Who’s Playing Favorites?
2 Samuel 19:41-43
Verse 41 Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all his men?”
The king’s returning to Jerusalem didn’t quench the issues between the tribes. In fact, it seemed to stir up the feelings between those who had been loyal to David and those who were either followers of Absalom or weren’t in a position where there they felt there were sides to take. It may be there were portions of the nation where they didn’t know everything going on between the king and his son.
Now the king was reclaiming his throne and the people of Israel felt Judah had stolen their king away from them. This must have seemed quite preposterous to the men of Judah who saw among those accusing them some of the very men they had met in the overgrown forest not all that long ago. How could these men say such a thing when they were fighting for the man who wanted the king dead? Didn’t these men see the irony of their accusations?
The men of Judah decide to take a more defensive line of response than the offensive one they could have taken. They speak of their blood relationship with David. Being from the same tribe they would have felt a closer connection with David than the other tribes and would have seen it as their responsibility to protect him. The king had also been their ruler for longer than he had been the king of Israel, as he had been their king prior to his move to Jerusalem. The men of Judah also made it a point to say they hadn’t been taking advantage of the king and allowing him to supply their needs nor had they taken bribes from the king or been shown special favor.
The men of Israel responded with a juvenile response. The men of Judah hadn’t claimed the king was more theirs than he was king of Israel, they just pointed out he was more closely related to them and thereby more dear. Israel’s claim of having a larger share of the king because they had a larger amount of people was them pointing out they still saw the nation as two nations under one king. This was not the vision God had for His people. He wanted them united in Him. He was to be their true King and none of them had more rights to Him than another.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt someone was playing favorites? What is the danger of not being united in Christ as He desires His people to be? Who do you need to try to unite with?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt left out because someone was choosing favorites? Have you ever made someone feel left out because you chose favorites instead of everyone playing together? Who do you need to include today?
Father, thank You for being our best example of being united as one. We know You want us to be united as Christians, not compromising Your standards but not fighting against each other for personal reasons either. Help us to truly love one another as You have called us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.