Sunday, February 03, 2019

Restoring the Banished

Today's Reading:
2 Samuel 14:1-15:22
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Psalm 86:1-10
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Focus Verses: 2 Samuel 14:14
14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.

Joab's elaborate ruse to convince David to show mercy to his son, Absalom, is very interesting. Why is this type of approach so prevalent in the stories about David? Was David difficult to confront? Did he not take criticism well? Was he so feared even by those closest to him? Whatever the reason, the words Joab put in the mouth of the woman from Tekoa were effective and David was persuaded (even though he saw through the scheme).

The woman's description of God—"he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him"—may have reminded David of his own words of repentance (Psalm 51) he offered up to God after his sin with Bathsheba"Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." (Psalm 51:11-12)

Response and Action:
I praise God for devising ways to save the lost, welcome back the banished, and restore the estranged.  I will praise God for the hope and peace he extends to all who follow Jesus—peace with God, peace among people, and peace of heart and mind. I will make every effort to live at peace with all people, restore relationships, and rebuild the broken.

Thank you, O God, for your gracious and restoring love toward me. Help me to likewise be gracious to others
. Thank you for the peace and restoration you extend through Christ. Help me to live in that peace and to live out that peace. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 John 4:9-10
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Rebuilding Your Broken World
by Gordon MacDonald

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