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Relational Grace Podcast

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Sharing the teaching of Relational Grace through the lifelong ministry of Pastor Nick Harris who teaches that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Supplemental content at Learn more at


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Sharing the teaching of Relational Grace through the lifelong ministry of Pastor Nick Harris who teaches that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Supplemental content at Learn more at



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#17 The Saga of David: David's Son's Revolt

Welcome to the Relational Grace Podcast where we share the teachings of Pastor Nick Harris who taught us that Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship. I’m your host Jamie Russell, Pastor Harris’s son. Last episode Pastor Harris talked about Absalom, Son of David, as he made his plans for a coup d'etat against his very own father. He left Jerusalem making his home in Hebron, which was the first capital city of David. Apparently David found nothing curious about this, he had no suspicion as to Absalom's move. He was totally unaware when the coup erupted. This seems really odd, as it takes a great deal of time organizing a revolt, in fact, Absolom may have spent as much as four years time planning it and yet David had not the smallest inkling of an idea that he was planning it. Absalom was extremely shrewd in his dealing with the revolt. Somehow Absalom had begun to win all the hearts of the people of Israel. He had somehow made them think that a man who had just taken revenge on his brother and had killed him was a man devoted to justice. He seemed to convince people that words were more profitable than actions. He was even able to lure 200 of Jerusalem's best citizens to Hebron to join him. Therefore cunning and deceit seemed to be some of his best qualities. He used them many times in his dealings leading up to the revolt and during the revolt. He used them to induce the majority of the men of Israel to turn against his very own father, their great King David. Even David’s own tribe of Judah was ready to abandon David and follow Absalom. This man was capable of much. For this reason and many others, he proves though that he was not fit to be king of God’s chosen Nation. But his father does not come out of the story looking that great either. In fact, he gets had by his own son who was able to pull the rug right out from under him without even seeing it. He didn't smell the revolt for the four long years that his son was in Hebron. So David does not look that great either, in fact he looks quite complacent. For this reason it looks like he was out of touch; it left room for Absolom to come in and steal their hearts. A big lesson learned here is this: It is essential for good leaders to remain in touch with the people of their nation. All this said, neither David nor his son were the most ideal leaders. But at least David was a man after God’s own heart and he showed this when Jerusalem was about to be laid under siege he fled and protected it. And Absalom, as Pastor Harris will demonstrate, cared nothing for people, he did not care how many people died as long as he remained in power. So let’s jump into the seventeenth episode of The Saga of David series, titled, “David’s Sons Revolt”. Support the show


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#16 The Saga of David: The Price of Bread in Secret

Remember back to the last episode, David was confronted by Nathan about his sin with Bathsheba and Nathan had some stunning words to say on God‘s behalf to David. We can only think that these works played on David’s mind again and again. David and Bathseba had eaten bread in secret, but Nathan on behalf of God knew the truth and he had these things to say to David, he said, “I anointed you King over Israel and delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah and if that had been too little, I would’ve given you much more, why have you despised the commandments of the Lord to do evil in his sight. You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, you have taken his wife to be your wife and you have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and taken the wife of the Hittite to be your wife. Behold, I will raise adversity against you from your own house, and I will take your wives before you eyes and give them to your neighbor and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of his son. For you did it secretly but I will do this thing before all of Israel and before the son. However, there were many years and this prophecy did not come to pass, in fact David ruled righteously and successfully and his kingdom grew and became quite strong. However, this did not shield David from what was coming. He would face the greatest challenge of his entire life in the fulfillment of this coming prophecy because it would come from someone inside his own family. It would feature lust, it would feature incestuous relationships, it would feature a vengeance killing and I coupe de ta. In addition to all this David would lose his closest friend and advisor. The lesson to be learned is this. Bread eaten in secret can be sweet, sin may bring pleasure in the short term. But it also can be very costly. David would learn this first hand in the fulfillment of this prophecy. Like many people, the great King found that it was fun to dance but not often fun to pay the band. Pastor Harris will discuss these issues in this episode. Support the show


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#15 The Saga of David: Light and Life

Last episode we discussed King David committing adultery with the wife of one of his main commanders in his army Uriah the Hittite. To make matters worse she became pregnant and David attempted to cover this up. However David’s plans of a cover up failed. David then attempted another scheme, and this one was of murder. In an ironic turn of events, Uriah would end up carrying his own death warrant to Joab, a type and shadow of Christ carrying our sin as Uriah carried David’s sin with him, Christ carried a death warrant in his hand in complete faithfulness and righteousness to his king he carried our sins. Except of course, Christ was not ignorant to what he carried and to what he was about to suffer. In the end, the scheme was successful, Uriah did as he was told and he was killed. This story is humbling, David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he was able to sin greatly. As David had success in his scheme, he appeared to be grief stricken. He really did not care and in secret was patting himself on the back thinking that he had missed a close call. Bathsheba as well, took her period of grieving, once that was completed to make everything look right, David took her as his wife, they were married, and all seemed well. The scheme went perfect but that was not so, vengeance is the Lords. Support the show


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#14 The Saga of David: Dealing with Midlife Crisis

In this teaching Pastor Harris will deal with the topic of midlife crisis. He covers this through discussing three weaknesses of David Ben Jesse. In the first place, David could never control his desire for women. Secondly, David’s allowed himself to have too much idle time on his hands. And thirdly, David began to delegate his divinely oriented responsibilities to others that he should have been doing himself. Let’s listen along to Pastor Harrs as he walks us through these things that would sadly lead to King David's own demise. Support the show


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#13 The Saga of David: The Lame Prince

Once the issues surrounding building the temple in Jerusalem and who would build it were resolved, David decided to deal decisively with the Philistines. Bringing the war into the Philistine homeland for the first time and after several battles were fought the Philistines would never be a factor again. Israel would now control the major trade route of the ancient world, the Via Maris. The only real enemies David now had were three fold. The Aramian Kingdom, the Mobia Kingdom and the Edimi Kingdom (due to transcription challenges, these may not be spelled correctly). David knew that he had to subdue these Kingdoms in order to control another trade route known as the King’s Highway which connected the Red Sea with Damascus. His kingdom badly needed the income that was paid by the owners of caravans that traveled the trade route. Once this route had been secured it would be of great wealth to David. At this time in Israel's history another important person appears that would be destined to play a vital role in Israel's future, and that would be true for many generations to come. The name of this man was Zadduc. He became the high priest of Israel at this point in time and from his loins would be the High Priest of Israel for the next thousand years to come. When the trade routes had been secured the peace came to Israel and David had time to sit down and look back over the past and he had found that he had some unfinished business, some important business. One of his obligations was to his blood brother Jonathan. A part of his obligation was this, any of the children born of Jonathan were now his children and the way in which David chose to take care of this child will be the subject of this message. Support the show


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#12 The Saga of David: Nathan's Prophecies

In this episode Pastor Harris reminds us about the prophesies of Nathan and provides a lot of back knowledge leading into this topic. More specifically Pastor Harris reminds us that God sent the prophet Nathan to David with certain instructions and a grave warning. That warning was this, just because a temple to God stood in their midst, it did not mean that his presence would always dwell in that temple. Pastor Harris will explain more about this warning in this teaching. NOTE: To save any confusion, please note that Pastor Harris does indeed tell the story of the tapestries he saw in the vatican. He told this same story in episode #114 which is also the first episode of the Saga of David series. Support the show


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#11 The Saga of David: The Most Toxic Marriage

In this teaching we will learn more about Saul and David. Saul had two daughters, Miram and Michael (we call her Michael instead of MiChal). At the time, Israel had a problem with the philistines. They did not like Isreal or the Jewish people. One day the army of the Philistines were camped on one hill and the Isrealites were camped on the other. It was a standoff. The Philistines had a clever little plan, they ha a giant of a man, eight or nine feet tall. He was more than likely twice the size of any man at the time. The Philistines had a big idea to go down to the middle of the valley and they told the Isrealites to send their best guy to fight their best guy. This fight will determine who should win. We know that the young David shows up to deliver food to his brothers who were in the army. David is appoled at this vile person who is down in the valley making fun of his people. The Israelites said it was the philistine giant. Saul, the King of Isreal, had promised the hand of his daughter in mariage to anyone that would go down and beat the giant Philistine. Saul was sure that someone was going to go down there and fight the giant philistine because his daughters were beautiful. No one showed up to take on this challenge until David showed up. But David wasnt fighting for the girls hand in marriage, he was fighting for his God. Well we know what has happened. David was indeed victorious, and now he had earned the right to marry Miram the oldest of the two daughters. One day Saul hears the common people singing the praises of this young man that had defeated the giant. He was extremely jealous, he thought, “am I going to have a son-in-law that people are going to sing praises about?” So Saul promises his older daughter to another. This would leave Michael available for David. This was OK with David because he preferred Michael. Saul thought he knew his daughter better than David. This will be where Pastor Harris’s teaching picks up today. Support the show


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#10 The Saga of David: Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem

Last episode we discussed David’s plan for spiritual renewal for the nation of Israel. It was a fairly simple plan. He was going to introduce a worship revolution. It was going to be something the Hebrew religion and the world at large had never seen. The plan really focused on the Ark of the Covenant that he considered to be Israel’s greatest treasure. It needed to be transported to Mount Zion, which was formally Mount Moriah, and placed in a tent that would come to be known as the Tabernacle of David. Here the Ark of the Covenant could be seen by anyone who would like to. The flaps of the tabernacle would be open and people could see the Ark there. On top of bringing the Ark to the top of Mount Zion, David had gone about a massive allocation of resources, people and time to create a 24 hour praise and worship experience. He had done this by appointing three men, Asath, Heman, and Ethan to lead a group of 24 thousand men in three different groups of eight thousand each for 24 hour worship. This continued for 40 years, 40 years of 24 hour perpetual worship with 24 thousand men. But first, the big problem with this plan was that the worshippers were ready, the tent was ready, the mount was ready… but they didn't have the Ark. The Ark was eight miles west of Jerusalem where it had been for the past 60 years in the house of Abenidad, in the village of Penrith Jerun, and to actually get the Ark from point A to point B was far more complicated than you may have first thought, and that is the topic of Pastor Harris’s message in this episode. Support the show


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#9 The Saga of David: David and the Ark of God

Following the exodus when Israel had come into the land of Canan the priests brought the Tabernacle to the town of Shiloh. The Tabernacle would remain here for 200 years. In time, there was a battle with the Philistines over a Hebrew highway. The high priests were in charge of the tabernacle and these high priests were the sons of Eli. When the Israelites were in this battle they wanted the Ark of the Covenant to give them the power to win. So they sent messengers to go ask the high priests to see if they could have the ark of the covenant with them to have God’s power to win the battle. As they brought the ark of the covenant out to the battle God did not go with it. His presence was in the Holy of Holies when the Ark of the Covenant was there and when it was brought out to the battle, it was said that the presence of the Lord had departed from the Holy of Holies. In this episode, Pastor Harris will teach on how the Ark of the Covenant departed. Support the show


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#8 The Saga of David: David Becomes King

Last teaching Pastor Harris discussed David returning after he had defeated the Amalekites. At the same time David was returning to Ziklag, Saul had met his end and been defeated by the Philistines. Around that same time a different Amilkite arrives with a message that Saul had been slain along with a conflicting story. Last episode we heard that Saul had fallen on his own sword and committed suicide. This Amilkite claimed that he had actually helped Saul commit suicide. He believed that since Saul had tried to kill David so many times that he would be rewarded for helping Saul committ suicide and reporting the great news that Saul was dead. Another odd thing was that he also had the crown of Saul and brought it to David. The response of David was quite opposite to what he was expecting. He was expecting honor and approval and maybe a position as David’s right hand man. Instead David turned and killed the man on the spot! The way David saw it was this. God was going to bring God’s anointed David to be King in his own time. No person could force that to happen outside of God’s timing. It appeared this Amilkite had taken matters into his own hands and had slain God’s anointed and it deserved death. What was surprising is that upon David killing this Amilkite was David’s response. He wrote a quite fantastic poem, and I’ll go ahead and read this to you. Thy glory oh Israel is slain upon by high places. How the mighty have fallen. Tell it not in Gath. Publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exalt. Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely, in life and in death they were not divided, they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel weep over Saul who clothed you daintily in scarlet, who put ornaments off gold on your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of battle. Jonathan lies slain upon the high places. I am distressed for you my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant have you been to me, your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perished. It’s very odd to hear such beautiful words from someone who was supposed to be Saul’s sworn enemy. But obviously David was a man after God’s own heart and he could see things in Saul others could not see. He loved Saul. However, now the crown of Saul is in David’s hands, Saul is slain, David is God’s appointed and is to be the new King of Israel. This is the topic of this episode's message. Support the show


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#7 The Saga of David: The Death of Saul

Last episode we talked about David and his big battle with the Amalekites in the Negev. While that was going on with him, the exact opposite was going on with Saul. Saul was encountering Israel's old enemy the Philistines. They had amassed a massive army and to this point the Isrealites had been successful in defeating them by fighting them off as they had always engaged them in mountainous terrain. But the Philistines had pushed and manipulated the battle so they could fight at the Valley of Jezreel which was flat land. This was beneficial to the Philistines because they had iron chariots. Any military strategist would say that it looks as if the Isrealites would be slaughtered. The reason this battle was so crucial and that Saul had to fight it, was because they were at a place called Beth Shan and if the Philistines were to take this location they would cut Israel in half. This location was too crucial, and Saul was forced to take the Philistines on in open combat, in flat terrain, taking on their iron chariots. It seemed suicidal, God had abandoned Saul for David. So Saul turned to a medium. Saul himself had outlawed the use of mediums. It was outlawed in the law of God, but Saul was driven to the very brink of his insanity by havinfg to hold things together by the giant adversity that faced him having to fight the Philistines. When he saw this medium, he disguised himself because he knew if the medium recognized him as King Saul that the medium would not consult upon evil spirits. We know today that spirits guided through mediums are not through the Holy Spirit but are evil spirits. To Saul’s dismay the medium conjures up the spirit of Samual the great profit. Although Samual had been dead for many years he spoke truthfully to the situation at hand. He said that Saul would in fact fight this battle, and Saul, his sons and many of his army would suffer a very tragic defeat. Saul’s dilemma was over, he looked into the future, the future was clear there was only disaster and death for him and his kingdom. Meanwhile David waited back at Ziklag unaware of what was going on. This is the topic of Pastor Harris’s teaching in this episode. The death of Saul and the ramifications of that day. Support the show


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#6 The Saga of David: The Days of Ziklag

The events of first samuel chapter 26 and first samuel chapter 24 look very similar if not identical, but in fact they are remarkably different. Where they are similar in both instances Saul, the King of Israel is pursuing David. Saul fails, and God delivers him into the hands of David, who chooses to do nothing about it and to release him because he is his king, and he is God anointed. In fact, in the second instance, David’s men come alongside him and say, they have got to do something, they’ve been running from him, they felt they needed to kill him! David still stays committed to what he knows to be true. The thing that is interesting and is pretty bad for Saul. Given these two instances, God had revealed that he had withdrawn his protection from Saul. He had been given over into the hands of David now twice, this could not make it more clear to Saul. David realized that this cat and mouse game couldn’t last forever. It was wearing out his men and they wanted to kill Saul, and that was wearing David out. David previously had fled from Saul by going into the land of the philistines and now he had to face the terrible idea of doing that again, leaving the promise land. So he decides to go to the land of Gath and place his warriors at the disposal of the King of Achish. This King however did not like the idea of having someone so powerful in his midst so he placed David in a town called Ziklag. And this will be our setting for Pastor Harris’s message today. Support the show


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#5 The Saga of David: Dealing with a Fool

In our last teaching we saw David confront Saul at the Oasis of Ein Gedi, and there we saw a great part of David’s character revealed. One thing we saw revealed was his boldness, his courage and that he really trusted in God. He was able to stand up and confront Saul because he believed that God would defend him and that God would be in control. We also saw some of David’s crafiness, and his wisdom and the words that he used. He chose not to kill Saul, and instead he chose to cut a part of his robe off. It showed that he never had any intentions of killing Saul, he always saw him as king. It showed his humility. We saw his character revealed through his humility. He said, “After whom do you pursue Saul? After a dead dog after a flea”. David is stressing his insignificant and his unimportance in the face of a great king. We saw Saul respond in a very interesting way. He said, no not at all, you are not insignificant, you are going to be king someday. It is shocking but it reveals Saul’s insanity and that in times he had moments where he had it all together. But David knew that Saul would continue to come after him. Meanwhile, both David and Saul received a shock because their spiritual mentor, Samuel the profit, had died. David received this news while in the wilderness of Maon, and there had a very interesting encounter with a very beautiful and wise and crafty woman herself named Abigail, and there we will find ourselves in the setting of this episode's topic. Support the show


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#4 The Saga of David: Getting Vengeance

We continue to follow the life of David in our current series. In this episode we will touch on the topic of vengeance. The need for vengeance is as old as human nature. Vengeance can be overwhelming. Let’s listen to Pastor Harris as he walks us through how David handles vengeance against King Saul. Finally Pastor Harris will provide us three things regarding vengeance that will help us understand it and in turn deal with it. Support the show


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#3 The Saga of David: The Universal Longing

Have you ever experienced exceptional success in life like that of David? After what David accomplished by saving his entire nation from slavery and bondage by conquering the undefeatable foe. Who knows what it would be like to experience such success and fame like David did. In the last episode Pastor Harris talks about five crutches that got knocked out from under him. One was his job, the commander of Saul’s army. The position of King and High Priest may be the only better jobs at that time. Secondly, his wife was stripped away. His pastor was taken away as well, Samuel was one of the top profits ever known and was taken away from David. Then Jonathan was taken away, David’s best friend. These are serious crutches that were taken away from David. It was like winning the lottery and finding out the next day you in fact did not win the lottery. All he had left was his self respect and his self worth, we won't get to it in this episode but eventually he will lose that as well. It’s hard to understand what all David was going through mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. At this point his back is against the wall and Saul is coming after him. At this time David runs to Nob where he takes the sword of Goliath. He does not realize the trouble that will cause others, and it is at this point that we find David in the cave of Adullem. Support the show


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#2 The Saga of David: Losing the Crutch

As we continue on with our second episode of this new Saga of David series I continue to think about episode one and how Pastor Harris focused on Samuel and the strange circumstance he found himself in when it came to anointing the next king of Israel. It was an interesting approach to kicking off a teaching about the life of David. Similarly, one of the obvious stories from the life of David would be that of his victory over the giant Goliath. However, Pastor Harris chooses to diverge from the standard teaching route and come at it from another unique aspect. Definitely not what I expected, but I was by no means surprised. Support the show


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#1 The Saga of David: Your Circumstances Through God’s Eyes

This new series is a large and in-depth study of Pastor Harris’s which covers the man after God’s own heart, King David. As always, Pastor Harris’s approach to the life of David is very unique and we hope will touch the lives of our listeners, teaching after teaching. This series is over 20 episodes in length and rightfully so, there is so much to learn from the story of David’s life, much more than his run-ins with the likes of Goliath and Bathsheba. Matter of fact, it can more accurately be defined as a “saga” than simply be referred to as a life story. I’m sure dad knew that far too well, so well that he titled this series very simply, The Saga of David. Support the show


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#11 Courage and Confrontation: A Double Portion - Preparing the next generation for greater (no better) things.

This episode wraps up our current series titled “Courage and Confrontation” which follows the life and times of Elijah. This has been a truly amazing series and has come with God’s perfect timing. I hope these teachings have encouraged everyone who listens. I have to tell you all, I love this specific episode, I think it really places things into context not only from a ministry standpoint, but as a way to approach various aspects of life. Dad talks about his early days in ministry well before I was born or dad had even made it to Ponca City where he met my mother Crystal. As always, we would love to hear from you all any way you like, email, facebook, instagram, etc. We love hearing how these messages resonate with you, it encourages us and keeps and energizes us to keep pushing out new episodes and content. So let’s get into the introduction of our final episode. Prior to the Prophet Elijah's encounter with King Ahab over Naboth's vineyard, he had been walking through an agricultural area in Israel and he spotted a young man plowing his field. There were eleven teams of oxen plowing in front of this man and he was plowing with a twelfth team of oxen. The sensitive spirit of the prophet Elijah instantly saw something in this man so he walked over to the young man and threw his mantle around his shoulders. Elijah would later discover that the name of this man was Elisha, the son of Shaphat. This farmer turned from his team of oxen, and said to Elijah, "Please let me kiss my father and mother and then I will follow you." Elijah agreed. What Elisha did at this point was fascinating. He kissed his father and mother, then demonstrated his commitment to following Elijah in that he slaughtered his team of oxen, his sole means of support. Then set fire to his plow and yoke, his secondary means of support. He proceeded to cook the meat of the oxen and shared it with the people of his village and his family so that they could all enjoy one final meal together. Then, he followed Elijah from that point onward, serving him in any way that he possibly could. That is the last we hear of Elisha for several years. Then, he reappears with Elijah at a place called Gilgal, the place where Israel camped upon first entering the Promised Land. He had seen many things since he had begun to follow Elijah. For one thing, he had been with Elijah when King Ahaziah of Israel had sent a captain with fifty men to place Elijah under arrest. He watched as the prophet called down fire from heaven and those men were utterly consumed. He was also present when the king sent another group of fifty to arrest the prophet. Once again, he heard the prophet call down fire from heaven and saw those men consumed. Then, when another group of 50 came, Elisha heard the captain of the group appeal to the prophet to save his life. No doubt, the young prophet heard the voice of the angel of Yahweh, the pre existent Christ, tell to Elijah to save this captain and his men and to go back to Samaria with this captain and confront the King. This was a dangerous proposition, but Elijah did as he was told. At this point, Elijah was aged. It is time for him to leave this earth, but he has a few things to do before that could occur. For one thing, he would take a quick ministry tour of the area, then, God would take him. This is the background for Pastor Harris’s teaching in this episode. Support the show


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#10 Courage and Confrontation: Naboth’s Vineyard

In this episode Pastor Harris picks back up with Elijah returning to the kingdom of Israel after his sojourn at Mount Sinai, at least two and maybe three years had passed before Elijah made a reappearance. We can determine this from several situations that are recorded in I Kings. In the first place, in I Kings 21, we find a vineyard thriving in Jezreel which means the effects of the three and a half years of drought had now been overcome. This would take at least a year or two to occur. In the second place, after Elijah's return to Israel, the nation fought several brutal wars with Syria, all of which occurred before the events recorded in I Kings 21. These wars lasted over four at least two years. That which brought Elijah on the scene again was criminal conduct on the part of King Ahab, the most wicked ruler Israel had ever experienced up to that time, and his even more wicked wife, Jezebel. These two persons would commit a dastardly crime against a godly citizen of Israel. This act provides all the proof we need that, evil was still flowing from the throne of Israel. So, Elijah was sent by God to confront Ahab. We should note, however, that a bit of tranquility had come to the land of Israel in Elijah's absence. There had been a lull in the conflicts with Syria, and, as we said, the land seems to have recovered from the three and a half year drought. King Ahab now had some time to sit around in his palace in Jezreel and think about things he could do to improve the place. This palace was not the main residence of the king and queen. The capital and main palace was found in the city of Samaria. The palace in Jezreel was a kind of Camp David for the royal family. Such residences were located in places of great natural beauty in biblical times. Ahab, a well-known builder, was interested in improving the grounds and the landscape. Next to the palace was a vineyard that belonged to a man whose name was Naboth. He had taken very good care of the vineyard, something that had caught the eye of the king. So, one day, Ahab went to Naboth and made an offer to buy the vineyard and that offer is the subject of Pastor Harris’s teaching for this episode. Support the show


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#9 Courage and Confrontation: Elijah in the Cave

Before I jump into this intro. I think it is important that we all remember that these teachings we are listening to, even the introduction I am about to read were delivered back in 2011. It continues to be so interesting how many of these thoughts we are about to hear remain true still today. We all know that we live in strange and troubling times. Someone once called this “the age of anxiety,” and it is. Hurricanes are striking odd places. Catastrophic floods and catastrophic droughts are found worldwide. There are devastating earthquakes leaving tens of thousands of people dead in dozens of countries. There are senseless terror bombings happening across the globe. As of 2011 when this was written, there was a horrible war in Afghanistan and continuing violence in Iraq. Of course in the current day we have a war happening in the Ukraine and many geopolitical situations of courcern around the globe. Taken together, this creates a spirit of fear, and this spirit of fear makes us angry, uptight, tense, hostile, sullen, and very impatient with each other. We see this in the increasing incidences of road rage, domestic abuse, and criminal acts. The sad truth is this: we Americans appear to hate each other equally. Anger seems to lie just beneath the surface of every human being, but this anger is just another symptom of society’s ills. In fact, the Bible predicts that in “the last days” God will shake the nations so that “those things that cannot be shaken will be shaken” (Hebrews 12:26-27). When Eugene Peterson paraphrased the last part of verse 27 in The Message, he said that God will shake the earth, “getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” Unshakable essentials---that says it all. God is shaking the earth so that we will figure out what matters most. But this situation is not totally unique to our times. The prophet Elijah felt many of these same strains and stresses, so much so, that he virtually had a nervous collapse. Pastor Harris will discuss his circumstances in this episode. Support the show