2 Samuel 20-21: The Fight
May 23, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
All seems as if it is now in good order, but it is not. The fight continues. O Christian, while alive there is still the fight of faith! Do not give up, but each day put on the armor of God! Sheba, “a worthless man” (20:1), tries to make hay while the sun shines; that is, he tries to take advantage of the weak and divided situation between Judah and Israel, and calls Israel to himself to attempt to be a self-appointed king (20:1-2). After some bloodshed, and toing and froing, a wise woman of a besieged city in which Sheba had hidden presents the head of Sheba to Joab (20:16-22). The civil war is at an end. Do not conspire against the LORD’s anointed; however weak he may appear temporarily, he is the LORD’s, and you only fight against God.
Now David sets the organizational structure of the government in good order once more (20:23-25), and all appears now to be settled. But not for long. There is a famine in the land, one that lasted for three full years (21:1). What was the cause of this economic downturn, this depression? David, showing his characteristic tendency to be a man after God’s own heart, asks God himself for the solution (21:1). Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the peripheral matters of trade and harvest, but with a leftover spiritual wound: a “bloodguilt” between Saul and the Gibeonites (21:1). Having discerned the true cause of the situation, David does what he can to provide peace between them and the kingdom: “And after that God responded to the plea for the land” (21:14). God will hear us if we ask with pure hearts.
War continues, this time between Israel and the Philistines (21:15). Having learned his lesson about staying home when he should go to battle, David is at the forefront of things (21:15). But he is getting older, and calamity almost strikes as he gets tired in the midst of the campaign (21:15). Henceforth, he will not go to war (21:17). But the “giants,” or the descendants of the giants, continue to attack Israel and continue to be defeated (21:18-22). The fight goes on. Christian, fight valiantly the fight of faith, and after you have done everything else, stand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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