Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 21, Ezekiel 28, Psalm 77, Galatians 1.
“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, ‘There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.'” 2 Samuel 21:1
Three years . . . no rain.
David asked God why.
God said, “Saul disobeyed and killed Gibeonites. He wasn’t supposed to do that.”
Keep reading and we find that David asked the Gibeonites what could be done to make things right for what Saul had done to them. Their reply? “Give us 7 of Saul’s family members so we can hang them in front of everybody.”
David’s response? “You got it” (see verses 5-6).
Seven of Saul’s brood were brought to the Gibeonites, hanged on trees, and left for everyone to see.
In case you need a summary:
a. No rain for 3 years.
b. No rain because God was angry at Saul for being selfish.
c. David investigated how to make things right (how to get some rain!).
d. The offended party wanted 7 of Saul’s people to kill by hanging.
The strange thing (as if it could get more so)? God approved of it and sent rain after the hangin’.
“And after that God responded to the plea for the land.” (v. 14)
So let’s get this straight: God did not send rain because of Saul’s sin. Then God DID send rain after people hung on a tree because Saul sinned.
In other words, God’s anger was put away when blood was shed for sin.
Aren’t you glad?
No, no – not because Saul sinned or that there was no rain or that 7 people were hanged due to Saul’s stupidity. Aren’t you glad that God’s wrath gets turned away from sinners when blood is shed for their wrongdoing?
Think about it: Much like Saul, we do some pretty selfish and idiotic and rebellious things too. We deserve a lot worse than no rain for 3 years. If you’re like me, you deserve eternal punishment under the divine wrath of your Maker.
But because God is who He is – much like He did for the nation of Israel when there was no rain – He offered a Substitute to shed blood in my place. Someone else suffered the wrath I deserved.
It’s the Gospel via the Gibeonites.
For Israel, in this incident – it was 7 of Saul’s kinfolk.
For us and the world – He offered His own Son.
How grateful I am that God responds to pleas when innocent blood has been shed for my guilty shame.