Psalm 2: Why DO the Nations Rage?

Psalm 2: Why DO the Nations Rage?

Psalm 2 gives us two options, we can either refuse Christ or we can take refuge in Christ.

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

2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2 (ESV)

Those of the world see God’s commands as enslaving, but is that idea truth or that which conforms to reality?

2. The Father’s perspective of God’s plan for the nations.
4  He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5  Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6  “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” Psalm 2:4-6 (ESV)

15  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Isaiah 40:15 (ESV)

 Ultimately, these verses anticipate the coming and physical reign of Christ on this earth during the Millennium.

 3. The Son’s perspective of God’s plan for the nations.
7  I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9  You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:7-9 (ESV)

The New Testament alludes to Jesus’ being “begotten” to describe the Incarnation and its significance as well as Christ’s resurrection.

5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; Hebrews 5:5 (ESV)

32  And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33  this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ Acts 13:32-33 (ESV)

4. The Spirit’s perspective of God’s plan for the nations. 10  Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:10-12 (ESV)

These verses seem to be an appeal for the nations to “consider” God’s power, wrath, and mercy toward a lost and unyielding world, and their need to repent and submit.

To kiss the Son is both an expression of affection and submission.

Wrath Wrapped in Mercy

Wrath Wrapped in Mercy

1. The wrath of God in His judgment
11  And when David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12  “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the LORD, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 13  So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14  Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” 15  So the LORD sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 2 Samuel 24:10-15 (ESV)

 Even after repentance, the consequences of sin remain.

Psalm 89:31-33:  Romans 9:20

 Perhaps David’s choice to fall on God’s mercy indicates he had repented of His failure to trust in God’s all-wise plan rather than in the strength of man.

2. The wrath of God and His mercy

16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father’s house.” 18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. 2 Samuel 24:16-19 (ESV) Psalm 103:8

 It is no coincidence that the angel ceased expressing God’s wrath on the very site that David built an altar and Solomon the temple, a place where God’s mercy and grace would be continuously displayed toward His people. Hebrews 9:22

3. The wrath of God and atonement
20  And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground.
21  And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” 22  Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23  All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” 24  But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
25  And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel. 2 Samuel 24:20-25 (ESV); 1 Chronicles 22:1

The land that David purchased was no ordinary piece of property for it was also the place where Abraham had put his son Isaac on the altar yet God provided a substitution sacrifice in a ram (Gen 22). 2 Chronicles 3:1; Romans 5:20

The Senseless Census

The Senseless Census

 1. The Sovereignty of God in the Census
1 Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 Samuel 24:1 (ESV)

1  Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1 (ESV)

 Though God is sovereign over all circumstances, the Bible affirms that He is never the author of sin. James 1:13

Walter Kaiser put it this way:

It is also true, according to the Hebrew thinking, that whatever God permits he commits. By allowing this census-taking, God is viewed as having brought about the act. The Hebrews were not very concerned with determining secondary causes and properly attributing them to the exact cause. Under the divine providence everything ultimately was attributed to him; why not say he did it in the first place?

 11  so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV); Romans 12:2

 2. The Sin of David in the Census
2  So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 3  But Joab said to the king, “May the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4  But the king’s word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. 5  They crossed the Jordan and began from Aroer, and from the city that is in the middle of the valley, toward Gad and on to Jazer. 6  Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites; and they came to Dan, and from Dan they went around to Sidon, 7  and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and Canaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. 8  So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9  And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000. 2 Samuel 24:2-9 (ESV)

9  "The abundant in years may not be wise, Nor may elders understand justice. Job 32:9 (NASB); Exodus 30:12

 I believe that the best explanation for the sin of numbering Israel probably relates to a nationalistic pride, also seen within the heart of David, that robbed the Lord of His glory. In this regard, God ordained Satan to bring out what was already in the heart of His people. Hosea 7:10

 David’s sin was aggravated because he refused to listen to counsel.

 3. The Conviction of David in the Census
10  But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 2 Samuel 24:10 (ESV)

A million plus men are of no benefit if God is your enemy.

 To David’s credit, when he was assaulted or convicted of his sin, he responded with confession and repentance.

 18  If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18 (ESV)

David’s Heroes

David’s Heroes

 1. God deserves all the credit, especially through the amazing fetes of men.

8  These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time. 9  And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10  He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the LORD brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. 11  And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. 12  But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the LORD worked a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:8-12; Psalm 127:1 (ESV)

 18  Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them and won a name beside the three. 19  He was the most renowned of the thirty and became their commander, but he did not attain to the three.
20  And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21  And he struck down an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22  These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23  He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard. 2 Samuel 23:18-23 (ESV)

 2. Our devotion for God’s man is ultimately devotion for God Himself.

13  And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley ofRephaim.
14  David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15  And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 16  Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the LORD 17  and said, “Far be it from me, O LORD, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore, he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did. 2 Samuel 23:13-17 (ESV); Philippians 2:17-18

 3. Ultimately, all human heroes will fail us except the one TRUE HERO, JESUS.
24  Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25  Shammah of Harod, Elika of Harod, 26  Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa, 27  Abiezer of Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28  Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, 29  Heleb the son of Baanah of Netophah, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the people of Benjamin, 30  Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, 31  Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth of Bahurim, 32  Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33  Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34  Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai of Maacah, Eliam the son of Ahithophel of Gilo, 35  Hezro of Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36  Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37  Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai of Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
38  Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
39  Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all. 2 Samuel 23:24-39 (ESV); 1 Corinthians 15:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:14-15; Isaiah 9:6-7

David’s Last Words: Remember the Promise

David’s Last Words: Remember the Promise


1. What God did for David
1  Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 Samuel 23:1 (ESV)

These last words are probably a prepared public testimony for the entire nation.

 2. What God said through David
2  “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.
3  The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me  . . .2 Samuel 23:2-3 (ESV)

 David’s characteristic of God’s inspired word through him is reminiscent of Paul’s description of Scripture.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

3. What God promised to David
3   . . . When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, 4  he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth. 5  “For does not my house stand so with God . . . 2 Samuel 23:3-5 (ESV)

 David pictures the duties, benefits, and promises for God’s king.

 4. What God covenanted with David
5  “For does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? 2 Samuel 23:5 (ESV)

 David focuses specifically on the covenant that God has made with his house, as seen in the hope that David’s help (or salvation) and desire will prosper.

 5. What God judges according to David
6  But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; 7  but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.” 2 Samuel 23:6-7 (ESV)

 Those who oppose God’s purpose are like thorns that a farmer clears for the good of the land.

38  But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37:38 (ESV)

41  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42  and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42 (ESV)

10  Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:10-12 (ESV)

David’s Poem of Praise: 2 Samuel 22 (Part II)

David’s Poem of Praise: 2 Samuel 22 (Part II)

 3. A God of righteousness (vv. 21-31).

26  “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 27  with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 2 Samuel 22:26-27 (ESV)

 David’s list of virtues with blessings that follow foreshadows Jesus’ teaching on the Beatitudes. Matthew 5:7-8

28  You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. 29  For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. 30  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 31  This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:28-31 (ESV)

David may have been the ‘lamp of Israel,’ (21:17) but it was the Lord Who was his lamp.

4. A God who gives strength to his king (vv. 32-46).
32  “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? 33  This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. 34  He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 35  He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36  You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great. 37  You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip; 2 Samuel 22:32-37 (ESV)

 David confesses that the Lord was the true source of his abilities.

38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and did not turn back until they were consumed. 39  I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet. 40  For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. 41  You made my enemies turn their backs to me, those who hated me, and I destroyed them. 42  They looked, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them. 43  I beat them fine as the dust of the earth; I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets. 2 Samuel 22:38-43 (ESV)

 The Lord, as opposed to David’s talents and abilities, is the true reason for David’s success.

44  “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 45  Foreigners came cringing to me; as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me. 46  Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses. 2 Samuel 22:44-46 (ESV)

 5. A God worth having.
47  “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, 48  the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me, 49  who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence. 50  “For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. 51  Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.” 2 Samuel 22:47-51 (ESV)

 David’s victories as God’s king in a much more significant sense were the Lord’s victories.

 2 Samuel 22:50 in Romans 15:19:
9  and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” Romans 15:9 (ESV)

David's Poem of Praise

David’s Poem of Praise: 2 Samuel 22 (Part 1)

 1.A God worth having
1  And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2  He said, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 3  my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:1-4 (ESV)

 David conveys the truth that God makes Him safe, inferring a personal relationship.

 2. A God who powerfully saves his king

 Troubles that threatened to destroy David:
5  “For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; 6  the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. 7  “In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears. 2 Samuel 22:5-7 (ESV); 1 Samuel 20:3

 A Description of God who is greater than David’s troubles
8  “Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 9  Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. 10  He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. 11  He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind. 12  He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water. 13  Out of the brightness before him coals of fire flamed forth. 14  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice. 15  And he sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning, and routed them. 16  Then the channels of the sea were seen; the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 2 Samuel 22:8-16 (ESV)

 The picturesque intervention of God explains David’s praise.

 The deliverance from David’s difficulties
17  “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 18  He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 19  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. 20  He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 2 Samuel 22:17-20 (ESV)

 David explains relief in terms of rescue.

 3. A God of righteousness (vv. 21-31).
21  “The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 22  For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God. 23  For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. 24  I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. 25  And the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. 2 Samuel 22:21-25 (ESV)

 David moves from answering the question of “what” the Lord had done to “why” He did it.

 This subject is the central concern of the poem and suggests others can know the Lord’s blessing as well. Psalm 51:2; 7


(*outline by John Woodhouse)

Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant

 10  “They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 11  You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it. 12  You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 13  You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14  And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. 15  The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. Exodus 25:8-15 (ESV)

The ark was the first and most important piece of furniture that God told Moses to build, because it was the focal point of God’s presence.

 The ark was smaller than four feet by three feet.

The poles remaining in the ark remind us that one who touched the ark would die, a reality that emphasized the holiness of God. Numbers 4:15

At the bottom of the ark were four feet to keep the Ark from resting directly on the ground. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

16  And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give you. 17  “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18  And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19  Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20  The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21  And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22  There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:16-22 (ESV)

The cherubim are angels who deny access to anyone or anything that is unholy. Ezekiel 1:5-11; 13-14

The picture of the ark and the cherubim is a three dimensional representation of God on His throne in heaven.

The cherubim look down as they are bowing in God’s presence.

The space above the cherubim is left empty for that represents the place of God’s presence, and nothing created can represent God.

If the top of the ark was God’s throne, then the ark was God’s footstool. Psalm 132:7-8

The tablets that contained the ten commandments were deposited in God’s footstool under His feet.

The author of Hebrews states that a jar of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded were also in the ark. Hebrews 9:3-4.

*Outline primarily by Kent Hughes:

David's Team

David’s Team

2 Samuel 21:15-22

 1. You have got to know when to fold em.
15  There was war again between the Philistines and Israel, and David went down together with his servants, and they fought against the Philistines. And David grew weary. 16  And Ishbi-benob, one of the descendants of the giants, whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of bronze, and who was armed with a new sword, thought to kill David. 17  But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and attacked the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall no longer go out with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.” 2 Samuel 21:15-17 (ESV); 1 Samuel 3:3

 It is a man or woman of great prudence and humility who recognizes and is willing to adjust to frailties, weaknesses, and susceptibilities that have developed in his or her life.

 Kingdom thinking will accept wise priorities and role reversal. Proverbs 8:13

 2. There is no I in TEAM
18  After this there was again war with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants.
19  And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 2 Samuel 21:18-19 (ESV); 1 Chronicles 20:5

 In God’s Kingdom, we work together as a team to accomplish the will of the true King, King Jesus. Even David is not an island to himself. Romans 12:4-6

 These soldiers faced tremendous odds and needed courage as we do today in our spiritual battles. Isaiah 41:10

3. Silencing God’s Enemies
20  And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. 21  And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 2 Samuel 21:20-21 (ESV)

 As with Goliath, what matters is not physical abilities but attitude. 1 Samuel 17:4-10; 26

 The point is that those who taunt and deride God and His people will ultimately be silenced.

 4. Promises kept
22  These four were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. 2 Samuel 21:22 (ESV) Genesis 15:18

18  Now then bring it about, for the LORD has promised David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 2 Samuel 3:18 (ESV); Daniel 2:44

Shock And Awe

Shock and Awe

2 Samuel 21:1-14


1. The Shock of Saul’s Zeal and the Awe of God’s Wrath
1  Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”
2  So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. 2 Samuel 21:1-2 (ESV); Job 10:2; Deuteronomy 28:47-48

Saul attacked the Gibeonites under the incorrect presumption that he was following God.

All the historical events in this world are directly connected to the sovereign oversight of God’s providential work.

An injustice is not rectified until God’s standard is met. The statement that “time heals all wounds” is incorrect according to this passage. Psalm 78:34-35; Jeremiah 5:25; Leviticus 26:19-20

2. The Shock of David’sAgreement and the Awe of God’s Mercy
3  And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?” 4  The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?” 5  They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, 6  let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them before the LORD at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the LORD.” And the king said, “I will give them.” . . . and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest. 2 Samuel 21:3-9 (ESV)

Like Joshua, centuries before in relation to the Gibeonites, David failed to inquire of the Lord what he should do. Deuteronomy 24:16; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 21:23.

3. The Shock of Unburied bodies and the Awe of a Mother’s Love
10  Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from the heavens. And she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day, or the beasts of the field by night. 11  When David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12  David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilboa. 13  And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14  And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father. And they did all that the king commanded. And after that God responded to the plea for the land. 2 Samuel 21:10-14 (ESV)

 The main point of this text is to contrast the mess, the mishandling, and the atrocities caused by sin with the compassion and love that is displayed through Rizpah.

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.