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2 Samuel 4-5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, MARCH 14

                                                    

SCRIPTURE:2 Samuel 4-5

BY: Jeremy Witt

In today’s reading, we start off with a bang.  It may not seem like it at first but notice Ishbosheth’s reaction to Abner’s passing in verse 1.  “He lost courage and all of Israel was disturbed.” (NASB).  The king’s faith and trust were in a man and not in the LORD.  So his security or trust was temporary rather than in the Eternal.  The king was the leader of the nation, and his example, attitude, actions, etc was based entirely upon one man.  Application for us immediately is that our trust must be in the LORD and not on any man.  This applies to us personally, professionally in our jobs, corporately as a church, nationally as a country, and beyond.  Ultimately we will be disappointed at some point or in many if we trust in a person.  In the case of Ishbosheth, his example impacted the entire nation.  It ultimately will lead to his demise in verses 5-7.  Let us trust in the LORD and not in a person.

We come again to David in verse 9 as he has been brought the head of Ishbosheth by his murderers.  These men assumed they would be rewarded for taking matters into their hands and helping David become king.  However, David showed his integrity as before when opportunities were presented to become king quicker by killing Saul.  David did approve of these actions and the men were executed as we read in verses 9-12.

If I may be completely transparent, I don’t understand David’s actions, because these men risked their lives to help him as did his soldiers before in the instances with King Saul.  David took a path of waiting on God to bring about his kingship.  Admittedly, I struggle with this as I do not like waiting.  Yet David did wait and did trust in the LORD to fulfill His promise.  I have much to learn.

As we come to chapter 5, David becomes king.  The nation comes to him at Hebron and announces their loyalty to him.  Notice verse 2.  David is anointed king in verse 3 and the monarchy begins.  It is the third time that he is anointed as king.  The first anointing came in 1 Samuel 16:13, the second in 2 Samuel 2:4, and finally over all Israel.  His reign will last for 40 years, 33 over all of Israel.  Notice that David had to wait between the first anointing and the final anointing.  Just because we are promised something does not mean that the fulfillment of the promise will happen in our timing or even soon.  David was attacked by King Saul, pursued for years by Saul and his army, went into hiding among his enemies, and lived in a barren wasteland before sitting on the throne of Israel.  These situations helped prepare him to lead the nation and overcome their enemies. 

But it was not easy.  David had God’s anointing but still suffered.  He was king but was still betrayed as we will read in the coming chapters.  We face a similar path.  Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is easy because Jesus did what we could not do for ourselves.  Just as being anointed the first time was easy for David, seeing the fulfillment of being crowned king over the entire nation was entirely different.  The part of daily following and trusting God is a battle we must take on each day.  It may feel like a battle for that is what it is. 

We are in a battle in our soul between the flesh and the spirit.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and not to follow our fleshly desires.  You can read Romans 6 and 7 on this.  Galatians 5 speaks to this as well.  The process of becoming more like Jesus is similar to the path that David had to take to become king.  It will not be easy.  It will be a fight, yet we must keep our eyes on the LORD and trust in Him and His timing rather than taking matters into our own hands. 

At the end of our chapter, we see David leading Israel to take the city of Jerusalem which man thought could not be taken.  Yet God led David and instructed him.  We see God leading David to defeat the Philistines, the thorn in Israel’s side thus far. 

May we trust in the LORD and yes, even in His timing.  May we learn that the process will not be easy but may we have the strength and courage to trust in the LORD even when our circumstances make us think otherwise.  May we learn from David’s example and may we set an example for our children and grandchildren to wait upon the LORD and to trust in Him.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

2 Samuel 3

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

                                                    

SCRIPTURE:2 Samuel 3

BY: Jeremy Witt

CIVIL WAR!  As we read chapter 3, we discover David and Judah at war with Ishbosheth and Israel.  Through this, David became stronger.  An important thing for us to realize is that because of his struggle with David, David learned how to survive and even thrive in the midst of conflict, while Ishbosheth had no experience.  The difficulties that David had gone through had made him stronger as they do with us when we have a teachable spirit and learn to trust in the LORD. 

In verse 2-5 we learn of David’s children and who their mother was.  Notice that only one son, Absalom; we will hear much of through the rest of the life of David.

Yesterday we had the crazy story of Asahel, the fast runner, whom Abner killed.  The brothers of Asahel will carry out their vengeance upon Abner in verses 22-30.  However, before this, we discover Abner turns from supporting Ishbosheth to David.  The reason was due to the events in verses 7-Notice verse 7.  Ishbosheth accuses Abner of sleeping with his father’s concubine.  Whether he was guilty or not, we are not certain, but we know that the accusation was made, but Ishbosheth did not have the backbone to stand up to Abner as we read in verse 11. 

As I studied for this, I learned something that I did not know previously.  A concubine of a king was not a prostitute or even just a mistress.  A concubine was essentially a secondary wife and was considered part of the household and had an official position in ceremony.  She would even have the rights of a married woman.  The difference is that a concubine was usually acquired by purchase or captives taken during war.  This would make the accusation towards Abner more severe than if she was merely a prostitute.  It would have been an act of Abner trying to make a claim towards the throne since she was connected to Saul.

Of all of the next kings of Israel, only 4 were called “good.”  It takes backbone to stand up against wrongdoing of any sort.  In order to stand for the LORD, it requires strength and courage that goes beyond simply physical strength. 

In verses 17-21, we see how Abner went to gain the support of key leaders in Israel to support David as king.  Essentially this was a coup.  Abner saw the writing on the wall, and the accusation of Ishbosheth made him angry enough to do something about it.  Abner communicated with David to make their support official.  However, everyone did not know about this agreement.  Joab and his men were out when this occurred and disagreed with David’s agreement with Abner and the elders of Israel in verse 24.  This confrontation with the king showed Joab’s anger clouded his judgment as well as respect for the king.  Joab goes behind the king to call Abner back in 26.

These actions by Joab may be the reason for David’s curse upon Joab and his family as we read in verses 28-29.

David’s response to Abner’s murder and his mourning for him actually helped to unify the nation of Israel into one.  The people saw that he had nothing to do with the murder and it helped to eventually become the one king over the entire nation as we will read tomorrow.

By the way, we will do chapters 4-5 together so you have been warned.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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