Take an Honest Look

“David went on and became great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.”—2 Samuel 5:10 The nation of Israel in David’s time was, in reality, a huge, extended family, made up of twelve tribes. Like many families, they squabbled and fought, with painful results.

When David was ready to take his anointed position as king, the family feud heated up. A faction of the nation wanted Saul’s son to succeed. David was God’s choice, but for over seven years the rebellious faction hung onto the house of Saul; the nation was plunged into a bloody and hateful civil war. Years of battles, death, diminished prosperity and personal losses followed.

Those years were victorious, yet painful for David. Men he admired fell in battle. Though he fought for a righteous cause, the cost was great.

David is portrayed in Scripture as a type of Jesus Christ. The nation of Israel is like the Body of Christ—our Christian family. The house of Saul represents the kingdom of the flesh and the world. The house of David represents the kingdom of God. When the rightful king rules, harmony and prosperity reign. When part of the family rebels, or when the wrong king is on the throne, civil war tears apart lives.

As I imagine watching David trying to unite his kingdom, I realize we are being challenged as individuals and the Church: Who will you serve? Which king will you follow? Are you compromising your faith and your life? Do you understand the consequences of compromise?

The children of Israel watched their families suffer in the heat of civil war; so we see our families and children pay for our compromise and hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy may seem like a harsh word, but how does it look to our children when we preach and say one thing at church and live another way at home or work or out in the world?

Just as the nation of Israel had to choose the house of David over the house of Saul, so we are being asked to choose between two warring factions: the Lordship of Christ or the compromising, weak life that Satan wants to inflict upon us.

“Let each man examine himself,” the apostle Paul admonished. We need to take an honest look at our lives. If our allegiance is confused, resulting in turmoil, then we need to stop the civil war and come back to that place of peace, reconciliation, and unity with our Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Being at war is tiring and painful. But it is the bone-weariness, total exhaustion and end-of-the-line despair that causes us to desire the will of God. Sometimes the aching bondage of sin must be felt before we crave the freedom and blessings of living in God’s Kingdom.

Jesus beckons us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” —Matthew 11:28-29

 

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley