Monday, May 19, 2008

Trouble Times Three

May 19: 2 Samuel 19-21

1 It was told Joab, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 And the people stole into the city that day as people steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.
2 Samuel 19:1-8


1 Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said,

“We have no portion in David,
and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
every man to his tents, O Israel!”

2 So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 20:1-2


1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2 So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. 3 And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” 4 The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?” 5 They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, 6 let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
2 Samuel 21:1-5

Trouble Times Three

People often say that things come in multiples of three's; that is certainly what happened to David after his victory with Absalom--he had Trouble Times Three!

What a complex situation; David has won victory over Absalom, but Absalom was his son. How do you mourn the death of your son, without insulting the victorious army? It took Joab, the commander of David's army, to remind David that his first priority was to his own people. In his wisdom, David followed the advice of Joab.

Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.

Before David could barely return to Jerusalem, Sheba, a Benjamanite, gathered Israel to him and rebelled against David. When Sheba fled to the city of Abel, Joab and his army laid seige to the city. A wise woman spoke with Joab, persuading him to save the city if the people of Abel would hand over Sheba. The people of Abel, heeding the advice of this woman, killed Sheba and threw his head over the wall to Joab.

Now David's troubles were over, right? No! This time the land of Israel was brought under the judgment of God when He caused a three year famine to sweep over the land of Israel.

1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

The Gibeonites were the tribe of people who fooled Joshua into thinking they had come from a far land, when in reality they lived near the city of Jericho. Joshua made an oath to the people, promising their safety; Saul had violated this oath by killing some of the Gibeonites.

Now, God was holding Israel accountable for the actions of Saul. In retribution for Saul's actions, the Gibeonites asked for the death of seven sons of Saul. When David complied, God healed the land.

Are you facing a time of trouble times three? As David turned to God for help, so should we! Sometimes we get so busy living our lives that we forget that God is the One who is really in control.

What a remarkable blessing that is to us. God, the Creator and ruler of the Universe, is available to help each one of His children in their time of need. How amazing is that?

Go to Christ, the only One who was able to bridge the gap between God and man by His death on the cross.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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