2 Samuel 16:11-12. (The Message)
“Besides,” continued David to Abishai and the rest of his servants, “my own son, my flesh and bone, is right now trying to kill me; compared to that this Benjaminite is small potatoes. Don’t bother with him; let him curse; he’s preaching God’s word to me. And who knows, maybe God will see the trouble I’m in today and exchange the curses for something good.”
One of my favorite stories of the Old Testament is the rebellion of Absalom against his father, David. All of these sons had different mothers and the internal intrigue between them befits this dysfunctional family. As David fled Jerusalem, he was cursed by an old enemy. His loyal soldiers wanted to kill him but David stayed their hands: maybe God will exchange the curses for something good.
Maybe God will. The favorite thing to do is bemoan 2020. It has been a curse on the pandemic front, the political front, the religious front, and the economic front. I walked into a restaurant to get my take out order and I was absolutely shocked to see it full and people unmasked and large parties gathered around tables. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Why would people do that? Four weeks later, cases were spiking in our county. I wonder why???
Maybe God will exchange the curses for something good. People have chosen to remain safe. People have been generous. People have been creative. I saw red masks with Santa Claus beards on them. In the economic downturn of 2008-9, no small businesses started up. In this one, new ones have arisen every day. I saw a beer commercial that said this year there are no mandatory office Christmas parties...so we can celebrate with those closest to us! SOMEone was being creative on that one. Another meme said “There are people I STILL don’t want to be around when this is over.”
Maybe God will exchange the curses for something good. Maybe we SHOULD give up our individual rights for the good of the community. Of course that’s what the Old Testament advocates again and again but, hey, that’s just the Bible, right? No sense in taking that seriously! (Just in case you don’t understand; that’s sarcasm.) Maybe, just maybe, if we can survive as individuals, good things will come from all of this. Maybe the things we used to think were so important may not be. I think Rachel said this, but Christmas is going to come whether we like it or not, whether we’re ready or not, whether we celebrate it or not. Different is not necessarily bad. Maybe God will exchange the curses for something good.
O sometimes the shadows are deep,
and rough seems the path to the goal;
And sorrows, sometimes how they sweep
like tempests down over the soul.
O then to the Rock let me fly,
to the Rock that is higher than I.
O God, sometimes poetry is not grammatically correct. Even so, we pray that you might exchange the curses for something good. Amen.
Sorry, Tom....last week was a fluke.
Pastor Rick Moser