2 Samuel 19:11-20:13
In this passage we see David returning to Jerusalem as king. As I read through this passage of scripture, I couldn’t help but think, “Boy there’s a lot of chaos going on here? What’s the root cause of this?” I flipped back a few chapters to refresh my memory, and I couldn’t help but think that this is a classic case of reaping what you’ve sown.
Several chapters back we read of David’s sin with Bathsheba. After that incident God spoke through Nathan and told David that the sword would never leave his house (2 Sam. 12:10). And here a few chapters later we see the sword in David’s household once again when Joab killed Amasa.
We also know that David never took appropriate action against Amnon for raping Tamar. He basically swept it under the rug, and Absalom lost respect for his father. His loss of respect led him to conspiracy to overthrow his father’s kingdom. He even slept with David’s concubines in the sight of all.
Sometimes we are tempted to sin, and we’ve all heard the adage, “It doesn’t hurt anyone.” Well, that is a lie from the pit of hell. Our sin does hurt others. First, it hurts God, and it hurts us. But it can flow over many others as well. I think of student in my class, whose father drank too much. His drunkenness caused him to become violent. He hurt his wife and although he didn’t touch the kids, his actions hurt their hearts. The family had to flee to a shelter, which meant that the kids were torn from school. Their classmates missed them and felt bad because they didn’t get to say goodbye, and the teachers worried about these lost students. The cousins they were living with suffered worry over their flight because they didn’t know where they were or if they were okay. The list goes on and on of people affected by this man’s choice to drink too much. I can think of example after example. Our sin is far-reaching. We reap what we sow and sometimes the innocent get hurt in the process.
Here we read of Jesus’ appearing to his disciples after his death. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Sometimes our life feels like that. We’ve worked and toiled with no reward. We can wonder, “What’s the use?” Then, along came Jesus with some simple instructions. “Cast your net on the other side.” I don’t know about you, but if it were me I would probably question this. I could hear my thoughts already, Cast on the other side? Right. Like that’s going to do anything. We’ve been fishing all over this lake all night. How can a few feet make any difference?
But the disciples didn’t question and were obedient. Through their obedience they reaped a great reward. There may be times in our own lives where God gives us instructions that might not make sense. Rather than question his direct leading, we should be obedient and in our obedience, we’ll reap reward.
Peter heard that it was Jesus. He immediately threw on his tunic, jumped into the water, and headed to shore to see his Lord. He was excited to see Jesus. This reminds me of my own children, when I pull up in the driveway after being gone for a season. They run to the car to greet me and get a long-awaited hug. Are we excited to meet with Jesus? Do we run to get to him or do we allow the day-to-day stuff to get in the way of time spent with him?
Jesus prepared breakfast for the disciples and invited them to come and dine with him. He knew their need that after a long night of fishing, they would be hungry and ready for nourishment. God knows our needs before we even ask. We can trust him to meet them.
Jesus and Peter had a discussion after their meal where Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” I believe that he asked him three times because Peter had denied Jesus three times. But something new leaped out at me this time. Jesus’ response all three times was to tell Peter to feed or care for his sheep. Not only was Jesus dealing with Peter’s previous denial of him, but he was also calling Peter into ministry. He showed Peter that he was completely forgiven and he predicted Peter’s martyrdom. Peter would have another chance and when that time came, he would not deny Christ, but would follow him to his death. Tradition tells us that Peter was crucified upside down because he said that he was unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
This Psalm reminds us that we can take our troubles to the Lord and he will answer our prayers. We can rely on God and we can share our pain and struggles with him.
This passage reminds me of Solomon who didn’t ask for riches, but instead asked for wisdom. God not only gave him great wisdom, but he gave him great riches as well. Wisdom is more important than wealth. We can have all the wealth in the world, but if we do not have wisdom we will squander it or allow it to destroy us.