Today's Reading: 2 Samuel 19-21
There is the luxury of objectivity when one is reading an account of history that is not present when events are actually happening. The saying goes, "Hind sight is twenty-twenty."
As we read the continuing story of David, we see all of his mistakes very clearly. We see his tender heart and compassion toward his enemies, but we also see his seeming lack of attention and gratitude toward his friends.
When his army defeats his enemy, he cries over his enemy instead of cheering on his men.
When he is reuniting the kingdom, he places an enemy captain in the position of commander instead of giving the honor to his loyal captain, Joab.
Joab challenges and warns the king: "You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You are about to lose all your support. You are shaming all who have fought for you."
This all seems ironic until one realizes that the wars between Israel and Judah are wars between tribal families with the same grandfather and grandmother. Though the present battles seem to have easily drawn lines, God is trying to unite God's people under one king against the true enemy, the Philistines.
But because of civil war, God's people are weakened.
Jesus' prayer before his crucifixion was that all believers would be made one, just as he and the Father are one.
It is a sad thing to think that we might suffer from the same condition that David and the people of Israel and Judah suffered: Confused Loyalties.
There should never be discord among brothers and sisters in Christ. We all have the same "father" and "brother." Our goal is to be united in Christ for the sake of the gospel.
Warring with one another is always a sin. It brings shame upon the Body of Christ and weakens our witness.