2 Samuel 21* The Gibeonites avenged. (1-9) Rizpah's care for the bodies ofSaul's descendants. (10-14) Battles with the Philistines.(15-22)1-9 Every affliction arises from sin, and should lead us torepent and humble ourselves before God; but some troublesespecially show that they are sent to bring sin to remembrance.God's judgments often look a great way back, which requires usto do so, when we are under his rebukes. It is not for us toobject against the people's smarting for the sin of their king;perhaps they helped him. Nor against this generation sufferingfor the sin of the last. God often visits the sins of thefathers upon the children, and he gives no account of anymatters. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin; nor can webuild hopes of escape upon the delay of judgments. If we cannotunderstand all the reasons of Providence in this matter, stillwe have no right to demand that God should acquaint us withthose reasons. It must be right, because it is the will of God,and in the end it will be proved to be so. Money is nosatisfaction for blood. It should seem, Saul's posterity trod inhis steps, for it is called a bloody house. It was the spirit ofthe family, therefore they are justly reckoned with for his sin,as well as for their own. The Gibeonites did not require thisout of malice against Saul or his family. It was not to gratifyany revenge, but for the public good. They were put to death atthe beginning of harvest; they were thus sacrificed to turn awaythe wrath of Almighty God, who had withheld the harvest-merciesfor some years past, and to obtain his favour in the presentharvest. In vain do we expect mercy from God, unless we dojustice upon our sins. Executions must not be thought cruel,which are for the public welfare. 10-14 That a guilty land should enjoy many years of plenty,calls for gratitude; and we need not wonder misused abundanceshould be punished with scarcity; yet how few are disposed toask of the Lord concerning the sinful cause, while numberssearch for the second causes by which he is pleased to work! Butthe Lord will plead the cause of those who cannot or will notavenge themselves; and the prayers of the poor are of greatpower. When God sent rain to water the earth, these bodies wereburied, for then it appeared that God was entreated for theland. When justice is done on earth, vengeance from heavenceases. God is pacified, and is entreated for us through Christ,who was hanged on a tree, and so made a curse for us, to do awayour guilt, though he was himself guiltless. 15-22 These events seem to have taken place towards the end ofDavid's reign. David fainted, but he did not flee, and God senthelp in the time of need. In spiritual conflicts, even strongsaints sometimes wax faint; then Satan attacks them furiously;but those who stand their ground and resist him, shall berelieved and made more than conquerors. Death is a Christian'slast enemy, and a son of Anak; but through Him that triumphedfor us, believers shall be more than conquerors at last, evenover that enemy.
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