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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 5, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: II Samuel 1-3


II Samuel 3:1

Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.


Reading of this long war is heartbreaking. How about reading some of the Gospel of John, or the Psalms, or even the Song of Solomon. Anything about love, praise, wholesomeness, and welcomed stories of God’s glory. But that is all we have suffered, we read about it. David, Saul, Ishbosheth, Doeg, Joab, Abner, and all the others…they had to live through it. There was no end of the book for them. It was not an ancient volume of recorded history; it was their life. They wrote the history with their acts of valiance and violence.


Sometimes the Bible is read absent of emotion. That is our privilege, it is a blessing. But for those who fought in this long war it was no intellectual writing on a page, it was their families, their sons, daughters, marriages, heartaches, bewilderments, their friends, and their foes. For them there was no escape, only victory or defeat. Perhaps it would do the reader well to stop and to put themselves in the story. How would they react? What if it were their king? What if it were their son or husband who fell on the battlefield?


Some read these words and wish for the day of battle. Some perhaps read them and rejoice they did not have to endure its harsh realities. Some, with a heavy heart, and some maybe with a tear in the eye. These were real people. Individuals with the same basic hopes, dreams, and desire for the good days absent of fear and turmoil. They suffered. God related their stories to us that we may learn from them. That we might not repeat their errors. Errors largely based on hubris, ego, pride, and arrogance. Most of all that happened did not need to take place. Saul could have been at peace with God’s decision and thereby had peace with David. David did not have to be rash and demand that Michal be torn away from her caring husband. But, yet, she should have never been put in that situation by her father.  Ishbosheth did not need to be propped up by Abner, and as will be read tomorrow, die for it. On and on the list goes. It did not have to be that way. But it was.


Along that line, the flood didn’t have to happen, neither did the ten plagues on Egypt, nor the wilderness wanderings, nor the struggle during the time of the Judges. All they had to do was trust and obey the Lord God in accordance to His Word. The same is true today. The violence does not have to take place, or the wars being fought, or the injustices found in seemingly every strata in every society. The antidote is the same for all these ailments and so many more: live in obedience to His Word. After all God’s Word commands: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). Do that and most, if not all, struggles end.


Pie in the sky? Maybe. But God has given us these atrocious stories, appalling really, to teach us, warn us, and encourage us to obey Him, love Him, and live for Him. This will never be accomplished in this old world today, but there is a day coming absent of all the lies, violence, sin, and heartbreak. Lord, please hasten that day.


Dr. William T. Howe

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