Thursday, August 19, 2021

2021.08.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 20

Read 2 Samuel 20

Questions from the Scripture text: What kind of man does 2 Samuel 20:1 introduce? What is his name and tribe? What does he do? What does he say? What effect does this have upon whom (2 Samuel 20:2a)? What do the men of Judah do (verse 2b)? To where does David finally return in 2 Samuel 20:3? Who is still there? What does he do for them, but how do they end up? What does the king ask of whom in 2 Samuel 20:4? How does Amasa do (2 Samuel 20:5)? Whom does David have to ask instead (2 Samuel 20:6)? But who’s really running the operation (2 Samuel 20:7)? Whom does he take to do what? Whom do they meet where in 2 Samuel 20:8? What does Joab conveniently (and clandestinely) have on him? How does he speak to Amasa, and what does he do (2 Samuel 20:9)? What does Amasa miss (2 Samuel 20:10)? But what doesn’t it miss? What do Joab and Abishai go to do? Who else does what in 2 Samuel 20:11? Why doesn’t anyone go with them (2 Samuel 20:12)? What does Joab’s man do? With what result (2 Samuel 20:13)? Where does Joab gather men (2 Samuel 20:14)? Where do they trap Sheba (2 Samuel 20:15)? What are they about to do to the city? But who cries out (2 Samuel 20:16)? What does she want (2 Samuel 20:17)? What does she claim about the city (2 Samuel 20:18)? What does she accuse Joab of being about to do (2 Samuel 20:19)? What effect does this have upon Joab (2 Samuel 20:20)? What does he explain, and for what does he ask (2 Samuel 20:21)? What does the woman promise? Whom does the woman convince in 2 Samuel 20:22? With what results? Where/to whom does Joab return? What is finally reestablished (2 Samuel 20:23-25; cf. 2 Samuel 8:15–18)?

Things are “back to normal” in Israel—which means that before David even gets home (2 Samuel 20:3a), a Benjamite rebel has already turned the other tribes back against him (2 Samuel 20:1-2). So much for what David had done with Shimei and Ziba to retain the Israelites. And the concubines’ lives have been destroyed (2 Samuel 20:3b). So much for leaving them behind to keep the house. And Amasa, whom he retained to pacify Judah, turns out to be a horrible general (2 Samuel 20:4-5) and easy prey for Joab (2 Samuel 20:8-10). So much for David’s attempt to retain Amasa as general, or even just Abishai (2 Samuel 20:6)—apparently, he’d have preferred anyone to Joab. So much for that.

When Joab has finished reclaiming his position (2 Samuel 20:11-13), he corners Sheba in a city (2 Samuel 20:14-15) where a crafty woman negotiates his head as the price for the city’s sparing (2 Samuel 20:16-21) and convinces the people to pay up (2 Samuel 20:22). 

Yet, the summary in 2 Samuel 20:23-25 is very “normal” (cf. 2 Samuel 8:16–18). David is firmly reestablished. But we can see by how we got here that it is God alone to whom that establishing ultimately belongs. This is not at all a demonstration that David is great, but rather entirely a demonstration that God is gracious. We know that David is the king that God has given, but we also see rather clearly that we need God to give an infinitely better king than this one. Israel needs (and we need) King Jesus!

Whom does your nation need as King? Whom does your church need? Whom does your household need? In each of these spheres, how do we honor Him already as King? When will that kingship be ultimately fulfilled? What will that be like? Who is in control until then?

Sample prayer: Our Lord, we praise You for Your power and wisdom and goodness! You rule and overrule all things for Your glory and our good. But so many authorities are weak and wicked. Forgive us when we are those authorities, and forgive us for when we despair over others who are like that. Grant unto us to be courageous and wise and good with whatever authority You give us. Make us submissive to You in obedience to Your Word. And as we look forward to Your blessed and everlasting reign in the new heavens and earth, grant unto us to bear up cheerfully under whatever You bring us through to get us there. For we ask it in the Name of King Jesus, AMEN!

Suggested Songs: ARP72A “God Give Your Judgments to the King” or TPH72A “O God, Your Judgments Give the King”

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