En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


God Requires Contrition of the Heart

God Requires Contrition of the Heart


Posted By on May 17, 2020

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”                  1 Sam. 15:22b Although King David was exceedingly great, he was fallen just like every human being; sinful and in need of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness (1 Kin. 8:46, Eccl. 7:20, Rom. 3:23).  God was incredibly merciful to David, for David wrote in Psalm eighteen: “Great deliverance He gives to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore.” (Ps. 18:50–NKJ).  For example, God’s law [the Mosaic Law] condemned anyone to death if caught in the act of adultery as well as the sin of intentional murder. (Lev. 20:10, 24:7).  King David was guilty of committing both offenses, adultery with Bathsheba and the murder her husband Uriah (2 Sam. 11:4, 24).  He deserved to be put to death on two counts, yet God mercifully spared his life: “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ and Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.’” (2 Sam. 12:13).  What incredible lovingkindness God extended to David!  Moreover, God who sees the heart (1 Chr. 28:9, 2 Chr. 6:30), was pleased at what He saw in David’s heart (1 Sam. 16:7, cf. 1 Kin. 14:8), and mercifully forgave him.  David did however pay a dear price for his acts of adultery and plotted homicide.  God, in perfect justice would take the life of David’s newborn son born of Bathsheba. (2 Sam. 12:13-19).   Every believer will receive God’s merciful forgiveness, if confession of sin is contritely made: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9).  However, as David experienced, although believers will be forgiven, they may receive God’s loving, yet heavy hand of discipline: “…My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’” (Heb. 12:5-6, cf. Prov. 3:11-12).  Therefore, it is far better to be loved and experience God’s heavy hand of discipline, than to be unloved and eternally rejected by...

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After highlighting some of David’s serious sins (see previous articles), the question could be raised, why did God consider David “a man after His own heart”, when David repeatedly sinned against Him?  It appears as if God showed David leniency above and beyond all other servants of His.  Yes, God chastened David for his sin, chastened him severely; for he suffered consequences throughout his life because of his sin.  However, as compared to Israel’s great deliverer and leader Moses, for instance–it appeared as if God dealt much more sternly with Moses when he committed sin.  For example, when Moses was confronted by the multitude of thirsty, grumbling, and hostile fellow Israelites demanding water, Moses, out of frustration disobediently “struck the rock” [with his staff to obtain water], rather than “speak to it”, as God had commanded (Num. 20:1-12).  More important than Moses’ act of disobedience, was that he tarnished God’s holiness before the people: “But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’” (Num. 20:12, cf. Deut. 32:52).  According to Scripture, it appears for that one incident of disobedience, Moses was denied entrance into the Promise Land.  After forty years of arduous desert wandering, enduring inclement weather, and bearing the children of Israel’s constant grumbling and rebellion against his authority—Moses’ sudden display of anger seemed justified.  Amazingly, despite David’s many offenses against God, Him, still considered David “a man after His own heart”.  It was an honorable title God had uniquely bestowed upon David–no other servant, prophet, or king of Israel, was given such a designation.  Even David’s son Solomon, who inherited his father’s throne, never received such acclaim from God: “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you.’  Then Solomon said, ‘Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.’” (1 Kin. 3:5-6).  In fact, all kings were measured against David’s standard of “righteousness”. The MacArthur Study Bible notes: “David is consistently presented as the standard by which other kings were to conduct their lives and be judged by God. (1 Kin. 3:14; 9:4; 14:8, 15:3; 2 Kin. 8:19; 22:2).” 8   In God’s eyes David was...

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Goliath: An Easy Defeat for God

Goliath: An Easy Defeat for God


Posted By on Apr 17, 2020

“And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.” 1 Sam. 17:49 The David and Goliath battle has always been a very popular Bible story, for Christian and even secular people.  For most, there is a certain satisfaction reading about the underdog David, defeating the formidable foe Goliath. Comparing God’s tiny nation of Israel to the vast secular and hostile world is like comparing David, the small shepherd boy, a mere child– to the behemoth giant of a man, Goliath.  There is however one very significant factor in this apparent mismatch—God!  It is imperative to remember that God chose and set His eternal covenant love upon David and Israel.  Therefore, no enemy can harm “the apple(s) of God’s eye” (Ps. 17:8, Zech. 2:8).  God would deliver His beloved from their enemies and do so in miraculous fashion. That said, under the leadership of King Saul, the army of Israel went up against the Philistines in battle.  When they saw the imposing Philistine champion Goliath approaching, they became terrified and fled (1 Sam. 17:21, 24).  When the young shepherd boy David saw his fellow Israelites stricken with terror, he went before King Saul and vowed he would slay the giant Philistine, with God’s help (1 Sam. 17:32, 36-37).   When King Saul saw young David’s zeal, he capitulated to his request.  Now Goliath was well-armed and adorned with heavy protective armor: “Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [nearly ten feet tall].  And he had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze [one hundred and twenty-five pounds].   He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders.  And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron [fifteen pounds]; his shield-carrier also walked before him.” (1 Sam. 17:4-7–brackets added). Armed with a shepherd’s staff, a sling and five smooth stones retrieved from a nearby brook, the small shepherd-boy was unafraid and filled with confidence as he proceeded to battle Goliath (1 Sam. 17:40). David was secure in knowing the God of Israel would deliver Goliath into his hands: “Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in...

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Satan: A Murderer From The Beginning

Satan: A Murderer From The Beginning


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”  Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.  Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee.”                                                                                   Matt. 4:10-12 From the outset of Jesus Christ’s incarnation Satan went full bore on the attack, trying to thwart God’s redemptive plan.   The ministry of Jesus Christ had just commenced after He was baptized by John the Baptist, immediately after He was impelled by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil (Mark 1:12).  While Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to sin, John the Baptist was thrown into prison and soon after executed.  Jesus’ baptism would be the last time they would ever meet (Matt. 4:1-10, 14:3-12).  Jesus would never see His cousin and forerunner again—what a powerful gospel force they would have made.  And even though John declared: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), he probably had not figured decreasing by way of death, John’s sudden execution was at the hands of the prince of darkness, working his evil through human instruments.   However, thanks be to God, Jesus Christ not only endured with perfect obedience, the temptations from the devil, but ultimately defeated Satan by His sacrificial death on the cross.  “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;  in which also He went and made proclamation to the [demonic] spirits now in prison.” (1 Pet. 3:18-19).  Jesus delivered Himself unto death, so that we could be delivered from death.  Praise be to God for our Wonderful...

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Do Not Fear The Unknown

Do Not Fear The Unknown


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”                                       Matt. 10:28 Are Christians supposed to be afraid?  Does feeling or exhibiting “fear” of anyone or anything give glory to our eternal Creator?  Yes, we will experience times of sorrow and grief in life, but they should never take us to the point of despair.  Jesus ostensively commanded believers not to worry about life’s necessities: “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25).  Additionally, the Bible is clear regarding how Christians are to conduct life—not to be fearful of anyone or anything—but only to fear God Himself (Matt. 10:28, Luke 12:4-5).  When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples to herald the Lord’s kingdom, it was their first time out from under His auspices (Matt. 10:5-42).  It was a new chapter in the life of the fledgling messengers–no longer were they only followers of their Teacher but were formally being sent out by their Lord.   Being messengers of His gospel and the kingdom to come, is what Jesus had trained and instructed His disciples to do.  The disciples would traverse in “unknown” land, venues and temperaments.  It was a message met with hostility—Jesus forewarned them: “But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues;  and you shall even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.” (Matt. 10:17-18).  The twelve were instructed to walk by faith and trust in God because He would provide for them.  (Matt. 10:19-20, cf. 6:31-32). Jesus’ disciples were told to preach the message, no matter how difficult and how high the cost: “And brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” (Matt. 10:21-22, cf. 34-36).  Imagine how Jesus’ strong words of instruction must have evoked fear and terror in the hearts of His disciples, for they knew they must obey their Lord.  Furthermore, He commanded: “And do not fear those who kill the body,...

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Near the end of David’s reign, the Bible records another of the king’s lapses into egregious iniquity: “Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’” (2 Sam. 24:1).  The Bible does not provide specifics as to why God was angry with Israel, but one could presume it was for disobedience, for Israel’s history of rebelling against God was extensive.  Before we examine this great sin of King David, something needs to be clarified regarding God’s Word.  There are two accounts of this same sin recorded yet, they appear to differ from each other.  The account in 2 Samuel 24:1 reads, David was “moved by the Lord” to number Israel: “Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’”  But the account in 1 Chronicles 21 reads, David was “moved by Satan” to number Israel: “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” (1 Chr. 21:1).  So, which reference is correct?  Both are God’s inerrant Word.  So why are there seemingly contradictory accounts?  What appears to be a contradiction in the Bible, can easily be explained.  Satan, like all of creation, is subject to God’s authority and power.  Therefore, God sovereignly and permissively utilized Satan to tempt David into conducting a census of Israel.  Although David was tempted by Satan, he could have [or should have] resisted him (Jas. 4:6) and obeyed the word of the Lord, but in weakness chose to sin.  Even King David’s military commander Joab, knew he was sinning against God and challenged the king’s foolishness: “But Joab said to the king, ‘Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?’” (2 Sam. 24:3, cf. 1 Chr. 21:3-4).   However, Joab’s appeal was in vain, the obstinate king commanded the conduction of the census.  Furthermore, Scripture does not reveal why David sinned, but perhaps it was self-aggrandizement because of his military strength, that prompted his numbering of Israel.  A.W. Pink’s asserts: “…it was pride of the heart which moved Israel’s king to commit such folly.  If he was intoxicated with the successes which heaven had granted to his arms, and was more occupied with them than their Giver, that that would account for his disastrous lapse, for ‘pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)’” 5  Keil & Delitzschalso...

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Two Overlooked Acts of Forgiveness!

Two Overlooked Acts of Forgiveness!


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

Two Possibly Overlooked Acts of God’s Forgiveness “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”                                   Isa. 55:9 When many Christians ponder the account of the “thief on the cross” [actually “robber”], 1 they may overlook a powerful truth regarding the amazing nature of God’s forgiveness (Luke 23:39-43).  Attention is typically given to the thief’s immediate presence with in heaven upon his death: “absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).  Although, this is a crucial truth to understand regarding the condition of the believer’s soul immediately upon death, another truth that could be drawn from the passage (Luke 23:39-43)–God’s profound pardoning of a sinner!  All four Gospels record Jesus crucified between two criminals, one on His right and the other His left (Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27, Luke 23:32, John 19:18).  During the initial hours of the crucifixion, both robbers hurled insults at  Jesus (Matt. 27:44), but as their life blood drained from their dying bodies one of them was converted and believed in Jesus as Savior.  When the unregenerate robber continued to “blaspheme” Jesus (Luke 23:39), the newly redeemed one rebuked him: “…Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” (Luke 23:40-41).  Only moments prior he was an unbelieving condemned criminal, but as a newly transformed saint he affirmed Jesus’ innocence rightly “fearing” God.   Turning to his merciful Savior he humbly pled: “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42).  When he uttered these words, Jesus revealed His compassionate heart.  Amazingly, even as Jesus was enduring His Father’s infinite wrath for the weight of the world’s sin, He mercifully said to the penitent sinner: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43).  Would it not be comforting to have Jesus personally assure your salvation?  Think of the mercy and grace Jesus had for that criminal, despite having the knowledge that his entire life up until that point consisted of violent lawlessness.  This example defies human reasoning (cf. Jer. 34:34, Heb. 8:12, Rom. 5:8).  To Jesus, the robber’s wretched past did not matter–He had wiped his slate clean.  This incredible promise is indeed true for “all” who put their faith in Christ (cf. Jn. 6:37, 40).  God’s grace is truly amazing!    Another potentially overlooked act of God’s forgiveness occurred the moment Jesus died on the cross, Scripture reads:...

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King David knew God disproved of polygamy—and that marriage is only between one man and one woman and has been that way from the beginning: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24).  Moreover, God commanded explicit laws regarding marriage for Israel’s kings: “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” (Deut. 17:17). Furthermore, all kings of Israel were commanded by God to write the entire law and read it daily, to have God’s law upon their minds. “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes.” (Deut. 17:18-19).  Yet King David clearly violated God’s law of marriage with his polygamous lifestyle.  He had eight wives: Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Macaah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, and Bathsheba, not to mention his numerous concubines, many of which bore him children.  The exact number of concubines David possessed is not revealed in Scripture, but by examining certain passages, one could surmise the number was considerable. For example: “…David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to David.” (2 Sam. 5:13).  Furthermore, Scripture reveals more information about King David’s concubines. When David was fleeing from his son Absalom, who was trying to kill him (fulfilling Nathan’s prophecy 2), the King hastily vacated his residence in Jerusalem: “So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house.” (2 Sam. 15:16–emphasis added). David commissioned “ten concubines” to stay behind and look after the royal house he vacated.  Perhaps many more concubines left with King David. Regardless, David’s collection of wives and concubines was a direct violation of God’s law, to which King David was certainly privy (cf. Deut. 17:17a).  “Then it happened”, is howthe eleventh chapter of 2 Samuel begins.  Many times, the Bible employs such strong transitioning language to alert the reader that a drastic change of events is about to occur.  Such was the case with King David, as David had just sent his military commander Joab and his army to engage in battle with...

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