2 Samuel 2:12-17 – A House Divided Will Not Stand: It’s Time Now For Unity

Posted: May 10, 2018 in Book of 2 Samuel

2 Samuel 2:12-17
Civil War Between Israel and Judah

Last night at our Wednesday Family Night Services at Calvary, there was an amazing move of the Spirit during worship and our Senior Pastor, Tim Bowman, slayed it with his Wednesday night teaching. He likes to call it a teaching rather than a sermon because our Wednesday night services are intended to be more open, less formal and just a time together between him, the staff and the members of the church. As evidence of the intimate intentionality, he does not deliver his message from the stage. He is at audience level at the front of the stage. During the time of musical worship leading up to his message, our worship pastor, Jeff Duncan, and the worship team just set the mood in an amazing 20 minutes or so of music. You could just palpably feel the Spirit in this place. At one point, as the worship team continued to play music with no vocals, Pastor Jeff came to the floor and began to pray. Pastor Milton, our Families Pastor, joined him, both kneeling on their knees with their faces to the floor as our Senior Pastor prayed over the crowd. As Jeff and Milton got up, I grabbed them both, in a hug and said to them, “THIS is why we were all called to be here!” It was a moment of great unity between the three staff pastors.

That was the word that came to my heart even before Senior Pastor Tim began his message. Unity. Unity. Unity. Sure there are personality differences among the three staff pastors that may sometimes frustrate one with the other but in the end, we are three guys ready to do whatever God wants us to do right here, right now, in this place. Pastor Tim seems so at ease now after having observed him these last, almost, three months. Over the three months, he has seemed to let go of whatever has been weighing on him. I think it is mainly because of this renewed sense of purpose and unity among the staff. Then, his message was about attitude. It so fit in with the word that the Lord had laid on my heart about unity during worship. If I had had the chance, I would have grabbed the microphone last night and asked the crowd if they could sense that there was something new and fresh happening at Calvary. Could they sense that we were on the precipice of a huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our community through our church? Could you sense it? There is a new and fresh spirit alive in our church. An eagerness to see life change happen in our community. It starts with the pastoral team (Pastor Tim, Pastor Milton, Pastor Jeff and myself). It trickles down to the rest of the staff and then to our people. There is a new excitement among the people of Calvary. It all begins with attitude. It all begins with an attitude of unity.

That’s the thing that hit me last night was that without unity among the pastors and staff of the church, there will be no unity in the congregation of the church. Without unity among the people and staff of the church, the church cannot accomplish its goals set out be Jesus Christ – to make disciples. Without unity, a church (or any organization for that matter) will turn inward and forget its purpose and mission. Without unity, there are little civil wars that happen that occupy our attention rather than what is our purpose and mission. There are people issues to manage when there is no unity that occupy and drain us of our purpose and aim. I cannot claim to know the unity of the previous staff before all of us new folks began arriving at Calvary over the last year. All I know is that with the new staff together since I came on board almost three months ago, the team could have been easily disjointed with the wrong hires. The team could have been a disaster from a unity standpoint. However, that has not been the case. Pastor Tim prayed long and hard about each of the hires that have been made and God brought together these new people (including myself) that He knew would fit well together and mesh quickly. It has been amazing to watch. Again, without unity, there can be no advancement. Without unity, there can be no attainment of God’s purpose for this local expression of His church. That is the point. This new team is so united and it is time to expand the kingdom. Since we have gelled together now, it is time to move forward and expand upon what has already been built. It is time to move. In unity.

That was the thing that I thought of this morning as I read through this passage, 2 Samuel 2:12-17 – unity. Not that there is unity in this passage but the lack thereof. In this passage, you see Israel fighting among its own people. Israel had to be its weakest at this point – when it was fighting among itself. Let’s read the passage now:

12 One day Abner led Ishbosheth’s troops from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 About the same time, Joab son of Zeruiah led David’s troops out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. The two groups sat down there, facing each other from opposite sides of the pool.

14 Then Abner suggested to Joab, “Let’s have a few of our warriors fight hand to hand here in front of us.”

“All right,” Joab agreed. 15 So twelve men were chosen to fight from each side—twelve men of Benjamin representing Ishbosheth son of Saul, and twelve representing David. 16 Each one grabbed his opponent by the hair and thrust his sword into the other’s side so that all of them died. So this place at Gibeon has been known ever since as the Field of Swords.[a]

17 A fierce battle followed that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the forces of David.

In this passage, we see the results of disunity and pride. Abner did not want to submit to David’s leadership. It created a civil war that weakened Judah. It was accomplishing nothing but wasting time and energy and sometimes the lives of Israel’s people. Israel could have been easily overrun by a foreign power at this moment of civil war. Just think, if one of the European powers had wanted to retake America back in the day, the best time to have done would have been during the civil war. With the Americans fighting among themselves and the American armies split into two smaller and separate armies, we would have been easy pickings for a 19th century European world power. Same here with Israel.

Same too is true of God’s church. If because of pride or whatever, we disintegrate into little camps within the church, we are no longer effective because we will have begun turning on ourselves. We become focused on ourselves and what we want rather than the purpose of the church – to GO, to GO and MAKE disciples. In order for us to go and fight the wars that need fighting, we must be united. In order for us to look outward outside our four walls, we must be united. Satan wants churches to be divided so that they will be so busy trying to decide on the color of the carpet that we forget that there are lost souls out there in Satan’s grips.

We must be united. We must be humble to be united. We must put the team first and our fleshly desires second. That willingness to put team goals ahead of our own desires are the marks of every great championship sports team. We want to be a championship Jesus team. We want to be unified in that purpose. We are! It is time to march!

Amen and Amen.

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