2 Samuel 18:19-33
Judges 1:27-36 – Failure to Complete the Conquest. By failing to remove the occupants from the land, a trap lay in waiting for Israel. As I have said a couple of times now, everything we do sets the stage for the future. Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, and Naphtali were not able to push the occupants out which meant that occupants would be conscripted labor. While the four tribes were abiding by the law, it wasn’t the first choice, it was the alternate and that’s where the trouble stems from. You see, as long as Israel was large and in charge the laborers would do as they were ordered to until Israel’s power waned. In the same way, the Lord gives us the power to take control of our lives which means pushing out those things that bring us down. When we allow “those things” to remain because we think “I have conscripted them to serve me” and so we go to the places that tempt us like the bars. When tragedy strikes us or trouble enters our home, we will go to those places that brought us comfort and it will drive us into the arms of another woman/man. For the Israelites, it would mean that they would fall prey to idol worship.
Psalms 88 – I Cry Out Day and Night Before You. Heman was the son of Joel the prophet and Samuel’s grandson. David had appointed Heman to be the choir leader which would be carried into the time of Solomon and the building of the House of G-d “Beth-El”. The connection to Ezra was a spiritual connection or to be wise as Ezra (Heman). The term “Mahalath Leannoth” means “sickness and affliction a lesson” (ML). The lesson in this Psalm is how a disease or mental illness should lead us to the place where hope resides. The Devil uses our illnesses whether they be mental or physical to draw us away from the Lord just as it was with Hezekiah. The writer of this Psalm was unwilling to be defeated by mental illness and chose instead to turn his eyes from the Lord. When we chose to serve and honor the Lord in sickness and in health, the illness loses its grasp on us.
Ecclesiastes 8:10-17 – Those Who Fear G-d. In the eyes of the Lord, there are two different types of people, those who fear him and those who don’t. Walking in the fear of the Lord doesn’t mean that we will live a charmed life and that everything will be “Rosey dandy”. It does mean that the Lord will walk with us through all of the pathways of our life which includes the times of immense storms. The evil person may garner all of the wealth and prestige but there will always be something missing from his/her life and will die without peace. We will never know all of G-d’s plans for our lives and this is by design. When we walk in the fear of the Lord and are obedient to what He commands, His Spirit will guide us always to the end of our life. Interestingly, mankind (mainly scientists) have attempted and still attempt to find out about the workings of this world and this “G-d” but are never able to find out which, is also by design.
Isaiah 25 – G-d Will Swallow Up Death Forever. Israel was the “Beaulah land” and the “Promised land”. For over 1000 years the nation had lived in this land. Yet, the enemy of our soul crept in to do what he does best, “break the peace” and “compel people to change their focus towards “dominion” (1-3). Nations came to join with Israel because of the prosperity in the time of David and in the early reign of Solomon yet when the party ended, the nations abandoned Israel like one would a piece of trash. The destruction of Israel served as a warning to the nations about breaking faith with the Lord (4-5). The difference between Israel and Soddom and Gomorrah was that Israel had been warned that their actions would cause problems but they didn’t listen. Only mankind thinks they are indomitable because in the eyes of the Lord we are simply humans who are susceptible to the forces of this world which include “fear of death”. The reference to the mountain referred to the mountain of the Lord the place where His throne was placed and the place where death no longer held people in its web of fear (6-9). The places of mankind’s dominion would always be squashed by those who were stronger than them. The Lord uses people like Nebuchadnezzar to humble nations (10-12).
2 Samuel 18:19-33 – David Hears of Absalom’s Death. The two men who ran with the news Ahimaaz and the Cushite had different perspectives on the events that occurred. Ahimaaz had not witnessed what Joab and 3 other men did to Absalom; The Cushite, however, had full knowledge because he was potentially one of the “three other men”. When the Cushite had relayed the story of Absalom’s death, it was natural for David to go into his chamber to mourn his son’s death. It must be understood that Joab’s action in killing Absalom was not an act of war because Absalom, for all intents and purposes, had surrendered. It was always the hope of the kings that their sons would take their place on the throne not die as the fool dies. In Joab’s mind, both Absalom and Abner deserved to be killed; in David’s mind, both deaths were senseless murders yet, how could he judge Joab? It is for this reason that Joab would be an open issue for the next king of Israel/Judah.