Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 12 May 21:
2 Samuel 3:14-16 — “Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, ‘Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bridal price of a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.’ And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. But her husband went with her, weeping after her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ‘Go, return.’ And he returned.”
Today continues the theme of denying self and taking up your personal cross daily for sake of the Gospel. Unfortunately, David gives us an example of how NOT to display the grace of God:
Background: The story of David and Michal begins in 1 Samuel 18 when king Saul promised Michal in marriage to David as a prize for an attack against the Philistines (1 Samuel 18:24-27). David defeated the Philistines in battle, and Michal was given to him as a wife. However, shortly after that, king Saul sought to kill David in jealousy gave Michal to another man, Paltiel son of Laish. David spent many years running from Saul and over the years had other wives and children. However, when Saul died and David prepared to step into his rightful position as king, he orders that Michal be brought back to him forcibly, apparently without her consent and with no regard for Paltiel who truly loved Michal and was devastated by David’s actions.
David pursued his own rights without regard for the collateral damage inflicted upon others. David’s actions were not motivated by love but rather by pride. He demanded his rights (which also served to legitimize his claim to the throne) at the expense of compassion and grace. David broke a man’s heart to get what he wanted, and consequently, he never again had the respect or love of Michal.
- 1 Corinthians 10:11 — “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”
David’s story, along with all the other Old Testament stories, were recorded for our instruction, providing both positive examples and, in this case, negative examples. How do you think David could have handled this differently?
Much of the Christian life, is surrendering our rights for the sake of grace — denying self, taking up the cross (accepting persecution for the sake of grace), and truly following the selfless, sacrificial example of Jesus.
- 1 Corinthians 10:24 — “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:32, 33 — “Give no offense…. please everyone…. not seeking [your] own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
Don’t let your behavior stand in the way of the message of Christ. Beyond our actions, our motive must always be love. Doing the right things with the wrong motives is sin for you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 May 21: Today, take time to truly consider the motives behind your actions. Were you motivated by fear, hope for reward, a sense of obligation, or by the greatest motivation of genuine, unconditional love? God calls us to be motivated by love, not just duty, and definitely not fear, pride, or greed. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33) Deny self, proclaim Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:24-33) Journal how many times you resist the temptation to defend yourself and how many times you proclaim “Jesus Christ” to others.