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Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

1 and 2 Samuel tell the story of how David rose to be king of Israel and the downfall of Saul, the king who preceded him. Saul was chosen and anointed by the Lord but turned from God during his reign and reaped the consequences, eventually dying by suicide. In 2 Samuel 1, as David is beginning to be seen as the new leader of Israel, an Amalekite (the enemy) comes to him claiming to have killed Saul. In reality, this Amalekite is likely the one who first stumbled across the dead King Saul and merely claimed to have killed him as a way to ingratiate himself to David. However, David laments Saul’s death, and kills this Amalekite because of his testimony (even though it was false). The same happens again in 1 Samuel 4, as two men actually do kill Saul’s remaining son, but are then killed by David for the action after they also try to ingratiate themselves to him. Why is David doing this? Most kings, let alone people, value those who do things that help them grow in power, money, fame, or stature. We tend to celebrate those who empower us, whether it be bringing us a new job, introducing us to a new relationship, enriching us with a new opportunity – but do we stop to think about whether this is from God or not? Do we stop to ask where this seeming blessing comes from? David is a “man after God’s own heart,” and one of the ways this is shown is that he doesn’t operate the way the world does! He rejected these acts of empowerment because they were for worldly flattery done against God’s anointed (Saul) and the innocent (Saul’s son). David recognized that this was not from God so he accepted no part of it. David honored and loved the Lord, desiring to be righteous in His eyes, more than he desired power amongst the world. This is the model of how we are to live as well: living in God’s way rather than the world. Waiting on what is righteous and a blessing of the Lord over what is convenient and expedient. Today, ask the Lord to reveal to you what is of Him and what is not in your life. As Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”

“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

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