so, i was asked to write a mini devotional this week for my parent’s church in oklahoma. i got assigned a passage and, to be honest, got a bit nervous when i read it. it was 2 samuel 17. go on, read it. if you haven’t read the rest of the book of samuel before, you will get why i was nervous. out of context, there is pretty much nothing inspirational you can pick out of it, other than the hebrews had some pretty knarly names.
i was feeling a little out of my depth, but a skim of the rest of the book and a little bit of history later, verse 14 stuck out to me:
absalom and all the men of israel said, ‘the advice of hushai the arkite is better than that of ahithophel.’ for the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of ahithophel in order to bring disaster on absalom.
i know, i know, it’s not one of those verses you want to write on a post-it and put on your bathroom mirror or anything, but i really started to get some good revelation from it!
so, for all of you who don’t go to gcc b-ville. here it is. my join the journey devotional.
a bit of background. david, man after god’s own heart, has rocked his job as king. he united the kingdom, grew in favor, but also got a little too comfortable, stayed back from war, got bored, had an affair, got the girl pregnant and killed the girl’s husband in hopes of covering it all up. it didn’t work. everyone found out. and–as sin usually does–it affected his kingdom and family and, long story short, he ends up fleeing for his life from his son, absalom, who has seized his throne. david is not in the best situation and is reaping some huge consequences for his mishap with bathsheba.
and yet, god is still on david’s side. honoring the covenant he made with him and fighting for him.
that is what i love about this verse. it shows what an incredibly loving, safe and good father god is. when our own sin causes painful circumstances in our lives, he doesn’t kick us while we are down or leave us alone to fail in order to teach us a lesson. he doesn’t have to. jesus already took our punishment on the cross and the natural consequences for our sin teach enough of a lesson (don’t they just?!).
instead, god supports us and fight with us. allowing our mistakes to teach us wisdom, he offers us peace, works all for the good, creates beauty from ashes and causes our enemies to flee. all in a situation we created.
this revelation of god as a good father has changed everything for me. when i screw up, whether intentional or accidental–instead of feeling shame or fear–i can safely bring my mess to him and ask for help cleaning it up knowing i will be met with love, compassion and a very, present help.
if that’s not good news, i don’t know what is.