Second Samuel, chapter one.
First Samuel dealt with the reign of King Saul over Israel, and it ends with the death of Saul at the hands of the Philistines. Saul, the tragic story of a man who had many natural abilities, and many God-given opportunities; yet, his was a wasted life, and never achieving the full potential of his being. A life of failure because he failed to submit himself totally to God.
As the prophet Samuel said to him, “Because you have rejected the Lord from ruling over you,” and that was the basic flaw of Saul’s life, he had rejected the Lord from ruling over his own life. He was a self-determined, self-governed man, self-willed, and that destroyed him from achieving and attaining those things that God intended for his life. The story of failure. Dying at the hands of the Philistines, his body being mutilated, hung on the wall of the temple in Bethshan, until the men of Gilead came and cut it down, and buried it over in Gilead, the other side of Jordan.
Now the fact that the men of Jabeshgilead broke through the lines of the Philistines and rescued the bodies of Saul and his sons is interesting because Saul’s career as king sort of began with the situation that developed at Jabeshgilead. There was an invading king who came to Jabeshgilead and demanded that the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead surrender, or that they capitulate to him, on the basis of plucking out the eyes of all of the men, and laying them out, the right eyes, and laying them out before them. So they cried unto Saul for help, who came with the army of Israel, and destroyed this invading army.
So the city of Jabeshgilead was saved by Saul, and that was the thing that sort of catapulted Saul into prominence and into acceptance by the people as king over Israel. Up until that time there were men who were saying, “Saul rule over us, who is he?” and there were those that were objecting to Saul’s reign. But when he came to the rescue of Jabeshgilead led the armies of Israel to victory, then he was catapulted into the limelight, became the king over Israel. So it is significant that the men of Jabeshgilead who came and rescued his body, they of course felt a great obligation and debt to Saul.
Now Saul’s greatest failure perhaps was his failure to obey the commandment of God, to utterly wipe out the Amalekites. God sent him down against Amalek. With the instructions he’s to utterly wipe them out. When he came back from the victory, and Samuel came out to meet him, he greeted Samuel with the words, “As the Lord liveth, I have done everything the Lord commanded me to do.” That was a giant lie. He had not done everything the Lord had commanded him to do. He had not utterly destroyed the Amalekites. He had left many of them alive. He utterly destroyed the weakest of the cattle, the ill-favored sheep, but he kept the best of cattle, the best sheep, he kept king Agag alive, plus he allowed many of the other Amalekites to live.
Now in Scripture there is interesting typologies, so that Egypt becomes a type of our old life in the bondage of sin in the world. The Red Sea becomes a type of baptism where I come out of the old life and into a new relationship with God. The wilderness becomes a type of that life, though redeemed; yet still dominated by the flesh. Coming into the Promised Land is a type of coming into the full walk and life of the Spirit. In biblical typology Amalek is a type of the flesh life. There are many places in the Scriptures where Amalek is given as a type of the flesh, and the life of the flesh. Thus, when God ordered the utter destruction of the Amalekites, God was ordering in a sense, the utter destruction of the flesh.
In Romans eight, it said, “If we thereby do mortify the deeds of the flesh,” or put to death “the deeds of the flesh, we shall live. Know ye not that your old man was crucified with Christ?” As Paul declares, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
Now God has not developed any programs of reform for your flesh. God has only one edict for your flesh, and that’s let it be crucified. The Bible says, “Give no place for the flesh to fulfill the desires thereof.” God ordered its utter destruction. It’s not to rule over you. By the Spirit mortify the deeds of the flesh, in order that you might live. For the mind of the flesh is death. God doesn’t seek to reform, or modify our fleshly activities, He said, “Don’t give any place for them, let it be crucified.” Thus the command to utterly, utterly wipe out the Amalekites is an important command in a spiritual sense.
As we get into the first chapter of second Samuel, we see something very interesting indeed.
Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites (1:1),
Now you see the Amalekites were still very much alive, David had had an experience with them when he took his men and went up to join with Achish in the battle because the city of Ziklag where he was living was emptied of all of the men. The Amalekites came in and stole all of their things, burned their city, and took all of their wives and children captive. Now had Saul utterly destroyed the Amalekites, they couldn’t have done this. You know if you leave a place for the flesh, it’s going to come back to haunt you. If you leave a foot hold of the flesh in your life, it’s going to come back to destroy you.
So David and his men were two days in Ziklag; And it came to pass on the third day, that, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul with his clothes torn, and he had earth upon his head: [Or he put dirt upon his head.] and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and he did obeisance. And David said unto him, Where have you come from? And he said, Out of the camp of Israel I have escaped. David said unto him, How did the battle go? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance there on mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and the horsemen were following hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and he called unto me. And I answered, Here I am. And he said unto me, Who are you? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. [One from that nation that God ordered Saul to utterly destroy.] And he said to me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and his bracelets, and I have brought them to you (1:1-10).
Now one of two things here. In the last chapter we read that Saul fell on his sword and died. It may be that this Amalekite is making up this story about Saul, thinking that he’s going to get in good with David, because he killed David's—it would be wrong to say David’s enemy, because actually Saul was never David’s enemy. David was an enemy of Saul. But the one who had been trying to destroy David, David’s adversary. And maybe he felt that by making up a story, “I killed him,” that he would find favor in David’s eyes. It could be this is a lie, and it could be that it is true.
In the last chapter we read that Saul turned to his armourbearer and said, “Kill me,” because he had been shot through with an arrow. He figured he was going to die, and he didn’t want the Philistines to catch him, and torture him actually. He was afraid of being tortured by them, as they’d get him alive. So he asked his armourbearer to kill him, but the armourbearer was afraid to do it. So Saul set out his sword in front of him, and he lunged himself out on his sword to run it through him to kill himself. When his armourbearer saw that Saul had fallen upon his sword, he set his sword out and he fell upon his sword also.
Now it could be that the young man is telling the truth. Even after running himself through with his own sword, falling on his sword, it could be that still he had not fully, still he was still alive, and he saw this young man, said, “Who are you?”
“I’m an Amalekite.”
“Kill me please I don’t want the Philistines to torture me, catch me and torture me.” It could be that he did slay him, or it could be that he’s making up this story, that he came and found Saul dead, ripped off his crown and bracelets and made up the story. I don’t know. You’re only left to conjecture. Nobody really knows for certain.
However there is an interesting thing here, if indeed this young man did kill Saul, it would make an interesting spiritual analogy concerning our flesh, and that is if we don’t utterly destroy the flesh, ultimately the flesh is going to destroy us. Had he utterly wiped out the Amalekites, then this young Amalekite boy could never have killed him. But his failure to obey the Lord, and utterly wipe out the Amalekites, it came back and a young Amalekite boy killed him. It is true that God tells us to put to death the flesh, the things of the flesh because if we don’t, if we keep making allowances and tolerate our flesh, you can be sure the flesh is going to come back and destroy you. Make no provisions for the flesh life, walking after the flesh, but walk after the Spirit.
So David, when he got this news, wept and he fasted. He wouldn’t eat anything. And he began to mourn the death of Saul and Jonathan.
Then David took hold of his clothes, and he just ripped them; [Of course this was always a sign of great emotion and feeling, you just ripped your clothes.] he mourned, and wept, and fasted until the evening, for Saul, and Jonathan, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they had fallen by the sword. And David said to the young man that told him this, Who are you? And he answered, I am the son of a stranger, I’m an Amalekite. And David said to him, Weren’t you afraid to stretch forth your hand against the anointed of the Lord (1:11-14)?
“How is it that you would destroy God’s anointed?” Now again it is interesting the tremendous respect David had for the anointing of God. This marvelous respect for God’s anointing upon a person’s life. Because of that anointing upon Saul, because he had been anointed to be king, David wouldn’t touch him.
Now David did prophesy, “God will either strike him, or he may fall in battle,” and as David said, “he may fall in battle,” exactly what did happen to Saul, he fell in battle. But David wouldn’t touch him. “I’ll not stretch forth my hand to touch God's anointed.”
So when this young man came and said that, “He begged me, and I killed him.” David said, “Weren’t’ you afraid to touch God’s anointed?”
And he called one of his young men, and he said, Fall on him [with your sword because he dared to touch the anointed of God. And so one of David’s young men fell upon him,] and killed this young man. [Who thought no doubt that David would promote him, and give him a position of honor, maybe even give him a reward for what he had done, and David rewarded him, but not as he thought.] And David said, Your blood be upon your head; because from your own mouth you’ve testified against yourself that you have slain the Lord’s anointed. And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: [This beautiful lamentation of David.] (Also he had them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) [And this is his lamentation.] The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen. Tell it not in Gath, [Which was one of the principal Philistine cities.] publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; [Which was another of the five major cities of the Philistines.] lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph (1:15-20).
Actually when the men came back from the war with the victories and all, the young girls would get their tambourines and they would come out in their dances. They would go through their dances praising the men for their battle, and their valor, and their victories and all. David could see the celebrations in his mind that were going on in these Philistine cities. Because this mighty man Saul, and this beloved friend Jonathan were slain. So he’s crying out, “Don’t publish it in Gath. Don’t publish it in Ashkelon lest the daughters of the Philistines come out in their dances, and they rejoice.”
Then he turned to the Mount Gilboa where Saul fell, and he said,
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, and the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, and from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions (1:21-23).
Now this sort of curse upon Mount Gilboa, because Saul had fallen. “Let there not be the dew of heaven, or rain fall upon thee. Let there not be wheat fields grow upon thee.” Very interesting because you go to Israel today, and look at Mount Gilboa, and it’s barren, a rocky, barren mountain. Now all around it the mountains are just covered with trees lush, beautiful, and green. But Gilboa stands out because of its barrenness.
Now I guess the people of Israel sort of helped this prophecy out because in all the reforestation of Israel, they planted millions of trees, but they won’t plant trees on Mount Gilboa because of this lament of David.
So it is interesting that Mount Gilboa remains barren to the present day, in fulfillment of this lament of David. It’s always just sort of interesting to look at Gilboa, and see the barrenness of it, and then remember “Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be any rain upon you, or fields of offerings.”
Then he addresses himself to the daughters of Israel,
Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, and with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle. O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished (1:24-27).
Now there are some perverted minds who declare that David and Jonathan had homosexual relationships, a homosexual relationship going between them because of this declaration of David, and such thing is the worst kind of trash. It’s blasphemous. No such thing is inferred from this in the Hebrew text at all. It’s blasphemous.
Now it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, and he said, Shall I go up to Judah (2:1)?
Now to me it is interesting as we observe David, he doesn’t take any actions without first of all seeking guidance from God. Now there’s a Scripture that says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path”(Proverbs 3:4,5).
Now many times we complain that we don’t know what God wants. We are confused as to the leading of God within our lives. Oftentimes it is as James says, “You have not because you ask not.” The Scripture tells us that if in all of our ways we acknowledge Him, He will direct our paths. You see our problem is that we’re prone to just go ahead and barge in, then later say, “Lord, what am I doing here? Why did You allow me get in this place?” Whereas, had I stopped beforehand and said, “Lord, shall I go in?” He would’ve said, “No stay out of there, there’s problems in there.” So it’s important that we acknowledge the Lord in everything, and if we do, then God will direct our paths. Here David is a classic example of seeking the guidance of the Lord in every move.
Now you remember he was living in the city of the Philistines. Actually, the king of Gath, Achish had given him this city of Ziklag because Saul had been chasing him all over, and he got tired of running from Saul, figured Saul was finally going to catch up with him and kill him. So he fled over to the Philistines knowing that Saul wouldn’t pursue him there. Achish gave him this Philistine City of Ziklag.
So David now says, “Lord, shall I go to one of the cities of Judah?”
And the Lord answered David and said, Go up. And David said, Where shall I go Lord? And the Lord said, To Hebron. [So here is David inquiring of the Lord, seeking the guidance of God for each move that he makes.] So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail Nabal’s wife the Carmelite. And his men that were with him David brought up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came, and they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were those that buried Saul (2:1-4).
So they came, anointed David king and he was informed at that point of the men of Jabeshgilead who took Saul’s body and Jonathan’s body out of the temple at Bethshan and took them over to Jabeshgilead for a decent burial.
So David sent messengers unto the men of Jabeshgilead, and said to them, Blessed be ye of the LORD, that you have showed this kindness unto your lord, even unto Saul, and you have buried him. And now may the LORD shew kindness and truth unto you: and I also will requite you this kindness, because you have done this thing. [“I’ll remember this,” David said.] Therefore let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me to be king over them. However Abner the son of Ner, who was the captain of Saul’s host, [He was the one that David had chided earlier because he had failed to guard Saul.] he took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; [Which is on the other side of Jordan.] And he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. So Ishbosheth Saul’s son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David. And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months (2:5-11).
So the kingdom is divided. Later on the kingdom is to be divided again at the time of David’s grandson Rehoboam. Because of his stupidity, the northern ten tribes pulled out and formed a separate nation Israel, the southern two tribes became known as Judah. But David ruled only over Judah. The rest of the tribes swore their allegiance to Saul’s son Ishbosheth under Abner’s instigation.
Now Abner it would seem, knew that God had anointed David to be king. Abner was actually a cousin to Saul and was probably more or less seeking to reign himself, but using Ishbosheth as sort of a figurehead. So it was his own ambitions more or less to rule, and Ishbosheth, because he was the son of Saul, became sort of a figurehead, sort of like Carter is. Not really ruling you know, but just taking orders from those that control the things.
Now Ishbosheth was forty years old when he began to reign. David was thirty years old when he began his reign in Hebron. David reigned for seven years and six months in Hebron, over just Judah. It wasn’t until seven and a half years later that there came to David the rulers of Israel, and said, “We want you to rule over all of us.” So his reign began in Hebron over just the tribe of Judah.
Now Abner [Who was the general, and more or less the guy in charge of Israel.] and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. And Joab [who was David’s general], and the servants of David, went out, and they met them together by the pool of Gibeon: and they sat down, one on one side of the pool, and one on the other side of the pool (2:12-13).
These guys are tough, bloody men of war, there’s very little to be admired in Joab. In fact Joab was a very cruel, and difficult person, tough as nails. David tolerated him because he had such tremendous devotion to David, and he was such a tremendous fighter. But David really was never comfortable with Joab because of the nature of the fellow. So what we read now isn’t at all commendable or pleasant, or it just shows really the corrupt nature of man. So here’s Abner with the men of Israel, young fellows, here’s Joab from David, they’re sitting by this pool, and they say, “How about having a little sport?”
“All right.” So ten of the young men of David, and ten from Abner got out to entertain these two generals.
They all of them grabbed each other by the head, and ran each other through with their swords (2:16);
Great sport, you know it’s just sort of hard for us in our Christian, Western culture, to even imagine such a thing as being sporting or whatever. So that escalated into a real battle, and Joab and his men jumped up, and Abner and his men, and Joab began to prevail. The men of David began to prevail over those of Abner. Abner and his men began to flee.
There were three sons there [Two brothers of Joab, actually three sons.] of Zeruiah, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: now Asahel was as fleet as a deer. [He was just a great runner.] And as Abner was fleeing, Asahel started chasing him. [But evidently Asahel didn’t have any armour, just running after him.] And Abner turned around, and said, Hey grab thee armour from one of those young boys, in order that you may be able to have sort of a fair fight. But he wouldn’t do it. [He just kept right on his heels, just running after him, right on his heels.] Finally Abner said, Hey turn away: why should I smite you? But he wouldn’t listen he just stayed right on his heels: and finally Abner ran him through with his spear; all the way through and Asahel died there (2:18-23).
As the men of David came up to the spot, they just sort of waited, sort of shocked to see Asahel the brother of Joab dead. And when Joab and his men came up then they were getting ready to pursue again in the morning. It was evening, and they in the morning started to pursue.
Abner was up on a hill. And he said, Shall we fight with a sword forever? [We’re just going to—What value is it?] So Joab said, Good thing you said that or else we would’ve been destroying each other (2:25-27).
And Joab and his men went home. However, Joab in his heart carried that desire for vengeance against Abner.
Now there was a long war [Verse, chapter three] between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David became stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul became weaker and weaker (3:1).
Now David began to display a weakness that ultimately led him to that terrible sin for which he received so much notoriety. He began to add wives and concubines. So we have here a list of six sons that were born to him while in Hebron, and all six of them by different wives. So he just started taking wives and women into his harem, so to speak. Of course, his son Solomon carried this thing to ridiculous extremes, but David started multiplying wives.
Now that was one of the things that the kings were not to do according to the commandment of God in Deuteronomy. “When you set up kings, they’re not to multiply wives,” and so forth. But David started doing that, and it shows a weakness in David’s flesh that ultimately led him to that great sin with Bathsheba.
Now Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah (3:7),
Saul of course had done the same thing. He had wives and concubines. This one concubine Rizpah had borne Saul two sons.
So Ishbosheth said to Abner, Why have you gone into my father’s concubine (3:7)?
Now this evidently was a false charge. It was a grievous charge. Actually, to go into another man’s concubine, even though the other man was dead, it was symbolic of taking over his authority and his rule.
You remember later on in David’s career when Absalom his son rebelled against him, and David fled from Jerusalem as Absalom was moving up from Hebron with his troops. David deserted from Jerusalem. When Absalom came into the city, he went into David’s concubines there in the sight of all the people, went into where David’s concubines were, which was equivalent to ascending to David’s place and taking over David’s place.
So the accusation, “You’ve gone into my father’s concubine. Why did you do that?” was equivalent of saying, “What are you trying to do? Take over my father’s place.”
And Abner became [extremely upset with this false allegation, and he was] very angry with Ishbosheth, and he said, Am I a dog’s head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto Saul thy father, and to his brothers and friends, and have I not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me today with a fault concerning this woman? [“And I’ve not delivered thee into the hand of David. Look what I’ve done for you and yet you’re making this stupid allegation.”] So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him (3:8-9);
Now notice, he knew that the Lord had sworn to David, that David should be the king. In spite of the fact that he knew that the Lord had sworn to David that he should be king, yet he had gone against that in establishing Ishbosheth upon the throne. So it was something that he knew was wrong and yet he did it.
[So I swear to David] to translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba (3:10).
Now Dan is up in the furthermost northern part of Israel, it’s where the Jordan River comes right out of the ground and begins its course southward. Beersheba was on the southern extreme, just on the border of the wilderness from which area south, it was just desert wilderness area. So it sort of circumcised the northern and southern borders of Israel from Dan to Beersheba.
And Ishbosheth could not answer Abner a word again, because he was afraid of him. So Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make a league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with you, to bring about all Israel to you. And he said, Well; I will make a league with you: but one thing I require of thee, and that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except you first bring me Michal Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face (3:11-13).
Now Saul had of course done a dirty deal to David and he had promised David his daughter as a wife because of the killing of the Philistine. He promised, “Whoever kills the Philistine giant can marry my daughter.” He gave his daughter Mirab to another fellow, and then he heard that Michal was in love with David, he said, “Ah, she’s a little vixen; she’ll fix him, so I’ll let him marry her.” He was really planning to let her just be an irritant to David. Probably a self-willed, strong little gal, and he figured she’d really give him a bad time. So he allowed David to marry Michal, but when David fled from Saul’s presence, then Saul gave Michal to another man, Phaltiel, and he became her husband. But this other guy was really crazy about her.
David sort of is not—a lot of David I admire, and there’s some that I don’t admire, and this is one part that I really don’t admire. He almost is vindictive at this point. He’s just wanting almost to just prove something, which he really doesn’t need to prove. When Abner sent the message, “I’d like to make a league with you. I’ll turn all Israel into your hands.”
He said, “That’s fine, I’ll be glad to, but you can’t see my face unless you bring Michal,” who was his wife. Now as I pointed out, he had already taken a bunch of wives in Hebron, a bunch of concubines and wives, and it wasn’t really because of some sexual deprivation or whatever that he was wanting this gal. It was just to prove some kind of an ego point or something.
So David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which was espoused to me for [a dowry that he had given to Saul for her.] And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband [This is a sad scene because evidently he liked her.] and he went after her weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, Go, and return. And he returned. And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, You sought for David in times past to be the king over you: Now then do it: for the LORD has spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. [So he knew that David had been anointed of God, and that God had declared that through David they would be delivered.] And Abner also spake in the ears of the tribe of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and seemed good to all the house of Benjamin. So Abner came to David to Hebron, twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. And Abner said to David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, and they will make a league with thee, that you may reign over all that your heart desires. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace. And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop (3:14-22),
Now at this time Joab was gone when Abner was down here, and there was this bitterness that was being harbored in Joab’s heart against Abner because Abner killed his brother. So when Joab came back the guys said, “Did you know that Abner was here, and he made a league with David?” Joab said, “No, you sure?”
So Joab sent men after Abner saying, [Come on back there are some further things to discuss.] So Abner returned, and Joab met him in the gate and said, I want to talk to you, and took him in to a place and ran him through the heart, through the fifth rib, [Which is where the position of your heart, so he smote him under the fifth rib.] and he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. Now when David heard it, he said, I and my kingdom are guiltless before the LORD for ever for the blood of Abner the son of Ner: Let it rest on the head of Joab, and on his father’s house (3:26-29);
Now here David actually curses Joab and his house for this deed, it’s cruel, it’s vindictive, it’s wrong, and David acknowledges the wrongness of it. He curses the house of Joab. Horrible curse.
let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper, or that leaneth on a staff, or that falls on the sword, or that lacks bread (3:29).
Man, he really wiped them out. You know, “Let there be a plague upon his house. Let them be crippled, let them fall by the sword, let them become beggars, let them be destitute.”
So Joab and Abishai his brother slew Abner, because he had slain their brother in Gibeon. And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Tear your clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And David followed the casket. And they buried Abner there in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all of the people wept with him. And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so you fell. And all the people wept again over him (3:30-34).
So David is giving a public demonstration of his disapproval of Joab’s deeds. So that everyone knew that David disapproved of the thing that Joab did. Cursing Joab and Joab’s house for it, and putting on a big demonstration at the funeral, and lamenting over the death of Abner.
And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or anything else, till the sun goes down. And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them: and whatsoever the king did pleased all the people (3:35-36).
Now David was behaving himself very wisely, and allowing God to work, to establish the kingdom with him. In other words, though he knew that he had been anointed by God to be king over Israel, he figured, “If God anointed me king, and God wants me to be king, God is able to work out the circumstances.” So David isn’t in there trying to work things out for himself. He’s letting God take care of all of these things. He’s behaving himself very wisely and prudently and the people are noticing it, and are really being attracted and drawn to David because he shows that he does have a heart, and he does desire the right thing. He’s not really out promoting himself.
Now in one of the Psalms we are told, “Promotion comes not from the east or the west, but promotion comes from the Lord”(Psalm 75:6). David really believed that. He wasn’t out trying to exalt himself, and promote himself; he was just waiting for God to do it.
That’s an important lesson. It would be good if each of us would follow the same thing. It seems that so many people are out to hype themselves, and to hype their programs. The world is filled with big hypes, everybody trying to hype everybody else. But David was not seeking to promote himself. He was just waiting upon God and letting the things fall, and letting God do it. Having that kind of confidence in God, “If this is what God wants, this is what God is able to bring to pass.”
How beautiful it is to have a commitment to the purposes of God knowing that if I just stay open and yielded, God is able to work His purposes out in my life, and not try to push things, or press things, because I know that this is what God wants. I know that this is what’s right. So I get in and I push and press. I can actually push myself ahead of God and out of the will of God. It is better if I just kick back, “All right God, if that’s what You want, I’m open to it, I’m ready for it, but I’m going to let You work the thing out.” It is so much better when God does the promotion.
I look at what God has done here, without any full-page ads in the paper, and radio ads, and the big hypes and all. Look what God has done. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Years ago when we were still over in the other church, God was pouring out His Spirit and blessing us. So many at that time of the hippie kids were coming in and receiving Christ. It was sort of a novelty, as far as the news media was concerned. Of course, CBS had been down and done a story, and Look Magazine had done a story, and there had been a lot of—Reader’s Digest did a story, and there was just a lot of publicity going out, BBC, the German broadcasting system, magazines in Europe, magazines in South America, everybody.
In fact I was in Israel a couple of weeks ago and a French man came up to me, and he said, “You wouldn’t happen to be Chuck Smith would you?”
I said, “Yes.”
And he said, “Oh praise the Lord. Oh brother, this is exciting.” He said, “I read about you ten years ago in a magazine in France, and I saw your picture. I thought I recognized you.”
I thought, “All right. Ten years ago and you still recognize me.”
So all of this publicity and we weren’t out beating bushes, or trying to, you know, it was there and of course people were coming then to see the “hippie church,” and the “Jesus people,” and all of that.
Well, I read in Time magazine, they had a big write up on Blacks Beach down in San Diego. Twenty kids stripped to the buff and went swimming. It made this big article in Time of these young people in California, the drug scene, and nude bathing and all this kind of stuff, nude public bathing and the whole thing. It was a big splash because there were twenty kids down at Blacks Beach in San Diego that swam in the buff. Well it so happened that we were having a baptismal coming up at Del Mar. There were about a thousand kids to be baptized. I thought to myself, I ought to call the religion editor of Time magazine, and tell him that other things are happening in the beaches of California than just a few kids swimming in the nude. That’s some exciting thing. I mean, if you got twenty kids swimming in the nude, but you’ve got a thousand kids who are getting baptized, committing their lives to Jesus Christ. If twenty kids swimming in the nude were worthy, the article in Time and all, space and Time, surely ought to be worthy a little article in Time magazine also. Sort of as a contrast kind of an article.
As I was driving home, I was thinking about, “Well, I just need to call the religion editor of Time Magazine and let him know what’s going on because he could maybe send a reporter out, and cover the story, and it would just make a good, good story for Time.” As I was thinking this, driving home, the Lord spoke to my heart, and He said, “Who has been your publicity agent up till now?”
I said, “Well, You have Lord.”
He said, “Aren’t you satisfied with the job that I’m doing? You’ve been in Look Magazine, you’ve been in Reader’s Digest, you’ve been on CBS, and NBC. Aren’t’ you satisfied with the job I’m doing?”
I said, “Oh Lord, forgive me. How stupid of me of thinking to call somebody to try to get some publicity to what is happening here.” I just repented and asked the Lord to forgive me for even thinking of trying to publicize what God was doing.
I got home and there was a stranger in my living room. It was rather unusual in those days. So my wife said, “Honey this fellow is a reporter from Time Magazine and he’s been sent out here to do a story on the Jesus people.”
So the fellow introduced himself, shook hands, he said, “Do you have anything like a baptism or something coming up that we could—”
I said, “Oh Lord, You’re just always a step or two ahead.” You don’t have to get out and hype something. You don’t have to get out and promote, and you don’t have to get out and spend a lot of God’s dollars in advertising. God is able to do His work. How good it is for us to rest in God.
Now when a person strives to attain a goal, and you’ve achieved and attained your goal by great strivings, big hypes, publicities, and all this kind of stuff, when you strive to attain, then you must strive to maintain. You got this big ball rolling, but now you’ve got to keep pushing to keep the thing rolling. It’s a constant striving, constant effort, and the ministers are just dropping off with heart attacks, and everything else, because so much push, so much pressure. But when you don’t strive to attain, then you don’t have to strive to maintain. You can just kick back, go to Hawaii once in a while. God’s going to keep the thing you know, if He wants to, and if He doesn’t then all of our efforts isn’t going to keep it anyhow.
The work of the Lord, the purposes of God, He is fully able to accomplish. David had this as a deep consciousness. “God is able to accomplish His purposes, I don’t have to get in and push, I don’t have to get in and strive, God’s able to do it.” He was using real wisdom just letting the things fall as God directed, rather than getting in and striving. Thus, we can learn much from David’s example in these things. So everything that David did was pleasing the king. He was behaving himself properly.
And all of the people throughout all of Israel understood that it wasn’t David’s desire to destroy Abner. And the king said to his servants, [These are beautiful words.] Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel? And I am this day weak, though I’m the king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah they’re too much for me: may the Lord reward the doer of evil according to his wickedness (3:37-39).
So Joab and his brother Abashi, David said, “They’re just too much for me, may God take care of them.” Well, David took care of them later. We’ll get to that as we move on in Samuel. David got Joab ultimately.
Now when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all of Israel was troubled. And Saul’s son had two men that were the captains of his bands (4:1-2):
These two men came into the palace as though they were going to get some wheat, and then they jumped on him while he was taking his afternoon nap. They smote him under the fifth rib, a common phrase, it means they ran him through the heart. They escaped, they cut off his head and escaped. They came running to David with the head of Ishbosheth.
So they said to David, Behold here is the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul your enemy, which sought your life; and the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. And David answered [these two generals] Rechab and Baanah his brother, and said to them, As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity, When a young man told me that Saul was dead, thinking that he was bringing good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him there at Ziklag, when he thought that I was going to give him a reward for those tidings: How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hands, and take you away from the earth? And so David commanded his young men, and they slew them, cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and they buried it there in the grave of Abner there in Hebron (4:8-12).
So David again showed that he was not trying to promote himself, and punished these men who did this dastardly deed to Ishbosheth.
Then all of the tribes came to David there in Hebron, and they said, Behold, we’re of your bone, we’re of your flesh. In times past, when Saul was king, you were the one that led us out to victories over our enemies: and you, the LORD said to you, You are to feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all ye elders of Israel came to the king in Hebron; and King David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. And David was thirty years old when he began to reign, he reigned for forty years. Seven of those years there in Hebron and thirty-three years there in Judah, or Jerusalem over all of Israel (5:1-5).
Now notice David was called to feed God’s people, and to be captain over them. God’s people always need feeding. Jesus said to Peter, “Lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep”(John 21:16). Peter later wrote “feed the flock of God that is among you”(1 Peter 5:2). In Jeremiah, God said, “I will give them shepherds who will feed them with the knowledge of God”(Jeremiah 23:4). God’s people: the greatest need is that of feeding. David was a true shepherd called to feed God’s people.
So David and his men came to Jerusalem where the Jebusites were still there in a stronghold (5:6):
Now the Jebusites figured that their city was impregnable. The Israelites had never been able to take Jebu, it was the ancient site of Jerusalem, but it was a walled city. It had excellent defenses, and no one had been able to take this city of Jebu.
And when David came, they said to him, Unless you can defeat our blind and our lame, you’re not going to be able to take our city (5:6):
In other words, they were saying to David, “Hey, we’re just going to put the blind and the lame in to fight you, you’re not even able to overcome them.” They felt that their defenses, their walls, and all were that strong that they could actually man them with just blind and lame men.
Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: and the same became the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smites the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be the chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and he called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. And David went on, and he grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. And Hiram the king of Tyre sent down cedars, and carpenters, and masons: and they built a palace for David. And David took more wives and concubines out of Jerusalem, when he was come from Hebron: and he had many more sons and daughters. [The list is some eleven more sons and daughters that were born to him there in Jerusalem.] Now when the Philistines heard that they anointed David the king over Israel, all of the Philistines came to seek David; and David heard of it, and he went down to the fortress. And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Repham. And David inquired of the LORD, [Now again, David’s seeking counsel of God.] And he said, Shall I go up against the Philistines? will you deliver them into my hand? And the LORD said to David, GO up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand. And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and he said, The LORD has broken forth upon my enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of the place Baalperazim. [Which means, “the plain of breaches”.] And the Philistines left their images there, and David burned them with his men. And the Philistines came up the second time into the same valley. And David inquired of the LORD again, and the Lord said, Thou shalt not go up; but circle around behind them, and circle around and attack them from the rear. So wait over there until you hear the sound of the wind in the mulberry trees, and that’s the time to attack (5:7-24).
So David is receiving directions from God, inquiring of the Lord, and God is directing him, and thus he is very successful, as is any man who will seek guidance from God.
And so David did so; and they smote the Philistines from Geba even to Gazer (5:25).
And again, David gathered together the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand of them. And David arose, and went and all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring from there the ark of God (6:1-2),
Now Baale of Judah is actually Kiriath-jearim, it’s about eight miles from Jerusalem. It is where they had brought the ark of God. So he was coming now to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem. In coming to Kiriath-jearim, what they did is make a new cart, and they put the Ark of the Covenanton this new cart, and they got these oxen to pull the cart. As they were coming with all of this big celebration, the oxen pulling the cart with the Ark of the Covenantupon it, the ox, one of the oxen tripped and the cart began to shake, and the Ark of the Covenant looked like it was going to fall. This one fellow reached forth his hand, Uzzah, and he reached out his hand to steady the ark of God so it wouldn’t fall, and when he reached out his hand to touch the ark of God, God smote him dead.
This angered David, number one, with God, and it put a fear in David’s heart. He said, “Hey man that thing’s powerful. Who among us can live around that thing?” Seeing the power of God against anyone who would dare to violate the word of God, David really got panicked, because he knew that he wasn’t doing that close, “Who can live around this thing?” So he just had to turn in, and he had to go back to Jerusalem empty, not taking the Ark of the Covenant. But he just put it in there at the house of Obededom.
It is interesting though that as David sought to bring the Ark of the Covenant back, rather than going back to the book of the law to see how God had ordered the Ark of the Covenant to be transported, David was following the Philistine example. When they sent the Ark of the Covenant back, they had built a cart, and they took oxen and had it pulled back with the cart pulled by oxen. Now that was the Philistines’ method of transporting the ark. However, the law of God said that when they bore the ark, they were to put these staves through the rings, and it was to be borne by four priests. So David really wasn’t following the law of God in building this new cart, and having it pulled by oxen. He was not following God’s pattern, but the Philistine pattern. It had, of course, disastrous results.
So they just put the ark there at the house of Obededom, and God began to bless Obededom like everything, because the Ark of the Covenant was there. For three months this guy was just blessed of God. They came and told David, “Wow is Obededom ever being blessed because of the Ark of the Covenant.” So David decided, “All right, I’ll go and get it and I’ll bring it on into Jerusalem.”
So this time now he went back to the Scriptures to follow the law of the Lord, and he had the priests bear the Ark of the Covenant, and when they would walk six steps, he would make a sacrifice unto the Lord. Then go three, six more steps, and he’d offer another sacrifice unto the Lord. He was out there, he had on just a linen robe, a common garment, took off his kingly robes and everything, and was just dressed in a common garment, of a common person, out with the crowd dancing with all of his might before the Lord. I mean he was just having a hilarious time. He was so excited bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, with tremendous excitement and joy. The people were praising the Lord, offering sacrifices, dancing before the Lord, David in the middle of them, dancing with all of his might. Just singing praises unto God as the Ark of the Covenant was coming unto Jerusalem.
And his wife the daughter of Saul [Michal] looked out the window, and saw him doing that; and she hated him in her heart (6:16).
So David had a big party, gave everybody a big portion of meat, jug of wine, sent them on their way, blessed all of the people. Everybody was thrilled. He was on cloud nine, “All right” just so thrilled. He came in to bless his house, just overflowing, and who should meet him at the door but ice sickles, Michal.
And she said, Didn’t the king behave himself gloriously today, uncovering yourself in front of all those handmaidens, [they’re going to despise you] (6:20).
Boy, that big, cold put down, cold blanket. You know it is so hard when you’ve had such a glorious experience with the Lord, and you’re just floating. You meet someone that says, “Well, aren’t you just the one.” You know, “Ugh.” Well David’s not one to be messed with.
And he said to her, [He gets very caustic with her, he said,] it was before the LORD, which chose me [cut, cut, cut] before your father, and before his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore I will play before the LORD (6:21).
“That was before the Lord. I wasn’t out there before the people.” You, just making a big show out there in front of all those people, out there dancing, making a big show, making a big thing of yourself.” David said, “It was before the Lord who chose me before your father, and his house. And I’m going to play before the Lord.”
And I will be yet even more vile than this, and will be base in my own sight: and of these maidservants which you have spoken of, I’ll be held in honour of them. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death (6:22-23).
He actually disgraced her by refusing then to have relationships with her, and refused her the honor of having a child, which in that culture was a most important thing for a woman was to bear a child, a son, especially for her husband, and David got even. He was not one that you really wanted to mess with.
Now it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all of his enemies; [Now he’s established, he’s strong, he’s powerful.] That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, Look I’m dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of God is dwelling there in the curtains. Nathan said to the king, Go, and do all that is in your heart; for the Lord is with you (7:1-3).
Now David is expressing his desire to Nathan to build a house for God. “Look Nathan, I’m dwelling in this beautiful palace, the ark of God is still in that tent. I want to make a house for God. Nathan, the prophet is taken with the idea, “Ah, David that’s great do all that is in your heart.”
But when Nathan went home, that night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shall you build a house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought the children out of Egypt, even to this day, but I have walked in a tent, and in the tabernacle. In all of the places wherein I have walked with the children of Israel did I ever ask anyone to build me a house? Now therefore so shalt thou say to my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took you from the sheepcote, from following after the sheep, and I made you the ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee wherever you went, and I’ve cut off all of your enemies out of your sight, and I’ve made you a great name, like the name of the great men which are upon the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and I’ve caused you to rest from all of your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that he will build you a house. And when thy days are fulfilled, and you sleep with your fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy loins, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever (7:3-13).
Now in Acts chapter two, verse thirty, Peter is making a commentary on this particular passage of Scripture, the word of the Lord to David. Peter tells us there that being a prophet, and knowing that God has sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit upon His throne. David understood that God was promising that the Messiah was going to come through his loins. It was a glorious promise of God.
Disappointment of David, “You can’t build a house for Me, but good news David, I’m going to build you a house, from you the Messiah shall come.”
[And the Lord said,] I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: and thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, Nathan related to David faithfully. And when king David went in, and he sat down before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that you have brought me to this place (7:14-18)?
God reminded him of his past. That “You were just a shepherd, I took you from following after the sheep, and I made you the king, the ruler over My people.”
“Who am I oh Lord God, and what is my house? My family was nothing that You should make me the king.” He was just looking at the goodness that God had shown to him. “That You should bring me to this place of ruling. Who am I oh Lord God?”
And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but you have spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come (7:19).
In other words, “Lord, this is not a small thing, this is tremendous, but that isn’t all, You now start to talk to me about my house for a great while to come. You start telling me of the future.”
You look at what God has done for you. As David said, “He brought me up out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, He established my feet upon the rock, and He established my going” (Psalm 40:2). God redeemed me from my sin. He’s made me His son. “Beloved now are we the sons of God. It doesn’t yet appear what we’re going to be, but we know that when He appears, we’re going to be like Him, for we are going to see Him as He is.”
In other words, God has already done this for us, but then God gives us fabulous promises of the future. Of the kingdom of God, where we shall dwell with Him in righteousness in joy, and peace, in the everlasting kingdom, and we shall be heirs with Him, joint heirs with Christ. We shall reign with Him. Oh, the glorious things of God that’s spoken of your future. It’s not a small thing that God has already done; it’s fabulous what God has already done for us. When you think of what God took us from and what He has made us now, as children of God, in the fellowship with Him. But then He just doesn’t stop there, He goes on and He speaks about your eternal blessedness in His kingdom as you’re living with Him forever and ever. “Is this the manner of man O Lord God?” No, it isn’t the manner of man. This is divine grace of which we know so very little, and experience as far as man is concerned.
And what can David say more to these things (7:20)?
“God I’m just speechless, I don’t know what, I don’t have words to express what I feel about Your grace.”
Paul said, “And what shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who shall be against us? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who is justified. Who is he that condemneth, it is Christ who has died, yea rather is risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for you. What can you say about it?”
Number one, God is for you. So many times we think, “God’s against me.” No God is for you. If God is for you, who can be against you? Well, Satan can be against you, but who is he against God? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who is justified. God’s not laying any charges against you. “Oh how blessed is the man to whom God does not impute sin.” God isn’t laying any charges.
Now Satan is constantly charging you with failure, weakness, and so forth. But God isn’t charging you with these things. He’s justified you. He considers you as though they never happened. Who is he that condemneth? Jesus isn’t condemning you.
He said, “Hey I didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world through Me might be saved. He that believeth,” note carefully “is not condemned. There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. He that believeth is not condemned. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who died, yea rather is risen again and is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you.”
Jesus is there tonight before the throne of God interceding in your behalf, because of your weaknesses and your failures, and your stumbling. He’s there to intercede for you, not condemning you, He’s not saying, “Oh Father, look at that. Fell again; didn’t he? Why don’t we wipe him out, why don’t we just forget him. Let’s go to somebody else Father.” Not at all.
As you stumble, He says, “Father, just put that one to my account, lay that one on Me. Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” He’s there interceding, not condemning, but interceding for you, pleading your cause.
“Hey, if God is for us.”
“What can you say to this?”
Just, “Oh Lord You’re too much, too much.” We become just speechless when we realize the greatness of God’s love and grace towards us. What more can David say, the most literate of all people? A guy who is so gifted at expression of himself, his heart, his feelings. I love to read the Psalms because of David’s gift of expression. He’s able to say the things that I feel that I can’t say. He’s able to articulate feelings of the soul and spirit, that I’ve only been able to feel, never articulate.
“As the deer thirsted after the water, so pants my soul after Thee O God. My soul thirsteth for thee as in a dry and barren land.” Oh, you go on and oh, that’s beautiful. I love it. This guy who was so articulate, man he got to the place where he was just speechless. “God, You’re too much. What You’ve already done, You’ve made me the king. I was just a little kid following sheep. You’ve made me the king of Your people. If this wasn’t a small thing, Lord You’ve spoken now of my house for a great while to come. You’ve promised the Messiah coming. The Messiah’s coming, Lord what can I say. What do I say?”
For thy word’s sake, and according to your own heart, have you done these great things (7:21),
He said, “Hey Lord, I know it’s not me, it’s not because I’m somebody great or I’m so good, it’s for Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart You’ve done these things. These things proceed from Your righteousness, not from mine. They proceed from Your goodness, not from my righteousness.” God’s grace is never a reward for your goodness or righteousness. God’s grace always proceeds from His heart, and for His own word’s sake He does for you. Not because you’re worthy, not because you’re especially nice, or especially good, now you’re going to get this special blessing. Never. It’s just because He loves you, and that’s His nature, and that’s His heart to show His love to you, and just to totally overwhelm you, though you realize how totally undeserving, and how unworthy you are. It is just the hardest thing to do, just accept grace gracefully.
My son came up he called me Wednesday morning, he said, “Dad, I need to talk to you.”
So I said, “Okay.”
He said, “I’ll be up there about two-thirty this afternoon.
I said, “Fine, I’ll wait for you.”
So he came in, and he sat down, and he said “Dad, I’m really worried.”
I said, “What about?” He began to tell me of all of the blessings that had been laid upon him lately. Just God has just opened up, and began to pour out blessings on that kid, so much so that he said, “I just worry. You know God has given me so much, I’m just getting worried.” The church bought them a new washer and dryer, and just a lot of neat things. He was just concerned. I said, “It’s really hard to accept grace gracefully isn’t it?” That was his problem. Just accepting God’s goodness.
“Surely this is too much for me. I truly don’t deserve this.” Just when God begins to pour it on, it gets hard to take. You’re thinking, “Oh no it’s just too much for me. I don’t deserve that.” That’s one thing though that we have to learn, is just to accept grace gracefully.
God loves you, and He does it for you just because He loves you, not because you deserve it, not because you’re worthy. “Lord, it’s for Your word’s sake, and because of Your heart, I know that You’ve done these things. It isn’t because David is so good, or so deserving God, I know that.”
Wherefore Lord thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. [“Lord, You’re just great, there’s no one like You, or any other God beside You.”] And what one nation in all of the earth is like your people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and awesome, for thy land, before the people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee forever: and thou Lord, are become their God. And now, O Lord God, the word that you’ve spoken concerning your servant, concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as you have said. And let your name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee a house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto you. And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and you have promised this goodness unto thy servant: Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever (7:22-29).
“All right God, You’ve said it, You’re going to do it, have at it. Go ahead Lord, fulfill Your promise. I know that You’ve said it, and now Lord, I want You to do it, establish the house forever.” So David’s response to that glorious promise of God. The establishing through him the coming Messiah.
We’ll pick up with chapter eight next week in our study. Shall we stand? May God bless you and give you a very profitable week. May your heart be knit to Him in love. May you be open to God that you might receive those blessings that He is desiring to bestow upon you just because He loves you. For no other reason, but just He thinks you’re tops. May you just experience that blessing of God, flowing into your life. May you wait upon the Lord, and seek His guidance in all things, looking to Him for direction, for the leading, for the timing. Thus may you walk in the Spirit, and thus have a very profitable, beautiful week, in Jesus’ name.