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Skeletons in the Closet

2 Samuel 22:13-14
So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from there; and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father. So they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded the prayer for the land.

The story begins with a famine in Israel. The country is united again under David’s leadership. But just when things seem to be getting back to normal, famine hits. David goes to the Lord to find out what the problem is. V. 1: “And the LORD answered, ‘It is because of Saul…because he killed the Gibeonites.’”

Sometimes as a leader you find yourself dealing with problems you did not cause. You have inheirited somebody else’s mess. It often follows after having to clean up one of your own. What happened was Saul was not to mess with this people because they were descendants of the Amorites (the people that tricked Joshua into a treaty during the conquest of the Promised Land). Saul got a little fired up and sought to drive them out of the land to earn favor with the people. So now, all these generations later, this mess is in David’s lap.

David goes to the people to find out how to make things right (He didn’t need God’s permission or wait for His direction to find out a possible solution. Sometimes a leader must get the right information before God will give His directions). As most people do, the Gibeonites wanted blood. Really, they wanted honor restored, which is really the issue for most folks. David did what they asked Him to do.

But David didn’t just leave it at that. In order to bring complete closure to the situation, he needed to restore honor to Saul’s house as well or it would come to haunt him later. As a leader, most of the time we stop short of really following through all the way. Things remain unresolved and it will get us later. David didn’t let it happen. In fact he used the situation to restore other things which had been left undone. The Philistines still had Saul and Johnathan’s remains as a memorial of thier victory over Israel. David could not leave the first king’s remains in he hands of an enemy. He got all of Saul’s family’s remains and laid them to rest in their ancestral home.

It’s hard to clean up after someone else. It’s even harder to honor someone who caused the problem. But as long as things are left undone, there will be famine in some area of our leadership. We don’t only need to take care of business making things right with people, but clean the closet out of the skeletons and lay them to rest with honor and respect. Then God will heed the prayer for the land (v. 14).

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 3, 2003 12:00 AM.

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