Holding All Things Loosely

2 Samuel 15:25-26 “And the King said to Zadok, ‘Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation.  But if He should say thus, “I have no delight in you,” behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.’ ”

2 Samuel 16:10 “If he curses and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’”

Observation: David’s son Absalom had rebelled, causing David to flee Jerusalem along with those people and soldiers still loyal to him. Despite the apparently broad extent of the rebellion, David’s trust in God’s justice and greatness never wavered. He never expressed the presumption that God was on his side. He never called on the Lord to defend him. Rather, he held the crown lightly, remembering that it had been God who had made him king. 

Application: At the beginning of his reign David had said he only wanted to rule as long as God’s favor was upon him, and now, in this crises, that heart attitude is tested and found unwavering. To Zadok in 2 Samuel 15:26 he said, “Let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” In 16:12 he said to Abishai, who wanted to kill a man who was cursing David, “Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” I am reminded of Psalm 32:10,  “He who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.”

Years ago at my grandfather’s funeral, one of my brothers said that at his own funeral, he wanted Frank Sinatra’s song, “I did It My Way.” Indeed, unless God should intervene, that song, sadly, would be an appropriate reflection of not just his life but the life of any man or woman who has not made Christ his sovereign and lover.

My heart breaks as I survey times in my own life when I insisted on claiming my right to something—a thing or a position or a relationship or even to a belief. But God requires that I lay all such rights at the foot of the cross. Paul called those rights “rubbish” (Phil. 3:8), and God promises to make all things new if I will but simply surrender. I see that humble character in David’s response, and pray that God will keep working on its development in me, as well.

Prayer: Lord, the divine exchange You require of me is much in my favor.  Forgive me when I resist. Forgive me when I seem to prefer my rubbish to Your offer of life overflowing with peace and abundance of joy. Make me like David, holding supposed rights lightly, recognizing everything as a gift from You. I choose, Lord, to receive what You want me to have, and to be content in that.

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