Monday, May 31, 2010

Six Wicked Kings of the North

The details of the Bible account now shift to the kings of the North.
We see Nadab, the second king, whose reign was very short.
He was supplanted as the king after two short years.
At Baasha’s hand all his descendents totally disappeared.

Baasha reigned for twenty-four years as wicked as those before him.
Because he walked in terrible sin it was impossible to ignore him.
God told Jehu, the faithful prophet, that he should condemn the king.
Thus it happened in spite of his might that Baasha lost everything.

After Baasha, Elah was crowned. He liked to indulge in liquor.
The depth of his father’s terrible sin only brought judgment quicker.
Zimri, one of his trusted commanders, went in and struck him down.
Just as Jehu’s prophecy said, he left none of the family around.

Zimri took control of the court obtaining the throne by deception.
When all of Israel heard the report he received a cool reception.
Omri, now the commander of troops, went after the treasonous liar.
Zimri defiantly burned the king’s house and died in the terrible fire.

What followed next was war within by supporters of two main guys.
Half of the people supported Tibni to Omri’s great surprise.
This meant war for six long years with the nation clearly divided.
Eventually Omri did prevail and on the throne he resided.

Omri reigned for twelve more years. He was a competent fellow,
But when it came to idolatry, he was clearly a mellow fellow.
He lived in sin as the kings before him with idols of every kind
Provoking the Lord to anger by his acceptance of all the shrines.

Finally Omri slept with his fathers and if you think he was bad,
The throne was passed for twenty-two years to his son, Ahab.
Ahab was married to a wife whose name was Jezebel.
The depravity of this woman’s heart is too terrible to tell.

We can see that Israel failed in just about every respect.
But due to the wickedness of their kings, there was little to expect.
Nadab, Baasha, Elah and Zimri, Omri and Ahab too
Turned the northern nation of Israel into a godless zoo.

Righteousness exalts a nation but sin brings certain disgrace.
Israel needed to bend her knee, repent, and seek God’s face.
We should remember this Bible account and soberly take it to heart,
For righteous behavior will hold us together but sin will tear us apart.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Southern Kings

1 Kings 15

We have observed the Northern king whose life was a poor example.
Now we will see the Southern king whose record is more than ample.
Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, reigned for seventeen years.
He departed from the truths his grandfather David held dear.

The nation did evil during his reign stirring God’s jealousy.
Judah embraced without horror or shame all forms of idolatry.
With sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill you see,
The prostitutes plied their evil trade under each spreading tree.

It should not come as a total shock that idolatrous sin condemns.
That is why there was an attack upon Jerusalem.
The king of Egypt stripped the temple of its shields of gold.
Over and over we see in scripture just how this pattern unfolds.

Additional deeds of Rehoboam are found in other books,
But the failure of his life remind of sin’s strong hook.
After his death Abijah, his son, ascended to Judah’s throne.
He continued in the same ways that he had always known.

All through the years of Rehoboam and also Abijah his son,
There was war with the northern kingdom never decisively won.
Abijah died within three years as Jeroboam celebrated twenty.
Then when Asa became the king, the changes were strong and plenty.

We pause to share an interesting fact, one to appreciate:
Judah experienced nineteen kings and the good ones numbered eight.
Four of these kings brought strong reform and God’s will was done.
Asa, the great, great grandson of David, was the very first one.

None of the evil shrines were spared including his own grandmother’s,
For Asa was devoted to the true God, unlike all the others.
In the second year of Asa’s rule, Jeroboam expired.
God brought Asa safely through the challenges that transpired.

In his lifetime of serving God, he reigned for forty-one years.
Judah enjoyed a period of rest defeating attacks and fears.
God exalts a righteous nation; the wicked will surely fall.
Blessed are those who honor God, who choose to give Him their all.

I pray our nation will not repeat the mistakes of the kings above.
Let us pray for a modern-day Asa and serve our Lord with love.
Let us forsake the pathway of sin and walk the path that is right.
Let us serve our Lord each day with heart and soul and might.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sin Has Consequences

1 Kings 14

After the prophet came to the North to share the Word of the Lord,
Jeroboam continued in sin; God’s warning was sadly ignored.
The king appointed many priests who were evil with no worth.
Now his throne would be removed from the face of the earth.

About that time his son became ill and the King said to his queen.
“Go to Shiloh and speak with Ahijah, the one who announced me as king.
Take some gifts and disguise yourself so he won’t know who you are.”
(The fact that he thought he could fool the Lord is really quite bazaar).

Ahijah was old and his sight was gone but he knew the voice of God.
So it was that he was informed about the elaborate fa├žade.
When she arrived he called her by name and told her to listen well,
For he had received a word from God and had a message to tell.

“Remind the king I raised him up and gave to him this nation.
I tore it from the family of David and invited him to salvation.
He has committed more evil sin than all the kings before him.
This is why I declare today how deeply I abhor him.

The kingdom is given to someone else. There will be no monopolization.
His male heirs will surely die with others of his relation.
Their bodies will fall to be eaten by dogs, a feast for the birds of the air.
The evil he brought to My people has led them to sin and despair.

I declare these words are true for the moment you reach the city,
Your little boy will surely die and the people will mourn in pity.
You can consider his death a gift, for I’ve found in him some good.
None of the others followed God or chose to live as they should.”

Sure enough it happened that day just as the prophet said.
As soon as the queen entered the city her precious son fell dead.
In the book of Chronicles we learn of Jeroboam’s reign,
But here are some truths for us to apply throughout our life campaign.

First we remember who we serve and live for Him each day.
We give attention to His Word to keep from going astray.
When we hear a word of rebuke we listen with all of our heart.
We determine to put God first; from His precepts never depart.

Jeroboam failed his call because he lived by the flesh.
If we fail give God our all, there’s nothing important left.
Wise is the man who serves our Lord in truth and total devotion,
For unto him God has reserved a glorious eternal promotion.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 24, 2010

Obedience and Success are Intertwined

1 Kings 13

Jeroboam, the Northern King, led his people astray.
He introduced idolatry to keep his leadership in play.
He built altars for sacrifice and encouraged the people to use them.
He was hoping they would forget the temple in Jerusalem.

The king was guilty of terrible sin against God’s first command.
He thought too little of the One who gave him his throne and land.
He loved the trappings of royalty with his orders always obeyed.
He threw off God who was good and true, invited the devil to stay.

A young prophet came to Bethel to speak to all the false priests.
“On these altars,” he proclaimed, “the lives of the priests would cease.
A son will be born to David’s house; Josiah will be his name.
He will judge these false priests rebuking you for your shame.”

When Jeroboam heard these words, he was angry to say the least.
He reached out to take hold of him, but his hand was suddenly diseased.
He asked the young prophet quickly to pray that God would heal his hand.
When it happened the king decided he would detain the man.

When the invitation came forth, the young man answered in haste.
“I would not stay for half of your kingdom. God tells me to leave this place.”
God had instructed not to linger but to leave by a different road.
I imagine he headed south back to his home abode.

But now we see a peculiar twist, one that is quite a surprise.
He stopped for a time under an oak, a time to reflect and apprise.
An older prophet found him there, invited him home to rest.
When he accepted his invitation, he totally failed the test.

When the young prophet left after lunch, a lion met and killed him.
The donkey and lion stood side by side at the scene so still and grim.
The older prophet summed it up: “He defied the Lord’s command.”
Sadly he failed to fulfill the mission in the manner it was planned.

Now here is a truth for all today who call on the name of the Lord.
To prevail, you must obey. No details can be ignored.
Fuzzy thinking and fleshly desire clouded his spiritual mind.
Don’t ever forget obedience and success are perfectly intertwined.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Kingdom is Split

1 Kings 12

Because of sin in Solomon’s life God called for his attention.
Pagan wives and idolatry signaled sin’s ascension.
Solomon needed to turn around, restore his communion with God,
He needed to heed God’s Holy Word as his life-measuring rod.

One of the enemies God raised up was an official named Jeroboam.
You will see his prominence in more of these scripture poems.
He would be given ten of the tribes because of Solomon’s sin,
But God preserved Solomon’s son with two tribes given to him.

There was a prophet, Ahijah by name, who was wearing a brand new robe.
The fact that he tore it into twelve pieces was a sight to behold.
He said to Jeroboam that day, “Of the twelve tribes God gives you ten,
He will give you the Northern Kingdom and you will be king to them.”

Remembering the promise made to David, God kept the southern tribes.
Rehoboam would be enthroned to lead them and to guide.
Jeroboam received God’s word to rule as his heart desired.
The books of Kings and Chronicles tell us what then transpired.

There is much more about Solomon’s reign we will see in a later book,
But here in the record of 1 Kings we get a summary-type look.
When Solomon died the throne was split just as the prophet proclaimed.
The Biblical record now reports on each of the kingdom reigns.

Rehoboam was a fool who ignored his father’s advisors.
He listened to counsel from his peers whom he deemed much wiser.
Treating his subjects with contempt he sought to conscript more slaves.
When they rose up and killed the slave leader, Rehoboam ran away.

Jeroboam emerged from hiding to lead the tribes of the north.
The Scriptures tell of both the kingdoms switching back and forth.
First it tells about the king who led the Southern tribes.
Then it will tell about the North and the idolatry it prescribed.

Jeroboam failed in faith afraid his kingdom would fall
Because the temple in the South wasn’t available to all.
He erected golden calves in the cities of Bethel and Dan.
That was the beginning of idolatry practiced throughout the land.

God desired to bless the new king. He wanted him to succeed,
But even from the very beginning Jeroboam failed to heed.
Here is a lesson for all today, which produces a better fate:
We must remember to trust our Lord and live a life of faith.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Middle Years of Solomon's Reign

I Kings 4-11

Solomon did well the first twenty years walking close to God.
He spent thirteen building his palace moving rock and sod.
Seven more he toiled on the temple building a holy place.
These twenty years he followed the Lord always seeking His face.

When the temple was completed the elders were summoned to town.
The priests brought the ark into the temple where they put it down.
When the ark was carefully placed, God’s cloud of glory descended.
His presence so filled the Holy Place, their ministry was suspended.

Sheep and cattle were sacrificed—more than one could count—
Each a type of the Lord Jesus Christ who would some day die on this mount.
Solomon knelt before the altar his hands raised high in the air.
There he thanked the Lord above for His faithfulness and His care.

For fourteen days the people rejoiced in the temple dedication.
It symbolized the presence of God among His special nation.
They blessed the king and headed home joyful and glad in heart.
They knew the temple would unify and keep them from growing apart.

Shortly thereafter in chapter nine, God came a second time.
He spoke of His consuming desire to bless the king sublime.
If Solomon continued to walk before Him with integrity of heart,
His throne would be established forever; God’s presence would never depart.

There also came a word of warning about Solomon’s life each day.
The blessings would remain so long as in His presence he stayed.
If he or his sons should turn away another God to serve,
He would reject this holy temple and give them what they deserve.

I wish I could tell you that all went well but that would corrupt the account,
For Solomon’s many pagan wives brought idolatry to the mount.
Even thought the Queen of Sheba was amazed by his wise rule,
Solomon failed to walk with God and played the part of the fool.

God gave Solomon opposition seeking to get his attention.
Still today trials may come to remind us of our redemption.
God did not save us to watch us sin and throw our life away.
We must hide His word within and seek His face each day.

So let us not fail as Solomon did departing from God’s best.
Let us stay true and faithful to Him, passing every test.
Let us equip our children now with a sense of right and wrong.
Let us center our life on Christ and strive to finish strong.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Early Days of Solomon's Reign

1 Kings 2-3

There was intrigue around Solomon’s throne. Nothing could be truer.
With wisdom that was not his own, he dispatched the evil doers.
Adonijah, who sought to be king, and Joab, the shameful traitor,
Knew exactly what treachery would bring; were sent to face their Creator.

Abiathar, who abandoned David while serving as a priest,
Was exiled to another land and from the priesthood released.
Shimei, who reviled David, was told never to leave his town.
But when he decided to disobey, he was caught and quickly struck down.

After the kingdom was totally stable with no more opponents there
Solomon worshipped with sacrifice and sought the Lord in prayer.
God appeared to him one night; speaking through a dream
Suggesting that the king request the desires his God could bring.

In gratitude the king responded asking to be wise.
He didn’t ask for silver or gold or any earthly prize.
He desired to rule the land with an upright, compassionate heart
This is why he was richly blessed, with distinction set apart.

An example of the wisdom God gave involved a little child.
A dispute arose between two women, neither meek nor mild.
Each had a baby but one of them died, which caused the switcheroo.
There was a need for the king to decide just what each one should do.

The king told a servant to hold high the baby both women adored.
Then he stunningly gave the command to divide it in half with a sword.
One of the women shouted out, “Stop! Give it to the other.”
Her heartfelt plea without a doubt revealed she was the mother.

Over and over the wisdom God gave was discovered in each situation.
The hand of God was clearly revealed in his daily administration.
Because the king requested from God wisdom and grace to rule,
He was given along with wisdom riches and honor too.

We too can serve our Lord with grace displayed in the course of our life.
We can shine in our dark time by the absence of sin and strife.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine so God will be shown to be great.”
O what joy and fulfillment we find as we journey to heaven’s gates.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 16, 2010

THe Final Drama before David's Death

i Kings 1

Incredible drama you will see in David’s very last days.
He was hovering at death’s door, weakness upon him preyed.
The king was unable to be warmed with blankets piled high.
The physicians remembered an old wives tale they desired to try.

They prescribed a beautiful virgin to care for the ailing king.
By lying in bed close to him warmth to his body would spring.
Abishag, a lovely girl, was found by searching the nation.
She became David’s concubine but with no sexual relations.

At the same time while David was weak, others desired the throne.
Adonijah, Absalom’s younger brother, sought to make it his own.
He was able to gather support from two of the king’s closest men.
He hosted a feast of fattened calves as he brought his plan to an end.

Now Nathan, the faithful prophet of God, spoke to Solomon’s mother.
He told her about the celebration with all the other brothers.
Nathan knew it was God’s intention for Solomon to be king.
David needed to act right now and take control of this thing.

Bathsheba went to see the king and Nathan shortly thereafter.
They told of Adonijah’s fling and advised that he must act faster.
The king told Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, “Put Solomon on my mule.
Blow the trumpet, tell the people, King Solomon is to rule.”

Zadok anointed the new King, proclaimed him as David’s successor.
He alone was David’s choice to be the throne’s possessor.
Adonijah’s guests were alarmed. Their courage clearly faltered.
Adonijah ran to the temple and clung to the horns of the altar.

Adnonijah told Solomon’s men, “I’m afraid the king will slay me.”
Solomon said, “Live a good life and I promise not to repay thee.”
The rebel bowed before the king acknowledging Solomon’s throne.
Then the king said this to him, “It’s time for you to go home.”

Once again our God was faithful to bring His plans to fruition.
If we listen to His voice, He will help us complete our mission.
Here is what I hope to do, the burden for which I long:
To center my life on God’s dear plan finishing true and strong.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Closing Chapters of David's Life

The Closing Chapters of David’s Life
2 Samuel 21-24

Forty years David reigned as Israel’s greatest king.
Though he was a man of war, he would also compose and sing.
Many of the Psalms we enjoy were written by his hand.
Everything that David did, he did on a scale grand.

After the death of Absalom, the Bible records much more.
Continuing battles with Philistines and their giants four.
Ishi-benob, a son of the giant, had David out on a limb,
But Abishai (a BISH a eye), David’s friend, came to rescue him.

After that the Israelite Army refused to let the king fight.
What good is it to have an army but lose their guiding light?
David no longer was in the front lines to battle man to man,
But he was active in giving direction for the battle plans.

There was another battle at Gab with the giant Saph.
Sibbecai (SIB uh kie) sent this terrible foe down his ancestor’s path.
Then there was a third big man, another Goliath by name.
Elhanan stepped up to the fight and the results were just the same.

Finally giant number four was located over in Gath.
Having six fingers and six toes helped him with his math.
He insulted Israel’s God with dreams of impressing others,
But he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother.

The Bible tells of mighty men with details we must convey.
Josheb-Basshebeth killed eight hundred in a single day.
Eleazor, one of the three, in battle would not retreat.
His hand was frozen to the sword and the Philistines suffered defeat.

There are many more to list but space does not permit.
One brave soldier killed a lion deep in a snowy pit.
Read your Bible and be impressed about their faithful service.
No wonder the enemies of the king were understandably nervous.

David had a lapse of judgment about which there is consensus
He disappointed God above when he chose to commission a census.
The reason for this sinful deed was David’s human pride,
Cause believers don’t trust in human hands but in the Lord abide.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Absalom's Folly

2 Samuel 15-18

David was Israel’s greatest king but an abject failure as dad.
His tepid reception of Absalom turned into something bad.
Absalom, completely embittered, began to subvert the king
Inciting the people with suggestions a leadership change could bring.

The people thought he was terrific due to the attention shown,
But Absalom was using them as a tool to gain the throne.
After four years he proceeded with his plan’s execution.
From the nearby town of Hebron, he announced the revolution.

David then heard how the king’s son had won the citizen’s hearts.
In order to spare the city of God, he rose up to depart.
Six hundred of his faithful men decided to go with the king.
Other than these loyal folks, Absalom controlled everything.

Can you imagine the deep despair as David was facing death
Only to learn he was further betrayed by his servant Mephibosheth?
Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the heir to the Northern throne
Thought his kingdom he might regain if David was overthrown.

Ahithophel, David’s counselor, took the side of the son.
He advised him to proceed with sin that should have been shunned.
He endeavored to speak as an oracle in the way his words would ring.
He suggested 12,000 go forth with a mission to kill the king.

But once again God drew near to counter the devil’s plan
Hushai’s wise words stopped this scheme even before it began.
This was the end of Ahithophel; he was put on the shelf.
Having lost his special place, he went home and hanged himself.

David escaped and organized his army of faithful men.
They went forth to the battle in the woods of Ephraim.
The commanders insisted that David remain, so he was left behind,
But David gave them all these words: “Treat my son, Absalom, kind.”

We all know how God prevailed and all that happened there.
As Absalom attempted to flee, he was caught in a tree by his hair.
Joab, the commander of the army, hated the young upstart.
Taking three spears he personally plunged them into Absalom’s heart.

The revolution was quenched that day with the battle decisively won.
The kingdom was spared; David restored, but oh how he grieved for his son.
Here is a lesson for all to heed about how we should raise our sons.
We must take time to meet their needs, especially when they are young.

Here is my counsel to young dads: “Do the important things.”
Your actions now will influence what the future will bring.
Love your sons, teach them truth, guide them in all their ways.
God will honor the faithful dad with joy in his older days.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fathers, Correct Your Sons

2 Samuel 13-14

David had a number of wives and from them many sons,
But the favorite with all the people was his son, Absalom.
Impeccable manners, pleasing appearance, and his streaming long hair
Were three of the reasons he was most loved of all of David’s heirs.

Absalom’s sister, Tamar by name, was beautiful beyond compare.
Whenever she was out in public, all the young men were there.
One of those smitten with young love was Amnon, her half brother.
He was so in love with Tamar, he would have no other.

Actually his problem was lust but that will soon be seen.
Because his feelings went unchecked he acted out a scheme.
He said he was ill and sent for Tamar to be his caring nurse.
When she refused his immoral request, he committed an act perverse.

After he raped her in disgrace, his soul was flooded with shame.
The guilt was written all over his face. There was no one else to blame.
What he had done was a terrible thing forbidden by the Law.
The pampered, spoiled son of David revealed his character flaw.

He stole her virginity, refused her in marriage, and cruelly sent her away.
Absalom, who loved his sister, plotted his death from that day.
Two long years Absalom waited to effect his bitter plan.
Then he had his retaliation and slaughtered the sinful young man.

Absalom then fled to find refuge with his mother’s dad.
Three years later his heart mended, the king was no longer mad.
He missed Amnon but knew his act was a terrible sin.
He secretly longed for Absalom to return to his home and kin.

When Absalom actually did return the king refused to meet.
(He was afraid such an event would be viewed as weak).
It took two years and motivation to come before the king,
But when he bowed before his father, David forgave the thing.

I can think of several conclusions, all of them packed with truth.
David had far too many wives to properly raise their youth.
Having been raised in the privileged class with everything to them handed,
David’s sons did not respect the values the Law commanded.

Tamar was an innocent victim of a young man’s lust.
A Godly Father must teach his sons integrity and trust.
If you see your children sin but look the other way,
Just remember this, my friend: some innocent Tamar will pay.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When I Think of Motherhood

Mother's Day, 2010

When I think of motherhood, I think of special love
That washed our clothes, prepared our meals and other things thereof.
I think of how she kissed our hurts and wiped the tears away.
Then the Mom psychologist sent us forth to play.

When I think of motherhood, I think of her devotion.
Her children’s giggles and happiness fuel her heart’s emotion.
She who formed a bathroom towel into Superman’s cloak
Provided many hours of joy with her inventive strokes.

When I think of motherhood, I think of sacrifice.
Seldom did she buy herself something pretty and nice.
Along with Dad she skimped and saved for our dream vacation
To take the boys to Disneyland in that California location.

When I think of motherhood, I think of Godly devotion.
How she had her daily prayer in the midst of all the commotion.
I think of how the clothes were washed in Sunday preparation
To take the kids to Sunday school for spiritual formation.

When I think of motherhood, I think of fierce protection
Filling us with vitamins to fight off colds and infection.
She wasn’t too excited about hunter safety class.
It reminded her how quickly the childhood years had passed.

I live with one of those great moms, who now is known as Nanny.
She loves to visit her grandchildren way up north in Montany.
She throws a blanket over the chairs to make a cave of sorts.
She paints her face, gives a war whoop; pursues them into their fort.

Yes motherhood is very special created by God you see.
Her sacrificial love for us is a truth upon which we agree.
We honor our moms on this special day. I trust it will bring them joy,
For mother gave us memories that nothing can ever destroy.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 8, 2010

David the Great Repenter

2 Samuel 12; Psalm 32; Psalm 51

David sinned against the Lord when he satisfied selfish lust.
Now he had to live with the fact that he had broken trust.
Adultery, murder, and cover-up—sin heaped upon sin.
Uriah died, the mourners cried, and David withered within.

“When I kept silent,” he later wrote, “I felt my bones grow old.”
His severed communion with his God brought emptiness to his soul.
God in mercy desired to forgive and restore his peace and joy,
But first there must be a public disclosure of David’s private ploy.

Nathan the Prophet came to the king and told him a story true.
David responded by telling him what the offender should do.
Nathan boldly addressed the king, “Receive this if you can,
For God has revealed everything. Truly you are that man.”

The Lord is gracious but also just. There is a penalty for man’s sin.
Never again will life go on with things as they once had been.
David had stolen another man’s wife. Many had lost their lives.
There was a day yet ahead when another would take his wives.

When confronted by Nathan’s words, the king was quick to repent.
He didn’t invent a story absurd, but to the Lord he went.
David lay prostrate on his face with prayers and heartfelt cries.
He refused to leave that place til the newborn lived or died.

It all happened as Nathan proclaimed; the babe went to heaven above.
Another child, Solomon by name, was given and greatly loved.
Fellowship with God was restored and David continued to grow,
But soon sin’s fruit would be underscored when the winds of adversity blow.

We should learn from David’s sin and employ its application.
Sin brings sorrow deep within and outward contamination.
Most have regrets about our youth with all the things done wrong,
But let us embrace this record of truth and determine to finish strong.

A broken and contrite heart O God, You will not despise.
I offer You my broken spirit to fashion and revise.
Take my mind, my soul, my strength. Use them in Your employ
To bring peace and hope for all and never to destroy.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 6, 2010

If My People

2 Chronicles 7:14

Today is the National Day of Prayer, a time to pause and reflect.
Millions will gather here and there sensing the need to connect.
Our nation, once humble before the Lord with values from holy writ,
Is now embroiled in a culture war with society torn and split.

There was a time when America acknowledged truth from heaven above.
A time when she sat on crowded pew to learn of the Savior’s love.
Faithful believers employed their clout condemning slavery’s perversion.
Exposing the lies within and without, calling for moral conversion.

Way back in the colonial days, the culture was sliding down hill,
But faithful preachers knelt to pray and preached against moral ills.
Edwards, Whitfield and many more proclaimed redemption’s story.
The gospel won this spiritual war and the colonies regained their glory.

It took about one hundred years for moral decline to grow strong.
The people abandoned godly fear and the culture was going wrong.
Drunkenness and love of self, a desire for selfish taking:
These were the values that prevailed before the Second Awakening.

Frontier preachers and city pastors called for repentance and prayer.
Thousands attended camps and preaching. The presence of God was there.
The West was tamed, the gospel restrained tremendous moral pollution.
The social renewal brought us to the industrial revolution.

There was the time America shined, when her young men answered the call.
Our soldiers beat back the Nazi attack fighting to save us all.
This ushered in the golden era, the optimistic 50’s,
But spiritual decline rose in its time to dominate the 60’s.

In my lifetime from the 50’s on, dependence on God declined.
False philosophies continue on with messages smooth and refined.
The Truth still stands on America’s bookshelves simply gathering dust.
If we hope to be saved from ourselves, the Scriptures are a must.

We gather today in thousands of places to petition for intervention.
It is our duty to acknowledge our sin confessing our inattention.
If God’s people called by His name will humble themselves and pray.
Perhaps we will see another awakening like those of yesterday.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Sad Chapter in David's Life

2 Samuel 11

When springtime came and it was time for war, David sent Joab to battle.
He attacked Ammon to even the score, take possession of the chattel.
I don’t know why David stayed home instead of leading the charge,
But while he remained in the palace alone, his kingship was badly marred.

On the eve of a stifling hot day, he went to the roof for relief.
He happened to see a woman bathing, beautiful beyond belief.
David should have turned away to deal with affairs of state
But when he took that second look, he sadly sealed his fate.

When it became known that she was pregnant, David sent for her spouse.
Uriah, ever the faithful soldier, refused to enter his house.
The king was caught in the web of sin. There was nothing left to try.
He sent Uriah back to the battle with orders to let him die.

This is a story, sad but true, of how a believer can sin.
David knew the right thing to do but temptation was able to win.
Not only did temptation conceive, Bathsheba conceived too.
Oh what pain so many received because the king was untrue!

Can you imagine his state of mind? He was miserable to the hilt.
Outwardly he seemed just fine but his heart was filled with guilt.
“My sin was always before me,” he wrote in Psalm 51.
Though sin may bring temporal pleasure, its effects have just begun.

There is more to this description, but here is one lesson true:
The way to avoid sin’s affliction is to find something else to do.
Many a person has trials to face, whose life is an uphill climb
Because he journeyed to the wrong place and stayed there too long a time.

David repented and that is good but the cost of sin was great.
When we allow transgression to rule, misery and pain we create.
The very best thing that you can do is turn away from sin.
Call unto God, renew your vows. Be cleansed and healed within.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lord, Send us Leaders like David

2 Samuel 7-9

David lived in his new house, but the ark was in a tent.
To build a temple to honor the Lord was his initial intent.
The God of heaven spoke to Nathan with kind words for the king.
“I will establish your throne forever. Great blessings I will bring.”

“I chose you from your humble beginnings watching over sheep,
Anointed you to lead my people; kept you through trials deep.
I have given you fame and fortune equal to men of renown.
Your son will build a temple for me. He too will wear the crown.”

David went in before the Lord humbled by these words.
He praised Jehovah for choosing Israel to be His people preferred.
Only God could choose a nation, perform such awesome deeds.
It should be clear to all the world that God is God indeed.

David defeated all of his enemies just as God had said.
With each war the nation was strengthened and their oppressors dead.
But David was more than a man of war. He had a heart of compassion.
He demonstrated by his example that mercy was not out of fashion.

The king did not focus on pleasing self; he looked to the family of Saul.
Because of his love for Jonathan, he desired to bless them all.
He soon learned of Jonathan’s son whose name was Mephibosheth.
Quickly he brought this crippled man into his palace to bless.

All of his land was now restored with servants to plant the crops.
No longer was this man abhorred; the blessings would never stop.
David was a remarkable leader whose motives were strong and pure.
His were the values regularly found in those who are spiritually mature.

David was a man of war but also a man of prayer.
He unashamedly worshipped his Lord occasionally exhibiting flair.
This man so bold and confident, the killer of giants and kings,
Often wrote songs of praise to God that he would play and sing.

How great is the need for leaders like him to lead the church today—
Men who instruct and skillfully clear the fog of confusion away.
Lord, fill our pulpits with leaders strong like David for his nation.
Enable them to pass truth on and challenge the next generation.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Solemn Message about the Christian Lifestyle

2 Samuel 5-6

After Ishbosheth had died, David united the tribes.
He became king at their request, not by intrigue or bribes.
Fifteen years after Samuel’s anointing, David was king of Judah.
Then after seven additional years he became Israel’s ruler.

Forty years he sat on the throne as Israel’s greatest king.
A warrior, musician, a statesman too—he was all of these things.
He moved his throne from Hebron to Zion nevermore to roam.
Then he set out to reclaim the ark and prepare for it a home.

In the course of building the kingdom he was often at war.
Their enemies attacked again and again just as they had before.
But David listened to his God, received instructions clear.
That is why the Philistines are no longer here.

When he brought the ark back home, he overlooked instruction.
Because he ignored the protocol, it brought about death and destruction.
The ark was loaded on a cart pulled by oxen stout.
When the oxen stumbled on the road, the ark began to fall out.

Uzzah, the son of Abinadab, reached out to prevent its fall.
His motives were good but his action was a violation of the Law.
The ark was constructed skillfully; attached were rings with holes.
The Levites alone were to transport the ark by inserting wooden poles.

There is a lesson we all must learn about God’s relation to man.
We don’t approach our holy God by human will and plan.
He is Creator and sovereign Lord, gracious in every respect,
But if you choose to ignore His will, your efforts He will reject.

God had given a strong command about how to transport the ark.
David failed to obey His plan with consequence chilling and stark.
It is important every day to acknowledge God on His throne.
Remember that the Bible says, “You are not your own.”

When you placed your trust in Christ as Lord and Savior Supreme,
You weren’t set free from judgment by law to become a libertine.
Yes, God freed us from slavery to sin when He paid the greatest price,
But we are free to become a slave to the righteousness of Christ.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved