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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Sibling Rivalry

2 Samuel 3:1

Verse 1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

The battles that we have talked about the last few days were only the beginning of the struggle between David’s camp and Ish-Boseth’s camp. Those who had been loyal to Saul and his reign refused to accept David and his being anointed king.

This wasn’t a new struggle between the descendants of Jacob. It was the age old story, one as old as time, sibling rivalry. David was from the tribe of Judah whose line come through Jacob’s marriage to Leah and Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin who was the son of Rachel. Leah and Rachel were competing for the love of their husband and their sons learned well. Though Benjamin didn’t grow up with Rachel raising him, he knew plenty about the competition because of seeing the competition of their sons. Judah was jealous of Joseph, but talked his brothers out of killing the younger brother and convinced them to sell him into slavery to distant relatives (Genesis 37:26).

The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin seem to be on the opposite side of things more than once prior to this time of David and Saul’s families. When the camp was set up around the tabernacle in the wilderness, the tribe of Judah was assigned a place in the east of the tabernacle by its entrance and the tribe of Benjamin was given the place on the backside of the tent on the west side. But now it wasn’t just a symbolic difference in their placement around God’s house, it was the difference in their relationship with God.

God had rejected Saul and his line and therefore the people of Benjamin. On the other hand Judah had been God’s choice since the beginning for the lineage of His Son, the King of Kings. Even Jacob’s final words of blessing on his sons revealed what their descendants would be revealing by the point of our story. To Judah, a blessing about the future reign of his sons until the One to whom it would belong (Genesis 49:8-12). To Benjamin the blessing sounds like more of a curse as he is told his descendants, “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.” These two tribes were fulfilling the prophecies given about them. David would gain followers and Saul would lose supporters, but in the meantime, the tensions would run high.

Making It Personal

What are your relationships with your siblings? Are there things from the past which still taint your interactions with them? Are there spiritual differences which you can help fix by showing them the love of God?

Making It Personal Kids

How well do you get along with your siblings? Do they love Jesus too? How much does Jesus want you to love them?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for family. We know that relationships, especially family relationships, can be a struggle, please give us the grace and understanding to treat them as we should and if they aren’t walking with You, give us the wisdom and courage to reach out to them in Your name. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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