When God says No: 2 Samuel 7:7-11

20  For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)

 1. God’s provision of position

8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 2 Samuel 7:8 (ESV)

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV)

2. God’s provision of presence

9And I have been with you wherever you went...2 Samuel 7:9 (ESV)

3  For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; Psalm 31:3 (ESV)

 3. God’s provision of power
9...and have cut off all your enemies from before you...2 Samuel 7:9 (ESV)

4Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 (ESV)

4. God’s provision of a promised name
9...And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.                2 Samuel 7:9 (ESV)

2  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:2 (ESV)

17...To the one who conquers...I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’ Revelation 2:17 (ESV)

5. God’s provision of a promised land
10  And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 2 Samuel 7:10 (ESV)

17  You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. Exodus 15:17 (ESV)

6. God’s provision of a promised rest
11  from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. 2 Samuel 7:11 (ESV)

9  So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10  for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10 (ESV)

The Fallen-ness of Perspective: 2 Samuel 7:1-7

1.The context of David’s perspective
1Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2 Samuel 7:1 (ESV)

The peaceful circumstances described in the first verse of this chapter may suggest that most if not all of the battles listed in 2 Samuel 8 were now over.

Looking through David’s eyes, God’s promises to his people had now been fulfilled as would relate to the land.

2. The concern of David’s perspective                                                                                       

2the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3  And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” 2 Samuel 7:2-3 (ESV)

David was probably questioning the appropriateness of the humble tent for the ark compared to the splendid dwelling for himself. Was this properly honoring God?

Nathan makes the mistake that some of us make today. He speaks before studying, praying, and knowing the mind of God.

3.The correction of David’s perspective

4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, 5  “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6  I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7  In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 2 Samuel 7:4-7 (ESV)

John Woodhouse: The best of human beings with the highest motives often get things wrong. This is especially true in our response to God. Frequently it is because we do not properly understand the situation in which we find ourselves.

8But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth. 1 Chronicles 22:8 (ESV)

15I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 (ESV)

4Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 5  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.                     Psalm 25:4-5 (ESV)

The Golden Lampstand

The golden lampstand in the tabernacle, with its vertical shaft, its three branches on each side and its cups “shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms” (Ex 25:34 NIV) gives the impression of a stylized tree (Ex 25:31-40). It is very likely that this lamp symbolized the tree of life in the garden of Eden, which is otherwise evoked in features of the tabernacle and in the inner courts of Solomon’s temple.

Associated with worship. The lamp in the shrine at Shiloh is called “the lamp of God” in 1 Samuel 3:3; this suggests that its light symbolized God’s presence. The lamp for the tabernacle was to be trimmed night and morning to give constant light (Ex 30:7-8). The material and deliberate style of these lamps (sevenfold gold lamps) no doubt were intended to symbolize God’s perfection, splendor and holiness.

Guidance. The guidance of parents is a lamp for children (Prov 6:23) . . . The Word of God is extolled in Psalm 119 as “a lamp to my feet” (Ps 119:105). The lamp gives enough light to see one step ahead, indicating the traveler’s constant need of God’s Word . . . Keeping the lamp lit or keeping the home fires burning are metaphors for responsibility or diligence (cf. the lamps of the wise and foolish virgins in Mt 25:1-13).

Blessing/Presence of God. A different lamp metaphor occurs in connection with God’s oath that the Davidic dynasty would endure (2 Sam 7:16) . . . Similarly, “I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one [David]” (Ps 132:17 NRSV) . . . At the end of the Bible, when the new Jerusalem is seen coming down from heaven, lamps are no longer needed because “its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23 NRSV) . . . Christ’s warning that the lamp could be withdrawn connotes God’s removing his active presence from them (Rev 1-3).

Blessing/Presence of God. A different lamp metaphor occurs in connection with God’s oath that the Davidic dynasty would endure (2 Sam 7:16) . . . Similarly, “I have prepared a lamp for my anointed one [David]” (Ps 132:17 NRSV) . . . At the end of the Bible, when the new Jerusalem is seen coming down from heaven, lamps are no longer needed because “its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23 NRSV) . . . Christ’s warning that the lamp could be withdrawn connotes God’s removing his active presence from them (Rev 1-3).

Witness/Proclamation. When Jesus astonished the disciples by telling them they were the light of the world, his emphasis was on allowing their lamps to shine (Mt 5:15). Of John the Baptist Jesus said, “He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35 NRSV) . . . The lamps can also symbolize the good works of the righteous, whose light shines into the surrounding spiritual darkness and prompts others to glorify God (Mt 5:15-16).

Illumination. Zephaniah depicted the Lord searching every corner of Jerusalem with lamps to expose the complacent (Zeph 1:12).

Life. “The light is dark in their tent and the lamp above them is put out” (Job 18:6 NRSV) . . .The lamp, by contrast, is the symbol of life, prosperity and blessing that Job had once experienced and longed to have restored (Job 29:2-3).

Bibliography. C. Meyers, The Tabernacle Menorah (Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1976).

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.

The World and Worship: 2 Samuel 6:16-23

1. The world will despise genuine worship
16As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16 (ESV)

The lost world feels convicted by the transparent devotion of committed Christians.

2Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. Proverbs 14:2 (ESV)

2. The world will mock genuine worship
20And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 2 Samuel 6:20 (ESV)

Wherever we find true joy in the Lord we will find opposition.

3. The world does not understand the focus of genuine worship
2 0…before the eyes of his servants…21And David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD…2 Samuel 6:20-21 (ESV)

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. Psalm 131:1 (ESV)

4. The world’s values contradict genuine worship
21And David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will celebrate before the LORD. 22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. 2 Samuel 6:21-23 (ESV)

It is the weak in the world, the low and despised in this world, who will honor the things that David honors.

26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV)

7Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” Isaiah 49:7 (ESV)

3He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3 (ESV)

A Picture of Genuine Worship: 2 Samuel 6:12-19

1.There is great blessing in genuine worship
12And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 2 Samuel 6:12 (ESV)

Gordon Keddie: God's blessings are real. We experience the goodness of God. This is not a merely subjective feeling about ourselves or about life. There is hard evidence to support it: marriage, children, the love of God's people, kindnesses, career openings, recovery from illness, preservation from harm, daily bread—all sorts of tangible realities that point to the loving hand of our heavenly Father. Psalm 84:11 (ESV)

3Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5 (ESV)

2. There is intense examination in genuine worship
13And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 2 Samuel 6:13 (ESV)

The question David asked on the occasion of Uzzah’s death was, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” It has been answered in verse thirteen: only by blood atonement being made.

3. There is immense joy in genuine worship
14And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn. 2 Samuel 6:14-15 (ESV)

In David’s worship, the trappings of pomp and circumstance, displays of power, and concern for prestige were nowhere to be seen.

11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:11 (ESV)

7Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 9Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10  Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah    Psalm 24:7-10 (ESV)

 4. There is community in genuine worship
17And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 18And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts 19and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house. 2 Samuel 6:17-19 (ESV)

The peace offering was principally a festival meal that celebrated “peace” with God and security for God’s people.

Consider God’s Holiness! Consider God’s Ways!: 2 Samuel 6:1-11

1. The Significance of the Ark in relation to God’s Holiness

1David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 2 Samuel 6:1-2 (ESV)

Though the Ark of the covenant was in no way an image of God, it had the important function of representing His presence among His people.

2. The Disobedience toward God in taking lightly His Holiness
3And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. 2 Samuel 6:3-4 (ESV)

David failed to inquire the will of the Lord in bringing the Ark to Jerusalem.1 Chronicles 13:2

David’s failure to follow God’s specific directions for transporting the Ark and his implementation of the Philistine methodology for this purpose infers an unbiblical and dangerous casualness in the way he approached God.

3. The Consequences from God for failing to consider His Holiness.

5And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. 2 Samuel 6:5-7 (ESV)

Uzzah made the error of presumption in assuming his hand would be cleaner than the dirt on the ground.

4. David’s Anger toward God and His failure to understand God’s Holiness
8And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. 2 Samuel 6:8 (ESV)

Are we right to be angry when God does not appreciate our best efforts? James 1:19-20

4The LORD said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?" Jonah 4:4 (NASB)

5. David’s Fear of God when He correctly perceived God’s Holiness
9And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” 2 Samuel 6:9 (ESV)

6. David’s Failure when considering God’s Holiness not to consider God’s grace
10So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household. 2 Samuel 6:10-11 (ESV)

Turning the Tables: A Simple Guide to Spiritual Battles - 2 Samuel 5:17-21

1Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 3“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” Psalm 2:1-3 (ESV)

17When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 2 Samuel 5:17-18 (ESV)

1. The Inquiry before the Lord.

19And David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?”…2 Samuel 5:19 (ESV)

We should inquire of the Lord in the circumstances that we face.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5:30 (ESV)

2. The Answer from the Lord.

19…And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 2 Samuel 5:19 (ESV)

We should be alert and sober-minded to the answer of the Lord in our circumstances.

6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.     Psalm 17:6 (ESV)

15But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. Psalm 38:15 (ESV)

3. The Obedience to the Lord
20And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.”…2 Samuel 5:20 (ESV)

23Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Psalm 31:23 (ESV)

We should be obedient to the will of the Lord when it is revealed, even in times we do not fully understand.

22And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25And David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. 2 Samuel 5:22-25 (ESV)

4. The Remembrance of the Lord.

20…Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 2 Samuel 5:20 (ESV)

We should intentionally remember God’s Victory.

5I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. Psalm 143:5 (ESV)

21And the Philistines left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.                 2 Samuel 5:21 (ESV)

The Significance of Jerusalem

1. Jerusalem was an Impregnable City
6And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 2 Samuel 5:6 (ESV)

The phrase “blind and the lame” could be a reference to the great fortification of the city or a sarcastic response to David’s perspective of the Jebusite idols.

2. Jerusalem became a Redeemed City
7Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. 8And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” 2 Samuel 5:7-8 (ESV)

The book of Chronicles records that this event is where Joab became David’s commander.

6David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander.” And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief. 1 Chronicles 11:6 (ESV)

3. Jerusalem is a Favored City
9And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward. 10And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him. 2 Samuel 5:9-10 (ESV)

“The stronghold of Zion” points the reader to the great significance the city of Jerusalem would have for God’s people and all the promises associated with this place. (v.7)

Jerusalem went from being synonymous with wickedness to being synonymous with the knowledge of God, the pursuit of God, and the blessing of God.

1 On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 2the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. 3Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah  Psalm 87:1-3 (ESV)

As Christians we recognize the significance of present day Jerusalem, but we also look forward to a new Jerusalem.

14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14 (ESV)

2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2 (ESV)

4. Jerusalem is a Reflective City

The Salvation of Jerusalem is a reflection of our own salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:17  

Jonathan Edwards says of Jerusalem: “It was redeemed by David, the captain of the hosts of Israel, out of the hands of the Jebusites, to be God’s city, the holy place of his rest for ever, where he would dwell. So Christ the Captain of his people’s salvation, redeems his church out of the hands of devils, to be his holy and beloved city.”

The Wait is Over: 2 Samuel 5:1-5

1. Contrition on the part of Israel
1Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. 2In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” 2 Samuel 5:1-2 (ESV)

Why did Israel come? The short answer is that they had come to their senses.

16“Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation 17who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.”                    Numbers 27:16-17 (ESV)

The elders acknowledge their own hard-hearted rebellion to God.

The elders should have appealed to God’s Word first instead of last.

We should learn from the elders’ mistake and place the primacy of authority on God’s Word in all our decisions.

2. Covenant between David and Israel
3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. 2 Samuel 5:3 (ESV)

Just as God binds his people to himself through covenant, God binds believers to one another in a similar manner.

3. Confirmation for David of God’s Word
3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5  At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. 2 Samuel 5:3-5 (ESV) 

“Before the Lord” is a phrase that emphasizes the personal presence of the Lord in which some action is taken.

A Lesson in Waiting on God: 2 Samuel 4:1-12

1. As we wait on the Lord, He will work through the circumstances of life to bring about his ultimate will.
1When Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2Now Saul’s son had two men who were captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon a man of Benjamin from Beeroth (for Beeroth also is counted part of Benjamin; 3the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and have been sojourners there to this day). 4Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. 2 Samuel 4:1-4 (ESV)

How easy it is for us to want to help God along and move past His timing by manipulating situations so we can reach our goals and find success as we define it. Nevertheless, we are called to wait on the Lord. Psalm 37:7-9  

2. Sooner or later our sins will always require consequences.
5Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. 6And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night, 2 Samuel 4:5-7 (ESV)

Trouble will reveal who your friends truly are. Proverbs 17:17  

3. Rationalizing our actions and manipulating the circumstances to further success as we define it at the expense of God’s expressed will ends in judgment.
8and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 9But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner at Hebron. 2 Samuel 4:8-12 (ESV)

John Woodhouse: It is the height of presumption for the perpetrator of the wickedness to present his evil deed as a gift from God.

6  “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. Genesis 9:6 (ESV)

Human effort will never secure or destroy God’s kingdom.

4. God gives us grace to face our problems rather than run from them.
9But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 2 Samuel 4:9 (ESV)

Joab’s Revenge: 2 Samuel 3:22-39

Where we can, we should seek peace at the expense of our own desire for retaliation.                1 Peter 4:8

1. We are called to submit to the authority God has placed over us, rather than implement the cleverness of our own perspectives.
22Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has let him go, and he has gone in peace.” 24Then Joab went to the king and said, “What have you done? Behold, Abner came to you. Why is it that you have sent him away, so that he is gone? 25You know that Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.” 26When Joab came out from David’s presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah. But David did not know about it. 27And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.  2 Samuel 3:22-27 (ESV)

Those who will lead must first be willing to submit. (Matthew 23:11-12)

2. David may be technically guilt free, but could he have anticipated the need to reconcile these men.
28Afterward, when David heard of it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house, and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge or who is leprous or who holds a spindle or who falls by the sword or who lacks bread!” 30So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon. 2 Samuel 3:28-30 (ESV) 

Any attempt at reconciliation may have been costly, but David potentially could have anticipated Joab’s reluctance to accept Abner’s peaceful solution. Philippians 4:2-3  

3. By failing to wait on the Lord and acting on our own cleverness, we become the guilty party.                                                                                                                                         31Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes and put on sackcloth and mourn before Abner.” And King David followed the bier. 32They buried Abner at Hebron. And the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33And the king lamented for Abner, saying, “Should Abner die as a fool dies? 34Your hands were not bound; your feet were not fettered; as one falls before the wicked you have fallen.” And all the people wept again over him. 35Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day. But David swore, saying, “God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!” 36And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people. 37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it had not been the king’s will to put to death Abner the son of Ner. 38And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The LORD repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!” 2 Samuel 3:31-39 (ESV); Genesis 9:6

Our prideful trust in our own cleverness and the fleshly desire to give in to our fretful tendencies lead to sin and disgrace. Psalm 37:7-8; 1 Kings 2:5

Abner’s Loyalty?: 2 Samuel 3:11-19

1. Those who rebel against God will also rebel against one another. 2 Samuel 3:6-11

It is possible that taking Saul’s concubine was a first step for Abner to take Saul’s throne.

For Abner to be rebuked by this weakling whom he had come to despise was more than the proud man could bear. Proverbs 24:29;  Proverbs 20:22

Sin does backfire.

7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7 (ESV)

37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37 (ESV) 

2. Conduct affairs with the appropriate party because God loves order and peace.                    2 Samuel 3:12-19

The return of Michal would represent an acknowledgment on the part of the house of Saul to David’s rights. 

David reveals savvy in accepting Abner’s proposal, but making him a middle man between he an Ishbosheth, so as not to grant too much ground to this opportunist. 

The ready response of Israel, and particularly all of Benjamin, to Abner’s word suggests that the only reason they had not turned to David earlier was Abner.

33For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.               1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV) 

3. A leader must be a peacemaker; therefore, he must be able to overlook personal wrongs for the benefit of all God’s people. 2 Samuel 3:20-21

18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 (ESV)

David was not loyal to the one who would progress his own agenda (opposite of Abner), he was loyal to God.

14Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!          Psalm 27:14 (ESV)

The Silent Condemnation of Polygamy: 2 Samuel 3:1-5

1. The Implications of polygamy in the Old Testament

2. The Implications of polygamy in David’s life.                                                                              2And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron. 2 Samuel 3:1-5 (ESV)

If we desire to understand God’s view of polygamy, we must return to the beginning of God’s design for marriage, one man and one woman for life.

24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24-25 (ESV)

Problems plagued David’s house because of polygamy.

18Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, Proverbs 5:18 (ESV)

22He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.                        Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)

Anytime one violates Biblical principles and commands, he or she is going to create a problem for himself or herself.

Not only did God’s original plan consist of monogamy, he explicitly commanded that kings over his people were not to have “many” wives.

15you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you...17And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.  Deuteronomy 17:15-17 (ESV)

Men should keep themselves pure for one does not know the slippery slope and where one’s sin will lead.

15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:15 (ESV)

3. The Implications of Polygamy in the New Testament

Consider the reflection of the principle monogamy in pastoral leadership in the New Testament with the requirement for kingly leadership in the Old Testament.

2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 1 Timothy 3:2 (ESV)

How would David have been measured as a manager of his household by the end of 2 Samuel.

5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 1 Timothy 3:5 (ESV)

23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Ephesians 5:23 (ESV)

4. The Implications for Polygamy in the practical issues of life. Matthew 19:3-6

When Things Go From Bad To Worse: Samuel 2:12-3:1

1. The tension that arises from defiant rebellion
12Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. And they sat down, the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 2 Samuel 2:12-13 (ESV); Proverbs 17:14

The armies of Abner and the armies of Joab met at the pool of Gibeon where they literally faced off against each other. 

At this time, Israel should be fighting their common enemy, the Philistines, when instead their focus is on an internal struggle. 

2. The imprudent suggestion that arises from defiant rebellion                                            14And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and compete before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 2 Samuel 2:14-17 (ESV)

The word translated “compete” suggests entertainment (Judges 16:25), play (Psalm 104:26), rejoicing (1 Samuel 18:7; 2 Samuel 6:5; 1 Chronicles 15:29; Proverbs 8:30, 31), or even joking (Proverbs 26:19) rather than anything violent.

One might perhaps better understand the passage as referring to a sudden change from a game to something more serious, or to a battle trick that both sides try to implement simultaneously but that then goes wrong.

3. The impetuous acts arises from defiant rebellion
20Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is it you,

Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.” 21  Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22  And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?”        2 Samuel 2:18-22 (ESV)

Point: Lack of self control escalates tension.

There is a fine line between persistence and stubbornness.

4. The irreversible results that arise from defiant rebellion

And he fell there and died where he was. And all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still. 2 Samuel 2:18-23 (ESV)

Those involved in the skuttle knew that the conflict had just moved to another level. Shocked at the potential consequences of the heightened intensity, all who came to the place of Asahel’s demise stood motionless.

5. The failure to accept fault that often accompanies defiant rebellion. 2 Samuel 2:24-28

Abner’s noble-sounding speech had a major problem. It seemed to lay the blame for the fighting on Joab, though Abner first proposed the competition.

6. The cemented malice that often results from defiant rebellion

1There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.                                2 Samuel 3:1 (ESV)

The Right Response: 2 Samuel 2:1-11

1.David’s submissive response
1After this David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up.” David said, “To which shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.” 2So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3And David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron. 2 Samuel 2:1-3 (ESV)

5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 (ESV)

We are not to advance ourselves ahead of others, but allow others a leading place until God should see fit to move us up (see Lk. 14:8-10).

Scores of Jesus' disciples find most of their labor is done in a 'Hebron stage' in which they see little of the power and the glory. But as long as they know God reigns (Eph. 1:19b-21), they are content.

David’s Hebron phase called for a patient faith that waited on the promises of God.

 2. Judah’s submissive response
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” 2 Samuel 2:4 (ESV)

3. David’s conciliatory response
4And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,” 5David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by the LORD, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord and buried him. 6Now may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. 7Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.” 2 Samuel 2:4-7 (ESV)

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 (ESV)

Two words that are often found together in the Bible’s descriptions of God’s ways: he is “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” comprehend all that we could desire from and ask of God. Exodus 34:6; Matthew 10:34-39

4. Abner’s defiant response
8But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. 10Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months. 2 Samuel 2:8-11 (ESV)

20And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 1 Samuel 24:20 (ESV); 2 Samuel 3:18

While Mahanaim (which means “two camps”) may not be as weighty with memories as Hebron, it was named by Jacob when he met angels on his way to his reunion with Esau (Genesis 32:2) and divided the company who were with him into “two camps” (Genesis 32:7, 10). There is some irony in Abner’s choice of Mahanaim. He was again dividing the people of Israel into “two camps.” Zechariah 4:10

Grief 101: 2 Samuel 1:17-27

1.The Structure of David’s Grief
17And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son,                              2 Samuel 1:17 (ESV)

A lament is a formal expression of grief or distress. One that can be written, read, learned, practiced or repeated.

2. The Teaching of David’s Grief
18and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah; behold, it is written in the Book of Jashar. He said: 2 Samuel 1:18 (ESV)

‘Bow' is the title of David's lament, named appropriately, in memory of Jonathan's weapon     (v. 22) and gift (1 Sam. 18:4).

David intends the lament as part of the peoples’ motivational military training. The place of Gilboa was not the last time Israel would fight Philistines. David wanted his men to be deeply stirred and moved in their remembrance of the tragedy that occurred at Gilboa and in their remembrance of the pagan arrogance– for the next time.

3. The Irony in David’s Grief
19“Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen!                         2 Samuel 1:19 (ESV) 

The greatness that once was is no longer. We weep because of what was, but now is not.

4. The Disgrace in David’s Grief
20Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult. 2 Samuel 1:20 (ESV)

5. The Curse in David’s Grief (Gilboa)
21“You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.                    2 Samuel 1:21 (ESV)

David prays for Mount Gilboa to be turned into a perpetual expression of Israelite death and grief.

34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)

8It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:8-9 (ESV)

6. The Accolades in David’s Grief
22“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. 23“Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions. 24“You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. 2 Samuel 1:22-24 (ESV)

7. The Emotion in David’s Grief
25“How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! “Jonathan lies slain on your high places. 26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women. 27“How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” 2 Samuel 1:25-27 (ESV)

Differing Values and Expectations: 2 Samuel 1:2-16

2And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. 3David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 2 Samuel 1:2-5 (ESV)

1. A Test for a Lie
6And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. 7And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9And he said to me, ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.” 2 Samuel 1:6-10 (ESV) 

If you ever have a choice between the narrator and an Amalekite, always believe the narrator. Have you ever met an Amalekite you could trust? (Dale Ralph Davis)

10when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 2 Samuel 4:10 (ESV)

11But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. Psalm 63:11 (ESV)

2. A Time to Mourn
11Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.  2 Samuel 1:11-12 (ESV)

a. Our reaction to the failures of others reveals the depth of our relationship with God.  b.      When we see an enemy or irritator fall, we should strengthen and restore them if it is possible, considering our own weaknesses.

3. A Truth about Sacred Things.
14David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” 15Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’s anointed.’” 2 Samuel 1:14-16 (ESV)

Anointed means someone who was set apart for God’s special use.

Once a person had been anointed by God to be king, he had the divine right to be respected and honored. A sacred relationship between God and the king existed. Thus the king was not to be harmed by any citizen of the nation.

The Amalekite had assumed that no scruples would stop David from seizing the kingship; David assumed that one fear should have stopped the Amalekite from destroying the king. 'Why were you not afraid?' (Leviticus 19:17-18)

Looking Back/Looking Forward: 2 Samuel 1:1

1After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

1. Saul’s Legacy

1After the death of Saul…Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

The death of a leader marked the end of one era in Israel’s history and raised serious questions about Israel’s future in the light of this event. Joshua 1:1; Judges 1:1

19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20 (ESV)

Saul died because he failed to fulfill the conditions God had placed on his kingship.

Saul’s ugly death was dreadful proof of the people’s foolishness in desiring a king “like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5).

2. David’s Victory

1 …when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites…2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

After Saul had decisively failed to be the fully obedient king he was required to be, David had been chosen by God to be king over Israel.

This time God was not giving the people what they had asked for, but out of God’s own good will (“his own heart” 1 Samuel 13:14).

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14 (ESV)

The concept of David being “a man after God’s own heart” and in this way chosen by God possibly relates to the consequences of the grace that was shown to David but not Saul. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)

3. The Reader’s Expectancy

1…David remained two days in Ziklag. 2 Samuel 1:1 (ESV)

These two days would have been days of suspense for David.

John Woodhouse: “There were two days in which we (the readers) know that the old king had died, but the one we expect to become the new king did not yet know this. There were two days in which there was in fact “no king in Israel.”

The New Testament writers understood that Jesus’ resurrection “on the third day” had been anticipated in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4).

21But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:21 (ESV) Colossians 2:15

3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (ESV)