17 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Seeking the Good of Others

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son. 2 Samuel 1:17

suggested further reading: 1 Samuel 26

We are not to obscure the commands of God to excuse ourselves. On the contrary, knowing very well that God condemns all vengeance, we must loathe it. Whenever we are tempted to give way, let us run to God, who controlled his servant David and bestowed on him the grace of stamping on those violent passions that could have moved him to hatred and bitterness toward Saul. This is the first point of this text.

Second, let us learn from David to seek the common good of those with whom we live. Let us seek to maintain and preserve peace in the community so that our personal profit and loss does not influence us when we confront a question of the public good. People should not just look after themselves but after others.

David shows us the way. Because he was a frail man like ourselves and did not lack feelings, he was in the same condition that we are in; nevertheless, he put other things before his personal concerns. They were nothing compared to the salvation and preservation of the people of Israel. That is why he mourned over Saul.

This seems strange at first glance, but it is certain that David’s burning zeal for the good of the people over which God had placed him as king made him forget everything else. So he fought against himself and submitted to the will of God in proclaiming Saul’s good characteristics.

As for the rest, there is no doubt that the lamentation recorded here was published all over the country so everyone would realize that David was not cut off from the people of Israel. They would take him as a faithful member, recognizing that he had always pursued the welfare and safety of the people and was still seeking that goal.

for meditation: Our own personal struggles should not cloud how we conduct ourselves in the community, for we must contribute to its health, not adversely affect it. In what areas of your life are you presently putting your welfare before the welfare of those around you? Ask God for grace to repent in these areas, so that you put him first, others second, and yourself third in every area of life.[1]

 

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 340). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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