Saturday, December 12, 2015

2 Samuel 19

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Samuel 19. 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?)

  • In verses 1-8 David is still mourning the death of his (rebellious) son Absalom, so his military commander Joab confronts him, warning him of the consequences of not showing his appreciation for the men who risked their lives (at his command) to win him back the throne.
  • David puts Amasa (verse 13) back in charge of his army, even though Amasa was part of the rebellion against him. This was a strategic move to try to win back the loyalty of all who had been part of the rebellion, especially the soldiers who had followed Amasa.
  • David shows grace on his return. He spares Shimei of the punishment he deserved, believes and restores Mephibosheth, and rewards Barzillai for staying faithful.
  • The argument in verses 41-43 was probably inconsequential in the big scheme of things, and for us, but think about its inclusion in this story. It is unimportant, so why include it. Because the Bible records actual history. If this was all a made up story, these kinds of random details would not be included. But the Bible is reporting actual history, and in actual history there are some inconsequential details...

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • David was the King, yet when Joab confronted him he received the rebuke. He could have ignored Joab, or even had him killed for insubordination, but he listened and responded to Joab's criticism. This wasn't the first time David received rebuke and did what he was told (see 2 Samuel 12). Like David, we need to be open to people confronting us and pointing out truth that we aren't seeing. The Bible says: 
    • Ecclesiastes 7:5, "It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools."
    • Proverbs 27:5, "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
    • Proverbs 19:20, "Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise."
    • Proverbs 12:15, 'The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice."
    • David accepted 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you ever have friends (or family) confront you to point out you're going in the wrong direction? If not, consider the probability that it's not that you're doing everything right, but that people are afraid to point out what's wrong.
  • When you do receive criticism, how do you respond to it? Do you get defensive (explaining why your behavior is justifiable) or aggressive (attacking the other person)? How can you prayerfully start to live God's way and listen to advice and accept rebuke?
  • When was the last time someone confronted you about something? Have you thanked them for loving you enough to have the courage to talk to you about it? Have you prayerfully acted on their advice?