David Chapter 9: The Larger Picture

The name Zeruiah may not be very familiar but it’s mentioned several times in the Bible. It’s actually the name of David’s sister. David had two sisters – Zeruiah and Abigail. Profiling Zeruiah I’d say she’s a strong woman – very assertive, insistent and controlling. That becomes apparent as you study her children. Being the first girl in the family she probably asserted dominance. Eliab the first born doesn’t come across as assertive. He couldn’t even control David the last born.1 Samuel 17:28-29. Every family has a Zeruiah – that aunt who’s dominant, insists on having her way, tells everyone what to do, is insistent and has a romance with stubbornness. They’re often resistant to opposing views, the way a West Africa mosquito strain resists drugs. Even when they seem to agree with you, you quickly discover they didn’t change their position. They just won’t gree! Now, it’s not as if they’re bad people. They can be quite loving and sacrificial actually.

This is how you know Zeruiah was strong. Ancient Israel was a patrilineal society – you trace your lineage through your father, you’re known by your dad’s name. Not Zeruiah’s children. They were known by their mum’s name. David constantly referred to his nephews as “sons of Zeruiah.” And in that one phrase he expressed his frustration with their mother. They were atypical of her. Their father’s name was Seraiah but we don’t hear much about him. 1 Chronicles 4:13-14. The children were always called “sons of Zeruiah.”

Zeruiah had three sons. It would seem their mum transferred her traits to them. Those children were willful and difficult. Their names are Joab, Abishai and Asahel. They were all in the army. Of course Joab was the army commander. Had to be. He became army commander after he won a battle field challenge. 1 Chronicles 11:6-7. And he eliminated everyone nominated to take over his position, including his first cousin Amasa. That’s his aunt’s son. 2 Samuel 18:11-13. But the three kids were loyal to David. Only they irritated David no end. They seemed to have a one-track mind – everything can be solved by cutting off someone’s head. They weren’t sensitive to circumstances. Call them blunt force instruments.

When Absalom organized the coup against his dad and David had to flee Jerusalem, a guy named Shimei Gera from Saul’s family hurled abuses at him. He felt God was paying David back for all the bloodshed against Saul’s clan. There was that long war of attrition between the house of David and the house of Saul. The guy felt David stole the throne, actually called David a butcher and a murderer. Guess the solution proposed by Abishai? Cut off the guy’s head! “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.” Blunt force instrument.

It was David who saved that guy’s neck, and his argument was simple. What was Shimei’s insult compared to the tragedy of his son wanting to kill him? David was so irritated with Abishai – “Why are you sons of Zeruiah always interfering and getting in the way? If he’s cursing, it’s because God told him, ‘Curse David.’ So who dares raise questions?” In other words, David was trying to figure out the God angle in all the crisis but those three nephews of his could never see the bigger picture. Blunt force instruments.

Then there was that instance David finally brokered a deal for a unified kingdom with the commander of the Israeli army, General Abner. At the time David was in control of Judah but the other ten tribes didn’t accept his government. Abner was the backbone of Saul’s lineage. If he changed allegiance David’s 15year quest to be king over Israel was over, and without bloodshed. Abner was going to change sides over a babe issue. King Ishbosheth had accused him of appropriating his father’s concubine and he felt insulted. The negotiation went smooth and everything was on course until the sons of Zeruiah got involved. Joab stuck a dagger into Abner, the reason being Abner killed his brother in war. These guys are blunt instruments. They jeopardized the entire kingdom in their pursuit of revenge. They couldn’t see the larger picture. David was forced to over-mourn Abner in order to show he had nothing to do with his death. He lamented he couldn’t control his nephews – “These sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me.” 2 Samuel 3:39. Blunt force instruments.

You can’t afford to be a blunt force instrument. A blunt force instrument is one-track minded, never contemplates, can’t see the larger picture. He always resorts to crude solution to issues, never thinks. Peter was a blunt force instrument. When they came to arrest Jesus he brought out a sword. Against trained killers? How were civilians going to face soldiers? He never thought! The man was a bloody fisherman, had never handled a sword in his life except perhaps a knife to gut fish. And then he sliced off Malchus’ ear. Malchus was the High Priest’s servant. John 18:10-11. He wasn’t going for precision. He was going for the guy’s head. He missed by a whole foot and ended up slicing off the ear. That says a lot about the level of his skill. He endangered everyone’s life. Jesus barely saved the day. None of the other disciples had a sword. Only Peter. He probably took Jesus literally when he said, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!” Luke 22:36-37. He couldn’t see Jesus NEEDED to go to that cross. If he didn’t you wouldn’t be reading this piece by the way. Peter was a blunt force instrument. Never saw the larger picture.

The problem with blunt instruments is that they miss nuances. Joab was perhaps the only one who could speak bluntly to David but he often forgot David was a king. He disregarded his instructions on occasion. David gave express instruction not to kill Absalom but Joab stuck three daggers into his heart. You get the sense he saw himself as Deputy President. Our friend Peter behaved similarly. He vaunted for position, needed to prove he was brave and was Jesus’ “paddy man.” May actually explain why he jumped out of that boat. Matthew 14:22-31.

In the things of God there’s always the larger picture. It’s our duty to meditate, to find out what the larger picture is. If you don’t you’ll get caught up in yourself and possibly jeopardize God’s program. At some point David saw the larger picture. It all came together – “And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people.” 2 Samuel 5:12.

The larger picture realisation is not peculiar to David. Esther realized why she became queen. Joseph told us he was sent ahead to Egypt to preserve the fledging Israeli nation. In other words, there’s always a larger picture behind grace and favour, and even our suffering. Joseph suffered. Grace can be beauty, intelligence, money or power. Esther understood, David understood, Joseph understood. Do you? That grace you have… What’s the larger picture? That position you’re in, what’s the larger picture? That intellect you have, what’s the larger picture?

“Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Psalm 49:20.

If you’ll like to receive Jesus into your life please pray this prayer: “Father I acknowledge that I am a sinner, that Jesus died for me, that you raised him from the dead. Father please forgive me. I accept Jesus today as my Lord and my Saviour. Amen.”

To read David Chapter 9: The Larger Picture go to www.myilluminare.com/david-chapter-9-the-larger-picture/.

*To learn more about how the spiritual realm controls governments and societies, you can read my book, Of Madmen, Senators & Ambassadors. Order at https://store.lekealder.com.

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com.

Every family has a Zeruiah – that aunt who’s dominant, insists on having her way, tells everyone what to do, is insistent and has a romance with stubbornness. They’re often resistant to opposing views, the way a West Africa mosquito… Click To Tweet You can’t afford to be a blunt force instrument. A blunt force instrument is one-track minded, never contemplates, can’t see the larger picture. He always resorts to crude solution to issues, never thinks. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Peter was a blunt force instrument. When they came to arrest Jesus he brought out a sword. Against trained killers? How were civilians going to face soldiers? He never thought! #Illuminare Click To Tweet The problem with blunt instruments is that they miss nuances. #Illuminare Click To Tweet In the things of God there’s always the larger picture. It’s our duty to meditate, to find out what the larger picture is. If you don’t you’ll get caught up in yourself and possibly jeopardize God’s program. #Illuminare Click To Tweet There’s always a larger picture behind grace and favour, and even our suffering. Joseph suffered. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Grace can be beauty, intelligence, money or power. Esther understood, David understood, Joseph understood. Do you? #Illuminare Click To Tweet That grace you have… What’s the larger picture? That position you’re in, what’s the larger picture? That intellect you have, what’s the larger picture? #Illuminare Click To Tweet “Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Psalm 49:20. #Illuminare Click To Tweet