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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Leaving a Legacy (2 Samuel 18:18)

"During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King's Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, "I have no son to carry on the memory of my name." He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom's Monument to this day."

"A legacy is what you leave to others that echoes through the generations" (Robert Lewis, The New Eve).

Absalom's legacy still stands today just outside of the old city of Jerusalem near the Kidron Valley. Everyone leaves something behind. Few people, however, leave something that lasts as long as Absalom's monument.

Recently I was in Krakow, Poland where I visited the Old Jewish section of town. Surrounding the outer court of an old synagogue was a wall built out of old desecrated tombstones. Weather and time have washed away the record of the lives and deaths of the patriarchs and matriarchs of many Jewish families. Who were they? What were their stories? We'll never know.

We all leave a legacy; some leave extensive estates while others leave a few meager belongings; others, like the occupants of Krakow's Jewish section, leave washed-away tombstones. Which brings to mind the question, "What legacy will I leave?" There are only three things that, when invested in, leave eternal benefits:
  • The souls of men
  • The Word of God
  • Prayer
As I think of women who have left or are leaving a lasting legacy I think of Amy Carmichael, Elizabeth Elliot, and Kay Arthur. Many less famous and anonymous women have left legacies as they've invested their time in knowing and teaching the Word of God to others and interceding on behalf of others. Their lives are lives well-lived. Investing in anything less is just as foolish as Absalom's monument unto himself.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Psalm 55
  • Describe how King David 'felt' about Absalom's betrayal.
  • What kept King David grounded during this period of his life?
Psalm 58
  • Describe David's prayers regarding corrupt rulers and judges.
Psalm 61, 62, 63
  • List the recurring themes in these Psalms about God and David's relationship with God.
  • What had these troubling circumstances done for David's relationship with God?
  • What does this reveal about troubling times in the lives of believers?
2 Samuel 17:24-26; 1 Chronicles 2:17; 2 Samuel 17:27-18:18
  • Read 2 Samuel 14:26. How did Absalom get caught?
  • What did the nameless man understand about Joab and what would happen to him if he himself had killed Absalom?
Turning truth into prayer:
Ask the Lord to prick your heart when you give it away to or for lesser things than the Word of God, the souls of man, and prayer. Ask Him to help you leave a lasting spiritual legacy for future generations.