Today’s readings are 2 Samuel 1-3
Today we continue the books of Samuel! Oh, did you know we have a weekly newsletter now? Click here to subscribe.
As always, there is a lot to look at in these verses but I’m just going to pick one thing to dive into or we’ll be here for the rest of the year in this one chapter. I always look forward to the fullness of the conversation as you add your insights and notes in the comments in the Facebook group! I love that we each focus in on different things and between us we have a good study of the day’s readings.
And away we GOOOOOO!
I want to focus on the Amalekite who came to David with news of Saul’s death. That alone is a conversation we could have for hours so even with narrowing it that much, I’m still going to focus on a few key points.
We read an account of Saul’s death and then the Amalekite came to David with Saul’s belongings and told him an account that contradicts what we just read. After questioning the man, David kills him and states that his blood is on his own head.
For some people this seems like a big jump so let’s flesh this out a bit with some more details that help bring it into focus.
-We are not told the man’s name, only that he is an Amalekite (we are told this repeatedly). As the Amalekite relayed his own narrative of what happened to David he told him very clearly and of his own free upfront offering that he was an Amalekite. Later on, David asks him again, even though the man had already stated it, “Who are you and where do you come from?”.
Again he reiterated that he was an Amalekite, the son of a sojourner.
Now if we go to the interlinear (using Biblehub.com) on this we’ll see that the word he used instead of sojourner was actually Ger. A Ger is usually denoted as a person who is not born of Israel but who has chosen to live among them. Most of the time, we see these as people who have “joined themselves to Israel” similar to how we as Christians have become a spiritual part of Israel (which makes us part of God’s chosen people, not replacing them but joining them. See Romans 11:17-21 Sidenote, it is always best, whenever anyone gives you a verse, to read the entire chapter)
Whenever someone gives you a verse, take a chapter.
-However, there were different types of Gers. Some joined themselves to Israel and honored their ways, customs, and worshipped YHWH along with them. They were the first to be “grafted in” (quoting the Bible) and adopted as part of God’s chosen people. There are other types of Ger who lived among Israel for various other reasons. It could be for protection, for profit (Israel numbered in the millions), etc.
Which type of Ger was this man?
-Well, we can’t know that for sure but we can examine a few other things about this situation that will allow us to understand David’s point of view a little better and we can come up with a theory as to whether he was a Ger who honored YHWH and followed YHWH’s ways or was one who just lived among Israel for other reasons.
First and foremost, he introduces himself as the son of a Ger, an Amalekite. So he is saying that His father is a Ger, living among Israel, but he, in his own identification, considers himself to be an Amalekite.
Hmm. Amalekites. Let’s look back in time a bit.
You’ll recall in the Exodus that the Amalekties were the ones who attacked the end column of Israel, which is where the women, children, elderly, and feeble were. (See Deuteronomy 25)
Now, we just finished reading where the Amalekites came and kidnapped the wives and children of David and his men while they were away.
Their pattern is to attack Israel when they are at their most vulnerable and defenseless. We will circle back to this later so put a mental bookmark here.
So what did David do in response? He went to battle against the Amalekites and killed all he saw, estimates are in the thousands but the Bible does not tell us for sure. ?This happened just days before this man showed up with the news that he, an Amalekite, had killed YHWH’s anointed one.
Recall that even David, who no doubt had reasons to kill Saul if ever anyone did, did not kill him when he had a clear opportunity for this very reason of him being anointed by YHWH (see 1 Samuel 24).
This is not the time to show up in front of David with news that you had killed someone He had spared in order to honor YHWH – and then add to the top of it that you are an Amalekite. Makes a lot more sense with all of this in front of us.
It seems apparent that David immediately saw through this man. How? David has strengthened himself in YHWH ( 1 Samuel 30:6 ) and as a result had the advantage of spiritually powered discernment. We will learn even more about David’s perspective in our readings tomorrow.
Now back to the pattern of the Amalekites. The spirit of the Amalekites is alive and well in our world and in our country. They go after YHWH’s weakest and most vulnerable when they least expect it, when their defenses are down. They attack, taking young and vulnerable sheep from the flock, and claiming them as their own.
How do we make sure we are prepared for these attacks? We need to know that this Amalekite spirit is all around us, that they do not care about or respect our God or our faith, and that they are cunning and lying in wait. The Word of YHWH is our strength and our shield. When we know (And live according to) YHWH’s words, we know His very substance. Our discernment is at peak level, the lines of communication between us and the Holy Spirit are open and clear of cobwebs, and we are functioning on the level that YHWH intended us to live at.
It is similar to the difference between being in the basement while God is in the attic or sitting next to Him on the couch.
When the Amalekites come, I want to be there right beside the Father.
I am forever overwhelmed at the blessing and wisdom found within YHWH’s Word. That He allows us to be this close to Him, that He desires us to know Him this well, is a blessing we can’t even begin to comprehend. I am so glad you are here and that we are on this journey together. Iron sharpens iron!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!