READ: 2 Samuel 4-6
THINK: How often do you catch yourself worrying about what people think of you? While it's tough to swallow pride and disregard others' opinions, trying to please people can keep you from pleasing God. And being preoccupied with your own reputation can keep you from being passionate about exalting God. It's no accident that people who do the greatest exploits with God are those who serve Him without reservations. Because they're not afraid to suffer humiliation for Jesus, Jesus is not hesitant to bring honor to them.
RESPOND: Why did Recab and Banaah kill Ish-Bosheth, and how did they expect David to react to the news (4:8)? How did David respond, and why (4:9-12)? In what way did the tension, war and bloodshed surrounding David's rise to the throne confirm God's warning about a human kingship? (See 4:12 note.) According to 2 Samuel 5:1-3, why did the tribes of Israel want David to be their king? Why was the conquest of Jerusalem so significant for David, and how did he show his regard for the city (5:9)? (See 5:6 note.) What does 5:13 reveal about David's most serious character weakness, and how did this bring trouble on him in years to come? (See 5:1 note.) How did David show dependence on God in his actions toward the Philistines? (See 5:19 note.) What did David recognize about his victories (6:24), and what can you learn from his example? Why did God consider Uzzah's handling of the ark irreverent, and why was his punishment so severe? (See 6:7 note.) What does this teach about a relationship with God and responding to His presence? (See 6:7 note, subpoint 2.) Why does God's presence bring calamity in some cases, but blessing in other cases (6:12), and what makes the difference? What was significant about David bringing the ark to Jerusalem? (See 6:12 note.) Why was Michal wrong in her perception of David's actions? (See 6:20 note.) How can you tell that David cared far more about honoring God than pleasing people (6:21-22)?
PRAY: Give thanks for opportunities you have to gather with others to worship God. Thank Jesus for His powerful presence and for winning your spiritual victories. Then take time to worship the Lord with extra passion.
ACT: Think of something you're doing to please, impress or pacify people that isn't likely what God wants you to do. Then change that behavior so you honor God, regardless of what people think.
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