By Kathy Varis
Today's Scripture: II Samuel 15:21
Central Thought: God's encouragement often comes from unexpected people.
We're surrounded by the images of beautiful people everywhere we go. We see them in magazines, on television, or even in real life. Have you ever experienced admiring a good-looking person and then hearing him or her use vile language or speak ill of someone else? It spoils even the most beautiful face when actions reveal a tarnished character. Somehow, in spite of these flaws, these people end up being popular.
The passage today tells us that Absalom was praised for his good looks. We saw earlier that he killed his brother and ran away. He never asked David for forgiveness, even though his father finally allowed him to come home. Absalom showed no remorse but instead used his popularity to declare himself king. David knew the brutal nature of his son, so he packed up his family, bodyguard, and followers and left Jerusalem.
An exiled Philistine, Ittai, traveled with David. The king tried to release him from the march, but Ittai pledged to follow David in life and death. From this unexpected source, David found loyalty and support even though his whole country had turned against him. God is creative in knowing how to encourage us even in our darkest hour. This encouragement is often from the humble, unnoticed people around us, so keep your eyes open for God's surprises.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, when I feel discouraged or picked on, surprise me with Your encouragements.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 14:1-15:22; John 18:1-24; Psalm 119:97-112; Proverbs 16:8-9