Day 78—“Refuge” 2 Samuel 20:1 – 24:25--Guest Blogger Sandra Weiler
March 18, 2021, 10:14 PM

Day 78—“Refuge” 2 Samuel 20:1 – 24:25

Sandra Weiler

We just came from reading about David’s lament over the death of his son Absalom who rebelled against a father who he saw as weak and ripe for the picking.  The tribes disputed over this rift and power struggle, and then he receives another blow from Saul’s tribe with the rebellion of Sheba.   God’s promise to David seems like the only thing he can hold on to, but I question if he can see what that promise means at this point in his story.  His house is certainly not in order.  

Speaking of order in his house, I hesitate to discuss the concubines of David.  As Absalom vied for power, he took over the house which included these women.  I doubt highly they had any choice or protection from what was happening to them at the hands of Absalom.   I cringed reading that David imprisoned them for life for being unclean and to essentially save face.  

Personally, I struggled with some of these chapters.  I’m dismayed, ok let’s just say it – grossed out at the never-ending violence and lack of respect for life.  Joab is a character we have read about before who seems to have been emboldened by a lust for violence - bowels of Amasa – ugh.  Ultimately David is victorious in battle, but the savage people he employed in battle and the (sometimes merciful) actions taken by David just lead to more failure, despair, and of course more death.   

Chapter 22 is a song of praise of God’s deliverance which happens to be shown to us again in Psalm 18.  At first read, I thought that some of the lines here were not entirely accurate especially when David says he kept the ways of the Lord.  For we know he did not and there were consequences.  My study bible said to re-read the song; to realize it was written from God’s perspective.   If you trust God, you will find him present in your greatest challenges.  David did this and so can we.  If you take the words from God’s perspective, it reads that God replaces our sin with his purity.  All David’s joys and hopes point towards the great Redeemer as ours should also point.  

We read so many times that the Lord was angered by the actions of his sinful people.  A grave sin is committed when David orders a census of Israel and Judah.  We have learned by previous readings in Exodus and Numbers that God numbered the people.   David ordering a census is not fundamentally evil as long as it’s completed per biblical command.   We and the people in David’s time belong to the Lord and exist because of him yet David was counting as a King to count as his own.  There’s a redemptive price or ransom that is paid when we are counted as belonging to God.  

God offers David three choices of redemption: a 7-year famine, the option to flee for 3 months before his enemies, or a 3-day plague.  David chooses the plague that kills 70,000 men.  Two of those options would have led to him seeking assistance from his enemies.  His choice was the most direct and the people could only look to God for relief.   You may be asking yourself why David’s sin had to be paid by the whole nation?   David asked God to hold the sin only to him and not the nation, but the request was not responded to.  We’ve read that the chosen people have suffered before.  Maybe this was a lesson for the people, that when the leaders they choose are not following God, all people pay the punishment for the sin.  Maybe the people angered God by their actions.  As difficult it was for a nation and might also be for us, a lesson needed to be learned.   

David then builds an altar to God and pays a redemptive price literally and figuratively for the threshing floor in order to build an alter to the Lord.   He offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord who was moved by the prayer for the people of the land and the plague was held back from Israel.  David sinned, he recognized it, confessed his sins, and saw forgiveness in the Lord.  He remained a child of God.   If we have to read about all the violence and tragedy to get to that simple yet enduring message, it is well worth the read to know that God’s ways are perfect.  God loves us even though we sin and is our strength and power. 

Post a Comment