David: A Story of God’s Grace and Consequences

Day 1

Read 2 Samuel 13

I don’t know that the devotions for this week will be overly encouraging and uplifting.  Most of life isn’t, nor does the Bible try to paint the picture of that being the case.  This week, we will wrestle through one of the ideas of the Bible that I struggle with greatly.  I want a formula that shows me how to get it right, and sure the Bible gives me a version of that, but it’s not the version that I want, so I kick back and can’t seem to get things together.  I want my kids to make it through life unscathed.  I want my job to function the way that I see it providing.  I want my marriage to be the best one.  So I go to David, or anyone else I respect and conclude that they have the formula, that’s how they got respect.  So If I fabricate that, I will get what they got. But maybe I am not really seeing the whole picture and maybe my perspective is pretty unfair.

When you wrestle with it, and I don’t think there is really an answer in the text, how did a twisted mess like this happen in the household of the “man after God’s own heart?”

If you were sitting and sharing a cup of coffee with David, and he told you this story, how would you respond and what would you advise him to do in light of it all?

The story has been about David and all that he has accomplished and God is doing in his life, why do you think the narrator told us this story right here?

What do you take away from this chapter?

How does this become your prayer?

Day 2

Read 2 Samuel 14

I hate watching the interviews with the parents of murderers.  They ask them questions that seem unfair and seem to be built around the attempt to figure out how this tragedy happened because of the messed up parents that were in the background.  At the heart of it all is my feeble attempt to remind myself of my formula that I have created that I tend to think is so much better and can’t really derail.  My idea is simple: a perfect home creates perfect families.  But in real life, I am constantly running into examples that are not really that.  David has one son that is contending for the restoration of another son, who is a real life Cain in his family tree.  Can you imagine the struggle of being king, holding on to justice, wanting to punish the wrongs, and then also wanting this junk to be over with and the family back to “normal?”  I think we can all relate.  

What do you think of Joab’s attempts here?  Too much or he was doing what was right and good?

What do you think of David’s decision to allow Absalom back in?  

How would you have handled this situation…but be careful to really attempt to empathize with all of the pieces to this puzzle before jumping in with an answer?

How does this all guide your prayers today?

Why not share some thoughts on the app with others?

Day 3

Read 2 Samuel 15

Well…that plan didn’t work.  David was encouraged to bring Absalom back in, and that proves to be a big issue.  David has to wear all of these leadership struggles.   

Have you ever been betrayed by someone that you didn’t expect it from?

Have you ever had an enemy this close to you that seemed to really have it out for you?

How have you struggled with the lines of giving someone a second chance but also protecting yourself because you know the person is just going to keep being toxic?

What does Jesus say about all of this?

Day 4

Read 2 Samuel 16

It is a really bad time Shimei!  I don’t think you are fully aware of the loaded canon you are tugging at here.  That’s what I do in difficult times, I get so loaded up that I am going to unleash on someone…at some point.  If I had to go through a struggle like David’s family issues, I would be glad to have a Shimei moment, but it would be way different, because Shimei would get the full unloading of my wrath as I unloaded all my issues on him.  

What do you learn about David’s restraint in this story?

Is this a story we are to read and try to be like David, or is it just a story that contains information?

What can you learn from those that have been critical of you this week? (This doesn’t make them right!)

How does this become your prayer for today?

Day 5

Read 2 Samuel 19

I know we skipped a few chapters.  They have some really good information in them that sets the stage for this story.  It’s easy to pick up on, but one of those details is that Absalom is dead.  Just as when King Saul was killed, David is saddened.  It's a weird place to be, as a king, to be saddened by the death of your enemies.  But David’s enemies always seem to be those closest to him.  This was his son.  A bad son?  Yeah.  But it was his son.  

Why is David sad about his son, who wanted to kill him or at the least, take everything from him?

Why does David forgive his enemies here?

What would need to happen for you to have this type of a response to the last few chapters we read this week?

What can you learn about your life and what you need to do from all of this?

Why not leave some thoughts on the app as you have processed this story this week?

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