Tuesday, April 9. 2 Samuel 13 – 15

At intervals in the story of Samuel, and at times in other historical books too, you will find statements made about God. These fit in with the story, but it is as if the writer wants to use the story to make a point about God. The entirety of 1 Samuel 2:1-10 is given over to these statements. You will find another in verse 25.

In 1 Samuel 12:14-15 you have this statement: “If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.” Still another is in 1 Samuel 15:22 (“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.“) and another in 1 Samuel 16:7 (“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”).

We have another of these theological statements in 1 Samuel 14:14, this one spoken by the “wise woman” of Tekoa. She says: “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.

The point, for David, and for us, is that to be like God, we don’t nurse grudges. We work hard at resolving them and creating reconciliation from estrangement. It’s an important point. Christian people far too often are more interested in cutting out the sinful than restoring the erring. David did not want to leave the impression with Israel that he countenanced Absalom’s actions, but in treating his son like a pariah, he wasn’t being godly either. Sometimes it is a fine distinction, but in our attempt to be godly, we must be sure we are acting godly.