Friday, September 2, 2011

2 Samuel 8 & 9 - Rest from Enemies and Kindness to Jonathan's Son

LINK: 2 Samuel 8 & 9

BACKGROUND

2 Samuel 8

The events in this chapter are a fulfillment of God's promise to David: that He would give him rest from his enemies (7:11). Israel had been warring with the Philistines for 125 years, and David attacked and defeated them. Next, he defeated the Moabites. The chapter mentions "lines." It was a practice of Eastern kings to have prisoners of war lie down in lines. Then they chose to kill a certain portion of them by lot or measuring line. We do not know why David would attack the Moabites since David had ancestral roots there and had been at peace with them (1 Samuel 22:3-4). Finally, he defeated the Arameans and the Edomites and "the Lord gave David victory everywhere he went" (8:14) giving him rest from his enemies.

2 Samuel 9

David had pledged to Jonathan that he would never forget their covenant of friendship (1 Samuel 20:14-17), and he honored his promise by showing kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan's disabled son, by restoring Mephibosheth's property and allowing him to eat at the king's table.

REFLECTION

Last night, I got a distressed email from a friend pouring out her heart about things that are happening in her neighborhood. They have been slandered, misunderstood, judged, and shunned. It has been terrible.

I followed up by talking with her on Skype. It has been horrible. In addition, there are things happening with her parents and sibling that are yucky. It sounds like this friend has "enemies on every side." Yet, she was dealing with it in such a great way by:
1) Finding comfort in Scripture and standing on His promises,
2) Sending out an "SOS" (Supplication of Saints) and asking for prayer, and
3) Reading the book called Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict.

She and her husband are seeking "peace on every side" in a biblical way! Let's pray that they can find rest!

What a great feeling for David to be at rest from ALL of his enemies! I am so happy to say that, as far as I know, and "so far as it depends on me" I am at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). It was not always this way, but through application of the principles from books like Peacemaking Women and The Peacemaker by Ken Sande, peace on all sides is a reality in my life!

It helps to be in a church that has a "culture of peace" because of godly and humble leaders who model it and teach it! (I give a "shout out" to Carey, our marriage and family pastor, who was the mover and shaker behind the whole "peacemaking quake"  at our church. YOU GO GIRL!)

Do not get me wrong. The people in my church still have conflict, but conflict is seen as an opportunity for growth and becoming more like Christ. So, there is an attempt to handle it in a Biblical, God-honoring way. 

Just this week, my husband, George, was able to help in coaching two parties toward resolving a conflict, and I got my feelings hurt and had to talk to someone about it. In a "culture of peace," all of this is OK and both situations ended up with misperceptions being cleared up! Peace was/is being restored.

APPLICATION

Do you have peace on every side in your family? in your neighborhood? in your friendships? in your church? If not, I heartily recommend that your application be to read these books. If you have to choose one, read The Peacemaker first. I try to read it at least once a year. It is THAT important!
God may even call you toward being the "mover and shaker" behind establishing a "culture of peace" in your church! See HERE for more information.

PRAYER 

Lord, sometimes we are weary from the battles that rage around us. I pray for "rest on every side" from those in whom we have conflict. I pray that You would speak to us about our own part in conflict and give us the humility and courage to go to others, in love (and not in the sword, like David), and make peace. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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