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

Characters:

 Amnon:

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)

Jonadab:

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

1.Kindness
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)

The Kingdom Foreshadowed: 2 Samuel 8


1.The Victory of David
1After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. 2And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute. 3David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates. 4And David took from him 1,700 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for 100 chariots. 5And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 men of the Syrians. 6Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. 7And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8  And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much bronze. 
2 Samuel 8:1-8 (ESV)

David, as a type of Christ, was able to achieve victory and occupy the land God had promised to give the descendants of Abraham.

2. The Dedication of David
9When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to ask about his health and to bless him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him, for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold, and of bronze. 11These also King David dedicated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14Then he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. 
2 Samuel 8:9-14 (ESV)

David recognized that the Lord had given them the victory and he revealed his loyalty to God and His kingdom in committing the treasures recovered to God’s purposes.

3. The Service of David
15So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder, 17and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Seraiah was secretary, 18and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David’s sons were priests. 
2 Samuel 8:15-18 (ESV)

David exhibited great justice and impartiality in accordance with God’s precepts in his administration, and he pursued principles based on what God considered right.

When You’ve Just Got to Respond: A Lesson on Prayer - 2 Samuel 7:18-29

1. The Presence of God in prayer
18Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said...
2 Samuel 7:18 (ESV)

11You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 
Psalm 16:11 (ESV) 

2. The Praise to God in prayer
18...“Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! 20And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! 21Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 22Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 
2 Samuel 7:18-22 (ESV)

David praises God both for Who He is and what He has done. Psalm 104:1

3. The Faithfulness of God in prayer
23And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? 24And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O LORD, became their God. 
2 Samuel 7:23-24 (ESV)

God’s covenant faithfulness relates to the community of Israel, and we should also perceive His faithfulness in relation to the community of our local church. Psalm 89:1

4. The Glory of God in prayer
25And now, O LORD God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. 26And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 
2 Samuel 7:25-27 (ESV)

David reminds us that our primary motive for everything we pray should be for the glory of God.  

5. The Petition to God in Prayer
28And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.” 
2 Samuel 7:28-29 (ESV)

We should petition God along the lines of what He has promised to do. Psalm 119:81-82

Faith is the vehicle through which many of God’s promises flow.

The Davidic Covenant/Promise

The Davidic Covenant/Promise

1. The Dynasty of the Davidic Covenant
11from 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)

David longed to build a house or temple for the Lord, but instead the Lord would build a house or dynasty for David.

2. The Seed of the Davidic Covenant
12When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body...
2 Samuel 7:12 (ESV)

The promise points beyond David’s lifetime and will not be destroyed by David’s death.

The phrase “Your offspring” basically communicates that it would be David’s offspring that would fulfill the initial promise to the “offspring” or seed of Abraham.

17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 
Genesis 22:17 (ESV)

16Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.                      Galatians 3:16 (NASB)

3. The Divine initiative of the Davidic Covenant
12...and I will establish his kingdom. 
2 Samuel 7:12 (ESV)

4. The Temple and the Davidic Covenant          
13He shall build a house for my name...
2 Samuel 7:13 (ESV)

5.  The Eternal reign and the Davidic Covenant.
13 . . . I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 2 Samuel 7:13 (ESV)

6.  The Title of God’s Son and the Davidic Covenant
14  I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son . . . 2 Samuel 7:14 (ESV)

1  When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea 11:1 (ESV)

Just as the offspring of Abraham as in “Israel” was God’s “son,” so now the offspring of David as in “the King of Israel” will be God’s “son”

7 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Psalm 2:7 (ESV)

7.  The Chastisement in the Davidic Covenant
14 . . . When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15  but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.                                                                                                   2 Samuel 7:14-15 (ESV)

16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17  In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David. 2 Samuel 7:16-17 (ESV)                                                            Psalm 89:1-4.

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.