Wednesday, May 12, 2021

2021.05.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 12:26–31

Read 2 Samuel 12:26–31

Questions from the Scripture text: To what history do we now return (2 Samuel 12:26, cf. 2 Samuel 11:1)? What does Joab do? To whom does he send in 2 Samuel 12:27? What does he tell him? What does Joab ask David to do (2 Samuel 12:28a)? to prevent what from happening (verse 28b)? So, what does David do in 2 Samuel 12:29? What does he take in 2 Samuel 12:30? What does the Scripture note about it? What else does he bring out? Whom does he bring out in 2 Samuel 12:31? What does he do to them? To whom else does he do this? Then what does he finally do (end of verse 31, cf. 2 Samuel 11:1)?

Wars and sieges and subjugation of enemies (cf. 2 Samuel 12:31)… that’s the stuff that tends to get all the press. You can even see it highlighted here in Joab’s message that David should probably want his name on this (2 Samuel 12:28), and in the puff-piece in the Jerusalem Times about the weight and design of the recently acquired Ammonite crown (2 Samuel 12:30). 

But that seems to be sort of the Spirit’s point to us here. David “returned to Jerusalem” (v31), where he had made the unusual decision to remain in 2 Samuel 11:1. The stuff that man seems to focus so much upon is almost a throwaway introduction (verse 11:1) and conclusion (2 Samuel 12:26-31) to the main narrative (2 Samuel 11:2–12:25). God emphasizes much more to us the conduct and sanctification of His people, the spiritual condition of His church and its leadership, than He does the rising and falling of kingdoms.

The fact that the Lord was in the midst of giving David yet another victory, and putting yet another extravagant crown on his head, and subjugating yet another nation into service to him all ends up reinforcing the point that He had made in 2 Samuel 12:7–8

We have a God and King and Redeemer Who has front-loaded our lives with tremendous blessing and guaranteed that limitless blessing is our ultimate outcome. Even the fact that Joab is still more devoted to David’s name than his own (end of 2 Samuel 12:28) is evidence of what God has done for David and is doing for David. 

And we have continual evidence set before us as well—daily bread, the ability to forgive, the knowledge of God as both Father and yet also holy. Weekly, we even gather into glory, through the shed blood of Christ, hear Him speak to us from heaven, have His death shown forth at the table, and eat and drink the feast of the everlasting covenant.

It is easy for us to focus upon “what’s going on in the world”—to give more weight to wars and rumors of wars. But this passage pushes us to give more weight to showing up to work on time and consistently, guarding where we let our eyes linger, listening to wise counsel, resisting the urge to cover sin up or throw others under the bus (or Ammonite archers) when it suits how we want others to think of ourselves.

And this passage most of all wants us to give weight to how merciful it is when God sends His Word to convict us. And grants us a repentance that neither makes excuses nor downplays the severity of our sin. And convinces us that His covenant is still in place because it is His, and that our children are His beloved because they are His. And, most of all, this passage wants us to remember that the only King that will ultimately do for us is Jesus.

Australia and China may be getting ready to go to a war that will suck in the entire world. The new Tech Oligarchs may be subjugating the world. The old-money nobility may be employing the woke-mob to suppress any threat they perceive to their power. But the Lord wants us keenly interested in everyday living as the proper response to His everlasting mercy in Christ. Therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your reasonable response of worship.

What things that seem like a big deal politically and militarily threaten to occupy more of your attention than what God wants from you on an hourly and daily basis? What is it that God wants from you on an hourly and daily basis? What has He done for you and promised you, that you can keep in mind so that you focus primarily upon loving Him back with obedience and service? What can you be sure that He is doing in all of those political and military things that are happening?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH515 “More Than Conquerors”

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