I haven’t written on this blog in forever. I came back to it this morning to look up the 5 study questions I like to use when trying to digest a passage of Scripture. They’re great questions, but I use them too infrequently to have committed them to memory. So I looked them up today, and realized that I actually kind of like the way this blog looks and I miss writing on God and the Bible. And I thought, why not use this blog as my online study journal?
There are pros and cons to being transparent. On the pro side, secrets lose their power once brought into the light, sharing brings accountability, and talking about God is always a good thing. On the con side, there is such a thing as sharing TOO much in public. There’s also the risk of not having your heart in the right place. Are you writing about God or are you writing for pride reasons?
So I’m doing this for me. Anyone else who is interested in chatting about Scripture is more than welcome to drop by. Nothing flashy here. No clever titles (10 ways to avoid being a bad dad like King David), no eye catching pictures, no sanitized content. Just me and my thoughts on the passages I’m reading.
<>< ><> <>< ><> <>< ><> <>< ><>
I’ve always wondered why David could have been such a great king and godly man, but such a bad father. In yesterday’s reading, 2 Sam 13-14, I came across a quote in one of my favorite commentaries (Dr. Constable’s notes, free online). He said people who love much often have problems with confrontation. David had problems disciplining his children because he loved them so much (plus he had way too many wives). It reminds me of society today: the way people indulge their children and want to be more friend than parent.
But onto today’s reading.
What does this passage say about God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit?
One of the verses in 2 Sam 17 surprised me. Shimei, relative of King Saul, curses David and calls him a murderer. One of David’s men offers to go and kill him, but David says “No! Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him? … Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to do it.” (v 10-11)
I wonder how David knew that God had told Shimei to curse him? His accusations were incorrect (that he murdered Saul and stole his throne). Yet David had insight into the way God works and somehow recognized this was of God.
It’s interesting to think that God would use the unfounded accusations of others as consequence against us. Maybe not that surprising, because he used subjugation by other nations as a means to discipline Israel and try to get her to turn back to Him. And we know that God tests us sometimes to bless us or to free us from the lies that encase us.
What does this passage tell us about people, life, or faith?
When David sinned with Bathsheba, God told him what the consequences of his actions would be (that another man would sleep with his wives). That’s what we see here – Absalom as next in line to the throne publicly declaring himself king by sleeping with David’s concubines in public. (Ew).
The thing that I like about the passage is how David reacts. He leaves. He trusts God. He sends the Ark of the Covenant back into Jerusalem and waits for God to restore him.
I also love what Hushai says when David sends him back to Absalom as an advisor-spy. He doesn’t lie, instead he tells Absalom the truth. It’s Absalom that hears it as a lie. Hushai said, “I’m here because I belong to the man who is chosen by the LORD and by all the men of Israel. And anyway, why shouldn’t I serve you? Just as I was your father’s adviser, now I will be your adviser.” (2 Sam 17:18-19) All true.
Why did God put this passage in the Bible?
David is an OT parallel of Christ, but he is far from perfect. While Jesus was tempted and did not sin, David waffled back and forth between sin and obedience. I think the beauty of this passage is David’s response when confronted with the consequences of his sin. He took it without complaint, took measures to put himself in a place to rectify the situation if God willed it, trusted God and waited on His timing. Plus he showed great discretion in realizing that Shimei’s curses were “from God.”
How does this passage relate to my life?
One of the constant things I need to remind myself is to be with God in the moment. I don’t need to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, or ten years from now. No matter what I’m going through, God is with me in the moment. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to position myself to be in the best place possible, but it does mean I should trust and wait on God. Especially in the good times. It’s easier to go-it-alone when things are going well.
How can I put this truth into practice?
My big focus for now is living in the moment and seeking God. I trust that if I do this, everything else will fall into place because the Bible tells me so.
Prayer: God, thank you for your Bible. Thank you that it is your living word and we can come to it any time to hear from you. Thank you for its depth. That it sheds a different light on you each time we read it. That you meet us where you are. That you want to be near us at all. Thank you for anyone that might read this, God. Please guard my heart. Help this to be about YOU, and not about me. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.