2 Samuel 16

It is hard to tolerate a person when they falsely accuse, curse or slander you – especially when they are intent on yelling and screaming and throwing stones.

As David fled from Absolom, Shimei came out and cursed him, throwing stones and dust at David. David’s men wanted to cut off Shimei’s head for his curses, but David would not let his men do Shimei any damage. He said, “Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. It may be that the LORD will look on all the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” (2 Samuel 16 v 11 – 12 ESV).

David knew a deeper principle, one that was summed up in a proverb that Solomon would write a few years later: “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” (Proverbs 26 v 2 ESV).

If Shimei’s curses were from the LORD, then David figured he deserved them. If the curses were undeserved, then they would be baseless and would not come to rest, leaving God to repay David for the hardship he faced.

Let’s develop the perspective of David and leave the sorting out of other people to God.

Let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts this week.

With love in our Lord,

2 Samuel 13

Things had turned bad among David’s family. Amnon had raped his sister Tamar, and Absolom had killed Amonon. Now Absolom had fled from the rest of his family and was living in exile. Reading between the lines, we could easily believe that Absolom was David’s favorite son. So the whole time Absolom was in self imposed exile, we read this about David: “And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absolom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.” (1 Samuel 13 v 39 ESV).

Like David, many families even today suffer when one person makes a bad decision causing the family to fracture and splinter. Relationships are broken and family members refuse to see or speak with each other. Sometimes these broken relationships and hearts can go on for years.

If we feel like a relationship is broken, then maybe it’s time to fix it. The opportunity will not always be there, and the longer we leave it, the harder it will get. When our hearts long to go out to our spouse, children, parents or siblings, let’s not do nothing, but do all we can to restore the relationship.

2 Samuel 10

Even with the very best of intentions, there will always be someone who takes our actions and words the wrong way. They will look past the message that we are trying to get across, and focus on the word we got wrong; or they will observe our actions and impute motives to us that are not true at all.

That was exactly what happened to David and his delegation of men sent to console the king of the Ammonites when the king’s father had died. Hunan met the delegation bringing David’s sympathy, but his princes convinced him that “David had sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it.” (2 Samuel 10 v 3 ESV). As a result, David’s men were humiliated and war broke out between Ammon and Israel.

There are two lessons I see from this today.
Firstly, there will always be someone who will take our words or actions the wrong way – even if we are acting completely honestly. We need to expect that.
And secondly, we need to make sure that it is not us who look for the worst in other people. Let’s think the best of them no matter what their actions may look like.

March 2
Leviticus 7 , 14

The priests in Israel did an important work. They were the ones who were to teach the people of God, who instructed them in the law. They were the doctors, and they were the one ones who were the example of lives devoted to God that the rest of Israel were to follow. Part of their job was to offer the sacrifices and offerings that the children of Israel offered.
Being involved in the work of God in this way meant that the priests were not going to have the time that the common people would have to provide for their needs, to raise their livestock or to grow their crops. For this reason God provided for them in the law. While the offerings and sacrifices were offered by the people to God, a good proportion of them became the property of the priest. One example is that of the fellowship offering. God said, “From the fellowship offering of the Israelites, I have taken the breast that is waved and the thigh that is presented and have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as their regular share from the Israelites.” (Leviticus 7 v 34)
Within our churches and missions fields there are many people who contribute vast quantities of time and resources in the service of the Lord. Let us value their work and in some way give them the same sort of support God provided for those who did his work under the law of Moses.

February 15
Psalm 79

God’s people are not exempt from bad things happening to them. In Psalm 79 and 80 we read of Israel and Jerusalem brought to their knees by foreign invaders. The children of Israel, the people of Jerusalem and Judah were all God’s special chosen people. They took a special place in the heart of God. He gave them a land flowing with milk and honey but they sinned against God and failed to uphold their side of the covenant. They had promised to obey God, to have him as their only God, but instead had rejected him and worshiped and served idols instead of the living God. So God did what he said he would do if his people were unfaithful and he brought other armies against them to bring them to their knees and to turn them back to the living God. Israel and Judah suffered greatly under the attacks of these other nations and eventually they were taken from that land altogether.
Even though Israel and Judah were God’s special people, they still suffered and bad things happened to them. Even though we are Christians bad things may happen to us too. When they do, let us humble ourselves and accept God’s way knowing that in the end we will be with those who will praise him for ever.