2 Samuel 16

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How disheartening it is to watch this threat against David’s kingdom take hold in 2 Samuel 16. As we read through the life of David there are times when we are brought to tears as he demonstrates his great love for his Lord… and there are other times when we want to jump up and shout as he is victories over the enemies of God’s people. Through all of the ups and downs – I think there are times when many of us can relate to David as a man. Reading the results of his mistakes could perhaps be one of those times.

David has gone from hiding in a cave – to establishing his throne over all of Israel – to now, once again, running for his life (this time not from Saul – but from his own son). Nathan had spoken in prophecy that the things we are seeing happen in David’s life are the direct result of his choice to sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:10-14). In fact – one example of a direct prophecy fulfilled is from the following of Nathan’s foreboding declaration:

Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.” 2 Sam 12:11 AMP

Now (as we have already discussed) – just because it reads “I will take” does not mean we can literally attribute these acts as directly from the Lord. This prophecy from Nathan is God’s way of explaining to David what is going to happen as a result of HIS choice. In Chapter 16 we see this come to pass as Ahithophel counsels Absalom to desecrate David’s wives. It was Ahithophel who brought this to pass (not God). Coincidentally – Ahithophel is the grandfather of Bathsheba – and perhaps he was seeking revenge against David for destroying his daughters life and killing her husband? Either way – this is another clear example of sinful actions causing heartache.

Obviously we can know that God is not orchestrating these consequences as punishment for David’s sin with Bathsheba. We know this because God has already said He has “put away David’s sin”(12:13). Instead what is happening is that the natural results of sin have been unleashed by David’s unwise decision – all of which God knew was going to happen – and spoke it to David through His prophet, Nathan.

Taking it further – the place where Absalom does his evil deed is in a “tent upon the top of David’s house” (16:22) – which is exactly where David first lusted after Bathsheba to start this mess! Right out under the very same sun for all of Israel to see (just as Nathan predicted).

Another example of things happening that God knew (but did not actually cause) is what happens next to this distraught king. As David fees Jerusalem – with all of his mighty men – he is suddenly accosted by a weak elderly beggar – who curses him and throws dust at him. (Throwing dust at another was an ancient way of showing anger and contempt, of wishing trouble and grief to come upon someone so that they would feel like covering himself with dust and dying of sorrow – as in Acts 22:23). This man “of the house of Saul” held deep contempt for David and took this opportunity to show it.

When some of David’s mighty men asked to be allowed to correct this situation – David wrongly attributed this act to God. Yes, David was humbled and extremely repentant for his sin – but he was also heaping condemnation upon himself that God had already stated He wasn’t doing to David. Furthermore – it says in the Law that no one shall “curse the ruler of they people”; so in order for God to be behind this cursing He would have to violate His own law (of which He would never do).

Much of the “bad theology” that people walk around with is based on this type of incomplete knowledge of the Word of God. As we have seen numerous times throughout our study of the OT – not everything that is attributed as “from God” actually originates with Him. The Bible records both the good and bad actions of people – along with their faulty thinking in regards to certain situations. (This is what verifies it’s authenticity!). One thing we can see as a constant though – is that sin brings death… every time.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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2 Samuel 11-12

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There are consequences for sinful choices. Even for those of us who have been forgiven of our sin – consequences still exist. As painfully demonstrated by David – our choices cause rippling effects throughout the cursed environment in which we live… wrecking havoc in various ways. In 2 Sam 11-12 we see David – beloved of God, highly favored, placed by God as King over His people, a key member of the ancestral line of the future Messiah – and yet as flawed as any human being. In this sordid account of a good man gone bad, David’s choice to sin with Bathsheba was not his first mistake. His first mistake was not being where he should have been in the first place.

In the spring, when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.2 Sam 11:1 AMP

David should have been out at war with his army (as King’s did back then) – but instead he remained in Jerusalem. With idle time on his hands, he entertained a glance – which started him on the slippery slope to outright sin.

But then, instead of repenting and making things right, David attempted to manipulate the situation to cover his sin. (I know – none of us have EVER don’t that before!). By bringing Uriah home, David was attempting to get Uriah to spend time with his wife (and in effect cover up the illegitimate pregnancy by David). When this didn’t work – David continued his downward spiral by resorting to murder.

Sad how that works. Such a short ride from being in the wrong place – to murder.

Being the King, David had the power and authority to manipulate the situation before men… but God was a whole different story! As chapter 12 opens up we see the prophet Nathan confront David with his “hidden” sin. (Nathan proved he had guts by doing this!). Once it was brought out and exposed – David was quick to repent of his sin (which is why he is referred to by the Lord as a “man after my own heart”).

A couple of things that stand out here:

      1. God doesn’t mess around with sin. He tells David (through Nathan), For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun. – 2 Sam 12:12 AMP Most sin is conducted in secret, in the dark – but eventually it will catch up to us and be exposed in the daylight. (Luke 12:2).

      2. David’s love for the Lord comes out in his repentance. Yes – David made a bad decision which cost him dearly… but that didn’t mean his love for the Lord didn’t exist. Once his sin was exposed (and his head cleared) – David repented with all his heart toward God. (He wrote Psalm 51 at this time… read it to see the pain he went through). It wasn’t the retribution from man that David feared – but his relationship with God.

      3. Sin removes the Blessing. Through Nathan – God informs David of what will now happen due to David’s decision. (Notice David doesn’t blame God for the circumstances that follow… he knew who was the cause of this!). The result of this is that God withdrew His protection from over David’s household and the baby born out of this union died. While in obedience, David had enjoyed the fruit of the Blessing… but out on his own – the Curse invaded his peace.

      4. God was quick to forgive. “And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”2 Sam 12:13 AMP. Remember – this is BEFORE Jesus came… so the rules were different. But still – God was quick to forgive the repentant heart as David had. This repentance restored David back into relationship with God – but it did not halt the unfortunate consequences that followed (as we can see by the first word of the very next verse… “But” or “Howbeit” or “Nevertheless”).

      5. Sin has a far-reaching wake. The devastating effects of this decision are laid out in 2 Sam 12:10-14. As we continue reading we will see these effects come to pass in David’s life – bringing with them much heartache. David’s children will be dysfunctional – murder and bloodshed will taint his heritage – and eventually his own son will betray him and seek to take his father’s throne. A lot to pay for a momentary thrill.

David made a choice… and that choice cost him dearly. As we continue reading through his life – keep in mind this fateful day. It isn’t God who brings the next calamities upon David… it is a mixture of decision (both David’s and others) which all are conducted outside of God’s desire.

It says in Romans that these things are written for us so that we can learn from others mistakes and have hope. “For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.” – Rom 15:4 AMP. May we all learn from David’s mistakes!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

 

2 Samuel 9

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Lo-debar. A tiny village on the outskirts of the Jordan which you would not even realize was there without a map. Dirty – small – insignificant – forsaken. The very name means “A place without a pasture”. There is nothing there. No one of importance ever goes there – let alone lives there. But there is someone… a small crippled man named Mephibosheth. He doesn’t know it – but he is attached to a promise.

Remember when David was fleeing King Saul back in 1 Sam 18? It was at that time when he made a covenant with Saul’s son, Jonathon. “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, even his sword, his bow, and his girdle. “– 1 Sam 18:4. A prince gives a servant all that he has of value. A promise is made between those two friends. Jonathon requests of David “you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever—no, not even when the Lord has cut off every enemy of David from the face of the earth” 1 Sam 20:8.

Two friends – making a promise – never to see each other alive again.  Do you remember that?

David remembered…

So in our chapter reading today from 2 Sam 9 – we see the now fully established King David seeking to find out if anyone from the “house of Saul” is still alive so that he can fulfill that long-ago promise and provide for that individual “for Jonathon’s sake”.

For Jonathon’s sake. Because of him and a promise.

So the only member alive is a lone son – crippled as a young boy – now living in the slums of the kingdom – Lo-debar – a place with no pasture, no future, no hope.

King David (true to his promise) has Mephibosheth brought to the palace in Jerusalem. He bathes him – dresses him in fine robes of purple (royalty) – and sets him at his own table to eat. He give shim provision for the future – never to starve in the mud again.

From King David – Mephibosheth received:

    • The PEACE of Jerusalem in exchange for the filth of Lo-debar.

    • The POSITION of family in exchange for that of an enemy.

    • The PROVISION of royalty in exchange for poverty.

    • The PRIVILEGE of the King’s table in exchange for scraps.

    • The PROMISE of a future in the castle in exchange for hopelessness in Lo-debar.

All for Jonathon’s sake.

Which brings us to you and I. Once we lived in Lo-debar. Wallowing in mud – imprisoned and condemned by our past – crippled by life’s circumstances. But God lifted us out of that “place with no pasture” and brought us to green pastures (Psalm 23). He bathed us in water (Eph 5:26) – washed us clean (Rev. 7:14) – put a purple robe on our shoulders (Isaiah 61:10) – and seated us at His table (Luke 14).

We have all been offered:

    • PEACE instead of fear. (Prov. 1:33)

    • POSITION as adopted children of God. (Eph 1:4-5)

    • PROVISION in abundance. (Jer 29:11)

    • PRIVILEGE at the King’s table. (Luke 14)

    • PROMISE of a successful future. (2 Peter 1:4)

All for Jesus’ sake.

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

2 Samuel 6

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In 2 Samuel 6 David has successfully assumed the throne over all of Israel (instead of just Judah as previously held). Much bloodshed has occurred as David was instantly challenged by the Philistines. (While just a vassal king over Judah, the Philistines had no reason to pay any attention to him – yet once he united the nation together under him then suddenly they noticed!). Once David had defeated the Philistine assault (twice), he then captured the city of Jerusalem from it’s original inhabitants and began the work of officially anointing it as the nation’s capital. Part of that process was setting up a new tabernacle in the city center from which they could worship God and perform the daily sacrifices. (Previously this was being done at Hebron – but that city was located in the north… where Jerusalem was more central in location – and easily defended – making it a good choice).

A main piece to the new tabernacle is the Ark of the Covenant (with the Presence of the Lord dwelling between the angels on it’s lid). If you recall, the Ark has been sitting at the home of Abinadab in Kirjath-jearim at the Philistine/Israelite border where it had been stored for the past 20 years, after being returned by the Philistine lords. So David gathers his main men and they immediately go up and secure the Ark to bring it to Jerusalem.

This is where we see one of David’s flaws. Although a man with great tenderness and affection for the Lord, David was also a man with a tendency to get over-zealous and act without thinking. We shall see this happen time and again throughout David’s life – and this is one example. Without consulting the instructions in the Law, David sets the Ark on a new cart to transport it to the city (just like the Philistine lords had moved it). The problem with this is that God had given implicit instructions on how to transport the Ark… it is to be carried by priests with long poles through the rings on it’s side (Ex 37; Num 4; etc). So already we see David making a grave mistake… by moving it in the improper way. The result of this is that an innocent man named Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark after the oxen stumble and is struck dead by the holiness of the Lord. At first casual reading this seems unfair – and many of us may react like David did (with offense at God). But – the error was all David’s. In Num 4:15-20 it is clearly said that no one is to touch the Ark or else they will die. (Hence why the priests are to carry it with poles). So it was David’s failure to do things the right way that caused Uzzah’s death.

Like many of us – David reacts with offense and basically pouts after this incident. Instead of correcting his mistake and bringing the Ark into the city – he instead sends it to the home of Obed-edom. But do you notice what happened to Obed-edom?

And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.”2 Sam 6:11 AMP

Because of the presence of the Lord in his home, Obed-edom was blessed! This wasn’t simply a spiritual blessings… but it entailed wealth and influence. We will find out later that Obed-edom becomes a gatekeeper in the nation and a leader in charge of the storehouse (treasury) for all of Israel. Not only is Obed-edom blessed – but verse 12 says “all that pertains to him” was blessed as well! So – simply based on the fact that Obed-edom housed the presence of the Lord in his home – not only himself, but his entire family line was dramatically transformed from a simple farmer on the outskirts of the city into the keeper of the national treasury!

That is what happens when the Blessing comes to town!

Once David hears if what is happening to Obed-edom, he quickly brings the Ark into the city (the correct way this time!). Now, despite his errors, David is a man to be commended. First – he is repents and corrects his mistakes – but he also is completely sold out to the Lord. We see his exuberance once again on display as David leads the parade into Jerusalem with dancing and singing. This isn’t the type of dead worship seen in so many of our churches today – but it is actually described as a “Dance of Shouting”. Imagine the scene… tambourines and drums and harps and singing and dancing – all before the Ark of the Lord!

In fact – it is such a display of love and adoration that David’s wife, Michal, watching from the window, feels David is making a fool of himself before the people. (This is always the perspective of those with a distant relationship to the Lord as they watch His people worship Him!). Upon questioning him about this, David responds with his now famous line… “I will dance before the Lord – I will become even more undignified then this for my God!” – 2 Sam 6:21-22 (paraphrased).

So what can we learn from this packed chapter? For starters – the presence of the Lord brings with it the Blessing… and the Blessing causes us to prosper and increase in all areas of our lives – just like Obed-edom. Second – although a man who makes his fair share of mistakes, David is also a man who repents and corrects his actions. His true love for the Lord comes out in the end and he isn’t persuaded from that love – even in the face of persecution.

May we all have the heart of David and the blessing of Obed-edom!

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK