Words from the Heart for Saturday March 23rd, 2019
Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!” All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them.
2 Samuel 3:35-36 (NIV)
Here are some sobering statistics from the Canadian Women’s Health Network: 25% of all violent crimes reported to police involve family violence. 70% of the victims of police-reported family violence are girls or women. Most violence against children and youth are committed by a family member, with girls four times more likely than boys to be victims of sexual assault or other sexual offences by a family member. 65% of spouses accused of homicide had a history of family violence involving the victim. This was most often the case when the spousal victim was estranged from their partner, including those divorced and separated.
As it does today, violence marked so much of life in Bible times. There is a story in the third chapter of 2 Samuel that is marked by such violence. A man named Abner had sided with Saul’s family after Saul had died, to war against the king, David. He had killed the brother of one of David’s lieutenants named Joab. Abner then changed sides and came over to support David. Joab still burned with anger against Abner and when he had the chance to kill Abner, he did so. David was heartbroken and 2 Samuel 3:35-36 says, “Then they all came and urged David to eat something while it was still day; but David took an oath, saying, ‘May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets!’ All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them.” What Joab had done was wrong. He had taken justice into his own hands. David didn’t want his kingdom built on this kind of violence. It is not the way of God.
These have been words from the heart.