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Session 4

Your words can ease the tension

Read: 2 Samuel 19:41-43, 2 Samuel 20

Two children grow up in the same home sharing the same environment. They know each other well, so they always get along with each other, right? Not so much.

Brothers and sisters are often in competition with each other — aiming to be first (or at least not last), striving to be the favorite, fighting to make more decisions than the other. You get the idea. Sometimes, sibling rivalries continue into adulthood and create ongoing family stress.
  
During David’s time, God’s people were divided into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The differences and rivalries between the two kingdoms had been building for generations. David’s ancestor Jacob (later named Israel by God) had 12 sons by as many as four mothers. These sons became the “fathers” of the 12 tribes of Israel. Eventually, the 12 family clans began to pull together in two larger opposing groups: the separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  

In 2 Samuel 19, the two kingdoms are on the brink of war. They needed wisdom and a better next step if bloodshed would be avoided. Then, in 2 Samuel 20:16, a wise woman spoke up. She worked with the leader of David’s army to avoid widespread destruction. Women were unlikely negotiators at this time, but godly wisdom doesn’t care who delivers it.  

Think about your relationships. Look for places to give or accept godly wisdom to produce peace and harmony instead of conflict and destruction. 

Reflect:

  • What “sibling rivalries” do you see in the church or among God’s people today?
  • Do you feel you are in competition with other Christians in some way? What causes that feeling?
  • What’s one next step you can take today to be like the wise woman and bring peace to a tense situation?

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