2 Samuel 19-21…The way we live matters.
God’s reputation is either enhanced or maligned by the attitudes and actions of His people. These chapters in 2 Samuel illustrate this truth.
During the reign of David, God punished Israel with a 3-year famine because David’s predecessor King Saul had attempted to exterminate the Gibeonites (2 Samuel 21:1). His action violated a solemn promise Joshua and the rulers of Israel had made with Gibeon in the name of “the Lord God of Israel” (Joshua 9:18). God’s honor was at stake.
When David asked the Gibeonites how he could make amends, they demanded that seven men from the descendants of Saul be handed over to them to be hanged. The Bible does not tell us that the Lord demanded this retribution, and the death of Saul’s sons and grandsons must have grieved God’s heart. Yet He allowed the executions to go forward so that the agreement His people had made in His name would be renewed. The Gibeonites therefore knew that God was a God of honor.
Just as Israel profaned God’s holy name by their wickedness (Ezekiel 36:22), so too we can dishonor God today by the way we live. God is glorified particularly in how each local church lives in the geographical area in which they are placed. Churches that reflect the glory of God, through holiness, love, and unity, are like beautiful cities on a hill shining a bright light to the world, and drawing attention to God’s glory. Conversely, churches that look no different than the world, lie about what God is really like. Let’s pattern our lives after Jesus both individually and corporately. Then we will bring honor to God’s name.