Are you in the middle of a brewing storm? Do you feel as if everywhere you turn, there is calamity, chaos, evil surrounding you. Do you feel like perhaps God is trying to teach you something? Trying to refine you?
Then, come and cross the brook of Kidron with me, or rather, more accurately, with David.
The brook of Kidron is found in 2 Samuel 15.
Here’s a brief background you’ll need to know:
-David is the current king of Israel, and he is residing in the city of Jerusalem.
-One of David’s son’s, Absalom, is conspiring against David and trying to overthrow him as king.
-It has been made known to David via a messenger that the “hearts of the people are with Absalom”.
-Hearing this, for the sake of the city Jerusalem, and for the sake of the people there, David makes the sacrificial decision to flee Jerusalem to avoid Absalom “bringing down calamity” and “striking the city with the edge of the sword”.
Once the decision was made to vacate the city, David’s servants were willing to follow him over the brook of Kidron toward the way of the wilderness. The people were grieving this, as was David.
“While all the country was weeping a with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook of Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wildernesses.” 2 Samuel 15:23
David was suffering for his sin, a sin which resulted in the punishment of having “the sword” never depart from his family.
Now stop here just for a moment. It needs to be noted that God’s hand remained on David, and although David was issued a punishment for his sin, God promised to keep his hand on David’s family. This means that when David and his family mess up, that God will correct them. This is unlike what happened with Saul, when Saul repeatedly rejected God, therefore causing the removal of God’s hand upon him.
See that discipline is a good thing. The refining fire is where we grow, where we learn.
God promised David about his family: “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, BUT My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed before you.” 2 Samuel 7:14-15 (emphasis mine)
Correction in love is a perfect refining fire.
David says to the priest with him, “If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again…but if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 2 Samuel 15:25-26
Here we see active submission in David’s humble, broken, trusting spirit of the Lord His God.
After David crossed over the brook, we see that “David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot.” 2 Samuel 15:30
Walking barefoot and having his head covered were signs of grieving. David was grieving for the nation, for his family, for himself.
When was the last time I grieved for my sin? The sin around me? Being truly broken with a repentant heart?
Check out what happens when David reaches the summit…God was worshipped.
Am I able to take pause during a time of chastening to worship God, like David?!
Am I willing to cross the brook of Kidron and worship God on the other side?
What sin do I need to grieve and lay to rest?
Are there areas of my life that I need to lay at the feet of God, coming away from the hustle and bustle of my figurative “Jerusalem” and cross a brook into my figurative “Kidron”?
Do I trust God when He is leading me across a brook?
Perhaps He wants to take me to a summit where I can refine my focus and see a bigger picture?
Perhaps this is why I love hiking so much…getting on top of a mountain to see just how small my problems are when I put them in God’s hands.
Would you be willing to cross the brook of Kidron, like David did? Could you worship God on the other side of the crossing? Let’s leave behind the shackles of sin that are holding us back. Let’s BE a disciple of Jesus and then in turn, MAKE disciples of Jesus.
Oh Holy Lord, who is full of lovingkindness, thank you for keeping Your hand on me. Thank you for taking me across brooks and showing me what sin I need to deal with. You are indeed a good, good father, and I thank You for showing me, leading me to paths of righteousness. Lord, thank You for loving me, even with all my flaws. Help me to continue to worship You, even through refining times in the wilderness, even through seeing friends going through times of hurt, times of not understanding, times when it seems as if evil is triumphing. Lord, help us all keep our focus on You alone. This life on earth is filled with hurt, but it will be a speck of dust compared with our time of rejoicing for all eternity with You. Amen.