Read 106.) II Samuel 21:1 thru 22, 23:1 thru 24:25 and I Chronicles 21:1 thru 22:1. With today’s reading, we conclude the book of II Samuel. David would be in his 60’s after having ruled for more than 30 years. We’re in the 970’s BC. II Samuel 21:1-14 has got to be one of the most difficult passages in all the Bible. Read it. We ask, where’s the justice in any of this?!?!? King Saul had put many Gibeonites to death. We first learned of these people back in Joshua chapters 9+10, some 425 years before. Israel, on oath before the Lord, swore to spare them, but Saul broke that oath, but we are not told when. In any case, Israel has been enduring a famine for 3 years. God said this would be a punishment upon Israel whenever He would be displeased with them, and so, David sought the face of the Lord. The result was that 7 of Saul’s male descendants were slain by the Gibeonites and left exposed on a hill before the Lord! We then read of this woman, Rizpah, the mother of two of the slain, and her devotion to her dead. This began with the barley harvest and ended when the rains came. Barley was first harvested in our March/April. The next rains were not until the end of September. She may have been there for 6 months! There were only clean bones by then. And, so we read of what David did with their bones, and those of Saul and Jonathan. But, this resulted in a restoration of their normal rains, and the end of the famine! The chapter concludes to show that David had aged, and was no longer fit for the rigors of intense physical combat anymore.
Then, with chapter 23, we are coming to David’s end, and we have a record of David’s ‘Mighty Men’, of which the chapter concludes there were 37, naming as many as 35 of them there. The book ends with chapter 24, (read also I Chron.21:1-22:1) and another incredible story of one of David’s greatest failings before the Lord. However, with it, we read of what is about the 17th appearance of this most mysterious ‘angel of the Lord’! Compare 24:1 with I Chronicles 21:1. What is this about? It’s not complicated, really. It’s no more complicated than Job chapters 1 and 2, and the interplay we read between God and Satan there. Satan did it, because God specifically permitted him to! David learned he had at least 1.6 million fighting men in his realm. This was because the Lord was their strength and shield, not his army of men, that He was displeased with David. Again, we are left to question the justice in what we read next, but understand carefully, the sins of one can have grave consequences upon many! Yours can bring untold harm to others! Mine have brought harm to others. But, it was from out of this sorry occasion, we learn of the very site where Solomon’s Temple would be built, to commence within 10 years from this time! The site was purchased at the cost, this day, of $259,000 in gold and $300 more in silver. If there’s one thing we really need to take away from this, it is: In these two instances of the Lord’s anger, prayer was made, and He heard and answered, as 21:1 and 24:1+25 amply attest to us. Seek His Face at all times! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell