Daily Devotion for May 21, 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.
Anne Murray singing a classic hymn.
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.
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
2 Samuel 20:1-10
Sheba Rebels Against David [Part 1]
Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted,
no part in Jesse's son!
Every man to his tent, O Israel!"
So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them, but did not lie with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.
Then the king said to Amasa, "Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself." But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him.
David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master's men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us." So Joab's men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri.
While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath.
Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.
Notes on the Scripture
Do not confuse Sheba, the rebel, with the much more prominent Queen of Sheba, who appears later and has a romance with Soloman. Sheba attempts once again to split the nation into two parts, Israel to the north and Judah, where Jerusalem lies, to the south.
David then consolidates his faithful. The concubines, who had slept with Absalom, are allowed to live in reasonable comfort, but are confined for life. (It is not completely clear whether they might have escaped Absalom, or whether they were forced against their will, or if they willingly accepted him.)
Amasa, whom David had had to promise the generalship of his army in order to regain his throne, drags his feet when David orders him to assemble Judah for war. David could not have been happy about Amasa in the first place; Joab had served him faithfully and with great skill as the leader of his army. Certainly, David was even unhappier about Amasa when he failed to carry out his critical first assignment.
It is Joab's brother Abishai who gathers the army and marches them out of the city. When Amasa shows up to take over the army, Joab assasinates him, by his own hand. Joab was a tough cookie! Although it is not stated, one must think that David probably knew about this deed beforehand, and might well have ordered it done.