3–9 July 2016.
In 2 Samuel 5, David finally becomes the ruler of both Israelite kingdoms, Judah in the south and Israel in the north. It’s the start of a new chapter in Israel’s royal history. But what type of king will David be? Will he be like many of the rulers and politicians we see in our world today? Will he speak out against corruption and crime, but then look the other way when it’s his own friends who are breaking the law? Or will David be a just ruler who upholds the law, applying it fairly to everyone? We get an idea of the type of king David will be in chapter 4.
Saul and three of his sons have been killed in battle. So Saul’s other son Ishbaal has become king over Israel. But things aren’t going very well. Two men, Rechab and Baanah, watch as everything begins to fall apart. And they smartly realize that David is rising to power. So to build a good relationship with David and to win his favour, they come up with a plan. They sneak into King Ishbaal’s home and murder him while he sleeps. They think that surely this political assassination of Israel’s king will make David happy. So they bring Ishbaal’s head as a present to David and happily wait for their reward.
But for David, just because someone is an enemy doesn’t mean we have the right to do unjust things to them. David sees this plot for what it is: the murder of an innocent man in his own home. So Rechab and Baanah don’t get the reward they expected. Instead they are executed as traitors.
Today we know that some things are just wrong: it is wrong to kill others, to hurt others, to treat others badly, to destroy their lives. And those actions are all still wrong even when they are done to people we don’t like.
So when we stand up for what is right and fair, and when we refuse to do things that hurt others, especially those we don’t like, that’s when people will know that we are righteous and true followers of the God of justice.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis