Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7- Exacting Judgment

June 7, 2011

Scripture Readings:
I Kings 2:1-3:2; Acts 5:1-42;
Psalm 125:1-5; Proverbs 16:25

But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, 
and be sure your sins will find you out. 
~Numbers 32:23

I Kings 2:1-3:2

When George W. Bush declared war on Iraq after 9/11, many people felt that he was exacting judgment on Saddam Hussein for his father, George H. W. Bush.  During the 1990's George Herbert Walker Bush was the president of the United States and was the commander and chief during the Gulf War.  While America successfully stopped Saddam Hussein from invading Kuwait, many felt that President Bush had failed by not capturing and killing Saddam Hussein after defeating the Iraq army.  Saddam Hussein behaved like a man who had sinned and gotten away with it. Once his son got in office, Bush the younger led America in a war that resulted in the capture and eventual hanging of Saddam Hussein.  The son exacted judgment for his father.  Saddam's sin found him out. Today, Solomon exacts judgment against his father David's enemies, also.

As our story begins, David is nearing death.  As he prepares to go the way of the earth, David admonishes Solomon to do the following:
  • Take courage and be a man. Vs. 2
  • Observe the requirements of the Lord and follow all of His ways. Vs. 3
  • Keep each of the laws, commands, regulations and stipulations written in the law of Moses. Vs. 3
  • Doing this and making sure that your descendants do this will insure that a descendant from our family line will remain on the throne of Israel forever. Vs. 4
David then lists people he wants Solomon to attend to upon his death.  He requests that his long time military commander Joab, a man of  violence who killed both Abner and Amasa, not die in peace.  For Shimei, a man who cursed David as he fled for his life, David trusts that Solomon will devise a bloody death.  David asks that the sons of Barzillai be treated kindly and be made permanent guests of the king.

Solomon exacts the judgment upon these people as his father requested.  Adonijah, David's rebellious son, is killed after requesting to have David's virgin nurse and companion become his wife.  Joab is killed after Adonijah's death.  Finally, Shimei dies after breaking his agreement to never leave Jerusalem.  These killings were done by Solomon's military commander, Benaiah. 

After exacting judgment on these enemies of his father, David, the kingdom is firmly in Solomon's grip.

David's desire for his son was that he be obedient to the Lord.  We will see that Solomon, although very wise, will never have the heart for God that David displayed.  David admonishes Solomon to rule the kingdom by following God's laws and commands.

Do you run your life by following Biblical principles?  What problems can be avoided by doing this?

Acts 5:1-42

Today, we see that judgment is exacted by God for actions against God's Holy Spirit.  The early church is growing miraculously.  People are sharing property, communing together, praying together, eating meals and fellowshiping with one another.  But, Jesus warned that his Church on earth would be bread with leaven in it.  In other words, there would always be sin and rebellion in the Church. 

Our story begins with a man named Ananias who sold property and brought some of the money from the sale to the apostles for their work.  The problem is that he claimed to have brought the whole amount he received, when actually he only brought a portion. Peter discerns that Ananias is lying to the Holy Spirit.  When he confronts Ananias about his lying to God, Ananias collapses on the floor and dies.  Sapphira, Ananias' wife, was with him when he sold the property.  She comes to Peter three hours later, unaware that her husband has lied and died.  Peter asks her if the amount of money they gave represented all there was of the sale.  Sapphira follows her husband in lying to the Holy Spirit and also follows her husband in death.  These two thought they could sin and not be caught, but their sins found them out. God exacts judgment on these two people.

Why is God doing this in the early church?  God is establishing the authority and holiness of God, the Holy Spirit.  It is important for believers to understand that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are to be equally reverenced and obeyed.  A sin against God's Holy Spirit is a sin against God.  The early church is not able to see Christ in the flesh anymore. They must learn that the Holy Spirit is a person in the Trinity who is alive and active in the lives of believers.  He is to be revered and obeyed.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit through the disciples is resulting in a ministry that mirrors Jesus' ministry on earth.  It includes healing the sick, casting out demons and teaching the truth of the Scriptures.  Peter and John are arrested and thrown in jail for their ministry.  They are released by an angel of the Lord to resume their work.

They are eventually taken in front of the religious council again and rebuked to not teach about Jesus.  Peter again refuses to obey men rather than God.  A member of the council named Gamaliel convinces the council to let Peter and John go.  He argues that if this movement is not of God, it will dissipate.  He warns that if it IS a movement of God, the council will find themselves fighting against God, Himself.

The council is convinced to let Peter and John go, but first they have them flogged.  Peter and John are elated to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

Notice that these men who earlier were cowering in the upper room and who fled from Jesus during his suffering are now transformed by the Holy Spirit into men who boldly speak the truth about Jesus at each opportunity.  They have God's perspective on suffering.  Rather than avoiding hardship and suffering, they now see it as a privileged way to identify with their Savior.

Do you have the Holy Spirit's perspective on suffering?  Do you consider suffering an opportunity to relate to Jesus?  Do you have unconfessed sin that you need to take to the Lord before your sin finds you out?

Psalm 125:1-5

God's people are surrounded and protected by God, just as Jerusalem is surrounded and protected by the mountains.  What a beautiful picture.

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seems right to a person, but that way leads to death.  Ananias and Sapphira are a great example of the truth of this proverb!

What did you notice today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton
© 2011


  1. I don't understand why Adonijah asking for Abishag prompted Solomon to kill him. Is there other scripture that explains why Solomon knew he needed to kill his brother because of this request.

  2. Unfortunately, women were basically owned by the men in those days. When Adonijah tried to take Abishag, he was dishonoring David's decision that Solomon would be the next king. Only the next king could take possession of David's possessions. Abishag was one of David's possessions.

    Adonijah knew this and his actions were an attempt to usurp Solomon's authority as the future king.

    Hope this helps!!

  3. I was wondering the same thing, Terri. Kathy, I like your point about the believers learning that the Holy Spirit is a person to be obeyed and revered.

  4. The Holy Spirit's role as God on earth through the Church has really stood out to me as I have studied this year. This makes total sense and helps the Trinity be fleshed out in my mind.

    It also makes me accountable to the Holy Spirit in my life. The Bible speaks of our sins grieving the Holy Spirit. Now, I get it.