Why is it that although I’ve put my trust in Jesus I find that life s still messy and I still struggle with sin?”

This is a big question, and one that our passage helps us to answer. Continue reading

Asking God

2 Samuel 2 starts with the statement that David “asked” or “inquired of the Lord.” He was About To make a big strategic move, there would have been a lot of factors to consider including the practicalities of moving, safety, the willingness of his men to move back to Judah at a dangerous point and the politics involved in a statement of intent. However, David’s first concern was to know what God thought. Continue reading

The killing of friendship

In his lament for Saul and Jonathan, David says of his friend:

“How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan!  Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women!”[1]

Some people have picked up on this verse and the other accounts of David and Jonathan to argue that this is an example of and a Biblical argument for homosexuality.

I want to make two points about this. Continue reading

What does it mean to “touch the Lord’s anointed”?

In 2 Samuel 1:14, David asks the Amalekite messenger:

                         “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?”

The phrasing is familiar because in 1 Samuel when David and his followers have the opportunity to kill Saul themselves, David tells Abishai:

“Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one?”

Here, the phrase “the anointed one” is seen to refer to the chosen king over Israel although Psalm 105 refers plurally to the whole of Israel as the Lord’s anointed ones and so under his protection. 

Is there a relevant application of the command not to touch, attack, kill or destroy the Lord’s anointed one for today’s church?  On Sunday, we primarily focused on a “How much more” application. If David could say this of a flawed man like Saul, then how much more should our concern be for Christ’s honour as the perfect and eternal King? Continue reading

Lament for fallen heroes (2 Samuel 1

Three scenarios

  1. Earlier this year we got the news that Mike Ovey, the principal at Oak Hill had died suddenly. Someone we owed a lot to, someone who had been a great champion of the Gospel. There was a massive sense of grief and loss -an untimely death.
  2. Roy Clements -a prominent Christian preacher left his wife for a same-sex affair in the 1990s.  It was huge. Someone who had a big impact on the lives and testimonies of many. Similarly earlier this year one of the leaders in the Christian summer-camps movement was exposed as having physically abused boys who attended the camps.  This had an outside impact too. The media ran stories. Many seemed to delight in it. Actually, some of those who seemed to take greatest joy in it were those who claimed to be Christians if from other traditions.
  3. Another death earlier this year.  A prominent Scottish church leader among the “Wee Frees.” At first it seemed like a tragic suicide but then stories emerged of marital unfaithfulness.

How do we respond to those situations? In a sense, all three describe “Fallen heroes.” Continue reading