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2 Samuel 2

June 23, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, ‘The Lord bless you, because you have shown special kindness to Saul your lord when you buried him.”

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2 Samuel 2

“David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, ‘The Lord bless you, because you have shown special kindness to Saul your lord when you buried him. Now, may the Lord show special kindness and faithfulness to you, and I will also show the same goodness to you because you have done this deed. Therefore, be strong and courageous, for though Saul your lord is dead, the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.’” 2 Samuel 2:5-7 (HCSB)

Not only was David a man of faith, a good shepherd and a mighty warrior, he was also a great politician. In his statement to the men of Jabesh-gilead, perhaps, the most staunch Saul supporters in all of Israel, David is at once sincerely complimentary, blatantly political, and earnestly evangelistic. Saul was dead, and the people could not merely live on the fumes of his memory.

Faithfully believing God’s promise (that he would rule Israel as king), David took very little time establishing his kingdom, tribe-by-tribe. Revisiting a page from his Goliath playbook, David went for the biggest “Giant” first. (Remember that Goliath had four brothers, yet David’s tactical advantage was killing the biggest one first!) Jabesh-gilead had always been pro-Saul to a man since Saul rescued them on his first military campaign. (1 Samuel 11)

The men of Jabesh-gilead were brave and used to taking risks. David was urging them to take another risk: Be the first in the North to acknowledge the kingship of David!

So, David called Jabesh-gilead to submit to the newly developing kingdom of God in Hebron. David’s call was authoritative yet somewhat winsome. It was commanding and attractive at the same time. Doesn’t it remind us of another such call?

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (NKJV)

We know what the “yoke” means. It is nothing less than absolute submission. But Jesus’ calling/command is so winsome. He attracts us with both His appeal (I am gentle and lowly in heart) and His promise (you will find rest). Jesus does not hide His yoke, along with the fact that we may be lonely in that yoke, but He lures us by His person and promise. Our evangelism should carry the same elements.

A proper response to David’s (or Jesus’s) appeal could be costly. Jabesh-gilead was sandwiched between David and Abner, between the true Kingdom in its “mustard seed” form and a bastard kingdom that expects allegiance. To defy the latter kingdom takes guts, and such guts only come from Grace! **Remember: This is not a conflict between Israel and some other Nation. It is internal. So also, the modern believer is often forced to decide which “faith professors” have truly aligned with God’s Kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit working through your knowledge of God’s Word will enable you to choose rightly.

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