Scripture Reading:

2 Samuel 2:1-11

They anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.

2 Samuel 2:4

Some years ago, when I was a pastor, someone told me that even though I was chosen as pastor by their congregation, I was not their pastor. The words shocked me. The person remained a member of my church but never allowed me to pastor them. Over time, several other members told me the same thing.

As a leader, David was not accepted by everyone either. The Lord had approved of David’s becoming king over Judah after the death of Saul. The Lord had been with David and had anointed him for this role many years earlier. David had also proven his leadership through successful military cam­paigns and wise decision making, in which he sought to honor the Lord.

At the same time, not everyone had declared David as their king. The Lord’s people were split into two camps. Saul’s general, Abner, wanted Saul’s kingdom to continue, so he made Saul’s 40-year-old son Ish-Bosheth king over Israel.

So David’s rule began in the midst of disunity.

These are the conditions in which sin and grace stand in tension in this world. They are not comfortable conditions, but God uses them to do some of his best work in us—to help us grow to live fully, with his wisdom and love.

Lord, I would like the con­ditions of life to be smooth and perfect. But I understand that you are working to shape and mold me to be like Christ. Help me to live with wisdom, love, and grace for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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