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Bible Pathways 4/11/05

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 into exile from his family, his wife, and his friends, as a fugitive far from the palace. An Amalekite nomad, who carried in his hand the crown of Saul, mistakenly thought David would be pleased that he had executed him. The Amalekite could not conceive of David not rejoicing over the death of such an enemy. But, David mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening . . . because they were fallen by the sword. . . . David lamented. . . . The beauty of Israel is slain upon your high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice (II Samuel 1:12,17,19-20)


The world delights in the failures of Christians. Surely no Christian should ever be involved in gossip about the failures of fellow Christians. If any man among you seem to be religious (God-fearing), and bridles (controls) not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain (worthless) (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 (see 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 only surviving son Ish-bosheth on the throne over all the tribes. David could have felt justified to face Abner in battle for his right as God's chosen successor of Saul. Instead, David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the LORD said to him, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go up? And He said, To Hebron. . . . And 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 to seek God and His plan for our lives. But we need not fight for our rights. David prayed for God's will to be done in His way and in His time. It is comforting for Christians to know that: Great peace have they which love Your Law: and nothing shall offend them (Psalm 119:165) and the battle is the LORD's (I Samuel 17:47).


Word Studies:


1:2 did obeisance = bowed in honor; 1:9 anguish = extreme pain; 1:18 use = song; 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.


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 we were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Valentine DeSanta, Jr. · BP Staff: Barbara Bivens · Government Officials: Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) and Rep. Mark Kennedy (MN) · Country: Sudan (34 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert · Major languages: Arabic and Nubian · Limited religious freedom · 74% Muslim; 15% king worship, spirit-possession cults, and ancestral spirit worship; 5% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Fast, sanctify yourself, and unite in prayer with others as you cry unto the Lord (Joel 1:14).


Optional Reading: Acts 12


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:16


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