That’s how you find out that Samuel was not a hypocrite for condemning Saul’s sacrifice when he made sacrifices several times himself—his father may have been an Ephraimite, but he was a Levite living in Ephraim.
That’s how you find out that Joab was David’s nephew, the son of his sister Zeruiah, which probably accounts for why he put up with so much from the rascal.
That’s how you find out that David’s counselor Ahithophel, was Bathsheba’s grandfather, which puts a new spin on that story, and probably explains why he put his lot in with Absalom when he rebelled. And all that is just the beginning of the amazing things you can discover when you read genealogies in the Bible.
We also tend to overlook things like Deborah’s song of praise in Judges 5. It’s just a poem, right? We already read the important part in chapter 4. Read chapter 5 some time. You will discover exactly how God helped his people overcome Sisera’s army—he sent a storm that bogged down their chariots in the mud. Foot soldiers do much better than chariots in a storm. You will discover that the elders of Israel were applauded for a change—they actually did their jobs and did them willingly. You will find out that several tribes did not help with the fighting and were roundly condemned for it. You will find God’s opinion of Jael’s actions—no more arguing after He inspires Deborah to say, “Blessed above women shall Jael be.”
And here’s one I found recently—the conversation and ensuing verses in 2 Samuel 12 after Nathan uttered those scalding words, “Thou art the man,” which is where we usually stop reading.
Verse 9—“You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword.” David may have only ordered Uriah’s death, but God considered it exactly the same as doing the deed itself.
Verse 13—“The Lord has put away your sin. You shall not die.” Understand this--there was no sacrifice for adultery and murder because the sinners were summarily stoned. That is what David expected, and the punishment God put aside. Read Psalm 51 now. David’s forgiveness happened immediately after his confession and repentance (v 12), but he repeatedly asks for it in the psalm which was written sometime later. He understood the grace of God like never before. Now that is godly repentance.
Verse 15—“And the Lord afflicted the child.” We keep trying to find ways out of statements like this, but they keep popping up. Remember this: God is in control. He knows what He is doing. There is a reason this child could not live, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t continue to live. More on this in a minute.
Verse 20—After the child died, David “went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.” Why? We could come up with a ton of reasons. Ultimately I think he was showing his acceptance of God’s will, and sincere appreciation for the mercy he knew he did not deserve. What do you think? This one can keep a class going for several minutes worth of discussion, and a whole lot of soul-searching. Would your first inclination after a tragedy—and punishment--be to worship God?
Verse 22—“Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious and allow the child to live?” First, this proves David’s faith in prayer. He knew it was possible for God to change His mind simply because one of His children asked Him to. Second, it shows that faith does not mean you know you will get what you prayed for. Who knows? David asked. No one does, except God. Faith knows He is able to grant your petition, not that He will.
Verse 23—“I will go to him.” David believed in the innocence of his child. He did not believe that child was born with Adam’s sin hanging over his head, totally depraved and unable to get out of it without the direct operation of the Holy Spirit or some rite involving water. His child was clean and innocent and he looked forward to seeing him again because he was also sure of his forgiveness.
Whoa! Did you know all that was there? I didn’t either, and this was at least the tenth time I have studied this story in depth (I thought). What else are we missing?
The next time you do your Bible reading, think about what you are reading, even if it’s just a list of names or a poem or directions for how to build something. God put what we needed to know in His Word. Don’t you go deciding that you don’t need to know some of it.
…from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work, 2 Tim 3:15-17 .
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