Victory Vitamin Blog – 2 Samuel 11:4

“Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” 

-2 Samuel 11:4 NIV

 

David was King of Israel.  He pretty much had rock star status, and that pretty much went to his head.  Rather than accompany his soldiers to battle one day, David decided to take the day off.  He probably slept late, wandered around his palace in his tunic, you know, King stuff.  At one point David went out on a balcony and looked down.  He saw a woman bathing and she appealed to him.  David asked his servants about her.  They said, “Oh, she’s married to one of your soldier’s who is off fighting right now.”  David replied, “Oh, go get her for me.”  She came to his room and David committed adultery with her.  It gets worse.  Bathsheba gets pregnant.  David freaks out and tries to get her husband to come home from war and sleep with his wife to make it look like he is really the father.  When that doesn’t work, David orders Uriah to the front lines and tells all the other soldiers to retreat so Uriah will be killed.   Then David married Bathsheba.  What do you think of King David now?  He sounds like a disgusting human being, right?  Well, David repented, and the LORD forgave him, just as He forgives you and me for the disgusting sins we commit, but let’s consider what led to David’s disgusting actions.  1) He shirked his duty.  As King, it was David’s job to lead the army in battle.  He stayed home, and the devil found work for his idle hands to do.  2) David failed to exercise self-control.  When he found out Bathsheba was married that should have been the end of it.  3) Rather than face the music, David tried to cover his tracks.  Bad idea.  God forgives us when we repent.  That act on God’s part displays His love for us.  God’s love for us inspires us to live lives that glorify Him.  Keep yourself busy serving the lord and serving others.  Exercise the God-given gift of self-control. (Galatians 5:23)  When you sin, stop, and admit it to God.  Let David serve as both a bad and good example of how to live.

Victory Vitamin Blog – 1 Samuel 17:45

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty”

-1 Samuel 17:45 NIV

 

The odds were not in David’s favor.  Goliath was a big man and a skilled warrior.  The fact that he would march out daily and challenge anyone from Israel to fight him is a testimony to his confidence.  David was a shepherd.  He was the youngest of his brothers.  But David was not intimidated by Goliath.  Far from being intimidated, David was infuriated.  That Goliath would stand out in the valley and loudly mock the Israelites, who were the army of God, was intolerable to David.  David was entirely confident that the LORD would help him shut that bully’s mouth.  David put his faith in action and God brought Goliath down.  It was David’s faith and complete confidence in God that caused him to undertake a task that many others were terrified to approach.  What daunting tasks are giving you doubts?  Is there a situation in your life that seems destined to destroy you?  Call it your Goliath, and trust in the LORD as you face it head on.  God has already defeated our most dreaded enemy, the devil.  Now sin and death can do us no harm.  Trust Him to go with you into your daily battles as well.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Judges 2:18-19

“Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived;

-Judges 2:18-19 NIV

 

At this point in Israel’s history, they had left Egypt, wandered in the wilderness, crossed into the Promised Land (modern day Israel/Palestine).  The LORD had instructed the Israelite army to destroy every living thing in the cities they conquered in the promised land.  That way they wouldn’t be tempted to follow the idol-worshiping ways of the previous inhabitants.  They disobeyed the LORD in that regard, and not surprisingly, the Israelites began worshiping false gods.  When they worshiped false gods, the LORD caused the Israelites to lose in battle and be oppressed by other nations.  When the Israelites repented, the LORD would send a “judge” who would lead the people back to the LORD, and back to victory in battle.  As it says above, this would last until that particular judge would die, then the Israelites would start the cycle of disobedience over again.  We’re not that different from the Israelites.  When life is good, we tend to drift away from God, neglect worship and His Word, pray less frequently.  When hardship strikes, suddenly we remember just how much we need God.  We can be thankful that just as God raised up judges to rescue His sinful Israelite people, so He has raised up a rescuer for us.  One who has delivered us from the enemies of sin and death.  We need not worry about our freedom lasting only as long as that judge lives.  Jesus lives forever.  He cannot die again.  Our victory in Him is eternal!

Victory Vitamin Blog – Joshua 1:9

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

-Joshua 1:9 NIV

 

The LORD spoke these words to Joshua not long before sending him and the Israelite army to take the city of Jericho.  Thank God I’ve never had to go to war.  I have absolutely no idea what it’s like to take the life of another, or to face imminent death myself.  I’m eternally grateful for those who have selflessly faced those harsh realities for the good of others.  The LORD told Joshua to be strong and courageous as he prepared for battle.  Do those words apply to us in any way?  They certainly do.  If the LORD was willing to protect and bless Joshua and the Israelite army thousands of years ago, we can be sure that His promise stands true today.  Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  -Matthew 28:20  God is with us in our daily battles with temptation, fear, sadness, and hopelessness.  He is with us in our battles.  This coming Tuesday marks the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther.  That act sparked years of turmoil and conflict in the Christian church, and caused Luther to have a bounty put on his head by Emperor Charles V.  God’s encouragement to Joshua certainly gave Luther comfort in his battles.  Luther’s words and actions brought the Truth of the Gospel back to the forefront of Christian teaching.  Luther refused to let anything obscure the truth that Jesus has earned forgiveness and eternal for all who believe in Him.  God’s words above remind us that we have comfort in our battles because Jesus won the ultimate battle over sin, death, and the devil by His death and resurrection.  Your God is a mighty fortress.  Christ has fought for you, and won!  You have peace, and ultimate victory in Jesus Christ.  Here we stand.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Exodus 19:8

“The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” 

-Exodus 19:8 NIV

 

This was the answer given by the Israelites when God asked if they would obey Him fully.  God was making a covenant with the nation of Israel, the descendants of Jacob.  He was saying, “If you obey me fully, you and I will have an exclusive, special relationship.  I’ll protect and bless you in ways you can’t fathom.”  So the Israelites said OK.  The problem was that God had not yet told them what they would have to do!  They agreed to do everything the LORD had said, BEFORE He said it.  That’s like signing the loan papers, then asking what the interest rate is.  In actuality, it wouldn’t matter.  God could have given the Israelites the simplest of commands and they would have blown it.  In fact, they DID blow it.  Within days of agreeing to obey the LORD fully, they made a calf out of gold and declared “it” to be their new god.  The whole point was to show the Israelites how completely impossible it is to obey the LORD fully.  They couldn’t do it, we can’t do it.  God put in place, a system of animal sacrifices for the Israelites to pay the price for their infractions.  Ultimately He gave His Son, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, so that you, me, and all people could be forgiven.  God loves you, and He’s gone through a lot of trouble to preserve and sustain that relationship.  Worship Him this Sunday.  Return to Him some of what He’s given to you, both time and treasure.  Then share His love with those around you.