We receive another life-learning lesson. Be careful when you vow! God punishes Israel with a 3-year famine as a result of King Saul breaking a vow. Seven members of Saul's family were also put to death. To make a vow as a Christian is also sacred. Read Joshua 9:14-18! Breaking a promise can be serious (II Sam. 21:1-6). Don't miss Chapter 22 for David's inspiring tribute to God.
Verse for Today:
There was a famine in the days of David three years . . . and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites (II Sam. 21:1).
The days of harvest had once again come (21:10), but there was nothing to eat because there was a famine (21:1). The famine was the judgment of God: If thou wilt not hearken (listen) unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His Commandments. . . . thy heaven . . . shall be brass, and the earth . . . shall be iron (unproductive) (Deut. 28:15,23).
David recognized the famine as the judgment of God. Saul had violated the covenant that Israel had made with the Gibeonites about 400 years earlier. That treaty was still sacred because the covenant had been sworn to in the Name of God (Josh. 9:3,15-19).
God has stated: When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee ((Deut. 23:21; Num. 30:2).
The surviving Gibeonites did not ask David for money or property (II Sam. 21:4). The Gibeonites had to have known the Commandment of God: Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be . . . put to death (Num. 35:31). Having disobeyed this command, the Gibeonites asked permission to hang seven men who were descendants of Saul (21:5-6).
Therefore, David was responsible before God to deliver them to the Gibeonites. Because of his covenant with Jonathan. His crippled son Mephibosheth was exempt (II Sam. 21:7; I Sam. 20:14-17; 23:16-18).
The three years of famine that resulted from a broken vow reveal the importance of keeping one's word. Can people depend upon what you say, or are your vows meaningless? Do you say only what others want to hear? Some Christians may have good intentions, but they allow circumstances to sway their convictions; consequently, their word is unreliable. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform (Deut. 23:23).
Thought for Today:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Rev. 12:11).
As the One we call upon for salvation (II Sam. 22:4). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
21:5 coasts =boundaries, territories; 22:3 horn of my salvation =saving strength; 22:6 prevented =confronted; 22:19 stay =support; 22:27 froward =rerverse; unsavoury =astute, cunning; 22:31 buckler =defender; 22:46 close places =strongholds.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by James P. Devery • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 85% Christian; 9.5% non-Religious/Other; 2% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that the Lord protects you and provides your needs (Phil. 4:4).
Optional Reading: Acts 20
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:12