David continues to impress. Saul is dead and time has passed. Before David makes a move he consults with the Lord (1). Moving at the impulse of the Lord has become second nature for David.
Lord that is my dream and desire… to be so connected with You that I continually consult with You about my moves. Oh, Lord, may it become as natural as rain to consult You as I might consult my wife or a trusted friend about this topic or that. That we live in connection… me with You and You with me. Following the life of David shows me that a person can live like that. Lead me, Lord, lead me. I pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
A second element struck me as I read this morning. Not only were Israelites warring against Israelites, but some of the men were on first name basis with men on the opposing side. Abner and Ashael knew each other. They spoke personally and directly as one chased the other. When Ashael wouldn’t stop Abner killed him.
Most often in war people vilify the enemy, often giving them slang derogatory names, which eases the burden of killing and maiming. However with this war, these men were brothers in faith and neighbors in life.
I tried to imagine what that was like, but honestly I could not.
The pain and agony and horrible situations that strong men leaders can put their people through is horrendous.
A truly sad element of this unfolding story is that God had spoken; David was the Lord’s choice. The fighting from God’s vantage point was completely unnecessary. All the loss of life, all the personal pain, all the families without husbands and sons… all was due to disobedience to the Lord.
How much pain in our world is similarly caused? And in Israel’s case they should have known better. They were God’s people. The same can be said for the church…
Oh. Lord, forgive me for the pain my sin causes. Forgive me for the times I darken Your light within me. Forgive me for shrinking back when You direct me to move forward. Forgive me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen