The Magnificat: The Magnificence of God

1. The Magnificence of God’s Praise
46  And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, Luke 1:46-47 (ESV)

 We magnify or enlarge God when we take into our thinking some new aspect of His greatness.

 My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Psalm 108:1 (ESV)

 2. The Magnificence of God’s Plan
48  for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49  for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50  And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:48-50 (ESV)

 30  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 (ESV) 

Mary did not dwell on her own happy circumstances but rejoiced in the being and character of God.

 3. The Magnificence of God’s Power
51  He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52  he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; Luke 1:52 (ESV)

 God will humble the pride of intellect, the pride of position, and the pride of wealth.

37  . . . and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. Daniel 4:37 (ESV)

 4. The Magnificence of God’s Provision
53  he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. Luke 1:53 (ESV)

 St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

 We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,

And long to feast upon Thee still;

We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead

And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

 5. The Magnificence of God’s Prophecy
54  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55  as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” Luke 1:54-55 (ESV)

 God fulfills his promises of mercy.


The Visitation

1. Mary’s faith was strengthened through personal confirmation
36  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren . . . 39  In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40  and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. Luke 1:36-40 (ESV)

 Mary made haste to visit Elizabeth because she was eager to see the promised sign given by the angel.

 2. Mary’s faith was strengthened through physical confirmation
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb . . . 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Luke 1:41a;44 (ESV)

 One could say this was John’s first announcement or herald of the coming Messiah, though a silent one.

Genesis 25:22-26

10  'Did You not pour me out like milk And curdle me like cheese; 11  Clothe me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews? Job 10:10-11 (NASB)

3. Mary’s faith was strengthened through prophetic confirmation

41   . . .  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42  and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43  And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me . . . 45  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:41-45 (ESV)

 The filling of the Spirit is connected with the ability to speak a prophetic word in this instance.

Rod Mattoon:

1. He provided enlightenment about the Lord Jesus Christ. Elizabeth had learned of Mary's miraculous conception. He continues to enlighten us today.

13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13 (ESV)

 2. His filling brought about the exultation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elizabeth's song of praise glorified the Lord. His work continues to glorify Christ in our day.

14  He will glorify me . . .  John 16:14 (ESV)

3. His fullness led to enablement in serving the Lord. He enabled Elizabeth to boldly proclaim her song. He emboldens and enables us today to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)

2  “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. 2 Samuel 23:2 (ESV)

 Elizabeth’s loud voice emphasizes both excitement and authority.

 Mary was blessed in her function of being Christ’s mother and in her faith

(outline by John Macarthur)

Gabriel’s Annunciation

1. The Background for Gabriel’s Annunciation
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27 (ESV)

 The contrast of the announcement for John in a worship service with the announcement for Jesus in a humble setting sets the tone for perspective of His ministry.

  14  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

 2. The Greeting of Gabriel’s Annunciation
28  And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. Luke 1:28-29 (ESV)

 The greeting emphasized God’s grace for Mary and His presence with Mary.

 3. The Message in Gabriel’s Annunciation
30  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 (ESV)

 Gabriel’s message is basically a fulfillment of the prophesy given my Nathan to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-14 or 1 Chronicles 17:11-14.

 4. The Question about Gabriel’s Annunciation
34  And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” 35  And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35 (ESV)

 The idea of overshadow can be pictured in the Shekinah cloud that rested on the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34-35

14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (ESV)

 5. The Sign of Gabriel’s Annunciation
36  And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37  For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:36-37 (ESV)

 6. The Response to Gabriel’s Annunciation
38  And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38 (ESV)

Mary’s response reveals both obedience and a submissive spirit.

19   . . . You are not your own, 20  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV); 1 Corinthians 7:23

I'm Speechless: Luke 1:5-25

I’m Speechless


1. The background before the announcement
5  In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6  And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Luke 1:5-7 (ESV)

 A couple’s absence of children was generally seen as a type of reproach in Judaism and in the Old Testament, though clearly the barrenness was not due to some sin on the part of the couple.

 2. The circumstances during the announcement
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. Luke 1:8-11 (ESV)

 For a priest to offer incense was a great privilege that he was allowed to perform only once, and many priests did not even get the opportunity.

 3. The content of the announcement
12  And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13  But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15  for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17  and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:12-17 (ESV); Malachi 4:5-6

 God’s answers sometimes come at a surprising time, in a surprising place, and in a surprising way. (Darrell Bock)

 4. The unbelief in response to the announcement
18  And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19  And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20  And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21  And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22  And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23  And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. Luke 1:18-23 (ESV); Numbers 6:24-26

 5. The joy from the fulfillment of the announcement.
24  After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25  “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” Luke 1:24-25 (ESV)

 Elizabeth had waited for many years for this moment. Now she was going to enjoy the bliss of this miracle shut up on her own, with the Lord. (Michael Bentley)

A Well Researched Gospel

A Well Researched Gospel

The entire paragraph is one long Greek sentence written in the scholarly format of classical Greek.

 In the opening section of this gospel, Luke gives us 3 explanations for why he wrote this gospel.

 1. The precedent for Luke’s Gospel

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, Luke 1:1-2 (ESV)

 These works probably include oral records and the gospels of Matthew and Mark.

 Luke describes three stages in the process which includes the events that were experienced, the witnesses’ formulation of these events, and the recording of the tradition and reflection on the information.

21  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21 (ESV)

 2. The pattern for Luke’s Gospel
3  it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, Luke 1:3 (ESV)

 Luke desired to follow the account of Jesus’ life so as to understand its significance through the process of accurate investigation.

10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 (ESV)

3. The purpose for Luke’s Gospel
4  that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Luke 1:4 (ESV)

 The “certainty” the Luke desires to achieve is for the purpose of encouraging and strengthening the faith of Theophilus.


Psalm 24: When Worship Is Right

Psalm 24: When Worship Is Right


1.      A Recognition of God’s Power

 The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2  for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24:1-2 (ESV); Colossians 1:16

 2.      A Revelation of God’s Purity

3  Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5  He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah Psalm 24:3-6 (ESV)

a. The way to seek God (vv. 3-4).

Jesus condemned the Pharisees who were men of clean hands but corrupt hearts (Mt. 23:25-28).

These statements combine to teach us that true holiness extends to our complete person.

"Clean hands" designate one who is holy in deed, that is, in outward actions as well as inwardly.

b. The results: You will receive God’s blessing and His righteousness (v. 5). Luke 18:13-14

James Boice: I suggest that in order to understand verses 4 and 5, it is best to take the phrases in an inverse order . . .  I would make the order like this:

  1. Vindication (or justification) from God our Savior (v. 5b),

  2. Blessing from the Lord (v. 5a), and then

  3. Clean hands and a pure heart, resulting in a life which does not lift itself up to idols or swear falsely (v. 4).

c. The truth declared: It is such people who truly seek and worship God (v. 6).

3.      A Realization of God’s Presence

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

First, to the people of His day who were receiving the ark of the covenant into their city.

Second, to the people in the future who would receive Jesus into Jerusalem at His triumphal entry, shortly before His crucifixion (Mt. 21:1-11).

Third, to the people in the last days who will receive Christ as King when He returns to earth in power and glory (Re. 1:7; 19:11-21).

a. The need: To open up the gates and doors to the King of glory (v. 7).

b. The reason: The King of glory is the Lord who is strong and mighty (v. 8).

c. The need and reason reemphasized (v. 9-10).

 (*Notes provided by the Preachers Outline and Sermon Bible.)

My Shepherd: Psalm 23

My Shepherd: Psalm 23


1. The Provision of the Shepherd

1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 (ESV)

70  He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71  from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. Psalm 78:70-71 (ESV)

19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

 2. The Restoration of the Shepherd
2  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2

 3. The Guidance of the Shepherd
3  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 (ESV)

 4. The Protection of the Shepherd
4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (ESV)

 5. The Victory of the Shepherd
5  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 (ESV)

11  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 8:11 (ESV)

 6. The Assurance of the Shepherd
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6 (ESV)

The Mercy Seat

The Mercy Seat:

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 25:17-22 (ESV)

 God was above the ark of the covenant. The ten commandments in the ark could not save but only condemn the people. The lid of the ark or atonement cover was called the mercy seat.

The mercy seat was only put into use once a year on the Day of Atonement.

11  “Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself.
12  And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil 13  and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die. 14  And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat on the east side, and in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. 15  “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it over the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat. 16  Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. Leviticus 16:11-16 (ESV)

The Bible often describes the work of Christ on the cross in terms of the mercy seat or propitiation.

17  Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17 (ESV)

23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Romans 3:23-25 (ESV)

 2  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 (ESV)

 In these verses, the atoning sacrifice or propitiation (hilasterion) refers directly to the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat.

The Psalm Of The Cross (Psalm 22)

Jesus’ cry to the Father

1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2  O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV); Matthew 27:46

 Jesus’ trust in the Father

3  Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4  In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5  To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. Psalm 22:3-5 (ESV)

6  But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6 (ESV); Matthew 27:39-44

 Jesus’ experience of being mocked
7  All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8  “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Psalm 22:7-8 (ESV); Mark 15:29; Matthew 27:43

 Jesus’ appeal to the Father
12  Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13  they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. Psalm 22:12-13 (ESV)

14  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
15  my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. Psalm 22:14-15 (ESV); John 19:28; Isaiah 53:10

16  For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
17  I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;
18  they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Psalm 22:16-18 (ESV); John 20:25; Matthew 27:35

19  But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20  Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! Psalm 22:19-20 (ESV)

 Jesus’ song of praise
21 Save me from the lion's mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me. Psalm 22:21 (NASB)

Jesus preaching as the risen Christ.
22  I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23  You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24  For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. Psalm 22:22-24 (ESV); Hebrews 2:10-12 (ESV)

 Jesus’ Mission as the Risen Christ
27  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28  For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29  All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. Psalm 22:27-29 (ESV)

30  Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31  they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. Psalm 22:30-31 (ESV)

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.