Today’s Bible reading: 2 Samuel 20:14-21:22; Acts 1:1-26; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 16:18
Another rebellion against David is put down today in 2 Samuel. People of God will face constant attack from non-believers who are lead by Satan (even if they don’t realize it). I get plenty of hate mail for writing this blog and for posts I make on other websites. As a Christian it just goes with the territory. God never promised our life would be easy. But when we live it for Him it is nothing but fulfilling.
Joab seems a bit over zealous in his siege of the town of Abel. He was only after one man, Sheba the leader of the rebellion. But he lays siege to the entire town, hurting many innocent people (2 Samuel 20:15,21). A wise woman helps diffuse the situation (2 Samuel 20:18-19,22). This is similar to Abigal who we met in 1 Samuel 25 who wisely talked David out of actions he would have regretted. Many people want to claim the Bible degrades women and portrays them as weak and subordinate to men. Nothing is further from the truth and these passages prove that.
David was a great military leader but like all leaders, the was not a one-man show. He surrounded himself with others (2 Samuel 20:23). Some people want to be lone-rangers for God. But the truth is God accomplishes His purposes through the coordinated efforts of teams of people.
When we are in times of trouble our first course of action should be to communicate with God. This is exactly what David does in 2 Samuel 21:1. He asked God why there was a famine. Natural disasters can be discipline from God as a way of trying to get a nation to deal with unresolved sin.
Back in Joshua 9 Israel promised not to harm Gibeon, but apparently Saul had attacked them. Here we see that God takes our promises very seriously. It is important for us to do what we say we will and not do what we say we will not do. Such living brings glory to God.
Even though Saul’s intentions may have been right (2 Samuel 21:2), good intentions are never justification for sin.
David puts Israel at the mercy of the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:4). When we have sinned and approach the person we offended we need to come to them as a servant – we cannot dictate terms.
Once justice has been served the famine ends (2 Samuel 21:14) signifying that the sin in Israel had been dealt with. Notice that Saul’s behavior happened decades before. God does not forget unresolved sin. We may think we have gotten away with something. But that is never true. God remembers and wants us to deal with that sin no matter how long ago it was.
As David ages (2 Samuel 21:15) Israel remains strong through other military men who killed Philistine giants (2 Samuel 21:16-22). Being able to fight our giants, as Israel did, is an indication of our spiritual strength.
We begin the book of Acts today. This book traces the history of the early Christians after Jesus ascended into heaven. It was written by Luke, the same man who wrote the gospel we studied earlier this year. In term of number of words, Luke wrote more of the New Testament than any other writer. This is interesting because Luke was a Gentile – the only Gentile writer in the Bible.
Luke records the last words of Jesus with His disciples before His ascension. In Acts 1:4-5 Jesus specifically references God the Father, Himself, and the Holy Spirit. These verses debunk those who deny the Trinity.
The disciples are still anxious for an earthly kingdom, as they were before Jesus died (Acts 1:6). Apparently they are still a little lost on exactly what is happening. But Jesus doesn’t rebuke them for their lack of understanding. The same thing is true today. God will never condemn us. He knows we are creatures with limited minds. Instead He will give us wisdom if we just ask for it (James 1:5).
I found it interesting that Peter, who was often clueless before Jesus died, now understands his own Scriptures (Acts 1:16, 20). Its amazing how our eyes can be opened to truth by Jesus. Notice too that Peter is taking the lead amongst the disciples. As we’ve already learned Peter was the oldest disciple and was probably the only disciple over the age of 20. The world is going to be changed by a bunch of very young people.
Isn’t it great that God never sleeps? He watches over us all the time. He stands beside us all day long to protect us from harm (Psalm 121:4,5,7). The God we have is absolutely amazing! He wants nothing but good things for us.
Some things in life are very predictable. And Proverbs 16:18 tells us one. Pride leads to destruction. Prideful people and prideful countries are destined to fall apart.
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