Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19 - 2 Samuel 21

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Samuel 21. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • What Saul did to the Gibeonites (verse 1) is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible, so we don't know all the details. The Bible relates actual history, but not everything that happened at the time is included.
  • Why were Saul's sons punished for Saul's crime? The Life Application Study Bible says this: "In many Near Eastern cultures, including Israel's, an entire family was held guilty for the crime of the father because the family was considered an indissoluble unit.  ...  Either David was following the custom of treating the family as a unit, or Saul's sons were guilty of helping Saul kill the Gibeonites."
  • The "barley harvest" was from late April to October, so Rizpah was out guarding the bodies for a looooong time (see verses 9-14).
  • The "giants" (verses 16-18) were probably just very tall people. Don't think of some impossible weird thing out of a fantasy novel or movie.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Way back before his death, Saul had led an attack on the Gibeonites, despite the fact that there had been an oath promised to not do so. Now, years later, Saul dead and not even knowing, there is a famine in the land because of it and seven of his sons die because of it. When we sin we have no idea of the consequences. We may even think we got away with it, but we don't know how our sin may lead other people to suffer in the future, especially our children.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Think about a sin you're engaged in - not respecting your spouse, cheating at work, looking at porn, etc. What are the consequences of your sin? What might happen in the future because of it? How might other people be impacted by your sin? How might your kids suffer because of it?
    • The truth is: You have no idea. The consequences could be far worse and more far reaching than you could ever imagine. And ... that's a really good reason to stop. Why don't you make a decision, right now, to stop? And why don't you ask God to give you the strength to live out that decision? And why don't you ask a trusted friend to keep you accountable?