Key Verse: 2 Samuel 1:19
The beauty of Israel is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!
There are several ways to read the Bible: (1) critically (2) historically (3) devotionally. In the first consideration, we could abhor the rough “frontier justice” or lack thereof. We can condemn or justify certain acts of which we read. In the second way, we have no reason to believe that the recording of events are not historically correct. Finally, in the third way, devotionally, our hearts can be deeply moved with the spiritual inspiration found in these writings. When we say that the Bible is “inerrant,” we are not saying everything said or done by men such as David is right, nor are the human witnesses to events 100% accurate in what they have recorded, but we are saying that they recorded what they believe they saw accurately. It’s like witnesses in our courts today. If they see everything exactly the same, then you know that they have conspired to change their stories to match each other. When we say that we believe the “verbal inspiration” of the Bible, we are saying that what we read is correct in recording accurately the thoughts of each individual. God oversaw the writing of Holy Scripture. He did not take away the free wills of the writers to express their thoughts as they chose.
We should be inspired by today’s reading to consider the beautiful tribute the poet of Israel, David, gave as a eulogy for King Saul, whom he called, “The Beauty of Israel.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, please grant that I may respond, as Jesus did, to those who have wronged me. Jesus said, as He hung on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” David’s response to the death of Saul, the man who sought to kill him, is a challenge to me. I pray for grace and power to be more gracious in my words. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As I read today of David’s order to kill the Amalekite who brought Saul’s crown to David and lied about his role in Saul’s death, a story that no doubt he thought would curry favour for himself with David, I thought of the tribal societies in parts of Africa today. For example, the brutal, bloody terror of the regime of Idi Amin in Uganda was overturned by the present leader, Museveni. His strong rule has reduced the incidence of AIDS more than in any other country in Africa. The story is told that in his first cabinet meeting, Museveni took out his revolver, pointed it at each of his cabinet members, and said, “If any of you are unfaithful to your wives, I will personally shoot you dead.” He took other measures also, but the point I want to make is that in our culture here in most of the rest of the world, this kind of action is so foreign that I find it hard to understand that the cabinet members actually believed that they would be shot if they were unfaithful. I try to think back 3,000 years and the culture and practises are far more foreign to me than that of modern Uganda. Our son, David Reynold (blog photographer), and his wife, Kathy, are missionaries there. I know that I cannot do anything to help change the ancient cultures, but I’m working in my small way on the modern cultures. I must do my part to share the grace and mercy revealed in Jesus. God willing, tomorrow I’ll share more about the Ugandan leader.
Yours, trying my best to communicate information that is helpful,