Scripture reading for March 26: 2nd Samuel 1-4
When a leader dies or passes from the scene, 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)
In today’s reading, David becomes king over the house of Judah. Years before, the Lord had anointed him to be king. David sets up his kingship in Hebron as the Lord directed him. (2nd Samuel 2:1-3) David does not try and take over all of Israel or to destroy Saul’s house, either. He is a man of character and knows that it will be God placing him where He desires. 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. Each desired to have 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. God’s will is usually plain, if we have ears to hear it. In the case of David, he had already been anointed as king by Samuel. Saul’s offspring, Ish-Bosheth, and the commander of Saul’s army, Abner, refused to listen or seek the Lord. The result was war and discord that 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 and dissention every day? 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. 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)