military helicopter May 1 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 2Samuel 8:1; 1Chronicles 18:1; 2Samuel 21:15-18; 1Chronicles 20:4; 2Samuel 23:8-12; 1Chronicles 11:10-14; 2Samuel 21:19-22; 1Chronicles 20:5-8; 2Samuel 10; 1Chronicles 19; Psalm 33

Our Defense and Shield

As a military helicopter hovers over its troops, ready to defend or deliver them, God is ready to defend or deliver his people (those who have a personal relationship with him, more...). Sometimes people are jealous of our success. They can become suspicious of our motives, even when we are doing good things. Someone may say awful things about us, accusing us of things we have not done or would not even think to do, and we may be unfairly treated. How do we respond when we are mistreated? Where is our defense and shield? This is the situation that King David faced early in his reign.

In preparation for adversity, God gathers valiant warriors to serve in David’s army.

These were the chiefs of David's mighty men—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the LORD had promised—this is the list of David's mighty men: Jashobeam, a Hacmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men. He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines. But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory. (1Chronicles 11:10-14, NIV)

(Note: If you haven’t done so, you can read about other amazing feats of David’s mighty men in today’s Bible reading). As God gave King David strong support for days of adversity, the LORD can also give us strong support if we will strive to please him in all our ways. God can be our defense and shield.

David is not only a good military leader and king; he is also a good compassionate diplomat.

In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. (2Samuel 10:1-2a)

David’s good will, however, is misinterpreted. The Ammonite nobles convince King Hanun the Israelite delegation was actually sent, not to express their sympathies, but to spy out the land and overthrow it. So, in order to embarrass David, Hanun humiliates the delegation sent to give him comfort (2Samuel 10:1-5). David is provoked into war, but God is with him and his army. Although the Ammonites hire the Arameans to fight alongside them, forging a formidable army with almost 100,000 foot soldiers, chariots and horses, David’s army soundly defeats and embarrasses them. God foils the plans of David’s enemies. Psalm 33 is a song of rejoicing David may have written about the victory the LORD gave them.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love….
The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance….
No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33:1-5, 10-12, 16-22 NIV)

Lessons to Live By

  • As God gave King David strong support for days of adversity, the LORD can also give us strong support if we will strive to please him in all our ways. God can be our defense and shield.
  • As God’s unfailing love was with David and Israel in times of trouble, he will be with us who put our hope in him. He will make things right, for he is a God of justice and righteousness. He will embarrass those who seek to embarrass us for our godly works. He is a defense and shield to all who place their trust in him and seek to live righteously (more...).

Focus Verse

Psalm 33:20 (NIV) “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.”

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A Look Ahead: When the army of Israel again goes to war, this time David stays home. In his idleness he sins and is Guilty. In our Next Lesson discover how he finds Forgiveness, and how we can, too, when we are guilty of sin.

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