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"After that"

Updated: Jan 22

Today's blog is based on something a bit sad but important.

In 2 Samuel 21, judgement came to the house of Saul and indirectly Israel because they hadn't judged the house of Saul.

The lowdown is that King Saul had disobeyed the promise of his forefathers and tried to annihilate the Gibeonites who were supposed to be allowed to live peaceable with Israel. God sent judgement on Israel for this even though King Saul was already dead. Kind David asked God why they were suffering and was told the reason. He asked the Gibeonites what they wanted for restitution; they wanted King Saul's family to be wiped off the face of the earth like he had tried to do to them. King David spared Jonathan's son because of the vow he'd made to him before God, but seven men of King Saul's descendants were delivered to be killed.

The mother of two of the boys took a blanket and stayed there by her sons' bodies to shoo away the birds and beasts (and my mother's heart breaks for her). When King David found out, he went out and gathered the bodies of the slain along with digging up the bones of King Saul and Jonathan to bury them properly. Only then does the Bible say, 'And after that, God was intreated for the land.'

King Saul had done a wicked thing. He needed to be punished, but he had also been God's anointed over Israel. God wasn't satisfied until David showed honour to the slain. Just because judgement is needed does not negate a person's right to honour.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 1 Peter 2:17

That's right. Honour ALL men even if they have done something horrid. King Saul was guilty of genocide. That's pretty horrible, and God couldn't, wouldn't let that go unpunished. However, justice alone wasn't enough. God was not satisfied until David had respectfully buried the dead. Only then was God intreated and stopped punishing the land.

Showing honour to all men is something I struggle to remember when I'm frustrated and angry at authority, the world at large, or just the person bugging me right that minute, but it's something I must remember. We ought not to rejoice when someone's 'comeuppance' arrives. For honour is required of us for all men, even in judgement.

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