Today’s Reading: 2 SAMUEL 17:15-29; PSALM 3; PSALM 63; 2 SAMUEL 18:1-19:30
Some Dark Days
In the last few days of reading we have had a bit of darkness.
- April 26th – David’s sin with Bathsheba – A very sad day
- April 27th – The Rape of Tamar – There is gold in that muck
- April 28th – Absalom’s Rebellion – I am from the Windy City
As I posted on last year on April 26th, it has been sad. Sad in that David who had always been a man after God’s own heart failed miserably. David who sought justice and honor sees his family crumble around himself. David who was chosen by God to be King of all of Israel is chased out of Jerusalem by his own son Absalom. It has been a sad three days of reading.
Even today our reading starts in 2 Samuel 17 with David’s men hiding in a well and David escaping across the Jordan River.
It is always darkest before the dawn
But today is a new day
Today we get to see some glimmers of the greatness of David. We get to David pursue justice and honor. Today we see how David, in the despair of his son usurping the throne, turns back to God once again in the wilderness. Today we get to see David return kindness to Jonathon’s son Mephibosheth once again. Today we read how David returns to Jerusalem to return to the throne that God chose him for.
David’s commitment to God, Justice and Kindness
As David is escaping Absalom, he finds the time to write Psalm 3
Psalm 3 (NLT)
A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.
1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O Lord!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
May you bless your people.
While in the wilderness David also writes Psalm 63. Which has been the inspiration of many song writers.
Even while chasing his rebellious son, David does not seek revenge but restoration.
2 Samuel 18:5 (NLT)
5 And the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom.” And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders.
In 2 Samuel 19 David learns of Absalom’s death. David is distraught and overwhelmed. But when confronted with the need to be a King, to set aside his thoughts, feelings and emotions David steps up to be the people’s King once again.
In this chapter we also have the 3rd part of the story of Mephibosheth . As Jonathon’s son, David had taken care of him and showed him great kindness even though he was the grandson of the king who tried to kill him, the nephew of the man who caused a civil war and prevented David from taken the throne of Israel and the nephew of the wife who despised him. During the rebellion of Absalom we learn that Mephibosheth has not fled Jerusalem and thus support’s Absalom’s rebellion.
Today, we learn that Mephibosheth was misled and that he intended to support David’s claim to the throne the whole time. David restores Mephibosheth to his place of honor and splits the property between Mephibosheth and Ziba. David did not act in anger, or doubt Mephibosheth’s story. He once again treated him with kindness.
A lesson for us
Even as we saw David spiraling down, as his world spun out of control, even as he was back in the wilderness he sought out God. He pleaded and cried for the Lord’s help. He praised and thanked the Lord for his help, protection and guidance. He did not blame God. He did not challenge God. He did not curse God. The whole time he knew that God was there with him. He knew that God had unfailing love for him. He knew that God satisfied him and that David should praise him with songs of joy.
In our darkest wilderness could you or I write Psalm 63?
Psalm 63: 1 – 5 (NLT)
1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
For the whole Psalm click here.