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May 20, 2018

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Reading along with us in 2 Samuel? Here’s today’s reading:

2 Samuel 20 (ESV)

Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said,

“We have no portion in David,
and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
every man to his tents, O Israel!”

So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood.

Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and be here yourself.” So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us.” And there went out after him Joab’s men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. They went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri....Continue Reading

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. 2So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

  2. This chapter shows, though unfortunate, that at times loyalty can hang by a thread. Following the dispute between Israel and Judah over who David was truly part of, Sheba saw this as an opportunity to create division once again. The fact that Sheba is from Benjamin is significant since that was the tribe Saul was from and so there continued to be latent divisive elements even after David was king for a while. And remember this division between the Northern tribes and Judah will eventually lead to a divided kingdom. But here we wonder why would Sheba’s call to abandon David gain any traction? And I think it is because loyalty can be tenuous. It causes us to think what our loyalties are based on and therefore how committed are we to them. Certainly God would call us to be loyal to the things He promotes and be willing to stand by people as they attempt to fulfill the will of God and to be a source of correction if people go astray. That correction in many ways is the more important expression of loyalty, saying I will stick with you as you learn and grow. But in the end, Sheba gets his just desserts as the people of the town he is hiding in are not loyal to him (ie gets a taste of his own medicine).

    And in the middle of the chapter we have the sad story of Amasa who is killed by Joab presumably because he is jealous of the position David has given him or because of a misplaced loyalty to David in killing Amasa because he didn’t do his job right. Joab is a good example of loyalty gone bad as he presumes at times what David would want but at times it is misplaced.

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