April 11

Read II Samuel 1 -- 2

In Today's Reading:

Saul killed in battle; David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan; David crowned king of Judah; Ish-bosheth made king of Israel

Saul had driven David from his family, his wife, his friends, and then into exile as a fugitive far from the palace. An Amalekite nomad, who carried in his hand the crown of Saul, mistakenly thought David would be delighted that he had executed him. The Amalekite could not conceive of David not rejoicing over the death of such an enemy. But, David lamented for Saul, the LORD's anointed king and the defeated Israelites who represented God. He mourned, wept, and fasted until the eveningfor those who had fallen by the sword. . . . David sang the following lament. . . . The beautyof Israel lies slain upon your heights. How the mighty have fallen! Don't tell it in Gath; don't announce it in the streetsof Ashkelon. Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice (II Samuel 1:12,14,17,19-20).

The world delights in the failures of Christians. Surely no Christian should ever be involved in gossip about the failures of fellow Christians. If anyone thinks he is religious, without controlling his tongue but deceiving his heart, his religion is useless (James 1:26).

Now that Saul was dead, who would reign in his place? Israel was without a king. David had been anointed long ago by Samuel the prophet to be the next king of Israel (I Samuel 16:13). However, Abner, Saul's cousin and the powerful commander of Saul's army, was determined to retain his position. He persuaded the elders of Israel to put Saul's son Ish-bosheth on the throne over 10 tribes. David could have felt justified to face Abner in battle for his right as God's chosen successor. Instead, David inquired of the LORD,Should I go up to one of the towns of Judah? The LORD answered him, Go. Then David asked, Where should I go? To Hebron, the LORD directed. . . .Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah (II Samuel 2:1,4).

How prone we are to jump at opportunities for personal advancement rather than seek the Lord and His plan for our lives. We need not fight for our rights. David prayed for God's will to be done in His way and at His time. It is comforting for Christians to know that: Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble (Psalms 119:165)

Christ Revealed:

In David's noble poem of sorrow (II Samuel 1:17-27). David forgot all his years of suffering at the hand of Saul and considered only the pleasant things. Here David typifies Christ, who loved us even when wewere dead in . . . trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) and Rep. Mark Kennedy (MN) · Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Prayer with an upright spirit and heart is a delight to God (Proverbs 15:8).

Optional Reading: Acts 12

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 2:5