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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Correction: 1 Samuel 27…Raids, not Roads.

The KJV in 1 Samuel 27:10 has Achish asking David “Whither have you made a road today?” More correct, for our vernacular today is “Where have you made a raid today?”  The latter is how almost all other translations state the question. 

The definition of the Hebrew phrase for made a road/raid is:

pâshaṭ, paw-shat’; a primitive root; to spread out (i.e. deploy in hostile array); by analogy, to strip (i.e. unclothe, plunder, flay, etc.):—fall upon, flay, invade, make an invasion, pull off, put off, make a road, run upon, rush, set, spoil, spread selves (abroad), strip (off, self).

So, David was pretending, to the king of the Philistines, that he was out gaining territories for the Philistines…raiding towns in Israel, when, in reality, he was killing and plundering the enemies of Israel…the sub-tribes of the Amalekites. 

Special thanks to Song Nicholas of the group in North Mississippi, for catching this. I try to dig in more than one version, but, for this question, apparently I was stuck in the KJV, which contains an obvious mistranslation of this phrase. 

Month 7, Question 12, should read:

When Achish thought David was making raids for the Philistine nation, he was actually empowering Israel by destroying key enemies that should have already been destroyed. What enemies did he kill and plunder? 

…And thanks for your patience with this fellow-digger!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

DD: Have You Killed God’s Anointed One? (The Crown, Chapter 6)

In 1 Samuel 24, David had this amazing opportunity to kill his foe. Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. At the risk of being graphic, it looks as if, in doing this, that he was squatting or sitting. Afterward, he rose up. Before he did rise up, though, David, who was apparently already hiding in the cave, stealthily crept over and whacked off a piece of Saul’s clothing. 

Here we have the morally faltering king of Israel, caught by the one He’s zealously trying to kill—caught quite literally with his pants down—and finding that he was utterly at the mercy of David for his life in that cave. It’s an incredible story for your family Bible time!

You remember the reason for David’s restraint. He told his men, who wanted him to complete the fatal task, “I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”

The Lord’s anointed. David, the one revered by the Pharisees (and all Jewry) even today, would not put his hand on Saul’s life because He was God’s anointed. Yet the Pharisees lived in the Judean world with the most highly favored, anointed One that God had ever chosen (Acts 10:38). Jesus was prophet, priest, and King of kings. He was God. And the Pharisees could not wait to get Him to the Roman cross. Had it not been for the Roman rule over them (and the prophecies to be fulfilled), they would have likely killed King Jesus long before Calvary. They killed the anointed One.

You and I can do it, too.

Hebrews 6:4-6:

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Have you once been enlightened about the Lord? Do you know His story? Have you tasted salvation? Have you known just how good the Word of the Lord is in your life? Did you once rest in knowing the power and sovereignty of the anointed One?

What happened? Have you remained loyal to the Anointed? Or have you walked away? If you have walked away, as scores that I know have done in recent years, you have “put out your hand against the Lord’s anointed.”

You have crucified Him afresh.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

DD…Let’s Not Skip Over Doeg!

I’d like to take the next couple of blog posts to tie up loose ends in the February Digging Deep study. We will talk more about the “persecution” aspect of the lives of David and the Messiah in March, but I wanted to notice a couple of things from Month 6 that are powerful in their applications for us. 

We had come to the end of our video podcast time before we even got a good mention of Doeg. Let’s take a minute with this incredibly destructive man and make some applications. His story is found in 1 Samuel 22:6ff. 

Doeg is the man who saw the priest, Ahimelech, give David the showbread from the holy place to eat as a common meal. He became a self-appointed spy for King Saul when he saw that exchange.  He saw Ahimelech give David the sword of Goliath that was in the “vault” under the protection of the priests at Nob. Ahimelech had been deceived by David to believe that David needed these things in the service of King Saul, when, in reality, David needed these things to protect himself from Saul. 

Doeg went directly back to Saul to report David’s confiscation of Goliath’s sword to Saul. Consequently Saul called for Ahimelech’s death. His footmen would not put their hand against the priest of the Lord. 

Once again, Doeg to Saul’s rescue! He ran the sword through 85 priests of God on that day. Eighty-five innocent anointed men perished at the hands of Saul, the sword being administered by Doug, that day! It’s hard to even think about the impaling of 85 men—the blood, the stench, the entrails, the cries of their families and then, the unthinkable…Nob’s women, children and animals were smitten and killed with the sword . There’s no telling how many people lost their lives that day at the hand of Saul, because of his envy of David. 

Who killed the innocent people that day? 

  1. David was involved. He chose to lie to Ahimelech about being in the service of Saul. (1 Samuel 21:2). David was also aware that Doeg was going to “tattle” to Saul (22:22). He knew he was going to tell the wrathful king. Yet, David continued on the self-protective path. David had a part in these deaths. David’s murder motive was self protection. (He was also ignoring the fact that God was/is sovereign and He would not allow the taking of the life of His anointed, himself—the future king of Israel.) We can also be sure that David, when the lie was told, did not envision the severe consequences. Mark it down: Sin is always worse than the sinner expects it to be. Oh, the devastation we could prevent, if we could think of this fact BEFORE the sin is committed.
  2. Saul killed these men, women and children. By command, he was directly responsible. His motive was wrath and envy against David. 
  3. Doeg killed these innocents. His motive was a desperate need for the approval of Saul. He was a small man. (A son of Esau—another man who could become very wrathful.)

The lesson for us is so clear. We can easily become complicit in destructive behaviors, even spiritual deaths. Every time we bend the truth, we elicit possible, even probable harm in the lives of other people…and we do it without any possible way of knowing how far our lie may go in its final consequence. 

Further, we don’t have to always be the one who is the direct tempter in order to be complicit in sin. When I fail to teach my children and they, in turn, influence others to do wrong or even to abandon the Lord, I am complicit. When I support my children in sin, I am complicit in their continuance in that sin—all the way to hell. I am complicit in their bringing others, possibly my grandchildren, with them to that ultimate tragedy. When I give my dollars to venues of sin I am complicit in the behaviors that result. When I am a leader in the church and I look the other way, rather than addressing, I am complicit. 

When I become too attached to any human being (thus unequally yoked—2 Corinthians 6:14-18) I become tempted to do things I might otherwise find unconscionable. I do not want any part of Doeg behavior on my conscience as I stand before the Lord on the final day. May I bypass all impressive people in my attempts to be pleasing and make my strong desire for approval to be ever heavenward. Then, in a providential turn, the people who are worth pleasing will be pleased with my life and choices.

God is so good to us in the examples of the Old Testament that are for our learning (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Thanksgiving: When you say grace, say this!

It’s Thanksgiving week as you read. I hope it is the beginning of a holiday season that will bless your heart with warm memories for many years. For some, though, the holidays will bring painful memories of abuse or loss of a loved one or long days of mental torture or longer nights of physical pain. Even with the challenges that come to all people in a fallen world, the church of God, the redeemed, have constant cause for joy and thanksgiving. We are gathered around his banquet table every day of every year as we walk in His light.

Psalm 103 is a great place to go on this Thanksgiving week to be reminded of the depth of the Lord’s mercies on His spiritual Israel. Here is David’s list of the blessings, from that chapter, showered by the Father on the Old Testament nation. How many of these are just as real to the church, the people of God, today? I challenge you to go down this list and check off the ones that are applicable to you, personally. How many of these are very real and tangible in your own life in 2023? As I made this list, I realized, at once, the inconceivable worth of His blessings and my own worthlessness. There is some realm or area of my life and of His mercies in which I can check off each one! Here’s the list:

  • Forgiveness of iniquities
  • Healing of diseases
  • Redemption from destruction
  • A crown of lovingkindness and mercy
  • A mouth satisfied with good things
  • Renewed youth
  • Execution of judgement for oppressed
  • Ways made know to Moses
  • Acts made known to Israel
  • Mercy
  • Grace
  • Slowness to anger
  • Dealing NOT according to sins
  • Removal far from transgressions
  • Pity like a Father
  • Remembrance that we are dust
  • Everlasting mercy
  • Righteousness to grandchildren
  • A prepared throne
  • A kingdom that rules
  • Angels that excel in strength

I love to contemplate every one of these. But the one I love the most is that He deals not with people (me) according to their sins. There are no words for the gratitude that swells in me when I understand that he will not treat me as I deserve to be treated. He will look on me and not see sin in its blackness. He will reach to me and not touch the filth of sin. He will listen to me and never hear the wretched voice of sin that anguishes in my pleas. He will savor the sweet smell of my worship and not smell the stench of guilt. Surely if David could extol His mercies and claim his deliverance in the days of animal sacrifices, how much more can I bask in the blessings of forgiveness; living, as His child in the shadow of the cross! “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer, Kastin Carroll…(Read down for Kastin’s encouragement!)

One day recently a Christian woman that I know was in the office of a materially successful  businesswoman. The  businesswoman, not a member of the church of Christ, said to my friend “I have never known anyone who could find solutions to the problems in her world quicker than you can. You suddenly needed a home and ‘Bam!” …you had a place to live. You needed a job and ‘Bam!’ …you had a job. You needed an educational plan and ‘Bam!’…there it was. I have never seen anyone like this.”

My friend responded, “It is not me, at all. It is the church. It is Christians who hear about needs and seek to fill them. The church is wonderful!”

The businesswoman then responded “I have noticed that about your church. It seems like your church is all about serving needs. It seems like the whole thing is just honestly about humble service, as opposed to any selfish agendas. As an outsider, that is what I see.”

We should all give the credit and glory for anything good to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) and the kingdom whose mission it is to glorify Him. I want to be better at this simple, conversational glorying in the Lord. “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1:33).

As I was thinking on this conversation, I received the following correspondence from Kastin Carroll, my friend in the Fort Worth area. I want to be like Kastin, when I grow up. She’s been studying David and Saul. From the perspective of the reputation of David, in the tough times, she writes these words. They are full of comfort.

I recently finished the David-and-Saul saga in my OT reading.  Just a few things I saw shining out of David’s upright conduct in that miserable, manipulative relationship that I thought were beautiful:

1. Even the far-removed saw and loved David’s heart (1 Kings 5:1, Acts 13:22).

2. Even Saul’s family and soldiers saw David’s righteousness (1 Samuel 19:4-5, 2 Samuel 3:8-10).

3. Even the Philistines came to love David and know Israel’s God (1 Samuel 29:6-9, 2 Samuel 15:19-21).

I love the combined blessing, anthem, and prayer of the mighty men who rallied behind David at the stronghold, a fugitive from his own home: “We are yours, O David; We are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, And peace to your helpers! For your God helps you” (1 Chronicles 12:18).  And God did help.  Even and especially “when vain [was] the help of man” (Psalm 108:12).

I thought “Wow. David represented the future of a kingdom.” It was a kingdom being threatened by a ruthless, reckless King Saul, who had abandoned principles of righteousness. Though secure in the Providence of God, this kingdom was hurting because its leadership was corrupt. The influence of the kingdom was diminished because of prominent voices which had once been true to the oracles of God, but, because of personal sins of pride and disobedience, were now seeking the destruction of the God-appointed future king of Israel.

In the midst of the darkest moments of David’s life, I love the awareness of those even outside the kingdom, who looked in and saw David’s good character. I love the anthem that Kastin found in 1 Chronicles 12. I pray that you and I can be women who, not because of any personal merit, but because of our allegiance to God’s kingdom, His only vehicle of salvation for the lost—for us— can know His true peace. 

I pray, as was the case with my friend in that office that day, that those who are outsiders can look in and see a kingdom that reflects the John 3:16 compassion that put our perfect King on the cross. 


PS. I love friends who share the Word with me. We should do that more. I did not even have to take the time to ask permission of Kastin to share her words with you. I know her encouraging heart. She’d say “Yes!”–with humility and grace.  We should all encourage with the Word more often. There are profound blessings in sharing our study.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #33: Proverbs 14:9–The Seriousness of Sin

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:      

My Favorite Proverbs: Recognizing the Seriousness of Sin (Prov. 14:9)

Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor.

Today’s proverb asserts a cold reality:  People who mock at sin are fools. 

Three verses after this one we get a glimpse of one reason this is true: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  For a man to follow his own way when God calls that way sin, is death.

Sin is no laughing matter.  All Christians feels a morality shift that has grown in our country for the last few decades and is now phenomenal in scope.  While there is much good in society and we’re thankful for our country, we just can’t believe that God-blessed-America has come to where she is home to rampant and blatant disrespect for God and His word. Jesus knew sin was serious:

“Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matt. 18:7-9).

To mock sin is to mock God who decides and declares what is sinful.  Sin is against God.

No one successfully mocks God, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7).  We may live our lives mocking various ones and their laws—the laws of our parents, of school teachers, of employers, of the police;  but God’s law won’t be mocked.

Are you a Christian? Let the words of today’s proverb resonate in your heart and then consider three more verses on the subject of sin:  

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn. 1:8).

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2).

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

Would you like to study what the Bible has to say about having your sins washed away?  Write me and we’ll talk.

Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Tonight, let’s wrap up our lessons about David and Bathsheba with a quiz game. We suggest a treasure map with questions and a real buried treasure if you have young children, a yard and a good place to bury. (This week, I buried [barely] a little doll and a couple of tiny stuffed animals, sealed in a zippy bag for my grandchildren out in our yard and you would have thought they had uncovered the Hope diamond with that little shovel!) In this game, as they successfully answer questions, they get new locations toward the treasure, until they reach the spot marked by the X. (Example, first if they get a correct answer, take the first taped arrow off the map. Underneath that arrow the map might say “Go outside the front door.”) Keep asking questions, alternating children for answers, and removing arrows off the map for instructions…”Go to the end of the sidewalk,” etc….Make sure you have at least ten arrows before you get to the X, where you have buried the treasure. Alternately, of course, you can play all sorts of other games with the questions. (A general rule for almost any game is that you have to answer before getting your turn or a point or a bullet for your Nerf war. =))

  1. Where was David when he first saw Bathsheba?
  2. What was Bathsheba doing when David first saw her?
  3. What was Bathsheba’s husband’s name?
  4. What did David take that did not belong to him?
  5. Who was David’s army captain?
  6. Who did not go home to his wife?
  7. Who was killed in the battle?
  8. Who was the prophet who came to David?
  9. What happened to the baby in the story?
  10. What was stolen in the story that Nathan told David?

Questions for the teeny people:

Who was the king?

Did the king always obey God?

Who blesses us when we do right?

What is true success?

What does it mean to steal something?

Is God pleased with stealing?

In what book do we read about David?

Who gave us the Bible?

Are people who disobey God really happy people?

What is God’s ideal for marriage?


Pray with your children.