Mar 21 — 2 Samuel 20-22

2 Sam 20 — The Rebellion of Sheba
2 Sam 21 — David Avenges the Gibeonites, Philistine War
2 Sam 22 — David’s Song of Deliverance

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One Reply to “Mar 21 — 2 Samuel 20-22”

  1. Chapter 20 continues the bloody battles of this “united” kingdom. Sheba son of Bikri, “a troublemaker” (2 Sam 20:1) stirs up trouble and leads the men of Israel (10 of 12 tribes) away from David. Although Abishai is given the task to track down Sheba, Joab seizes the opportunity to murder Amasa (formerly Absalom’s commander) who “took longer than the time the king had set for him (2 Sam 20:5) and remains the people’s choice as commander over the entire army. Joab’s reputation was no doubt fierce. When he and his men chased Sheba into a city, a “woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bikri and threw it to Joab” (2 Sam 20:22).

    For the first time in a long while, we hear of David seeking the Lord’s direction. After three successive years of famine, “David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, ‘it is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death'” (2 Sam 21:1). Previously, Saul had attempted to wipe out the Gibeonites, now David negotiates some atonement for this error. The Gibeonites refuse money and request “seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed” (21:6). David chooses the seven and hands them over to the Gibeonites (note: Mephibosheth listed here is not Jonathan’s son) (21:7-9).

    As David leads a battle against the Philistines, Abishai “came to David’s rescue…then David’s men swore to him, saying, ‘Never agin will you go out with us to battle'” (21:17). David’s getting old and a liability in battle, so he is forced to remain behind. Perhaps the memories of 2 Sam 11:1 are haunting him, “when Kings go off to war.” He doesn’t want to be tempted again. Admirable actions, but he resigns himself to the reality he’s not the young man he once was and goes back to writing songs. It is refreshing to read the words of chapter 22 where the Lord is honored and revered for His great works. “You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light” (22:29). This song is recorded as Psalm 18 (some variations).

    Joab’s aggressive actions continue to trouble me. Once again we hear of his ruthless behavior and once again, it seems that good things come as a result. We read ahead and find that as David is transferring his kingdom to Solomon, he tell Solomon to “deal with him according to your wisdom” (1 Kings 1:6) and ultimately Joab is put to death (1 Kings 2:34), but why was this allowed in the first place? My hope is this part of Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:28, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Here I learn that God will deal with evil on His terms and in His timing. My focus must remain on Christ, even though I see others apparently rewarded after malicious gain.

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