Scripture reading for March 26: 2nd Samuel 1-4
When a leader dies, there is often a struggle for one to fill that place. The Bible declares that it is God who raises up leaders and brings them down, too. (Psalm 75:6-7) The flesh, however, harbors a spirit of competition. It wants to exalt “self” and take over power, take over position, and have it’s own way. This leads to factions, murder, and war. A house divided against itself cannot stand! (Matthew 12:25)
Years before, the Lord had anointed David to be king. David set up his kingship in Hebron as the Lord directed him. (2nd Samuel 2:1-3) David did not try and take over all of Israel or to destroy Saul’s house. He was a man of character and knew God placed him where He desired. Ish-Bosheth, son of Saul, was made king over the rest of Israel by Abner, the commander of Saul’s army. There was competition between the two groups for power.
This competition took a deadly turn as Joab, commander of David’s army and Abner, commander of Ish-Bosheth’s army met one day at the pool of Gibeon. A contest of hand to hand fighting resulted in the deaths of 19 of David’s men and 360 of Abner’s men! (2nd Samuel 2:30-31) The war between these two factions went on for a long time. David grew stronger and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker. (2nd Samuel 3:1)
Galatians 5:19-21 describes the works of the sinful nature. Some of these are dissensions, factions, envy, and selfish ambitions. These sins cause competition and the resultant discord and evil. When we center on self, as opposed to God’s will, trouble always results. In the case of David, he had already been anointed as king by Samuel. Saul’s offspring, Ish-Bosheth and his commander Abner, refused to listen to the Lord. The result was competition that caused the death of innocent people.
Today, examine your own life for these works of the sinful nature. Are you filled with envy over a person who seems to have a job, position, or relationship that you would like or feel you deserve? Do you have desires for power or position that come from an inner need for recognition? Give these to the Lord and allow Him to search your heart and bring peace. He is able to place us where we need to be to accomplish His plan for our lives! (Galatians 5:22-26)