2 Samuel 21:1-14 – Pleasing God

Read 2 Samuel 21:1-14

Little girl looking up smiling with golden stars illuminated behind her

Are we like David seeking to please God? The famine is not pleasant, and it is good to see David seeking God’s counsel in the midst of it. Imagine how surprised David was when he heard God’s explanation. “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”

We are not told when this famine takes place other than it’s during David’s reign. We have just entered the final chapters of 2 Samuel that begin with this narrative. However, it’s a random story, and where it fits into the scheme of David’s reign is not clear. We’ll need to read 1 Kings 1 to take up where our last chapter left us.

But for this reading, what I’d like to reflect on is pleasing God. We can take David’s response as evidence of what that looked like in David’s situation. Knowing what God wants from us and how we can please him still today is the question we need to wrestle with.

The apostle Paul certainly believed that pleasing God was of utmost importance. In Galatians 1:10, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Paul is assuring us that we can please God when we are servants of Christ. So, what does that look like?

Being a servant of Christ can mean we accept leadership roles in our faith community. To me, it means using the gifts God has given me to bring God glory. Spoken or non-spoken, I pray that my life is a testimony to the power of Jesus, to forgiveness, and to become a light in this dark world. How God uses me, that’s the fun part.

Have you ever asked God to tell you what to do to please him? Colossians 3:23 is another favorite of mine. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” When we figure out what it is that God wants us to do and feel his blessings doing it, that’s golden. Until then, we need to heed this verse and keep in mind that whatever we do is working for the Lord.

When we focus doing our work in that way, we can’t help but do a better job at pleasing God. Our text today shows us that David went all in to make amends with the Gibeonites. David cleaned up a mess that someone else had done. David’s only focus was to bring honor to God and make up for the mistake of another.

For the people, David wanted to bring an end to this horrible famine. He had the solution in his hands. God gave him the courage and wisdom to know how to handle the situation. While it included bloodshed, it pleased God. “After that, God ended the famine in the land.”

In this case, there was a benefit in pleasing God. It stopped a famine! Think what mountains may move in your life when you seek to please God.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, open my eyes so I can see all the blessings you have shared with me. May I use what you have given me to bless you and others. Thank you for all the ways there are to reflect your amazing love. Empower me to be fully devoted to pleasing you and furthering your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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