Highlights In Today's Reading:
Seeking to kill him, Saul had caused David to become a fugitive! What do you suppose David did after Saul's death (1:11-12)? David is anointed as king over Judah; Ishbosheth becomes king over Israel (2:1-11; 5:3). Civil war breaks out. The battle gets personal as we note that Zeruiah is David's sister (I Chr. 2:13-16) and the three men mentioned are his nephews (II Sam. 2:18).
An Amalekite nomad carried in his hand the crown of Saul. Everyone knew of Saul's hatred of David, and this Amalekite thought David would be delighted to hear that he had executed King Saul. Just think! Saul had driven David far from the God-ordained place of worship and into exile. David could not rejoice over Israel's defeat, but mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son . . . and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen (defeated in battle) (1:12).
David expressed grief primarily concerning the shame Israel's defeat brought upon the Lord, saying: The beauty (glory and honor) of Israel is slain. . . . Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice. . . . Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul. . . . How are the mighty fallen (1:19-20,24,27). God had commanded the Israelites: Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer (dispenser of gossip) among thy people (Lev. 19:16).
Similar situations occur today when Christians, because of their inconsistencies and sins, provide the world with opportunities to ridicule Christianity and dishonor our Lord. The world delights in discovering and broadcasting the failures of Christians and uses them to excuse their own sins. Surely every spiritually-minded Christian will tell it not in Gath and never gossip about backslidden Christians.
The pleasure which some find in making known the sins of others exposes their own hypocrisy. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion (testimony) is vain (worthless) (James 1:26).
Our Lord pointed out the immense value set upon our words: A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. . . . every idle word that men . . . speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matt. 12:35-37).
Thought for Today:
When we criticize others for their failures, we are placing ourselves in the dangerous position of failing ourselves (I Cor. 10:12).
In David's sorrowful poem (II Sam. 1:17-27) he did not dwell upon all his years of suffering at the hand of Saul but dwelt only upon the pleasant things. David typifies Christ, who forgave His enemies, crying from the cross: Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34).
1:2 did obeisance =vowed in honor; 1:9 anguish =extreme pain; 1:18 use of the bow =song of the bow; 2:6 requite =repay; 2:14 play before us =hold a contest as to which side has the best soldiers; 2:17 sore =fierce; 2:26 following =pursuing; 2:32 sepulchre =tomb.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) • Country: Guyana (705,000) on the northeastern coast of South America • Major languages: English and Amerindian dialects • The government is becoming increasingly Marxist, radical, and atheistic • 36% Hindu; 28% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 9% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Read the Word of God to build up your faith so that you can pray and ask in faith (Rom. 10:17).
Optional Reading: Acts 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:9-10