How fickle the men of Israel were in this passage! One minute they’re having a discussion with the men of Judah about fairness. The men of Israel were feeling like they had been left out or minimalized, and then abruptly turned in the opposite direction, against David.
There’s a _____ in every crowd. You fill in the blank! In this account, it turns out to be a troublemaker. Every good story has a villain. Even fairy tales often have a frightening side. Today our troublemaker is Sheba.
God’s story of love and redemption continues in the books of Samuel. We will see that these books reveal the transition between the tribal weaknesses of idolatry and sin to seeing kings raised up with a different focus and shift in culture. There are growing pains with any transition in life.
According to the Commentary on the Old Testament by Keil & Delitzsch, our passage today was likely taking place at roughly the same time as Samson was leading the Israelites in the Book of Judges. You will recall how the concluding chapters in Judges often mentioned Israel had no king. We’ll see how God responds to this need and their extreme desire to have a king.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “keep your friends close
and your enemies closer,” a line from the movie, Godfather II. It can be wise
advice because you never know when your “friend” might actually be your enemy. Verse
24 would seem to hint at this as it says, “There are “friends” who
destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Have
you ever been betrayed by a “friend?”
We hear almost daily of bullying accounts of one kind or
another. Just the other day a dear friend of mine who has some “special needs”
told me how someone she’s known for a while has started to call her “stupid.”
How hurtful. What sort of motivation would lead a “friend” to call another
friend stupid? We are meant to build each other up, not tear each other down. These