Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Lesson for America

If ever there was a Bible lesson that all of America should have to set through, this is it..
Bible Pathway Devotionals (Through the Bible in one year in 15 minutes a day, from Bible Pathway Ministries)

April 19
Read 2 Samuel 21-21

Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1).

Chapter 21 of today's reading can at times be hard for modern readers to understand. A quick read through can leave us with the impression that God was holding the children and grandchildren of Saul responsible for Saul's sins, something that God's WORD clearly states that He will never do.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (Ezekiel 18:20). However, if we take the time to carefully and prayerfully study the text, we will discern a totally different explanation for the events.
To begin with, God's punishment in this passage - the only one He hands down - is the famine that lasts three years. When David inquired of the LORD as to what sins had been committed to bring about the famine, the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. Although the actions had been carried out by Saul and his sons, the entire nation of Israel was affected because the entire nation had shared in the guilt of the broken treaty that Joshua and the tribe leaders had made with the Gibeonites. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them (Joshua 9:15).
What happens next was done at the hands of man, not by the express command of God. David sought to repair the treaty with the remaining Gibeonites, so that the oath that had been sworn before the LORD could be restored. The Gibeonites refused to accept traditional payments, and they also refused to allow innocent blood to be spilled. What they demanded of David to restore the treaty was seven men from the bloodline of Saul. David acquiesced to their demands, sending two of Saul's sons (born of one of Saul's concubines) and five of his grandson's (the children of Saul's daughter, Mereb and her husband Adriel, but raised by David's wife Michal) We do not know why David chose these seven. Saul had always gone to battle with his sons, so there is a very good chance that, as young men, they may have ridden with Saul when he fought with the Gibeonites. Regardless, David knew that the Gibeonites had to be satisfied so that the treaty could be restored. Only then would he be able to pray to the LORD for the famine to be lifted.

If we needed to shrink down the lesson in this chapter to one sentence, it would be this: Sin always has consequences. Saul had broken a treaty sworn in God's name and had lived out his life believing that he had gotten away with it; yet, in the end, his family suffered terribly from his actions.
When we sin and make no attempt to repent and make reparations for our actions, then we have set into motion a series of events that will inevitably hurt other people. The repercussions they will suffer will be because of the earthly consequences of our actions; our guilt before God is a separate matter entirely.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).

Thought for Today: Think before you act, the consequences of sin are far-reaching.