2Samuel 21:16: And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David.
Saul who was king in Israel before David died on the battlefield, and David would have gone in the same ill-fated way, if one of his men, Ishbi-benob did not come to defend him. Thereafter, David’s men decided that because of how important he was, he should no longer go to battle with them, and apparently David yielded to his men (2Samuel 21:16-17).
However, there was a time that David was to be on the battleground (2Samuel 11), but he was not, and in the ensuing events, David committed sin with Beersheba, and killed her husband by proxy. But now his servants declared that he should not go with them to battle and that was the right thing to do. Those are two similar situations, with their appropriate responses differing from each other.
Such happened between Abraham and his wife Sarah. In an earlier time, Sarah told Abraham to sleep with Hagar and get her pregnant, which he did, thinking that was the way the way through which God was going give their family a child (Genesis 16).
Based on the prevailing tradition of that time, if Hagar brought forth a son, it was as good as having come from the original wife. So based on that consideration, Abraham bought into his wife’s idea, but that later threatened the peace of that house. Later on, when Isaac was born and Ishmael, the son of Hagar (Genesis 21:1-14), mocked Isaac, that generated tension in the house and Sarah told Abraham to get rid of Ishmael. And God backed Sarah in that decision, asking Abraham to obey his wife.
Was it not by obeying his wife that led to all that trouble in the first place? We have here again two similar incidents, both involving Sarah asking Abraham to do something. But in the first incident he should not have listened to such man-made effort to fulfil the promise of God, but in the second case, God asked him to listen to his wife. What was right in the similar situation was different.
In the book of proverbs, the bible says: do not answer a fool according to his folly lest you act like him, and the immediate verse that followed that reads: answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes. That is the same situation, but with different recommended responses. How would you judge that (Proverbs 26:4-5)?
In the prophetic ministry of Elisha, he informed the king of Israel a few times of the different plans of attack that the king of Syria was forming against Israel, through his prophetic gifting, and that happened over a period of time (2Kings 6:8-12). If the king of Israel thought that he would go with the last instruction and not follow the present one then we would suffer unnecessarily.
When God told Abraham to go up the mountain to sacrifice his son, he obeyed walking on the three day journey to the specific mountain where the sacrifice was to take place, having ample time to change his mind. On getting there, after he had tied Isaac up and raised the knife to cut his throat, God spoke from heaven through an angel, informing him about a change of plan. God said the child should not be harmed whatsoever, but an animal caught in a nearby thicket should replace Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18).
From the forgoing what is important is to follow what God is saying per time. It is not enough to know what God has said, it is important to also know what he is saying. Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
That means there is a need for fresh word daily because what God is after is close relationship with us, maintained daily in fellowship in prayer and in the reading of the bible. In the wilderness, the children of Israel were to come out to pick manna on a daily basis, a daily display of dependence on God (Exodus 16:35, Numbers 11:9).
In walking with God, it is not just about what he has said but what he is saying. We should have our ears close to the mouth of God. That was Isaiah said. He said that God has opened his ears to ear like the learned, waking up him up morning by morning, to hear new things from Him (Isaiah 50:4-5). And it is as many who are led on a continual basis by the Holy Spirit that are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). It is not as many as were led, or those who heard from God yesterday.
Nevertheless there is something to be said for combining an historical view of God with the ongoing unfolding of himself in our world and in our lives, in new moves in which he manifests himself in unusual manners.
Jesus said that the scribes instructed in the kingdom is like an householder bringing from his storehouse things old and new (Matthew 13:52), able to combine what the Holy Spirit has written with what he is saying now, in an intellectually competent way, in the holistic view of God’s relationship with his people with thee relevance to the here and now, divine communication.
David listened to his men when they said he should no longer go with them to battle, but when Paul was told by his men not to go to Jerusalem, he was bent on going. They pleaded with him, even with tears but he did not yield to them (Acts 20:22-25, 21:11-14).
As far as he was concerned he needed to go to Jerusalem to fulfil the will of God. So the greatest determinant of what to do is by answering the question: what is the will of God.
Paul knew that bad things will befall him on the way, but he was undaunted, he was fearless, he did not consider his life precious to him that the will of God. Since he has eternal life, which was all that was important and running his race so that eventually he can say: I have fulfil my mandate on the earth (2Timothy 4:7). He was not afraid of death because he has eternal relevance, while for David at that time, his relevance was temporal.
In the New Testament those who died in Christ are referred to as merely sleeping (1Corinthians 11:30, 15:51, 1Thessalonians 4:14, 5:10), because they will resurrect, while in the Old Testament no such opportunity was yet opened. That was why the David’s men were protective of his life; but there is hope of resurrection in Christ Jesus, which was why Jesus said that we should be willing to lose our lives for his sake (Luke 9:23-24). We should be more attached to him than to our natural life, setting our hearts on things in heaven and not things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4).
- - God Keeps His Promises - (hiseternalword.wordpress.com)
- Genesis 22:17-18- The Blessing of Promises (firstpresjoliet.wordpress.com)
- God will see to it. (iamnotwithouthope.wordpress.com)
- The best kind of gift (ecclesiablogdotcom.wordpress.com)
- Sarai (Sarah) – First in the Series “Chosen Women in the Life of Christ (asistershugs.wordpress.com)