Monthly Archives: August 2013
Without a shadow of doubt, the greatest crisis that marked the reign of David was when his own son, Absalom, rebelled against his throne. Apparently this rebellion was birthed when Ammon had raped Tamar and David did not take care of the situation in the way that he should have, at least in the eyes of Absalom who decided to take justice into his own hands exacting revenge on the incest suffered by his sister. Absalom coldly murdered his own brother at a family gathering. It was a shocking way to denounce the impunity of the King.
Because of this, David simply exiled Absalom from the city and from his presence. The indifference of his father fueled the resentment of the injustice even more in Absalom’s heart. In the end, he merely did what the king should have done to Ammon for having raped his sister. The fact is, according to the law, the crime of Ammon should have been punished with his death.
After some time Absalom was brought back to Jerusalem. Still indignant, he began to steal the hearts of the people. He tried to convince the people that there was no justice in the kingdom of David. He was still deeply hurt by his father. He would detain the people who came to the Royal Palace resolving their complaints to the detriment of David’s government.
Finally, through his bitter scheming, he was able to garner enough support to declare a coup d’état. To demonstrate his intention of killing the King and occupying his place, he slept with his father’s concubines in full daylight. This was a tearful page in the history of David’s reign. What was really behind this terrible story? Why wasn’t David able to execute justice concerning his sons? What was the key that could unlock this whole legacy of immorality and violence that had cruelly struck the royal family?
Apparently the situation painted David as an innocent party and Absalom as the rebel, which is true. However, it is necessary to fully understand the facts to uncover the attitude and the discernment of David.
The truth is, going back to the source of the problem; everything began when David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, which resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. After failing in his attempt to simulate a romantic encounter between Uriah and his wife to cover up the consequences of his sin, he ended up killing his faithful warrior with the sword of the sons of Ammon.
The scandalous details that we have been mentioning happened as a consequence of David’s crime. Everything happened just as the prophetic word had predicted:
Why have you despised the commandment 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 have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord:’ Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. (2 Samuel 12:9-11)
Many years had passed and now God was confronting David’s sin through the rebellion of Absalom. However, it wasn’t Absalom that God was correcting, but David. When David perceived that the trap had been set, he abandon the palace in the attempt to save his life.
On the path of his flight, David was confronted by a name called Shimei who cursed him and threw stones at him. In reality, David was before one of the greatest circumstantial tests of his life. When Abishai, one of his men wanted to react against the insult and cut off the head of Shimei, David rebuked him revealing his discernment of the moment that confronted him. Understanding that in that moment God was correcting him and humiliating him, he submitted himself, accepted the humiliation and facilitated an incredible intervention and a tremendous prayer to God:
Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day. (2 Samuel 16:11, 12)
That was an impressive thing for a king to do. Imagine someone cursing you and rejoicing in your destruction by telling you that you deserve the damnation that you are suffering! How could anyone say that such a thing was of God?! Normally it would be interpreted as something from the devil! However David did not say that Shimei was being used by the devil, but by God! He discerned the moment that he faced. He didn’t take the enemy’s bait! It wasn’t a fight against flesh and blood! He recognized that he deserved what was happening to him and submitted himself to the circumstance thus transforming the curse into a blessing. I would call that an intelligent prayer. I believe at that moment David turned the key in the spiritual world and the attack against his kingdom was destroyed.
The brokenness that came from the discernment of the present moment began to reverse the direction of the situation and with a brief “prayer of a righteous man” David reversed the direction of the spiritual battle that almost cost him his own life:
“O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” (2 Samuel 15:31)
Ahithophel was a principal counselor of the King. Unfortunately, he betrayed him by supporting the rebellion of Absalom. To choose to be on Ahithophel’s side represents choosing to be on the winning side. This man was so close to David that he knew exactly how to destroy him and for this reason David also discerned the need to offer this prayer and as a result God answered. When Ahithophel perceived that Absalom had not obeyed his counsel, he committed suicide. He was literally the “Judas of the Old Testament” (Psalm 41:9).
The most important thing in this whole story is that David discerned the moment that he was living in. He was being visited and punished by the consequences of his murder and adultery. He understood that the matter wasn’t between him and Absalom. God was visiting his sin through this terrible condition of cursing. Sin is always expensive. David still tried to save his son Absalom, who ended up being killed at the hands of Joab. However, the prophetic discernment of the moment led him to a level of brokenness and revelation that saved his life and preserved his kingdom.
This is the moral of the whole story: a great sin, a great repentance, a great punishment, a great discernment, a great attitude and a great prayer, the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man that avails much. The prophetic discernment of the present moment made all the difference!
The prophetic discernment of the present moment
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1)
The first perspective of the high priestly prayer of Jesus comes from the discernment of the moment in which he lived and which he would have to face. This provided Him with wind in His sails and the necessary spiritual composure. He would not be surprised by anything and even less so by anyone. He was prepared for what would come and strengthened to face the day of anguish and suffering.
Some prayers are intelligent and others are ignorant. Some are blind and others are visionary. Some are stubborn and others are perseverant. Some are mature and others are immature. What elements would make such a great difference in prayer? The answer: Nothing other than the discernment of the spiritual moment at hand. When you understand the spiritual moment in which you are living, it is easier to take your eyes off of the circumstances and lift them up to the Father. The Father’s purpose is the reference point and not the circumstances themselves. This is an intelligent prayer that discerns the divine mind, being one step ahead of the enemy and overcoming circumstances.
The discernment of time permits us to offer intelligent prayer that comes from a correct perspective of the spiritual situation. The lack of discernment in relation to the present time can compromise our spiritual integrity. It is an open door to many emotional wounds and even to rebellion. Prayer that is inspired by these wounds always sins against the wisdom that comes from heaven. Instead of benefits we reap losses.
Cronos and Kairos
Cronos and Kairos are the two Greek words that designate “physical time” and “spiritual time” respectively. The physical world is in the dimension of “cronos”, however the spiritual world in “Kairos”. Kairos determines the appropriateness of the true spiritual moment. Kairos also determines the ability of not rushing what God wants to do as well is not delaying it. It is the “today” of God.
Worse than a word or action at the wrong time is an inappropriate prayer that ignores the spiritual moment: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11). A befitting presentation always increases the value of a behavior, just as a valuable word is appreciated more when it is spoken at the right time. If a word spoken at the right time is precious, how much more a prayer offered at the right time.
There is a synergy between the word and time, between the prayer and the discernment of the moment. This is one of the greatest secrets of effectiveness in prayer. The correct word at the prophetic time revolutionizes the effects of a prayer.
A classic example of this was the prayer of Daniel. Here we understand how the discernment of the moment is something highly relevant in the development of the prophetic ministry. His prayer revolutionized the spiritual world, knocking down the demonic principality of Persia, as well as changing the destiny of the nation of Israel making possible the fulfillment of God’s will for that generation.
In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. (Daniel 9:2, 3)
Based on the prophecies of Jeremiah concerning the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Daniel “understood” the prophetic moment in which he lived. He knew how to go to the correct source. The same prophet that had prophesied the coming of the captivity also prophesied its duration. The time had been fulfilled, but nobody perceived it.
Before praying, Daniel applied his heart to understand and to humble himself. He had the vital discernment that the hour of freedom had come to the nation. The time of punishment had come to an end and as far as it depended on God the spiritual world was favorable to the return of the captives to their native land.
While everyone was accustomed to a life of slavery, he discerned that the time for freedom and arrived. Based on this prophetic understanding Daniel began to seek the Lord. Prayers in harmony with the God’s spiritual timing are prophetically sharp obtaining effective results and immediate answers:
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty- one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia (Daniel 10:12, 13)
Daniel prayed and sought how to pray in prayer. The next time you go to God in prayer, think about what you are asking for and the place it has in the time and the timing of the situation that you are currently in. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will lead you in a different and more intelligent and effective direction then would be your natural inclination. Who knows God’s work might get done faster if we all prayed in this manner.