Today’s Reading: 2 SAMUEL 12:26-31; 1 CHRONICLES 20:2-3; 2 SAMUEL 13:1-14:33
In 1848 James Marshall was working on upgrading a sawmill in a small California farmstead. While he was working on the waterwheel he noticed a shiny grain in the mud and muck. It found a bit more and then showed them to the land holder. They had it tested and found out there was gold in them there hills.
The rest of the story is history. Over 300,000 people moved to California in a matter of years. The Gold Rush of 1849 had started. So many people moved to California so quickly that it became the 31st state of the Union in September 1850. This made the map of the USA rather odd, as the nearest state to the east was nearly a 1000 miles away.
James Marshall was not looking for gold. He would not have have expected to find it in the dirt, mud and gravel of a lumber mill’s waterwheel. He was just there as a foreman to fix up the lumber mill. I am sure he was more than surprised by his discovery. His discovery changed the lives and history of many people.
Gold in the much
For me, today’s reading was like finding a bit of gold in a bunch of mud and muck.
Yesterday’s reading brought the great disappointment and realization that King David was more than human. He had flaws. He was not perfect. He needed the love, forgiveness and mercy of God just like we do.
Today’s reading really continues to pour on the negative history. David’s family seems to be a wreck. One son is raping the sister of a brother. Brothers are killing brothers. Fathers are disowning sons. There is great sadness and bitterness through out the story. The story is filled with muck and mud and dirt and slime.
But in the middle of the story is a piece of gold. Did you catch it when you read today?
Absalom had killed Amnon to get revenge for Amnon raping Absalom’s sister Tamar. Absalom had fled Jerusalem for fear of revenge from David.
Joab, David’s general arranged the idea of reconciliation to be put into David’s head using a ploy. As the woman tells David of a story of two brothers that fought and one killed the other. The rest of the family now wanted to kill the remaining brother to seek revenge, which would leave the family with no heir. David could easily see the injustice of this situation and made a decision that the remaining son should be saved and reconciled.
Once the woman has assurances from King David that if anyone objects to his decision he will protect her. King David agrees. She then reveals to King David that the story is about him and Absalom and Amnon. Here comes the gold, in explaining why the story applied to David she says the following:
2 Samuel 14:14 (NLT)
14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
A mediator, the woman from Tekoa, was needed to reconcile the lost son to the king. Some verses that support today’s found golden nugget in the mud.
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 (NIV)
23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)
5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
Luke 15:1 – 7 (NIV)
1Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – 19 (NIV)
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
God devised the ultimate way that while we were yet sinners He wanted to reconcile us to him. He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we can be gathered up like lost sheep.
Have you been gathered up? Have you had the chance to be reconciled to God? Have you shared stories such as these to others? Are you committed to this message of reconciliation?