Sunday Scriptures — The King’s Table

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After David became king of the united tribes of Israel, he wondered if any of Saul’s family remained he could show kindness. That in itself was a shock to those who understood how the succession to a throne usually went.

No new king looked for his rival’s family members to show them kindness. They looked for family members to eliminate.

You see, David made a promise to one of Saul’s sons, Jonathan. He and David were best buds. Jonathan knew God choose David over him to become king when Saul died. He didn’t try to get in the way of God’s plan. In fact, Jonathan risked his life at the hands of his father’s wrath to protect David. Because of that, David was determined to keep his promise to protect Jonathan’s family.

As it turned out, there was a son of Jonathan’s, Mephibosheth, still alive. David sent for Mephibosheth. Understandably, when he arrived at the palace in front of the king, Mephibosheth expected the worse. As he had every right to expect.

But David told him not to be afraid. He wanted to show kindness to Mephibosheth because of his friendship with Jonathan. He restored everything that belonged to Mephibosheth’s grandfather, Saul, and told Mephibosheth from that day forward, he would live in David’s palace and eat at the king’s table as if he were one of David’s sons.

Amazing.

When I think of this story, which I absolutely love, I connect the image of Mephibosheth eating at the king’s table, with The King’s table which is prepared for us by our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Our Shepherd prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

I imagine sitting at the king’s table, and eating with David’s sons, made Mephibosheth believe he sat in the presence of his enemies. I doubt David’s sons, especially Absolom and Amnon, were pleased to have Saul’s grandson treated like one of them.

What others thought didn’t matter. David was king. He invited Mephibosheth to eat at his table, and Mephibosheth would eat at the king’s table.

We have a place at the table Jesus prepares for us. He is King. He’s the one in charge. If he believes us worthy enough to eat in his presence, no enemy can keep us from pulling up a seat.

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“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!” 2 Samuel 9:7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Who Is Your Neighbor?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Today’s Sunday Scriptures post, Simple Truth, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

I don’t remember her name. I don’t remember if I even knew it, actually. The details of a decades-old event have receded to a dusty, untended memory shelf. We occupied a waiting room at the Presidio Army hospital, both awaiting surgical outcomes. A year into our marriage, my husband needed major kidney surgery. Far from family, and miles from the Air Force Radar Site where he was stationed, I was alone. I was 19, self-absorbed, and scared. Would he lose a kidney? Would he die?

She had a young son in open-heart surgery. I don’t know why her husband wasn’t with her. We were at a military hospital. It is likely he had been deployed somewhere. I don’t know because I never asked.

What I do remember is her kindness. While she had to be concerned about her son’s serious surgery, she displayed only peace and a serene, confident spirit. She asked me about my husband. She reassured me the doctors at the Presidio were some of the best anywhere. She got coffee for me. She kept me from feeling alone. She may have spoken about God being in charge, but I’m not sure. Just her presence helped me get through the long wait.

After several hours, surgery over, the doctor assured me all was well and I could see my husband. I left the waiting room and never followed up with the woman about her son. She had lavished kindness on me and received nothing in return.

In Luke 10, Jesus was asked by an expert in the law what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked this expert to tell Him what he already knew about that from Scripture. He knew he was to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. Jesus told him his knowledge was correct. What he needed to do was live it.

The lawyer wanted to justify himself. He asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

As is often the case, Jesus didn’t answer the question that was asked; He answered the question that should have been asked: “How do we do that?” Through the parable of the Good Samaritan, He teaches us not to try to decide for whom we may or may not be responsible, but instead to be a neighbor to whomever in our path is in need.

Long ago, a stranger showed mercy and compassion to me in my need. At the time, I could have quoted the Greatest Commandment and I knew about the Good Samaritan. The difference between us then was that she was living it out. Even now, the Lord is using her example to help me understand what He is teaching me.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine, Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

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(Jesus said,) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Jesus teaches us not to try to decide for whom we may or may not be responsible, but instead to be a neighbor to whomever in our path is in need. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures– The LORD Fights Our Battles

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

There was a battle going on. The Israelite army stood on one hillside. The Philistines  on the other. In the valley between the two stood the Philistine champion, Goliath. At over nine feet tall he was a rather intimidating foe.

For forty days Goliath shouted challenges and defied the God of the Israelites. The men of the Israelite army were scared. The Bible says they were “dismayed and terrified” and “ran from him in great fear”.

Then in walks David; probably a teen at the time. He brought food to his three older brothers who served in King Saul’s army. Asking what was going on, he found out, and decided to do something about it.

You remember the story … David kills the giant. But David doesn’t take credit for the defeat. He gives the glory to God who delivered David from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. The battle was the LORD’s.

We face giants today. Some days, our battles are fierce. Other days just naggingly annoying. Some days the battle has raged for a long time. Other days we’re blindsided. Either way, if we go out in our own strength we’re sure to fail, or at most, win only a partial victory.

While my recent battle with resolving the hack/hijack/redirect issue with Woven and Spun was huge for me, I know it is extremely minor compared with the battles many folks face on a daily basis. Flooding from Hurricane Florence last month, and Hurricane Michael this month being two such things.

God gave us tools to fight our battles. His Holy Word and his Holy Spirit. In order to use those weapons, we must train to do battle. We’re only fooling ourselves if we believe we can win in our own strength.

We need to give our battles to the LORD. He is the one who gives the victory.

The Battle is the LORD’s.

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All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. I Samuel 17:47 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”God gives us tools to fight our battles. His Holy Word and his Holy Spirit. We fool ourselves if we think we’ll win in our own strength. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on Woven and Spun May 9, 2014

Sunday Scriptures — Misaligned

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Ever since new progressive lenses were placed in my eyeglasses six months ago, I haven’t been able to see clearly through them, no matter how I try to adjust them on my face. Rather frustrating.

At my most recent eye exam I again mentioned the problem. Because the prescription is correct, a tech in the optical department made sure the lines of the progressives were aligned correctly. They were not. They were misaligned. Off my a milli-fraction.

New lenses were ordered and she aligned them herself.

Yay!

The problem may have been barely discernable and the misalignment minute, but it affected my vision nonetheless.

Whenever I think of people in the Bible with misaligned vision of who Jesus was, I think of the Pharisees. Their vision was not off by a fraction. It was off by a mile. And then some.

The Pharisees believed they knew everything and interpreted the biblical laws correctly. They were so very wrong.

Sometimes we might do the same thing. We might rely on past understanding of scripture or what someone told us, without studying to see if what we’ve held as truth is actually true; believing we are fully aligned with the Scriptures.

We need to check to make sure our understanding of Scripture is aligned with what God says. If it isn’t, even if only off by a milli-fraction, it’s misaligned just as surely as my lenses were and needs corrected.

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All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”We need to check to make sure our understanding of Scripture is aligned with what God says. If not, it’s misaligned and needs corrected. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Psalm 5

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

When David wrote Psalm 5, he poured out his discouragement to God about the way things were in his life at that point in time. Within the first few verses different translations say David asked the LORD to hear his prayer, listen to his plea, consider his groaning, and heed the sound of his cry for help.

Have you ever gone to God with prayers that plead, groan, and cry out for help? I have.

After his plea for help, David described what God is like, what he himself is like, what his enemies are like, and what the righteous are like.

David ended his psalm praising the LORD for being a promise-keeper. He was confident God heard his prayer, and would act on his behalf.

In Chuck Swindoll’s book, Living the Psalms, he points out David asked God to lead him throughout the conflict in righteousness, so he wouldn’t become like his enemies and resort to the tactics they use.

I found that thought interesting. How many times do we get so beat down by the discouragement and disappointment of life that we lose our joy and dwell on the bad, instead of God’s good that surrounds us in the midst of our pain?

Deep down inside we know God fights our battles. We know he hears us when we pray. We know he has a plan for us to prosper and not for harm.

But we also recognize the fact we live in a fallen world full of evil and evildoers whose actions sometimes affect our lives in a negative way.

Chuck Swindoll offers these guidelines as we pray to overcome discouragement.

  • Describe your attitude and how deeply you hurt.
  • Review the attributes of God.
  • Ask for opportunities to do things his way.
  • Be specific in your prayers.
  • Remind yourself of his defense.
  • Recall the Lord’s promises.

He finally suggests when we’re too down to pray for ourselves, and ask someone to join us in prayer on our behalf.

One thing I began doing years ago is read through the Psalms when I’m troubled. As I read, I write out the psalm that speaks to me at that moment. I also list all the attributes of God mentioned in the psalm.

When life knocks me for a loop and I feel defeated, discouraged, and upended, I pick up that journal and read through it, noting God’s attributes. In doing this, I am reminded who God is. That in turn helps me remember who I am in relation to him.

What do you do to turn your pleas to praise?

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O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalms 5:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”When David wrote Psalms 5, he poured out his discouragement about the way things were in his life at that point in time to God. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]