The Lion of Judah Series – Between Two Kings Part 2A

12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.” 1st Samuel 27:12 niv 2011

We have to be careful. When we flee unholy circumstances, such that have caused us inordinate amounts of pain, we run the risk of jumping right out of the frying pan and into the fire. Pretty soon we’re holed up with Achish and he’s fantasizing that we’ll be his servant for life. And we might get a few things done for the Lord, but remember what George Williams wrote on this account:

David could congratulate himself on the success of his plan, for he baffled Saul, he won Ziklag, he conquered Amalek, and he deceived Achish – but what would have been his experience had he sought to know and to follow God’s plan?

—George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary

David had Achish so buffaloed. But deceitful flattery will bring you from bad to worse…right after Achish makes that declaration, he will be my servant for life, our Scriptures report that it goes like this:

In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.” 1st Samuel 28:1 niv 2011

Whoa…David is the anointed and future king of Israel. If you think for a minute that God will allow him to strike down His peculiar treasure, think again – but Achish doesn’t know that. David has so flawlessly executed his deception over Achish that Achish actually believes David will strike down the Israelites.

David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”

Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.” 1st Samuel 28:2 niv 2011

David’s comment is ambiguous at best. Perhaps the young king-to-be is content to wait until he has the opportunity to rise up against the Philistines from within – or perhaps he’s toying with the idea that he will strike against Israel, the nation he’s been anointed to lead. It’s difficult to know for sure.

Achish’s reply, on the other hand, is as clear as a bell. David has won him heart and soul, so much so that Achish makes David his personal guardian for life.

And while David may or may not be mulling over an opportunity to strike Israel, Saul is extremely concerned about the Philistines setting up for an attack.

 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,” they said.

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” 1st Samuel 28:5-8 niv 2011

The Scripture reports that Saul inquired of the Lord, but that would be pretty difficult for Saul to do, considering that the ephod was with the priest, Abiathar, who was with David. (An ephod is a sacred vestment worn originally by the high priest—the breastplate, with the Urim and Thummim, was attached to the ephod and the high priest used these things to inquire of the Lord.)

Saul inquired of the Lord leads me to believe that Saul had constructed himself an ephod of his own. And something else is weird about that – who was doing the inquiring with this fake ephod? Saul himself had murdered the priests back at Nob (1st Samuel 22) – Abiathar was the only one who escaped and he was with David. Was Saul playing the part of priest again? Samuel had rebuked him for that atrocity before. (See 1st Samuel 13) Also, the Scriptures say, at verse 6, that the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. What prophets? Samuel was Saul’s prophet, and they parted ways when Saul built the monument to himself (See 1st Samuel 15), and no other prophet served Saul after that.

I think by this point, Saul was already really comfortable in his apostasy. He’d constructed his own ephod, he performed priestly duties, and he babbled assumed prophecies.  Saul had a form of godliness, but he was anything but a lover of God. God did not answer Saul because Saul’s communion with God was nonexistent, making it very easy for Saul to take this last step and outright counsel with evil itself.

But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the Lord,[Hello? Is this the same Lord that Saul so egregiously disobeyed?] “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.” [Never mind that he’s already killed a whole town of priests for doing their God-given jobs.]

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.”

14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” 1st Samuel 28:9-15 niv 2011

Scholars are all over the place in their opinion of whether or not this was really an appearance of Samuel. After a lot of study, and many commentaries, my own opinion is that this really is Samuel. This woman, this medium or witch as she’s called in other translations, is used to dealing with the dark side. But she’s clearly alarmed when she sees the spirit of Samuel. I’d guess that he looks a lot different from the demons she’s accustomed to working with. Also, Samuel’s declaration that Saul would die the next day plays out as predicted.

Continuing in the narrative:

I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.” 1st Samuel 28:15 niv 2011

Samuel doesn’t have very good news for Saul. In fact, he repeats words he’s already had with Saul. (See 1st Samuel 15)

16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.” 1st Samuel 28:16-19 niv 2011

tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.

The question I have on that is this: What is Samuel talking about? Obviously the eternal life, but did Saul get to go to heaven?

We’ll take that discussion a little further next week. And don’t forget, David is guarding the life of the Philistine king, Achish, while troops amass for war against God’s peculiar treasure.

Join us for Part 2 B Between Two Kings.

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The Lion of Judah Series – Between Two Kings Part 1C

David has been on the run from King Saul for a lengthy period of time. He’s worn out and his faith is faltering – which is what can happen when we endure an exceptionally extended time of trial and attack. And there is nothing more brutal than having to suffer that attack at the hands of our family – whether it be church family or biological family. This particular type of trial that David has suffered for years now is finally getting the best of him. Follow close as we continue the narration, David says to Saul:

 20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea—as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.” 1st Samuel 26:20-21 niv 2011

Saul can’t handle it when he comes face-to-face with what’s he’s done. He full-out repents. He makes no excuses for himself, but promises not to do it again – and we won’t have the opportunity to see if he makes good on his promise because David’s getting ready to throw a 180 into the mix of the whole adventure.

We’re going to read through 1st Samuel 26:22 – 1st Samuel 27:1-4, because there shouldn’t be a chapter-break in there. The whole narrative belongs together.

22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”

25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”

So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

1But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”

So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. 1st Samuel 26:22 – 1st Samuel 27:1-4 niv 2011

David has spoken of his deep faith out loud, evoked the Name of God in battle, and has even written an instructive poem on the matter – yet, David’s first thought after leaving Saul is a doubt: One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul.

David caved to the pressure – and during an intense trial such as the one David suffered is when we are most at risk to caving in on our beliefs, all that we have gained in the Lord, and falling back on our “old man.” The next thing you know, we’re allied with a Philistine.

George Williams made this observation about the Philistines, and I thought it was really interesting:

The Philistine was a domestic, not a foreign enemy. He illustrates the power of the enemy inside the professing Christian church, and is more to be dreaded than any enemy who stands outside.

—George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary

The Ziphites (See Parts 1a and 1b) represent the disobedient believers within the Church. The Philistine represents the unbelievers within the Church. And when we have a good row with a believer, it’s easy to sidle up to the relaxed, un-condemning, nonjudgmental Philistine. They will always give you an ear, and they will always encourage you. Perhaps we even leave the Church. We flat out throw in with a sinful world and its ways…and what happened to David will happen to us: When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. Nobody’s gonna come after us, especially if there’s a Saul at the helm.

So, David’s thrown in with the Philistines, and they’re all getting along pretty well. Continuing in the narrative:

Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” 1st Samuel 27:5 niv 2011

There are a couple of things in play in verse 5. First of all, this Achish may or may not be the same Achish David went to when he pretended to be crazy the first time he fled from Saul into Philistine territory. I tend to be in the theological camp that says this is the same Achish. As such, he’s more than willing to receive David this time, probably because David now has the reputation for being Saul’s enemy and Achish wants to invade Israel.

Secondly, David sort of uses some flattery on Achish: Why should your servant live in the royal city with you? As if to say, “I’m just not worthy to live in the same city as you.” But I think David does this in order to remove himself from any controversy within royal circles. After all, David’s gained the reputation of a usurper and he doesn’t want anybody near Achish to get the wrong idea. He already has one king hot on his tail. Why tempt another? As well, if we look at an enlarged portion of the area map regarding this situation we find that Ziklag is reasonably close to Carmel and Maon – David’s favorite hangout.

6 So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. Ziklag was originally allotted to Judah, but then allotted to Simeon, which has a smaller allotment within Judah.

 David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.

Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.” 1st Samuel 27:6-12 niv 2011

While David is living with the Philistines, he becomes deceptive and destructive – and he’s operating under the guise of “God’s work.” These people that he’s raiding and killing are enemies of Israel, but David has to lie in order pull off this façade.  And the Philistine leader says he will be my servant for life.

We have to be careful. When we flee unholy circumstances, such that have caused us inordinate amounts of pain, we run the risk of jumping right out of the frying pan and into the fire. Pretty soon we’re holed up with Achish and he’s fantasizing that we’ll be his servant for life. And we might get a few things done for the Lord, but note what George Williams writes on this account:

David could congratulate himself on the success of his plan, for he baffled Saul, he won Ziklag, he conquered Amalek, and he deceived Achish – but what would have been his experience had he sought to know and to follow God’s plan?

—George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 niv 2011

His good, pleasing and perfect will…and it can only be discerned from Him, and for His glory. If you have to break a command or precept, or act counter to a Biblical principal in order to serve God, then you’re not serving God.

 

Join us next week as we continue with Part 2A, Between Two Kings.

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If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

 

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

Posted in Between Two Kings, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, King Saul, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Warrior, Warrior, Ziphites | 4 Comments

The Lion of Judah – Between Two Kings – Part 1B

The first few lessons of this unit will explore the situation Israel found herself as she waited in limbo between her two kings: Saul and David. Both were anointed by God, but one had the gift of faith – and it was his most precious gift.

Last week we left off with David and Saul parting ways on good terms. Then David went to a familiar place of shelter…near the Ziphites. And if you’ll recall, the Ziphites excelled at stirring up trouble – and I think they had greedy motives. They re-stirred the pot, so-to-speak, by going to Saul and telling him where David and his men were sheltered because they wanted Abigail’s stuff.

15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:15-16 niv 2011

The Ziphites’ wisdom (or their knowledge of where David was living) was earthly, unspiritual and demonic. They came to Saul knowing full well that it would stir him up against David again. Telling Saul of David’s whereabouts will no doubt cause disorder. Their selfish ambition plunged them head-long into a coalition of premeditated attempted murder. At this point, their personal desires negated obedience to their own Law. They’re Israelites, of the tribe of Judah. What happened to thou shalt not kill? And they know that Saul wants to kill David. Their ambition appears very much to be getting rid of David so that they could have easy access to Abigail’s possessions. With David out of the way they could overcome her household of servants and take whatever they wanted.

But let’s read the rest of the account:

Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him.

David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?”

“I’ll go with you,” said Abishai.

So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.” 1st Samuel 26:3-11 niv 2011

Abishai, one of the 3 sons of David’s sister, Zeruiah, is a determined and gifted warrior – but void of compassion, and apparently hard-hearted to the things of God. David reminds him, as he did the men at En Gedi, that they cannot lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Whatever unrighteousness Saul has displayed, David is confident that God will take care of it. This is a statement of faith on David’s part.

When we are under intense attack – especially the attacks of family and/or friends – it’s hard to hold back on the destruction of the offending party. And if you wind up with the upper hand against the offending party it’s nearly impossible to keep from pinning them to the ground.

Years ago my husband Jim and I were involved in an altercation with people with whom we were very close to. They said and did some very deceitful, and, resultantly, painful things. Jim and I sort of retreated to our corner, praying and contemplating this situation. We didn’t know how to react, or what to respond with so we “went dark” so to speak. As the months passed, horrible truths came to light about these people who’d offended us. Now we had the upper hand and could retaliate. We could really do some damage, and boy did we ever want that. The problem was, we knew good and well that one of the offenders was anointed. God, in His Divine Wisdom and Grace, would not allow us to destroy this character. Was it easy to walk away from the opportunity? Some yes, but a lot no. God did make a way out of the temptation to destroy this joker, just as He’s promised in His Word: 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1st Corinthians 10:13 niv 2011

Continuing with David,

12 So David took the spear and water jug near Saul’s head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.

13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. 14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Aren’t you going to answer me, Abner?”

Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?”

15 David said, “You’re a man, aren’t you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. 16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the Lord’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?”

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?” 1st Samuel 26:12-17 niv 2011

Amazingly, Saul’s cold heart melts at the sound of David’s voice! I think it’s because David’s mouth is full of truth. He’s not just hurling back insults at Saul – he’s telling it flat out like it is.

David replied, “Yes it is, my lord the king.” 18 And he added, “Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant’s words. If the Lord has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, people have done it, may they be cursed before the Lord! 1st Samuel 26:17-19 niv 2011

David knew it was the Ziphites who’d roiled Saul up against him – and he reveals his thoughts in one of the few psalms that we can place in a particular time period. Remember, the Ziphites have ratted out David twice now.

Psalm 54 niv 2011 Pay particular attention to what David notes in the subscript:

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David. [maskil means instructive poem] When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, “Is not David hiding among us?”

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
in your faithfulness destroy them.

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

These are the words of a faithful man. He knows where his protection and blessing is coming from. He’s so certain of God’s power in his life that he says to Saul: If … people have [incited you against me], may they be cursed before the Lord! (See 1st Samuel 26:19) David writes in his psalm, at verse 5: Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.

But, then David says to Saul:

They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 1st Samuel 26:19 niv 2011

In his passion, David reveals a slight crack in his armor. He’s blaming the Ziphites for driving him out of Judah, so we know he’s getting ready to bale. When David says: ‘Go, serve other gods,’ he’s talking about living in Philistine territory,

David’s faith suddenly falters – which is what can happen when we endure an exceptionally extended time of trial and attack. And there is nothing more brutal than having to suffer that attack at the hands of our family – whether it be church family or biological family. This particular type of trial that David has suffered for years now is finally getting the best of him.

Join us next week as we continue the account of Saul’s new pursuit of David, Between Two Kings Part 1C.

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Posted in Between Two Kings, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, King Saul, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Uncategorized, Warrior, Warrior, Ziphites | 2 Comments

The Lion of Judah Series – # 1 Between Two Kings Part 1A

“Active opposition to Christ and His Kingdom quickly follows upon the establishment of a rival kingdom.”

George Williams

And before you know it, we’re between two kings, and we’ve got some choices to make.

The first few lessons of this unit will explore the situation Israel found herself as she waited in limbo between her two kings: Saul and David. Both were anointed by God, but one had the gift of faith – and it was his most precious gift.

Also, in this unit, we’ll look at the significant parallels between Jesus Christ our King, and David, who was a “type” of Christ.

I can’t remember where I found this definition, but here is what I’m talking about when I say, “Type” or “Typology”: in Christian theology and Biblical exegesis, is a doctrine or theory concerning the predictive relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament. Events, persons or statements in the Old Testament are seen as types prefiguring or superseded by antitypes, events or aspects of Christ or His revelation described in the New Testament.

I like typology because I think it proves the continuity of our Scriptures—God is the same today as He was yesterday, as He will be tomorrow.

And in certain situations with King David, I believe, that it will give us a much deeper understanding of the Gospel of Christ – as well as His future reign in our Eternity.

Our first lesson leans more toward what it looks like for us to be between these two rival kingdoms – one is the Kingdom of God, and the other is the kingdom of the world.

In the Scripture below, David has spared Saul’s life (unbeknownst to Saul) and calls after him to let him know. David and Saul had been quite close at one time so David uses the opportunity to confront him.

14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud. 17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”

22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold. 1st Samuel 24:14-22 niv 2011

Saul appears truly sickened by his actions against David – and I believe that he was. For a moment the Spirit of God convicted him of his horrible behavior and he wept. Even more than that, Saul admits that he knows that David is on his way to the throne.

Because of Saul’s actions – he’s really beat the relationship to a pulp – David cannot return to a close association with him…and he and his men went up to the stronghold.

Now the stronghold here is one of David’s old haunts—amongst the Ziphites. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary notes:

From [the ruins of] Ziph a panorama of the whole surrounding district [can] be seen. [The] Ziphites saw David and his men passing to and fro in the mountains of [this area of] wilderness. Spying him at a distance when he ventured to show himself on the hill of Hachilah…

—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

David had had a run-in with the Ziphites before. He knew they were trouble-makers because they’d informed Saul about David’s whereabouts on a prior occasion. (1st Samuel 23)

The Ziphites are also of the tribe of Judah, and they’re located near the area of Carmel and Maon, where David has been coming and going frequently. Very recently David has been in the area guarding Nabal’s flocks and shepherds. Nabal’s shepherds said that David and his men “were a wall around [them],” (1st Samuel 25:16 niv 1984). Why did Nabal’s shepherds need a wall around them? Had David and his men been guarding those flocks and shepherds from the Ziphites?  As well, Nabal’s widow, Abigail, has a hefty inheritance in this area, and David has now taken her for his wife. The Ziphites probably watched that whole thing unfold and think perhaps they have a stake to claim. (See…A Warrior and Her King Part 3)

David comes back into this same area, I think for two reasons. First of all, he’s fully convinced (at the end of 1st Samuel 24) that all is now well and the situation resolved between him and Saul. He will be safe. And, secondly, perhaps, David thought it was important to be near Abigail’s flocks and shepherds in order to keep them from harm. But, read on,

The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?1st Samuel 26:1 niv 2011

Saul is at home in Gibeah – presumably minding his own business. All appearances indicate that Saul had decided to stop his relentless and wicked pursuit of Israel’s future king—until those Ziphites showed up.

So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand select Israelite troops, to search there for David. 1st Samuel 26:2 niv 2011

Instantly, Saul is stirred up against David again. Things were quiet between them, and then a third party inserted themselves, opening Saul’s perceived old wounds, his jealousies, grudges and trouble.

It’s way too easy to stir up wickedness. Saul had never succeeded in the taking off of his old man. He struggled with it every day that he lived so it was easy for the Ziphites to insert themselves into a situation that had been resolved and bring it back to the place where Saul wanted to kill David again.

David and Saul were never enemies. At one time they’d fought together against their true enemy, the Philistines, keeping the community of Israel a safe place.

This is a powerful lesson for us right here in the present-day Church. Oftentimes, a couple of us will get into it, go our separate ways, but still continue to work on the common goal of bringing the Truth of Christ to a lost community. Then, the Ziphites come along, insert themselves and stir up trouble again.

The Ziphites here represent those folks who have an agenda other than winning souls for Christ. They may say that that’s their agenda, but winning souls for Christ is merely a disguise. Their true desires are for themselves. The Ziphites are the ones who are experts at taking selfies and posting them on every social media outlet they can find. Their concern revolves around how much attention they can get and they won’t hesitate to stir up a hornet’s nest if they’re given the opportunity.

James gave an apt warning about listening to those who appear to have wise information among us:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:13-16 niv 2011

The Ziphites were tattle-tales – and I think they had greedy motives. They wanted Abigail’s stuff. Their wisdom (or their knowledge of where David was living) was earthly, unspiritual and demonic. They came to Saul knowing full well that it would stir him up against David again. Telling Saul of David’s whereabouts will no doubt cause disorder. Their selfish ambition plunged them head-long into a coalition of premeditated attempted murder. At this point, their personal desires negated obedience to their own Law. They’re Israelites, of the tribe of Judah. What happened to thou shalt not kill? And they know that Saul wants to kill David. Their ambition appears very much to be getting rid of David so that they could have easy access to Abigail’s possessions. With David out of the way they could overcome her household of servants and take whatever they wanted.

Join us next week as we continue the account of Saul’s new pursuit of David, Between Two Kings Part 1B.

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Posted in Between Two Kings, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, King Saul, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Warrior, Ziphites | 4 Comments

Powerful Warrior Series – A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 3

The Son of God…chances are that Mary also knows how the Son of God comes to suffer for our sin. Isaiah (53) prophesied these things, and Isaiah’s prophecy is verified in our New Testament. But here’s Mary’s response,

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:35-38 niv 2011

The Warrior’s mother isn’t thrown into a panic, though she knows that this new life within her will suffer and die. She doesn’t carry on and beg for the circumstances to be brought upon anyone else. The Warrior’s mother isn’t a drama queen – and just as an aside, because sometimes we can be notorious for being drama queens – don’t ever give in to that emotion. Fight it with everything you have. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve partaken in drama sprees, and I’ve watched other people (men and women alike) partake in this disgusting, manipulative course of action. It is a spectacle and it should have no part in our lives as Christian warriors.

Mary’s resultant actions are well under control.

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:39-45 niv 2011

Oh, praise the Lord! This is so awesome! The value of Christian fellowship should be sought after always! Here are two women experiencing similar blessing, and the older woman reinforces the nature of what’s happening to the younger when she says, Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!

The Warrior’s mother has faith and she doesn’t share this glory that is happening within her with just anyone. She doesn’t babble it on the street corner, nor does she brag of it in passing. No, Mary goes straight to her older relative, a godly woman, righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. This is the kind of woman Mary shares her sacred news with.

There are certain sacred things that happen to us at different times in our lives, and I believe that some of those things are not to be shared with another living soul, except for a few whom God Himself has chosen. In this instance, God had chosen Elizabeth for Mary. Whether it’s a miracle from God, a horrible fight within our family, or perhaps a horrendous atrocity committed by our best friend, our husband or child – many of these things we should consider sacred and take only to our dearest confidants. These confidants must be righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. And even some of these sacred things, especially things that happen between husband and wife, should never be shared with anyone but our King.

I’ve heard women babble out garbage about their husbands, parents, children, relatives, other friends, etc., and I’ve been one of those women. Beloved, let’s not carry on this way.

Solomon warned (and this is about temple worship, sacrifice and vows, but I think it can apply right here to us),

Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.
A dream comes when there are many cares,
and many words mark the speech of a fool.
Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 niv 2011

This babbling out of everything that’s going on in our lives is sinful and destructive, and it makes us look like complete idiots. Have you ever heard the saying, “Run to the Throne instead of the phone?” Do that the next time you have the urge to gab it up with somebody.

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.

he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant

Mary knows that God chose her specifically. He’s been mindful of her – she’s been in His sights.

For example:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:1-4 niv 2011

Please notice from the above Scripture that God called Moses when He saw that Moses had gone over to look…Moses was seeking when he found God in the burning bush.

Back to Mary,

From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear
[to be in awe of] him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.

This baby isn’t coming from the womb of a queen, He’s coming from a young lady who is devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.

This seeking that Mary has done has filled her with good things.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1:46-55 niv 2011

The last two verses hearken directly back to all the promises that Mary has sought after and believe.

The Warrior’s mother is devoted to the Lord in body and spirit; she seeks His holiness; she has nothing to do with guile or manipulation; she isn’t a drama queen; she has fellowship with Godly people; and she’s filled with faith.

This is a tough bill to fill, but “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Those are Jesus’ own words at Luke 18:27 niv 2011

One more thing about Mary…

Being devoted to the Lord in body and spirit made her stronger than any man of her time.

John Chapter 19, verse 25 niv 1984 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother…

When others fled, Mary stood her ground while they killed her Son. That baby of Divine blessing, whom she’d kissed thousands of times, now hung on a cross, and she stood near enough to Him to hear Him speak. She didn’t watch from afar, but up close to Him. And Christ was touched.

When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.   John 19:26-26 niv 1984

The Almighty had been mindful of Mary for a very long time. Even as He was dying He made sure to provide for her needs. She had been devoted to Him in body and spirit, and He was mindful of her.

I want the Lord to be mindful of me – I want Him to see me looking into the things of Him.

Let’s go to Him, on our face, on a daily basis in sincere humility and unleash the power of the resurrection – because it didn’t end there at the cross. It was just the beginning! Because of the cross, we have the capacity to be powerful in mind and spirit – a holy force to be reckoned with.

This is who we are in the Lord, and what we were created to be – powerful in mind and spirit, powerful warriors for our Lord, Savior and King!

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

Join us in two weeks (May 16, 2018) when we start a new series: The Lion of Judah.

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Posted in Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, Mary, mother of Jesus, Warrior | 1 Comment

Powerful Warrior Series – A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 2

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The angel, Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God (see Luke 1:19) came to see this virgin named Mary. Gabriel stands in that beautiful, awesome Throne Room described in Revelation 4. At the behest of the One on that Throne, Gabriel comes to visit with this young, engaged woman. Gabriel’s statements come directly from the mouth of God.

Keep in mind that Gabriel doesn’t come to visit just anybody. There are only 4 recorded visits in our Scriptures where Gabriel is sent to visit someone on the earth. The prophet, Daniel, received two of those visits. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist had one. But the last recorded visit from Gabriel happens to Jesus’ mother, Mary.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27 niv 2011

The word virgin is written twice in verse 27, and I think it’s written twice for two very good reasons.

The first time it’s written is to establish the fact of Jesus’ virgin birth. No one had been with Mary. Her body and her womb were both pure, ready to receive the Divine conception.

The second time virgin is written is because sex is a big temptation for a young lady. Luke could have written that portion of the passage like this: her name was Mary. But he didn’t. He chose to write the word virgin again when he give us her name.

We know Mary’s young, but we don’t know how young. We can presume that she’s at least 12 ½ years old because that was the age of legal betrothal during this time and place. Scholars put her age closer to being between 14 and 16 years of age – Mary’s adolescence would have been in full swing during this time. She was a real person with real desires, yet she was still a virgin, and Luke is careful to note that important character within the mother of Jesus.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that, An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. 1st Corinthians 7:34 niv 2011

I believe that our Warrior’s mother was very much devoted to the Lord in body and spirit.

Continuing in the narrative:

28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings [the Greek word there is chairō, and it means Rejoice!] you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

The literal translation here would read: Rejoice! The Lord will dress you with grace and accompany you.

29 Mary was greatly troubled [the Greek word there is diatarassō and it means alarmed] at his words and wondered [the Greek word there is dialogizomai and it means to reckon thoroughly] what kind of greeting this might be.

Keep this conversation in mind as we continue – Mary was alarmed at his words and reckoned his greeting thoroughly.

 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.

Mary found favor? (favor is actually grace, which is really important as we continue.) But if Mary found something I don’t think it’s a stretch to presume that she was seeking. The Warrior’s mother was seeking.

Here are a few examples of what we are supposed to be seeking. There are about a bzillion references, these are just a few. And I only took examples from the Old Testament because that’s what Mary would have been familiar with:

28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. Deuteronomy 4:28-30 niv 2011

10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
11 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

12 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 
1st Chronicles 16:10-12 niv 2011

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 2nd Chronicles 7:14-15 niv 2011

And it’s like that all over the Bible – if you seek God, you will find Him and He will heal and forgive and deliver. There is promise after promise.

And if you don’t seek Him:

13 King Rehoboam established himself firmly in Jerusalem and continued as king. He was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. 14 He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord. 2nd Chronicles 12:13-14 niv 2011

That’s a warning, and there’s a bunch of those in the Scriptures as well. With all of our sharp concordances and BibleGateway.com there is no reason that we shouldn’t be looking up these promises and warnings and learning about where they came from.

Back to Mary…

It’s clear – the mother of our Lord Jesus was seeking, and she found God’s grace and He dressed her in it – not of her own choosing, but because God made the decision to give it. All the glory and majesty placed within Mary should have killed her. She very literally was touching a holy God, but He dressed her in grace and protected her. God in the form of this unborn child would accompany her through the next steps.

 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” Luke 1:31-34 niv 2011

There is not one ounce of guile in our precious Mary. She deals completely in truth – no manipulations. Look at all that Gabriel says to her: you are to call him Jesus; He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.

She obviously believes all of that because the only thing she questions is the conception – I am a virgin. Out of all that all she questions is how the conception will happen – I think it’s just mere curiosity at this point for Mary. I think this young woman knows her Scriptures (because she’s been seeking, and you cannot know your Scriptures unless you’re seeking.) So she knows of the prophetic words of Isaiah, The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 niv 1984 And she probably also knows about Isaiah’s prophecy,

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 niv 2011

Mary was alarmed at Gabriel’s words because she knows exactly what Gabriel is talking about. She will carry within her the majesty and supremacy of a King.

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

The Son of God…chances are that Mary also knows how the Son of God comes to suffer for our sin. Isaiah (53) prophesied these things, and Isaiah’s prophecy is verified in our New Testament. But here’s Mary’s response,

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:35-38 niv 2011

The Warrior’s mother isn’t thrown into a panic, though she knows that this new life within her will suffer and die. She doesn’t carry on and beg for the circumstances to be brought upon anyone else. The Warrior’s mother isn’t a drama queen – and just as an aside, because sometimes we can be notorious for being drama queens – don’t ever give in to that emotion. Fight it with everything you have. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve partaken in drama sprees, and I’ve watched other people (men and women alike) partake in this disgusting, manipulative course of action. It is a spectacle and it should have no part in our lives as Christian warriors.

Please join us for next week’s blog, A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 3, to learn the rest of Mary’s story.

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

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Powerful Warrior Series – A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 1

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but He himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16 niv 2011

Who is this King of kings and Lord of Lords? He’s the One who calls us friend.

Moses and Miriam knew Him. Shortly after the Pharaoh’s soldiers drowned in the Red Sea, they sang this song:

“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.

“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
Exodus 15:1-3 niv 2011

Zephaniah prophesied to the people of Judah:

17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 niv 2011

Where it’s translated Mighty Warrior, that word is better translated Powerful Warrior.

This is our Divine King – and He is a powerful warrior!

In this last series of powerful warriors we’re going to look at the woman who was the mother of our King, this Powerful Warrior. Since very little is known historically about Mary, the mother of Jesus, we have to look into our Scriptures to see what she was all about. We’ll start at her first mention:

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27 niv 2011

The angel, Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God (see Luke 1:19) came to see this virgin named Mary. Gabriel stands in that beautiful, awesome Throne Room described in Revelation 4. At the behest of the One on that Throne, Gabriel comes to visit with this young, engaged woman. Gabriel’s statements come directly from the mouth of God.

I have to tell you a couple of things about Gabriel here before we continue.

Only 4 visits by Gabriel are recorded in our entire Bible:

The first one is Daniel, a man who’s been captive in Babylon since his youth. Daniel is a faithful Jew. He keeps himself pure – for instance, away from idols and the meat and wine dedicated to their worship. This guy has some self-control. He worships only one God.

Daniel’s gifts include interpreting dreams and visions, and here is where we first meet Gabriel.

Gabriel actually visits Daniel twice, and during the second conversation, which is the interpretation of a vision that Daniel’s had, Gabriel says, 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed…” Daniel 9:23(a) niv 2011 I love how the King James Version translated highly esteemed: greatly beloved.

And the fact that Daniel’s prayer is answered the moment he utters it, does not escape me. As we looked at in our first lesson (A Warrior and Her King), God hears our prayers the moment they are given, and He answers – not always this quickly, but He does answer in His own time.

Daniel was greatly beloved by the Lord, so much so that He revealed to Daniel the bulk of prophecy related to Christ. George Williams wrote:

The study of prophecy was not for Daniel a mere intellectual entertainment but moral spiritual nourishment…The Apocalypse of the Old Testament was given to Daniel who was greatly beloved, and [The Apocalypse] of the New Testament was given to John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

—George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary © 1996 Kregel

Daniel’s obedient focus was on God Almighty. Daniel’s obedience was rewarded with God’s focus on him. (Lots of Christians don’t think we are rewarded for obedience – or that we even get rewards at all! If you’re one of them, go to www.BibleGateway.com and do a keyword search on reward. And read your Bible.)

The third visit from Gabriel that we find in our Scriptures is the visit with Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Luke 1:5-20 niv 2011

A lot of scholars and theologians here believe that Zechariah was punished with muteness because he did not believe Gabriel – and that might be true, but I think just as strong of a case can be made that Zechariah was struck mute not because of his unbelief, but because it was a way to strike a public chord of confirmation that God was working in Zechariah’s life before this baby is born to a barren woman. The very next verses read:

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. Luke 1:21-22 niv 2011

Part of Zechariah’s job was to come out of the Holy Place and bless the people outside. He couldn’t do this. The people waiting outside then started to fathom that he’d seen a vision. Zechariah being struck mute, for immediate public display, was proof that whatever had happened to Zechariah in that Holy Place had been of God.

I think Gabriel hits home when he says: “because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Here’s the thing, if Zechariah was finding Gabriel’s words hard to believe, then the people waiting outside for the blessing weren’t going to believe them at all. It was a Divine imperative that Zechariah be silent until the birth of John.

Elizabeth and Zechariah were both righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly (I doubt this means they’re sinless – but when they do sin, they deal with immediately. There is no secret sin life for them.) Like Daniel, they have an extraordinary capacity for obedience, and Gabriel brings the message that Zechariah’s prayer has been heard, and will be answered shortly.

The incidents with Daniel and Zechariah then give you an idea of what kind of people Gabriel has been sent to visit with in the past.

The last recorded visit from Gabriel happens to Jesus’ mother, Mary.

We’ll talk about that visit and the resulting consequences in next week’s blog, A Warrior is Pure – The Mother of a Warrior Part 2.

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

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Posted in Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, Mary, mother of Jesus, Uncategorized, Warrior | 4 Comments