OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[Apr 21]--Cracks in the Foundation

2 Sam. 11:1-13

I sold termite warranties for a pest control company for years, so I’m familiar with what termites can do to a home. When I presented the warranty to a potential customer, I always explained that termites can get into your home through a crack no more than 1/16 of an inch wide, the width of a business card. As time progresses on a new home, the constant weather changes cause the house to shift imperceptibly, causing little hairline cracks in the foundation of the home. These cracks don’t change the value of a home, but they provide an opening. Once termites find the home, all they need is moisture, darkness, seclusion and time to destroy a home from the inside-out.

There are times when I really wish that David’s biography ended in 2 Sam. 10. He was on top of the world: Every enemy either subdued or on the run, the whole nation of Israel loyally following him, and other nations bringing him tribute. He had all the money and women a man could desire, and the adulation of millions. Unfortunately, this apparently went to his head and he started believing all the hype about himself. And cracks started to form without notice.

Of course, we need to remember to be careful when reading narratives. Today’s passage doesn’t really go into David’s emotions or motivations at all. It’s almost as if the inspired writer didn’t want to look too closely at him, and tried to be detached from what was happening. But I think there's a major clue in the opening words: “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war. . .” David sent his men out and stayed at home. Scripture doesn’t tell us why, but I'd like to think it was merely laziness instead of cowardice. Whatever the reason, it looks like the writer is indirectly indicting David for dereliction of duty.

Then he was out on his rooftop, enjoying the night air, when it happened. He happened to see a beautiful woman bathing, and a glance turned into a lustful gaze which blossomed into sinful desire. There’s no indication that Bathsheba was doing anything improper--that she was trying to lure David into adultery--but that doesn’t really matter. There’s also no indication that she put up any resistance to David’s advances, although in her defense this was the king who was summoning her, so maybe she felt coerced. We really don’t know.

We do know, however, the end result: a very unwanted pregnancy. He tried to cover it up by bringing the husband home and making him think the baby was his (Uriah’s). Unfortunately for David, Uriah was a far more honorable man than the king at this point. He refused to spend time with his wife (despite David’s best efforts), and look at his reasoning: “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife?" It seems like every word here is designed to twist the knife a little deeper. As if David didn’t have enough reason to feel guilty!

This is how it starts—with little cracks.

Lord Jesus, I need your help. You can see things I can’t or don’t want to see. Through your Spirit, please search me out.

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