Friday, April 30, 2010

David Ascends to the Throne

2 Samuel 1-4

When Saul and Jonathan died in battle, David mourned for them.
His heart was pure; his love was true; his grief was genuine.
Though Saul abandoned obedience to follow fleshly ways,
David respected God’s anointed until the very last day.

Our Lord sent David back to Judah, to dwell in Hebron town.
His faithful men and families came to live in the cities around.
Shortly thereafter the house of Judah anointed him as king.
Fifteen years had flown by since Samuel’s first anointing.

The ten northern tribes of Israel installed Ishbosheth, Sauls’s son.
God would yet unite the nation, but His work was not yet done.
For seven years and six full months, David led the Southern nation.
The Bible records many events til he reached his ultimate station.

There was conflict and much division resulting in frequent war.
David’s army usually won, the strength of his kingdom soared.
Ishbosheth, the Northern King was really quite a fool.
When he falsely accused his general, Abner changed the rules.

Abner, the Northern chief of staff, was about to unite the two nations.
He would deliver the tribes of the north in an act of dedication.
But as fate would have it, Abner died. Joab killed him to get even.
Joab was a great fighting man, but he wasn’t a man to believe in.

Meanwhile in the Northern kingdom, Ishbosheth lost control.
Two of Abner’s well-known captains played a prominent role.
Rechab and Baanah entered his bedroom, killed him and cut off his head
Then they brought it to King David to prove that he was dead.

But David was an honest man. He didn’t reward a traitor.
The king had proven time and again that he was a treachery hater.
Instead of being rewarded these captains experienced death.
Ironically they woke up in hell along with Ishbosheth.

I appreciate the integrity David brought to his throne.
Let us applaud his honesty and adopt it as our own.
David had his failures too. He wasn’t a perfect guy.
But let us remember well, dear friend, neither are you or I.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saul's Sad Ending

1 Samuel 28, 31

While Saul was hunting David down time was passing by.
Meanwhile Samuel approached the day that he would surely die.
Saul had listened to Samuel, had driven the mediums away,
(Mediums are the tool of Satan to lead the people astray).

When Samuel died the nation mourned remembering him with love.
But Saul, who turned his back on God, lacked wisdom from above.
The Philistines gathered to attack and his spirit melted in fear.
He told his staff to find a medium to which he could draw near.

Saul disguised himself at night and went to the witch at En Dor.
He desired of her to call up Samuel whom he would implore.
They saw Samuel suddenly appear; his face was bearing a frown.
Saul bowed down in humility, his face toward the ground.

God has forbidden necromancy. The dead cannot come back.
He allowed this one occasion to illustrate this fact.
The witch, completely surprised and scared, cried out loud to all,
“Why have you deceived me? For surely you are King Saul.”

Samuel’s message to the king was short and to the point.
“You disobeyed provoking God to find a new king to anoint.
The Philistines will take this nation of which you’ve been the head.
Tomorrow you will be defeated. You and your sons will be dead.”

The battle was joined and Israel fled before the Philistine soldiers.
Jonathan and brothers were killed that day. Saul could see it was over.
Wounded and dying Saul requested not to be killed by the horde,
So his assistant slew him there. Then he too fell on his sword.

So Saul, his sons, his bodyguards—the Philistines found them dead.
They stripped him of his armor and then they cut off his head.
Saul, who had a great beginning, closed his life in shame.
There is literally nothing about him that we desire to claim.

How will you finish your life? To whom do you belong?
This should be our ultimate goal: to finish spiritually strong.
We have this life to honor our Lord, to prepare for heaven above,
So let us serve to the very last day the One we have come to love.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Character on Display

1 Samuel 24, 26

David endured intense persecution at the hand of Saul.
He had no palace in which to dwell safely behind the wall.
David lived in the hills and deserts deep in the wilderness.
Though times were hard it truly was the key to his future success.

Adversity is a better teacher than success can ever be.
Adversity reveals character for all the world to see.
David could have called for Saul to meet him in a fight,
But to kill the Lord’s anointed simply wasn’t right.

There was an occasion when David hid deep inside a cave.
Saul turned aside to relieve himself with no one there to save.
David sneaked up very close, cut the corner of Saul’s robe.
As he left, David called out, “O King Saul, behold.”

Holding the tassel cut from the robe, David said to Saul.
“If indeed I wanted to kill you, nothing could stop me at all.
Why do you listen to those who despise me, for I seek not your throne?
All I want is peace between us and a place to call my home.”

There was yet a second occasion when Saul was sound asleep.
David enlisted a courageous friend, sneaked into their camp quite deep.
As they stood o’er Saul’s tired body, Abishai sought to spear him,
But David said, “He’s the Lord’s anointed. Let us respect and fear him.”

After retreating David called out holding high Saul’s spear.
“O my Lord, why do you chase me? I could have killed you here.”
Once again in selfless example, he put character on display.
Everyone saw that this was a man who was worthy to obey.

David expressed total respect for the one appointed to lead.
He would not hurt him in any way just so he could succeed.
Oh how great is his example. What grace and humility!
He is a lesson in leadership for all of us to see.

God has many He could use with talent and vision galore.
Though these are sterling qualities, a leader needs much more.
Just as Jesus loved His church, laid down His life for her,
So He desires believers today to demonstrate character.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preparation for the Throne

1 Samuel 22; Psalm 57; 142; Philippians 4:13

Samuel records the trials of David hunted by the king.
When he awoke, he never knew what each new day would bring.
Jonathan helped him flee the king and stay one step ahead.
By the faithfulness of God, he defeated fear and dread.

Though he was hunted like a dog, David kept his head.
Many others came to him desiring to be led.
David made them mighty men whose valor became known.
These many issues daily faced prepared him for the throne.

From the Cave of Adullum, which he shared with loyal men,
David cried unto the Lord time and time again.
From the depths of dark despair up to a time of praise,
David yielded to the Lord, fought off his deep malaise.

Saul went on a killing spree, murdering Israel’s priests.
The king was losing lucidity with evil on the increase.
The spirit of darkness ruled him; he was slowly losing his mind.
His life became a symbol of the failure of mankind.

We are reminded by this account of the terrible danger of sin.
A jealous, bitter, murderous spirit changes us within.
When we focus on self alone; live by the order of Saul,
We become most miserable, perhaps a danger to all.

But David is an illustration of God’s grace and love.
He remained steady and stable because of God above.
With each new challenge that he faced, he called unto the Lord.
He received strength and grace each day for his spirit to be restored.

So here is a truth God has revealed for all of us to see:
Living in communion with Him is the only way to be.
We have no strength on our own because of sin’s cruel sting,
But when we rely upon God above, we can do everything.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Terrible Cost of Jealousy

1 Samuel 18

After Goliath, David was in…admired and honored by all.
Saul took David into his home to serve at his beck and call.
Jonathan, the son of Saul, made David, his best friend.
Ambition, fame, and pride of life he was able to transcend.

Saul set David over the men who fought in Israel’s wars.
Never did he anticipate the trouble that was in store.
It was a simple innocent song that started all the pain
When Israeli women danced and sang a troublesome refrain.

The song gave praise to Saul and David, Israel’s famous men.
But for every opponent Saul had killed, David had slain ten.
King Saul did not appreciate the musical critique.
He succumbed to paranoia, for his ego now was tweaked.

Because of his sin and jealousy, the king wished David dead,
But David acted wisely and stayed one step ahead.
But then one night with Saul morose, Dave was summoned to play.
Saul attempted to kill him, but David got away.

Thus began a time of peril filled with great dismay.
These were days of testing as David learned how to pray.
His Psalms record the deepest feelings David freely expressed
Pouring out the pain and pressure from the constant stress.

Jealousy is an ugly thing. It always brings heartache and pain.
In the end the loss is great and nothing at all is gained.
If you allow your mind and spirit to travel down this road,
You will lose God’s precious peace as did Saul of old.

So learn from Saul and forsake this sin, for it will surely kill you.
Satan seeks to sell these lies and he will surely bill you.
If you yield to his foul plan, the actions you embrace
Will cause pain for others and bring you much disgrace.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 23, 2010

Early Lessons from the Palace

1 Samuel 16:14-23

The Spirit of God departed from Saul leaving him to his sin.
Because of the emptiness of his life an evil spirit came in.
The torment of his soul was intense causing all joy to cease.
Only when David played his harp could he experience peace.

God was the author of the event that brought David to the King.
He learned much from all he saw as he would play and sing.
David could see the anguish of Saul deep in his tormented soul.
He wisely continued to yield to God giving Him full control.

What can we learn from this short account? Is there a lesson here?
Without God’s Spirit as troubles mount, we lose all hope and cheer.
When we tell God to take a hike; that we want full control,
Our arrogance leads to emptiness, a void within our soul.

We were created to be filled and led by God’s Holy Spirit.
The trouble with this message is so many will not hear it.
Our fallen nature rises strong insisting on its way.
Soon we’re held captive by fallen flesh much to our dismay.

Perhaps you are a child of God but living far from His ways.
You have no joy or peace within knowing how far you strayed.
Remember how the faithful shepherd left the ninety-nine
To journey into the wilderness the poor lost lamb to find.

Jesus is that shepherd now. You are precious to Him.
When he died upon the cross, He paid the price of your sin.
If you continue to wander away all peace and joy will leave.
The Shepherd is calling to those astray with love too great to believe.

Only a fool resists such grace refusing to walk with Him.
Only a fool continues to live captive to self and sin.
In the Bible the Psalmist wrote, “The fool says there is no God.”
To profess Christ but live in the world is confusingly odd.

You would be wise to check your condition, to make your salvation sure.
You should have as your ambition to grow in the Lord mature.
You will find the longings of sin will gradually slip away.
The Spirit will give you peace within as you walk with Him every day.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leadership is not Good Looks

David Anointed King
1 Samuel 15

“Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.”

The Lord said to Samuel, “It’s time to stop grieving.
I have an assignment for you.
Though Saul is rejected, I’ll soon be revealing
A king whose devotion is true.

Go down to Jesse in Bethlehem town.
Take a young heifer with you.
Have all the sons of Jesse around;
I’ll show you the one I choose.”

Jesse presented his first-born son.
What a tremendous start!
But God said to Sam, “He’s not the one.
He doesn’t have the right heart

You must be careful not to assume
A leader by his appearance.
The one who rules from the throne room
Will be known for godly adherence.

Throughout the day the candidates progressed,
Seven strong sons passed through.
But none of them completely possessed
The virtues the king must imbue.

Samuel asked, “Are all the sons here?
Does there remain one or two?
None of the seven who have appeared
Is the one that our God will use.”

“There is yet one who is far away
Frankly, he’s still a youth.
He likes to sing to the Lord in praise,
He’s also a lover of truth.”

When David arrived from the fields that day,
The youngest of Jesse’s eight sons,
Samuel anointed; then knelt to pray,
For he was the chosen one.

Just remember this, dear friend.
It’s wisdom God would impart:
God is in charge from beginning to end
Choosing the one with His heart.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Obedience Zone

Saul Loses His Kingdom
1 Samuel 15

The focus of this Bible account is character failure in Saul.
Obedience cannot be ignored just cause you’re handsome and tall.
God gave Saul a specific command, but he chose to disobey.
Saul decided to change God’s plan and carry it out his way.

The Word of the Lord then came to Samuel expressing deep regret,
For Saul had turned away from God; clearly He was upset.
Samuel heart was deeply stricken; he cried to the Lord all night.
The tall young king of Israel had lost the spiritual fight.

Upon his arrival Saul greeted the sage pretending all was well.
Samuel replied, “Shut your mouth; I have a message to tell:
‘When you were little in your own eyes, God raised you up as king.
But since you’ve chosen to disobey, you have lost everything.’”

“You have rejected the Lord your God; now He is rejecting you.
He has chosen another king who will do what God wants him to.”
Saul was shaken and grabbed Sam’s robe, clinging until it tore,
But Samuel said, “It’s over Saul. You ignored the Word of the Lord.”

Samuel refused to visit Saul until the day of his death.
He mourned for Saul as he thought of all the king would now forfeit.
Jonathon, his honorable son, would never inherit the throne.
This judgment came because Saul chose to leave the obedience zone.

When we choose to disobey God, heartache and pain come along.
This is why we treasure His word learning what’s right and wrong.
Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft; stubbornness is evil too.
These are but two of the fleshly fruits that each of us must subdue.

God has a plan to bless your life, to bring fulfillment as well.
He has prepared a heaven to gain too glorious even to tell.
Live your life each day for God with thoughts of your heavenly home.
Make the decision to live your life in the obedience zone.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jonathan--A Profile in Courage and Faith

1 Samuel 14

The Bible tells us facts obscure to remind us of God’s great power.
Oft He came to Israel’s aid in their darkest hour.
Israel had few weapons of war, no swords of sharpened steel.
Facing the Philistines so ill-equipped was short on public appeal.

But in the face of all these facts, we read about Saul’s pure son.
Jonathan knew if God attacked, the battle would surely be won.
He looked across the deep defile to see the Philistine camp.
He felt a desire to go and fight; his faith and courage were amped.

He climbed the cliff on hands and knees along with his armor-bearer.
Together they fought twenty men creating a scene of terror.
There was an earthquake during the fight; the Philistines ran in retreat.
This was the first of many more battles Israel had to repeat.

Why did God use the son of Saul to lead the fight that day?
Is it because he had a heart to trust God and obey?
While Saul was sitting under a tree surrounded by 600 men,
Jonathon was busy killing their foes with the help of a loyal friend.

Jonathan was a man of courage, an example of trusting faith.
He believed God would keep His word to give His people their place.
We could learn from his example in our Christian walk:
That we need to engage in battle, not just talk the talk.

So let’s do more about the conditions in the world today.
Let’s care for the lonely, give to the poor; take more time to pray.
Let’s tell about Jesus across the land in every city and town
With Gospel light assaulting the darkness tearing its gateway down.

God alone can save our nation and restore our spiritual health.
Surely we see there is no hope in amassing material wealth.
Wealth and possessions do not fulfill. Their promises are fleeting.
Let us remember that future day when Jesus we will be meeting.

How about you? Are you courageous? Are you a person of faith?
Have you experienced God’s salvation given to us by grace?
Have you engaged yourself in battle? Are you serving our Lord?
Have you fixed your heart on the day you receive your eternal reward?

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Saul's Character Flaws Exposed

1 Samuel 11-13

In the first year of his reign Saul clashed with the Ammonites.
God gave him a decisive victory, for what he did was right.
Thus Saul created a standing army to defend the growing nation.
He kept two thousand by His side, the rest with Jonathan stationed.

Nobody knows if the Philistines provoked it, but Jonathan went on the attack.
Saul called for the men to gather together in case the Philistines react.
Three thousand chariots (two in each cart), six thousand riding abreast
Combined that day with innumerable soldiers to put Israel to the test.

All of Israel saw imminent danger. They trembled in fear and despair.
Some of them hid in caves and rocks while others got out of there.
Saul was waiting to worship and pray at the prophet’s appointed time,
But Samuel was delayed that day and Saul committed a crime.

Instead of waiting for the priest he disobeyed God’s law.
He offered the sacrifice by himself plainly before them all.
Samuel arrived shortly thereafter, admonished Saul quite strong.
“You will now forfeit your legacy, for what you have done is wrong.”

There is a lesson for all to learn as we travel the Christian road.
To trust our God in faith and obedience is the loyalty owed.
If we would see the power of God move in impossible ways,
Then it is faith and obedience that must be on display.

Saul and Jonathan were ill-equipped to face the Philistine might.
But God desired to rescue them in the midst of their terrible plight.
God cares that much for us as well; He knows each challenging task.
He calls His children to knock on His door and never cease to ask.

So take the lesson you see in this passage. Burn it deep in your heart.
God has promised to watch and keep you; His presence will never depart.
Don’t pattern your life after the order of Saul, for his life was a disaster.
Following Saul earns a premature trip to an unrewarded hereafter.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Saul's Coronation

1 Samuel 12

When it was time for Saul’s coronation,
Samuel had something to say.
“I want a public examination
Of all my conduct and ways.”

“Is there someone I have cheated?
Have I ever taken a bribe?
Now is the time for you to repeat it.
Step forth my sin to describe.”

Upon hearing their aging prophet
They affirmed his integrity.
Samuel told them God would not stop it
But clearly He was displeased.

“Today you have chosen what you desire—
A king to rule from your throne.
You threw off the Lord your God
To ask for a leader unknown.

God has allowed you to have your way.
He will be faithful and true.
If you will fear Him and obey
He will be gracious to you.

Now even though it is early summer,
A time when there is no rain,
God will give you thunder and lightning
His faithfulness to proclaim.”

Just then the sky lit up with lightning
Loud thunder rolled through the land.
The people were terribly frightened
By the power of God’s mighty hand.

Samuel gave them a word of comfort
Telling them he would pray. He said,
“Serve the Lord with all your heart
And in His presence stay.

Sadly we know the rest of the story,
How far they drifted from Him.
We should do better in giving Him glory,
For we have the Spirit within.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Glory of Easter

This is the day of the Lord’s resurrection
What a wonderful day indeed!
Jesus our Lord in sinless perfection
Paid for my sinful deeds.

Jesus Christ, so pure within,
The Author of all creation,
Enclosed Himself in human skin
Providing a path to salvation.

He spoke the Word of Truth to all
As He shared the eternal plan.
Man was condemned by Adam’s fall,
Lost before life began.

He showed how the sacrifice past
With blood sprinkled by man’s hand
Was a symbol wholly surpassed
By His death as our Passover lamb.

Satan knew the capacity of man;
Just how God’s presence could thrill him.
He knew that Jesus was God’s plan.
He was sure he needed to kill him.

We all know the terrible truth:
Perfection was rejected.
Beaten and mocked by men uncouth,
He was nailed to a cross erected.

But Jesus altered our destiny
As he hung there on the cross.
What Satan thought was victory
Became his eternal loss.

Jesus died and the people wept
As they placed him in the grave.
But death soon learned He couldn’t be kept;
He came forth from the tomb to save.

Jesus told us He would die
And arise on the third day.
This is a very strong reason why
You should trust Him as Savior today.

Each of us choose heaven or hell
To be our eternal abode.
To sin’s dark plans you must say “farewell”
And choose the upward road.

© Copyright George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Saul Chosen to be King of Israel

1 Samuel 9-10

Now when our journey last left off, Israel desired a king.
Samuel dutifully told the folks, it wouldn’t be a good thing.
But the people refused to obey, accepting no will but their own.
They insisted that Samuel install a king upon the throne.

Samuel records in chapter nine the account of a man named Saul.
He was a choice and handsome man and also pleasingly tall.
He fit the profile of worldly wisdom. Certainly he was eye candy.
With his stature and natural good looks, the people thought he was dandy

Saul and a servant were searching the land for a herd of donkeys lost.
They decided to inquire of Samuel hoping to avert the loss.
God told the prophet Saul was coming and told him what he should do.
When he arrived Samuel announced, “The one to be king is you.”

Samuel anointed Saul with oil; said, “You have been chosen by God.”
Then he told him several things that at the moment seemed odd.
“When you leave you will meet men with goats and bread and wine.
You will also meet prophets and prophesy. These are God’s sure sign.”

When Saul left Samuel, the signs came to pass; God clearly did his part.
Saul was able to prophesy, for God had transformed his heart.
Then Samuel called the tribes together to formally present their king.
He explained the behavior of royalty and wrote down everything.

Saul went back to his home town surrounded by valiant men.
Knowing that the king would be challenged, God had spoken to them.
Little is known about his reign in those earliest days,
But this we see in the very next chapter: trouble is on its way.

We know many facts about Saul and most of them are bad.
We will soon see his lifetime pursuits compile a record quite sad.
It’s so important to follow the Lord in word, and deed, and song.
Don’t be like Saul who started well but failed to finish strong.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved