Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Today’s┬áReading: 2 Samuel 16

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Jesus had to descend more than 3,800 feet when traveling from Jerusalem to the Jordan River, near the Dead Sea. Jerusalem is situated at an elevation of 2,500 feet above sea level, and the Dead Sea is 1,300 feet below sea level. Traveling from Jerusalem to the east, you can stop and take a picture at the sea level sign. Retreating from the insurrection of Absolom, King David would have taken this route on his way to cross the Jordan.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: 2 Samuel 16:23

Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

In today’s reading, the prayer of David that is recorded in 2 Samuel15:31 is answered. Ahithophel’s counsel is turned into foolishness. Taking the harem of an oriental King would’ve been considered the greatest insult. The public image that Absalom had so carefully developed was far from the reality of his true character. Ziba, Hushai, and others could see the real Absalom. A person who is very proud can never see his own faults. Absalom’s reign began to crumble quickly. Despite all of David’s sin, he was still the one God had chosen to be King. The High Priest, Zadok, and his sons recognized this fact. An exception was Shimei. Just imagine Shimei, perhaps on top of the rocks in the above photo, calling King David a rogue, cursing him and throwing stones at him. Surely David, on this occasion, showed great self control and mercy. David is called, “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). The Apostle Paul includes this statement in his message recorded in Acts 13:14-33 (click here for Paul’s overview of Israel’s history).


Lord Jesus, in Your humanity You are of the seed of David, born in David’s city, chosen by God to rule forever. I give You my loyalty, my service, my resources. All that I am and have is Yours. You wept over Jerusalem, the city that symbolizes Your reign over the world which Your Father so loved that He gave You to us (John 3:16). I pray that I will also weep over those things that break Your heart. Through Your Person, Your work, and in Your Name I pray, Amen!


I steadfastly refuse to Google my name on the Internet. The last time I checked it out, several years ago, there were critics, as is to be expected for all public persons. However, I’ve experienced nothing to compare with the antics of Shimei toward David, as in today’s reading. If the Internet had been invented in King David’s day, just think what Shimei would’ve posted about David. The word “rogue” would probably be the least of the tabloid-style accusations. Think what might have been posted by Jesus’ enemies if a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth had Googled His Name 2,000 years ago. My imagination is running away with me.

In 1922 on their honeymoon, my parents travelled the road from Jerusalem to the Jordan River and back again. The Jordan, at the point it flows into the Dead Sea, is 1,300 feet below sea level. Jerusalem is 2,500 feet above sea level. The 1914 Model T Ford my Dad was driving would run out of gas unless he backed up the hills. There was no fuel pump, and with only gravity feed for the gas, and with the gas tank below the engine on the way back to Jerusalem, my Dad found a way to keep going by turning the car around and putting it into reverse. That’s just one of many stories from my childhood. When I travel the great highway pictured above, I can still see from time to time the old British road, built in 1918, snaking along on one side or the other, on which the honeymoon couple would have travelled. My imagination does the rest.

Yours for learning lessons from the past,



10 thoughts on “Tuesday, April 14, 2015

  1. Amen, David! Life continually throws us trials and tribulations, but God helps us survive every tragedy, overcome any challenge and conquer all the storms. We need never be downtrodden; we need never feel alone. When we have God, we have everything. He is our strength. He is our power. He is our Lord. Amen!

    As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5 (ESV)

    Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 73:25-26 (ESV)

    Praying for all saints, today, and thanking you for your prayers for me. Thank You, Lord, for this day. How delightful to hear the birds chirping this fine morn!

  2. I thank you David, Ron and the others that are in so many ways involved in this blog and Crossroads ministry…..helping me and so many others to grow in personal faith and action…Praise to HIM Who is Worthy!!!

  3. My father-in-law told me the gravity story like you mentioned but it happened in Canada. My father (they were friends & co-workers) had another story. He told me he had to drag his feet to stop the car! David took his punishment well. Imagine having stones hurled @ you without retaliation! BEAUTIFUlL day today. Enjoy.

  4. King David showed blessed restraint while considering Saul’s servant’s insults.
    “Turning the other cheek means not to return insult for insult in retaliation, which is what most people expect and how worldly people act. Responding to hatred with love just might grab someone’s attention and afford us a chance to share the gospel. When we respond in a manner that is unnatural, it displays the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus was the perfect example because He was silent before His accusers and did not call down revenge from heaven on those who crucified Him.”

    Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago today. He will be enjoying the good company of our heavenly Father et al.

    Thanks for the great pics and stories Rev. M.

  5. I have a question about Ziba and Mephibosheth. Wasn’t Ziba a schemer? Do you think that he did betray Mephibosheth? Do you think the betrayer was rewarded by sharing the land with Mephibosheth? Or do you think Mephibosheth was lying? he seemed to give up the land so easily like he was guilty. This has always made me curious as to the outcome. Any ideas?

    Thanks so much,

    Muriel (Clarke)

  6. King David’s humble character revealed in this reading…only through God’s Grace and obedience to His Spirit through Jesus Christ Our Lord!!
    Not easy not to fight back in one’s own strength, in self defense…rather than depend on the One and Only Defender…The Lord is Our Defense a very present help in trouble!!!

    Thank you David for pointing out the difficult road Jesus walked from Jerusalem to the Jordan River…His was not an easy road at any time!

    This is the Day the Lord has made and I choose to rejoice and be glad in it!!!

  7. Reflecting on the French translation of LORD as L’Eternal in these passages reminds me of our God’s eternal nature–the Eternal One, Everlasting.

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