Today’s Reading: 2 Sam 3:1–4:12, 1 Pet 3:8–22, Ps 135:1–21
Today’s Theme: Broken Families
Today’s theme is about broken families and communities and how God has a plan to protect and restore our families in Christ.
Seeds of discord
and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron. 2 Samuel 3:5 (ESV)
Israel was in the middle of a civil war between the house of Saul and the house of David. In the middle of this distressing time which saw the families of Israel torn, we observe David blatantly breaking the law God had set out in Deuteronomy 17:17 to warn against kings taking multiple wives (polygamy) and having children with each one.
God’s design is that one man marries one woman for life and that they have children who they raise in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
David had six sons by six wives at Hebron, six is a number that always reminds us of the flesh because man was created on the sixth day of creation. David sowed seeds of discord by breaking God’s pattern for the family.
We must not allow our lives to be governed by the flesh as in the end it always lead to distress and death (Absalom killed Amnon). Galatians 5:16
On a practical level as a church we need to support broken families where there are many step children like David’s family and teach our young men and wider society God’s principles for human flourishing through healthy marriages and godly parenting.
Used, discarded and bitter
But her husband went with her, weeping after her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” And he returned. 2 Samuel 3:16 (ESV)
Michal is a character I feel sorry for in the biblical narrative. She represents so many women that are used, discarded and left feeling bitter and empty.
When we first meet Michal (her name means who is like God) Saul her father sees an opportunity to use David’s love for Michal to get David killed, he did not expect David to survive the retrial of 100 Philistine foreskins.
So Her own father Saul, used her as a political instrument with no regard for her well being, if David had died she would have been devastated. Her uncaring father then gives her in marriage to another man possibly with the intention of spiting David. She is married to Palti for at least 10 years.
David also treated Michal with contempt, she had proven her love to him by siding with him against her father Saul and helping David escape. However David never attempted to get her back and now does so out of political expediency without regard for her.
We see later that Michal becomes bitter after being used and discarded by the most important men in her life and now having to share David with many other wives.
We must pray for women who can identify with the abuse Michal suffered that they will not allow bitterness to consume them but will turn in their hurt to the Lord. 1 Peter 5:7 and Hebrews 12:15.
Vengeance and severity
And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The LORD repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!” 2 Samuel 3:39 (ESV)
Joab was driven by vengeance and unforgiveness which led him to commit murder and throw away an opportunity for peace in Israel.
This is one of the darkest moments in Joab’s life and it would come back to haunt him in Solomon’s reign.
David is sure to distinguish himself against Joab and his brother who have acted so wickedly and with their severe act of violence.
Severity, unforgiveness, bitterness and vengefulness destroy families and communities. Let us seek peace and pursue it 1 Peter 3:11.
Jesus taught us to love our enemies and do good for them in Matthew 5:43–44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Jesus also taught us against personal retaliation and vengefulness in Matthew 5:39 “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Restoring families and community
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8–9 (ESV)
The unity in our bible reading plan is remarkable. We have just read our old testament reading which is full of examples of broken families and communities and now our new testament reading opens with the remedy.
If we all in a desire to be unified, are sympathetic to each other, show brotherly love in the way we behave with each other and keep our hearts sensitive to the needs of those around us and the call of the Spirit with a humble mind; we will both guard against the breakdown of the family and the wider community and see it restored.
We are encouraged again to abandon desires for vengeance and to be proved right but to bless one another and repay evil with good.
These two verse are the remedy for our families, church and society.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
We should all be able to give an answer for the hope we have. It is important that we do not share or defend the faith in pride as this too can drive people away and have a bad affect on families. Peter warns us to share, reason and defend the faith with gentleness, humility and respect.
We are called to study and to be theologically correct but to be so in humility, in a spirit of worship as we honour Christ in our heart.
Subject to him
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:22 (ESV)
All Angels, fallen and elect are subject to Jesus, they are subject to him right now TODAY! so we can have confidence as we pray that the devil can not do anything that God will not allow and the devil and all his demons are subject to the Sovereign rule of Christ.
We need this assurance because to see families restored we need to wage war against the agenda of the fallen angels. Jesus is over all these powers and gives us the victory as we pray.
The freedom of God
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Psalm 135:6 (ESV)
God has the sovereign freedom to do whatever pleases him, because he is good all he does is good. We should praise our wonderful Father in heaven who is king over all.