One Good Turn Deserves Another
2 Samuel 2:4-7
Verse 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul,…
One of the first things we see David do as king is honor those who had cared for King Saul and Jonathan in death. Upon hearing that the men of Jabesh Gilead had taken action regarding the bodies of the royal men, David sends messengers to them. This is another way that David showed his love of Saul and Jonathan, he wanted to bless those who had taken action on their behalf.
We know from 1 Samuel 31:7-13 when the Philistines found Saul and his sons dead, they cut off the king’s head and took the king and princes back to their land so they could be displayed on the wall for all to see. The cutting off of Saul’s head was reminiscent of David cutting off Goliath’s head when he killed the Philistine giant. Remember, Saul was head and shoulders taller than any other man in Israel.
They then took the king’s armor and weapons and displayed them in the temple of their goddess. It was believed that since the god or goddess of a nation helped them win the battle that such items were given as a gift of thanks to the deity for their help in winning. This was true for the Israelites, of course. God would give them the strength and wisdom or if they were being disobedient He would sometimes withhold victory from them.
When the men of Jabesh Gilead heard about the death of their king and what had been done to him and his sons, they went on a midnight raid. Jabesh Gilead was to the east of the Jordan River and so this would have taken them many hours to get to Gath which was closer to the west side of the region. They took the king and his sons down and burned them until all that was left was bone and then they buried the bones under a tree.
These people had a reason for wanting to do this for King Saul and his sons. Early on in Saul’s reign the Ammonites had come to attack Jabesh Gilead and the new king and his men, including his sons, had come to their rescue. They may have seen it as repaying the king for what he had done for them. Because of the honor shown to Saul and his sons, King David blessed the people of Jabesh Gilead. This blessing was given with an announcement of David being anointed in Saul’s place. David would have hoped these men would show him the same respect.
Making It Personal
When has someone done something nice for you and you tried to return the favor? Did that help build a closer relationship with the other person? Who do you need to do something nice for today?
Making It Personal Kids
Has anyone ever done something nice for you? Did you do something nice for them in return? Who could use your kindness today?
Father, thank You for this reminder to treat each other kindly and with respect. Help us be on the lookout for opportunities to be kind and loving to others who may need us. In Jesus’ name, amen.