2 Samuel 4

Today's Passage: 2 Samuel 4

2 Samuel 4 paints a gruesome image of a transference of power in the ancient world. In any other kingdom, Baanah and Rechab’s actions would have been rewarded. The goal for an incumbent monarch was to eliminate any successor from the previous monarchy or else they may face rebellion.

Baanah and Rechab’s gamble did not pay off the way they expected. Instead of praise and reward, David said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?”

David didn’t need the help of these men to secure his kingship. David’s Kingship was established by God and protected by God. Even yesterday’s passage, as blood was spilled on David’s behalf, David rejected it.

David understood what many around him did not, his reign would be unlike the kings around him. He did not need to commit evil against his own people to secure his throne. He brought violence on God’s enemies to protect his people and guard his kingdom, but that was war. What he didn’t want was murder against the house of Saul or Jonathan.

The thing that stands out to me in this passage is David’s trust in God as he ascended to the throne. David didn’t take anything for himself. He stewarded the things of which he was entrusted by God. Whereas it was fairly normal to distrust people, manipulate, and even kill to establish your power base, David didn’t do any of that. His ascendency was ordained by God—all David needed to do was obey and pursue righteousness.

In what ways do we self-protect against our enemies? Or, in what ways do we plan and manipulate to get the things we think God has in store for us? Nobody reading this probably has plans to “off” somebody to protect their power base. However, many reading this have probably gossiped or spoken ill of a coworker. We’ve all been in situations where we have a chance to make ourselves look better (either through selective sharing or intentional omission) or risk complete honesty and the consequences that may follow. Likewise, we’ve all faced the temptation to sacrificing our faithfulness to Christ on the alter of employment, promotions, relationships, or even (youth) athletics.

The questions we must ask is what has given us to steward and how are we protecting those things? If God has provided you a career, are you trusting him with advancement? If God has given you a singleness or marriage, do you find yourself sometimes wishing for a change of status—willing to compromise much to bring it about? If God has provided you kids, are you giving them the time and attention they deserve? Are you loving your spouse enough to share responsibilities to care for your family, or do you dodge, dip, duck, and dodge to exercise your comfort idol?
None of us are perfect here—between myself and the conversations I have with others, we all need to focus on who God says we are, where God has us, and trusting Him with the next step. What does this look like for you?

Written By: Tyler Short

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