En Gedi's Gate

Always Employing Biblical Truth and Discernment!


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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Much can be written regarding the greatness of David’s faithful service to God and his promised eternal legacy, which will ultimately be fulfilled at Jesus Christ’s second coming when He will rule on David’s throne.  However, the focus of this article, is of an entirely different aspect of King David’s greatness; the great sins he committed against God.  Even though David was considered “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, Ps. 89:20, Acts 13:22), God’s chosen king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:12, 1 Chr. 17:7), “the apple of God’s eye” (Ps. 17:8), and the recipient of God’s “unconditional [Davidic] covenant” (2 Sam. 7:12-16); he committed numerous sins against God.  Moreover, some of those sins permanently affected the lives of many people, as will be shown.  In fact, numerous lives were needlessly lost because of David’s foolishness and sin, yet God deemed him a man with “integrity of heart and of uprightness” (1 Kin. 9:4).   Furthermore, God is omniscient and foreknows all things (1 John 3:20) and obviously knew that David would fall into serious transgressions, yet He still chose David to be king of Israel: “I took you [David] from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over My people Israel.” (2 Sam. 7:8b).  In fact, despite David’s iniquities God made an everlasting covenant with him: “…When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:12-13-brackets added).     Considering this glorious promise God had made to David, we will examine some of his sins.   The relatively young David had just learned from his dear friend Jonathan, that King Saul (Jonathan’s father), was seeking to kill him (1 Sam. 20).  So, David, fearing for his life, fled.  It would begin a time in David’s life when he lived in constant fear of King Saul.  In fact, virtually the rest of the book of 1 Samuel (chapters 20-26), depicts David frantically evading Saul.  At the onset of his flight, David came to the city of Nob where he met the priest Ahimelech. (1 Sam. 21:1).  Being paranoid and afraid that Ahimelech would tell King Saul of his whereabouts, David proceeded to lie to the man of God.  Instead of trusting that God would deliver him from evil [as David penned in many of his Psalms] and truthfully explain to Ahimelech his plight concerning King Saul, David chose to deceive the...

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The greatness of king David is clearly seen in the Bible immediately upon making his debut in 1 Sam. 16:12.  No other human name in Scripture is mentioned more times than “David”, (1,080 times).  Amazingly, even the Lord and Savior “Jesus” [Christ] is a distant second at (911 times), following in third place is “Moses” (833 times), and just for the record “Abraham/Abram” only (273 times).  Furthermore, the name of David is referenced fifty-five times in the New Testament, which commenced over a thousand years after he reigned as king of Israel (1011 to 971 B.C.).  As a young lad God had chosen David and put His Spirit upon him: “So he [Jesse] sent and brought him [David] in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.  And the LORD said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is he.’   Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward…” (1 Sam. 16:12a, 13a).  Most Christians know the story of “David and Goliath” and thoroughly appreciate the victory achieved by David despite being a significant underdog.  He was only a youth and a fledgling to the ravages of battle, yet he slew the nearly ten-foot tall and formidable Philistine warrior, armed only with a sling and a small stone. (1 Sam. 17:40-51).  One divinely placed stone hurled from David’s sling smashed into Goliath’s forehead, incapacitating him and abruptly ending the battle–thus began David’s legacy of greatness.   However, David was not acting on his own, it was God who delivered Goliath into his hands.  In fact, God was responsible every time David emerged triumphant in battle– for He was always with him: “And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.” (1 Chr. 17:8). Scripture tells us that David was considered “a man after God’s own heart”: “And after He had removed him [Saul as king of Israel], He raised up David to be their [Israel’s] king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’” (Acts 13:22).  A designation God gave to no other prior servant of His.  Furthermore, as the chosen nation of Israel is considered “the apple of God’s eye” (Zech. 2:8), so to, was David chosen to be king of Israel and “the apple of God’s eye” (1...

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Why Christians Should Carry A Bible

Why Christians Should Carry A Bible


Posted By on Aug 12, 2019

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ” (Matt. 5:16). A few years back I wrote an article expressing my concern that the vast majority of Christians will soon completely eliminate carrying a Bible in book form.1  Technological advancements are culpable of aiding and abetting, the expedition of that reality coming to fruition.  One look around at many worship services today and you will see most of the congregation utilizing their phones [or other electronic devices], in place of  physical Bibles to access God’s Word.  Sadly, Christians have become deeply entrenched in this “hi-tech” age, where “Bible apps” are the predominant method chosen to look-up Scripture.  Moreover, I have heard believers glory in all the biblical tools available at their fingertips.  In defense of their praise, they contend that it’s beneficial to have numerous Bible resources readily accessible indicating the capability to conveniently swipe to a verse, tap on that verse to locate its cross-references, or tap on a word to view the original language; all in mere seconds.  One proponent of hi-tech asked me: “If a physical Bible is cumbersome for me to lug around, inconvenient to use, and lacking all the Bible tools designed to make my Christian life easier, why then should I abandon those modern helps?”       Before I answer those questions, I want to make a personal observations.  In the recent past, my typical Lord’s day gathering was a glorious experience, when I observed my fellow brothers and sisters all carrying Bibles.  Because of that shared commonality, I felt a strong sense of unity and oneness with my fellow believers in Christ.   I was encouraged when I witnessed them with physical Bibles, because I could see that they possessed a copy of God’s Word.  Unlike today, it is disappointing to witness so many Christians entering the house of God without observable Bibles, I am left to wondering if they have “electronic Bibles” buried in their pockets.  Moreover, it’s disillusioning not knowing if a person sitting beside me, even has the Word of God in his or her possession.   Furthermore, interruptions, distractions, and temptations are likely to occur during the worship service.  The “iphone” does not only contain a Bible app, it is a live medium to the internet and literally one “swipe” away from engaging the evil world–the very Satanic system Christians should be escaping from on the Lord’s day!  On more than one occasion I observed people responding to “text messages” or “surfing the internet” during the worship service.  In fact, on one Lord’s day...

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Shake the Dust From Your Feet

Shake the Dust From Your Feet


Posted By on May 21, 2019

“Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you…”  Luke:10:11 “Shaking the dust off the feet” was a common display of contempt toward Gentiles by the Jews.  So ardently was their hatred of Gentiles, that even the dust that clung to the bottom of their sandals from Gentile territories was removed, as to not pollute their own “holy” land upon re-entering it.   The Jews vaingloriously believed they were far better than Gentiles (all non-Jews) and presumed them to be unworthy of God’s attention.  Perhaps their haughty behavior grew from the fact that they are God’s “chosen people” (Deut. 7:6, Isa. 14:2, 43:20); a “special treasure, above all peoples on the face of the earth” (Deut. 14:2);”…to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises...entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Rom. 9:4, 3:2b); and “…the apple of His eye.” (Zech. 2:8).  Furthermore, God made a covenant with their father Abraham, an unconditional promise to make them a great people and give them and land and blessings  (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:18-21).  Israel was required to be lights to Gentile nations and to glorify the God of Israel. (Ex. 19:5-6).  However, they behaved disobediently and miserably failed to represent God’s holiness to the pagan nations, often refraining from setting foot in Gentile cities.  They even despised half-breed Jews; Jews and Samaritans who intermarried.  If for instance, a Jew had to travel on foot from Judah to Galilee (approximately ninety miles), many times they bypass the significantly shorter route through the city of Samaria and trekking around it, would walk the extra distance.  As with Gentiles, the Jews believed that setting foot in Samaria would defile them.   Jesus, on the other hand ascribed a different meaning to the act of “shaking the dust off the feet”.  He turned the Jews act of derision toward Gentiles, into a testimony and condemnation upon themselves for their rejection of Him as their Messiah.  For example, when Jesus sent out His disciples to the lost sheep of Israel, He gave them the command: “…Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…And any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake off the dust from the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” (Matt. 10:5b-6, 14).  Luke’s Gospel adds Jesus stating: “Even the dust of your city which clings...

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The “Thief” [Robber] on the Cross

The “Thief” [Robber] on the Cross


Posted By on Apr 15, 2019

When  I contemplate the account of the “thief on the cross”[Luke 23:39-43], It usually is about the orthodox theology within the passage: “absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).  And this theological belief would be absolutely correct.  However, what I failed to understand [because I never heard it taught] was the proper identity of the newly redeemed criminal.  Upon conducting further research on the passage, I discovered that the converted criminal crucified alongside Jesus 1 was not a “thief” [kléptés]as he is commonly referred, But instead he was actually a “robber” [léstés], which carries a significantly different meaning.  R.C. Trench defines:   When  I contemplate the account of the “thief on the cross”[Luke 23:39-43], It usually is about the orthodox theology within the passage: “absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8).  And this theological belief would be absolutely correct.  However, what I failed to understand [because I never heard it taught] was the proper identity of the newly redeemed criminal.  Upon conducting further research on the passage, I discovered that the converted criminal crucified alongside Jesus 1 was not a “thief” [kléptés]as he is commonly referred, But instead he was actually a “robber” [léstés], which carries a significantly different meaning.  R.C. Trench defines:   “kléptés and léstés…both appropriate what is not theirs. But the kléptés does so by fraud and in secret, the léstés does so by open violence.  The former is a ‘thief’ and the latter is a ‘robber’…No passage has suffered more seriously by confusing thief and robber than Luke 23:39-43 [“the thief on the cross”].  The previous moral condition of the penitent thief, is obscured by the associations that clings to his name.  Both malefactors crucified with Jesus, (one was inflexible, the other penitent) probably belonged to the band of Barabbas who had been cast with his fellow insurgents into prison for murder and insurrection (Mark 15:7).  Barabbas was a léstés (John 18:40), not a common malefactor but a ‘notorious prisoner.” 2 In closing, by understanding that the “thief [robber] on the cross”, was a flagrant and villainous criminal, rather than a furtive and non-violent one, adds profundity to the forgiveness Jesus held out to him: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43).  Although he received a physical death sentence, Jesus granted him spiritual clemency.  Instead of receiving eternal condemnation, he was provided heavenly accommodation.   Prior to conversion, we were all “robbers on the cross”.  We were flagrant sinners against God, who mercifully received God’s saving grace: “But you were washed, but...

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