Twenty differences between the Psalms and modern worship songs. 

Beware of presumption. We serve a holy God not a cuddly best mate.  There is a major difference between many modern worship music and the Psalms. Too many modern songs speak only of the love of God, and he is seen only as a gentle and loving friend.It's not that the worship songs are wrong. It's just that they can almost completely miss a different side of God's character. I want to explore that a little today before we focus in another post to an event that happened in 2 Samuel 6 which … [Read more...]

Leaders: remember the reason for your leadership 

There are two verses in 2 Samuel 5 which together make a very important point for every leader. Whether your leadership is at work, in the church, or at home, you do well to take notice of these verses. The first answers an important question: "how did David become a great King?" The answer is simple: because God was with him. It is God who raises up leaders. It is God who determines our positions. And it is God who grants success. This is a vital antidote to pride. "And David became greater … [Read more...]

The joy of being who God designed you to be. Or how to become a square peg in a square hole

Many of us go through life feeling like a square peg in a round hole.If we have any sense of destiny at all we think of it as something out there, unreachable.We feel like King David probably did for many years: out of place, awaiting that sense of fulfilling our destiny.I'm not altogether sure which is harder: not knowing what it is you were put on earth to accomplish, or knowing what you think it is, but being unable to achieve it.David had known since he was a young boy out … [Read more...]

Don’t despise new beginnings. On battling bloggers block and going back to the Bible

I'm back.Truth is, over the last few months I have been struggling.Struggling with a new job, which I enjoy but has been demanding more of my time, effort, and emotional energy than I expected.Struggling to balance work with all the other demands on my time.Struggling to be all that I am meant to me.Feeling like a failure many days and in many ways.Struggling to find both the time and emotional space to write.Struggling to know what I want to say, when it feels like I … [Read more...]

Leaders: Gentleness, not severity, will win you respect and love

King David is an interesting character. His gentleness is evident in 2 Samuel 3. David says quite rightly towards the end, "These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I." (v39), His lack of severity is to be broadly welcomed, and yet there is perhaps a weak side to this very strength. His gentility leads to passivity. Just like in the previous chapter, King David seems like almost a passenger in this story. Could it be that he was too gentle?King David's attitude is starkly … [Read more...]

 Don’t assume God’s guidance will open an easy path

 Sometimes we can be so familiar with a story that we miss crucial details. As we get to 2 Samuel 2 most of us know what is coming: King Saul is dead, the age of King David has begun. And yet the transition is far from being that straightforward.David inquires of God what he should do. In response to God's reply he moves to Hebron. Judea immediately embraces him as king. David reaches out with magnimity to those who buried Saul. You might think that the reign of King David over the … [Read more...]

Do not rejoice when your enemies fall

Before Christmas we looked at the tragic end of Israel's first king, Saul. Today, I want us to spend a few moments contemplating the response of David to this news as seen in 2 Samuel 1.Saul had been a disaster for Israel and a deadly enemy towards David. We could easily forgive David if he had rejoiced at Saul's death.But instead David honors the office of King, the anointing of the Lord, and the image of God in every man. He chooses to grieve, and in his lament thinks of the best … [Read more...]

The tragic end of the head and shoulders king

1 Samuel 31 contains Saul's final act. The irony is clear. The man who towered head and shoulders over his contemporaries (1 Sam 9:2) is quite literally cut down to size as his head is removed from his shoulders.The regal first king of Israel is killed and his body is shamefully violated. His line is extinguished. And all along, the one warrior who could have helped him wasn't there directly because of Saul's previous attempts to murder him as a rival. The enemy King who had accepted David and … [Read more...]

How disaster can lead you back to the LORD

In Scripture, being with the people of God implies being in the presence of God. David had been living away from both for some time. It seems clear that his relationship with God was weaker as a result. Certainly no mention of God is there for a few chapters. The fugitive David never looked less like a future king than at the beginning of 1 Samuel 30.He was resigned to sitting out the next great battle between the Philistines who had taken him in and his own people who had rejected him. It is … [Read more...]

King David: As shrewd as a serpent?

When I read 1 Samuel 29 I have a number of unanswered questions. At the top of the list is "Would David really have fought against King Saul alongside the Philistines he had been hiding with?"It is hard to imagine that the answer would have been yes.David told the Philistine king he would have been a loyal subject and fought his fellow Hebrews. The king believed him, but others reminded him of David's long-forgotten past as a slayer of Philistines, and their view prevailed.This is the same … [Read more...]