2 Samuel 8-10
There are a lot of great lessons in these chapters! It all begins with a summary of some of David’s victories, over the Philistines, Moabites, Hadadezer king of Zobah, Syria, and the Edomites.
After that, David extends kindness to the house of Saul for the sake of his friendship with Jonathan by creating a permanent seat at the king’s table for one of Saul’s few surviving descendents, Mephibosheth, who was Jonathan’s son.
Later, David sends messengers to console the new King of Ammon after his father dies, but his message is misinterpreted as spying and the servants are humiliated by the Ammonites. This obviously does not sit well with David, and the Ammonites realize they might be in trouble, so they appeal to the Syrians to help them, and muster an army. David hears about it and sends his own army to make war with them, which they do, and the Israelites win, causing Syria to think twice before coming to Ammon’s defense again.
2 Samuel 9:1
“And David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?'”
This verse stuck out to me because Saul had just spent the last several years pursuing David out of jealousy, because he knew that God had taken the kingdom away from him and given it to David. Saul’s spite caused David to have to flee his home nation and live on the run for a long time, even while David meant no harm to Saul, content to patiently wait until the Lord decided it was his time to reign.
It is clear from this section that David is setting up a new kind of kingdom. One not based on power and self-glorification, but on justice, equity, and righteousness.
He overlooks the offenses of Saul and extends an invitation to a remaining member of his household due to his friendship and loyalty to Jonathan. Rather than repaying evil for evil and wiping out Saul’s line, he breaks that cycle with kindness and ensures that it will live on through Mephibosheth.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
This passage is a really good indication of what God saw in David’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and why David is often remembered, even despite his mistakes (and there were many) as a righteous man and the greatest king of Israel. God values the character that it takes to overlook offenses and quickly extend kindness and forgiveness rather than one who pursues revenge.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
Sometimes I find myself unable to let go of minor offenses and I allow them to drive a wedge in my relationship with the person. This passage helped me realize that this isn’t a quality that God values in me.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
I want to be better at overlooking offenses, and to be quick to forgive and be intentional in finding ways to show kindness to people, especially people I may struggle with.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Jesus exemplified this perfectly, both in his teaching and in his life. Forgive 70×7 times, and of course he backed up his talk by dying on the cross, even for those who betrayed, falsely accused, mocked, and abused him.