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A daily dose of encouragement from David and Marilynn Chadwick. 

  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

by David Chadwick

Good guys and bad guys are in every good story. A compelling plot has twists and turns and God’s story is full of both! God never shies away from showing us the good, bad and ugly of characters in his story. I believe the authenticity of Scripture is part of how he teaches us his best lessons!

The 10 spies of Numbers 13:25-14:10 are today’s bad guys. Let me tell you their story.

The Israelites had been moving from Egypt to the edge of the land God wanted them to possess as their own. His promised land. So, Moses sent out 12 spies to scout out the land and report what they saw.

Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, returned with excitement. They saw the land and the abundance God had promised them. Their response was full of faith as they said, “Let’s go!”

But 10 of the spies returned with a negative report. They saw walled cities. Giants. Hurdles. Obstacles. Unlike Joshua and Caleb, they looked at the size of their problems instead of the size of their God who easily tears down walls and slay giants!

These 10 men infected the rest of the 3 million Israelites. Like an infectious disease, their unbelief and doubt spread like wildfire. Unbelief consumed them all.

As a result, God’s people had to spend another 40 years wandering in the wilderness until that generation of unbelievers were replaced with a different generation of people who believed in God’s promises and were willing to confidently face giants and walled cities!

Fear and unbelief are enemies of God’s story. They are “bad guys” in and of themselves. Because the 10 spies were so controlled by these qualities, I label them as some of the bad guys in God’s story. 

On the other hand, faith moves mountains (Mark 11:22-24) because nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26)! Faith is a quality of heroes and a sign that you trust God above all else.

Dear friends, choose to have faith! Fight unbelief! If there is any unbelief inside of you, then repent just like the father in Mark 9 and say to God, “I believe. Now help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-25). 

Then watch as your Promised Land begins to unfold before you.

  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

by David Chadwick

Did you know that every great story has heroes and villains? Good guys and bad guys. Those who are in the story to accomplish the goals of the story line and those who are there to resist them.

Well, Absalom is definitely another one of the bad guys of the Bible. You will find his story in 2 Samuel 13-19. One of David’s sons, Absalom was described as the best-looking man in all the land (2 Samuel 14:25). He had looks, charm, and leadership abilities. His long-flowing, golden hair especially stood out. He had the full package.

For a season, David banished him from the land because of an aggressive act against his half-sister who had been abused. Eventually, David allowed him to return to the land, but would not even speak to him. Absalom was incensed by this relational abandonment.

With a deep-seeded bitterness in his heart toward his dad, Absalom set up a conspiracy to overtake his dad’s kingdom. He went to the gates daily and sucked up to the judges and leaders of the city. He planted seeds that he could do a better job than his dad if he were king.

Absalom laid out a plot for his day of rebellion, but thankfully David caught wind of it. One of the major indicators of the coming coup came when he heard that one of his main advisors named Ahithophel, who was Bathsheba’s uncle, had gone to Absalom’s side. One could speculate that he was still enraged by the abuse of his niece and blamed David for it ever happening, so he sided with Absalom to hurt David.

David fled Jerusalem and Psalm 3 was written in this context. In that time, David finally realized he had to go to war and defeat his own son. This fight became especially brutal for King David when Absalom died in the battle. David mourned his death, but finally got back up to continue his rule.

Let me start by warning you that sitting in bitterness toward someone can make people do some crazy things! We see that in the story of Absalom. Know that there are always going to be Absaloms in our world. People who operate by personal ambition. People who are jealous and scheme plots to overtake. Strong, Godly leaders must watch out for Absaloms and pray for God to reveal them. They are enemies in the camp, designed to wreak havoc on God’s story line. James 3:16 says that where there is self ambition and strife, there is every evil thing!

Beware and watch out!

by David Chadwick

One of my favorite things about the Bible is the authenticity of the story. God doesn’t hide the broken parts of humanity in the story line. He doesn’t fabricate evil to make it look better than it actually was. He tells the real, hard truths, which makes his redeeming love and sanctifying grace all the more powerful.

2 Kings 2:23-25 is one of those stories. It tells us about 42 young thugs. They are today’s villains. Boy, were these some bad guys! Their sin was total disrespect for God’s chosen.

Elisha, the prophet, was preaching God’s truth with power and authority. People’s lives were being changed.

One day, when preaching, 42 young boys came on the scene and began to derisively mock Elisha. They scorned him and called him “Baldy” and insinuated that he had no value. Historically, “baldhead” was a term used with malicious intent to describe someone who was full of disgrace. These young boys were forcefully coming at Elisha and deeming him and his message as worthless!

Can you imagine this scene in your mind? A teenage gang accosting an older man of God. Threatening him! Intimidating him! Shaming him! What horror!

Elisha boldly responded to their threats. He faced these 42 young bad guys and “cursed them in the name of the Lord” (2 Kings 2:24). Like any good father would, who witnessed bullies attacking an older man, God would have none of it and responded on behalf of Elijah! God called out two female bears from the woods to attack the boys.

Here’s the truth. God hates the disrespect of his chosen vessels. God also values the proclamation of his Word through those he appoints and equips. Remember 2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Satan will use whatever instrument he can to prevent God’s Word from going out into all the world. But God responds as the ultimate hero by removing obstacles that Satan creates so that his Word can move forward!

No bad guy can win over our great and powerful God!

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