Interweaving Opposition with Blessings
Day: 33 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel
Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 2
2 Samuel 2:4 (NIV) “Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.”
Wouldn’t it be great if life wasn’t filled with so much heartache and pain? Imagine a world covered with love, joy, peace and unity. Where no one grieves. No one faces hardships. And everyone gets along.
Life has its ups and downs – not only in our lifetime, but in every generation from the beginning of time. Just look at what David was facing in today’s reading of 2 Samuel 2.
The tragic death of Jonathan and King Saul left David distraught and grieving. (2 Samuel 1:11-12, 1:17-27) Instead of being relieved that Saul was finally no longer a threat, David mourned and needed direction on what to do next. So, he sought God for instructions and the Lord told David to go to Hebron.
Upon arriving with his family, the men of Hebron anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. And in his first order as king, David chose to give a blessing and encouragement to others.
I love that, don’t you? David could have remained in an emotional state of grief, but God’s nearness and guiding instructions lead David to new place with a renewed heart. Let’s take a look at whom David’s blessings were directed to:
“When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, he sent messengers to them to say to them, ‘The LORD bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them’” (2 Samuel 2: 4b-7).
Remember all those times we read in 1 Samuel where Saul was trying to harm, capture and even kill David? And, yet, David is now blessing those who gave Saul a proper burial! David was choosing unity over division. Kindness instead of retaliation. David had a heart after God. He had a reverenced awe of the Lord and knew that those whom God had anointed, including Saul, should be respected.
Yes, blessings were flowing and relationships were apparently growing between David and those he blessed in Hebron. But as life would have it, opposition was also silently stirring as Abner, King Saul’s commander, kept busy in another part of the region gathering forces and making Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son, king over Israel. (2 Samuel 2:8-9)
Fighting broke out and as war swelled over who would reign as king, lives were lost once again. More grief. More hardships. More brokenness.
Ish-Bosheth would reign only two years over Israel, while David was king over Judah seven and a half years before reigning over Judah and Israel for 33 years. (2 Samuel 5:4-5)
Although David was chosen, blessed, anointed and appointed by God to be king, he certainly wasn’t exempt from struggles and heartache. Even in today’s reading we see how the blessings and oppositions were interwoven as David faced another season and situation in his life. I think the same is true for you and me.
I used to believe my life was made up of a series of experiences that would toggle me back and forth from joyous mountaintop highs to discouraging valley lows. But now I see life from a different angle.
Just like David, we too experience struggles and hardships. But if we pay close attention we’ll also see the many blessings God has interwoven throughout each one. They live and breathe together – this world’s opposition and God’s glorious blessings. Day by day. Season by season. And managing the tension between those oppositions and blessings is so important. How do we do it? Just like David did.
We go to God for help and guidance. We ask Him to show us what’s next. We patiently wait for Him to lead us in a new direction as we savor His comfort in the meantime. We intentionally choose to rejoice over His blessings instead of focusing only on the opposition around us. And when we do, I believe God will give us a renewed heart. A heart after His own that is strengthened and keeps us moving forward in faith one day at a time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessings and the oppositions, which You purposefully can weave together for my good. If life was always grand and I never had opposition or hardships, I might never come to You. I’d probably rely on my own strength and then miss out on the greatest relationship of my life: a personal relationship with You. Open my spiritual eyes to see how You’re working in my current circumstances. And give me a renewed heart to faithfully follow You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The anointing David received in Hebron was his second anointing as king. David’s first... Read More
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