2 Samuel 21

* The Gibeonites avenged. (1-9) Rizpah's care for the bodies of

Saul's descendants. (10-14) Battles with the Philistines.

(15-22)

1-9 Every affliction arises from sin, and should lead us to

repent and humble ourselves before God; but some troubles

especially show that they are sent to bring sin to remembrance.

God's judgments often look a great way back, which requires us

to do so, when we are under his rebukes. It is not for us to

object against the people's smarting for the sin of their king;

perhaps they helped him. Nor against this generation suffering

for the sin of the last. God often visits the sins of the

fathers upon the children, and he gives no account of any

matters. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin; nor can we

build hopes of escape upon the delay of judgments. If we cannot

understand all the reasons of Providence in this matter, still

we have no right to demand that God should acquaint us with

those 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 no

satisfaction for blood. It should seem, Saul's posterity trod in

his steps, for it is called a bloody house. It was the spirit of

the family, therefore they are justly reckoned with for his sin,

as well as for their own. The Gibeonites did not require this

out of malice against Saul or his family. It was not to gratify

any revenge, but for the public good. They were put to death at

the beginning of harvest; they were thus sacrificed to turn away

the wrath of Almighty God, who had withheld the harvest-mercies

for some years past, and to obtain his favour in the present

harvest. In vain do we expect mercy from God, unless we do

justice 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 abundance

should be punished with scarcity; yet how few are disposed to

ask of the Lord concerning the sinful cause, while numbers

search for the second causes by which he is pleased to work! But

the Lord will plead the cause of those who cannot or will not

avenge themselves; and the prayers of the poor are of great

power. When God sent rain to water the earth, these bodies were

buried, for then it appeared that God was entreated for the

land. When justice is done on earth, vengeance from heaven

ceases. 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 away

our guilt, though he was himself guiltless.
15-22 These events seem to have taken place towards the end of

David's reign. David fainted, but he did not flee, and God sent

help in the time of need. In spiritual conflicts, even strong

saints sometimes wax faint; then Satan attacks them furiously;

but those who stand their ground and resist him, shall be

relieved and made more than conquerors. Death is a Christian's

last enemy, and a son of Anak; but through Him that triumphed

for us, believers shall be more than conquerors at last, even

over that enemy.

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