Suggested Reading: 1 Chronicles 19-20
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Key Verse: 1 Chronicles 19:4
Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved them, and cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away.
King David’s first choice for Ammon was kindness and peace. However, when these were refused, war was practically inevitable. Even today, the war option should be absolutely the last resort. War should be avoided almost always. The shame inflicted on David’s ambassadors of kindness was too much for Israel to bear. It was war!
The key verse makes the point that shame is often considered in some cultures to be much worse than an honourable death in battle. David’s instructions to his ambassadors was for them to come half way to Jerusalem (Jericho) and wait there for further instructions. In 19:19, as we saw in an earlier reading, David brought about peace through strength. This was President Reagan’s approach to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
When we recognize that Almighty God is all-powerful and that all we have is human strength, we should make an intelligent choice and say to God, “I surrender.” Oh yes, we can persist in our own will. We are made in His image and likeness, and we have the right to say “no” to God. We must not blame God when we bear the consequences of our own decisions. God, Himself, comes to us with offers of kindness and peace.
We may want to read from the New Covenant Colossians 1:19-22. Like David with the King of Ammon, God took the initiative in sending to us ambassadors of kindness and peace, Jesus and the Apostles.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I know that in rebelling against You, I will bring disastrous consequences upon myself and others. Therefore, I pray that in all things I will be Your subject, a citizen of Your eternal Kingdom. You are my forever King! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
If the “Buttocks” story in our reading was not so serious, it could be humorous. In fact, yesterday I mentioned to a friend this story and I was asked the question, “What about the breeze?” I’m a little bit ashamed of myself that I responded, “Here is the answer to the question, ‘What’s under the kilt?'” O.K. I’m confessing I made a joke. But this was no joking matter to the ambassadors, and to King David. Loss of face, being shamed, can and has resulted in war many times through the centuries.
Here’s a “loss of face” story. In the orient, “loss of face” is particularly offensive. A TV crew from America arrived in Seoul, Korea. They were met by a delegation on behalf of Pastor David Yonggi Cho and driven to their hotel. When they asked about their TV production equipment they were told, “We’re looking after that for you.” Later that evening they met Pastor Cho and they asked about their cameras and TV gear. The pastor said, “As you leave Korea, your equipment will be restored to you. It’s locked up safely in a room at the airport. I will not allow you to use our Korean church to raise money for yourselves in America.” About two years earlier, Cho had been a guest on that particular American show. The host had raised a great deal of money to build a TV studio for Cho in Korea. Cho had gone home and told everyone what this generous U.S. TV host had offered. However, not a cent was ever sent to Korea. About a year after the American TV crew was sent home, Cho was a guest on 100 Huntley Street in Toronto. The entire telecast was on the theme of forgiveness. The moment we were off the air, Cho said, “God has just given me the grace to forgive ______.” He headed straight for the airport, changed his flight to one flying to the city where the promise had been made to him, and asked the forgiveness of ______. He was not in turn asked for his forgiveness. Nevertheless, Cho did what God required of him. Cho had lost face with his Korean people and felt deeply shamed, a most serious issue. I wondered how I would have reacted in a similar circumstance…and still wonder. Cho, in my opinion, is one of the truly great Christian leaders of our time. Check him out online. Since that time, God has blessed Cho in an unprecedented way. His church now seats about 40,000 people and is located on Yeouido Island, next to the South Korean Parliament. He has several services every Sunday in order to accommodate their massive congregation. It was called “The Full Gospel Central Assembly” and in the 1990’s was renamed, “Yoido Full Gospel Church” (click here).
Yours for learning to avoid causing anyone to be shamed or to lose face,
I was thinking about this disturbing story you relayed David, this story about Pastor Cho not receiving money from a promised Christian source. You know, character matters! honour matters! We’ll never know what irreparable damage this ‘source’ inflicted by not following through on it’s promise and by refusing to live beyond reproach. We need to do the honourable and right thing when people are watching us, as well as when they are not watching us. Christians are a people of the King, righteousness ambassadors of truth, who stand upon solid Biblical principles. In a world which seems to have gone mad, where morality has greatly diminished and biblical principles have all but gone out the window, Christians need to be a living example of God’s love, mercy, truth, and honour to a lost world.
There, got that off my chest. Sorry for the rant today folks! May God’s rich blessings be with each of you this day!
You’re right, Scott. We have to stand up and be honest to our word, and have integrity, as we live before God. It is up to us to make that happen as Christians, on earth. Ultimately, God sees and knows the truth about everything, and everyone, and we have to stand before Him and be held accountable, and judged, when our time comes.
I agree with you David we have to do what is right whether people are or not not watching us. God is always watching us and wants us to.
God Bless you
Amen to the above! Integrity is the greatest measure of honesty. Have a great day!
Your message, today, is remarkable, David! Praise God for you, 100 Huntley Street, and Pastor David Yonggi Cho! The Holy Spirit was within him to come to Canada, be with you, and embrace the gift of forgiveness God blessed him with to move forward from the betrayal of the American television show. I am embarrassed for the television show that “accepted Cho’s forgiveness, yet disrespectfully and unequivocally failed to ask his forgiveness.” God calls us to humble ourselves, completely, for His sake and cause, and this is a perfect example. Praise God, look what Pastor Cho was able to do through the power of the Holy Spirit living and breathing in him, and the gift of forgiveness God graced him with. He stood above the shame of his country, built an incredible church to pastor God’s Word, and worship Jesus Christ! Think of all the souls that will be saved in South Korea. To God be the glory. God bless you, Pastor David Cho! You are a true saint!!!
Do what is right, honourable, righteous, whether or not people are watching. God is always watching. When we fail, God forgives when we repent. A wonderful, magnificent, amazing, God. I need to know that. How about you? Bless you all.
Knowing that God and man are watching motivates us to want and try to do the right thing. Your account today is familiar to me, David having worked in an Asian country. Your story about Pastor David Yonggi Cho, confirms my respect of him. I have had the pleasure of hearing him first at Bible College, where I felt he had the face of Jesus and then being invited to a noon luncheon in his honor in Hong Kong where he was the visiting evangelist for a few days. However, it was a disappontment when he decided to put God first by fasting and praying for the next meeting instead of showing up. He’s a great man of God! Am feeling thankful for this blog today, David and fellow bloggers as it keeps me in the Word and my focus on the Lord when I am torn apart by earthly cares. Praise God, it also helps me in those things which isn’t over yet. Have a good day everyone.!
May the Lord’s own Words ring true in your ears to remind you, every time you need to be uplifted, Ger. Let them comfort you, settle your heart strings and bring you peace of mind.
“Fear not, for I am with you
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
All the saints are praying for you, Ger,
Correction, “It was not disappointing that he put God first but we didn’t have a chance to meet him personally.” I’m sure you knew what I meant.
Your comment is, indeed, a tribute to Pastor David Cho, Ger. How divine that he put God first, through fasting and prayer; though disappointing you did not get to meet him when you were right there! How incredible of an opportunity that must have been for you! Putting God first when called to do so in prayer is what Jesus did. A great reminder!
I am all for integrity in our Christian life; it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say in both word and deed. However, it makes me nervous whenever I hear Christians talk about do the “right” thing. All kind of evil is committed by people convinced they were doing the “right” thing. Human beings always connected being right with being good- so if I am right and good that makes the other side wrong and bad- if they are wrong and bad and I am right and good that justifies me doing or saying this or that. And that is the kind of thinking that lead to all kinds of cruel things being done in the name of Christianity and or other religions. As a Christian I never strive to do the right thing- I strive to do the loving thing, it is a better path to follow.
Hi David, Thanks for the link to the great church in South Korea. It is marvelous what God did through just a few people who had a burden for the lost and a hunger for God’s word! Regarding that problem with the T.V. ministry who broke the promise,in my limited experience l know that sometimes there’s the story behind the story. Huge mis-understandings have led to many stumbling! There must be many details not known to us that God is aware of and that may paint a very different picture. l’m so glad we have a way to clear our hearts from the pain of unforgiveness. Have a great day everyone!
I am so glad that I joined this blog. I know that we will soon be reaching the half way point of our reading the Bible in its entirety. I am both happy and sad about this. I’m happy because I’ve learned more about the word of God, not only by reading it, but by understanding it more through the commentaries you make on each book. I’m happy because every day I learn to become a better prayer and a better person, each time I read your “Prayer For Today” passage. I’m also happy when on a daily basis I’m treated to thoughtful, insightful, and sometimes humorous anecdotes from your life, which help to give me a better outlook on my own. As I mentioned, I am also sad. I’m sad because I am one year closer to having read the Bible, and one year closer to this blog ending.
I know that you have leukemia. I must confess that I selfishly pray that the Lord won’t take you, because we’re not finished our reading. I don’t want it to end there though. I wish you could continue this blog, and we could read our way through the Bible every two years.
Thank you so much for giving us the gift of reading the Bible with us, David. God bless you and your family. We love you.
God created us Therefore He Loves us with an ever lasting Love even though
we stumble and fall ,He is always there to pick us up.Praise God we have an
Awesome for giving GOD.I for one am not perfect person, but a forgiven
sinner…. Love comes from God our Lord Jesus…God Bless you all….R…
Thank you so much for your wonderful messages. I enjoy reading them every morning when I arrive at work, they are a great way to start off my day. The message this morning and the one on Tuesday truly touched my heart. You have no idea how those messages have spoken volumes to me and my family. We have been going through some difficulties with our family business. Seeing how the Lord has helped and guided you has encouraged us to know that God is faithful. We serve the same God and know that He is also with us. We are trusting Him to lead us through our present problems. Please keep my family and our business in your prayers. We have ordered your book about, This Far by Faith. We will definitely read it as a family. Thank you for your honesty, integrity, transparency and especially your strong love for the Lord.
God bless you for all that you do.
God bless each one for their comments and David for this blog. I am so thankful to God for bringing us all together and most importantly for His Son the Living Word and the Holy Spirit who empowers each one yielded to Him.
It was sad to read how King Davids kind jesture was misread. I use to watch Judge Judy she would say no good deed goes unpunished. So true…there would be an altercation/ court case between two people who use to be best friends, before the one friend tried to jenuinly help the other. When good intentions
are miss read or taken for granted it can be confusing and hurtful. You have to question why.
But God knows our hearts and he is in control so we must have faith that there is a much bigger picture here. We just can’t see it. At least not yet. But there’s that wonderful Romans 8: 28 again.
So … when things don’t turn out the way I want then to, I look ahead with confidense.
Thank you Jesus for your precious word.