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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Undo Unto Others

2 Samuel 21:2-9

Verse 3  David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance?”


    Now that David knew why there was a famine he wasted no time in getting the matter resolved.  He invited the Gibeonites to come so he could talk with them.  They weren't an official part of Israel but a treaty had been reached and David wanted to acknowledge it and show that the people of Israel were sorry for the way Saul and his sons had dealt with their people.  The king wanted them to know he understood how they had been wronged and though he couldn’t bring their loved ones back, he wanted to do what he could to make amends.


    David was also honest with them about the reason behind his desire to make amends.  It wasn't simply about righting a broken treaty, it was about caring for the welfare of his people.  The king wanted God's people to be blessed and he wasn't going to hide that part of his motive from these people who had been wronged.  They needed truth because he hoped they would give him truth in return.


    David's honesty was accepted and in return they were honest and kind.  They weren't showing hostility to the whole of Israel, they seemed to understand Saul had acted on his own and not in the interest of his nation.  And though kind they weren't dismissing the fact that the act on their nation was not acceptable.  They didn't mince words about what they would find as proper retribution for what Saul had done to them.  They told David, "you can't just throw money at it" that wouldn't fix the issue, nor were they asking for the same number of lives be taken from Israel as had been taken from them.


    David went into full vulnerability mode and offered to do whatever they wanted done to fix the problem.  Had he been dealing with a less honorable group of people the king could have put himself in a dangerous place but these men were not out for vengeance, they only wanted things righted.  They make it clear it was Saul who had wronged them and so they felt it was only Saul's bloodline which could pay for his crimes.  The Gibeonites asked for 7 of Saul's sons to be handed over as payment.  They weren't even asking David or Israel to kill their own countrymen.


    Once again David reveals his character.  Here he was given an opportunity to hand over Jonathan's son Mephibosheth to be killed but chose instead to be true to his love for his friend Jonathan and his desire to stand by the covenant made with his late friend.  Instead the king handed over 2 of Saul's sons and 5 of his grandsons by his daughter.  That was all it took to satisfy the Gibeonites.


Making It Personal

    Have you ever tried to make someone feel better after they were hurt by someone else?  Have you ever had someone try to help you get past a hurt done to you?  Is revenge ever the way to go?


Making It Personal Kids

    Has anyone ever hurt you badly?  Did someone come to help you through that time?  Do you ever help others with their hurts?


Closing Prayer

    Father, thank You for providing wisdom to help us through times when we have been hurt and don't feel like we can trust anyone.  Please give us eyes to see when someone needs our comfort and understanding.  In Jesus' name, amen.

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