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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Appropriating the Presence of God (1 Chronicles 17:8)

"I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name like the names of the greatest men on the earth."

From following the flock until now God has been with David. Hearing these words at this point in David's life gave him perspective over the entirety of his life. As David looked back over his life he, at various times, probably experienced the manifest presence of God, the supernatural strength of God. The Psalms reflect that, most of the time, however, David had to "faith it"; he had to appropriate the very presence of God when he didn't "feel" His presence. In Psalm 46:1 David appropriates the presence of God, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (emphasis added). In verses 7, 11 he "faiths" the presence of God, "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

Isn't that true for believers today? Most of the time we don't "feel" his presence; we "faith" His presence. The unseen presence of God is more real in the believer's life than the specific "felt" manifestation of His presence. He is, after all, with me--right now--whether I feel Him or not.

As we look back over our lives we can see His presence more clearly than we can now at this very moment. So, what do we do? We choose right now, at this very moment, to practice the presence of God. He is with me. Now.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:  2 Samuel 23:20b-39, 1 Chronicles 11:22b-47; 2 Samuel 8:15-18; 1 Chronicles 18:14-17
  • Why does David put Benaniah in charge of his body guard? What does 1 Corinthians 4:2 say regarding those in the Lord's service?
  • It is important to note in the "mighty men list" that Eliam, one of David's mighty men, is Bathsheba's father and the son of David's counselor, Ahithophel and another was her husband, Uriah. What effect had David's adultery and murder of Uriah had on his mighty men and his counselor?
2 Samuel 7:1-29; 1 Chronicles 17:1-27
  • What does David's "idea" regarding a temple for the Lord tell you about David and his view of God?
  • What is God's response to David's idea?
  • List the similarities between God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and His promise to David in this passage.
  • God speaks to David about future events and times. Where else do we see God speaking about future things? Write Isaiah 46:9-10 on a note card and begin memorizing these verses.
  • David responds to Nathan's words with praise and adoration. What does David understand about God's name and reputation?
  • Read Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5b. What indicates the blessing of God upon His people? What distinguishes Israel from all other peoples? What distinguishes the Body of Christ from all other peoples?
  • What was God's goal in allowing Israel to have a "house" for the Lord?
Turning truth into prayer:
Appropriate the presence of God right now. Thank the Lord (out loud) for His presence in your life, in your troubles. Declare to Him, "You are my refuge, a very present help in trouble."