2 Samuel 8
This chapter describes a series of military victories that God gives David in his early years as king. Twice in this chapter, we read, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.”
It sounds like things are going well. David has his act together. He’s the king and God is blessing everything he does.
Then we come to the very last sentence.
“ . . . and David’s sons were priests.” <Cue the dramatic minor chords.>
If you’ve read through Bible up to this point, you know that God had appointed the descendants of Levi to be priests (Numbers 18), that He had established prescribed ways of serving, and that the consequences for violating these commands were severe (Leviticus 10).
We’ve touched on this quite a bit lately, and it seems especially relevant in a time when people often justify their behavior, thinking the ends justify the means.
We can look at David’s situation in two ways: We can assume that God is approving of David’s choices because He is giving David victory or we can recognize that God sometimes blesses us in one area, even as He may discipline us in another because of sin. We may achieve great financial success, but ruin our health because of our self-indulgence. Or maybe we are in excellent physical shape, but lack of self-control in our finances leads to bankruptcy. Or maybe it is that we serve tirelessly those who are in need, but neglect our marriage to the brink of divorce.
Things can look great on the outside, but those cracks in our foundation are going to eventually produce significant damage. Don’t let God’s blessings in one facet of your life blind you to areas where He wants you to repent.
How do you know if you need to repent?
As long as we have life, there are areas of our life where we need to reflect, ask the Holy Spirit to give us new insight, and repent of the things in our heart and in our behavior that are less than God’s best for us. Repentance is not beating yourself up over your failures, it’s simply recognizing that you are not yet perfect and, by the strength of Christ in you, turning away from what God has shown you is sin. It’s a lifelong process. No one is exempt.