2 Samuel 1 – Are We Talking About the Same Person?

I’ve been to funerals where they were eulogizing the “dearly departed” and thought to myself, “Are we talking about the same person?!” Now I know it would be in poor taste to bad mouth the deceased…even if they were a mean and difficult person in life. But sometimes the things that are said about a person at their funeral barely resemble who the person was in real life. When this happens, you can’t help but wonder, “Are we talking about the same person?”

I feel like this when I read 2 Samuel chapter one. Saul was a man who was egotistical, prideful, paranoid, and homicidal. Yet to hear David’s funeral song, Saul sounds like a cross between Billy Graham and Dudley Do-Right. Saul was a man who repaid David’s bravery and loyalty by incessantly hunting him down to kill him. Still, David sings his praises and morns him as he would his own father. Why?!

Perhaps it was because David saw the bigger picture…the broader plot. David was able to see beyond the injustices that were done to him. He was able to take the wrongs of Saul’s life and see them through a spiritual lens. David related to Saul as God would relate to Saul…with grace, compassion, and mercy.

We need to remember that we only have a small and narrow picture of the person before us. Consequently, we should respond to everyone with the same grace, compassion, and mercy that we ourselves receive from God. Otherwise, these people may attend OUR funeral and think, “Are we talking about the same person?!”

1 Samuel 29-30 – How Well Do You Get Along With Others?

You can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try, someone is not going to like something you’ve said or done.

But David was a man who seemed to be able to get along with a wide variety of people. In 1 Samuel chapters 29 and 30, we see David masterfully developing trust and good relations with a wide variety of often opposing groups.

In chapter 29, David earns the trust and respect of the Philistine king. (1 Samuel 29:6,9)

In chapter 30

  • David rallies the very men who, earlier, were so upset with him they were ready to kill him.
  • David is able to enlist an Amalekite slave who had previously destroyed David’s village.
  • David becomes a mediator for his men when they are in the midst of a disagreement.
  • David endears himself to the leaders of his home country…even though that country had run him out of town and tried to kill him.

How does he do it? How does Dave foster trust and loyalty among others…many of whom are enemies to him and each other?

First, David built relationships by showing kindness and respect to others. But more important than his relationship with others was his relationship with God…

  • When David didn’t know what to do, he turned to God for insight and answers. (1 Samuel 23:2,4,6,9,11,12.)
  • When David encountered unfair treatment, he trusted God to right the wrongs and ensure justice. (1 Samuel 24:12,15)
  • When David was discouraged and demoralized, he found his strength and hope in God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

David was submissive and obedient to God, and God made him wise and discerning…which, in turn, strengthened his relationships and interactions with others.

Do you have trouble getting along with people? If so, check your submission and obedience to God. This is always the starting place for great relationships…and great endeavors.

Ruth 3-4 – Relationships Should be a Two-Way Street

Note: If you’re not familiar with the story of Ruth, I encourage you to read the book of Ruth before reading further. At least read Ruth 3-4. You’ll be glad you did!

A relationship should be a two-way street.

In Ruth chapter 3, Ruth (at the encouragement of Naomi) pursues Boaz. It was important that she do so, because though Boaz had shown his heart by caring for Ruth and going the extra mile to provide for her, Ruth needed to show that she too was interested in and desirous of him.

Then, in Ruth chapter 4, Boaz aggressively pursues Ruth by masterfully making the proper arrangements to secure Ruth for himself; (even though she was a foreigner and had nothing to contribute to his estate.)

That’s how relationship should work. They should go both ways.

This is a great love story, but it’s more than just a love story between Ruth and Boaz. It’s a picture of the love story Jesus seeks with us! Jesus is our Boaz. The One who desires to secure our future through His provision and protection. Even before we demonstrate interest in Him, He cares for us, provides for us, and has His workers show favor toward us.

But there comes a time when we must actively show our desire and commitment to Him. For a love story is only complete when both partners are responding. A relationship should be a two-way street. (James 4:8)

And just a side note…it was the two-way relationship between Ruth and Boaz that eventually brought King David (the giant slayer) and King Jesus (the sin slayer) into the world. Imagine what your two-way relationship with Christ and with others might do!