Living a diminished life!
Our responsibility is to fulfill our role and let God fulfill His, which is to be God and run the universe including your life.
When the king arrived at his palace in Jerusalem, he instructed that the ten concubines he had left to keep house should be placed in seclusion. Their needs were to be cared for, he said, but he would no longer sleep with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
2 Samuel 20:3
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Living a diminished life!
David returns to Jerusalem after Absalom’s rebellion has been ended. One of the first things that he does is to put away the ten concubines that he had left behind to take care of the palace. Because of the culture that we live in we can’t begin to fathom what David is doing or why he did it. These ten women were made to stay and because of their obedience to the king they no longer are allowed to be a part of the king’s life.
A concubine had many of the duties and responsibilities of a wife, but she didn’t have the same rights or status as a wife. Often concubines were obtained so that a man could have more sons which brought him status and sometimes wealth and position. When Absalom came into the city of Jerusalem during his rebellion, the first thing that he did was to sleep with all ten of his father’s concubines. This was done to humiliate and insult David and to show that he was victorious over him. It was a serious thing that Absalom did, and David’s response was to put these ten women away from his presence because they were in the eyes of that culture no longer David’s concubines but Absalom’s.
We look at an incident like this and think that it is terribly unfair and in reality, it is. Because we don’t understand the culture we will always struggle with things like this but there is a lesson for us in this. Absalom was a bad leader who did bad things and as a result innocent people were harmed. The harm that was done to these ten concubines was not fatal; but their lives were diminished. All of their needs were met but their position and status was that of a widow.
In life things happen that sometimes cause us to be left in a similar kind of place as these ten concubines. Through no fault of our own we have been diminished in our roles or positions in life. When that happens, we need to trust that God is going to meet our needs and we will be taken care of. But we need to also recognize that we may not ever get back to the position that we once had. Our text doesn’t tell us how these ten concubines responded to this. It doesn’t really matter; they didn’t have a choice, this was to be their lot in life.
Your lot in life is what God allowed it to be or caused it to be. Who are you to question what He is doing? Our responsibility is to fulfill our role and let God fulfill His, which is to be God and run the universe including your life. If something bad happens, trust that God is still in control and that His plan is still in effect even if it means that you are being put away. Jesus, help us to rest in Your hands and help us to not try to take matters into our own hands.
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