Friday, September 03, 2021

2021.09.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 21:15–22

Read 2 Samuel 21:15–22

Questions from the Scripture text: Who were at war with Israel (2 Samuel 21:15)? Who went and fought against them? What happened to David at this point? Who thought he could do what (2 Samuel 21:16)? What details does this verse emphasize about him? Who comes to David’s aid (2 Samuel 21:17)? What do David’s men say now? Why? What had happened again in 2 Samuel 21:18? Who killed whom? And what had happened in 2 Samuel 21:19? And who killed whom then? What do they note about him? And what had happened in 2 Samuel 21:20? What description is given of the man in this verse? What happens to him in 2 Samuel 21:21? How does 2 Samuel 21:22 summarize all of this?

The Lord had promised to save His people from the Philistines by the hand of David (cf. 2 Samuel 3:18), and the summary of this passage in 2 Samuel 21:22 tells us that’s exactly what He did. The Lord is faithful to His promises!

The Lord is faithful to His promises even when His servants aren’t up to it. 2 Samuel 21:15 tells us that David was out of gas, and 2 Samuel 21:16 tells us that the best-equipped Philistine giant noticed and was about to take advantage. Even David wasn’t up to it. You aren’t either. But the Lord is still faithful. A big part of that is those other servants of His, with whom He has surrounded you: Abishai in this case, but the others as summarized at the end of 2 Samuel 21:22, and of course whomever He has placed you among (cf. Ephesians 4:11–16; 1 Corinthians 12:15–21).

The Lord is faithful to His promises through His chosen one. In the second half of 2 Samuel 21:17, David’s men saw how vital (relatively speaking) God had made him to His work in Israel. Now, this is true sometimes of those whom God uses in a very unique way in various seasons of His church’s life. But, it is true in an ultimate sense of Christ. Ultimately, all hangs upon Him alone. Unlike David, He has no need of us at all. Rather, in union with Him, we receive all of the privileges of His unique righteousness, victory, life, inheritance, etc.

The Lord is faithful to His promises, but also recognizes His servants. It’s ultimately the Lord Who is faithful, and to Whom all glory belongs. But He names Abishai, Sibbechai, Elhanan, and Jonathan in this passage. Sure, you may think that this is only for giant-killers. But the Lord also names Zeruiah, Hushath, Jaare-Oregim, and Shimea. In our God’s estimation, fathering or bearing children and bringing them up is also worthy of recognition. Again, it’s His faithful work by His grace, but He models for us that it’s entirely appropriate to recognize the servants whom He uses. We have all benefited from many of them, and it’s biblical to acknowledge it about them and to them.

The Lord is faithful to vindicate His people. The nameless 24-digit giant in 2 Samuel 21:20 made the mistake of defying Israel in 2 Samuel 21:21. Our Lord will not allow attacks upon His people to go unanswered. In fact, whatever retribution there is in this life, there will be eternal vengeance in the next (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:6–10). 

Was this the end of the giants? God had promised to displace the Rephaiim (cf. Genesis 15:20), and these are the children of Rapha (2 Samuel 21:22a). This is the last we hear of them, but whether or not this was their actual end, we can clearly see one of the purposes they served: to show us and remind us that our Lord is faithful.

What role has the Lord currently given you in your home and in His church? How is it dependent upon Christ? How does it serve Him? Whom else has He used for your good? How have you recognized this before God or before men? What currently dangerous or impossible situation is an opportunity for your Lord’s displaying Himself faithful?

Sample prayer:  Lord, indeed You are perfectly faithful. All hinged upon Your Son, and He became a man to be our own perfect faithfulness in our behalf. Forgive us for when we doubt You, or exalt ourselves, or don’t recognize Your servants. Truly, our sin is a greater enemy than anything or anyone we face. But You are faithful! And we commit ourselves to Your perfect care in Christ, through Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH245 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

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