2 Samuel 21 records a difficult series of events to digest. YHWH puts a famine on the land because of the sin of Saul against the Gibeonites. David seeks to make things right after three years because the LORD is rebuking Israel. I find it curious, and a bit disappointing that David asks the Gibeonites what to do to reconcile. I would have preferred if he would have asked YHWH. Maybe he did and YHWH did not answer. The answer seems pointless and unfair to the descendants of Saul. They were not the ones at fault and they are executed. Saul was already dead.
Ultimately after some additional actions and prayer, the LORD removes the famine. However, I can’t help but wonder if there could have been another option on how to repent and make things right. My opinion does not matter, however, in this account. We are left to reflect on the recorded events and decide how to apply in our lives.
For me, I want to be close to the LORD and know when I am being rebuked, like David was close to Him. I want to seek His guidance on what actions to take, even if they are hard. I do not want to seek opinions of people per se, except to better understand what YHWH may want us to do. I also want to recognize that sometimes my sin may be revisited upon my sons or daughters. I want to walk with righteousness as best I can and seek grace and forgiveness along the way.
1Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the presence of the LORD. And the LORD said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, and the sons of Israel made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah). 3Thus David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?” 4Then the Gibeonites said to him, “We have no concern of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” 5So they said to the king, “The man who consumed us and who planned to exterminate us from remaining within any border of Israel, 6let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will hang them before the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the LORD.” And the king said, “I will give them.”
7But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the LORD which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. 8So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9Then he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before the LORD, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of barley harvest.
10And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until it rained on them from the sky; and she allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. 11When it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12then David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the open square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13He brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there, and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the grave of Kish his father; thus they did all that the king commanded, and after that God was moved by prayer for the land.
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