Sorry this post is so late today, but I’m glad you joined us anyway. There are many things that we could look at in today’s reading; but i would like to focus on just one thing. I believe that this one element can speak volumes to us today.
We see in this chapter that Joab (Davids lead general) has killed Abner. Abner was most likely the number one man in the army of the family of Saul. Upon being offended by one of Saul’s sons, Abner decided to do what was right and bring peace to the kingdom of Israel. After making peace with David, he was on his way to mending the conflict in the kingdom. This is when Joab killed him. We see that Joab told David that Abner could not be trusted; but in reality, Joab hated Abner because Abner had killed his brother. If you remember the story, Abner did everything in his power to not have to defend himself against Joab’s brother; but it was just not possible. Now we see that the hatred of one man had stopped peace from entering the nation of Israel. I can only imagine the number of lives that were lost due to this peace agreement that had failed. Sadly the agreement failed because one man put his feelings and hatred for another before all other people in the kingdom. This selfish reaction caused people to die.
The picture that we have here in chapter three seems clear to me. When we decide to put our own evil desires before the will of God; we not only hurt ourselves, but also those around us. Joab, due to his hatred for a fellow Jew caused more fighting. When we focus on ourselves instead of the will of God, lives are lost. Perhaps not a spear through the gut, but spiritual lives that are eternal. Jesus told His disciples “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you, so shall you love one another; by this will all men know you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” When we who call ourselves Christians hold grudges against others who claim the same thing, it causes people to repel away from from the Gospel. The world will not be drawn to a group of people who dislike one another. We also see that if we place our own desires over the desires of God it will end badly for all of those involved and some that aren’t even involved. We as true believers cannot mix our will with God’s will, they will never mesh. This is why Jesus tells us in Luke 9:23 “If any man will come after Me He must first deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” The true believer must die to themselves daily or they will operate outside of the will of God. The Bible states in Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” The will of man and the will of God cannot mesh. Only when we truly surrender our will over to Him, will He create in us His will. This is what is being talked about in Romans 12:2 when it states: “…but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may be able to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”
I pray that He will continue to bless us in His Word. If you have anything to add or ask about each days reading; please feel free to comment.