God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 21 - 2 Samuel 1-4: A Deadly Power Struggle for Reign over Israel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 1-4

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we begin 2 Samuel. It tells the life of David. We will continue to have days of narrative and psalms and days with one or the other.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Saul's family will not go quietly into the night and neither will David.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

An Amalekite ended Saul's suffering. David executed him for killing God's anointed. David lamented Saul's and Jonathan's deaths.
David moved to Hebron where he became king over Judah. Abner, Saul's general, made Saul's son Ish-Bosheth king over the rest of Israel.
Abner's soldiers fought David's soldiers. Abner killed Asahel. Asahel's brothers chased Abner into the hills.
As the civil war continued David's house grew stronger. David's six wives gave him six sons. Abner grew in power.
Abner negotiated peace with David but Asahel's brothers killed him. David sorrowed for his loss.
Two of David's men killed Ish-Bosheth but were executed.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

David killed the Amalekite messenger for killing God's anointed.

In a testament to David's greatness he executes the Amalekite for killing Saul, who had attempted suicide after being injured. Who chased David out of his own land. Who tried to kill David, twice. Who was the rejected king of Israel. But David never spoke ill of Saul, never prayed for his death, or wanted his family to be enslaved/killed. God can set things right when His Chosen People want to obey Him more than punish their enemies. David would later reiterate this great character trait when he executes his own men who killed his rival, Ish-Bosheth.

The story of Abner and the sons of Zeruiah (Joab, Abishai, and Asahel) provides a cautionary tale against harboring anger.

This story is messed up. Why Abner and Joab begin the battle is silly. Why Asahel chases Abner is strange. The fact that Joab and Abishai harbor such great anger against Abner (who isn't a righteous person, but isn't conspiring against David) is understandable but they never consult God with their plan. Anger that festers will only lead to greater and greater pain and death.

David calls Abner a prince and hero for brokering peace between Saul's family and David's family.

David is the God-chosen king of Israel. Abner placed Saul's son as king over Israel without God's approval. David's army has fought Saul's army for almost two years. Abner is not a great man. Yet when Abner decided to bring peace to the two families he is murdered in cold-blooded revenge. God can work through anyone who is willing to set things right on the earth.

How is anger and resentment preventing you from setting things right on the earth?

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