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Bible Pathways - Apr. 19, 2009


April 19

2 Samuel 21

Highlights In Today's Reading:

We receive another life-learning lesson. Be careful what you say! To make a vow as a Christian is sacred. Read Joshua 9:14-15! Restitution comes in II Samuel 21:1-6. Don't miss chapter 22 for David's inspiring tribute to God.

After the revolts by Absalom and Sheba, there was a famine in the days of David three years (21:1). God had warned Israel of His judgment: Thy heaven . . . shall be brass, and the earth . . . shall be iron (Deut. 28:23). The misery of famine was accompanied by a sense of the judgment of God. Finally, after three years of famine, David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites (II Sam. 21:1). Saul had broken the covenant Joshua had made with the Gibeonites about 400 years earlier (Josh. 9:15-27).

Since God was King of Israel, His integrity and honor were at stake in what Saul had done, and David recognized the wrong done in cruelly violating a national treaty made by Joshua and the elders of Israel. David was required to deliver the sons of Saul to the Gibeonites, except for crippled Mephibosheth, as he had promised Jonathan (I Sam. 20:14-17; 23:16-18).

Although Saul had been dead many years, his earlier violation of the treaty caused a famine throughout Israel. God had clearly stated to Israel: If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth (Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21).

Three years of famine show how sacred God considers a vow, even though it was made to an unbelieving Canaanite nation.

Let us learn how serious it is to disregard our moral and spiritual responsibilities and obligations.

Let us also recognize the far-reaching consequences of transgression as well as the fact that no one, not even a king, is above the Law. He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons (Col. 3:25).

Can God depend on what you say, or are your vows meaningless? Keeping your Word is expected of a Christian and is important to God.

We are instructed: Above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation (James 5:12).

Thought for Today:

A Christian should strive to be a trustworthy and dependable person in order to bring honor to God.

Christ Portrayed:

As the One we call upon for salvation (II Sam. 22:4). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Word Studies:

21:5 coasts =b> boundaries; 22:3 horn of my salvation =b> saving strength; 22:6 prevented =b> confronted; 22:19 stay =b> support; 22:27 froward =b> perverse; unsavoury =b> crooked; 22:31 buckler =b> defender; 22:46 close places =b> strongholds.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Radio Sri Lanka Shortwave Broadcasts for the week in honor of a gift of God • Country: Iran (66.2 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Farsi and Turki • Hostile to all Christian activity • 87% Shi'a; 12% Sunni; .5% Baha'i; .4% Christian; .03% Jewish; .04% Parsi (Zoroastrian); .03% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will enable you to be a generous, cheerful giver to Him (II Cor. 9:6-7).

Optional Reading: Acts 20

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:13

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