Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 21:29

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 21:29
"Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house."

After Elijah brings the word of the Lord's displeasure with Ahab to him, and the penalty he will face, Ahab is repentant. He rents his clothes, puts on sackcloth and fasted and went about softly, meaning dejectedly.  He wasn't doing this for show he was in mourning for what he had done, and what he was to face. For that he is forgiven. This is a lesson in what is required to turn God's judgment. A humble heart and repentance. Now if he can only stay that way. I pondered on why evil would still come in Ahab's son's days. I think Ahab's son was learning evil from his father and mother and this was the course he was on. In a way this reminds me of Alma and Alma the younger. The father may have repented but the son had been raised seeing his father's wickedness. Just because the father's heart changed doesn't mean the child will necessarily follow after them on the new path.

Day 887

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 20:13, 22, 28, 42

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 20:13, 22, 28, 42
"And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people."

I couldn't find anything inspiring in this chapter. I decided to write down each time a prophet had come to the king of Israel. I see that three times they deliver the message the Lord will deliver Syria into their hands. Each time the king of Israel does as he is told. Then he is deceived by the king of Syria who dressed in sackcloth on their loins and ropes upon their heads asking for mercy. They didn't have a repentant or humble bone in their body. It was meant to take advantage and deceive. What they wanted was to live. For this the king of Israel makes a covenant with them. So I wondered what was wrong with this. Why later is the Lord displeased and says he will take his life instead?

Obviously there were prophets around the king of Israel. What the king of Israel never did is send for them. They always came to him on an errand from the Lord. So he was being warned that Syria would be delivered into his hands, so "ye shall know that I am the Lord". I guess the king of Israel never learned that lesson was for him to know the Lord too. When he was deceived and ready to covenant with Syria what he needed to do was first inquire of the Lord. Even to send for the prophets to know the Lord's council. He did none of that. That was probably an even greater offense to the Lord. The king of Israel never knew him.

Day 886

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 19:11-12

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 19:11-12
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

I know there are signs of the Lord's second coming. I know we are to watch for them but I am troubled at times at how much people divine to understand signs. I fear they are wresting the scriptures. I have pondered over this especially with the recent solar eclipse and followed shortly after by a major hurricane and flooding. Yesterday as I was pondering on this the impression came to me these types of events are all a witness of God's power. Some of them may wake people up to our great situation. Of themselves they do not prepare me for the Lord's second coming.

What I have to remember is he's not in the wind, rain, the stars, fire or the earthquake. It is his spirit I need to hear the whisperings of. He can speak to me in the still small voice and tell me all that I should do. It is listening and obeying his voice that will save me in the end, something a sign will never do.

Day 885

Monday, August 28, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 18:21

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 18:21
"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

This made me think of Matthew 6:24
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

One thing I noticed is "the people answered him not a word". I pondered on why that would be? They didn't want to make a commitment. That would mean they are basically sitting on the fence. There is no safety in that action. For you have basically told God no.  You are still doing your will and not his. They were waiting for the master to make the reward good enough, then they might commit. I remember being that way, there is no peace in that behavior. All spiritual growth is stopped. You just stay sitting on the fence unable to move. I had to get knocked around pretty bad before I decided that fence just wasn't a comfortable place to sit.

Day 884

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 17:13-15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 17:13-15
"And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days."

I love this story. I do believe that such things can happen, and did happen. It reminds me of a great promise given me in my patriarchal blessing. "May your basket always be full. As you remember those less fortunate, and share of your temporal substance, you will be source of temporal strength and of service to the Lord; and you will always have sufficient for your needs and the needs of your family."

This is near to the promise given to the widow of Zarphath. I ponder on her often, and even did so yesterday as I put some food I had dehydrated into canning jars. I do not know what is ahead of me, but I am putting by what the Lord blesses me with for a time of need. This is something the church and prophets have counseled me to do. I have not always been faithful in doing this, but I feel a desire to be obedient now. I am trying to prepare every needful thing, going as basic and modestly as I can. My diet now is based on my food storage. I eat what I store and store what I eat. I see great wisdom and economy in this plan.  I do not plan on having guns to protect my food when hard times come. I will share with those in need, because I believe in my promise, that my basket will always be full if I am of service to the Lord. If I follow the words of the prophet, and have done all that I can do, I know miracles will come.

Day 883

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 16:13

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 16:13
"For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities."

There are several similar verse like this one throughout this chapter. Once again many kings are named and none follow the Lord. The thing I pondered on is now God's anger is kindled when the leader causes the people to sin. I could see why that would be. If of myself I want to sin that is between me and God. But, if I was to start to destroy others with my sins and cause others to sin then that is something God would have to stop. That is greater than any sin of my own I could commit, for it would make another loose their way.

Day 882

Friday, August 25, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 15:11, 14

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 15:11, 14
"And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father.
But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days."

This chapter had so many kings, and all were wicked except Asa. As I read this chapter this was the only thing I could dwell on that was good. I get so very tired of wickedness. I can only image what the God thinks of his children today. Just seems things grow darker and darker as each day passes. I just need to look for the light and keep focused on that. How grateful I am for my high places, the house of the Lord, and the peace that it brings.

Day 881

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 14:2-3

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 14:2-3
"And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people.
And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to him: he shall tell thee what shall become of the child."

Jeroboam's son Abijah is sick and he tells his wife to disguise herself and visit the prophet Ahijah. He wanted to know what would happen to the child. I found it interesting that he didn't send his wife to seek a blessing to make his son well. He wanted a fortune teller, not a prophet. This made me sit and ponder on a number of things. The prophet is not deceived at all, the Lord prepared him for her coming. The words that the prophet spoke were not of any comfort. In fact the chastisement and rebuke are very strong. The "fortune telling" he receives is the end of his kingdom. I pondered on how anyone that uses a prophet or the priesthood to seek for a sign or divination will hear words they wished they never heard. It will be a cursing instead of a blessing. It did make me think of someone I knew that used priesthood blessings in such a manner. What they really wanted was someone to tell them their future. It is little wonder that person has since apostatized.

Day 880

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 13:16-19

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 13:16-19
"And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither shall I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
So he went with him and did eat bread in his house and drank water.

I sat and wept for this "man of God out of Judah". He delivered his message to Jeroboam and was faithful in seeking and following the word of the Lord while with him. Then he is deceived by an "old prophet in Beth-el" and follows his invitation to go back to his house. This was against what the Lord had warned him of, and later he is killed. Would I not want to listen also to a prophet? Obviously this was no longer a prophet of God that he meet. How would I know the difference?

I decided that if I am on an errand of the Lord, and the path is told me different by anyone else I should inquire of the Lord who's errand I am on first. I should not take the word of another just because of their position. If they are of the Lord I would get the same answer. In fact I have been encouraged by my prophet to pray for confirmation and receive my own testimony of things. This story teaches the importance of what I have been taught.

Sadly, this has made me think of recent events for me. A family I love and have admired is now on a strange path, following false gods and teaching priestcrafts and occult practices. I have given my single warning and must leave them to themselves. What troubles my soul are those that will follow them, just because of what they used to be. I know the very elect are being deceived. How grateful I am for the scriptures and living prophets and apostles on the earth. I will not be deceived if I keep from strange paths, and do not drink their water. God has named all his laws and if I do not find them in the scriptures then they are not his. The way is very straight and clear ahead.

Day 879

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 12:26-28

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 12:26-28
"And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt."

Jeroboam was only looking to himself and his gain. He is a classic story of someone setting up a priestcraft. He didn't want the people to go up to Jerusalem to worship in the house of the Lord, because he was afraid of losing them. Then he sets up his own version of things to worship. Even down to feasts. It's all an imitation of what God offers, mingled with what is pleasing to man. I pondered on how the people could even accept what he offered.

He offered them two golden calves to worship. Don't they know the story of Moses receiving the ten commandments and the the children of Israel having Aaron make the golden calf? Then I thought maybe they didn't. Maybe it has been so long since it happened that they no longer tell the stories to their children. Maybe they are not reading the scriptures as they should. I pondered on the danger the saints today can have too in not doing this. How important it is to read the scriptures daily. To know these stories and apply them in my life every day. There are so many lessons to learn from each story that I can never tire of studying the scriptures and pondering them in my heart. From this story I can see how easy it can be to be lead astray by false doctrine when I do not have the scriptures written upon my heart.

Day 878

Monday, August 21, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 11:2, 4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 11:2, 4
"Of the natinos concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away this heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father."

I thought it very interesting that the gift the Lord gave Solomon was a wise and understanding heart. It is this very heart that turned from God. In this he showed an incredible lack of wisdom. The very thing the Lord blessed him with lead to his downfall. I guess as the Lord can make weak things strong, Satan can turn around and take our strengths and make them our weaknesses. For Solomon's heart was turned from God in the name of love. Interesting how love can sound so beautiful but can become so twisted. For his love of these strange women did he seek to study and understand their gods? He must have thought himself wise enough to not be in danger of being lead astray. God warned Israel of this very thing.

"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee, and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise." (Deuteronomy 12:30)

If Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived could be lead away, then how much easier could it be for me, if I studied false gods too? This is something I have felt the warning about over and over again. The most recent was watching the docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath". I was a couple episodes into it when I had this very strong warning come into my mind to leave it alone. Don't watch and learn any more about their practices, even if it is presented in a way that exposes it in a bad light. I do not need my mind dwelling on such things. I had the impression that one lie can even be twisted in another lie. In the exposing of one lie your mind will think that whatever the person next presents as truth is true, even if that is also a lie. I saw a very cunning plan of the adversary laid out in front of me. I wish I knew how to describe the impression and warning that I had. All I know is I just had to turn it off and walk away, even when I found it very interesting. I may not be as smart as Solomon, but the spirit can give me all the wisdom I need to protect me from what I do not understand. The greatest protection to me is obedience.

Day 877

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 10:9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 10:9
"Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice."

The queen of Sheba came to test Solomon with hard questions. When she had seen all of Solomon's wisdom and the house that he built, his acts and prosperity, and the happiness of all his men and servants these were the words that she spoke. I think they are the highest compliment anyone could ever give.

Day 876

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 9:8-9

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 9:8-9
"And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house?
And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have  taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil."

I could not help but think of the pilgrims coming to America for religious liberty. For generations America has served the God of this land. Now as its people grow in darkness the God that they serve is themselves. It is Lucifer that teaches man such a thing. So they grow without any consideration or feeling for others, and war among themselves. I feel so incredibly distant from it all. I am so grateful to my Lord for his protection and the peace that surrounds me. I know even if destruction comes there is a purpose if only to open the eyes of those that are headed into forbidden paths. I feel it is a time to wait upon the Lord until I am needed.

Day 875

Friday, August 18, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 8:54

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 8:54
"And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven."

As I was reading this it sure reminded me of a temple dedicatory prayer. Such marvelous spiritual and temporal blessings promised. So many warnings and protect and promises. Things were a little different for they were still practicing the Mosaic Law. Before the dedication they sacrificed so many sheep and oxen, that it could not be told or numbered for the multitude. After the dedicatory prayer Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord with 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep. I cannot even imagine that scene. Would not the priest just be dripping in blood. Covered as if from every pore like Christ himself before his ultimate sacrifice.

Day 874

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 7:25

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 7:25
"It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward."

This chapter describes in more detail the appearance of the temple and what was contained inside it. I sat wishing I could see what it looked it. When it  mentioned lilies I thought of the lilies I have see in the temple decor in various temples. When I got to the twelve oxen with the sea set upon them I knew this as our baptismal fonts of today. This is something I have seen. I had to sit and look at photos of the various temple's baptismal fount. I photo of the Salt Lake Temple baptismal font made me think of the one Solomon built. I did see the font in brass in some and then it's covered white with gold leafing. I like what seemed to be the current version. I will have to actually go take a look at the font the next time I am at the Salt Lake Temple.

Day 873

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 6:1, 29-30

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 6:1, 29-30
"And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.
And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.
And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without"

It made me cry to realize how long God's people had to wait before they would have a temple. It was the very first temple of God. The tabernacle was before it, but this was a permanent structure.  There was no wonder that such precious things went into it. For this was the house of the Lord, and it deserved the best of what they had.

I was once asked why my faith puts so much money into building our temples, when the money could have been given to the poor. I think in materials the temple of Solomon cost far more than what is put into the temple's today. We do not have gold covering the walls, doors, and floors. It is more modest in comparison, but nonetheless of the highest quality and beauty.

Christ said "For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always." (John 12:8)

As I sit quietly in the temple and pondered I have no idea the financial status of the person sitting next to me. I have been poor, and in ways still am, and my soul has been comforted by knowing I belong. I cannot explain the rest it has given my soul to sit in such beautiful peaceful surroundings when I could never have that beauty in my home. The temple offers more to me than any handout anyone could have given me. As I have come to rely on the Lord he has provided for me. I have come to learn that if you want to bless the poor, you bring them to the house of the Lord. In His holy temple he gives more than money can ever buy.

Day 872

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 5:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 5:4-5
"But now that Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.
And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."

I was thinking how blessed Solomon was to have had peace on every side of him. Then I realized that part of that purpose was in order to build a house of the Lord. I sat and pondered on the temple building today. How many temples have gone up in relative peace. I wonder if we will continue to build temples if unrest increases?  Now is the time for building temples, because when unrest comes the saints will need them more than ever. The temple is truly a place of rest for me. There is comfort and peace.

Day 871

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 4:22, 29

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 4:22, 29
"And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal,
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore."

This chapter goes on to tell of the vastness of king Solomon's wealth. I looked at the footnote for the work "provision" and it takes me to 1 Samuel 8:15.

"And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants."

These were the words of Samuel the prophet, warning Israel what to expected when they wanted a king. I pondered on why Solomon appears to be a good king. I think the difference not only is his wisdom and understanding, but the "largeness of heart" given him. This would be a protection to the people because Solomon heart would do what was best for them. I pondered on how important God's gift of  "largeness of heart" truly was in order for Solomon to be full of wisdom and understanding. If the heart was missing in this then Solomon could not have the depth of wisdom and understanding greater than anyone that every lived.

Day 870

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 3:4-5, 15

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 3:4-5, 15
"And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants."

In this chapter I was really struck by the large number of 1,000 burnt offerings Solomon gave to the Lord.  Then as I read that God said "Ask what I shall give thee", I pondered on what an amazing thing to be asked. What would I say?

In response Solomon asked for an understanding heart to judge the people, and he was promised this and more. When Solomon awoke he saw that is was a dream. Yet he then went and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and gave a feast to all his servants.

The promise in the dream is realized when two harlots come to him to judge who was the mother of the living child. Solomon showed great wisdom is discerning the true mother. This story is so familiar. Yet this time I saw something different. I think the reason Solomon was so blessed is due to the offerings he gave to the Lord before and after his dream. He gave before he was blessed and after the promise. He didn't just give a little, he gave a lot. This made me reflect on the widows mite. The size of the offering is relative to what would be a sacrifice for me.

Day 869

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 2:3-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 2:3-4
"And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statues, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel."

What I pondered on is how the Lord's promises have two parts. Whatever the Lord says will come to pass, if I keep my end of the covenant with him. It is only by my actions that promised blessing maybe lost.

Day 868

Friday, August 11, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 1:5, 9-10

Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Kings 1:5, 9-10
Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servants:
But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not."

So David's son Adonijah plots to obtain the kingdom and sets himself up to be king. I found it very interesting that the very people he left behind were the most important people he needed next to him. David had promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be king after him, and that is the brother Adonijah left out. He also left out Nathan the prophet, and the mighty men.

When David is told about what Adonijah has done he calls for Solomon to be anointed king. I love seeing how the Lord is always one step ahead of evil. Solomon is anointed king with nothing standing in his way. When Adonijah guests hear the trumpet and the news proclaiming Solomon king they all begin to fear, rise up and go their way. The party is over for Adonijah. Solomon gives his brother another chance to show himself a worthy man. Adonijah bows himself down to Solomon in the end. I can see so much wisdom in the Lord in the way things worked out.

Day 867

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 24:1, 3, 10

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 24:1, 3, 10
"And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
And Joab said unto the king, Now the Lord thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, and hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly."

I didn't get what happened here. Wasn't David told to number Israel? Once it's done David says he sinned in doing it. Then the Lord calls his prophet Gad to go to David to choose which of three punishments would come upon the people. I had to think about this one. Hadn't Moses been told to number Israel? Why was it now a bad thing for David to have done?

I realized that the Lord was angry at Israel, but who was "he"? I turned to the footnote and learned,
"And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."  (1 Chronicles 21:1)

I went back to Joab words "why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?" Then I asked myself why did Moses number Israel? It was for the Lord's purposes. From those numbers they order the leaders of the tribes, and armies. They divided inheritances. There was great purpose in numbering Israel at that time.  What was David's purpose? Why would he delight in this? If he was inspired by Satan then it wasn't for a good purpose. It had to be for his pride. He delighted in what he had control over. That is what he was tempted in. His purposes were his own and not the Lord's. That is the evil that came into his heart.

As I sat and pondered on this and reflected on my life, I can see it's not always easy to tell when Satan is driving me to puff myself up. When those things happen I am headed for a great fall.

Day 866

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 23:15-16

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 23:15-16
"And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, which is by the gate!
And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord."

In battle these three mighty men risked their lives and went without command to Bethlehem to bring back its waters to David. Then he doesn't drink it, but pours it out. What a waste I thought. Was that not like a slap in the face for the service they offered? I just had to sit and ponder of what just happened. Then I saw that David was so moved by their bravery that the highest honor that water could be given was to the Lord. If I was one of those men I should be honored to have that water poured out to the Lord. Sitting and pondering on this made me realize I don't always see the gift, or the act of receiving a gift, with its true intent.

Day 865

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 22:48-49

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 22:48-49
"It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,
And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man."

That brought back memories that probably should be painful, but are not. I only grieve for the "violent man". How much have they lost because of their actions? How much have I gained because the Lord strengthened me? For me I would not change a thing.

Day 864

Monday, August 7, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 21:1, 3

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 21:1, 3
"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord?"

I pondered on how David's people suffered because of the sins of Saul. Then I realized some of those same people acted on the words of Saul. Yes, they as a people had to atone for what they did contrary to the will of the Lord. Just because they had a righteous ruler now, didn't mean they had escaped justice for what they had done.

Day 863

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 20:16

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 20:16
"Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee."

I pondered on how it took one wise woman with courage enough to speak to Joab to find out what the issue was and solve it. Most problems can be solved if I seek to understand, listen, and then speak.

Day 862

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 19:4-5

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 19:4-5
"But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of they daughters, and lives of they wives, and the lives of thy concubines;"

Joab spoke some hard words to David to get him out of mourning. The thought just kept coming to me. Who and what we mourn for doesn't always makes sense. The grief of a rebellious child can cause mourning on so many levels. Family is still family even if they turned on you. It can open so many wounds on so many different levels. David might not have even been mourning for Absalom, but for himself. It is not mine to question why someone mourns. It simply is what it is. Mourning is a process that needs to be worked out. Sometimes reality is a hard thing to bare. It is often the words of a friend that can touch our hearts, but it is best done with care.

Day 861

Friday, August 4, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 18:5, 33

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 18:5, 33
"And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

It is rather heart breaking that even though David's son Absalom would have killed his father to have the kingdom, David never sought revenge. He truly loved and mourned his son. I know similar grief as a parent. The mourning isn't so much what they were are the time, it's what they had the potential to become. I think would have been, are the most heartbreaking things to bare. Does not my Heavenly Father know this pain even greater than I? It is a pain only the Lord can carry for me.

Day 860

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 17:2

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 17:2
"And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:"

This may have been what Ahithophel's presented to Absalom, as his plan to over through David.  What I pondered on is how that is the adversaries plan too.  Get me so tired that I don't rest, take care of myself, and just get weary, disappointed and full of frustration. I just read something else about this just before reading my scriptures.

This is what Jeffrey R. Holland posted on Facebook.
"For those of you who earnestly seek to bear another’s burdens, it is important that you refortify yourself and build yourself back up when others expect so much of you and indeed take so much out of you. No one is so strong that he or she does not ever feel fatigued or frustrated or recognize the need to care for themselves.

Jesus certainly experienced that fatigue, felt the drain on His strength. He gave and gave, but there was a cost attached to that, and He felt the effects of so many relying on Him. When the woman with an issue of blood touched Him in the crowd, He healed her, but He also noted that “virtue had gone out of him.”

I have always been amazed that He could sleep through a storm on the Sea of Galilee so serious and severe that His experienced fishermen disciples thought the ship was going down. How tired is that? How many sermons can you give and blessings can you administer without being absolutely exhausted? The caregivers have to have care too. You have to have something in the tank before you can give it to others."

I'm not feeling over tired right now, but I know with the load I have been carrying that I getting really close. I really need to schedule some of my projects in a better manner so the crunch isn't all at once to meet my deadlines. I'm going to heed the little warning I felt impressed to ponder on tonight and refortify myself before I am all burnt out.

Day 859

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 16:12

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 16:12
"It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."

It was really hard to find a favorite verse in this chapter. People were just treating David badly. Then I realized in all of it David bore it patiently and willingly. He wasn't angered and ready to seek revenge. That is why I liked this verse it shows David is willing to wait and see what the Lord will do.

All of this makes this verse more understandable.

"Now, I speak unto you concerning your families - if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek revenge, ye shall be rewarded;"
(Doctrine & Covenants 98:23)

Day 858

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 15:2-4

Today's Favorite Verse: 2 Samuel 15:2-4
"And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.
Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

Absalom is just trouble. After reading this chapter and how he conspires against David, and caused him to flee Jerusalem, I went back to see how Absalom gained his supporters.

It was that little voice, that took those looking for judgment into his confidence. Boy, does he sound like a politician. Flattering words, and offering to solve all their problems. What I see is no humility at all. When a person is looking for judgment in a matter they already feel wronged. They were prime candidates. They were so open to hearing anyone that would bring them justice, or make things go in their perceived favor. I wondered how I could stop from listening to such a person. All I could think of is to make sure the spirit is with me, so I know when to walk away from such a man.

The other thing I pondered on was how Absalom said "Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel." Meaning he's a member of the church just like them. He is here to help them when the king (or prophet) is incapable of doing so. I think this also point to a lesson in the seeds of apostasy.

Day 857