Foolish competition

Scripture reading for March 26th: 2nd Samuel 1-4

When a leader dies or passes from the scene, there is often a struggle.  The Bible declares that it is God who raises up leaders and brings them down. (Psalm 75:6-7)  The flesh, however, harbors a spirit of competition.  This leads to factions, murder, and war and a house divided against itself cannot stand! (Matthew 12:25)

After being anointed by Samuel years earlier, David became king over the house of Judah.  David sets up his kingship in Hebron as the Lord directed him.  (2nd Samuel 2:1-3)  David did not try to take over all of Israel or destroy Saul’s house.  He is 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 as each desired to have power.

This competition took a deadly turn as Joab, commander of David’s army and Abner 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. Dissensions, factions, envy, and selfish ambitions are in this list.  These sins cause competition and the resultant discord and evil.  When we center on self, trouble is often the result.   The conflict between Saul’s house and David’s caused the death of innocent people and turmoil among God’s 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?  Are you involved in factions or dissension?  Give these to the Lord and allow Him to search your heart and bring peace.  Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace!  He is able to place us where we need to be to accomplish His plan for our lives!  (Galatians 5:22-26)

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