Today’s reading is 2 Samuel 1-2 and Luke 24:36-53.
The 2 Samuel reading is one of those times that I don’t quite get God. It’s kind of like when I’m talking to one of my friends of a differing religious belief and they throw pain in suffering in my face. “If your God really existed, why is there pain and suffering in the world?” For all my Christian friends right now let me stop your thought process as you are quickly accessing brain apologetics files on how to answer such a question. I understand that there is hope in life after death and the troubles of this world are not the end for the Christian. Thus, essentially, life’s problems are solved through Christ as we transition from this imperfect world to Heaven. However, it would be so much easier to deal with this question if there just wasn’t the issues to begin with 🙂
Let’s go on to 2 Samuel when David hears from the Amalekites gentleman that King Saul is dead. It would seem that this guy did a great service to David. He escaped the Israelite camp and sought out David, who by the way was destroying the Amalekites, to give him the news and proof of Saul and Jonathan’s demise. When I read this through I’m thinking David needs to get this guy some proper room service. Let’s get him some steak and veggies. Let’s fix up the fanciest bedroom with the nicest bed. Let’s get this guy some nice clothes. It would seem that David is even distraught over the news of the deaths. Jonathan was a dear close friend to David so the heartache is quite understandable. The Amalekite even seems heroic when he declares that he killed Saul (per Saul’s request). He was basically putting Saul out of his misery so that the king would not have a prolonged suffering.
However, everything changes after David and his men are able to grieve for a brief period. I can almost see David in the middle of his grieving come to a realization. A light goes off in his head. The messenger before him has killed God’s anointed. I did some checking in my online Bible dictionary. The word “anointed” is used when speaking about a person whom God has specifically set apart to do His work. The anointed man of God was responsible for Israel and held accountable to God for his actions. No man was to harm the anointed man of God’s appointing whom was chosen specifically by God to go about God’s chosen actions. Now back to David. He has just come to an epiphany that the Amalekite has killed God’s anointed ruler. The situation now is no longer a mercy killing – it’s a crime. David wants to know why the man was not scared to his very being to even lift his hand against a man that God considered of great significance. Unfortunately, for the Amalekite he is killed on the spot for his crime.
My thoughts during this reading lend themselves to my thoughts and emotions toward people in the ministry today. I recently went to a church planters conference and one whole day was spent on men speaking about moral failures that could occur in the church. They spoke in order to safeguard others from their failings or near failings. I got a sense though from many of these men that they were dynamic men that anyone of any faith would love to learn from their knowledge. Many of them were cherished and greatly respected by hundreds in their communities (again both spiritual and secular). It would not be hard to state that God had anointed these men. However, when these men fail, what is our reaction as a Christian community? Do we gossip? Do we tear them apart (verbally)? Do we drag their names through the mud? This passages from 2 Samuel really beckons me to look at any man of God with fearful respect. Afterall, King Saul was far from a perfect man but still David rightfully revered him as God’s chosen instrument.
I wonder what you think. What would our Christian communities look like today if we looked upon our leaders (even in their great times of failure) as anointed by God?