Devotional:. A fruitless effort




📜TEXT:2 SAMUEL 2:12-18📜

🔑📖KEY VERSE: _*”And there was a very sore battle that day; and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David” (2 SAMUEL 2:17).*_

Former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, was a legendary survivor. He was said to have survived more than 600 assassination attempts. Cuba’s iconic dictator provided an almost mythical adversary for what became an obsessive, error-prone assassination campaign by the United States CIA. The agency’s attempts to kill Castro ranged from the calamitous to the comical. Many of them were detailed by the _Church Committee,_ a special Senate subcommittee headed by Democratic Senator Frank Church in 1975. How was it possible for someone to escape such attempts from, perhaps, the most successful secret service of the greatest nation of the world?

David survived so many attempts and inventions against his life by Saul, Israel’s first king and his contingent of 3,000 elite troops selected from the entire nation. After the death of Saul, Abner used his influence as Israel’s army commander to prevent him from assuming the divinely ordained position as the next king of Israel. The battle that ensued was very sore and bloody as seen in our text. Abner’s men were beaten before the servants of David because it is impossible to defeat God’s ordained destiny.

If Abner had simply sat down and paused over the many obstacles that came on David’s way to kingship, which were all overcome by the divine mercies and providence of God, he would probably have acted differently. While still a youth, he delivered Israel from Goliath’s threats and reproach. David equally escaped all threats from individuals and nations, and died peacefully at a good old age.

There may be a thousand and one attempts on the lives of people who have God on their side, but none of those attempts will succeed. God’s divinely appointed destiny will still come to pass even in the face of the most vehement oppositions.

✍🏽THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:_*With God on your side, you’re safe.*_



*The avoidable civil war*

*1. The world of personality clashes*
a. The text is an account of the first civil war in Israel with many lessons for today, vv16,17.
b. The origin can be traced to personality clashes between only two people, Saul and David. It was basically envy and sense of insecurity on the part of Saul, I Samuel 18:6-9.
c. Saul, deceptively turned his envy to appear as if he was fighting and defending Israel against supposed enemy of the State called David, yet it was a personal battle.
d. Furthermore, his ambition to have his lineage retained eternally as rulers in Israel propelled him to be fighting against David and his army, I Samuel 20:30,31.
d. He spent about 13 years fighting this wasteful battle against his imaginary enemy rather than facing the challenges of governance, and moved or manipulated all the armies of Israel to join him in this needless battle.
e. David himself, in an attempt to secure himself, trained soldiers for self defense, I Samuel 22:1,2.
f. Can you see the origin of many civil, family, organizational wars and how they mostly started as carnal individual clashes and selfish interests among two strong personalities and resulted into full blown wars over time? James 4:1.
g. A genuine disagreements out of concern for people, that is void of selfishness and ego, will always have a meeting point “if we let go and let God”.
h. For the carnal man, “the way of peace they know not”, Romans 3:17.

*2. The way of peace and cooperation*
a. The civil war was unnecessary except that the key players lacked the fear of God.
b. It was simply a carry over of the bitter battle between Saul and David. Now that Saul had died, must it be carried over🤷‍♂️
c. Why did Abner misused his privilege as the army chief by single handedly installing this son of Saul as king without input from the rulers in Israel? vv8,9. Might is right? Why did he unilaterally forced Israel into a civil war without listening to other people’s views? This kind of unilateral decisons by powers that be have led to avoidable and costly wars.
d. It is clear that those commanders did not value human lives or why should they waste the lives of their soldiers on meaningless contest? vv14-17.
In order to avoid unnecessary wars of all forms and magnitude, the following are important.
a. Make sure that personality clashes and selfishness and self pursuit among the key players are not there otherwise lives will be unnecessary wasted under the pretence of fighting for common good. If it is, then the key players must be checked.
b. There is no misunderstanding that does not have solution. The way of peace, negotiations, diplomacy etc are always better and safer than any other method, Hebrews 12:14.
c. Apart from human carnality, most of these wars are engineered by demons. Believers should use their spiritual authority to enforce peaceful resolutions. The main battle ground is on the knees.

*Prayer points*
Pray for grace and the mind to be a lover of peace and not an instigator of violence🙏
Any family or organizational war? Take authority over the demons of spirit of misunderstandings and command peace to reign🙏
Pray for deliverance of any gospel Church you know that their leadership is fighting “wars”🙏
Pray that the Prince of peace will rule in your nation and any needed change will be achieved peacefully without blood letting 🙏

*HYMN* Peace be still. (GHS 96)

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