A Not-So-Stable Kingdom

A Not-So-Stable Kingdom (2 Samuel 20)

 1. The Instability of infuriation
1  Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said, “We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!”
2  So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 19:40-20:1-2 (ESV)

John Woodhouse:

·         First of all, Israel accused Judah of bad intentions.

·         Secondly, Judah replied defensively rather than humbly.

·         Thirdly, the men of Israel heightened their sense of offence.

·         Fourthly, we are told that Judah responded with greater harshness still.

·         Finally and almost inevitably, the dispute escalated into open warfare when a man named Sheba—'a troublemaker' —raised rebellion among the men of the ten tribes (20:1-2).

 Matthew 12:25; Ephesians 4:1-3

Interlude: 2 Samuel 20:3

 The concubines were a living testimony both to David’s sin and God's mercy.

 2. The Instability of Insubordination
9  And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10  But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab’s hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11  And one of Joab’s young men took his stand by Amasa and said, “Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 2 Samuel 20:4-13 (ESV); Proverbs 14:35

 Joab is an example of one who acknowledges the king’s sovereignty but yet disregards his will. Matthew 7:21

 3. The Instability of Impulsiveness
16  Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.’” 17  And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18  Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,’ and so they settled a matter. 19  I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the LORD?” 20  Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21  That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 2 Samuel 20:14-22 (ESV)

The wise woman’s words bring reflective insight into Joab’s somewhat emotional plan of action. Proverbs 5:23; Proverbs 14:15

Interlude: 2 Samuel 20:23-26 vs. 2 Samuel 8:15-18

 With righteousness and unity comes stability.

A Rocky Return: Part 2 A Reckoned Response

A Rocky Return: Part 2 A Reckoned Response

1.      A Response of forgiving grace

And said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 20  For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21  Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’s anointed?” 22  But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23  And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath. 2 Samuel 19:16; 19-23 (ESV)

David showed pardoning grace to Shemei. Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 24:44

2. A Response of humble joy

24  And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25  And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26  He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27  He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28  For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29  And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30  And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.” 2 Samuel 19:24-30 (ESV)

We, like Mephibosheth, should find our joy by simply reveling in the King’s return. 2 Thessalonians 1:10

Whether David meant it or not, this decision of David provided a type of test for Mephibosheth, who passed by showing that he was just happy to have the company of the King.

3.      A Response of reward

33  And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.” 34  But Barzillai said to the king, “How many years have I still to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35  I am this day eighty years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or what he drinks? Can I still listen to the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36  Your servant will go a little way over the Jordan with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37  Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king, and do for him whatever seems good to you.” 38  And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.”32 Samuel 19:31-38 (ESV)

Barzillai received rewarding grace, which reminds us that service to God and His cause will finally not go undetected or unrewarded. Matthew 10:40-42

A Rocky Return: Part 1 Rebukes and Ruptures

A Rocky Return: Part 1 Rebukes and Ruptures

1. A reckless rebuke
5  Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6  because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7  Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the LORD, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 2 Samuel 19:5-7 (ESV)

A loving rebuke should be clear and specific, but Joab’s reproach of David was full of exaggeration. Proverbs 17:10; Proverbs 25:12

David is man of God enough to realize his mistake. He was teachable.

2. A Ruptured Reply
9  And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10  But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” 11  And King David sent this message to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king? 12  You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13  And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” 2 Samuel 19:9-13 (ESV)

It is easy to start bickering when a group finds themselves in a dilemma.

David appealed to the pride of Judah: why should they lag behind the rest of the tribes in restoring the king?

David appealed to their relationship: They were “his bone and flesh.”

David appealed to the anxieties of Judah: he appointed Amasa (Commander of Absalom’s army over his army)

We should practice the Biblical principles of submission, yielding, humility, and love in unity for the sake of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 1:27

41  Then all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?” 42  All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is our close relative. Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43  And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and in David also we have more than you. Why then did you despise us? Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 19:41-43 (ESV)

The Scriptures warn us of fleshly responses that can cause strife such as anger, malice, wrath, and outbursts of anger. Ephesians 4:31; Matthew 18:1-4; Matthew 23:10-12; Colossians 3:14

The Enigma of Love and Justice

The Enigma of Love and Justice (2 Samuel 18)

1. The enigma of inordinate love
And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.” . . . 4  The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. 5  And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom. 2 Samuel 18:1-5 (ESV)

The puzzling enigma in David’s request for leniency of Absalom comes at a time when his men are asked to give their own lives in the face of a rebellious enemy whom David wants to spare.

2. The enigma of inordinate justice
10  And a certain man saw it and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11  Joab said to the man who told him, “What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12  But the man said to Joab, “Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not reach out my hand against the king’s son, for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake protect the young man Absalom.’ 13  On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.” 14  Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak . . . 2 Samuel 18:6-18 (ESV)

The source of Absalom’s pride became the source of his downfall.

8   . . . on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9  They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (ESV)

3. The gospel of justice
19  Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” 20  And Joab said to him, “You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the king’s son is dead.” 21  Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. . . . 29  And the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 30  And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still. 31  And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32  The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 2 Samuel 18:19-32 (ESV)

4. The enigma of love and justice
33   And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33 (ESV)

The writer wants us to see and hear David’s anguish.

So we end with a paradox: we have a safe kingdom but yet a sad king.

Security and God's Providence Part 2

Security and God’s Providence

2 Samuel 17 (Part 2)

 3. Human Actions and God’s Providence
15  Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so have I counseled. 16  Now therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not stay tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” 17  Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel. A female servant was to go and tell them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they were not to be seen entering the city. 18  But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard. And they went down into it. 19  And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, and nothing was known of it. 20  When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21  After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Arise, and go quickly over the water, for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.” 22  Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan. By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan. 2 Samuel 17:15-22 (ESV)

The sovereignty of God is hidden, but God’s providence through the circumstances of life brings sovereignty out where we can get a glimpse of it.

4. A Failure to Adequately Consider God’s Providence
23  When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father. 2 Samuel 17:23 (ESV)

Ahithophel’s great and tragic failure was (it would seem) a failure to accept the grace of God that was extended to David and the purpose of God to establish his kingdom through such a man as David. (John Woodhouse)

5. God’s Provision and His Providence
24  Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25  Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26  And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead. 27  When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28  brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils, 29  honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.” 2 Samuel 17:24-29 (ESV)

God provided for David in this wilderness through the most unlikely of sources.

Security and God's Providence Part 1

Security and God’s Providence

2 Samuel 17 (Part 1)

 Human Decisions and God’s Providence

The Author’s Statement on God’s Providence

Human Actions and God’s Providence

A Failure to Adequately Consider God’s Providence

God’s Provision and His Providence

1.Human Decisions and God’s Providence
1  Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2  I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3  and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 4  And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5  Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” 6  And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” 7  Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8  Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. 9  Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10  Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. 11  But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12  So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13  If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14  And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” . . . 2 Samuel 17:1-14 (ESV)

Ahithophel’s character teaches us that it is possible to be very intelligent and possess great mental understanding of a situation and yet be a stranger to the love of God and, therefore, His wisdom.

Hushai knew how to be successful with Absalom—appeal to his vanity and sense of caution.

Ahithophel gave better advice to accomplish Absalom’s goal, but Hushai offered more convincing advice by enhancing Absalom’s misperceptions. Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 21:1

2. The Author’s statement of God’s Providence
14  And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:14 (ESV)

When trying to understand the central intent of a narrative passage, always look for a summary statement from the author; such statements are imperative to the correct interpretation of the text. Daniel 4:35

It may appear that David’s kingdom is teetering on the brink of destruction based on the power plays and wisdom of men, but the author reminds us that God is in full control.

Loyalty Under Assault

Loyalty Under Assault

2 Samuel 16

1.The manipulation of Ziba
2  And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3  And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” 4  Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.” 2 Samuel 16:2-4 (ESV)

26  He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 2 Samuel 19:26-27 (ESV)

 Ziba represents those who feign loyalty to authority simply to promote their own agenda. Matthew 15:8; Romans 16:18; Romans 12:9.

2. The defamation of Shimei
6  And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
7  And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8  The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” 2 Samuel 16:6-8 (ESV)

Shemei represents those who cast aspersions, judgments of character and motives, inconclusive accusations, and other venom for the purpose of painting a negative picture to the naïve and gullible and causing pain to the one targeted, while claiming all the time to speak for God. Proverbs 16:27-28

3. The retaliation of Abishai
9  Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” . . . 12  It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” . . .  2 Samuel 16:9-14 (ESV)

Abishai represents those who may have good intentions in their support, but their response is not in accordance with God’s revealed will, and so their loyalty is not pure.

Luke 9:51-56; Romans 12:19

4. The betrayal of Ahithophel
20  Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” 21  Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” . . .  23  Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom. 2 Samuel 16:20-23 (ESV)

Ahithophel represents those who are the most damaging of opponents, in that their consciences are seared so that the only rule they follow is “whatever it practically takes to get the job done.” Leviticus 20:11; Proverbs 3:3; Matthew 5:8


Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death...You Are With Me

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death . . .

You are with me (Psalm 23:4 ESV)

A Study of 2 Samuel 15:13-37


1.The Lord provides wisdom to know when to leave. 2 Samuel 15:13-18 (ESV)

David he gave two reasons why they had to leave Jerusalem at once. First, they needed to avoid a quick capture and assassination, and secondly they needed to keep the capital city Jerusalem from being destroyed.

2. The Lord provides encouragers to increase our faith
2 Samuel 15:15; 19-22

God will provide encouragers committed to His cause to help remind us of God’s faithfulness.

24  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

12  Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13 (ESV)

 3. The Lord provides confidence in grace rather than in relics. 2 Samuel 15:24-29

 We do the same when we put trust in programs, preaching styles, budgets, and numbers to the detriment of trusting the Lord and His Word.

  Paul understood that we rest on God’s grace.

 A.    We are saved by grace.....

8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)

     B. We serve by grace.....

10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV)

     C. We survive by grace....

9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

 4. The Lord provides answer to prayer.

2 Samuel 15:31-37

14  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV); Psalm 3:1-8

 23  And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness . . .  30  But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. 2 Samuel 15:23; 30 (ESV)

Political Expediency vs. Principled Ethics

Political Expediency vs. Principled Ethics

(2 Samuel 14:1-12)

1.The appearance for the world vs. our appearance before God

1  After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 Samuel 15:1 (ESV)

Principle #1: Flashy shows of extravagance may impress worldly minded people but they will not honor God. John 5:44

2. The approval of the world vs. the approval of God
2  And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,”
3  Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4  Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”
5  And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6  Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 2 Samuel 15:2-6 (ESV)

There are two wrongs represented in this text. The first wrong was that of Absalom’s criticizing the leadership in a manner outside of Biblical protocol. The second wrong was a participation of the people in allowing the criticism to occur unchecked.

21  His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. Psalm 55:21 (ESV)

The Bible teaches us "How to Be Exalted".

1. One does not exalt himself. He let’s God do it. Psalm 75:7

2. Having wisdom will exalt an individual. Proverbs 3:35

3. Godliness will exalt an individual. Psalm 89:15-16

4. Serving others and having a servant’s heart will exalt an individual. Matthew 23:11

5. A humble attitude will exalt an individual.1 Peter 5:6

3. The deceptiveness of the world vs. transparency before God
7  And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. 8  For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.’” 9  The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron.
10  But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” 11  With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12  And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing. 2 Samuel 15:7-12 (ESV); 1 Samuel 26:11

In choosing Absalom, these people essentially placed their own personal concerns above the clearly communicated Word of God.

Clever But Not Wise

Clever but not Wise

(2 Samuel 14)

1.      Joab’s Clever Scheme (vv. 1-20)

 1  Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart went out to Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:1 (ESV)

2  And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, “Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning garments. Do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. 3  Go to the king and speak thus to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth. 2 Samuel 14:2-3 (ESV)

Stage 1: A Distressing Situation, 2 Samuel 14:6-11

Stage 2: Another Distressing Situation, 2 Samuel 14:12-17

The weakest point in the argument of the woman from Tekoa was likening the forgiveness of Absalom to God’s forgiveness of sinners.

Stage 3: Unmasked

2 Samuel 14:18-20

2.      David’s Clever Scheme

2 Samuel 14:21-23

24  And the king said, “Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence.” So Absalom lived apart in his own house and did not come into the king’s presence. 2 Samuel 14:24 (ESV)

David’s failure to deal with Absalom in accordance with God’s Word only compounded the problem. His clever tactics of ignoring his son after seemingly restoring him sent his son on the road to rebellion, which eventually brought the nation to the point of civil war.

3.       Absalom’s Clever Scheme (vv. 25-33)

2 Samuel 14:25-29

Absalom the Determined
30  Then he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31  Then Joab arose and went to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32  Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent word to you, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” Now therefore let me go into the presence of the king, and if there is guilt in me, let him put me to death.’” 2 Samuel 14:30-32 (ESV)

Absalom: The Son Who Got His Way
33  Then Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:33 (ESV)

There are all sorts of scheming, manipulation, cunning, and ingenuity in this narrative, but not true wisdom.

It is possible to have all the signs of wisdom such as plans, strategies, accomplishments, and yet be utterly devoid of it.

Like Father Like Sons Part 3: The Conspiracy in Vengeance Reborn

Like Father Like Sons (Part 3):

                                           The Conspiracy in Vengeance Reborn

2 Samuel 13:20-39 (ESV)


To fail to pursue God’s system of conflict resolution, no matter how well intentioned, still opposes God’s wisdom and sets ourselves up as God’s counselor.

34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:34 (ESV)

A leader must seek justice for the innocent.

9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 31:9 (NASB)

The sin of injustice violates the innocent twice.

Personal vengeance injures two people—the one who first did wrong and the one who avenges.

22  But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar. 2 Samuel 13:22 ESV

32  But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day he violated his sister Tamar. 33  Now therefore let not my lord the king so take it to heart as to suppose that all the king’s sons are dead, for Amnon alone is dead.”
34  But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35  And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 2 Samuel 13:32-35 ESV

Many of us have observed that in the church those with the greatest gifts pose the gravest threat, for unless their gifts are wrapped in godliness they multiply disaster among Christ's flock.

A love that does not discipline is not genuine love at all.

13  And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 1 Samuel 3:13 (ESV)

We will reap what we sow.

The problem with revenge is that it does not really solve any problems and eventually turns around and hurts the perpetrator.

Francis Bacon: In revenge, a man is but even with his enemy, but in passing it over, he is superior.

19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (ESV)

1  O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! 2  Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve! Psalm 94:1-2 (ESV)

Like Father Like Sons Part 2: The Victimization of the Innocent

Like Father like Sons (Part 2):

The Victimization of the Innocent

2 Samuel 13:19-20

In the story, we see Tamar trapped (vv. 5-11), ignored (vv. 14a, 16b), raped (v. 14b), despised (v. 15), banished (v. 17), and ruined (vv. 18-19, 20b). We must do what Amnon did not do: listen to Tamar.

Tamar lived in Absalom's household, and one word summed up her life: 'desolate', or as another commentator put it, 'laid waste'.

The writer wants to win your sympathies for Tamar. Deuteronomy 22:25-26

What is shame? Shame is the deep sense that you are unacceptable because of something you did, something done to you, or something associated with you.

A violent assault awakens some of the most painful, horrifying emotions that humans are capable of. Terror, shock, unbearable pain, overwhelming helplessness, and vulnerability. David Powlison

Numbness: Life can feel unreal

Fear: memories, of being alone, flashbacks

Worry: std’s, pregnancy

Anger: this is expected but it can be difficult to not let it turn into bitterness

Relationships: it will be hard to trust again

Shame: It is common to feel a deep sense of shame and uncleanness though you are the victim.

Regret and self blame: Victims think “If only” I did this or did not do this.

Depression: sadness that will not go away

Escapism: try to forget or soak it in drugs, alcohol, food, TV

Pain: Pain: Pain

Steps to healing:

-          Face what happened: reality, and understand that God is there (Ps 46:1)

-          You need to face your reactions such as grief, hurt, confusion, fear, and anger (Ps 55:4)

-          Face Jesus: Invite him to walk with you in your struggle (Isaiah 43:2).

-          Jesus was violated, innocent, and suffered at the hands of evil people. He knows how you feel.

-          Trust God will redeem these broken experiences in time (Geneses 50:20)

-          Trust that God will use you to encourage others who go through similar experiences:

-          Proclaim the first tier of forgiveness: What the attacker did was wrong, big, and should be punished. This simply means you must choose not to seek personal retaliation for your benefit. (1 peter 2)

Jesus touch:

Throughout His ministry, Jesus often showed grace and identity with those experiencing shame by a simple “touch.”

2 Resources:

*Sexual Assault: Healing Steps for Victims by David Powlison

* Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection by Edward T. Welch.

Like Father Like Sons Part 1: The Power of Inordinate Desire

Like Father Like Sons (Part 1):

 The Power of Inordinate Desire

2 Samuel 13:1-20



And after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. 2  And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her (2 Samuel 13:1-2 ESV)


And Jonadab was a very crafty man. 4  And he said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5  Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ (2 Samuel 13:3-5 ESV)

15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. James 3:15 (ESV)

20  Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)

7 Points of Application:

-          We need to remember the destructive pursuit of self-gratification. Lust and love can be easily confused. Lust differs from love in that it is selfish and insensitive to the other person.

-          We need to be discerning and not put ourselves or others in compromising situations.

14  Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

-          We must accept no as an answer. NO MEANS NO!!

-          We need to teach our young men to respect women and their rights.

Paul calls us to treat:

2   . . . the younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:2 (NASB)

-          The passive inactivity of parenting only hurts the children one claims to love.

9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 31:9 (NASB)

-          The destructive nature of sin will have far reaching consequences.

-          A father's sinful ways may establish patterns for sinful actions in the lives of his children.

26  Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. Proverbs 25:26 (ESV)

Dealing with Sin in the Church: An Example of Why Church Discipline

Dealing with Sin in the Church:

An Example for WHY Church Discipline is Necessary

(1 Corinthians 5)

What are the results when a church fails to Biblically deal with sin?

Sin that has not been dealt with robs the Church of her purity and gives a bad testimony to the surrounding community.

1  It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 1 Cor 5:1 (ESV)

15  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Philippians 2:15 (ESV); Romans 2:24.

Sin that has not been dealt with infers a type of passive pride that results in unbiblical tolerance.

2  And you are arrogant! . . . Your boasting is not good. . . .1 Corinthians 5:2;6 (ESV)

Sin that has not been dealt with grieves the Spirit of God.

2   . . . Ought you not rather to mourn? . . . 1 Cor 5:2 (ESV)

30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 (ESV)

Sin that has not been dealt with gives the sinner a false sense of eternal security.

5  you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:5 (ESV)

11  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother . . . 1 Corinthians 5:11 (ESV)

Sin that has not been dealt with influences the rest of the church negatively.

6   . . . Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 1 Corinthians 5:6 (ESV)

 Sin that has not been dealt with corrupts the Lord’s Supper.

9  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10  not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
11  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (ESV)

 Sin that has not been dealt with is disobedience to God’s Word.

7  Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 1 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

2   . . . Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:2 (ESV)

12  For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13  God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (ESV); Deuteronomy 19:19; Revelation 2:19-20; 1 Peter 1:16.

The Golden Altar of Insense

The Golden Altar of Incense

(Ex 30:1-9; 34-38)

1  “You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. Exodus 30:1 (ESV)

The Dimensions
2  A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth. It shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height . . . Exodus 30:2 (ESV)

The Horns Of The Altar

 . . . Its horns shall be of one piece with it. Exodus 30:2 (ESV) [The horn is the emblem of strength.]

The Overlaying
3  You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and around its sides and its horns And you shall make a molding of gold around it. Exodus 30:3 (ESV) [A picture of excellence]

The Rings and the Staves

4  And you shall make two golden rings for it. Under its molding on two opposite sides of it you shall make them, and they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it. 5  You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Exodus 30:4-5 (ESV) [transportation]

The Position of the Golden Altar

6  And you shall put it in front of the veil that is above the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is above the testimony, where I will meet with you. Exodus 30:6 (ESV)

David Levy: The closest the priests could come to God in daily worship was when they ministered at the altar of incense. The same principle holds true for Christians. The closest we can come to God is through prayer (Jas. 4: 8).

 The Incense: Exodus 30:34-38

The Perpetual Use Of The Altar
7  And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, 8  and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations. Exodus 30:7-8 (ESV)

 The incense burned perpetually before the Lord throughout the years (Ex. 30: 8), This pictured believers, offering up prayers continually to God.

The Warnings
9  You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it. Exodus 30:9 (ESV)

Two warnings:

First, no strange incense could be used on the altar (Ex. 30: 9), nor could anyone make the incense for his own personal use (Ex. 30: 37).

Second, no fire other than that from the brazen altar could be used on the golden altar (Leviticus 10:1-2; 16:12).

The Blood On The Horns Of The Altar Of Incense
10  Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year. With the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.” Exodus 30:10 (ESV)

David Levy: When blood from the sin offering was sprinkled on the horns of the altar, it symbolized a prayer for the pardon of sin before God. The blood, when applied to the altar, gave the incense of prayer its value. So it is with Christ’s blood, which gives value to our prayers before God (Heb. 9: 14; 12: 24) and opens the way for us to come before the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in the time of need (Heb. 4: 16).

The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

(2 Samuel 12:7-14)

1. The Provisions from the Lord
7  Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8  And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 2 Samuel 12:7-8 (ESV)

Nathan’s list of God’s gifts infers David’s ingratitude as it relates to his sin.

2. The Question about the Lord
9  Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 2 Samuel 12:9 (ESV)

The idea of despise can mean to regard a thing of little value or treated lightly, which is what we do to God’s Word when we deliberately defy it.1 Samuel 2:30; Isaiah 5:24

3. The Ramifications from the Lord
10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’
11  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.
12  For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 2 Samuel 12:10-12 (ESV); Galatians 6:7-8

Just as David took the sword to cover his sins, the sword or death would not depart from his family.

David adulterously took someone's wife in secret; his wives would be taken publicly

8  As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. Job 4:8 (ESV); Ecclesiastes 9:18

4. The Confession to the Lord
13  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 Samuel 12:13 (ESV)

a. There was a loss of "heart purity" reflected in the following words. Psalm 51:1-10

b.  There was a loss of divine fellowship. Psalm 51:11

c.  There was a loss of the joy of salvation. Psalm 51:12

d. There was a loss of power to witness for God. Psalm 51:13

e. There was a loss of the desire to worship. Psalm 51:14-16

f.  There was a loss of concern for God's interest. Psalm 51:17-19

5. The Type of the Lord
14  Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.”
15  Then Nathan went to his house. And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 2 Samuel 12:14-15 (ESV)

David’s son would die for his iniquity, which is a picture of Jesus

A Love That Pursues - 2 Samuel 12:1-7

3For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah Psalm 32:3-4 (ESV); Psalm 50:21

1.The Commissioned Prophet
1  And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said  . . . 2 Samuel 12:1 (ESV)

God sent Nathan to David to restore him, reach him, and to wake him up.

1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1 (ESV)

Nathan is an example to us regarding the attitude we should have and the approach in confronting someone about their sin.

5  Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds. Psalm 141:5 (ESV); Matthew 10:26

20  let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.James 5:19-20 (ESV)

2. The Clarifying Parable
1  And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2  The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3  but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4  Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 2 Samuel 12:1-4 (ESV)

Nathan has obviously thought through how he is going to confront David. We should do the same when preparing to confront someone about their soul and sin.

11  A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. 12  Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:11-12 (ESV)

3. The Conviction Pronounced
5  Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6  and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”2 Samuel 12:5-6 (ESV)

David’s eagerness to condemn the rich man is evidence that what we condemn in others are sometimes our own character flaws. Romans 2:1

5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5 (ESV)

4. The Condemnation Reversed

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! . . . 2 Samuel 12:7 (ESV) . . . Nathan held up the proverbial mirror.

 Gordon Keddie: There is an amazing symmetry to the way in which God deals with those whom he loves. He tracks our lives with his grace.

David's Cover-Up - 2 Samuel 11:5-27

1.The failure in cover-up
5And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” 
2 Samuel 11:5 (ESV)

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Confession requires truth. (Psalm 51:6)

Repentance requires action. (Acts 26:20, Luke 3:8; Luke 3:12-14)

2. The deception in cover-up
When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. 
2 Samuel 11:6-7 (ESV)

8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.”  . . . But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 
2 Samuel 11:6-9 (ESV)

10When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 
2 Samuel 11:10-12 (ESV)

13And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk ...
2 Samuel 11:13 (ESV)

No matter how hard David tried to bring deception to the situation, God did not allow the plan to succeed.

Oftentimes we will also lie, twist the truth, or paint a picture in a way that makes us look like the victim to perform a type of deception, just as David performed. (Proverbs 28:13)

3. The escalation in cover-up
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15  In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.”. 
2 Samuel 11:14-15 (ESV) 

20then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez?...
2 Samuel 11:20-21 (ESV)

25David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.” . ...27And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.
2 Samuel 11:22-27 (ESV)

The author uses the concept of “displease” or “be considered evil in your eyes” in 2 Samuel 11:25-27 to reveal the callous rationalization of David’s heart that had strayed from the light of God’s truth. (Luke 8:17)

Kindness and Contempt - 2 Samuel 10

1After this the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2And David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the Ammonites. 
2 Samuel 10:1-2 (ESV)

David reveals the character of a genuine receiver of kindness, he wants to also give kindness. Ephesians 4:32

2. Contempt
3But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?” 4So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away. 5When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.” 
2 Samuel 10:3-5 (ESV)

David showed kindness twice in chapters nine and ten, but there are two differing responses. So also, God shows kindness and grace in his provision of Jesus, but there are two different responses. 
2 Corinthians 2:15-16

3. Vindication
9When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. 10The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.” 
13So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 
14And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem. 15But when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates. They came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to Helam. The Syrians arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of 700 chariots, and 40,000 horsemen, and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19And when all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Syrians were afraid to save the Ammonites anymore.
2 Samuel 10:9-19 (ESV)

We can act on the truth that ultimately God will vindicate His people. Malachi 3:16-18

4. Faith
12Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.” 
2 Samuel 10:12 (ESV)

Faith is not always knowing exactly what will happen but it can simply be trusting that God will work His purposes through His providential guidance.

Mercy and Mephibosheth - 2 Samuel 9

1.Mercy Initiated
1  And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1 (ESV)

The word “kindness” refers to extraordinary acts of kindness in meeting extreme needs outside one’s normal perceived duty. 1 Samuel 20:14-15

The promise made in the past directs faithfulness in the present.

We do not always keep our covenants because we feel like it, but because we promised.

2. Mercy Realized

7 And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.” 8  And he paid homage and said, “What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?” 2 Samuel 9:7-8 (ESV)

Mephibosheth’s disposition:

A forfeited inheritance: (Son of Jonathan Son of Saul . . . old regime) the house of Saul had little. He lived in the place called “no pasture” (Lo debar.)

Inability: Was unable to help himself and cripple in both feet. The name Mephibosheth means shameful thing.

Fear: He came trembling and had every right to fear David if David wished to follow the protocol of the Kings around him.

Our disposition:

A forfeited inheritance: Adam was created in the image and likeness of God to have dominion over God’s creation and a relationship with God, but because of sin, that relationship was marred for all humanity.

Inability: We are spiritually crippled in that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves or earn a right relationship with God.

Fear: When we consider the penalty of sin, which is death and hell, the appropriate emotion is fear before a just and holy God.

4  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-5 (ESV)

3. Mercy Bestowed
9  Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. . . 13  So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate always at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet. 2 Samuel 9:9-13 (ESV)

David bestows mercy on Mephibosheth by graciously giving him what was lost in his grandfather’s failures, and he shows exceeding kindness by giving Mephibosheth a place of honor at the king’s table.

God bestows mercy on us by graciously restoring to us what was lost in the failures of our forefather, Adam, and he shows exceeding kindness by giving us a place of honor by making us heirs and fellow heirs with Christ.

16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ... Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son . . . Romans 5:10 (ESV)