Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 3:1–4:12


Reading for Today:

2 Samuel 3:1–4:12
Psalm 62:5-12
Proverbs 16:13-15
John 4:31-54
Notes:

2 Samuel 3:25 Abner…came to deceive you. It is ironic that Joab accused Abner of deception in spying on David in v. 25 when in v. 26 he deceived David by not telling him of his request to have Abner returned to Hebron. Joab used this deception to slay Abner out of personal vengeance for the death of his brother Asahel (v. 27; 2:19–23).

2 Samuel 4:4 Mephibosheth. He may be introduced here to demonstrate that his youth and physical handicap disqualified him from being considered for ruling Israel. He would have been only 12 years old at the time of Ishbosheth’s death. For the history of this man, see 9:6–13; 16:1–4; 19:24–30; 21:7.

Proverbs 16:15 cloud of the latter rain. The late spring rain, which matured the crop, fell before the harvest (2 Sam. 23:3,4; Ps. 72:6) and is here compared to the king’s power to grace his subjects with encouragement.

John 4:44 prophet has no honor in his own country. This proverb (also in Matt. 13:57;Mark 6:4) contrasts the believing response of the Samaritans (v. 39) with the characteristic unbelief of Jesus’ own people in Galilee (and Judea) whose reticent faith depended so much on Jesus’ performance of miracles (v. 48). While in Samaria, Jesus had enjoyed His first unqualified and unopposed success. His own people’s hearts were not open to Him, but exhibited reluctance and hardness.

John 4:48 Unless you people see signs and wonders. The “you” is plural. Jesus addresses these words to the Galileans as a whole and not just to the nobleman (vv. 45,46). The response of the Galileans was fundamentally flawed because it disregarded the person of Christ and centered in the need for a constant display of miraculous signs. Such an attitude represents the deepest state of unbelief.

DAY 16: What is a believer’s role in the evangelism of the world?

In the context of the Samaritan woman and village coming to faith in Christ, Jesus spoke of the harvest and the need for workers in John 4:35. Jesus used the fact that they were surrounded by crops growing in the field and waiting to be harvested as an object lesson to illustrate His urgency about reaching the lost, which the “harvest” symbolized. The event probably happened in December or January, which was 4 months before the normal spring harvest (mid-April). Crops were planted in November, and by December or January the grain would be sprouting up in vibrant green color. Jesus points out the Samaritan woman and people of Sychar (“lift up your eyes”) who were at that moment coming upon the scene (v. 30) looking like a ripened “harvest” that urgently need to be “gathered,” i.e., evangelized.“ Already white for harvest.” Their white clothing seen above the growing grain may have looked like white heads on the stalks, an indication of readiness for harvest. Jesus knew the hearts of all (2:24), so was able to state their readiness for salvation (vv. 39–41).

This episode represents the first instance of cross-cultural evangelism (Acts 1:8). In vv. 36–38, the Lord’s call to His disciples to do the work of evangelism both then and now contains promises of reward (“wages”), fruit that brings eternal joy (v. 36), and the mutual partnership of shared privilege (vv. 37,38).

When He talked with the Samaritan woman, Jesus was performing the will of the Father and thereby received greater sustenance and satisfaction than any mere physical food could offer Him (v. 34). Obedience to and dependence upon God’s will summed up Jesus’ whole life (Eph. 5:17). Certainly, the same is true for any follower of Christ.

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