Wednesday, August 29, 2012

David-God Chose My Son

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 7, Pslam 8

From David's Thoughts

courtesy of
The prophet Nathan just told me God's answer to my question. I wanted to have permission to build a temple for God.

God said, "No." But He also said my son could build the temple. I didn't know how to express my pure joy. I had to go and speak with Him right away, alone.

I went to a private room and sat before the Lord. "Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my family that You have brought us to this point? You told Nathan you would care for my children's children for a long time to come. I hardly know what to say.

You know me, God, and yet you have done all these great things for us. You are great, O Lord God. There is none like You, nor is there any God besides You.

You know your people, Israel, the one nation on earth whom you redeemed for Yourself, to make a name for Yourself. A people for whom you do great and awesome deeds. You have made Your people Israel, Your very own, forever. And you have become their God.

Now, O Lord God, do as you have said. Establish my house forever. Let your name be magnified forever, saying "The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel."

Because you have said these things, I had to come speak with you from my heart..

I walked back to my palace, joyful for what God has said.

I may not have been chosen to build the temple, but God chose my son. He gave me His reason for saying no. He did not have to. God didn't want me to build the temple because i served as a warrior and had shed blood as a warrior. He said He would give a time of peace to our land, which means my son would not need to go to battle. His hands would not have blood on them. I understand, now why God didn't choose me to build Him a temple and am not offended in the least. Instead, I rejoice.

Praise be to the God of Israel.

There are many songs I have song to the Lord. I will include one in each of the next stories for you to read. Feel free to hum a tune as you read. I did.

This is called the Glory of the Lord in Creation (Psalm 8)

Lord, our Lord,
    your greatness is seen in all the world!
Your praise reaches up to the heavens;
   it is sung by children and babies.
You are safe and secure from all your enemies;
    you stop anyone who opposes you.
 When I look at the sky, which you have made,
    at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places—
What are human beings, that you think of them;
    mere mortals, that you care for them?
 Yet you made them inferior only to yourself;[b]
    you crowned them with glory and honor.
You appointed them rulers over everything you made;
    you placed them over all creation:
     sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too;
     the birds and the fish
    and the creatures in the seas.
 Lord, our Lord,
    your greatness is seen in all the world!


1. Who told David the message from God?
2. Did God give David permission to build the Temple?
3. What did God promise?
4. What did David thank God for?
5. This is not told in this story, but will be said in a later story, do you know which of David's sons will build the temple?
6. What is a psalm?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hudson Taylor- The Vacant Home

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Thoughts

The Scottish physician and his family had left an English port for Shanghai  already. I shouldered the burden to find them housing.

August was as hot and humid as a sauna. No one in their right mind went outdoors during the hottest part of the day. Because my responsibility to find a place for the physician family, I had to. I went through every street in the city searching for a home to rent. The war ripped apart most houses, residents occupied anything left.

I went past the north gate of the city and found a surprise. A vacant home available to be rented. My my. It had five rooms upstairs and seven room downstairs. All right, it wasn't in that good condition, but it had four walls and a ceiling.

Before a month passed, I moved into the rental home and prepared rooms for the Scottish physician's family. I hired Chinese workers to paint, remove trash, and fix doors.

For some unexplainable reason, the landlord and people around me didn't bother to say the house stood outside the protection of the city. Imperialists kept a cannon aimed at the house.

Gun fire flew over my head. Had the bullet fallen even on inch I would be dead. The imperialist threatened to burn the street to get me to leave.

I wrote a letter home: If you hear of my being killed or injured, do not think it a pity that I came to China, but thank God I was permitted to distribute some Scriptures and tracts and to speak a few words in broken Chinese for Him who died for me.

Yes, I was humanly frightened, but Christ-like trusting.

My Mandarin tutor who help me while living in the city refused to come to the new home outside the city. "Its too dangerous." 

I hired a native man, Mr. Si to teach me the Shanghai dialect. Speaking Mandarin would be helpful, but speaking words understood by the Shanghai people would be better. Little did I know God sent me Mr. Si, I discovered he was a Christian!

He soon told the native people I had medical training. Patients trusted his word and came to my door for help. I also started a school for children with Mr. Si. He taught the children and I did other duties. 

Mr. Si and I went into the city to give New Testaments and Christian booklets. 

This does not mean the home I rented became safe. Oh, no. Far from it. But that story will wait until next time.  For this time, I wanted to share God's blessings: when I had no money, no place to live, unable to speak the language, and felt . . . like a burden to everyone, God gave me a vacant home (in a dangerous place), and Mr. Si, a Christian native.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions? 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

David-I'd Like to Build a Temple

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 7

From David's Journal

courtesy of
The city of Jerusalem has been designated my home and the place where I will rule the Hebrew people as their king. 

With God's direction and power we've conquered the Philistines in two large battles. They've pretty much left us alone.

My home has been built and my men have settled comfortably into dwellings with their families. 

It took two attempts to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. That was my fault. I didn't respect God's commands the first time. Nonetheless, the Ark now rests in the Tabernacle, a temporary temple until one could be built. 

I wanted to show my love for God by building a grand temple. All of Israel would be able to come to it to worship the Almighty and bring their sacrifices. I must admit, though, many ideas pop in my head, but I've learned to ask God before I start. 

I sent for Nathan the prophet to discuss the temple. "Here I am, living in a palace made of exquisite cedar, and the Ark of God is placed in a tent of curtains. It's just not right. I'd like to build a temple for God."

Nathan rubbed his beard and I think I saw a glimmer in his eye. He said, "Okay, David. Whatever you have in mind, do it. The Lord God is with you."

But the same night, the Lord appeared to Nathan and talked to him about my idea. He gave the prophet a message to bring me. The next morning Nathan requested to speak with me.

"David, the Lord spoke with me last night about your idea to build a temple."

He looked a bit sad, like he was about to give bad news. I braced myself. "Yes?"

"He said these words: 'Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to take care of my people Israel, "Build me a house of cedar?"'

"The Lord also said to tell you this, 'I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people, Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and fought off your enemies from before you. Now I will make you a great name, and I will provide a great place for my people Israel. The wicked won't oppress them anymore, and I will give you rest from all your enemies.'

"He also said to tell you this, 'When your days are over, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong I will punish him. But my love will never be taken away from him. Your house will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

I hardly knew what to say. He has blessed me so much! My son will be able to build a tempe for God. I had to go and thank the Lord myself. I will share that next time.

1. What all had David completed with God's power to this date.
2. What did David want to do?
3. Who did he call to discuss the problem?
4. What did Nathan say?
5. That night who spoke with Nathan?
6. What did God tell Nathan to say to David?
7. How did David respond?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

David-Some Worshipped, Some Mocked

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 6, I Chronicles 16:7-37

From Asaph's Journal

Recently king David transported the Ark of God from Obed-Edom's home to the city. I wish you could have seen the celebration and praises offered to God along the way.

David's enthusiastic songs and dance before God inspired everyone along the road to join in the praises and walk with the cart which carried the Ark to Jerusalem.

As we approached the city, David's wife, Michael came out to meet him. She stomped toward her husband and yelled, "Well, husband, you certainly look like a fool. Imagine, the great king of Israel without his royal clothing, dressed as no more than a commoner in the sight of slave girls. What an embarrassment to the crown and to me, your wife. How could you do this to us?"

He answered as I expected. With a soft, but firm voice. "I didn't dress this way for anyone but the Lord. It was for Him I danced and sang to praise and honor Him. He chose me over your father to follow His commands, and I will do so. If He asks, I will do anything He says even if it means utter humiliation. As for the slave girls you mentioned, they know why I did these things and will have nothing but honor for me."

God rewarded David's faithfulness to Him but He punished Michal by not giving her any children.

Once the ark rested in the Tabernacle, king David gave me a song of thanks to use in our worship. As a Levite I had been appointed to sing praises to God and to lead the people in musical praises. 

Here are the words (unfortunately you can't hear the music):

 Thank God! Call out his Name!
      Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done!
   Sing to him! Play songs for him!
      Broadcast all his wonders!
   Revel in his holy Name,
      God-seekers, be jubilant!
   Study God and his strength,
      seek his presence day and night;
   Remember all the wonders he performed,
      the miracles and judgments that came out of his mouth.
   Seed of Israel his servant!
      Children of Jacob, his first choice!
   He is Godour God;
      wherever you go you come on his judgments and decisions.
   He keeps his commitments across thousands
      of generations, the covenant he commanded,
   The same one he made with Abraham,
      the very one he swore to Isaac;
   He posted it in big block letters to Jacob,
      this eternal covenant with Israel:
   "I give you the land of Canaan,
      this is your inheritance;
   Even though you're not much to look at,
      a few straggling strangers."
   They wandered from country to country,
      camped out in one kingdom after another;
   But he didn't let anyone push them around,
      he stood up for them against bully-kings:
   "Don't you dare touch my anointed ones,
      don't lay a hand on my prophets."
   Sing to God, everyone and everything!
      Get out his salvation news every day!
   Publish his glory among the godless nations,
      his wonders to all races and religions.
   And why? Because God is great—well worth praising!
      No god or goddess comes close in honor.
   All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense,
      but God made the cosmos!
   Splendor and majesty flow out of him,
      strength and joy fill his place.
   Shout Bravo! to God, families of the peoples,
      in awe of the Glory, in awe of the Strength: Bravo!
   Shout Bravo! to his famous Name,
      lift high an offering and enter his presence!
   Stand resplendent in his robes of holiness!
   God is serious business, take him seriously;
      he's put the earth in place and it's not moving.
   So let Heaven rejoice, let Earth be jubilant,
      and pass the word among the nations, "God reigns!"
   Let Ocean, all teeming with life, bellow,
      let Field and all its creatures shake the rafters;
   Then the trees in the forest will add their applause
      to all who are pleased and present before God
      —he's on his way to set things right!
    Give thanks to God—he is good
      and his love never quits.
   Say, "Save us, Savior God,
      round us up and get us out of these godless places,
   So we can give thanks to your holy Name,
      and bask in your life of praise."
   Blessed be God, the God of Israel,
      from everlasting to everlasting.

When the song ended all the people cheered "Amen!" and "Praise the Lord."

Oh, if only you could have seen or heard it.

photo courtesy of
Messenger translation used

1. Who is Michal?
2. Why did she yell at king David?
3. Did David listen to her? If not, who did David listen to?
4. Once the ark was placed in the tabernacle what did David give Asaph?
5. Who is Asaph?
6. What did the people do at the end of the song?
7. Would you like to have been there? Why?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hudson Taylor-Intense Summer Heat

By Mary Vee

From Hudson Taylor's Journal

The war intensified and forced all foreigners to stay in a small area of the city.

I couldn't sit around until the war ended. 

My day grew busy with studying Mandarin Chinese five hours a day followed by studies in medicine, chemistry, Greek, and Latin. I especially loved the hours spent praying, reading and meditation in God's precious Word.

Unfortunately, this busy schedule didn't make a Shanghai summer pass faster. Temperatures liked to climb above one hundred degrees most days and refused to cool lower than eighty degrees at night. 

The air seemed to sit on me like a fat man. Each breath took more work than I wanted to give. Could anything be worse than the temperatures? 

Apparently the answer was yes. Mosquitoes invaded the city like a sandstorm. The little buggers whined a wretched song near my ear at night, preventing any sleep. No amount of swatting made them stop. Instead, I ended up hitting myself 

My eyes stung and my head ached. I could barely focus on the words in the books I studied.

How did the Chinese endure those dreadful summers?

Not only did my body complain, but also my heart. 

I wanted to make friends. I liked to make friends. But I couldn't speak Chinese well enough to befriend a national, and there were only a few English missionaries left in the city. John Burdon of the Church Missionary Society and I became friends. I would have spent more time with him except he had a wife and family. 

Seeing him happy with his family, despite the wretched summer, stirred my heart. I checked the mail each day at the delivery time hoping for news from home. No letters came, from anyone for two whole months. Surely someone would write me. Wouldn't they?

Heat, mosquitos, and loneliness. Seemed like enough misery for my summer. Or so I thought until another missionary told me news he heard. My mission society put a doctor with a family of five on a ship for Shanghai. It would be my responsibility to find them a place to stay.

I didn't have one for myself! How could I find one for them?


I decided to drink plenty of fluids, try to ignore the mosquitos, study and pray more to make the loneliness go away, and wait for the mission society to send a letter with instructions.

I knew missionary life would be difficult. I prepared for it, the best I could. But at this moment, I could use a hug, mosquito netting, and a cool washcloth on my head.

Hmmm, maybe you could pray for the missionaries serving God all around the world right now. Ask God to help his workers not feel cold or hot, to have friends, a place to sleep, food in their stomachs, AND NO MOSQUITOS. 

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

David - An Assumption Angered God

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 6

From David's Journal

I wanted to honor God. That was my purpose. But I assumed, and angered Him instead. 

This is what happened:

I chose Jerusalem as the city where I would live and do my official work as king. Since this was the king's city, it seemed logical to bring the Ark of God there. 

I gathered all my finest men, thirty thousand in all, and went up to the hill to Abinadab's house where the ark had been kept.  

The ark was placed on a new cart. I appointed Abinada's sons, Uzza and Ahio to drive the cart. Ahio led the way.

I appointed musicians to play. We sang and danced our praises to God while marching toward Jerusalem. I too played my instrument. We had harps, stringed instruments, tambourine, sistrums, and cymbals. Oh the rich sound of praise music. Citizens along the way greeted us and joined in song and dance.

The journey went well until we reached Nachon's threshing floor. The oxen pulling the cart stumbled, causing the Ark of God to slide. Uzza noticed the problem, stuck out his hand, and grabbed hold of the Ark to keep it from falling to the ground. 

The instant Uzza touched the Ark, he fell and stopped moving.

I immediately stopped the march and ran to his side. Uzza had died. 

A deep anger rose from within me against the Lord for taking Uzza's life. We wanted to praise and honor Him. Why did he have to die?

My heart jumped from anger to fear. I didn't understand what had happened. Wouldn't God want the Ark in Jerusalem? Of course he would. Then, how was I to get it there?

In truth I was too afraid to do anything else with the Ark of God at that time. Obed-Edom lived nearby. We took it to his house and left it at his house for three months. 

One day a messenger reported special blessings received by Obed-Edom's house.

It seemed I could now bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. I assembled all of Israel and went to Obed-Edom's house. We brought sacrifices and instruments to honor the Lord. Once the Ark moved forward six paces, we offered sacrifices of oxen and plump sheep to the Lord, taking care to do everything as He commanded.

I put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord God Almighty to the sound of the trumpets. We marched the Ark to Jerusalem, praising the Lord all the way and making sure no one touched it.

We entered the city of Jerusalem with great praises to God. The sound had to be heard far away. We took the Ark into the tabernacle which I had made for it. The sound of so many people singing, playing instruments, and dancing stirred our hearts. We celebrated with more singing and dancing for God.

Once the Ark rested in it's new place, I ordered a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins to be given to every man and woman who came.

My heart is still pounding with the excitement. After the celebration everyone went home humming songs of praise. At last the Ark of God was in Jerusalem resting in the tabernacle.

photo courtesy of

1. What did David want to do?
2. Why did David want to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem?
3. Where did David go and who did he take with him?
4. What was the Ark of God placed on?
5. What happened on the journey?
6. Why was David angry? Why was he afraid? 
7. What was done wrong?
8. Where was the Ark taken? For how long?
9. Why did David go a second time to get the Ark?
10. What did David do different the second time?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

David Follows God's Battle Strategy

Mary Vee
II Samuel 5

From David's Journal

I liked living in Jerusalem. 

After we conquered the Jebusites and took over the city of Jerusalem, Hiram, King of Tyre sent supplies and workers to make a beautiful home for me. I took this as a sign from God He was pleased.

Each day I met with advisors and kept in touch with our spies. One day a spy requested to speak with me.

"Yes, send him in," I said.

The spy bowed. "My, lord, the Philistines are looking for you. They have assembled in the Valley of Rephaim and are preparing for battle." He left after giving his report.

In all I do and have done, I seek to please the Lord. Before any decision, especially a battle decision, I made it a policy to ask the Lord what He wanted us to do. Sometimes He tolds us to go ahead with the battle, sometimes He saids not to fight.

I called the priest and asked the Lord, "What would you have us do? Should we fight the Philistines? Will you deliver them into our hands?"

The Lord answered, "Yes. Go to battle. I will deliver the Philistines into your hands."

I called the captains, had the army assembled and ready to fight, and marched on to battle. The battle ended in a short time. The victory ours, and the glory God's. The Lord ripped through my enemies like a breakthrough of water.

A spy came to me again stating the Philistines assembled came back to the Valley of Rephaim ready to war against us. I didn't assume any instruction from God. I called for the priest and asked the Lord again, "What would you have us do? Should we fight the Philistines? Will you deliver them into our hands?"

This time the Lord answered, "No do not go as you did the last time. Circle around behind them and come up in front of the mulberry trees. Send men into the top of the trees. When the sound of marching is heard, advance quickly. I, the Lord, will go out before you and strike the Philistines."

So we did. 

Once again, the Lord gave us victory, driving the Philistines toward the Great Sea, all the way back to Gezer. Praises go to our Great God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The victory is His. His battle plans always work.

photo courtesy of Tim Bulkeley

1.  Where was David living?
2.  Who provided the materials and workers for David's new palace?
3.  What did the spy first report?
4.  What did David do first?  Why?
5.  What did God say to do? What happened?
6.  For the second battle, why didn't David just go to battle since it was at the same place and the same enemy?
7.  What strategy did God tell David to use?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hudson Taylor - Cannonballs

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

One trial I never dreamed of confronting was ridicule from other missionaries. The differences in the way our respective agencies believed, handled finances, dressed, socialized, even the spread of evangelism served as a means for unnecessary squabbling. 

Some of the things the other missionaries said rang true, yet others did not. I didn't come to China to fight, I came to evangelize. All my efforts should be spent learning the language and helping the people of Shanghai survive the affects of war. Instead verbal cannonballs are flung at me.

Thankfully, Alexander Wylie, the missionary surgeon who allowed me to stay in his home, treated me with kindness. I continued to work alongside him, hungry to learn, anxious to help his ministry until funds arrived for me to pay for my own housing.

One day we walked out the eastern gate of the city and met two low-income workers. We chatted with them about their day and when it seemed they might listen, presented them the Gospel. 

At the same time imperialists outside the city launched a battery of cannonballs in our direction. The whirling sound plagued even my sleep. Wylie and I rushed back inside the city gate. Once inside a safe distance we looked back and found the two low-income workers did not follow us. 

We ran back and found their ankles shattered by the shrapnel. In the hospital, doctors told the two men their lower legs needed amputation to prevent infection. Both refused, and unfortunately died.

If only they had fled the cannonballs with us, they could have been saved.

On another day, Dr. Wylie and I sat on his veranda talking. About three quarters of a mile away artillery blasted the city. A stray cannonball soared between us and lodged itself into the wall.

How could we sit on the veranda and have a conversation when cannonballs exploded in the city? Well, we couldn't stop them. We could give medical assistance to those in need, and we could stay out of harms way.

Its like the verbal cannonballs I spoke of earlier. I couldn't stop them, I could give help to those who needed it, and I could stay out of harms way.

Thank you Lord, for protecting me.

Please pray the money for my support comes soon.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

David-1st Kingly Task-Take Back Jerusalem

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 5

From David's Journal

The elders of Israel anointed me King of all Israel. Fortunately, the people agreed. 

I didn't want to waste any time. God commanded us to take the land for the Hebrews. My first goal: take back Jerusalem.

How did we lose it? It all started when...

Joshua first declared the city Jerusalem greatest in the south part of Canaan. The city had been great even in Abraham's time. Once Joshua led the conquest of Canaan, Jerusalem was given to the tribe of Benjamin. 

For some reason, the tribe of Benjamin allowed the Jebusites to live in Jerusalem with them. In time the Jebusites grew in number and overtook the city. 

My first conquest for the Lord was to get the Jebusites out of Jerusalem.

I gathered my army and marched to the city. We camped outside the wall and looked over the situation to gain a plan. Several Jebusites shouted, "Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you will never set foot in this city."

Ooooo. Rude. 

They thought our army was so weak their blind and lame soldiers could conquer us. How dare they? Even their gods who could not see or walk had no power to protect them. Only the Almighty is a strong tower

Game on. 

I called my men close and announced, "Whoever conquers the Jebusites must completely conquer their blind and lame as well. Show no mercy. God's name shall receive honor. Completely destroy their idols in every home and in the temple. The one who does as I have asked will be chief and captain of my army."

The men organized a battle plan and pressed forward. With the strength of lions we conquered the city in one day, casting out all the blind and lame idols of the Jebusites and ridding the countryside of those disrespectful people.

I moved my wives and my men along with their families into the city and renamed it the city of David. My royal seat was established in Zion. This city which had been a terror for me, has become the defense of our people and a place of honor for our God.

We built houses and established ourselves in the great city of Jerusalem. God prospered us in strength and wealth. I received respect and honor from the people, but that is all to be given to God. The Lord God of host was with me, leading me, guiding me, protecting me, and caring for his people.

I saw in this battle, that I need not fear those around me. God is and always will be a tower of strength. Able to conquer any and all.

1.  The Bible says Jerusalem was a great city during the time of ____________ and ______________ ?
2.  Which tribe gained Jerusalem when the land had been conquered by Joshua?
3.  What people did the tribe of Benjamin allow to live with them?
4. Why was this bad?
5. Which city did David choose to first take back for the Hebrews?
6. Who won the battle?
7. What did David do after the battle?
8. Who received the honor?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

David Anointed King of All Israel

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 5

An Elder of Israel's Journal

A special meeting had to be called. Ishbosheth, king of Israel, had been murdered. The next in blood line to the throne wold be Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son. 

I convened a meeting. "Fellow elders of Israel, we must make a decision quick. Our people need a leader. Who should be crowned king?"

The men and I sat quiet. Our decision would be important. We needed to consider all possibilities before speaking. 

After a few moments, the elder to my right looked at the group. "What do you think of Mephibosheth?"

The elder to the left said, "Yes. We could appoint him, but a regent would also have to be chosen. He is a child."

The elder across from me said, "I have heard David, who is king of Judah, was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel following Saul. This has been recorded as the will of God."

The elder to the left said, "Yes. I also heard Abner, Saul's captain went to David's camp and to the tribe of Benjamin to make arrangements for David to be put on the throne."

The men sat quiet again. We had to consider the information and make a wise choice. Should we crown the next in blood line or the one appointed by God?

I waited another moment then called for a vote. "What say you, fellow elders?"




I nodded. "I agree. David. Let's go to his camp at once."

We arrived in Hebron and requested a meeting with David, king of Judah. All the tribes of Israel joined us. David permitted the meeting.

"David, we are all from one family. In times past, during Saul's reign, you were the one who led us in battle. The Lord said to you, 'You shall take care of my people an rule over Israel.' We have come to anoint you king of all Israel."

He kneeled before us and said. "I will be happy to do as the Lord says."

The elders and I stepped forward and as oil poured on his head I said, "I anoint you, King of Israel. You have reigned in Judah now for seven years, may the Lord bless you with a longer reign in Israel."

All the witnesses shouted their blessings and congratulations.

Israel had a new king, David, a man of God.


1.  Why did the elders call a meeting?
2.  Who were the candidates for king.
3.  Who did they choose and why?
4.  Where did the elders go?
5.  Who went with them?
6.  What did the elders do in Hebron?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hudson Taylor-Chinese Was Greek to Me

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

I felt so lost.

Last time I wrote about having to stay in a stranger's home. Fortunately he spoke English, was a missionary, and a surgeon. We had much in common.

I went with him through the streets of Shanghai and listened to him preach the Gospel to any person who would listen. He handed out tracts and tried his best.

Shanghai wasn't a normal city. There was a war going on at the time I wrote these words. Outside the city walls an army had the city under siege. That meant no food, water, or any other supplies could come in to the city. 

Inside, an army was poised to attack anything that came near the walls. The soldiers were nervous and struck anything that startled them.

Imagine yourself walking through a city like that. Would you stop and listen to a foreigner talking about their God? Right. Not many did.

Wounded were left in the laying in the streets unwilling to trust the foreign doctors. My new friend said about one injured man, "Unless he comes to the hospital, we can't help. Any bandaging or help we give will be torn off by his enemies." He walked away and made me go with him.

We went to the chapel, which fortunately was packed with men and women wanting to hear the Word of God. The chapel was small. Packed didn't really describe the number of people. We gave rice to everyone who came. Without food coming in to the city, many starved.

After the service we continued walking through the city telling people about Jesus. Many of the temples had been destroyed and the idols as well. I may not have been able to speak their language, but I could see their faces. The people of Shanghai didn't realize their broken idols couldn't help. They needed the Lord Jesus Christ, the living and true God.

I felt frustrated at not being able to speak the language. I needed to tell the aching souls about the God who loves them and gave His son to pay for their sins. He could comfort their aching hearts.

I still didn't have enough money to survive in China. I needed a tutor to teach me Mandarin. It didn't matter to me any longer if the tutor came from a university or had high recommendations. I needed anyone who knew both English and Mandarin and was willing to teach me. 

God showed me such a man. I woke early before sunrise and studied Mandarin at least five hours every day in addition to helping the missionary surgeon with his work. I simply had to learn how to speak with the Chinese people.

Pray for me that I learn this difficult language quickly.

J.Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions for me?

photo courtesy of

Saturday, August 4, 2012

David Punishes Ishbosheth's Murderers

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 4

From David's Journal

I can't believe this has happened again. 

If God had not shown us His mercy in terrible times like today, we, the Israelites, would not survive.

Two men from Ishbosheth's army arrived at my camp. They seemed rather pleased and excited to share their news. I agreed to meet with them.

My guards let them into my tent. As they stepped in I saw the head of Isbosheth in their hands. "My lord, here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy and the one who wanted to take your life. The Lord has avenged you from Saul and his descendants today."

Why did they think I would want the king dead? And why did they take it upon themselves to kill the king? This would not please God or the people of Israel, or me. They needed to be punished and quick before the country erupted in a riot.

"As the Lord lives, He is the one who has redeemed my life from all adversity. Didn't you hear what happened to the Amalekite who proudly told me his news, "Look, Saul is dead."? He thought I would be happy. But I wasn't. I had him arrested and executed in Ziklag. This same man thought I would reward him for his news.

"You have been more wicked by going into a righteous person's own house and killing him in his bed. He had no protection. No way to fight back. You deserve what you have done. I shall remove you from the earth."

I called my young men to come at once. "Take these two men, Rechab and Baanah, and execute them. Cut off their hands and feet, and hang them by the pool in Hebron. Let all the people see and remember to honor those whom God has placed in authority."

After Rechab and Baanah had been taken away I led a funeral procession to bury Ishbosheth's head in the tomb of Abner in Hebron.

Oh that this needless killing would end.

1. Why did Rechab and Baanah go to David's camp?
2. What did they hope to get?
3. Did David approve of what they did? Why or why not?
4. What did David do to Rechab and Baanah?
5. What did David for Ishbosheth?
6. Rechab and Baanah felt they were helping to put David on the throne? Why was this wrong?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trouble in Saul's Family

By Mary Vee
II Samuel 4

A Servant in the Palace

I was chosen to tell this story since I worked in the palace at the time. This news I share is painful for me. I have grown to love Saul, his sons, and grandsons. And now, to tell of these events, well, it is a difficult but a needed task.

Ishbosheth, Saul's son, has been on the thrown since his father's death. Abner, the captain of Saul's army became angry with Ishbosheth and left the palace to join sides with David. Need I say how upset Ishbosheth became? Not angry upset. Scared upset.

More news came last night. A messenger arrived and asked to speak with the king. Ishbosheth gave him permission to speak. "My lord, Abner has been slain. Joab and his brother killed him at the gate of Hebron."

Ishbosheth opened his mouth but words didn't come out. His eyes grew wide with fright. Everyone who heard the news, realized Saul's family was not safe in the palace.

Two soldiers from Ishbosheth's army came to the king's house. They arrived around the noon hour when he slept away the heat. The two soldiers, Baanah and Rechab, announced their presence and requested to resupply their wheat. Since they belonged to the army, no one doubted their task.

Baanah and Rechab walked through the palace corridors, greeting those they saw along the way. No one questioned their reason for approaching the king's chamber, not even me.

 I saw them go into the king's bedroom and close the door. I continued my work and happened to be in the same corridor moments later when the two men hurried from the king's bedroom. Something they concealed under their cloak dripped blood. I hurried inside the king's room and discovered his dead body, and no head!

I ran into the corridor screaming at the top of my lungs. "The king has been murdered. His killers are getting away!"

Fearing the life of Jonathan's son too, his nurse scooped up his five-year-old body and ran for the stairs. In her haste, she dropped him and broke his legs. Servants ran to his aid and took him to a safe place for medical treatment. The boy's name was Mephibosheth.

I hardly know what else to say. I only wish Saul had not turned away from the Lord.

1. Trouble continued to brew in Saul's family even in today's story, which happened after Saul's death. Why did his family have these troubles?
2. Who is Ishbosheth?
3. Why was he frightened when told about Abner?
4. Why were Baanah and Rechab able to walk into the king's chamber?
5. What did they do?
6. Who else in Saul's family needed to escape?
7. What happened to Mephibosheth?