2 Samuel 3

One A Day

上行下效

 

This Chinese proverb translates to; “Those below follow the example of those above.” It is pronounced (shàng xíng xià xiào). 

It sounds remotely familiar. 

 Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. – Proverbs 22:6 

And I’m sure I could find other similar verses if I looked long enough. Truth tends to be universal, whether you are Shinto or Christian. Only one path will lead to salvation, but truths tend to be absolutes. 

After the Hebrews escaped the slavery of Egypt, God gave them many instructions. He even gave them instructions for how a future king was to conduct himself, even though a kings was not something in God’s plan for them. One instruction was brought to mind today. 

The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will lead him away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate vast amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself. – Deuteronomy 17:17 

I see that David did not follow these instructions. 

These were the sons who were born to David in Hebron:

The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam of Jezreel.

The second was Kileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur.

The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.

The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was David’s wife Eglah.

These sons were all born to David in Hebron. – 2 Samuel 3:2-5 

That is six wives! But wait there’s more! 

When David was one of Saul’s trusted men, Saul gave David his daughter Michal as his first wife. Now when the former forces of Saul want to negotiate peace and crown David as king, he has one condition. 

“All right,” David replied, “but I will not negotiate with you unless you bring back my wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come.” – 2 Samuel 3:13 

That makes seven! One wife for each day of the week – busy man. 

His wives were not his downfall; David apparently handled them well enough to prevent that. But the heartache of divided loyalties amongst David’s children, the product of those wives, caused tremendous heartache and damage. There was rape, incest, murder, hatred, lying, disobedience, and the list goes on. 

Later his son Solomon, a product of yet another wife, is eventually seduced to sin by his own many wives. Solomon had learned from his father that alliances with neighboring kingdoms are made by marrying the king’s and ruler’s daughters, something God commanded against. 

“Those below follow the example of those above.” 

But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors and refused to believe in the LORD their God. They rejected his laws and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the LORD’s command not to imitate them. – 2 Kings 17:14-15

Father, may I listen and learn by the example of others. However, not only to those above me, but to the one who is above all – you. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Who are you following? Jan

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