It can be dangerous to be chosen by God for service. Jeremiah learns about the threats to his life directly from God who also promises to punish these offenders. Have you ever been fearful to share your faith or do the work you are doing for the kingdom?
I wasn’t concerned until I read something recently that I live in one of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. According to an article in Christianity Today, Mexico is 37th of the 50 countries on a watch list for extreme persecution. Despite that, I do not feel unsafe. I have confidence in the one who is fighting my battles.
You may or may not know that Philippians is one of my favorite books. As I grow deeper in my faith, I realize that I look forward to the day when I can be friends with Paul like the Philippians were. They had a deeper relationship than most because of the faith they share. When we can find friends who share a similar faith focus, that’s golden!
If you want to get a little more about the background of what’s happening, I wrote on a similar passage in Philippians five years ago. Here’s a link to that blog post if you’re curious.
Our minds are beautiful creations. I love how our innermost thoughts are ours alone. There are all sorts of medical devices that can tell me about my bodily functions like blood pressure, temperature, weight, and many more internal measurements that are pretty mind-boggling how far science has come. But nobody can tell me “what” I’m thinking.
Like us, God has hidden thoughts, and our text reveals he even has a “secret plan.” This just adds to the “mystery.” One of my favorite verses speaks of this plan. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I don’t know about you, but I love knowing that God has an agenda for my life. And that plan is better than I could ever imagine!
Making an escape is not new for David. However, taking a whole household and then some takes a lot more planning and strategy. I can just picture the procession. It would have been impressive to be sure. No panic, only calculated strategy.
David seems to be calmly handling this situation. His faith is strong, and we hear him surrender to God. While he wants to be able to return to Jerusalem, he defers that to God. Not sounding fearful of death, David goes on to say, “But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him.”
Abner is getting a lot of attention from King David. But is he the hero of this story? It certainly can’t be Joab, the one who killed Abner. In fact, Joab is having to mourn the loss of a man he caused to die. How odd that must be! David is setting a good example as king.
David needed a strong public response to the killing of this Israelite warrior. He did this to establish his innocence and pay tribute. David couldn’t afford to lose credibility with other leaders of the north. He summons the whole “government” to mourn, including Joab. What humiliation!