Wednesday, July 26th
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor
A TRAGIC WASTE
To read today: 2 Samuel 3:1-39
The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.
2 Samuel 3:1
Upon Saul’s death, a civil war breaks out in Israel. On one side is the house of Saul, trying to hold onto power into the next generation. On the other side is David, the anointed king, who at times has been faithful to God and at other times has gone his own way. In this chapter, there is fighting, bickering, anger, resentment, and disputes. The leaders of the people of God in Israel are not looking to defend their borders or care for the well-being of their people; they are in a power struggle that benefits only a few and harms many. They are far from the mission God has given them to serve, protect, and lead God’s people and more like modern politicians who seem more interested in keeping and building power than serving the people they were elected to represent.
It is easy to sit back and critique this dynamic, but when we are honest, we watch it play out in our lives, too. We get into disputes with our spouses, struggling for power and control. We engage in squabbles with our extended family and are filled with resentment for things that happened years (even decades!) ago. We get involved in territorial disputes at work, posturing and arguing for resources and authority. We get into a cynical and critical place at church, complaining about everyone while serving no one. If we are self-aware, we will notice the places where we are just like the house of David and the house of Saul, and it should grieve us. God did not create, redeem, and empower us with His Spirit to fight small, petty battles for our power, authority, and ego. He has called us to be salt and light in the world, changing everyone around us by the power of the Gospel. He has called us to love and serve and by doing so, fill the world with God’s glory and grace. May we never live with the kind of small-mindedness we witness in this ancient struggle for power.
For Today: Ask the Lord to show you any place where you are fighting battles God never told you to fight.