Today's devotion from 2 Samuel 2.
With Saul out of the picture, one would assume that David's path to the throne would be pretty clear. However, Abner, for whatever reason, instigated the coronation of Ish-bosheth as king over Israel, minus the notable exemption of Judah, which at had already named David as king.
This begins a period of tension within the people of God. In fact, our reading included a minor skirmish that erupted between the two kingdoms. Yet, David once again demonstrated his patience in allowing God to fulfill His promise. Note how David turns to Him instead of to advisors among men. David's patience and dependence on God is commendable.
This could have been David's opportunity to flex his newfound muscle. He could have made people pay for what they had said and done. He could have determined to rule hard and harsh to solidify his grip. Instead, what is the first recorded act of David as the king Judah? He sent envoys to Jabesh-gilead to command the people for their loyalty and faithfulness to Saul.
Now that he has legitimately recognized authority, David still refuses to focus on former things, opposition from the past, or slights he may have suffered at one time. His reign begins with recognition of faithful service to a man who tried to kill him multiple times and who's jealousy caused him to live in hiding as an outcast.
I am convinced that David was able to exhibit such grace and mercy, not because he is our role model, but because, at this point in his life, he fully depended upon God. Remember, David is not perfect, nor is he our role model. Instead, we need to see these events as being centered on God. From this perspective, what we see is that His leadership will not lead us toward bitterness or unforgiveness. He will move us forward regardless of the obstacles that lay behind us.
Why do we spend so much time and effort fuming on obstacles or pains from the past instead of focusing on the promises to come? Today, let's just place our hand in His and enjoy walking with our Father.