2 Sam 8-9; 1 Chronicles 18
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As we read today’s read we see that David wiped out more of the Philistines (they must have been a gianmormous force.) Conquering the Philistines was HUGE, if you recall back when Moses was leading the people out of Egypt, God specifically did not want them to go through the land of the Philistines because they were such warriors and HE did not want the Israelites to become discouraged and return to Egypt (Exodus 13:17.) Can you imagine their strength several hundred years later!!??
David was now King of Israel, was following God’s command to UNIFY Israel which meant obeying God’s direction. You may be wondering why David killed some of the Moabites. If you look back at Deuteronomy 7:1-3 there were several “ites” that God told Israel to COMPLETELY destroy so no remnant remained that could further tempt the Israelites with their godless ways. However, Israel NEVER did this.
The Moabites were not in that list of “ites” that God instructed Israel to totally destroy, so David did not have to destroy ALL of them and he could take the plunder (which he dedicated to God for Solomon to use in building the Temple.) I can’t say that I understand the method of who he killed, but there you go. Keep in mind that for hundreds of years, God had preserved the Moabites and the Ammonites because they were under the covering of Abraham. Since Lot was Abraham’s nephew, he came under the covering of the covenant God made with the Israelites. Although Moab and Ammon were sons of Lot through incest with his 2 daughters (they got him drunk and had sex with him because they saw NO other way to have children.) However, in Numbers 21:15, the sin of the Moabites and their refusal to praise the ONE true God led the way for the Scripture to prophesy: “Woe to you, O Moab! You are destroyed, O people of Chemosh (god of the Moabites and Ammonites)!” Although David’s great grandmother was Ruth, a Moabite who CHOSE to follow the Israelite life, this didn’t mean that her decision had any impact on the people she left behind. Defeating the Moabites was a challenge as well, they had always been ridiculously strong in military strategy. The Edomites (descendants of Esau) were also conquered.
I LOVE reading the line: “The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went.” What a peace I had reading that because it told me David was doing what God wanted him to do and as David obeyed, God blessed him. Reading this may seem rather harsh, but I trust God in what HE is having us read. God wanted UNITY in Israel and if HIS people would have obeyed HIS instructions way back in Deuteronomy maybe a lot of this would have been prevented because they would have remained one. But…it just goes to show…people are people and by and large want to do things “their way, in their own understanding.” I am reminded of a song Frank Sinatra used to sing called “I Did It My Way” ….. really isn’t something to brag about….know what I mean???
My FAVORITE part of today’s read was MEPHIBOSETH (I told you we’d be seeing his name again, and here it is <<smile>>.) I LOVE this story and although this story is as “old as dirt” …there are SO many applications for today!! As a refresher, in 2 Samuel 4:4 the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death was spreading. Mephiboseth was 5. His nurse picked him up trying to hurry to get out of “Dodge” for fear that those who killed Jonathan and Saul would come to kill anyone in the house of Saul. As she hurried to leave, Mephiboseth fell and was crippled for life in both legs.
David asked (2 Samuel 9:1) “Is there ANYONE still left of the house of Saul to who I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake? David had just come in from battle and rather than focusing on all “he” did he understood it was not him but God who did the fighting. And, he wanted to bless someone (what a great way to look at life… I’ve been blessed by God, now who can I be a blessing to!!) In 1 Samuel 20:12-17, Jonathan and David made a covenant with each other. Part of the covenant was that David would “NEVER cut off his kindness from Jonathan’s family” (paraphrase mine.) David always had the utmost respect for Saul because he understood that God anointed him for the position as king. David did not forget his promise (just the same way God does not forget his promises to us.)
David SEARCHED for someone related to Saul. He hears of a servant, Ziba, from the house of Saul that he can ask if there are any survivors of Saul’s family. Ziba tells him Mephibosheth (means “exterminating the idol”) is till alive. Did you notice the place Mephibosheth lived?? It was called Lo Debar. Lo Debar means “pasture-less.” In all likely hood Mephibosheth was living in extreme poverty. This generation depended on their animals and crops …but without pastureland….they would have had nothing. Just imagine for a moment that you are Mephibosheth, your family has been killed by enemies, you are crippled (in those days it was seen as a handicap), you feel you deserve NOTHING, and you are afraid of most everyone who may kill you because your blood line was from the old regime. Can you imagine your first thought when being called to come before the KING of ISRAEL? You have nothing to offer him, you can do nothing for him, and I’m sure you’re thinking…. OH MAN… I’m DEAD!!) Also did you notice in 2 Samuel 9:8 that Mephibosheth referred to himself as a “dead dog.” He came before King David, bowed before him and to his surprise David took care of him, he has him always eat at his table…the KING’S TABLE, he provided for Mephibosheth in more ways than we can possibly imagine. Can you image what a surprise this had to have been to Mephibosheth?? David brought in Mephibosheth’s son, Mica and made Ziva Mephibosheth’s servant all IN HIS HOUSE.
Do you ever think less of yourself or have fears that paralyze you? If so, remember this story of Mephibosheth. This is such a wonderful comparison of how God treats us, and all God wants for us. Mephibosheth was living in fear….of life itself. Fear STOPS faith!! Fear can rob of us living the life God has for us with so many wonderful blessings. Mephibosheth’s lameness is a symbol of our weaknesses. David SEARCHED for Mephibosheth just the way God SEARCHES for us. David made a promise/a covenant with Jonathan about his family and he was determined to keep it. God made a promise/covenant with Abraham about ALL his people. Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise with HIS BLOOD, for ALL of us. Jesus searches for us by “knocking” on the door of our heart. All we have to do is open the door and ask him in, believing HE is who HE says HE is. Is this not AWWWWEEEEESSSSOOOOMMMMEEEEE!!!! Jesus wants us to COME… EAT AT HIS TABLE WITH HIM!!!
Later when we read about David messing up (ummmmm…. a LOT of messing up) remember he is human and as with all humans, or sin has consequences even when we belong to Christ. David had a heart for God and for the most part he had a character of integrity, and when David messed up, he always returned to God. Remember there is ONLY ONE perfect man in history and for all eternity. His name is Jesus. He is God, we are not. Our “human nature” is one that tries to pull away from God, BUT with Jesus…..we are pulled back…HE wants to be EVERYthing we need TODAY and for all eternity. Life is hard. We will face challenges bigger than ourselves. But, David gives us a wonderful example of integrity and of repentance.
Don’t get stuck in the negative actions. Allow the light and love of our Most High God to fall upon you…ask for forgiveness…repent…and enjoy HIS blessings…. like Mephibosheth did!!
Sharing HIS love,