Key Verse: 2 Samuel 19:3
And the people stole back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
The people who had stood shoulder to shoulder with David were discouraged by David’s response. They could not understand the depth of his grief. Self pity was probably a large part of David’s extreme sorrow. He knew how badly he had messed up his family and his kingdom. David was experiencing the truth of the words written a thousand years later, “God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 – click here for 6:6-10). Paul wrote good words. In the last sentence of today’s reading, “words” are mentioned twice. Words have great power to change a person, and even a nation. The words of Joab to David, rebuking him and urging him to speak words of comfort to the people, changed David’s actions. Then David spoke to the priests asking them to speak to the elders of Judah. Judah had supported Absalom. The representatives of the ten tribes, eleven counting Benjamin, had, for the most part, stood with David. The words of Barzillai come close to home for those of us who are 80 years old or over (2 Samuel 19:35). However we can take courage from the fact that God used this old man to provide food and shelter for David and those who had accompanied him from Jerusalem. What an honour it is for we who are older to use the resources God has given us to bless others.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I ask You for wise words to come from my mouth. I pray that, like Barzillai, my actions will speak even louder than my words. May I be given the grace to give generously of that with which You have entrusted me. Thank You that I’m of sound mind and that I can make decisions which will benefit Your cause. May I not wait until others have to make those decisions for me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In my comments yesterday, I spoke of these priorities: God first, family second, and God’s other work third. My Dad, because of circumstances beyond his control, was absent from the time I was two until I was eight. During those years, some people, probably unwisely, would say to me, “David, you have to be the man of the house.” They weren’t serious, I’m sure, but to a boy those were big powerful words. I can remember standing as tall as possible, squaring my shoulders, and even lying as straight in my bed as I possibly could. When Dad came home at the close of WWII, I hid behind the bushes and my older sisters had to drag me out to greet him. In spite of that, I was glad to see him. He was a strong man with strong words. My mother had the same strengths. Some time ago, Ann, my “daughter-in-love” (we say “love” instead of “law”), was looking at a 1948 yearbook from Annesley College (John and Charles Wesley’s mother’s maiden name was Annesley). My Dad was Principal there and Mother was called the Matron. Ann said to me, “Dad, you should quote your Mom and Dad in your blog.” So here are some of mother’s words from that yearbook: “Dear young friend, is God calling you to attend Annesley College? Make sure that you are within calling distance. Live close to Jesus where you can hear His voice. When we live in that secret place with Him, we rejoice to do His bidding.” – Hazel Mainse. And some of father’s words: “In the first place, things that count for success seem just beyond our reach. We try to influence people for good, but our best efforts of themselves prove futile; and worse than useless, even harmful. The secret of successful contact is found in the magnetic Son of God, who never made a failure in any of His many human relationships.” – R. L. Mainse (below are photos of these pages in the yearbook from 1948).
Yours for learning that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11),