Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2 Samuel 19, 20, 21

Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the...Image via Wikipedia
King David straddled a politically tumultuous landscape of Israel.  Numerous citizens still wanted Saul's family to be the monarchs; Absalom had incited so a large portion of the population against David, that a bloody battle had ensued. King David rode this tsunami of unrest with relative composure without  loosing his balance.  

This cluster of chapters depict events in David's life which serve to remind Israel that David, though a king of mythic proportions, was a fallible human being whose only redeeming quality was that God Himself had chosen him and filled him with His Spirit.   Though his reign was wrought with problems, David kept God's Word in his heart and trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  

After Absalom's attempted coup, David eventually returned to Jerusalem.  Shimei, a supporter of Saul, who openly scorned and cursed David when he was fleeing Absalom,  prostrated himself before David upon his return to Jerusalem.  Shimei wanted to be forgiven and peacefully reinstated.  However, his offenses must have been so egregious that Abishai, one of David's generals, wanted to summarily kill him immediately.

David stopped him by saying, " ...Should anyone be put to death in Israel today?  Do I not know that today I am king over Israel?  So the king said to Shimei, you shall not die." ( 2 Samuel 19: 22, 23)

This one vignette demonstrated that David had his eyes and his hope fully focused on the God of Israel, who anointed him to be king.  Although Shimei's betrayal was worthy of death, David chose not to take vengeance.  Rather, his destiny was linked to God's will.  As such, David trusted God to avenge any wrongs done to him.   Meanwhile, David again saw that God's promise to him, that his would be a lasting monarchy, was reaffirmed.  On a day in which God's Word was celebrated, how could a man be executed for slighting the king?

David's spiritual orientation  allowed him to trust God with righting wrongs; to perceive of God as Sovereign over the destiny of Israel; to rest in the mighty God of Israel who promised to protect His people.

Maybe on that day David had an opportunity to reflect on Numbers 23:19 (KJV):
God [is] not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

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