There are some excellent insights I believe the Holy Spirit taught me from today’s passage, 2 Samuel 20:1-2. God’s Word is so good! Let’s go!
2 Samuel 20:1-2 (NIV)
1 Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted, "We have no share in David, no part in Jesse's son! Every man to his tent, O Israel!"
2 So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
On verses 1-2: Just as Sheba led a revolt against David by convincing the people that David was not for them, so Satan wants you to believe that God is not good, that He is not for us but against you, or that you simply don’t need him. If you believe those lies, you will end up deserting Jesus the Son of David, just like all the men of Israel deserted King David (v2). May we be like the men of Judah who “stayed by their king all the way” (v2).
2 Samuel 20:3 (NIV)
3 When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them, but did not lie with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.
On verse 3: Finally toward the latter part of his life, David confronts a sin that had plagued him for decades: his taking many wives and concubines. David knew that God’s Word prohibited a king from taking many wives and concubines (Deuteronomy 17:17), but for decades David stubbornly resisted God’s Word. Finally, after seeing how his taking of many wives and his penchant for adultery had nearly destroyed him and his family, as just as Deuteronomy 17:17 had warned, David’s heart on the issue finally changes. He repents by no longer sleeping with his concubines but continues to provide for them and protects them with a security guard. He treats them as “widows”, meaning he no longer saw them as bound to him and allowed them to live normal lives, as much as could be done for women whom he had treated for years as his sex slaves.
Question: Is there a sin that has plagued you for a long time that you need to finally confront and cut off? Repentance isn’t just feeling sorry for a sin you committed, but making changes so that you don’t repeat that sin in the future.
2 Samuel 20:4-7 (NIV)
4 Then the king said to Amasa, "Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself."
5 But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him.
6 David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master's men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us."
7 So Joab's men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.
On verses 4-7: Amasa was David’s new military commander in chief, but when David told Amasa to have his men ready to fight Sheba within 3 days, Amasa couldn’t get the job done in time (v4-5). So David commissioned Abishai to take the lead against Sheba instead (v6-7).
What’s the lesson here? When you agree to get something done within a certain time, keep your word and get it done within that time. Otherwise, you will be seen as unreliable or not very capable, and future opportunities that could have gone to you will go to someone else.
What if you can’t get something done in time? Don’t wait until the deadline has already passed to tell the person you can't make it. Rather, go and tell that person as early as you can that you won’t be able to meet the deadline. Apologize to them and humbly request a reasonable extension of time.
2 Samuel 20:8, 10 (NIV)
8 While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath…
10 Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.
On verses 8-13: Here Joab murders Amasa by using Amasa’s own dagger against him. There is no excusing Joab’s actions. His murder of Amasa was the latest in a string of cold blooded murders that Joab had committed. But notice made Amasa vulnerable to murder: his dagger dropped out of its sheath. In other words, Amasa wasn’t carrying his dagger properly and wasn’t ready. The result? Amasa was vulnerable to attack by a cunning enemy.
What can we learn from this? Ephesians 6:17 tells us to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Scholars say that the word for “sword” in Ephesians 6:17 is not referring to a long samurai sword, but more to a short-range sword, like a dagger. So here's the lesson...
When you and I do not properly equip ourselves with the Word of God, or when we are not careful to keep and protect the Word of God in the sheath of our hearts, we give Satan an opportunity to kill and destroy us.
If we’re not careful, we can even let Satan steal the Word of God from us and use it against us, leading us to believe things that are simply not true about God and God’s Word. That’s why it’s crucial for you to take up the Word of God every day, to meditate on it and to keep in your heart. You need to keep the Word of God close to you in order to stand up to the enemy.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I would not be careless the way that Amasa was careless. May I be careful to keep my word to do things on time. And may I be careful to keep Your Word close to me too, for it is my sword against the enemy. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!