July 30-August 5

Week 2 – David, Mending Hearts of a Nation

“… your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16)

Most people purchase and eat more fruit in the summertime when it is plentiful and fresh. Sometimes, however, the fruit can become soft before it is consumed. If you squeeze a softened piece of fruit, it is easy to tell the quality of what’s inside. When you apply pressure to the fruit, you’ll discover the kind of juice it has inside as it oozes out. Similarly, during times of pressure or stress in our own lives, we discover what is oozing out of our hearts and minds. Our “juice” can reveal our dependence on God or our struggle with pride.

In this week’s readings, we see how David responds during stressful times. We see his response to God when faced with death and mourning as well as his response to new opportunities and blessing. In our times of mourning and rejoicing, we have a decision to make concerning how we will respond. David provides for us a faithful witness of how to lean into God … both in our grief and in our praise. He brings before God both lament and blessing. In doing so, we get to see just a taste of the magnitude of God’s heart for His people.

As you reflect on this week’s readings, think about the ways you identify with David’s feelings and responses to God. Think about what God did for David and what He has done for you in Christ Jesus.

 

Sunday, July 30

Read: 2 Samuel 1

Mourning can sometimes feel like an isolating experience, but here we see David leading the whole community in public grieving. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to lament. We know that even Jesus wept over the death of His friend, Lazarus (John 11:33-44). Yet, as Christians, we do not mourn in vain but mourn while also clinging to the hope of the resurrection and the life to come.

Reflect: What or for whom may you need to mourn today? Do you know someone who is grieving and may need the support and care of a Christian friend? God can handle your concerns; bring them to Jesus.

For the Family
Were you ever sad when someone you knew died, like a grandpa or grandma? What or who helped you feel better? How?

 

Monday, July 31

Read: 2 Samuel 2:1-7

David’s first step in making a big decision about his future was to inquire of the Lord in prayer. His next step was to obediently act upon God’s answer to his prayer.

Reflect: What unknowns are ahead of you? Begin discerning your steps by first seeking the Lord's counsel in prayer.

For the Family
When David was going to be anointed king, who is the person he wanted to talk to first? David knew God listens when we pray. What good news do you want to tell God, and what question do you have for Him?

 

Tuesday, August 1

Read: 2 Samuel 3

As the anointed king, David rightly had the authority to seek out and kill Abner, but he didn’t. Instead, he fasted and mourned when Abner died. So, too, God could rightly punish us for our rebellion and sin. Instead, however, He has mercy on us and seeks our good.

Reflect: To whom can you show grace today even though they don’t deserve it? Who has shown grace to you when you did not deserve it? Thank God for His grace.

For the Family
Has your brother, sister, or a friend ever said something unkind to you and made you angry? Did you pray about it? How did God bring peace and make things better with the help of your mom and dad?

 

Wednesday, August 2

Read: 2 Samuel 5:1-10

Today’s passage says: “David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him (v.10).” The God of hosts is with us, too. In Jesus, we have the marking of one chosen and redeemed by God for His good purposes.

Reflect: In what area of life do you need to remind yourself of God’s presence? Go confidently about your work today knowing the God of hosts is with you.

For the Family
Did you know Jerusalem is also called the City of David? Do you have a place that is special to you? What makes it special? How will you care for your special place this week? God helped David and the Israelites take care of their special place.

 

Thursday, August 3

Read: 2 Samuel 6

The Ark of the Covenant embodies the presence of Yahweh before the incarnation of Christ. Notice the impact the Ark of the Covenant has on those around it. It can cause rejoicing and great blessing when handled appropriately, but it can also cause anger, fear, and death when used against God’s command. We, too, know both God’s wrath and His love. The rightful consequence for our sin is death. But thanks be to God! We are redeemed by the presence of Jesus’ hanging on the cross and rising from the grave. As baptized children of God, we embody the Holy Spirit in our very being, bringing with us the blessings of God to others.

Reflect: To whom can you bring the presence of our God? How can you read and reflect on Scripture together or invite them to worship?

For the Family
Do you understand why the Ark of God was important? In David's time, who was present there? Will you ask a parent the difference between the Ark of God and Noah's ark?

 

Friday, August 4

Read: 2 Samuel 7

In verse 22, David sites God’s promise and God’s “own heart” as the reason for God’s great love and blessing on the house of David forever. David acknowledged that it was not anything in himself or in his heart. God's loving promises fulfilled in Christ are the foundation for our abundant life as well.

Reflect: Take a moment to write out some of the things God promises to you in Scripture. Choose one to commit to memory today.

For the Family
How do you feel when someone breaks a promise to you? God always keeps His promises. Do you always keep your promises (like putting toys away)? Who can you ask to help you keep your promises?

 

Saturday, August 5

Read: 2 Samuel 9

David seeks out opportunities to “show the kindness of God” to others, even those who are marginalized, without family, and related to his greatest enemy (Saul). He invites Mephibosheth to eat at his kingly table. Similarly, even though we don’t belong there, God invites us to feast at His kingly table. In Jesus, He shows us unending kindness and provides for our needs.

Reflect: With whom can you share a meal this week? How might you extend the kindness you’ve received from God to someone on the outside of your immediate circle of family and friends?

For the Family
When have you felt kindness from another person? Were you happy about it? Will you make someone happy this week by being kind to them?