At what price: “unity”?

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39; Psalm 133:1-3

READ (Verses chosen for meditation)
2 Samuel 3:1 “There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.”

Originally, it was one house. Yet because of the sins of Saul or rather the sins of Israel to demand for a king; the houses of Saul and David fought bitterly. If David did not rise to unite the various tribes of Israel and assume leadership, Israel will continue to crumble after the death of Saul. Yet, at what price was unity gained? It was gained at the price of much blood, death and destruction when David began to finally reign Israel (2 Samuel 5).

There will be times when true unity can only be achieved through confrontation and even the parting of ways. This is not because God is unfaithful; but because we human beings are simply too wilful and sinful. We like to ally ourselves with the Sauls of this world, rather than submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.

We like to cling on to things that are not of God and His Word. We like to practice such things even in the church. We like to go for shortcuts even in the way we do ministry and live our lives. We like to read the Word of God based on our own assumptions and experiences; rather than staying true to determine what the biblical authors are really saying. We like to think that the word “love” can solve all problems; when in fact we do not even understand the biblical meaning of love. We make a big fuss out of what is not essential; and we trample on the efforts of those who voice out on what the church is doing wrong on what is truly essential. We pride ourselves with knowing the Word; and yet our lives display nothing of the Word.

While we read about the willfulness of Israel to prefer a king than Yahweh; I believe that without Jesus, the church will not do any better. Without Jesus, we will always prefer the Sauls of this world. Now that we have Jesus, let us therefore be faithful because He has enabled us to do so. Let us be courageous and choose what is true; and be prepared to part ways with what is not. Only then, can we as a Body of Christ, be truly united with one another and with the Lord.

Lord, help us not to give in to the pressures of this world to conform to what might be popular, appealing to the eye and yet untrue. Help us as a church to be courageous and be faithful. Amen.