May 19 (Daily reading: 2 Samuel 19-21) Today we meet another obscure character, Sheba, who was yet another contender to be king. But first we conclude the stories of Shimei, Ziba, and Mephibosheth. David continued to show grace, even as God had shown him grace, in his response to these men. When Mephibosheth told him that he had not betrayed him, he accepted this as fact, and apparently did not even punish Ziba for having lied about Mephibosheth’s betrayal. Then, when Abishai wanted to kill Shimei for having cursed the king, David asked, “Do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” (19:22). As king, he could choose what would happen to Shimei. Life will sometimes leave us also with the choice between vengeance or forgiveness. May we, like David, choose to forgive!
Sheba’s uprising can be seen as another illustration of spiritual warfare. Sheba is described as a “worthless man” (20:1), or a “troublemaker” (NIV). What was his message to rally the people against David? “We have no share in David, nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse” (20:1). Since David was God’s anointed, to “have no share” in him was to deny any allegiance to God or His people. Such ideology is very prevalent in America today; its proponents “have no share” in God or His word. They say that His word is outdated and irrelevant, and they deny that our country was founded on Christian principles. They would even change our history books to prove their point! Sheba’s ending was quite brutal: “They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab” (20:22). Christians must stand together and decapitate this godless ideology before America becomes known as a country that has no share in God.
– Al Gary