You can’t read this account and not wonder why Joab is still free to kill whoever gets in his way. You’ll recall that David replaced Joab with Amasa. What fuels Joab’s anger? Is it jealousy?
In this case, it certainly could be. Amasa had taken his place beside the king. But Amasa was his cousin! Shouldn’t Joab have showed some mercy? Amasa was even on a different mission than Joab. This isn’t the first time Joab acted with such ruthlessness that a life was lost.
There was a lot of celebrate! King David had successfully welcomed the ark into the City of David. God’s presence in the ark would now be close at hand. David’s spirit was clearly on fire! I can just picture David “leaping and dancing before the Lord.”
But David’s wife, Michal was less than enthused. In fact, the text says she was “filled with contempt.” What reason would Michal have to feel so strongly against David’s pure joy? From the sounds of it, David must have been dancing naked. Did I miss something in translation?
Why is it we are never satisfied in life? We are always looking for the next “thing” to bring happiness, contentment, or success. I can remember saying things like, “when we finally get settled, I’ll feel better,” or “when we can finally afford that new car, everything will be okay.” We even hear such lament in our reading. “If only we had a king,” the people are saying.
Samuel had been acting for years as their judge, and before him we read of many other judges in the Book of Judges. Along the way, we sensed the people were wanting a king. In this reading we understand why.
There is some good stuff in Deborah’s Song, so we’ll unpack it slowly over the next few readings. There is no reason to rush through a chapter when we can take time to savor how it is speaking to us. I’ve known people who have studied for months, even years, on just a few verses! God’s word is alive, and it always brings new messages when the time is right.
We now start to imagine the victory chants that took place when Deborah’s words, actually God’s message to Deborah, came true! They had defeated their foe, and even the earth trembled. That speaks to me of the great communion of God with his creation. When God’s will is being accomplished, we can expect to witness a movement taking place.
I got out my pen and paper to try and map out the relations of Joseph mentioned in this reading. I’m afraid that didn’t really help. I even turned to a commentary and decided that rather than get caught up in these details, I would look for the message to me. That’s always a good thing when we read God’s Word. If something doesn’t make sense, and the Spirit isn’t opening up any sort of revelation, pray for the message.
The message I’m taking away today is be twofold. Be careful what you ask God for and be grateful to God for what he gives you. I’m curious what spoke to you today? Let me explain what I am reflecting on today.