Read 2 Samuel 19

Highlights:

Joab rebukes David for mourning over Absalom; David returns to Jerusalem; Sheba's revolt against David; Sheba is slain.

So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem (II Sam. 20:2).

The general discontent of Israel gave Sheba, an ungodly, ambitious leader, the opportunity to create a civil war. The years of suffering, rebellion, murder, and civil war during David's reign were directly related to his sin with Bathsheba. Little could David realize, when he held the beautiful Bathsheba for one night of enjoyment, that it would bring him so much suffering!

Although the Lord put away David's sin (12:13), its consequences continued to plague him through his reign. Year after year, with each tragedy, his guilty conscience must have cried out, "Why did I do it? How could I have done it?" These can be the most pathetic questions men and women ask themselves — something done that is irreversible. The pleasures of sin always come at a price much higher than was expected!

When tragic events happen to believers we can trust that our lives are in the loving care of our Heavenly Father at all times. At times we must accept responsibility for the adverse circumstances and sorrows caused by poor choices, sins, mistakes, and failures. It may seem natural to condemn ourselves for our faults, failures, fears, frustrations, or the things that "happen" to us. But we know according to the Word of God that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins (John 1:9; see Rom. 8:28).

But, as Christians who have acknowledged our sin and accepted Christ as our Savior, with a sincere desire to obey His Word, we can be sure that God has forgiven us. We can let the indwelling Holy Spirit deepen our faith in the wisdom of God through these difficult experiences and bring us into a closer relationship with Christ. We have peace with God . . . and rejoice . . . knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope (faith): And hope maketh not ashamed (never disappoints); because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom. 5:1-5).

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Phil 3:13).

Thought for Today:

The enemy finds easy entrance into the life that is left unguarded by prayer and the Word of God.

Christ Portrayed:

By David, who wished to be invited back as king (II Sam. 19:11). Our Lord Jesus wants to be invited into the hearts of all mankind. He comes in only by our invitation. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him (enjoy sweet fellowship together), and he with Me (Rev. 3:20).

Word Studies:

19:14 bowed, swayed; 20:3 ward, guarded house; 20:18 were wont to speak, used to say.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Radio Broadcasts in memory of Claire Rachel Spreen • Government Officials: Rep. Justin Amash (MI), Rep. Bob Latta (OH), and Rep. Gwen Moore (WI) • Country: Benin (6 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and tribal languages • Some hostility toward Christians • 59% animism and voodoo; 17% Muslim; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).

Optional Reading: Acts 19

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26