Category Archives: 2 Samuel

2 Samuel 24:18-25; 1 Kings 1:1-2:18

I am looking solely at the portion of scripture found in 2 Samuel 24:18-25 and the story is a powerful expression of how I need to come before God with my spiritual life.

I try and speak to the spirit of generosity and unselfishness as much as I can. I speak about it because I want to push myself to practice it in whatever I do. Here is David making it happen. He is giving with generosity and he is honouring God. In my studies I found out that Arauah’s threshing-floor was actually the site for the first and second temple is is now the current site of the Dome. Very interesting for those who talk about giving as an investment.

In my walk with God, I am challenged to turn my mind from myself to God – to fill myself with who God is and to express that to others with love and passion making it feel honourable from me and honouring God – in other words, blessed in blessing Him. There is a resolve not to offer something to God that did not cost me nothing – David’s exact expression.

When I have my quiet moments, I ask myself how I can glorify God? What are the ways and methods of honouring Him that are within my power and control? I think there are two questions that come up when I think about the answer to those questions – one is how much can I do? and the other is how little may I do? One is when I think of duty and other other is when I think of security. Both are based on different principles and have a different endgame. One comes from gratitude, love, reverence and passion, the other from simple interest.

I do not just want to be satisfied that I am “saved.” I want to have passion to honour God and love truth not simply profiting from only believing. I want to consider God as most worthy of my passion, love and honour.

Finally, learn hence the duty of activity, liberality in the service of God, and for the benefit of your fellow sinners. It is a Scriptural precept–“Honour the Lord with thy substance.” He who has a religion which costs him nothing has a religion that is worth nothing. – H. Hughes

Father, David had a choice, but really he did not. He loved You so much that he was determined to show You how much. Expressing love to You has become predictable in my life – much too predictable. I need to step up and be more passionate in my expressions of blessing You. While I am determined to be a lover of truth there needs to be expressions of love that I return to You. I pray that my quiet times would have more of those in them and that You will teach me how to express my love to You.

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2 Samuel 14-16

His loyal love – a servant’s heart

One of the most quoted passages of Scripture on loyal love is from the Book of Ruth: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your People shall be my people, And your God, my God,” (Ruth 1:16).

This profound declaration of loyalty is a beautiful illustration of the deepest friendship, most unselfish love, and abiding trust that one can express. Ruth demonstrated this to Naomi, her mother-in-law, by traveling with her out of Ruth’s familiar surroundings to the strangeness of Naomi’s home.

In today’s passage of Scripture, King David is the grateful recipient of steadfast loyalty. Ittai the Gittite and his men, foreigners who lived under David’s protection, pledged their lives and military strength to David as he fled Jerusalem, (2 Samuel 15:21-23). In glaring contrast to the loyal love demonstrated by Naomi and Ittai, we learn the historical account of David’s own son, Absalom, who was the epitome of disloyalty.

Loyalty is defined as allegiance, faithfulness, fidelity, devotion, steadfastness, commitment. What engenders loyalty? In today’s world of business, customer satisfaction is the gold standard for ensuring customer loyalty. There are case studies on the global market that prove good customer service is paramount to continued success of a business. Out of these studies came solid strategies for increasing the odds of customer satisfaction. One principal factor in building loyalty is to provide reliable service. That is, do what you say you will do every time. That may mean going the extra mile, suffering personal loss, and responding judiciously to the needs of customers. Another important strategy is providing relational service. This is accomplished by recognizing the importance of customer/business relationships in tangible ways such as rewarding repeated visits – think perks, redeemable stars given in a point system, specials meant just for those who keep coming back. Responsive service is another strategy in developing customer satisfaction. Communicating with customers is crucial for learning about their changing needs. This means being open to their honest opinions, encouraging feedback, and analyzing their points of interest or pain. And finally, commemorating service by ‘shouting out’ customer satisfaction is a strategy that validates the success of the business. This is accomplished by publishing reviews, testimonials, endorsements, etc.

Absalom would have made a fortune in today’s business. He must have been reading Forbes magazine in learning how to turn the people toward him and away from his father, King David. “And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel,” (2 Samuel 15:5-6).

How had David lost the hearts of so many men? First, he, an aging king, was not as visible to his people as his handsome son. David may have been relying on his past laurels to garner loyalty from his people. However, “it was said that Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate,” (2 Samuel 15:2). Also, King David did not hear the changing opinions of his people who feared losing the heir to the throne, (2 Samuel 14:13-15). And though David eventually reconciled with Absalom, he had refused to see him for two years, thereby failing to endorse him, (2 Samuel 14:28). To be sure, King David was conflicted since Absalom had murdered his brother and sought to kill all the King’s sons. Yet, doing nothing for so long to restore the relationship and shunning Absalom no doubt sowed seeds of bitterness that eventually produced conspiracy and rebellion. Absolom was more business savvy which cost David many loyal subjects.

I can relate to King David, however. I, too, have wanted to turn away from negative situations, especially when relationships were involved. I would rather live and let be than consider my own shortcomings or confront others. Unfortunately, this posture has allowed situations to escalate to the point where I am either running from the consequences of inaction or having to do damage control. Yet, I know from experience why we should never let the sun go down on our anger. Why we should forgive – I mean really forgive. When to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’ to loved ones and to the stranger. Why we should pray, pray, pray to have the log removed out of our own eye and to have our buried head pulled out of the sand.

When on the run, I also neglect to nurture my spiritual relationship with God. No surprise that doing so is reflected in the loss of earthly relationships. Thankfully, we are made in the image of God, and God’s character is the very definition of loyal love. Therefore, I believe God can change my heart attitude, can give me the courage to address uncomfortable situations, can utter words I should speak in difficult conversations, and can work all things out for my good. And theirs. (Romans 8:28)

David’s journey back to the throne depended on God’s faithfulness to him. We, too, have been restored through the blessing of God’s loyal love. He heard our cries and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to us. Christ suffered, died, and was resurrected to bring us back to the Father. As if that were not enough to earn our loyalty, God is faithful to fulfil all His promises to us. And He does not hold back on celebrating our salvation. As is evidenced in Luke 15:10, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” And “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing,” (Zephania 3:17).

Father, God, thank You for your loyal love! Help me to be filled by Your Holy Spirit and have access to Your wisdom, counseling, and authority. Teach me, dear Lord, to develop behaviors that encourage, support, and benefit those whom You have given me at my place of work, in my marriage, in friendships, and in fellowship. I pray that as Your servant, Lord God, I will give my very best service to others in Your blessed name.

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

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Filed under 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, reading plan, Romans, Ruth, Uncategorized

 2 Samuel 3:1-6:11 

It was with great interest that I engaged with the story of Abner. Lot’s of things went wrong and some things went right. At the end of the day there was peace and David reigned as king.

So what went right. Here is one example I like. It reminds me of a few words of Jesus when He talked about how to handle conflict.

When Abner and the twenty men who were with him met with David in Hebron, David laid out a feast for them.

Abner then said, “I’m ready. Let me go now to rally everyone in Israel for my master, the king. They’ll make a treaty with you, authorizing you to rule them however you see fit.” Abner was sent off with David’s blessing. – 2 Samuel 3:20-21 MSG

There is no greater strategy than to go follow, and serve the army that is anointed by God. David was impressed with the zeal of Abner and his voice which was able to sway Israel and Benjamin to follow him. This could not have been done without Abner. I am reminded that David, who had the heart of a shepherd king, did not want to see war continuing to ravage his people. He welcomed this honourable arrangement because it would prevent more bloodshed.

This leads directly to what went wrong and in a word – Joab. Joab is messed up emotionally and has revenge in his heart against Abner. He broke every law of hospitality and he came very close to jeopardizing this delicate period of negotiation for peace and reconciliation.

Joab left David and went into action. He sent messengers after Abner; they caught up with him at the well at Sirah and brought him back. David knew nothing of all this. When Abner got back to Hebron, Joab steered him aside at the gate for a personal word with him. There he stabbed him in the belly, killed him in cold blood for the murder of his brother Asahel. – 2 Samuel 3:26-27 MSG

There is a double wrong here with this additional thought – I think Joab justified his actions with this inner voice – “I’m doing this to defend and honour my king.” He lost the truth in that thought because no wrong ever resulted in a right. How can sin or treachery honour someone?

Father, in this world, as I engage with You, I need to be prepared to see myself as serving You and not be self-serving. That was such an easy sentence to pray, but I know it is a much harder thing to put into action. Help me see where I can come alongside others to support and encourage. Those would be great steps to take. Thank You for those opportunities.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Samuel 21-23; Psalm 18; Romans 3

I keep asking myself what love looks like, the more excellent way Paul alluded to. I remember this story well and even though it had to be done that did not stop love from being on display.

Rizpah, Aiah’s daughter, took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock from the beginning of the harvest[g] until the rain poured down from heaven on the bodies. She kept the birds of the sky from them by day and the wild animals by night. – 2 Samuel 21:10 HCSB

There is something about a mother’s love that cannot be described, but here it is on full display. I know that a mother’s love is tried and tested and on occasion there is much sorrow. It seems that love also brings with it grief. The more deep and tender the love, so much the more poignant the grief. And, as a mother loves most, she is most susceptible of sorrow.

I look at my wife, the mother of my children, and I see someone who is utterly unselfish. She loves because it is her nature. She does not love in hope that one day they will love her back, but rather because even with those who might likely die, they will never bereave her of her love.

When David uses that same intensity of love, I take notice and compare my own love for God next to his and next to my wife.

I love You, Lord, my strength. – Psalm 18:1 HCSB

He used an unusual word here, an uncommon one, used more with being impulsive and emotional. I am cut off guard because it expresses a compassionate love that is used more from the stronger one to the weaker.

“Hebrew – I will love thee dearly and entirely…from the very heart-root.” – Trapp

It is the only occasion in Scripture where the word “love” is used with such special depth and tenderness. I am challenged to say “I love You” to my God who had delivered me, rescued me, and who walks with me, with such an intensity of love that has been put on display by Rizpah and David.

Father, teach me to know what it means to love in a more excellent way. How many times I get into Your Word, start studying, start praying and yet all I need to do for a moment is give some time to express our love for each other. I pray for more quiet moments like these to be able to express my love for You. While I am out and about, if my love for You needs to be passionate, may I not be embarrassed. May I give my all so that everyone watching can see the intensity of my love for You. May I find the strength to give it away with no regrets.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Samuel 15-17; Psalms 3, 63; Romans 1

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself.

2 Samuel 16:9-14 ESV

David’s life seems to fall into three phases as I read through Scripture. The first phase, through young adulthood, shows his heart for God, his time of growing and learning to rest in His strength, and his patience as he waits for his reign to begin. These are not easy years, but they are years of growing in wisdom and faith and he relies heavily on God through every challenge. Then he enjoys years of great success. David becomes king and has many children, especially many sons, he seems victorious on every battlefield, and the people love him as Israel is united under his crown. Finally, he begins to reap the consequences of bad choices and falls prey to an occasional tendency to be a people-pleaser.

This final phase is where we find him today. Conflict in his home and around it, and curses from a member of the house of Saul, his long time adversaries.

Do you remember who Abishai is? He is David’s nephew. Joab, Asahel, and Abishai were David’s nephews and were some of his strongest supporters for many years. This might or might not be accurate historically, but I always picture them having a sweet relationship from David at a young age. It wouldn’t surprise me if David was the fun uncle growing up, the one they always clamored to sit by at family holidays and climbed all over every chance they got. Might be a stretch, but it helps me make sense of their passionate allegiance to him as he becomes king.

So, it was only natural for Abishai to want to go chop off Shimei’s head when he was threatening his beloved uncle, King David. David stops him, distancing himself from these harsh remarks. Abishai has much more to learn from his uncle’s wisdom. David considers that these curses might actually be given out of obedience to God!

I don’t think that has ever been my thinking when I was the object of an attack or criticism — maybe God told them to be mean to me!

Despite the challenges to his reign, David shows his heart is still chasing hard after God and he is still trusting God to fight his battles.

O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill.

Psalm 3:1-4 ESV

These were not easy days for David, but he continually cried out to God for strength and protection. Spiritual growth and learning never end. After years of seeing God come to his aid, he again lays it all out to Him in prayer. He chooses to follow. Faithfulness, determination, perseverance. David’s life was not easy, but it was continually surrendered and re-surrendered to His God and King.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.


for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:3,7-8 ESV

And God was right there. Not even a breath away. Lifting David’s head, satisfying, helping, protecting.

For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:7 ESV

David lived by faith, and in doing so he lived out what that should look like for me.

What living by faith is not — seeking man’s praise, experiencing a smooth journey, having no enemies, a one time decision.

What living by faith is — chasing hard after God daily, being genuine in prayer, trusting God when His plan is not evident, letting challenges and accusers push me closer to God, and coming to God for every need, including refreshment when the road is hard.

Lord, help me to keep my heart solely for You. Show me where I might be holding something back from You today. Help me to make each step by faith and trust Your plan when the waters are choppy, when adversaries speak out, when the way seems less clear. Help me to live by faith. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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