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Casualties of War

Daily Reading: 2 Samuel 10

Scripture Focus: When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. (2 Samuel 10.5)

Devotional Thought: A candidate for public office once said, in reference to a former prisoner of war: "I like people who weren't captured." That seems harsh, doesn't it? A decorated veteran spent 5 years in a Vietnamese prison, and that's the thanks he gets? We don't all win all the time, do we? And, what is to be done for those who become a "casualty of war"?

David's men found themselves in a position of being "greatly ashamed." Having been sent on a mission of peace and consolation, their motives were impugned and their beards were shaved half off. To "top" it off, their uniforms were cut off half way up, bringing great shame. David could have said, "Those guys are losers! They never should have gotten caught!" But, he didn't. Instead he sent a contingent of men to meet these "greatly ashamed" soldiers.

Some things we can learn about casualties of war from this story:

· They are not necessarily blameworthy.

· They can happen to anybody.

· Only those not engaged in the battle are immune to them.

· There is no shame in experiencing them.

· Those who experience them need our encouragement and support, not our judgment and rejection.

· I can be a part of the healing process.

We are in a spiritual war, and inevitably, there will be casualties of war. Let's prevent the casualties from becoming fatalities! Do you know someone who has experienced failure or who has become a casualty of war? Offer understanding, patience, mercy, and help. One day you may need the same.

Prayer: Father, I was destined to become not just a casualty of war, but a fatality of the spiritual battle that raged for my soul. In loving kindness, you came and rescued me! Help me to show that same loving kindness to others who may become casualties of war. In Jesus' name, amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 103.1-5

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

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