APRIL 21 READINGS...2 Samuel 2:3-4:12
The transition is never easy when we are dealing with a monarchy moving from one family to another. Ishbosheth was Saul's son and serving as the king of some of the northern tribes. His strength was primarily found in Saul's general, Abner. Ishbosheth accuses Abner of sleeping with one of Saul's concubines and calls him to account for it. This angers Abner and he states that he would no longer support Ishbosheth, but he would move to help make David king over all of Israel. Abner meets with David and prepares to move ahead with making him king...but Joab, David's general, murders Abner in revenge for him killing his brother, Asahel. This grieves David so much that he pronounces a curse on Joab and his descendants...but David did not yet have enough power to actually punish Joab. David mourned Abner, which endears him to all the people of Israel. David was honorable, and God blessed him...Joab had no honor and eventually this would cost him and his family.
Two young men from the tribe of Benjamin plotted to kill Ishbosheth. They slipped into his house and while he was asleep, they killed him and cut off his head. They thought that if they took his head to David he would be grateful for removing the son of Saul, and any possible opposition to David's throne. David was enraged, for he had the messenger killed who reported to him with glee of Saul's death...now he had these two scoundrels killed, their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hung in Hebron. David was trusting God for his position as king...he did not attempt to get ahead of God and make his throne happen. Others thought that they needed to help God make it happen...they paid the price for being so presumptuous. We need to be careful to presume things on the Lord. God may indeed use us to accomplish His work...but we are never to get out ahead of Him in an attempt to make it happen by our own strength, or according to our will. We need to be reminded that God will accomplish His will...with or without us. We need to understand that if God choses to use us, that is a great blessing from God, and a great privilege for us. God does not need us...but praise Him that He does use us.
Please share your thoughts from today's readings. Listen to the Lord...wait upon Him...and let Him lead you and use you as He chooses.
TOMORROW'S READINGS...2 Samuel 5:1-3 & 1 Chronicles 11:1-3 & 1 Chronicles 12:23-40 & 2 Samuel 5:17-25 & 1 Chronicles 14:8-17 & 2 Samuel 5:6-10 &1 Chronicles 11:4-9 & 1 Chronicles 3:4b & 2 Samuel 5:13 & 2 Samuel 5:4-5, 11-12 & 1 Chronicles 14:1-2 & 1 Chronicles 13:1-5 & 2 Samuel 6:1-11 & 1 Chronicles 13:6-14