It’s easy to read over the Old Testament stories and see them as irrelevant for today. But the Holy Spirit recorded each one for our benefit. We should never leave the reading of His Word without considering, “How does this apply to me?”
2 Samuel 19 & 20
2 Samuel 19 & 20:
The Old Testament and us
1 Corinthians 10.11 says about the Old Testament, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
As you read these stories of all the kingdom intrigues, the in-fighting, the murders, the jostling for position, it’s a reminder to us of just how depraved we all are apart from God and how much we needed a Savior!
So His name may be known
Verses 1-2, “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah. That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.” Even as we pray like the psalmist did for God’s mercy and blessing, we should remember that it’s all about His glory—that His way and His name may be known in all the earth!
A little with peace
17.1 in the New Living Translation says, “Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.” That is true in a family, in a marriage and in many other relationships, but it’s also true in our individual hearts and lives. It’s far better to have a little, and to have gotten it in a way consistent with Scripture, than to have much, gotten through sinful means, and have to deal with the inner conflict of knowing it’s displeasing to God.
Christ is the only way!
There’s so much in this chapter, including another of Jesus’ great “I AM” statements. In this passage He declared Himself to be the Light of the World. Verse 12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Verse 24 talks about the sin of unbelief, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” No one can be good enough to go to heaven apart from believing the Gospel. Christ is the only way!
Go and sin no more
And a comment about the story of the woman taken in adultery (verses 3-11):
3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Does our personal holiness even matter to God?
Romans 5.20-6.2 says, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
God in His grace showed mercy to the sinful woman, not so she could continue in her sin, but that she, like us, could “go and sin no more.” We are not to live righteous lives out of fear of the consequences of breaking the law, but out of gratitude for all we’ve been forgiven!
What about you? Questions to ponder or journal:
How do you view you freedom and forgiveness in Christ? Is it an occasion to sin or “sin no more”?