Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 69 - God Hears the Poor

OVERTY comes in many forms.  Jesus said that the "poor in spirit" are blessed (Matthew 5:3).  The church in Smyrna was poor by socioeconomic standards, but it was rich in faith (Revelation 2:8-9).  The Laodiceans of Revelation 3 were poor in faith... and not blessed.  Lazarus (of Luke 16) was poor in several ways... financially, socially, in opportunity and in health.  Although he was an apostle, Peter was poor in pocket change (Acts 3:6).  The Jerusalem Jews were poor enough to need charity from the Gentile churches of Asia (I Corinthians 16:1-3).  James advised us on how to treat people generously even when they are dressed poorly (James 2:1-9).  And, Jesus gave the gospel to people who were morally poor (Matthew 11:5 & Luke 4:18).

Because when we humans have material resources at our disposal we have a strong tendency to rely upon them instead of relying upon God, perhaps that is why He seems to have a strong tendency to help the poor and to leave the rich to fend for themselves (James 2:5).  In Psalm 69:33 David postulated that "the LORD hears the poor" when they cry out to Him.  This is a common theme in Scripture.  And here David prayed that God would wreak some havoc among those who look with disdain at people who are poor (Psalm 69:22-28).  On top of that, he prophesied that God would someday provide an everlasting inheritance to His poor and humble followers (Psalm 69:35-36).  It seems that God has a soft spot in His heart for underdogs.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday - Psalm 68 - Loaded with Benefits

ANY advantages come with our salvation (Psalm 68:19). Let's think about how blessed we are.  We who are God's children by faith have escaped hell.  We have no fear of death.  We are forgiven.  We have fellowship with God and with God's people.  We are privy to information which is otherwise hidden from unbelievers.  The very Spirit of Christ indwells us.  Heaven is our destination.  And, we have been commissioned to the greatest business enterprise in history; the business of saving souls. We are blessed (Ephesians 1:3).

Yet, beyond those more obvious things, David said that God "daily loads us with benefits."  He protects us from human enemies.  He commands and enables us to be glad.  He assigns us the honor of singing His praises.  He volunteers to be a father to orphans and a defender of widows.  He is willing to place those who are alone into a family.  He can set free those who are entrapped and defeated. Our God sends the rain.  He reassures His children.  He is good to the poor.  He has taken from evil men to supply what others needed.  God has brought strong oppressors to their knees.  He has set captives free.  He has walked with His children through the door of death.  He has graced us with special manifestations of His presence.  He has given strength to the weak.  He has condescended to us in blessing us out of His storehouses in heaven.  Every good gift comes from God!  Blessed be God gives us good things we don’t deserve! 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 67 - A Reason to be Blessed

UMBERS 6:22-24 tells us that God gave the exact words that He wanted the Levites to use when they blessed His people.   But, why did God want to bless them?  To begin with, He wanted to be associated with them.  He wanted them to bear His name before the nations of the world.  His blessings upon His people in every dispensation are to be part of a program of revelation.  In the plan of redemption, it is necessary that in some way blind sinners be made to see their Creator (Hebrews 11:6).  God was trying to reveal Himself through Israel. Now He is doing it through His church. 

So, if we receive His blessings, it is not just for our own benefit and enjoyment, we should be conduits... vehicles of His glory and truth; carrying the gospel of God to the nations (Psalm 67:2).  So, we should be faithful in praising God.  His blessings upon us should elicit a constant flow of worship from our hearts... worship which should then be evident upon our lips in the form of praise.  And our praise is intended to be contagious (Psalm 67:3 & 5). 

Someday everyone will praise Him (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 14:11 & especially Philippians 2:10-11).  It is our goal to get all people to be busy praising Him now (while it will still do them some good and while He can receive pleasure from it, not just glory - Hebrews 11:6, Revelation 4:11, Ezekiel 33:11, Joshua 7:19, Isaiah 42:8 & 43:7).  His pleasure and glory come when individuals willingly humble themselves before Him in faith and love.  However, His glory can come in the destruction of wicked men who die in their sins.  As He blesses us, and we praise Him, there will be more of us to praise Him, He will then be willing to bless us even more and the volume of His critics will dwindle as they see His undeniable presence among us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 66 - Two Kinds of Terrible

OME things are terrible. Technically, this means they in some way bring terror.  Yet, over the years the English word "terrible" has been polluted and diluted until we even use it casually to describe a flat cola as it sits warm and fizzless in the hot sun on a picnic table.  That is hardly the same meaning that David intended in Psalm 66:3 & 5 where he described God as a "terrible" deity.  David meant that God is worthy to be feared and to be revered.  He is awesome and dreadful.  He should be honored and respected.  And indeed, for those who are not under the blood and in His favor, meeting Him will be a terrifying experience.

So, God is great and wonderful... His abilities and accomplishments are amazing.  And, if we are against Him, instead of with him, His positively amazing and wonderfully appealing qualities seem to morph before our eyes into frighteningly troublesome characteristics.  Hence, theologically, fear has two faces... one with a worshipful smile, and another twisted into a horrified scream.  Whether we are obedient or rebellious determines which brand of fear fits our features.  But God is the same in either case.

Of course, even when we are walking with Him, His ways can sometimes be terrifying.  Psalm 66:10-12 tells us that sometimes he tries us like silver (with heat) and lays affliction on us.  Sometimes His ways are terrible (terrifying) in our eyes, even when He is doing us good and exercising us with love and approval (Hebrews 11:36-38).

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday - Psalm 65 - Chosen

O you remember picking teams for elementary school recess games? Imagine the feelings of those who were not picked at all! Wait though, for some, it was a bit of a thrill if they were picked first...  and for others, a relief if they were not picked last... still others were just glad they were picked at all.

Sometimes when the doctrine of election surfaces in our study of the Scriptures, we can make the mistake of focusing only on those who are apparently not part of the elect.  But wait, just because a topic is heavy, or it can easily be misconstrued, that doesn't mean we should ignore it altogether.  The 900 lb gorilla in the room is not necessarily a menace.  He might be quite an intriguing specimen if we will take the time to examine him.

In Psalm 65 we encounter a glorious angle on this issue. In Psalm 65:4 David wrote, "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…  Since none of us deserve to gain access to God's presence, it is an amazing brand of grace which tickets any of us. Yet, this grace does exist.  I know because I am a partaker of it.  God owed no man anything good.  We all justly deserved damnation, and yet here I am - redeemed; forgiven; adopted; saved; justified; regenerated; converted. In the words of the old hymn, "No merit of my own His anger to suppress.  My only hope is found in Jesus' righteousness."  No one is worthy of salvation.  Yet, God saves!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 64 - Bitter Words

N Matthew 12:36-37 we read these words, "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. By your words you will be justified or condemned." That's a standard that should make us all quake a little in trepidation and pause. Our tongues are certainly unruly and wild.

However, in this psalm David juxtaposes his words against the words of ungodly men; of unbelievers. In this case, David's words comprised prayers of supplication. Contrariwise, the words of David's enemies were bitter words... harsh and hard to handle.  These men had insurrection on their minds and death on their lips. They had chosen as their targets: other men who were better than they were. These evil men were drawn toward each other. With reciprocating hype, they bolstered one another up in their evil conniving. They imagined that they would never be caught. But through their bitter words, the most damage that they did was to themselves (Psalm 64:8).

Let unbelieving men say what they will... the last word will not be theirs (Psalm 64:10).  We shouldn't really be surprised when those who are antagonistic against God say things that hurt those of us who have attached ourselves to Him. What we should focus on instead is our own words (Colossians 4:6).

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday - Psalm 63 - Better than Life

HAT could be better than life? You have surely heard it said that so-and-so loves such-and-such more than life itself.  Paul said this of Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:30).  Epaphroditus had learned that living in the light of God's merciful generosity was worth more to him even than his limited time here on earth.  Therefore, he served God diligently without considering how it affected his endurance.

David thirsted for God. He longed for Him. He craved a vision of God's power and beauty. He thought of Him at night. He pursued Him passionately in the day (Psalm 63:8). His joy and happiness stemmed from his relationship with God. To David, experiencing God's loving kindness was better than anything else in life - so much so that he said it was better than life itself.

If you think about it, life wouldn't be worth living anyway if it weren't for constant infusions of God's lovingkindness. What do people who don't know Christ live for?  What purpose do they feel?  I've discovered that these questions are common and basic among believers.   They motivate us to share the gospel with others.  We see the meaninglessness of their existence outside of Christ.  It strikes us as particularly heartbreaking, even more so, because most people don't seem to realize that their life is worthless without God.   And in our eyes, their ignorance turns their plight into a frustrating tragedy.

We have discovered the meaning of life. We have tapped into the source of satisfaction and purpose. We have the key to happiness. We see the Author's heart and thereby our journey takes on the thrilling aura of His presence. His love is better than life, and we know it to be so. Therefore, we pity those who are still in the dark.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 62 - Light Weights

HO do you trust? What do you trust? There are various options, obviously. And, depending on our circumstances, we may be predisposed to particular objects upon which to depend. When our circumstances are not to our liking, to whom do we turn for direction? Upon whom do we depend?  Whom do we believe?  Whom do we follow?  What philosophy governs our minds?

Essentially there is only 1 right choice, but there are an infinitely large number of bad choices. In this psalm we are all admonished to "Trust in God at all times..." (Psalm 62:8). How?  We are to "pour out your heart before Him" (Psalm 62:8).  He is faithful. He is available. He is willing. He is able. He is generous. He invites us to trust in Him. No matter what the other options might look like, He is always the right option.  God says that every man is a "light weight" when it comes to standing to our defense (Psalm 62:9). Being forceful, aggressive, individualistic, opportunistic and self-reliant is no better (Psalm 62:10). Neither are we to rely upon our money if we ever find ourselves having enough of it to buy safety or fame or power or entertainment or education or whatever else (Psalm 62:10). God alone is big enough to handle every comer and every taker.

What dilemma do you face today? Handle it God's way. Pour out your heart to Him. Trust in Him at all times and with all things. No problem is too great.  No annoyance is too small.  He is not impressed when we handle our circumstance on our own. He wants us to want him to be involved. He desires our worship. He is willing to communicate; to fellowship; to be our companion.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 61 - Lead Me to The Rock

ING David had great faith! Don't you love how he willingly ran to God over and over... whatever his circumstances were? Now, here in Psalm 61 David gives us a prayer of faith that every one of us needs to use from time to time (Psalm 61:2). It's such a wonderful expression of faith. Don't we all have an "overwhelmed heart" every now and again?  Do we take it to the Lord in prayer though, as David did? Or do we just medicate and vegetate... or in some other way try to deal with it on our own. God can be our rock and our fortress.  If we will run into Him we can be safe, just as David was.

There are (perhaps) an infinite number of things about God that make Him wonderful.  Perhaps the most appealing is the combination of His strength and His compassion. Since He is strong, and since He cares about us, we can take our cares to Him for help and anticipate that He can and will help us. He is willing to be our rock (1 Peter 5:7 & Hebrews 4:15-16).

David knew what it felt like to need help. More than one time, he had run lickety-split to hide under God's comforting and protecting wings (Psalm 61:4).  God had harbored him many times... sheltering him from the fierce storms of life. So, David made it a habit to go to God for his every need.  He knew that his preservation and perseverance depended upon the approving involvement of his Creator and Redeemer.  And, as David praised God and strove to do right, he had sense enough to pray ahead of time for God to "prepare mercy" - yet, he wasn't presumptuous or rebellious in doing so, for he also craved truth. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday - Psalm 60 - Through God

OMETIMES we imagine that we are the doers of the good deeds that get done.  Well, when we consider just exactly how these things are accomplished, we begin to rapidly fade into the background.  And of course, it is the visage of the Almighty that begins to come into focus.  In this psalm David wrote, "Through God we shall do valiantly..." (Psalm 60:12).  Indeed, if we are ever going to succeed, prosper and "do valiantly" - it will have to be "through God" and not by our own character, ability or energy.  Zechariah 4:6, “This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

Inasmuch as David recognized his (and his nation's) absolute dependence upon God, he prayed to God saying, "O turn Yourself to us again" (Psalm 60:1).  He knew that all of the authority and power and wisdom that he would ever need was wrapped up in the Godhead.  Deliverance and salvation come from Him (Psalm 60:5).  So also, the discarding and defeat of every loser stems from God's sovereign prerogatives.  He is the only source of holiness.  He is the owner of all territory.  He alone is a sufficient helper.  He alone can conquer every foe.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 59 - Let Them Know

n 1st Samuel 19 we can read about the day that David's father-in-law sent men to his house to kill him in his own bed.  David ran for his life.  But before the crisis came to a head, David sat down and took the time to compose a song.  It was a prayer requesting that God deliver him from his enemies.  Well, indeed the thesis of this poem is no surprise... given the circumstances under which it was written.  However, David's motivation is a bit unexpected.  According to Psalm 59:13, David prayed that through his deliverance God would show those wicked men that He (God) was in charge.

Knowing what David had in mind makes some of the severity of this prayer seem to be a little bit nobler.  "Scatter them, consume them, bring them down.  And, let them make a noise like a dog" (whatever that means) and "let them wander around hungry and angry" - whoa!  Those requests really are included in this psalm.  And, there is one more that is noteworthy... David prayed that God would not slay the wicked but that he would keep them around and use them as a lesson to others (Psalm 59:11).  But wait, what David requested fit anyway.  It fit right in with what he knew God's attitude toward the wicked would be on the day of their judgment.  According to David, God Himself will mock and deride wicked, rebellious men when they stand before Him for the administration of His justice (Psalm 59:8).

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday - Psalm 58 - Melting Snails & a Reward for the Righteous

ave you ever put salt on a snail?  Supposedly, the snails do not technically melt, but it sure seems like they do.  And while that might be an interesting exercise for a curious young boy, it sure sounds strange when we read in Psalm 58:8 that David was praying that wicked men would melt away like melting snails.  Yet this is only one example of the harsh ideas that David postulated as "good" plights for evil men.  "Break their teeth, cut them in pieces and let them die in obscurity... unknown and ignorant.  May the righteous wash their feet in the blood of the wicked" - these were the sentiments of David as he wrote this psalm.

One might claim that David was guilty of dehumanizing his enemies in order to feel better about seeking their obliteration.  I think David would retort that they were guilty of dehumanizing themselves (Ecclesiastes 7:29).  It is true that he called them "deaf snakes" and "adolescent lions," but were they not living just about as wildly as those beasts do?  If you don't want to be treated like a wild animal, then don't act like one.

Frankly, David had vengeance and emotionless justice in mind when he wrote this Psalm.  His main concerns were that (1) people would be willing to admit that moral men will eventually be glad that they picked the right path, and (2) that God's reputation (as a Judge with perfect character) would be preserved.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 57 - Set

avid spoke of himself saying that he was “set in his ways” ...but he was speaking positively, not negatively.  "My heart is fixed," he declared (Psalm 57:7).  He was stating that his mind was made up.  His intentions sure.  His purpose settled.  He had decided that he was going to praise God, no matter what.

Now, it’s one thing to make such claims when things are going well, but David did so while hiding in a cave; hiding from King Saul.  He declared his certainty concerning his direction while he was in the midst of calamity (Psalm 57:1).  He felt like his enemies were fiery monsters with spears for teeth and swords for tongues (Psalm 57:4).  His enemies were like lions to him.  They were so bent on his destruction that they were willing to risk their own heads to try to remove his (Psalm 57:6).  And yet, David was sure that God would take care of him (Psalm 57:3).  So, he purposed to praise God as he benefited from His performance (Psalm 57:2 & Philippians 1:6).  His plan was set... and a good plan it was too.

Here is something to consider though.  Fulfilling our good intentions can be an incredibly difficult thing to do in life.  Primarily due to our ignorance about the future and due to our own depravity, falling short of our goals is very common.  It would be wise for us all to seek for God's energy and empowerment in order to live up to the noble futures that our desires portend.  Without His aid, the best of intentions are doomed and our good momentum becomes meaningless.  We all need Him (Philippians 2:13, Proverbs 16:9 & 33).

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 56 - My Soul & My Feet

alvation is a multifaceted reality.  As a minister of the gospel, I generally stick to speaking of "soul salvation" - as I was commissioned to do. However, this psalm closes with a wonderfully clear reminder.  Not only is God concerned about our soul, (Matthew 16:26) He cares for us in every way (I Peter 5:7 & Hebrews 4:15).  David recognized the reasonableness of this assumption and indicated as much (Psalm 56:13).  Paul agrees with this sentiment (Romans 8:32).  If God was willing to give His only Son for the salvation of our souls, surely He would tend to be willing to give other things to merely take care of our material needs.

Now, David fought many times against a group of people who we know as the Philistines. Yet, in 1st Samuel 21:11-15 you can read of how he found himself right in the middle of their lair.  He literally experienced the very real danger of standing alone in the royal court of his mortal enemies.  There he slobbered on his beard, scratched on the doors and acted insane in order to escape.

David was certainly in a bad way.  He was literally so alone (and afraid, and apparently out of focus) that he had gone to his enemies imagining that he might be safer there than in his own land.  He said, "I will not fear" (Psalm 56:4), yet clearly, he was afraid (Psalm 56:3).  Oh sure, he also committed Himself to God for help, but the fear factor was most definitely present.  Yet, we must ask, was fear his greatest hurdle?  Evidently not!  The loneliness that David was enduring weighed heavily on him.  Don't tell me that David was all tough and tumble.  Oh, I know that he was a warrior and a king, but he was also a poet and a lover.  So, in Psalm 56:8 we see that David was confident that God knew what he needed, and that He would provide in His good time (Matthew 6:8 & 32), but the emotional stress and misery was intense nonetheless.  He knew his soul was secure, but it was his feet of clay which were hurting.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday - Psalm 55 - I Would Wander Far Off

ometimes we just want to get away from it all.  David did.  He wanted to escape.  He had some close friends, family and acquaintances who were beyond just being disloyal to him, they were hostile traitors, posing as close companions.  Just like in Psalm 54 (where we were reminded of the Ziphims who turned on David), here in this psalm we are reminded of how some of David's closest human confidants ended up betraying him.

David's misery in this was intense.  His frustration, anger and bewilderment are seen in the words that he chose to use (Psalm 55:2, 4-5).  Then he expressed what he thought would make him feel better (Psalm 55:6-8).  David was simply tired of the stress.

He also had some ideas about what God could do with his “friendly” enemies whom he wanted to leave behind (Psalm 55:9 & 15).  David was more than a little bitter about how these people had maltreated him!  Even though he was unknowingly prophesying about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, (no surprise) David's spirit did not soar to the heights that Jesus' would.  Jesus called Judas "friend" even at the very moment of His betrayal.  David was simply calling for the quick destruction of his Judases.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Saturday - Psalm 54 - When Friends Forsake You

n 1st Samuel 23 we read that David was running from King Saul.  David was running for his life.  As he roamed the wilderness hiding, the Ziphites (or Ziphims) turned him in.  They literally tattled on him and placed him in serious danger from a king who was rapidly becoming increasingly delusional.  So, what does a man do when his enemies surround him?  Well, he turns to God for mercy, of course.  At least, he should.  That is what David did.

Psalm 54 verses 4-5 are the heart of this psalm.  David looked to God for his safety, security and defense.  Additionally, David left vengeance against his detractors in the hands of God.  Both of these decisions set an excellent example for all of us.  David had not anticipated that the Ziphims would be against him, otherwise he would have gone somewhere else to hide.  Therefore, he must have thought that they were on his side.  How wrong he was.

Perhaps you have had people turn against you unexpectedly.  If you have ever had anyone do this to you, then you know how tempting it can be to retaliate.  But, should we do that (Romans 12:19)? God is well able to both defend us and to deal justly with our enemies. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday - Psalm 53 - Pray it Again, Sam

his psalm is almost identical to Psalm 14.  So, why include the same psalm again if there was no new information to share?  Well, there are a couple of possibilities which come to mind.  First, repetition (which is not at all unusual in the Scriptures) is usually used for emphasis and in order to verify that a doctrine is neither obscure nor minor.  However, in this case there is another obvious purpose for repetition. 

Whatever the situations were which occasioned David's singing of this song, the truth of it is powerful enough that we should remind ourselves of it more than just twice.  Atheists are fools... God said so.  Actually, He said it the other way around.  Fools tell themselves that they are atheists (Psalm 53:1).  It may not sit well with some folk in our modern society, but God essentially asked (through David), "Are these men just stupid, or what?" (Psalm 14:4 & 53:4). 

So, what's the problem?  If a man denies that God exists, under what rock must he have been living in order to be so blatantly ignorant of the obvious?  He has to have missed or ignored the design, effects and laws that swirl constantly all around all of us.  Psalm 53:1 says that the problem is corruption.  Mankind is corrupted with a virus; a sin virus which blinds spiritual eyes, deafens religious ears and stops the beating of reasonable hearts.  It is a philosophical virus which dulls the mind, creates a cannibalistic appetite bent on the self-destruction of one's own soul, and which seemingly locks the jaws of a man and prevents him from calling out to his Creator for mercy (Psalm 53:4).  If the fool is to be cured of his foolishness, a divine operation is necessary (Colossians 2:12).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday - Psalm 52 - The Difference in David & Doeg

n 1st Samuel 22:22 we can find David as frustrated as he ever was in any circumstance.  His aggravation surely included some introspective disappointment.  However, this psalm indicates clearly that the bulk of David's anger was aimed at the worthless man named Doeg.  Doeg was truly a self-serving, deceptive and opportunistic louse.  He had no qualms about killing 85 of God's holy priests plus their wives and children (1st Samuel 22:18-19).  So, even though David felt awful about being the excuse that Saul and Doeg had used in the execution of Nob, he made no excuses for Doeg.  Of course, David surely couldn't have known that his passage through Nob would endanger the lives of everyone there.  His thoughts had been mostly about self-preservation on that day (1st Samuel 21:1-9).  But, in retrospect, how he wished that he hadn't passed through Nob... or that Doeg had not been there that day... or that he had foreseen the intentions of Doeg!

But, the past is called the past for a reason... and, David couldn't change the past.  However, he certainly could speak concerning the future.  That's where this psalm fits in.  The same man who wrote the great confession of Psalm 51, had written Psalm 52 years earlier in angry imprecation.  The primary reality that David exprressed several times in this prayer was the goodness of God.  His logic went something like this, "Since God is good, evil men are in trouble."  And, he was right, of course.

We have no reason to think that Doeg would have ever actually known what David had written about him, but that doesn't in any way at all take the edge off of David vehemence (Psalm 52:5).  Of course, seeing that Psalm 51 and Bathsheba is fresh in our memory, we should thank God that, even though He knows our future, He doesn't judge us based on things that we haven't even done yet (Romans 9:11-12).  David's "righteous indignation" was legitimately targeted at Doeg, despite the vices that were in David's future.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tuesday - Psalm 51 - The Confession of a King

ext to Psalms 1, 23 & 100, this is surely the most familiar of all psalms, and rightly so.  The context is not a secret.  King David stole his neighbor's wife and then killed his neighbor in order to hide his own guilt.  None of us would say that David deserved forgiveness or mercy, because he didn't.  Then again, who does?  In fact, "deserving mercy" or "deserving forgiveness" are really contradictions of terms anyway.  But you understand David was guilty of one of the most glaringly wicked and obviously appalling offenses in the whole Biblical record.  Yet, as awful as David's sin was, he still took his infraction to God and, we know, he received forgiveness.

That is not to say that there were no consequences whatsoever.  David paid for his sin with the death of his son, and with many troubles in his family for the rest of his years, and beyond.  But, the most significant damage that sin accomplishes is not the punishment which it brings upon the guilty one; the most significant consequence is the breaking off of our fellowship with God (which infractions effect).  Amazingly, David was forgiven on the spot as soon as he admitted his guilt (2nd Samuel 12:13).  Immediately his fellowship with God was restored and his life was preserved.