April 19, 2016
2 Samuel 21
,,,but they did not consult the LORD. Joshua 9:14
LET IT GLOW
How many times have I jumped in the car and driven where I wanted to go, headed on the wrong road, figuratively speaking? Decisions made on my own without consulting the Lord and His will and way head me down the road toward disaster. Yep. Been there too many times. But the Lord is gracious, and puts a detour sign up and turn me around. It is painful, but His purpose is accomplished. David had to make a painful decision due to Saul being on the wrong road.
The last 4 chapters are not given in chronological order as they occurred in the Bible. Apparently, the author wanted to include these matters in David's life, so he placed them at the end of 2 Samuel.
The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains further:
There is a striking literary arrangement of the sections in this division of the book. First and last sections (21:1-14; 24:1-25) are narratives that describe two occurrences of the Lord's anger against Israel. The second and fifth sections (21:15-22; 23:8-39) are accounts of David's warriors. The third and fourth sections (22:1-51; 23:1-7) record two of David's songs.So what is the big deal about this section of this book in the Bible? How does it apply to us?
What can we gain from these matters that occurred in David's life?
Well, in looking at my own life, I can see there are sections, if I may call them that. However, these sections can be divided in various ways. The most important would be my spiritual growth:
- Studying the Word of God has brought answers to my questions. When we call on Him, He answers.
- I have experienced God's provisions in times of need. Ask and we will receive.
- As I encountered various problems, trial, and challenges, I have seen God work them out and experienced His walking with me through them. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
- Experiencing God's faithfulness and solutions has increased my faith and trust in Him, for He is trustworthy.
- Learning to submit to God's will and ways instead of mine has been a lifetime lesson for me. He knows best. No one can thwart His will.
- Faith and obedience is what God is looking for in us. They are better than sacrifice.
- When I fail and sin, He forgives. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- His love never fails. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
It is always good to look back and see all those things God has taught us and brought us through. He can put up road blocks to turn us around and follow Him. How about you, friend? What has God brought you through?
LET IT GROW
Section I. The Lord's Judgment Against Israel
This event occurred between chapter 9, where David showed kindness to Mephibosheth, and chapter 16, before Shimei's cursing of David. There was a famine which lasted 3 years during David's reign as king. So David sought the Lord as to the reason for the divine discipline.
What did he find was the cause of the famine? Saul and his family were guilty of murdering the Gibeonites. Well, wasn't Israel directed to wipe out all those occupying the Promised Land? Saul was only ridding the land of heathens, right? It was actually a serious sin. To get a better perspective, we need to look back in Joshua 9, some 400 years earlier.
The Lord was giving success after the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River, at Jericho. Several kings united in their efforts to defend their land after hearing of this. However, the people of Gibeon resorted to deception in order to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, appearing to have been traveled a long distance. They asked for a peace treaty. The Israelites didn't consult the Lord and made such a covenant with the Gibeonites-Israel would not attack their towns and the Gibeonites would be servants of Israel who cut wood and carried water for God's house.
So Saul and his family had broken this covenant made with the Gibeonites and before the Lord. (They claimed Saul planned to destroy them so they would not have place in Israel's land. Money was not going to settle the matter.) They wanted 7 sons of Saul handed over to them for execution. So David handed over two sons of Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth (not Jonathan's son), whose mother was Rizpah. Included were the 5 sons of Saul's daughter Merab. All 7 were executed by the men of Gibeon on the mountain before the Lord.
This would have been a symbolic representation of the Gibeonite dead. (Holman)
Rizpah, the mother of two of the executed men, stayed with the bodies of her sons to prevent scavenger birds and wild animals from mingling them. When David learned of her actions, he brought the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabesh-gilead (who had stolen them from the Philistines) and the bones of the 7 men executed by the Gibeonites, then buried them in a tomb of Kish, Saul's father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin.
Now why did I tell all of that? Verse 14 says, After that, God ended the famine in the land.
Do we have a famine in our land? Is it the lack of spiritual food from the Word of God? Are we choosing to neglect our covenant with God when we get saved-to surrender to His Word and His ways for living? Do people realize how serious it is to break our covenant made with Jesus' blood?
Are we making an effort to bring folks back to God and His house of worship who have stayed away?
LET IT GO
Consult God before jumping in on a decision and going down the wrong road.
Recognize the road blocks God puts in my way to turn me around.
Stay on the road of faith.