Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 10, 2015

Love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Samuel Chapter 4.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+4&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now when Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died in Hebron, he lost courage, and all Israel was disturbed.  2 Saul’s son had two men who were commanders of bands:  the name of the one was Baanah and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the sons of Benjamin (for Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin,

5 So the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, departed and came to the house of Ish-bosheth in the heat of the day while he was taking his midday rest.  6 They came to the middle of the house as if to get wheat, and they struck him in the belly;  and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.  7 Now when they came into the house, as he was lying on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and killed him and beheaded him.  And they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night.  8 Then they brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Behold, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life;  thus the Lord has given my lord the king vengeance this day on Saul and his descendants.”

9 David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, 10 when one told me, saying, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news.  11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood from your hand and destroy you from the earth?”  12 Then David commanded the young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hung them up beside the pool in Hebron.  But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.”  2 Samuel Chapter 4:  Verses 1-2 and 5-12.

——————

So far in the Book of 2 Samuel, we have noticed that David did not rejoice when Saul, Abner, and Ish-bosheth died.  David paid his respects to them.  In 2 Samuel 1:17-27, David chanted a lament over Saul and Jonathan his son.  In 2 Samuel 3:31-34, David wept and chanted a lament for Abner.  And in today’s Scripture, David did not rejoice when Ish-bosheth was killed nor reward those who killed him, but rather, David called Ish-bosheth “a righteous man”.

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”  Romans 12:17-19.

We do not think of David as a man of love.  We think of David as a man of war.  But consider this definition of love in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, the Book of Love.  Love “does not act unbecomingly;  it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:5-7.

David did not act becomingly.  David did not seek his own.  David was not provoked and take into account a wrong suffered.  David did not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoiced in truth.  David bear all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things.

David was a man of love, and he is a good example for us to follow.  

And, Reformed Doctrine can help! 

“7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret;  it leads only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.”  Psalm 37:7-9.

Like Rechab and Baanah took things into their own hands and killed Ish-bosheth, other doctrine teaches us to depend on ourselves and take things into our own hands.

But, like David bear all things, believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things (“the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress”, verse 9), Reformed Doctrine teaches us to wait for the LORD Who redeems our life from all distress from “Unconditional Election” through “Preservation of the Saints” (and in between “Limited Atonement” and “Irresistible Grace”) all of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.


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