2 Samuel 2:8 -3:21- The nation of Israel is split. Each side of Israel battles to defend their own territory. Joab is the commander of the army for Judah and King David. Opposing them, Abner is the commander of the army of Israel (the northern tribes) on behalf of King Ishboseth (one of Saul’s sons).
Abner and Ishboseth are losing power, and David is gaining credibility. Perhaps this shift in power is what really prompts Abner to switch sides. He always knew David was God’s choice, but Abner seems to think his own decisions are more crucial! God promised David that he would be king over all the tribes of Israel, not just one. But David is instead focusing on his own (busy!) family life. David hasn’t yet received what God promised to him, he has to be patient for 7 ½ years!
Psalm 69:1-12 is written by David, perhaps when he was running away from King Saul. Even in very hard times, David has shown his loyalty and dependence on God.
Unlike David, Peter didn’t stick with God when it got tough. In those final moments, just before Jesus died on the cross, Peter abandoned him and then swore three times, in front of Jesus and others, that he had never met him.
In John 21:1-25 Jesus repeats an earlier miracle (Luke 5:8, is Peter’s dramatic response the first time!) Then the disciples recognise Jesus.
Peter seems confused, jumping out and then back into the boat. Perhaps this reflects his mixed emotions, joy and hope at seeing Jesus, plus guilt and embarrassment for abandoning him.
Mirroring the three denials, Jesus asks Peter ‘do you love me?’ three times. This isn’t for Jesus’ benefit. Peter needs to be convinced that he is forgiven; that he loves Jesus and Jesus hasn’t rejected him. Peter will be a great leader, not because of his skills, but because his love for Jesus.
Both Peter and David are singled out by God, for huge tasks of leadership. It is their love for God that makes them stand out, and means that they are ready for God to use them in amazing ways. If you have messed up, that’s ok- so did Peter, and Jesus forgave him, the crucial question is ‘Do you love Jesus?’ if Yes, then prepare to trust him and hold on, even though it might not all work out straight away.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Sergi and Nuria, taken in Park Güell in Barcelona. Thanks Sergi and Nuria!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at email@example.com.
The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!