2 Samuel 2:1 After (King Saul of Israel died) David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah (to make a home)?” The LORD said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” He said, “To Hebron.” 2 So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of Hebron. 4 Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah… 8 But Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9 He made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel.
Here we have the first split among God’s people – with Ashbaal (son of deceased King Saul) ruler over the northern nations and David ruler of Judah in the south. David would eventually unite Israel once again, but it would not last. Over many generations Israel would divide between northern and southern kingdoms, putting them at a clear disadvantage as Assyria conquered the northern kingdom and Babylon the southern kingdom. It’s as Jesus said “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.
We’re in the heart of the political season right now, with election day less than a month away. As if I needed reminding, we are a nation divided. I fear the upcoming election isn’t going to resolve that division, no matter who assumes political office. Verbal demonstrations have become more violent over the last several months. Just yesterday a group of 13 were arrested for plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan. A governor! What in the world?
I suppose one could say it’s human nature to fight one another. But I have hope in the Lord, who can unite us. Let’s pray.
Dear Lord without you we are left to our violent human tendencies. Bring your spirit of peace and empower your Church to show the world what it looks like to live in peace. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.