Nicholas Hood III Ministries

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Come Out From Your Cave!

Come Out from Your Cave!


Caves come in several forms – there are real caves and the “Caves” in our minds. The “Figurative Cave” is a mental construct that provides us with a sense of protection, security and peace. The “Man Cave” is an expression for that place in a house where there might be comfortable seating, a television, perhaps a refrigerator, stove and bar, games and more. Sometimes, the “Cave” we seek is not a literal place, but a mental or emotional place that makes us comfortable.

Sunday, I am preaching about a time in the life of David, before he becomes king, when he is on the run from King Saul. David takes his parents, brothers and sisters to the cave of Adullam, which was near his home in Bethlehem. There were large caves in that area that he probably played in as a youth. These caves were 15 to 20 feet deep, limestone, and in some places, quite wide. Listen to the description of the 400 persons who joined him in the cave os Adullam:

1 Samuel 22 David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; when his brothers and all his father’s house heard of it, they went down there to him. Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was[1]

David and those who supported him went to the cave from protection, security and peace. After a while, the prophet, Gad, came to David and told him it was time to leave the cave and seek other refuge. Perhaps, this was because Gad felt that Saul would find them in the cave and they would be like sitting ducks, vulnerable to attack. Maybe, Gad thought that once David and his fighters left the cave, they would be in a better position to fight Saul. In any case, at some point, David, his family and his fighters come out from the cave and he begins his assent to the kingship.

David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come to you, until I know what God will do for me.” He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; leave, and go into the land of Judah.” So David left, and went into the forest of Hereth. [2] (1 Samuel 22)

In like manner, there are times in our lives when we need to come out from our cave. There is an expression, “Stuck in a rut.” To be “Stuck in a rut,” is when emotionally we limit our imagination. We sometimes do this in good and bad times. So, the “Cave” experience can be like a virtual cocoon that gives us comfort peace and joy, but it limits our ability to rise to the full potential that God has set before us. My sermon for this Sunday is about breaking free from the “Cave” of security and protection so that we can enjoy everything the good Lord has prepared for us.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. When have you felt as if you were in a “figurative” cave?
  2. What does it take for a person to come out from their “Cave” of protection and security?
  3. What verses from the Bible help to form your sense of liberation?


Prayer: Lord, free my mind that I might dream. Free my heart that I might feel. Free my feet, that I might move to glory of your name. Free my hands, that I might build. Free my eyes and ears, that I might see and hear. Free my spirit, that I might soar with a sense of liberation and justice for all. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 22:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 22:3–5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Eleanor Austin – in Remembrance



Eleanor Austin was the Godmother to my youngest son, Noah. Eleanor was the second female to be elected moderator of the Plymouth United Church of Christ. She was also the second woman to serve as the chairperson of our Trustee Board. She was a great supporter of my father and a great supporter of me, first when I started out as the Associate Minister of the church and second as I was elected Pastor and Senior Minister. The first major action I took as Pastor was to establish a Scholarship Fund for the Church. Eleanor was one of a handful of persons who helped me to establish the Scholarship Fund Committee. The first year she and the committee cooked breakfast each Sunday for college scholarships. At the end of the first year, the committee was worn out and we could only afford to give each student $50. We sat down after that first Scholarship Sunday and I suggested that we create a monthly offering for scholarships. 32 years later, we now average $1500 per student in scholarships and just under $1million in scholarship awards! Eleanor was right there with me from the beginning. My tenure as Pastor and Senior Minister has been peaceful, positive and calm, but there were two times when once a staff minister accused me of being mean. The other time was a person I had offered a job, who had disparaging things to say about me. I like to think that I am the nicest guy in the world, so I try to keep down confusion in the church. I asked Eleanor to talk with them and like the “Godfather” she made them an offer they could not refuse, and there was peace in the land. Smile.

Eleanor supported my father in his politics, and she also was a major supporter of my politics. Eleanor was a great cook who taught me how to dice an onion. She helped me with virtually every major project at the church including church anniversaries, church meetings, my ordination into the Christian Ministry and much more. She served as the executive director of the Cyprian Center, which was a mental health corporation that was an outgrowth of my father’s desire for a program to assist my sister, Sarah. When she was married, Eleanor doted on her husband, Bob, often serving him his meals in his Lazy-Boy chair. Eleanor and Bob were members of the Koinonians Club, which was a club for young married couples in the church. Once, my father had a little talk with Eleanor and Bob. A few months later she approached my dad and said, “Look what you have done!” Eleanor was pregnant with her second child, whom she named Robyn, in honor of my father – Robyn (Robin) Hood. Smile.

Professionally, Eleanor worked at the Wayne County Juvenile Court and was highly regarded.

In the photo above, Eleanor is holding her God Son, my youngest Son, Noah. I believe this photo was at the graduation of her daughter, Robyn, from Dillard University. I met Eleanor and her family in New Orleans for the graduation. Noah was just a little fellow and I wanted my family in New Orleans to see him. We had a wonderful time and wished Robyn the best.

I thank God for Eleanor, her leadership, friendship and support. She will be greatly missed. The following are the funeral arrangements for Eleanor Austin:

Family Hour: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Funeral: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 11 AM

Metropolitan United Methodist Church 8000 Woodward Ave. Detroit, Michigan

Condolences may be sent to her children: Martin and Robyn Austin 8200 E. Jefferson Apt. 1811 Detroit, Michigan, 48214

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Karmanos Cancer Institute 4100 John R. Detroit, Michigan


Honoring the Good Fathers

Honoring the Good Fathers –

Romans 2: 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good…[1]

Father’s Day at my church, with very few exceptions consistently has a historically low attendance. It seems to me that many our members and worshipers have a wide ambivalence in their attitudes towards their fathers. Yes, there are several who are proud of their fathers and think the world of them. At both worship services, I invited worshipers to stand up before the congregation and give tributes to their fathers, regardless if they are alive or deceased. The testimonials were exceptional and quite moving. Following the 11 AM worship service, our Men’s Ministry sponsored a Father’s Day Luncheon where dads could attend at no charge. Again, there were a series of testimonials that lasted two hours! So, a lot of people who were in church Sunday feel good about their fathers.

Sadly, not everyone feels good about their father. I heard an interview with the rapper, Jaz-y, where he said his father left his family when he was nine years of age. He also said that most of the children he grew up with did not have a father in the home. We have some of that in my church. Although, several persons in attendance yesterday talked about the love care and devotion that their fathers showered upon them. One fellow, Charles Harvey, stood up in church and talked about how wonderful his father was to him and that as a child, he assumed that every child had the same experience. Charles said that all the children who lived on his street had a father in the home. Charles is 50 something years old.

In my community, there are several persons who have mixed feelings about their father. The rate of divorce is around 50 percent for first marriages. I do not believe children are as “Resilient” as many parents of divorce would like us to believe. So many of my son’s friends and classmates were from homes where the parents had divorced, they told Denise and I that they were sure that divorce was the number one cause for the confusion, bitterness and crazy behavior that they witnessed in their generation. Yet, at the same time, I believe each of us wants to believe that our mothers and fathers love us and try to be good parents. So, there seems to be a degree of tension in our attitudes towards our fathers. When divorce occurs, it is often the dad who leaves the house.

But, this Father’s Day, we had several people who had a lot of good things to say about their fathers. One example of this is the young women in the photo at the top of this piece. They are members of the Victoria and Malcom Barnes Family. One by one, the women talked about what a great father, their father, Malcom Barnes is. Kristyn Barnes talked about how encouraging her father was in keeping her focused and motivated in finishing her Ph.D. degree in education. Ashlee Barnes shared a story I had not remembered hearing – that her dad and mother allowed her to opt out of traditional high school with home-schooling, and she graduated on time. Ashlee has obtained an undergraduate and master’s degree in nursing. I did not hear each of the girls remarks because I was moving around taking photos of them and the gathering of 70 persons who showed up for the luncheon.

The point I am making is that not every black father is a jerk, absent, violent, and a bad actor. There are many good fathers in our community who deserve the glory, honor and praise.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. How do you feel about your father?
  2. What does the Bible tell you about love and fatherhood?

Prayer: Lord, teach me to honor and respect my father. I thank you for the good times. I thank you for the tough times. I thank you for the best in what I have seen and learned from my father. I thank you for the life my father has provided me. Teach me to love. Teach me to be kind. Teach me to live a life of commitment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ro 2:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Latasha Washington – a Profile in Positive Determination

Latasha Washington – Profile in Positive Determination

The other day, Tasha Washington rolled into my office and shared some good news. She told me that she planned to join me in my Annual Pastor’s Memorial Day Bike Ride. I did not want to ask her how she was going to ride with me, because Tasha is in a wheel chair. Tasha told me that some of the people at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan encouraged her to apply for a grant that would pay for a hand-cycle that rides like a bicycle. A couple of weeks later, Tasha came back to my office and said the grant was approved and the hand-cycle was on its way!

For those of you who do not know Tasha Washington, let me share a little bit about her. Tasha is a member of the church that I pastor. She was a valued member of my staff when I was a member of the Detroit City Council. Before she lost her ability to walk, Tasha was one of the most energetic persons I have ever known. She was fast, smart and positive. One day she felt a pain in her back, drove to the hospital, and learned that a mass was pressing on her spine and she would never be able to use her legs again. As she went through an extended period of therapy, I bought Tasha a set of light weights and encouraged her to work out on her own.

Since then, Tasha has performed the role of assistant secretary and event-planner for the church. Tasha is into everything, and in large measure has become as much the “face of the church” as myself. I am sharing some of her story, because I have never heard Tasha say a negative or bitter word, even as she defies all odds and keeps moving forward. I fully expect to see her participate in my Bike Ride next year.

Have you ever had a bad day? Has your life taken a negative turn that caused you to be bitter? I encourage you to think about Tasha Washington and ask yourself, “Why should I be discouraged, and why should I give up?”

2 Chronicles 15: But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” [1]

Prayer: Lord, grant me a positive and powerful spirit! Help me not to curse life, but to embrace life. Teach me to love and not have, to live with courage and determination to be the most, make the most and live the most out of life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Ch 15:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Night I Saw a Black Man Yell at a Bunch of White Men and did not get Killed

The Night I Saw a Black Man Yell at a Bunch of White Men and Not get Ki

Rendell Thomas, extolling the intricacies of making wine at Robert Mondavi Vineyards

Redall Thomas is one of the main wine experts and tour leaders at Robert Mondavi Winery in Nappa Valley. I have known Rendall most of my adult life. His father and my father were friends as children in Terre Haute, Indiana. Legend has it that our fathers would ride their bikes from one end of town to the other.

I met Rendall when he was one of the television directors for WDIV in Detroit, Michigan. The Christian Communication Council invited me to host its public service show entitled, “Open Doors.” The show was a mix of commentary, but sometimes worship services where I would be allowed to preach. The first time I hosted the worship show format, I brought a choir from my church and requested the use of a piano at the television station. When we walked into the studio, the piano was not set up. I asked Rendall, who was directing the show if we could use the piano. He directed the stage hands to take the grand piano down from the hooks on the wall and set it upright. The stage hands moved too slowly for Rendall and he started hollering at them to move faster and set up the piano. It dawned on me that I had never heard a black man holler at a bunch of white guys. Rendall was making use of the authority invested in him as a program director. The stage hands jumped to attention and the show went on! I learned a lot about television from Rendall: look directly into the camera; the camera is your friend; smile every now and then; and much more. To this day, I am grateful for the lessons learned, but much more, our friendship.

After working at WDIV, Rendall and his wife, Dr. Tina Mason, whom I married 23 years ago, move to New York where he was a director at WNBC. Tina and Rendall made a couple of career moves and ultimately relocated to Napa Valley. Denise and I saw Rendall and Tina this week and laughed about my recollection of him hollering at the white stage hands. The thing that impressed me about Rendall hollering at the stage hands is that he was well aware of the scope of the authority that came with his position and was unafraid to use that authority to get the job done.

As I reflect upon Rendall and the use of his authority, I think about the Apostle Paul and his words about authority that he shared with the church at Corinth. I encourage you to read the following passage of scripture and ask yourself a few questions about how you use the authority given to you: both your earthly authority and the authority given to you by God almighty.

2 Corinthians 13: 10 So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts regarding the authority that Jesus gives to you?
  2. How does our earthly authority compare with the authority of Jesus Christ?
  3. How effective and efficiently do you use the authority given to you?

Prayer: I thank you Lord for the authority you have given to me. You bestow confidence to all who believe in you. In you there is power. In you there is the ability to define, destroy, build and restore. Grant that I might use all the power and gifts that you have showered upon not only me, but to all who believe in your grace mercy and salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 13:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

On the Front Line for the Lord!

On the Front Line for the Lord!

Denise and me at Muir Beach, California

Last Sunday, Denise and I worshiped with our son, Nathan and his family at the 1st Congregational Church of Berkley, California. The sanctuary is a traditional New England style congregational church. The sermon was given by a young adult who holds the designation of “Emerging Leader.” Much of the church including the sanctuary was destroyed by fire and the congregation recently returned to the worship space. The congregation seems relatively affluent, but with a deep and abiding social consciousness: preparing lunches for the poor; Christian Education special programing and much more.

Through the sermon, I kept thinking about the Apostle Paul, how he suffered, but also how he personally was one of the greatest evangelists, if not the greatest evangelist the church has ever known. Then, I began to think about myself. No, I do not count myself in the same league as the Apostle Paul, but I do feel like I am “On the front line for the Lord!”

I am in my 41st year as an ordained minister, and 32nd year as pastor and senior minister. My ordination into the ministry was June 13,1976. That same summer, I also graduated from divinity school and was married. My ministry continues to evolve. The church continues to witness in a bold way for Jesus Christ. My congregation is becoming poorer, but we are raising more money. During my pastorate, the church has distributed over a million dollars in scholarships, paid off the original construction loans of over $1.6million, replaced the church roof at a cost of $200,000, renovated the church for $1.1million, and soon will complete the replacement of the lower level floor at a cost of $50,000. We are replacing sanctuary lights at a cost of $15,000 and soon will upgrade the video ministry at a price tag of over $30,000. My ministry is to a diverse group of people who come from a radius of 28.4 miles. Our missions start in Detroit, Michigan, but reach to the heart of Ethiopia and former refugees of war in Liberia. Several of my members are out of work, but many are prospering. At the same time, I am beginning to write and have written two books. I am finding more fulfilment than ever as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray for the sick, bury the dead, marry those in love, counsel the distraught, encourage the children, and preach the Word of God. I really do view myself on the “Front line for the Lord.” During my time as an elected member to the Detroit City Council, I was told that some whispered that I was “Uncontrollable”, because of my values and principals.” In other words, I could not be bought. Yet, through it all, I feel like I am on the “Front line” as a witness for Jesus, and I love it! I am getting back to my first love, music and trying to more effectively incorporate music into the sermonic moment of worship, and through it all, I feel like I am on the “Front line for the Lord,” and having fun as I minister.

I encourage you to read the following sections from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and his second letter to the church at Corinth. As you read these passages, I invite you to ask yourself, “When have I suffered because I chose to witness for Jesus?” Ask yourself, “Am I on the Front line for the Lord?”

Ephesians 4: 4 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. [1]

2 Corinthians 11: 24 Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked. 28 And, besides other things, I am under daily pressure because of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not indignant? [2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does it mean to you to be, “On the front line for the Lord?”
  2. What are your thoughts regarding how Paul suffered for his faith in Jesus Christ?


Prayer: Lord, grant me strength to witness for you. Through the storm, through the fire, through the rain, grant me words to tell the world of your power, grace, mercy and love. I am weak, but you are strong. I am but one person, but the all the power in this universe is captured in the power within your hands. Search me, try me, know me. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nathan Page Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Eph 4:1–6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Co 11:24–29). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Father Who Refused to Discipline his Son – David and Amnon

The Father Who Refused to Discipline his Son – David and Amnon:


As we make our way to Father’s Day, today I would like to share my thoughts on one of the most shameful events in the life of King David. David had several wives and even more children. His son Amnon raped his sister, Tamar, who was also a daughter of David. David refused to punish Amnon because he was his firstborn.

2 Samuel 13: 21 When King David heard of all these things, he became very angry, but he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn.[1]

The refusal of David to discipline his son, Amnon, triggered several things. Taman, is humiliated because of the rape. Absalom, her full brother, is livid and will not be satisfied until in revenge, he kills Amnon. Absalom becomes angry at David because his father refused to get involved in the situation of the rape of his sister. Eventually, Absalom revolts against his father and is ultimately killed in the war.

I never whipped my sons. My technique was to give them a tongue lashing without cursing. Sometimes it was so intense they would ask me to spank them. I never did. One of the lessons I learned in the process of raising children was the importance of “Harsh and quick” discipline. “Harsh and quick” discipline does not mean degrading language or physical violence. I never withheld meals, but I tried to apply discipline appropriate to the behavior. Think about how David’s life would have turned out had he disciplined Amnon immediately for the rape of his sister?

As we approach this Father’s Day, I encourage you to think about how your father disciplined you. Also, think about how you have responded to inappropriate behavior. David is one of the great persons of faith, but even he had some glaring flaws as a father. You and I can and should learn from David as we attempt to live lives of faithful service to Jesus Christ. The following is the story of the Rape of Tamar –


13 Some time passed. David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; and David’s son Amnon fell in love with her. Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah; and Jonadab was a very crafty man. He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ” So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. Then she took the pan and set them out before him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Send out everyone from me.” So everyone went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the chamber, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do anything so vile! 13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the scoundrels in Israel. Now therefore, I beg you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon was seized with a very great loathing for her; indeed, his loathing was even greater than the lust he had felt for her. Amnon said to her, “Get out!” 16 But she said to him, “No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me.” But he would not listen to her. 17 He called the young man who served him and said, “Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her.” 18 (Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for this is how the virgin daughters of the king were clothed in earlier times.) So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her. 19 But Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar remained, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he became very angry, but he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn. 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had raped his sister Tamar. [2]



Questions for Reflection:

  1. What would the appropriate punishment David should have given to his son for raping his sister?


Prayer: Lord, bless me with the wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent. Grant me the strength of character to stand up to evil, fight what is wrong, and to risk my life for what I believe is right. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Denise Page Hood

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Sa 13:21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (2 Sa 13:1–22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

When David Provided Protection for his Father and Mother

When David Provided Protection for his Mother and Father –

My father, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr. (right) at the wedding of my son, Nathan in 2013

As we proceed to Father’s Day, I am lifting several examples in the Bible of the relationship between fathers and their children. Today’s story an incident in the life of David and his mother and father, Jesse. As the relationship between young David and king Saul soured, David flees for his life and his brothers and parents also flee to join him. They do not feel safe in Judah, so the brothers and parents of David join him as he and a small group of soldiers are on the run. David starts in Gath, but leaves because the people there do not trust him. Remember, it was Goliath of Gath that David knocked out with a rock from a sling shot, and then killed him. After Gath, David goes to the Cave of Abdullam (1 Samuel 22). Four hundred fighters are with him, plus his brothers and his mother and father. A cave was not a suitable place for David and his men to stay for long, so they leave and David asks the king of Moab to let his mother and father remain there until things are settled.

I find it so modern that David, the youngest son, should feel compelled care for his mother and father. First, this is not their fight. David and Saul are “Duking it out,” not Jesse and his wife. Second, they are getting up in years. I assume Jesse and his wife are between forty and sixty years of age. David does not become king until he is thirty.

Like young David, there are many of us today who are in a “Sandwich” generation, where we find ourselves caring for our children and parents at the same time. I feel that parents who have children who care for them are truly fortunate. Not every child will care for the parent in the same way, but if a parent has a child who will look out for them, they are blessed. Some will take their parents into their home. Others will seek care givers and facilities that will provide for their mothers and fathers.

My brother and I were fortunate that after the death of our mother, our dad found a wife and they had a good twenty or so years of marriage, all the way to his death last year. They could live independently together in a nice apartment that overlooked the Detroit River and Canada. My father’s death was draining on all of us, but Steve, Denise, Noah, Nathan and I kept in close contact with our dad up until he died.

The care David gives to his mother and father is a wonderful example for modern families.

1 Samuel 22: David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come to you, until I know what God will do for me.” He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.[1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What image comes to your mind when David asks the king of Moab to protect his mother and father?
  2. Why do you think David approaches the king of Moab to protect his parents? (hint: go back to the last chapter in the Book of Ruth)


Prayer: Lord, bless me to live long enough to be a blessing to my mother and father. Grant me the ability and the desire to look after my parents, to provide for my parents and to protect my parents. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 22:3–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Jesse Presents His Sons to Samuel

Jesse Presents His Sons to Samuel –

My youngest son, Atty. Noah P. Hood  with me in the kitchen


As we walk towards Father’s Day, I am writing a series about major fathers in the Bible. Yesterday, I wrote about Samuel visiting Bethlehem to sanctify Jesse and his sons. Today, I write about what happened after the sanctification of Jesse and his sons. Jesse calls each of his sons to present to Samuel. Samuel prays to the Lord for direction in discerning who will be the next king of Israel. When Eliab, the first born is presented to Samuel, the prophet looks at the young man and says, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” (vs.6) The Lord talks to Samuel and informs his that Eliab is not the one. One by one, each of the seven oldest sons of Jesse pass before Samuel, but none is the chosen one. Finally, Samuel asks Jesse, the father, if there is another son. Seemingly almost with reluctance, Jesse, the father, tells Samuel that he has another son who is young and away, following the sheep. Samuel tells Jesse to call this son in order that he might meet him. When David finally appears, the Lord speaks to him and lets him know that this is the one!

Jesse, the father, is like many of our fathers. He seems proud of each of his sons and wants to show off his sons to Samuel. How many of our fathers have in one way or another demonstrated their pride in their children? For the last several weeks I have noticed several fathers who have posted photos of their sons and daughters as well as nieces and nephews on Facebook for any accomplishment at all – graduations, acceptance to college, winning scholarships, weddings, promotions, getting hired, and much more!

Good fathers and mothers show their admiration and pride in any number of ways. I remember like it was yesterday, my father sneaking up and down the aisle with a camera during my graduation from Cass Technical High School in Detroit. My dad was looking for me among the 800 plus graduates. When he found me, he started snapping photos. I was so embarrassed, but deep down inside, I was pleased because I knew my day was proud of me. Jesse was proud of each of his sons and unashamed to show it.

Tomorrow, I am going to write about a period later in the life of Jesse when David provided protection for his mother and father. If we live long enough, some of us will come under the protection and direction of our children. I hope to see you tomorrow! The scripture below is the selection process used by Samuel when he asked Jesse, the father, to present his sons, to discern who would be the next king of Israel.


1 Kings 16: When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” c8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What do you think about the way Jesse presented his sons to Samuel?
  2. What are your thoughts about the way God informed Samuel that David was the son to be anointed king?

Prayer: Lord, I seek the direction of your Holy Spirit. Speak and I will listen. Point, and I will follow. Bless, and I will receive. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Denise Page Hood

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 16:6–13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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