The civil war caused by Sheba’s rebellion is over. David had been firmly reestablished as king. Now another problem arose in the land. Three years of famine, definitely can’t be explained away. David had to seek God’s face. Despite the fact that droughts were common occurrences in those days. He knew that this persistent famine is beyond the ordinary. This should be a pattern for us. We must seek God’s face at all times over every matter; normal or abnormal. Saul committed an abomination during his reign. In his zeal he slew the Gibeonite race whom Joshua and other elders of Israel swore to protect (Joshua 9). Although Israel were tricked into the agreement because they failed to inquire from God at that time, yet, their promise was valid and binding on them. Saul made himself a truce breaker and defiled the land with the innocent blood of these men.
Generations after, these sins began to speak against Israel. This should make us to be careful in some teachings. Some people teach that being born again exonerates us from the punishment due to sins committed by our forbears. This is not true. God has promised to avenge even to the fourth generation and also to bless to a thousand generation of those who fear him. All Israel suffered for this sin because the land “has opened its mouth and drank the blood of the innocent” (Genesis 4:10-12), hence it is polluted and crying out for vengeance. Israel as a nation were aware of this sin. Nobody seemed to have cautioned Saul in his misguided zeal or regretted their terrible action against these downtrodden people. God is a respected of covenants. David had to right the wrongs. God cannot change his foundation of Justice because of his darling Israel. The law remained the same for everyone. Numbers 35:33 “so you shall not pollute the land where you are, for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it“. This is the basis upon which the execution of Saul’s descendant would avenge the Gibeonite massacre. Seven sons of Saul for the entire Gibeonite race massacred; a symbolic equivalent judgement. In the same way, Jesus’ death on the cross a perfect and complete atonement for the sins of the world.
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Note that David spared Mephiboshet, the foremost person in the house of Saul, because of another promise. He cannot break a promise to keep another. Good intentions can never make wrong actions right. Rizpah and Michal had to bear the brunt of this ancestral sins. How we suffer for the sins committed by our ancestors. When we come to Christ and become born again, we are no longer under the curse of the law because Jesus has become the curse for us. Nevertheless, we must take deliberate steps to pray and confess and repent of any known sins of ours or our predecessors. God does not sweep sin under the carpet. Until these evils done in the past are repented of, confessed and forgiven by God, we may not enjoy the full benefits of being God’s children. Persistent unanswered prayers should make us look inwards and ask questions about the past.
Finally, the rains returned as a proof that justice has been done. Beloved, vows, promises, covenants, agreements are very important to God. It shows our integrity as people of God. For a thousand generations God keeps his promises, he does not fail. The same should guide us in our own covenant relationships. We must keep to the obligations no matter how difficult. Or else find a way to be exonerated through mutual agreement. We must not be found to be truce breakers for God hates it.
PRAYER: Father we bless your name for this very important lesson this mourning. Grant us lord the grace to not overlook the demands of your laws at every point in time. Help us in our zeal to serve you to seek to understand you perfectly through your revealed word and prayer to avoid using wrong actions to bring about “good intentions”. This we ask Lord in Jesus name, amen!