July 19: 2Sa 3 | Jeremiah 9 | Matthew 20
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Reading 1 - 2Sa 3
"Antagonism between the houses of Saul and David continued; irritating, annoying, fretful conflicts, but inevitably the house of Saul waxed weaker, for God was with David. Established in Hebron (the south), David's power and influence was becoming more evident. The birth of his sons was evidence of his accepted status amongst his followers...
"Meanwhile Ishbosheth alienated Abner (vv 6-11). Abner had made himself indispensable to the cause of the house of Saul. He saw that Ishbosheth lacked the necessary qualities of true leadership, and so long as he remained in the standing of king, the cause was lost. He therefore took steps to supersede him by marrying Rizpah, and obtaining rulership for himself, thus causing a rift within the house of Saul. Abner's treachery (v 12) demonstrated the sad case of those who plot against the righteous. To secure his position in Judah, David demanded the return of Michal (vv 13-16).
"However distressing the circumstances, it was important that David strengthen his position, and to do that he could not leave a princess in the possession of a man who might, in her right as daughter of Saul, make pretensions to the throne. She was David's lawful wife, and not that of Phaltiel, and to have her restored to him at this time would demonstrate to the followers of Saul, the strength of his claim to the power and the weakness of the opposition. The beginnings of the reign of David, though involved in changing circumstances, soon became recognised by all Israel" (GE Mansfield).
Reading 2 - Jer 9:23,24
"This is what the LORD says: 'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the LORD" (Jer 9:23,24).
"Whilst the heavenly hosts of stars and the earthly beauties of nature may stir our emotions, they are silent about our deepest needs and are heedless of our cries for help. When the Lord passed