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Scripture: 2 Samuel 8

2 David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.



David defeated the Moabites and then made a length of cord. The text doesn’t say how long it was. He had the Moabites lay down in a line. David measured the line of people with the cord. Every time he measured three lengths of the cord, the person it landed on was spared. Everyone else was put to death. God’s judgment is apparent in this text. Those who apposed Him were defeated and put to death. God’s mercy is also apparent because He spared a remnant of the enemy to witness the power of God for His people.


This is a hard text to wrap my mind around. In this case God’s judgment seems harsh and His mercy seems random. The Moabites were all enemies of God. The people He spared did nothing to deserve it. It does however reflect the world around us to a certain degree. Some people seem to be struck down by the tragedies of life while others seem to escape it. It all seems random to us. So what is our fate? Are we to be put to death or spared? We forget that we are all like the Moabites, enemies of God because of our sin. We all deserve to be put to death. I don’t know why God does what He does, but I can say for sure that I have been spared of my sin through Jesus Christ. No matter what suffering I endure in this life, I have received God’s mercy and have been given eternal life. Those who have faith in Christ are the people who did nothing to be spared, but receive new life through the victory of the cross. Jesus spent three days in the tomb so that He could be our third length of cord. He saves us from death.


Lord God, thank You for sparing me from death though I don’t deserve it. I have sinned and have lived as Your enemy. Help me to live a new life that serves and glorifies You. Amen