Faithlife Sermons

Searching for Peace

The Life of King David  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Scripture teaches that peace is only found in God, but people try to find it elsewhere. A person’s desire for peace varies according to his or her circumstances.

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Initial Question...

What does peace look like to you?
I remember as a child, traveling around with my parents, the games my mom would play with me to help pass the time and keep the peace during long car rides. One of my favorite games was the license plate game…you know the one where you count the different license plates that you see on the road? That was my favorite but some of my friends had different games, there was one where the family would each bring along their favorite cassette tape (you all remember those, right?) and each person got to play their tape from start to finish and then the next person would have their tape played. Well, the family liked various types of music…the mom liked to listen to hymns, one of the children liked rock music, another liked the contemporary Christian music of the time, and the father, well the father liked his brand new, 90 minute, blank cassette…the point of this is we all find ways in which we need to keep the peace, so to speak, when we are in groups of people with different personalities and attitudes. Peace is something that seems to elude us in this day and age and honestly, we are no different than the Israelites of David’s time...

The Story

Our story for today takes us on an adventure that is very applicable to today’s world...

Lead up...

Last week we learned that David needed to regain the trust of his people and more importantly, his armies, because of his actions.
This week we heard a bit of the aftermath of those actions
Our story places us immediately after David is snapped back into line, so to speak, by his General, Joab
Leading up to our story is this piece where the people, not the armies, have begun to revolt against David’s leadership because, in their eyes, he was unfaithful to them in his actions and speech
So we have a story about how the people have also lost faith and trust in their leader

Today’s Story...

What is happening is that some of the men outside of the tribe of Judah, not the men from whom David’s lineage comes, have risen up to revolt…their leader and the man who gives them voice is a man named Sheba.

The son of Bichri, a Benjaminite who led a rebellion against David which was potentially more dangerous than that of Absalom

Interesting information about Sheba…He was the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite and a relative of Saul. The rebellion he lead against David was potentially more dangerous than that of Absalom because it would have divided the Kingdom of Israel...
Before I get too far, I need to note that Absalom’s revolt caused a rift between the tribes of the Northern Kingdom and Judah (the Southern Kingdom). So this is the beginning of the fall of the united Kingdom…we have learned that the kingdom became united under David and now is beginning to split because of David...
Sheba takes advantage of this rift to begin his own rebellion and David feels he must respond, not only to keep the kingdom together but also to not lose more respect than he already has...

David’s Response...

So David initially sends Absalom’s general to make peace, however when Amasa does not return in the required time, David become suspicious and sends Joab to finish the job that he sent Amasa to do.
Joab, a jealous man as we have heard before, takes matters into his own hands and kills Amasa on the way to where Sheba has taken refuge.

A Wise Woman...

And we hear about a woman who comes to Joab and basically says, look, we are a peaceful tribe, always have been and you have come here to destroy us. Do not cause havoc in our city because of one man…we are not all like him, we are not him, please do not take your anger out on us...
Now, we do not know this woman’s name and it is not given anywhere in scripture, she is known purely as a “wise woman”...
Her appeal to Joab is found in Verses 19-20...
2 Samuel 20:19–20 NIV
We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?” “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy!
2 Samuel 20:19–20 NIV
We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the Lord’s inheritance?” “Far be it from me!” Joab replied, “Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy!
This woman is seeking peace…so that leads me to another question…where do you find peace in a world that is completely out of control?

The places where people search for peace

People search for peace in others

Joshua 9:15 NIV
Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.
Genesis 5:28–29 NIV
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.”
Sometimes, when we need a moment of peace, we go to a good friend or a relative to bring that peace...
jos
Song of Solomon 8:10 NIV
I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.

People search for peace in material possessions

Ecclesiastes 4:8 NIV
There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business!
Maybe we have a special possession that helps us to find peace, maybe a car or motorcycle which allows us to escape…maybe we go to the movies to get lost for a while...

However, do we ever find lasting peace in the physical?

Psalm 4:8 NIV
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
We are reminded many times throughout scripture that God is our place of rest, comfort, and peace…just look at the multitude of Psalms dealing with peace...
However, do we

The dangers in searching for peace

It can lead to greed

Ecclesiastes 4:6 NIV
Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
If we look for peace in people and material things, it will lead to the desire for more, and more, and more…we are never really satisfied if we look only to the material things of this world and other people

Do we ever really find lasting peace?

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It can lead to destruction

1 Thessalonians 5:3 NIV
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
See also ;

People’s search for peace varies according to their circumstances

What Does Peace Truly Look like?

Often I think we have this image in our minds...
Exodus 2:23 NIV
During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
But is this the peace that God truly desires for us to seek? I think that this story stands as an example of how each one of us can work toward peace. We might not see the peace immediately but obviously if a woman in David’s time can find her voice, speak up, and stand up for what is right, why can’t we? Peace will only come when we work toward it…but the key is that we need to start working toward it…Let us pray...

The desire can diminish in times of comfort

Prayer...

Exodus 8:12–15 NIV
After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. And the Lord did what Moses asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields. They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said.
O God, in a world that is still in disarray and warring and fighting, we cannot see a way to peace or even have an idea of what peace really looks like. We know that you desire for us to have peace in our hearts and in our minds…but we just cannot see it. Help us to find ways to work toward peace and then give us the courage to work toward that peace…Amen.
See also ; ;
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