If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Samuel 16, 2 Corinthians 9, Ezekiel 23, Psalms 70–71. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read 2 Samuel 16.
I can never read 2 Samuel 16 without feeling sorry for David. Although I recognize that he sinned against Uriah far worse than anyone ever sinned against him, what happened to David in these chapters must have been incredibly painful. When confronted with his adultery and murder, David fully confessed everything to the Lord. God removed the guilt of his sin, but he allowed the human consequences to play out. This is usually what the Lord does. The student who repents for cheating on a test may receive forgiveness, but the academic consequences will still likely happen. Someone who has committed a crime may be completely remorseful and repentant and yet still do the time. If you're like me at all, you can think of some examples from your own life.
But notice how humble David is in verses 5-12. When Saul was hunting David, David would not lift a finger to harm Saul and even felt guilty for cutting off a piece of his robe. David did everything he could to promote the prosperity and stability of Saul’s kingdom and he waited for God, who had chosen him to be anointed king, to fulfill his promise in his timing. However, when Absalom sought to overthrow David as king—and appeared to be succeeding—one of Saul’s relatives came out to curse David. Think about the turn of events. David did everything he could for Saul; Saul’s relatives, however, did not show the same courtesy to David. Instead of retaliating in violence, which he easily could have done (v. 9), David committed his cause to the Lord: “It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.”
This is how Jesus responded to his enemies. It is also how he called us to respond to ours. Remember when we looked at Luke 6:27-28 on Sunday a month or so ago? “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” This is so hard to obey! It feels so natural to defend ourselves and call down curses on our enemies; committing your cause to God and trying to love your enemies takes faith. That’s why Jesus commanded us to do it; he calls us to trust him and wait for him to come to our defense. I hope you're not dealing with conflict in your life today, but if you are, I hope this passage gives you some insight in how to respond to that conflict in a way that honors God.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.