In the eighth chapter of second Samuel there is chronicled for us certain of David’s victories over their enemies round about, how that God was establishing David and his kingdom, and was subduing his enemies before him. So it tells about David’s moves in many directions as he was expanding the kingdom.
He took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines. And then he smote Moab, [and they became the tributaries of David, and then he moved a little north from there, and came against Hadadezer,] and recovered the border as far as the Euphrates. And from him he took a thousand chariots, seven hundred horsemen, twenty thousand footmen: David houghed all of the chariot horses, but saved a hundred for the chariots. Then he moved against Damascus and captured Damascus: and the Syrians became the tributaries of David. He put garrisons in the city of Damascus: [“And David took the,” well there’s the phrase of, “The Lord preserved,” verse six] And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to greet him, and to bless him, because he had been fighting against Hadadezer. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, vessels of gold, vessels of brass: Which also king David did dedicate to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all of the nations which he subdued (8:1-7, 10-11);
So you remember last week David had expressed his desire to Nathan to build a house for God. Nathan off the top of his head said, “Oh, do everything that you want to do!” Then God spoke to Nathan and said, “You spoke out of turn. David can’t build a house for me, you must go and tell David because he is a man of war, he’s a bloody man, has been bloodied by battles and all, he cannot build a house for me. But I will build David a house,” and He prophesied of the coming Messiah.
But even though he was refused by God, the privilege of building a house for God, yet David then set about to raise all of the treasure for the house of God. In other words, he started gathering gold and silver, and brass in abundance. Laying up a huge store so that when his son Solomon went to build a house of God, all they needed for the gold vessels and the silver vessels, and all, was already gathered by David. So the Lord didn’t say anything, “You can’t gather together all the loot to build the house,” so David set about gathering the wealth in order that the house might be built.
He not only did that, he drew up the plans for the house of God, so that Solomon only had to build it. David did everything but build it, really. He gathered all of the precious metals and all, he gathered, he created the plans, and then he left it to Solomon his son to build the house of God.
Of Syria, [verse twelve] and Moab, the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, of Amalek, the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah. David got a name when he returned from smiting the Syrians in the valley of salt, he there killed eighteen thousand of them. [Valley of salt is south of the Dead Sea.] He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, they became David’s servants. The Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. David reigned over all Israel; David executed judgment and justice unto all of his people. And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; Zadok, and Ahimelech were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe (8:12-17);
So these were really the men who served with David in his kingdom and thus the kingdom was established under David’s reign.
In chapter nine David sought to discover if there were any left from the house of Saul. Jonathan and David had made a friendship pact between them that they would do good, and show kindness unto each other, and to each other’s descendants forever. So now that David is established, he seeks to find out if there are any left from Saul’s house that he might honor, and they might keep this pact that he had made with Jonathan. He was told concerning Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. Now Mephibosheth was only five years old when his father Jonathan was killed in battle with his grandfather Saul, when they battled against the Philistines at Mount Gilboa. When his nurse heard that the Philistines had taken Jonathan, Saul in battle, she was fearful. She grabbed this little five year old son of Jonathan’s, Mephibosheth, and sought to flee. As she did, she dropped him and broke both of his legs. Not being set properly, he became a cripple.
And so it was told David that Mephibosheth was yet alive. So David called to have Mephibosheth brought into him. And when Mephibosheth came in he bowed down, and did obeisance to David. David said, Don’t be afraid, I want to actually honor you seeing I made this pact with Jonathan. And he said, I want to restore to you all that belonged to the house of Saul, all of the properties, the houses and the vineyards, and every thing that belonged to the family. I want to restore them to you. And you are to eat meat at my table from now on (9:3-10).
He was to become a part of the entourage that ate with the king. So David showed great kindness for Jonathan’s sake, and for the vows and all that he had made with Jonathan.
Then David took one of the servants and he made this servant and his family the servants of Mephibosheth, and Ziba with his fifteen sons and twenty servants [were given the orders to take care of his crops and to bring in the harvest, and to just watch over all that belonged to him.] (9:10).
So David showed unto Mephibosheth great honor, and was extremely gracious unto him.
It came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. And David, upon hearing the death of the king, sent certain of his men [Emissaries, actually] unto Hanum to express David’s condolences. [And to just sort of greet them in David’s name, and express David’s sorrow and all for the death of his father.] Now some of his counselors said, Do you think that David is really just trying to show kindness to you? Listen, these guys are actual spies, and they’ve come to spy out the weakness of the land, and the next thing you know, David’s going to be attacking you. So Hanun took these emissaries that had been sent by David and he cut off [or shaved] half of their beards, and cut off their skirts exposing their backsides, and sent them away. Well the guys were extremely embarrassed, and humiliated. And so David heard of what had been done to them and he said, You guys just wait down at the city of Jericho until your beards grow back again, and then come on back into the city. But over in Ammon [Which of course is the present day, Ammon, the capital of Jordan, they heard of how these men were not allowed back into Jerusalem until their beards grew back and so forth. So they feared an immediate attack by David,] and so they sent to Syria and hired from Syria twenty thousand mercenaries to come and to help them fight against David. So when David heard that they had hired the Syrian mercenaries and others to fight against him, he sent his armies against the Ammonites and as they came to battle, Joab saw that the Syrians were coming from the north joining with them. So Joab said to his brother Abishai, We’ll divide our forces in half. I’ll take on the Syrians, you take on the Ammonites, and if they start to overcome you, then I’ll come and help you. If the Syrians start to overcome me, you come and help me. [But be valiant, be strong. In fact, his words I thought were very interesting in verse twelve.] Be of good courage, let us play the man for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good. And so Joab came to the Syrians: and the Syrians began to fall back before Joab. When the Ammonites saw that the Syrians were retreating, they too began to retreat (10:1-14).
And the men of Israel gained a tremendous victory over the forces of Hadarezer, over the Ammonites, and over the Syrians in that battle.
Now in chapter eleven.
It came to pass, after these things that Joab, and the army in the springtime when it was a good time to go out and fight, after the winter rains were over, Joab with the forces went again against Ammon. [Or the Ammonites.] And David one evening, after his afternoon siesta, was taking a stroll on his roof: and from this vantagepoint, [up on his roof, looking over the city,] he noticed in the courtyard of a neighboring house a beautiful woman bathing. [David began to lust after this woman.] He said to his servant, Who is that woman that lives in that house over there? And the servant said, That is Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite. So David commanded his servant to go over and to bring her to him [There David committed adultery with her. After a while she sent a message to David that she was pregnant.] (11:1-5).
So David sought to cover his sin.
His son Solomon later wrote, “He who seeks to cover his sin shall not prosper, but whoso will confess and forsake his sin, he shall be forgiven”.
David sought to cover for his sin by sending for Uriah who was in the army fighting with Joab.
He sent a note to Joab, Send Uriah back from the battle. So Uriah came back, and David said, How’s the battle going, how’s Joab, how are the troops? [Asking a lot of questions concerning the battle.] He said, Go home, spend the night with your wife tonight. And David sent after him a mess of meat, so they could just feast (11:6-8).
He figured that he’d go home, and go to bed with his wife, and later on when his wife would say, “Honey, I’m pregnant,” that no one would ever know the difference, except for David and Bathsheba, and he figured that the whole thing could be covered over. But Uriah seemed to be a very honorable man.
[Instead of going home,] he slept that night on David’s porch with David’s servants. In the morning it was told David that Uriah didn’t go home, he spent the night there on the porch. So he called Uriah in, and he said, Hey man why didn’t you go home and spend the night with your wife, I mean after all you’ve been out fighting and you have a chance to spend the night with your wife, why would you sleep on the porch? He said, Well Joab, and all of my buddies are out there in the fields, they’re sleeping out in the fields at night: and it wouldn’t be right for me to enjoy my wife, and my own bed [when my buddies are out there in the trenches, I just couldn’t do that.] And so David said, Well tarry with me to day and tomorrow. And so he kept filling the guy’s wine glass; got him pretty drunk, [Figuring that if he was drunk enough maybe he would go home.] but he staggered out to the porch of David’s house and there he was asleep again (11:9-13).
So, as sin so often does, it leads to something worse. It begins to compound, it begins to develop in its insidious manner. So David turned to a second plan, more dastardly than the first. That plan was to deliberately have Uriah killed in battle.
And so David sent a message to Joab, sealed orders by the hand of Uriah which said, When the battle gets hot, put Uriah in the front line of the hottest spot, that he might be smitten, and die. [So Joab began to assault the city of the Ammonites, and he sent an assault troop up towards the wall pursuing the Ammonites. And as they got close to the wall, the archers from the wall began to shoot at them,] and Uriah was shot and killed along with some of the other troops. So Joab sent a messenger unto David to tell him of the battle and how things were going. He said, If David gets angry because we approached the wall too close, then tell him that Uriah also is dead. And so the fellow came and told David of the battle, how that some of the men had fallen. They had been shot by the archers on the wall. [And David became sort of angry, because he said, That’s foolish come so near the wall? Joab knows better than that!] The messenger said, Well Uriah the Hittite was also killed. And David said, Let the matter rest, it is okay. Bathsheba mourned for her husband. And after her period of mourning, David took her as his wife, [figuring things were all right. But things weren’t all right. God could not allow David’s sin to go unnoticed, or to go unpunished.] The child was born (11:14-27).
David figured, “Well, that’s great!” He no doubt came to love Bathsheba. His first experience with her was not an experience expressing love. It was an experience just expressing lust, but he no doubt came to love.
Even as I believe that many couples are attracted by certain physical characteristics, and later on they actually learn to love each other. Many times you’re attracted to another person by certain physical characteristics, and later on you’ll learn to hate them, as you really get to know them. So love doesn’t always follow an attraction, a physical attraction. But people say, “Love at first sight”. No, it doesn’t really happen that way. Interest at first sight, attraction maybe, but love is something that grows. Love is something that develops in a relationship.
David thought that things were just going great until the prophet Nathan came to him.
Nathan said to David, There is a man in your kingdom who is very wealthy, had many herds, many flocks many servants: And there lived next to him a very poor man whose only possession was one ewe lamb, and that lamb ate at his table, drank from his cup, slept next to him, it was like a daughter to him, part of the family. [And he loved that ewe lamb, all he had.] And this wealthy man had guests come to visit him, and he sent his servant to take by force, the one ewe lamb from his neighbor, and to kill it in order that he might feed his guests. David’s anger was kindled hot against the man; and David said, That man shall surely be put to death, as the Lord lives. And he shall restore unto the man, fourfold (12:1-6).
He went out ahead and he laid out a real judgment on this guy. When he was through,
Nathan said, David you are the man. [Then he went on to say] Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel, I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; I gave thee thy master’s house, thy master’s wives into thy bosom, I gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that wasn’t enough, I would’ve given more to you. [“David, I’ve given you everything, I’ve given you the kingdom, I’ve given you wives, I’ve given both Israel and Judah, and if that weren’t enough David, I’d still give you more!”] Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do this sin in his sight (12:7-9)?
“David, when God has given you so much, why would you despise His commandment, why would you do this when God has been so good?” Why is it that when God has been so good to us, that we just don’t appreciate and be satisfied with what God has done? Why do we sometimes reach out for more, when we already have more than what we can possibly use or enjoy?
“David you’ve got all these wives, why would you take a wife of another man? Why would you despise the commandment of God?”
And now therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house; because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your wife. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of the sun. For you did it secretly: but I will do this before all of Israel, and before the sun. And David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die (12:10-13).
Now David’s judgment for this man was, “He shall surely be put to death.” God’s judgment for David was, “You will not die”. However, David you’re not going to get off Scott-free, you cannot sin with impunity and expect God to just let you off the hook completely. There are always those people who are misinterpreting the grace of God.
Paul spoke about those who said, “Let us sin freely that grace may abound, for if where sin abounds, grace overflows, and let us sin freely in order that grace might just overflow. God has declared that all are sinners, so that if I just go out and sin, I’m only proving that God is true. Now why should God judge me because I’m proving that He’s telling the truth, that all men are sinners? I’m just helping to prove God’s truth.”
Paul said, “Whose damnation is just those kind of philosophies!” Any philosophy that leads you into sin, presuming on the grace of God is a damnable philosophy. Peter speaks of the words of Paul, and of course Paul’s preaching was that of the gospel of grace, and the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus Christ, which is a glorious gospel! But Peter tells how those people were subverting the gospel, using this gospel of grace as a cloak for their own lasciviousness. “Well, sure let’s go ahead and do it, and then we’ll pray and ask God to forgive us. Because surely God is merciful and He’ll forgive us.” Thus people are willfully transgressing the law of God with that anticipation of grace and forgiveness. That should never be! I should never knowingly, willfully go into sin, expecting to come back to God and say, “Oh God please forgive me!,” and presuming on the grace of God.
The Bible says, “Keep thyself from sin. Flee the youthful lusts that damn men’s souls and perdition.” As it speaks of the work of the flesh in Galatians five, “Are manifest which are these, adultery, fornication,” it goes on, “lust, lying, and envying, and stealing,” and so forth, and it says, “and they that do such things shall have no part in the kingdom of God.” I question concerning the true conversion of a person who deliberately, willfully, sins against God, with the idea, “Oh well, I’ll just ask forgiveness, and receive the grace of God.” God’s grace was never intended to be presumed upon by us.
Sin, though forgiven, leaves its mark. There are certain aspects of sin that cannot be undone. There are certain marks that sin leaves upon the life of yourself, and the lives of others that remain. It remains a mar, a scar in your conscience. Even though you’ve received the forgiveness of God, still your conscience is telling you that you did wrong deliberately, willfully you did wrong in the eyes of the Lord, and you’re conscience never lets you forget. Years may pass, but it remains there in your consciousness and someday when calamity befalls you down the line, you’ll remember your sin.
Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave into Egypt, and Joseph went down into Egypt, his brothers betrayed him, sold him as a slave for twenty pieces of silver, they cared not that Joseph was crying, “Oh please guys don’t do this! Oh!” He was weeping, and that was the last they saw him, the guy was just crying on the cart being carried down to Egypt, their brother. They were heartless; they were cruel, but it stuck in their minds. Almost twenty years later when they were in Egypt and having a bad time because of the Pharaoh’s wrath, they turned to each other and they said, “We’re getting what’s coming to us, don’t you remember Joseph and how he was crying. Man, it’s coming back to us!” You don’t get away from your conscience. It sticks, the scars are there; you don’t escape them and the scars that are left upon those around you, the hurt that comes.
Though the Lord said to David, “Thou art forgiven, you will not die, yet these things are going to happen, David, because of your sin.” One of the tragic things of the sin of David was brought to his mind by the prophet. He said, “You have caused the enemies of God to blaspheme.”
I think that one of the tragic byproducts of sin in the life of a believer is the fact that the enemies of God look at it, and they blaspheme God. “That so and so, he’s supposed to be a Christian? Look what he did to me!” They’re blaspheming God because of your actions, because of what you have done. Maybe you’ve been guilty of ripping them off in a business deal. You know you ripped them off, and you come and say, “Oh God forgive me please,” and you think it’s all over. You go to rip off someone else, keeping the idea in mind “Well, I’ll just come and ask God’s forgiveness!” No, it doesn’t work that way, but the effect of that is that there are many people who are going under the name of Christianity, that are doing such things. And that is why Christianity has such a bad name in the eyes of the world today is because the Christians haven’t been living a life of purity and righteousness and holiness before God. No one picks on it, and picks up on it quicker than the worldly people who blaspheme the name of God, because of our actions, our inconsistencies.
So the punishment. The sword was never to depart from David’s house. His own children were going to rise up and rebel against him. His own wives were going to be humiliated publicly. The child that was to be born, or the child that was born, was going to die.
This sort of marks a watershed in David’s life. This experience sort of took the fire out of David. From this point on, calamities, rebellion, problems within his home began to arise. It is interesting that David rather than trying to deal with them, and fight with them, was just sort of, just sort of consigned to them. He didn’t try to rise, he just sort of accepted it. “This is of God, this is God’s judgment”. He didn’t try to, well, just the inner, you know that thing that drives you on, that push was gone. It sort of was just drained out of David from this experience onward. Sad and tragic when the fire is gone out of a person’s life.
The words of God were gracious indeed, “Thy sin is forgiven you will not die.” At this point, Psalm 32. It was written by David upon hearing the words of the prophet, “Thy sins are forgiven, you will not die.” David wrote, “Blessed is he,” and the word blessed means, “oh, how happy,” “Oh how happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, happy is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile”.
Now, you see while David was trying to cover this thing, there was all kinds of guile going on. Calling Uriah back, trying to get him to go home to be with his wife. It was all a part of a deceitful scheme of David, all this guile that was there. You know when you’re a deceitful person you’re always living in fear, and in worry that you’re going to get caught, someone’s going to catch up with you, someone’s going to find out the truth is going to get out. You’re going through all these deceptive things, and trying to cover, and say, “Well, who me? Well I don’t know what you’re talking about!” You’re going through all this deception, but you know, and you’re fearful constantly that it’s going to come out, “someone’s going to find out, someone’s going to see me, someone’s going to know, someone’s going to blow the whistle on me.” Happy is the man who can be straight, who can be honest, who can be forthright, who doesn’t have to deceive, and hide, and connive.
“When I kept silence,” that is “when I wouldn’t confess it to God, when I was trying to just cover the thing,” “my bones waxed through the roaring all the day long, for night and day, day and night thy hand was heavy upon me, and my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” That’s the first strophe of this psalm. A man who has just experienced the forgiveness of sin, but he also relates how heavy was the conviction upon his heart prior to the forgiveness. “Man, it was heavy duty. I was just all dried up within. God’s hand day and night was heavy upon me.”
Then he said, “I acknowledge my sin unto Thee and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” The next strophe of the psalm as he expresses the confession and the resultant forgiveness. “Oh, how happy is the man who has that load of sin taken away, who has the guilt removed.”
But there is still a price that must be paid. The sword is still going to be upon his house. His children are still going to rebel, his wives are still going to be humiliated, and his child is still going to die.
And so it came to pass that the child took sick, and David laid on the ground grieving. The servants tried to get him to eat, but he refused any food. He’d just lie there groaning. [And for seven days he laid there on the ground groaning, not eating.] And on the seventh day, the child died. The servants were worried, they said, What shall we do? how are we going to tell him? if he’s grieved this much while the child was living, what’s he going to do when he finds out the child’s dead? And he heard the servants whispering, and he said, Is the child dead? And they said, Yes. David got up, went in took a shower, dressed himself, fresh clothes, came out and he ordered dinner. They said, [Man, we don’t understand you. While the child was sick you’re lying there groaning, not eating, filthy, now that the child is dead, you’ve showered and you want to eat, you want a dinner, what’s going on?] And he said, As long as the child was alive, I had hope that God might be gracious and spare the child’s life, but now that the child is dead, I can’t do anything more (12:15-23).
I think that David really had a very healthy attitude towards death. What more can you do?
He said, I shall go to thee where he is, though he cannot return to me (12:23).
David’s showing his confidence in life after death. David showing confidence that his child was with the Lord. That his child was saved, and that he would go to be with his child, though his child would not be able to return to him. “I shall go to be where he is, though he cannot return to me.” Our children who die before they are at an age of accountability, go to be with the Lord. Though they cannot return, we look forward to that day when we shall go to be with them.
Now after the death of the child,
David comforted Bathsheba, and she conceived: and she had another child, and she called his name Solomon. But Nathan the prophet came with God’s name for Solomon, and God’s name for him was Jedidiah, which means beloved of the Lord (12:23-25).
Now there to me is real grace! Though God, for purposes that we do not fully understand, took the first child of David and Bathsheba. Yet the second child God named, “Beloved of the Lord”. So there was God’s grace in operation. Of course Solomon became David’s favorite son, and took the throne after David.
But David has a rocky road ahead. The sword is not to depart from his house, there’s going to be family problems developing. His wives are going to be humiliated, and these things are going to come to pass. David’s sin is not going to go unpunished. The price must still be paid for the past misdeed, even though God’s grace is offered through the whole thing, and God gives to David and Bathsheba another son, whom God calls “beloved of God”.
So we find that the problems begin very soon thereafter.
David had a son by the name of Amnon, and Amnon was talking with a man who was called his friend (13:1, 3),
Yet, I would challenge that, because any man who would help you and advise you in the fulfilling of a sinful desire, could not be a true friend to you. Any man who would encourage you to a sinful act, cannot be a true friend. Amnon was sick. Friend said, “What’s the matter with you?” He said, “Oh, I’m so in love with my sister Tamar!” She was actually a half sister to him. She was the daughter of David, but she was the daughter of the Geshurite wife, who was also the mother of Absalom, David’s son. He said, “I’m just sick. I’m so in love with her. I can’t eat; I can’t do anything. I’m in love, in love.”
The fellow said, “Well, look just lie in your bed and pretend that you’re really sicker than you are. And when your dad comes to visit say, “Oh dad, let my sister Tamar come, and fix meat in my sight, and feed me. It’ll make me feel so much better!”
So David came to visit his son Amnon, and Amnon said, Oh dad if you’d just allow Tamar to come, and fix me some bread, and some food in my sight, and feed me, oh it’d make me feel so good! So David sent Tamar over, and there in his sight she baked the bread and all, fixed it for him. He said, she went to give it to him, and he said, Oh no! And he sent all of the servants out. He said, Bring it into my bedroom, and feed it to me. So she went into the bedroom, and he grabbed hold of her, and he said, Lie with me. She said, Oh Amnon don’t do this sin. This is wrong! Look if you just ask my father David, he’d probably make arrangements, I could marry you. [Don’t do this.] But he did not hearken to her voice, but he raped her. Then he sent her out, said, Get out of here! For there came an abhorrence of her, and the hatred of her was greater than the love that he had previously felt (13:8-15)!
It is interesting how closely akin are our emotions. Emotions are sort of a weird thing. Now many gifted, public speakers know how to play on the emotions of the people. They will tell jokes for the purpose of getting people to laugh because they know if they can get people really laughing, that it isn’t but just a little click for people, you’re emotions are in gear, your emotions are working, once your emotions are working, they can do weird things. You can go from laughing to crying in just a moment! Have you ever seen a baby, and the change of emotions? You come in and they’ll…and then all of a sudden, the lip will turn down, and they’ll start to cry. You think, “What happened?” But that’s just how crazy our emotions are. So speakers, some of the psychological speakers that know that emotions are this way, they tell these jokes, get everybody laughing, and then they can just flip them on to tears. Because you’ve got your emotions going now, and once they’re going, you can just play games with them.
Now Amnon expressed a tremendous love for his sister, which was not a love at all. One of the statements that is made so often today which really is so far from true, that it should be banished as a phraseology. It’s for a person to say, “Let’s make love,” as though the sex act is making love. Many times there is absolutely no love at all involved in the sex act. It is purely a person seeking gratification for a certain biological drive but no real true love involved at all. People who go to the bars on Friday nights to find their true lover, will never find them. They will find an experience and it is interesting, a fellow says, “Well, I’m going out to look for a girl tonight. I want to find someone to make love with.”
In reality he’s not even really looking for a girl. He’s only looking to satisfy a biological drive within him. A girl happens to be necessary to satisfy that drive. But he’s not really looking for a girl, he’s not really looking for love, he’s not really looking for a meaningful experience. We see the world around us living like animals. There’s no difference between that and the animal kingdom. There is no love involved in those kinds of experiences, and it’s tragic, it’s tragic that so often people desiring and wanting love are going out seeking to find love in that kind of an experience. Women are so often such suckers because they will give sex to get love, or get what they hope will be love, but you never get love that way. Men will give love in order to get sex. That is they will give a demonstration of love, so one disappointment after another, one heartbreak after another, one disappointing experience after another and the crazy world around us, searching for love. Hollywood has deceived them all, thinking that love is some romantic moment under the moon that you can just fall in love.
But the case of Amnon is a very classic case in point, how that he was only using his sister. He had no real desire for her, for her benefit! He was only seeking for his own personal gratification, and once it came, he discarded the object like a dirty rag, would have nothing to do with her. He wasn’t looking for a meaningful relationship. He wasn’t looking for a wife. He wasn’t looking for someone that he could bestow true love upon, and to benefit her, and to build her up, and to bless her with his actions of kindness and goodness. He was just seeking an object through which he could satisfy his own fleshly desires, and was willing to discard her once that had been accomplished.
Gals when are you going to wake up? If that fellow who’s coming on so strong, the fellow who’s desiring to have sex with you before you get married, trying to rush things, trying to give you the old baloney about, “Everybody does it, and after all how are we going to know if we’re really matched or not.” He’s not really looking to give true love and meaningful love. He’s putting on a big act, so he can gratify his own fleshly desires. When you no longer satisfy those fleshly desires, he’ll discard you, and you’re going to be left heartbroken, disillusioned. That’s not the kind of love you need, that’s not the kind of love you want. That’s not the kind of love that God wants you to have. God wants you to have a meaningful experience of love, and the sex act is not intended to just be a clinical, biological action, fulfilling certain biological drives. But it is intended to be an expression of real love. You’ll find that in marriage and no place else. People though are sadly deceived, especially in this world in which we live today, because Hollywood has made the big lie, and people are gullible and have fallen for it.
God has laid down the rules. You follow the rules, you’re going to find fulfillment and satisfaction, and a meaningful relationship. You violate the rules, and you’re going to get hurt. You’re going to get burned.
Tamar disgraced, wearing this coat of many colors because all of the princesses and princes wore these colorful coats. With the girls it was a special robe that designated her virginity. Being kicked out of the house, the servants,
he said to the servant, Eject her, and she was forcefully ejected from the house. She put ashes on her head, she took her robe of virginity and ripped it, and she went crying down the street (13:17-19).
Now it wasn’t Tamar’s fault at all. She was raped! Amnon was totally at fault in this thing. But the tragedy of the whole story is this, David because of what he had done, couldn’t discipline Amnon for it. He didn’t say a thing to Amnon. There was no disciplining. There was no rebuking. David was a lousy father, totally derelict in discipline. He suffered the result of it in his children.
That is why no doubt the reason why Solomon wrote so much about the importance of disciplining children. He saw in his own family the effect of the lack of discipline, because David was not a disciplinarian. Here he didn’t say a thing to Amnon. Another son that rebelled against him later on, it said that David never once said anything to displease that child. Now that doesn’t make a child love you! The child actually hated David and rebelled against him. Solomon, seeing this in his own home, wrote so much about the importance of disciplining a child. “The foolishness of the world is bound up in the heart of the child, but the rod of instruction driveth it far from him. If you spare the rod, you’ll spoil the child. A child left to himself is going to bring disgrace to his mother.” All of these things about discipline, the necessity of discipline and all, because David was such a totally poor disciplinarian.
But he felt his own guilt. Because of his own guilt, what he had done was not really much worse than what Amnon had done. Thus, he did not feel that he could really speak to him about it. Amnon was really sort of allowed to go without being punished.
Except Absalom, [the brother of Tamar] hated Amnon for this, and waited his day (13:22).
And two years later, he said to David, “I want to throw a big party. I want all my brothers to come!”
David said, “Oh, why you want to do that?”
“I want the whole family!”
David said, “Oh, I’m too busy I don’t want to come.”
He said, Well if you don’t come, then let Amnon come (13:26).
He said, “Why do you want Amnon to come?” He just was insisting.
Amnon came to the party that Absalom threw, and Absalom said to his servants, “Kill him, thrust him through.” So the servants of Absalom took Amnon and they killed him. And Absalom fled to his grandfather. He fled to the city of the Geshurites (13:27, 34, 38).
If you will remember David had made one of his incursions against the Geshurites, and he took the daughter of the king as his wife, and she bore Absalom. So actually Absalom a sort of a Bedouin type of a tribe, and he was heading to his grandfather’s house on the other side to live with his grandfather, and there be more or less protected from David’s vengeance.
And so Absalom fled to Geshur [In verse thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine.], and he was there for three years, at Talmai who was his mother’s father. [His grandfather.] Now David longed to see Absalom (13:37-39).
Actually now that Amnon is dead, he can’t do anything for him, and he longs to see Absalom.
So Joab realizing that David is proud and stubborn and really wants to see his son, but won’t make the first move, got hold of a widow woman in Tekoah, and he said to her, Now you go and tell David this story. [Tell him that you had, tell him you had two sons, and they got in a fight, you’re a widow, and your two sons got in a fight. And they were out in a field, and there was no one around to separate them, and one of your sons hit the other and killed him. Now the rest of the family is wanting to put your one son to death. But if he dies then you don’t have anybody, there’s no descendants, there’s no one to carry on the family name, and it’s just the end. And so tell them that they are not to take revenge against my one son.] So this woman came to David, and she told the story, My two boys they were out in the field fighting, and they were really goin at it, no one to separate them, and the one killed the other, and now the avengers of blood are trying to kill the one son. But if he’s gone I won’t have anybody, I’ll be left. [And so forth] And David said, Your son will be pardoned, he’s forgiven. And so she said to him, Well why should it be to me, and not to my master’s house (14:1-9)?
She brought the fact, the fact to David that much the same thing had happened, if he would forgive her son the avengers of blood because of the murder, then why wouldn’t he forgive his own son, and bring him back. David realized he had been caught up in the same kind of a thing that Nathan caught him in, tell the story, and give a judgment. David’s quite a guy; he sticks by his judgments.
So he said, one thing before you go, I want to ask you this, and I want you to tell me straight, is Joab behind this? And she said, O surely you have the knowledge of an angel no one can hide anything from you, yes Joab is behind it. And so Joab sent for Absalom to come back, but David refused to see him. He can go back to his house, but David still (14:19-20, 23-24),
This pride thing and all, isn’t it stupid this pride of ours? The thing we really want to do we won’t do because we just, you know, we want to stop the fight, we don’t want to go on. “But I’m not going to say I’m sorry first! She’s got to say it before I’m going to say it!” I’m really miserable, and I really don’t like this going on, and I really want it to be all over, but “I’m not going to say it first, no way! She’s got to come to me!” We do these stupid things, because of our stupid pride. We allow things to go on and simmer; we allow things to go on in turmoil just because of our own stupid pride!
So Absalom isn’t the kind that you can just ignore, and he wanted Joab to come over, and to set up a meeting with his dad. But Joab wouldn’t even come to see him. He sent several messages to Joab to come, and Joab refused to come. So he said to his servants, “Well, these barley fields are getting pretty dry, go over and set them on fire.” So his servants set Joab’s field on fire, and Joab came storming over, “What’s the big idea your servants burning my field?”
He said, “Well I wanted to see you, I told you several times, you never would answer. So here you are.”
And so he told Joab, I want you to make arrangements for me to see my father. And so Joab came, made the arrangements, and David saw Absalom (14:32-33).
There was the forgiveness the weeping, the rekindling of love and so forth. Except that Absalom began at that point to conspire against his own father.
And Absalom went out from the gate of the city, and when people would come from Israel to bring a matter for judgment, he would say, Oh what a shame that my father wouldn’t appoint me as judge in Israel, because I could judge in these matters. You come to see my dad, he’s so busy, he hasn’t got time to see anybody. But bring the matter to me, let me judge it for you. And the people would start to bow to him, and he’d take them by the hand, and he’d kiss their hands (15:2-6).
He was a shrewd politician, kissing the babies, and just saying the things that the people wanted to hear. “Oh, what a shame that I wasn’t placed in a position that I could really help you? Oh, I could do so much for you if I were just in this position. It’s a shame my dad is so busy, he really doesn’t have time for people, you know busy running things. Oh, what we could do for you!” All of this you know.
And he began to steal the hearts of the people, those that would come to Jerusalem, he would steal their hearts. And when he felt that he was in a strong enough position, he headed for Hebron with some of the key leaders and he announced his kingdom there in Hebron. And when the kingdom was announced, then Israel began to gather unto Absalom. And some of David’s counselors, one especially Ahithophel went with Absalom against David (15:7-12).
This dissertation of his friend Ahithophel is expressed by David in the fifty-fifth psalm. Let’s turn to Psalm fifty-five, and read of David’s feelings over the desertion of Ahithophel who went with Absalom.
“Give ear to my prayer O God, and hide not Thyself from my supplications. Attend unto me, and hear me, I mourn in my complaint and make a noise because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked, for they have cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, O that I had wings like a dove then I would fly away and be at rest! Lo then would I wander far off and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about upon the walls thereof. Mischief also and sorrow in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof, deceit, and guile depart not from her streets; For it was not (Here is his lament about Ahithophel), for it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could’ve borne it. Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me, then I would’ve hid myself from him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and walked unto the house of God in company.”
Then David’s prayer of vengeance upon them for their deceit and treachery. So the desertion from David of some of his chief men. Yet there were those who remained true, but if word came that Absalom was coming from Hebron with an army.
Now David as I told you, his spirit is gone. Rather than defending himself, rather than setting up his troops to defend him from Absalom, and from the army that’s coming with Absalom, David’s spirit is gone. He makes no attempt to defend the city, to defend himself. But David begins an exodus from the city with his faithful followers and they start up over the Mount of Olives toward the wilderness. As they start up, David is weeping as he walks through the Kidron stream, and up the Mount of Olives. He has his head covered, and he’s weeping and all of those that are going with him, their heads are covered, they too are weeping. What a sad and pitiful sight. David not even making a fight; David not standing up. This great valiant man not standing up, but fleeing. Absalom his son will arrive at Jerusalem, and find out there are no defenses at all against him.
And they told David, Ahithophel is among them. And David said, Lord, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And when David came to the top of the mount of Olives, he worshipped God, and behold, Hushai (15:31-32),
Who was also one of David’s counselors, an older man, came to meet him, and David said, “Hey, go on home, go back to Jerusalem, and maybe you can sort of subvert the counsel of Ahithophel.” So David began to set up his men also to destroy the purposes of Absalom.
And the priests had come with the ark of the covenant, and David sent them back, Zadok and Abiathar, he sent them back with the ark of the covenant (15:35).
Committing it really, and it is interesting to me David at this point was committing his case totally to God. “If God wants me to come back, you know the Lord will bring me back. If the Lord is pleased to help me, then the Lord will help me.” But he’s not going to defend himself. He’s not fighting for himself anymore. He is a broken man, and he is committing his case totally into the hands of God because this is really the fulfillment of this prophecy, really, because of his sin. Nathan said, “your sons are going to rebel against you”. He sees this just as a God’s judgment and he’s accepting it. He’s committing himself totally into God’s hands, and into this judgment that God has brought upon him.
And when David was a little past the top of the hill, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys that were loaded down with bread, raisins, summer fruits, a bottle of wine. David said, What do you mean by all these things? And Ziba [lied to him,] he said, The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on; the bread and the summer fruit are for the young men to eat; and the wine, so that those that are faint in the wilderness may drink. The king said, And where is Mephibosheth? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he abides at Jerusalem: because he said, Today they’ll restore the kingdom back to me (16:1-3).
In other words, he’s lying to David about Mephibosheth declaring that Mephibosheth was looking to this and saying, “Hey, I’m going to get the kingdom back.” That’s not true. That’s a lie of Ziba.
So David said,
Well everything that I gave to Mephibosheth is yours if we ever get back (16:4).
Of course later on David found out that he was lying to them.
As he was going along, another relative of Saul, a cousin of sorts, Shimei, the guy’s name.
And Shimei came out and began to curse David, running along and throwing rocks at David, throwing dirt in the air, and cursing him. Now Abishai said to David, David that dirty dog, he has no right doing that, let me go take his head off. And David said, No let him go. Maybe God’s put it in his heart to curse me (16:5-10).
David has no fire, just you know, “Maybe God wants him to curse me. Maybe that’s what’s in God’s heart.” David is so broken at this point, realizing that this is the fruit of my sin, and yet there is a beautiful submission to David unto God, and unto the will of God, and even unto the judgment of God that which made David a man after God’s own heart. He was willing to just commit himself now totally to God, to the judgment of God, “God, if You want to wipe me out, if You want to destroy me, if You want to curse me, whatever You want to do God, do what You want to me.”
David isn’t resisting any longer. His life now is one of total and complete commitment. He was brought to that place of brokenness. Which so often is necessary in order that we might enter into that place of complete and total submission unto the will of God. Though it is sort of sad to see the fire gone, yet in another way it’s beautiful to see now no more resisting, no more defending himself, but just that total commitment, “whatever God wants, let it be.”
So Absalom came into Jerusalem, [and David had left ten of his concubines to keep his palace.] And so Ahithophel said to Absalom, Look, put up a tent on the roof of the house, and take the ten concubines in the sight of all the people and take them into the tent. And there in a sense, humiliate them (16:15, 21).
Now this was showing that a breech was being created between Absalom and David that could not be healed. In other words, the people would feel secure now in following Absalom, because they feel, “Wow, there’s no way David could ever forgive this sin.” Also, this was a common practice for a king who took over the kingdom from his predecessor, one of the acts of taking the kingdom from his predecessor was taking the king’s wives. Even as David took Saul’s wives. Taking of the wives of the predecessor again was a part of the succession in the kingdom. So Absalom was really taking this position of superceding David as king, and also creating a breech irreparable between himself and his father.
This was the counsel of Ahithophel and Absalom followed it (16:23).
The further prophecy of Nathan was fulfilled as we find the wives of David there in the sun before all the people, being publicly humiliated.
Next week we’ll begin our lesson in chapter seventeen.
There was one thing I passed over, and I want to come back to it, in verse twenty-five of chapter fourteen it tells a little bit about Absalom, “And all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom, for his beauty. From the sole of his foot, to the crown of his head, there was no blemish in him.” He was a very beautiful person outwardly, but he was cunning, cruel, and all inwardly. Then it says that he pulled his hair annually. “Because his hair was heavy on him, therefore he pulled it, and the weight of his hair was about two hundred shekels after the king’s weight.” For every year he grew about three to four pounds of hair.
Now part of their pay was by the pulling of their hair. They would give them so much per shekel and so forth for the pulling of their hair. His weighed between three and four pounds annually, when they’d shave his head and weigh it, about three to four pounds. But it was interesting, it was his hair that led to his death. He was riding through the woods, and his hair got caught on a branch, and he was hanging there by his hair when Joab came along and threw the dart through his heart. So you know, there may be disadvantages but there can be advantages too.
Shall we stand? Our Father we give thanks unto You for those lessons that can be learned as we study Thy Word together. Lord, enrich us in the knowledge of Thy purposes and Thy will. Help us Lord to grow in grace and in the understanding of Thy truth. Lord, we pray now that Thy Word will be hid in our hearts, and may we be cleaned, washed, through the Word that You have spoken. In Jesus’ name, Amen.