September 1, 2011 Devotion Sharing (2 Sam. 14)

Submitted by Myra, Gracepoint Berkeley Church

2 Samuel 14:1-21

In the previous chapter, David’s failure to act in response to Amnon’s sin against Tamar precipitated Absalom’s revenge.  Again, King David is depicted here as passive while others around him take action.  Consider the dilemma David is facing as father and king.  How did he come to be in this situation?

As a king, he is faced with the situation of having to bring justice and judgment onto Absalom who killed his brother Amnon. Yet as a father, he doesn’t want to pass this kind of judgment onto his own son. David had the responsibility as the judge and king of Israel to bring about justice and yet his heart of compassion as a father made him passive and end up doing nothing at all. Similarly in the situation with Absalom, David failed to act and instead of reconciling, Absalom became more and more bitter to the point of feeling justified for his actions and ultimately scheming against his own father.

David ended up in this situation because he failed to teach his children to fear God, have morality in their lives, and in being a source of moral authority over them. David indulged his children and let them do what they wanted instead of teaching them to obey God, giving them proper values, and instilling proper fear of God. Moreover instead of punishing Amnon, David passively stood by in silence, which caused Absalom to take action and revenge into his own hands. The tragic consequences to David’s passivity and lack of response led to further sin and brokenness.

Submitted by Matthew K., Gracepoint Berkeley Church

2 Samuel 14:32-33

Absalom seems to be offended toward David for treating him as an exile.  What is Absalom forgetting?

Absalom is forgetting that he has been brought back to Jerusalem purely out of David’s mercy and intervention of Joab.  He has forgotten that it was him who killed Amnon, his own brother and king’s son. He has forgotten the reason for the exile and the way he was being treated.

What aspect of human nature is displayed in Absalom’s sense of injury?  To what extent have I seen this kind of tendancy in my life?

We tend to forget what we have done and the crime we have committed.  I think we tend to forget this more easily when we are shown some mercy.  When we are clearly in exile, we are reminded by our surroundings and our relative positions with others that we should be humble and repentant.  But, when we are shown a little bit of mercy, we tend to forget our position as sinners and start claiming our rights.   We begin to have sense of entitlement and lack of appreciation for the mercy that was shown to us.  We become demanding of others to pay proper respect to us, recognize and appreciate us.

I can’t ever forget that I am a sinner through and through and that I am a recipient of God’s great mercy.  As a director and as one of the older ones in our ministry, I can easily begin thinking that I am entitled to some respect, appreciation, certain success in ministry, and the kind of work that I am asked to do.  I can begin to think that I am somebody in our ministry that my views, skills, know-how, experience, and years of ministry ought to be recognized, respected and appreciated.  I can begin to think that I should be given a more visible ministry or great role or be consulted by others.  I find that it is so easy for me to fall into this kind of trap unless I am vigilant about it and guard my heart against it.

I need to never forget that the ministry I have is purely out of grace.  Not only I don’t deserve being in ministry, I don’t deserve that my ministry should go well.  God does not owe me any of that.  I don’t deserve it at all.  God can take it away at any minute.  For every minute that I am allowed to serve God in any capacity, I need to be grateful.

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