Daily Devotion for April 16, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, We praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
May the forgiving spirit of Him to whom we dedicate this season prevail again on earth.
May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts.
May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved.
May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
2 Samuel 3:6-21
Abner Goes Over to David[Remember that Abner was the commander of Saul's army in the battle where Saul died. Ish-Bosheth (meaning "great man of humility"), the only one of Saul's sons to survive the battle, has been proclaimed King of Israel and actually rules over most of the tribes.]
During the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner had been strengthening his own position in the house of Saul. Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ish-Bosheth said to Abner, "Why did you sleep with my father's concubine?" [This would have been a great offense to the dead king.]
Abner was became enfuriated by Ish-Bosheth's accusation, and answered, "Am I a dog's head -- on Judah's side? I am loyal to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends. I haven't handed you over to David. Yet now you accuse me of an offense involving this woman!
May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I do not do for David what the Lord promised him on oath and transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and establish David's throne over Israel and Judah from Dan to Beersheba." Ish-Bosheth did not dare to say another word to Abner, because he was afraid of him.
Then Abner sent messengers on his behalf to say to David, "Whose land is it? Make an agreement with me, and I will help you bring all Israel over to you."
"Good," said David. "I will make an agreement with you. But I demand one thing of you: Do not come into my presence unless you bring Saul's daughter Michal when you come to see me." Then David sent messengers to Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, demanding, "Give me my wife Michal, whom I betrothed to myself for the price of a hundred Philistine foreskins."
So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, "Go back home!" So he went back.
Abner conferred with the elders of Israel and said, "For some time you have wanted to make David your king. Now do it! For the Lord promised David, 'By my servant David I will rescue my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.' "
Abner also spoke to the Benjamites in person. Then he went to Hebron to tell David everything that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin wanted to do. When Abner, who had twenty men with him, came to David at Hebron, David prepared a feast for him and his men. Then Abner said to David, "Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a compact with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires." So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
Notes on the Lesson
It is touching that David's only demand is that Michal be brought to him. Michal was Saul's younger daughter. Saul had promised her to David (after he had rejected the elder daughter) for the rather gross price of 100 Philistine foreskins, hoping that David would die in battle. But he did not -- David killed his 100 and claimed Michal. She was certainly in love with David -- she helped him escape when Saul first tried to kill him -- and it appears David loved her as well.
Abner must have been a fierce warrior and highly respected captain. Although Ish-Bosheth insults him, it doesn't seem sufficient motive for such a radical change in loyalty. One can only infer that Abner was disenchanted with Ish-Bosheth and had come to realize that David would make a much stronger king; perhaps, also, he was influenced by Samuel's old prophecy, that the Lord had anointed David to rule over all Israel. At any rate, the insult would seem to be as much of an excuse to change loyalties as a reason.