HESITANT FIRST STEPS
Lord, guide me in any new venture I am forced to undertake.
Read 2 Samuel 2:1–7; 3:1
2 In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
The Lord said, “Go up.”
David asked, “Where shall I go?”
“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.
When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, 5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.”
3:1 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.
New International Version (NIV)
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What factors guide us in making our most important decisions?
Hebron was one of the cities which Joshua had given to the Levites as a city of refuge for accidental homicide. David is familiar with the territory because he and his men have roamed it widely on the run from Saul. He is on good terms with the inhabitants, having sent them some of the spoils of his campaign in Ziklag (1 Sam. 30:26–31). It would seem, therefore, to be a logical place in which to settle for him and his men; but as the African proverb says, “You do not test the depth of the water with both feet!” Before David commits himself to a decisive course of action, he wisely inquires of the Lord, and the Lord guides him.
Do we base our most important decisions exclusively on careful analysis of the pros and cons, or do we also seek the Lord’s guidance and direction? With the best resources in the world, we cannot be sure of all the factors involved. The wisdom of God is always available to those who seek it.
What happens next is a heart-warming affirmation. The people of Judah rally around David to anoint him as their king. Then he does something special by giving due credit to the men of Jabesh Gilead for the honor they have bestowed upon the late king, Saul: ensuring him a decent burial. This brave act can potentially bind the wounds of the nation and could be seen as an astute diplomatic move. If that plays into David’s thinking, however, it does not work!
Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, crowns Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, king over the rest of the country. Not surprisingly, a civil war erupts with Israelites killing Israelites, churning out the grim realities of war. This is covered in the next two chapters, which do not form part of our readings.
Is there any important decision you need to make? Pray about it on the basis of Proverbs 3:5–7.
Lord, keep mortal conflict away from any and all of my endeavors.