In 2 Samuel 4 & 5, Ish-Bosheth hears that Abner is dead and scripture tells us “he lost courage” (v.1) Our application took it even deeper to show us that we can’t take courage in another person, God is the only one that can give this to us, because once Abner was dead, it says Ish-Bosheth was left with nothing, that he collapsed in fear. How about that for your king? “Fear can paralyze us, but faith and trust in God can overcome fear. If we trust in God we will be free to respond boldly to the events around us.” Then we see a copycat story play out. Two men who were leaders for Ish-Bosheth, Baanah and Rekab, went to Ish-Bosheth’s house and killed him in his sleep. They took his head to David and told Him now the Lord was delivering David as king. And just like when the person came to David with Saul’s crown, David sentenced both these men to death and gave Ish-Bosheth a proper burial. But, after this, David finally becomes king over all of Israel! Our application says, “All the tribes of Israel, recognizing in David the strong leader they needed, pledged their loyalty to him. He was thirty seven years old!” That was a lot of waiting and a lot of struggling before Gods promise to David came to fruition. Remember, he was first anointed king as a kid. It goes on to say “during those years, David had to wait patiently for the fulfillment of God’s promise. If you feel pressured to achieve instant results and success, remember David’s patience. Just as his time of waiting prepared him for his important task, a waiting period may help prepare you by strengthening your character.” David goes on to take over Jerusalem where today’s verse is from and then on again to defeat the Philistines.
Jerusalem, the present day capital of Israel, at this point was occupied by a group called the Jebusites, who knew they had a military advantage against David, so they boasted, but David came in through a water tunnel and ended up taking over a fortress that he called the City of David. And he started to build that area up around it. Scriptures goes on to tell us that soon Hiram, king of Tyre brought all the supplies to build David a palace. And instead of getting caught up in fame and success, scripture and application tell us he gave the glory to God. This was the moment he knew God was fulfilling his promise, not his battles or wealth. “David knew that his greatness came only from God. To be great means keeping a close relationship with God personally and nationally. To do this, David had to keep his ambition under control…He gave God first place in his life and served the people according to God’s purposes.” (Application)
Our application gives us the perfect reflection question for today, “Do you seek greatness from God or from people?” If it is God, how does that look for you? If it is from people, how could you begin to start seeking greatness from God instead?
Let’s take a few minutes and praise God, for there is no one greater!
Heavenly Father, this story shows us you are a promise keeper. That it’s not our timing that is perfect, but yours, that it’s not our will that will make things happen for your kingdom, but yours! Help us in the periods of waiting. Lord, we know that waiting is not easy, but we cling to hope that you are working in our waiting. We pray you give us the patience in the waiting and the ability to continue to seek you. Help us not to look to people to define our greatness, but to you. In the areas where we are looking for approval from others, help us to look to you first. We know our only greatness is because of you. In your good, gracious and loving name we pray, AMEN!