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E-Pistle for December 1, 2016

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FreeWay Foundation            December 1, 2016


integrity in the midst of intrigue

(II Samuel 16:1-23)

Dr. Curt Scarborough


I.  Concentration:  on the contents of this chapter

            1.  Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, brought food to David and his

                 party; he reported that Mephibosheth had remained in Jerusalem in

                 the hope that the kingdom of his grandfather, Saul, would be

                 restored to him; David gave Ziba all the property rights which had

                 been bestowed on Mephibosheth, vv. 1-4.

            2.  Shimei, a man of the house of Saul, cursed David as a blood-thirsty

                 man being repaid for his evil deeds, vv. 5-8.

            3.  Abishai (Joab's brother) asked David's permission to execute

                 Shimei, but the king chose to endure the insults and curses rather

                 than taking revenge, vv. 9-14.

            4.  Meanwhile, Hushai joined Absalom and his supporters in Jerusalem;

                 in answer to Absalom's question, Hushai pledged his allegiance to

                 him; Ahithophel, the trusted counselor, advised Absalom to take

                 his father's concubines as a public sign of his assuming the throne;

                 Absalom did this, which fulfilled Nathan's prophecy against David,

                 (II Samuel 12:11-12), vv. 15-23.

II.  Meditation and Revelation:  on the heart motivations prompting these actions

            1.  Ziba's false report about Mephibosheth was an attempt to regain

                 control of Saul's property, which he had been managing until David

                 restored it to Saul's grandson, Mephibosheth, II Samuel 9:2-4, 9-11.

            2.  Shimei, like many others of the Tribe of Benjamin, harbored deep

                 resentment toward David for succeeding King Saul; Shimei falsely

                 accused David of spilling the blood of Saul's family, when in reality

                 David had exhibited only kindness and non-violence toward them.

            3.  David maintained his integrity, refusing to punish Shimei becaue:

                        1)  He felt that some of the criticism possibly could be valid,

                            and that the curse possibly could be part of the Lord's


                        2)  He understood the principle that enduring underserved

                             persecution as an innocent person brings God's blessings,

                             Matthew 5:10-12.

            4.  Ahithophel's purpose was to establish Absalmo's claim as the

                 legitimate king of Israel; probably he was not aware that his advice

                 was being used by God to fultill Nathan's prophetic words.

III.  Applications:  as a Christian, I need to . . .

            1.  Always speak the truth, even when a lie could benefit me personally.

            2.  Avoid holding grudges, pronouncing curses or seeking revenge.

            3.  Patiently endure slander and persecution without striking back.

            4.  Realize that God's promises always shall come to pass.




praying with the affection of Christ

(Philippians 1:8-11)

Dr. Curt Scarborough


I.  Concentration:  on Paul's prayer for the Philippians (vv. 8-11)

            1.  That your love may abound still more in knowledge and all


            2.  That you may approve the things that are excellent.

            3.  That you may be sincere and without offense till the day

     of Christ.

            4.  (That you may be) filled with the fruits of righteousness which

     are by Christ Jesus, to the glory and praise of God.

II.  Meditation:  on the spiritual traits in this text

            1.  Spiritual vision, v. 9.

            2.  Spiritual values, v. 10.

            3.  Spiritual virtue, v. 10.

            4.  Spiritual vitality, v. 11.

III.  Revelation:  spiritual discernment regarding these ideas

            1.  Abounding love results from knowing Christ intimately and

     discerning His will . . . spiritual vision.

            2.  Such love (knowledge and discernment) causes a believer to

     be pleased with (accept and commend) things that are worthy,

     choice, and remarkably good . . . spiritual values.

            3.  Spiritual vision (#1) plus spiritual values (#2) produces spiritual

     virtue: integrity – "sincere and without offense," v. 10.

            4.  Spiritual vision (#1) plus spiritual values (#2) plus spiritual virtue

     (#3) produce spiritual vitality . . . fruitfulness:  "filled with the fruits

     of righteousness," v. 11.

IV.  Applications;  as a Christian, I need to cultivate . . .

            1.  Spiritual vision – knowledge and discernment of God's love.

            2.  Spiritual values – accepting and commending God's best.

            3.  Spiritual virtues – integrity:  sincerity without offense.

            4.  Spiritual vitality – bearing much fruit.


PRAYER:  Lord give me greater knowledge of Your love and greater discernment

     of Your purpose.  Help me to prioritize the things which are spiritually

     excellent and valuable.  Strengthen me to walk in unfailing integrity. 

     Use me to produce abundant fruits of righteousness, AMEN!



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