Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for May 18, 2 Sam 19-21

Today's readings are 2 Sam 19-21. Tomorrow's are Psalms 5, 38, 41, 42. 

When David sinned, Nathan prophesied that the sword would never depart from his house (2 Sam 12:10). Even though he is restored to the throne, David's struggles are not yet resolved. The kingdom begins to show signs of crumbling. 

We see the first indication of trouble between Judah and the northern tribes who feel left out of David's plans. Absalom's rebellion has done damage that goes far beyond his demise. The division he fostered has created wounds that will be difficult, if not impossible, to heal. 

Two events help to move toward reunification. David wisely sits at the gates, demonstrating his leadership and accessibility, a good practical move. But, David also forgives Shimei for rising up against him. Grace can be a powerful factor in healing. While David's grace is not perfect, this gesture leads to other developments that are favorable. Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, submits to David. This is a sign that things may be getting better. 

Still, in 1 Sam 20, we see tension between the northern kingdom and Judah when Sheba rebels over perceived offenses. Things begin to escalate. Murders and fighting resume and tensions rise. Old offenses committed by Saul i Gibeon are brought up in 1 Sam 21. 

David moves toward atoning for mistakes Saul made but the die has been cast. A nation that was united and at peace is now brought to bickering and fighting over nearly every decision David makes. 

The Jews are still God's people. David is still God's man for leading them. But, there is a price to pay for sin and David must now live with the consequences of his.

Grace is not a get-out-of-jail-free card that excuses the sin of believers. For sure, it guarantees our eternal destiny and our place in heaven. In these chapters God shows us that He honors true repentance. David makes some good decisions and some things are restored. But some consequences remain. David knew better than to do what he did with Bathsheba. His poor decision in pursuing her has led to more poor decisions and now threaten to divide the nation.

We must never trivialize sin nor take God's grace for granted. His grace is immense, free and abundant. But the moment we presume His grace will cover our willful rebellion, we set ourselves up for tension with the Father and work against the process of our sanctification. 

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