September 7, 2012 – 2nd Samuel 1

Click here to read 2nd Samuel 1  on BibleGateway.com

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you are reading your Kindle tomorrow, and in the process of turning the page, a modern genie pops out of the screen and offers you three wishes (see what I did there? Updating a common story with a modern flair. That’s what the great writers do. Or so I hear.) What would your wishes be? Making money hand over fist? That didn’t work out too well for ole Midas. How about finally marrying the love of your life? Romeo and Juliet seem to nix that one. How about supreme rule over the earth? Seems that Julius Caesar tried that one, and got a pointy reminder about jealous friends. What does that leave us? An ice-cold Mountain Dew and the NFL on three nights a week. I guess I’ll go with that one, despite the caloric consequences and the pain of watching a particular un-named team’s annual dance of futility.

ONE BILLION DOLLARS…

All of these wishes/stories have the same general theme: be careful what you wish for, you may not like the results. This is not a new idea; examples of people receiving the consequences of their desires are piled throughout the Bible. Some of these are well-known, such as Solomon and Samson, and others less so. One of the more ironic appears in today’s reading in 2nd Samuel 1.

We read at the end of 1st Samuel (recall that these were originally one book, so it’s cool if we read them as one continuous story) that Saul and his sons were killed in battle with the Philistines; specifically that Saul committed suicide after being wounded to avoid becoming a prisoner of war. However, at the beginning of 2nd Samuel, an unnamed Amalekite comes to David and declares that he killed Saul, and has the crown of Israel to prove it.

What was this man’s motivation? It appears that he perhaps came across Saul’s body on the battlefield, took the crown, and took it David. Why? Apparently, he believed that David, who was typically the target of Saul’s wrath, would be grateful to this Amalekite for killing Saul and clearing his way to the throne. The Amalekite may have even thought he’d be richly rewarded for this “brave” act.

WHOOPS 

David’s reaction must have come as quite shock. Rather than celebrating, he is plunged into deep mourning. Moreover, rather than rewarding the Amalekite, David has him executed for attacking the king. Let’s not forget that David had had numerous occasions in the past to kill Saul himself if that’s what he wanted, but he believed that it was God’s place to remove the leader, not man’s. Ironically, the lie this man told in order to advance himself ended up costing him his life.

God has the best plan for our lives; when we try to take control, especially at the cost of honoring those in authority over us or when our actions go against the Bible, things have a way of unraveling pretty quickly. To receive all that God has for us, we must be careful to stay within his guidelines rather that doing what we think might be best at the moment. As a wise man once said, even the very wise cannot see all ends. Only God can do that.

Though if you ever get a chance with that genie, I give you permission to ask for a money tree in my backyard to support EverydayDevotions. I’m sure that’s God’s will. Right?

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One Response
  1. Joshua says:

    Definitely God’s will ;).

    As a side note, why did David kill the Amalekite? Because the Bible commands us to (Deut 25:19). How this plays into God’s grace and mercy and how this applies to us today is another subject. Can’t say I’d up and slay someone simple because of their race.

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