“You did what?!” Joab choked on his bagel.
“We walked right up to King Saul and took his spear and water jug. Nobody woke up. It was amazing.” Abashai tore off a chuck of his bagel and chewed.
Joab swallowed. “I know you know how to use a spear. You taught me. Tell me he’s dead.”
David grabbed Joab’s arm and stared in his eyes. “He is the LORD’s anointed. Even if you don’t respect the man respect God’s choosing as your king as long as he lives. It isn’t up to any of us to bring that time to an end.”
Joab nodded. “Okay, so, what do we do now?”
David paced. “We gotta get out of Israel. Saul will be back for me. I’m tired of running.”
Joab’s arms hung at his sides. “Where do you suggest we go? We’re kinda low on options.”
Joab threw his bagel in the fire. “The Philistine…have you totally lost your mind? That’s a suicide mission.”
“That’s exactly why Saul won’t follow us there. Achish is a fair man. He’ll take us in. Do you want your wife and children sleeping under the stars every night? Wouldn’t you rather they knew the security of living in a house?”
“Yeah, but why Gath? You still have Goliath’s sword. Don’t you think somebody will want revenge?”
David patted the sword. “All of our swords came from the Philistines. Feel free to set a guard around us at night. We have Achish’s respect and that of his people. It’s the only hope I have right now.”
Abashai stood next to Joab. “What are we going to do become their slaves?”
David shook his head. “No, we’ll raid some nearby towns and bring the spoil to Achish. I’ll lead him to believe we’re attacking Hebrew villages. He’s loyal, but not too bright. I think we’ll gain his respect and devotion that way.”
Joab grabbed David’s sleeve. “What if a survivor from one of the towns informs Achish about what we’re doing?”
David stared in his eyes. “That’s why we can’t leave any survivors. We’re to begin to finish the task God told Joshua to perform. This land is promised to God’s people. All of the inhabitants are to be removed so we don’t intermarry and follow their gods. I don’t like the killing any more than you do, but it’s the LORD’s will for us. We’re the generation that will bring peace and security to God’s people in the land promised to Abraham.”
Joab stuck his hand straight out in front of him. “Then let’s do this.”
Abishai placed his hand on top of Joab’s.
David set his hand on their’s. The three men shouted. “To the glory of God!”
No, I don’t like the thought of genocide being God’s will any more than you do, but it was. I’m so glad I was born on the grace side of the cross. Aren’t you?
David and his men didn’t have that luxury. They were the ones to rid the land of Gentiles so the Jews didn’t co-mingle and follow foreign gods.
Under David’s leadership the task given to Joshua was revived and performed. The extermination of anyone who didn’t wish to join the Hebrew nation’s worship of the One true God was carried out. It began in earnest during this time of exile in Philistia.
This was David’s major accomplishment while he ruled God’s chosen people. Not the Psalms he composed, as wonderful as they are; not the gathering of material to build the temple in Jerusalem, as important as that was; nor the establishing of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as strategic as that was. The annihilation of Gentiles from this God-ordained piece of land brought a peace that Israel has yet to experience since David’s and Solomon’s reigns.
This, ironically, is the reason David wasn’t allowed to build the temple during his lifetime. This shedding of blood made him too impure to claim that building as his accomplishment.
[Tweet “I’m so glad I was born on the grace side of the cross. Aren’t you? “]
Sometimes carrying out God’s will brings limitations with it. The people who are standing up to Islamic militants by refusing to deny Jesus as their Savior are freely giving up their right to further God’s kingdom by dying rather than living longer to tell of His love and grace.
Actually, by doing what they’re doing they are spreading the gospel far and wide. When others see the fortitude they have to give up their right to life by dying for God it sends a message of truth no sword can finish off.
Where do you stand on this life and death issue?
Are you willing to die for Jesus if it came to it?
Are you willing to stand out at work by being the only person who doesn’t go along with the crowd and do those dishonest acts or immoral behaviors?
You see, there is more than one way to die for Christ. A physical death is one thing. A professional death is another animal all together.
Jesus gave up both of those on the cross at the same time. Yeah, He could have saved Himself and began His earthly reign then. If He had I wouldn’t be capitalizing the pronouns I’m using for Him.
In order for us to be able to carry out God’s will completely we need to have an eternal view of life.
This world and all we see will be destroyed quicker than you can sneeze. The new Heaven and new Earth will last forever. Those who focus on that reality will reign with Jesus in His eternal kingdom.
The only death God commands His followers today is dying to self. Yeah, like Jesus did.
One phrase I hear in my head frequently is: “It’s not about me.”
When have you reminded yourself of that fact?
So many problems in this world would disappear if more people would catch that simple truth.
Too many folks buy into the lie that this life is all about their happiness.
Don’t be one of those people.
I’ll see you later. Wade