I'm on my second cup of coffee in my rocking chair and I just finished the 20th chapter of II Samuel. As I read, I have a pen in hand and underline, put stars beside, circle, and write notes in the margin of my Bible. I want to study the Word, not just read it. I want to see much later the things I learned when I read it through earlier and add to it all of the time. Let me share with you some of the highlights of these Scriptures.
1) DON'T SPREAD THE BAD NEWS- II Sam. 1:20 deals with the death of Saul and Jonathan, and David says: "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon;..." The idea is that God's enemies will rejoice when they hear of bad new happening to God's people. David understands this, and we need to. When bad things happen to God's people we are not to be the publishers of that bad news. We are to spread the good news not the bad. Sure we will know of some brother or sister who has "fallen" in the battle and now their testimony is damages, but it is a "battle" and a "battle" has casualties! We must expect that the Devil and our own flesh are going to gain victory in some lives as the rest of us battle on. When someone falls, don't let us be guilty of being the ones spreading the bad news. "Tell it not" and "Publish it not"!
2) MULBERRY TREES- I remember them well as a boy in Tennessee, and loved to eat the fruit of the mulberry trees. I'm not sure they have them in Oregon. In II Sam. 5:23,24 we see that God told His people to stand among the mulberry trees, and when they hear the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines." The idea is that they could hear God moving over their heads as He moved through the trees. Like a wind passing through, and this signified that God's presence was there and moved in front of them. How we need to day the movement of God in our lives. We should wait until we hear the sound of a "going" as well in our lives. I want to see God moving like He did in days gone by, and we can if we will start waiting on God till He moves, then we can "bestir" ourselves and follow after God!
3) LOYALTY- Loyalty is a wonderful trait and very necessary in a church and in any form of leadership. In II Sam. 15:15, David instructs his fighting men what they need to do and here is their response: "Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint." They were willing to listen and follow instructions! That loyalty is spoken of in Heb. 13:7,17, & 24 as it relates to the pastor of a church. The people are to follow his leadership, trusting in the fact that God has called him to that place of leadership. If we can learn this principle of loyalty, it will help our churches and pastors throughout the country.
4) FICKLE. This is the opposite of loyalty is being a fickle follower. This is someone who is always changing their minds. Follow today, rebel tomorrow, follow again, etc. In II Sam. 19: 41-43, we see that the very men who fought with Absalom against David are now fighting with each other about who will bring David back to Jerusalem. The ten tribes want to do this, but Judah says he is their kin so they should do it, and finally before there are blows, it says in verse 43: "And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel." So, they won out. Let's not be fickle followers, but loyal followers!!
Well, that's all for today, I hope you have a blessed day and listen for the sound of the "going" of God in your life today. Let's follow His leadership! Blessings upon you!
Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor of Grand View Baptist Church (the best people in the world!)