April 18

 

Read II Samuel 19 -- 20

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Joab rebukes David; he returns; Sheba revolts and is killed

 

Absalom was a traitor, who was determined to destroy his own father so that he could be king. However, this battle for the throne ceased when Joab killed Absalom.

 

David's soldiers returned from battle expecting a celebration. Instead, they heard the old king weeping: O Absalom, my son, my son! (II Samuel 19:4). In deep sorrow, David ignored his loyal followers who had defended him. The victory that day was turned into mourning and the soldiers slipped away as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle (19:2-3).

 

David had faced many sorrows throughout his life. When Bathsheba's first child became sick, David had prayed and fasted. Then, when he received word the child had died, David confidently declared: I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me (12:23). David knew heaven would be all the more precious because his child was with the Lord. But David expressed no hope that he would see Absalom in heaven. David may have felt that if Joab had only given Absalom one more chance perhaps he would have turned from his wicked ways. But, had he lived, Absalom surely would have been in fierce competition with Solomon, God's choice to take David's place as king.

 

All of us at times are responsible for the adversities and sorrows which we experience. It is also natural to condemn ourselves for our faults and failures, or even to blame others for the things that disappoint us. Like David, we can grieve too long over what might have been. If we are out of the will of God, we need to repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us, and be like the Apostle Paul, who proclaimed: Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press toward the mark (goal) for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

 

In our darkest moments, we all need friends to remind us to trust the Lord. In turn, we need to be a friend who will share comforting words with a despondent sufferer. By God's grace, we should encourage them to become involved in a local church where others can help deepen and nurture their faith in the love of God, for we are members of His (Christ's) body. . . . This is a great mystery (hidden truth): but I speak concerning Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:30,32).

 

Word Studies:

 

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

 

Christ Portrayed:

 

By David, who wished to be invited back as king (II Samuel 19:11). Although He is rightfully the King of all Creation, our Lord Jesus needs to be invited into the hearts of all who receive Him as Savior and Lord. He won't force His will on us; He only comes in 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 (have fellowship) with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Rebecca Hahn · Government Officials: Rep. Joel Hefley (CO), Rep. Henry Hyde (IL), and Rep. Gwendolyn Moore (WI) · Country: St. Lucia (154,000) in the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and French patois · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 13% Protestant; 2% spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Examine yourself. Has prosperity dulled your willingness to sacrifice (Haggai 1:4)?

 

Optional Reading: Acts 19

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:17