What a Choice

They answered the king, "As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and exposed before the LORD at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord 's chosen one." So the king said, "I will give them to you."

The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the LORD between David and Jonathan son of Saul. But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed and exposed them on a hill before the LORD. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning. 2 Samuel 21:5-9

David had inquired of the Lord when there had been a famine in the land for three years. The Lord revealed that "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death." So David went to the Gibeonites to ask them how he could make amends with them. They responded that "let seven of Saul's male descendants be given to us to be killed and exposed before the LORD." So David went and chose seven and handed them over to the Gibeonites, skipping over a few he knew personally.

A man I knew was working for the United Nations in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was still in power. Word on the street came that he and his family had to be out of town the next day. They could choose one Iraqi family – and only one – to go with them. The remaining Iraqi UN workers would remain and would most certainly be killed for associating themselves with the United Nations. Think of that! One family, all other co-workers and their families would meet their deaths! Needless to say, this husband and wife had to undergo some serious counseling when they returned home.

There are Believers in many countries who must make these choices regularly, the choices that you and I will never have to make. And those who have persecuted Christians have no feelings for your children, your wife, your husband, your friends, your fellow Believers. Satan has guided these people into believing that persecuting Christians is a way to squelch the movement!

Pray for that persecuted pastor who must make impossible decisions knife or a gun at his throat. Pray for the Believer who will lose a limb because he has not nor will not deny Christ to his captors.

Pray that you might have compassion in this area and get involved. The Bible describes these believers as people for whom "the world was not worthy of them." Pray for them like you've never prayed before.

Voice of the Martyrs

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