The Prince of Peace – and His enemies – 2 Samuel 2. RBT Notes, 4th October

A king must have his kingdom, but everyone knows that people  don’t instinctively like to be ruled. David is now seeking to gather a divided people under his rule. He must bring those who already follow him back into the land, and unite them with those who had been loyal to Saul. No small order! David is anointed by his own people (v.4), and boldly begins by seeking those who’ve shown great loyalty to Saul (vv.4-7).
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Opposition is all around. People don’t want God’s King, not then, and not now. When Saul’s and David’s men meet, Abner is clearly itching for a fight. He gets one, with devastating effect. Asahel and others lose their lives, and the hatred and death escalates right to all-out war (vv.12-32). This is a sad, ugly chapter.
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The struggles of the verses are those played out again and again wherever God’s Kingdom is declared. Most sadly of all, the enemies of the Kingdom are so often those who claim to be part of it. “I want men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands in prayer without anger of disputing”, urges the Apostle Paul (1 Tim. 2.8). Why lift hands in prayer? Because men naturally fail to pray, and raise unholy voices (or even fists) in argument. Our chapter shows us how quickly fights happen, and our hearts betray the same warlike tendencies. Our King is a peacemaker, and His grace teaches us to go and do likewise.
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So hope, as always, in found in Jesus. He is the true king, and He comes (like David) offering peace. Trust Him, imitate Him, honour Him. You will find rest for your souls.
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A Prayer to Pray
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Lord Jesus, my heart is proud, fiercely proud. You are humble and gentle in heart, even as the Mighty Lord and King. Teach me to lay aside my anger, and my weapons. Make me a servant of Your peace. Amen.

Lewis Allen

Pastor, Hope Church Huddersfield, Director of Gospel Yorkshire, husband, father of five, football follower and dreaming fly-fisherman, Daily Reading the Bible Together blogger.

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