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Bible Pathways 4/11/2001

April 11

Read II Samuel 1 -- 2

An Amalekite nomad who knew that Saul had tried for years to kill David mistakenly thought David would be pleased with the news that he had executed King Saul. Saul had driven David from his family, his wife, his friends, and into exile as a fugitive far from the palace. The Amalekite, who carried in his hand the crown of Saul, could not conceive of anyone not rejoicing in the death of such an enemy. But David mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the House of Israel; because they were fallen (defeated in battle) (II Samuel 1:12).

Although Saul had long before disqualified himself from representing God as King of Israel, David expressed grief over his death and the shame Israel's defeat brought to the Lord, saying: The beauty (glory and honor) of Israel is slain. . . . Tell it not in Gath (or) . . . in Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice (1:19-20).

The world delights in discovering the failures of a Christian and uses such failures to excuse its own sins. Surely no Christian should ever be involved in gossip about the failures of fellow Christians. If any man among you . . . does not bridle his tongue . . . this man's religion is vain (worthless) (James 1:26).

Despite Saul's many attempts to kill him, David had an opportunity twice, but refused to kill Saul. He would not touch the Lord's anointed (I Samuel 24:6; 26:11). This requires faith that God controls the affairs of earth and will rule in justice on our behalf.

There is another important principle to learn from David. Now that Saul was dead, who would reign in his place? Israel was now without a king which meant there was no functioning government. David had been anointed long ago by Samuel the prophet to be the next King of Israel (16:13). However, Abner, Saul's cousin, the powerful commander of Saul's army for his own self-serving purpose was determined to remain commander-in-chief of Israel's army. He immediately persuaded the elders of Israel to put Saul's only surviving son, Ish-bosheth, on the throne over the 10 tribes. David could have felt justified to face Abner in battle for his right to take over as God's chosen successor. Instead, David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up to the cities of Judah? And the Lord said to him, Go up. . . . to Hebron. . . . 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 God for His plan for our lives. But we need not take things into our own hands and fight for our rights. David's attitude was one of dependence on God so he prayed for His will to be done in His way and at His time. It is comforting for Christians to know that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

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).

Word Studies: 1:2 did obeisance means bowed in honor; 2:6 requite means repay; 2:14 play before us means hold a contest; 2:17 sore means fierce; 2:26 following means attacking.


Government Officials: Rep. Kevin Brady (TX) and Rep. Mark Kennedy (MN) · BPM Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Pray for Dr. Jerry Wiles, Executive Vice Chairman, IBRA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Letha Hash's brother, Henry Rogers · Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom is increasing · 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord for your redemption (Psalms 103:4).

Optional Reading: Acts 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 34:7

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