Monthly Archives: March 2019

Finished Race

2 Samuel 19-24; the end of the days of King David. If we look at David’s life, it has so many ups and downs, successes and defeats. Acts 13:36 “For David after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay.” Many of you probably thought I was going to quote Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8; about finishing the race set before him. Well, both men finished what GOD wanted of them in their lives. When I was growing up, and after I became a Christian through faith in Jesus Christ; I asked the Lord for one thing – that my life would count, that my life would make a difference. Well, it some 45 years later and I’m not sure of the answer. We all have our lives that we live out, and I’m sure we all wonder did our lives count?

David was chosen, brought into fame and success as a young boy [shepherd boy] who took on the giant Goliath and won. He demonstrated a faith and obedience unlike many his age. Yet being anointed as the future King, David went through tremendous battles and persecution from King Saul. Yet, David had a friend the king’s own son – Jonathan. David was a warrior, he had blood on his hands from all the thousands of enemies he killed. The people loved David, the Lord loved David, but David was a mere man. Scripture tells us that he was a man after God’s own heart. He would be blessed with a covenant from God, whereby the Messiah/Savior would come through his line and would one day sit on the throne of Judah as the Lion of Judah – this covenant/prophecy will be enacted with the reign of Jesus Christ when He comes back as the Conquering LORD.

David was not a good father figure. We have looked at the lives of Ammon, Tamar, Absalom, and King Saul. David like Eli and several other fathers did not reprove the sins of their children. Absalom kills Ammon after he raped Tamar; then Absalom hides for three years, when he does come back, David doesn’t talk to him for two years. Even when Absalom for 40 years undermines the King’s throne by swaying people to listen to him rather than David; David does nothing but run away from the situation.
I find that David is very high at times and very low at times. He is so gifted with musical talent and artistry, yet he is also plagued with a melancholy spirit for long periods of time.

David dances before the LORD while bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Zion; yet is forbidden to build the Temple [left for Solomon to do]. So David after he had served God in his generation, he died and suffered decay. I find that many of us can identify with David. Our spiritual life has successes and defeats; there are events and actions that have caused us great pain and guilt. We fail, and when we do, we really fail BIG. David was not perfect, but he was forgiven. Reading 2 Samuel 22 a great song – I call David’s Swan Song. I read through and find that David says that he is blessed because he has not acted wickedly, he has kept the ways of the LORD. I go huh? What about the failure with Bathsheba, the murder of Uriah, the absentee father? What about all those failures? How can you say that you are innocent and blameless? [22:22-26] I had to be reminded by the Holy Spirit that God does not see as I see. Isaiah 1:18-20 speaks of God’s forgiveness. Either we have complete and total forgiveness or we don’t. David a man after God’s own heart – read Psalm 51 and note the completer brokenness of David, the strong confession and repentance he speaks of. Admitting that we are failures and have great offense towards God is the beginning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If we know us, we must admit not only are we sinners, but we have a sin nature. The root of our problem is the heart in the problem, namely our heart.

People in Israel still worship at the tomb of David; David was a great man, but he was a man. Something that I learned reading through 2 Samuel – Israel was always ready to leave David, only Judah was fully committed to him. Also the life lesson of David’s failure with Bathsheba, changed him. He was no longer that strong warrior. It seems that the failure and murder of Uriah plagued him from then on. We must move past our failures and sins and not let them keep us captive and shackled. I don’t mean minimize them – but deal with them according to the Lord and then move on. We only have “our generation to serve God” – there is someone coming after us. A new generation, a new king in Solomon.

 

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Family Coup

2 Samuel 14-18 must be one of the saddest sections of the bible. We pick up after Ammon has committed incest with his half-sister Tamar, and Absalom has killed him. Absalom flees for 3 years in fear. Finally after the prompting of Joab, King David allows Absalom to return, but doesn’t see him for 2 years! So much is revealed in these chapters. Why did David not go and reconcile with Absalom? David was a great warrior, and a great king, and he has the promised covenant with the LORD for a perpetual throne, which Jesus our Savior will sit. But David was a terrible father figure. After the adulteress event with Bathsheba, David is never the same; whether out of fear or guilt – David doesn’t display the courage and power he once had.

With King David displaying a “hands off approach” towards Absalom; Absalom takes things into his own hands. in 2 Samuel 15:7, it says “after 40 years” – this is near the end of King David’s reign. Absalom is usurping authority from David by engaging with the people before they have audience with the King. I cannot help but think that David knew this was going on; but he let it go on. Eventually, Absalom gets enough power and people on his side – what does David do, but flee the city and leaves it to Absalom. David leaves 10 concubines behind, and sure enough – in a display of assuming the throne power, Absalom has relations with them in public eyes. David never corrected or dealt with the events of his children. Absalom is the 3rd child of David by way of Maacah, the Daughter of the King of Geshur – which happens to be the place where Absalom ran after he killed Ammon.

One by the name of Ahitphoel, becomes the counselor of Absalom – by now the strength of Absalom is well-known, and all of Israel – except those faithful to King David have followed Absalom – in fact in 2 Samuel 16: 16, under disguise Hushai declares Long Live the King, Long live Absalom!

How bad did it get? David is beaten down, he even allows a man names Shimei to curse him and throw stones at him, David’s response “perhaps God is telling him to cures me, why would I go against what God has said.” So sad – I think the sin of Bathsheba, and the unchecked sin of Ammon and Absalom has caused David to become a “non-entity” – powerless because of sin that has occurred in his life. Sin will paralyze us if we let it. We must have faith and confidence that when we confess our sins and repent from them [turn away] that God will hear the fervent prayer of His children and will forgive our sins. 1 John 1:9 rings true. Even when we are not faithful – God will always be faithful. Jesus died and rose again for our justification. We are not just exonerated from the penalty of our sins, but we have been washed, cleansed from all unrighteousness in Christ. David was enslaved to his past. That is guilt – God doesn’t deal with us according to our guilt but according to the perfect sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. We are freed from the tyranny of Satan the accuser, who has been defeated. David was not living in the victory, but in the defeat of sin!

The family coup extended into the whole nation and tribes of Israel. Finally, there is a war, but on that day 20,000 people died. Odious – the bible says that Absalom had become repulsive to David – while that may be true to some extent, I also find that David for whatever reason, couldn’t bring himself to deal with Absalom. He even asks that Joab, Abishai and Ittai deal gently with Absalom. Joab hears that Absalom is stuck in the fork of a tree where his hair got caught. Joab then thrust three spears through Absalom. I know Joab thought he was doing right to Absalom, but he rejected the wishes of David. Absalom is dead, Ammon is dead, and Tamar is scarred. I wonder how different it would have been if David the father would have been the parent they needed both in loving and correcting them?

King David was a great man of God, a great King, but he failed as a father. This just reinforces that no matter what else is going on – family must come first!

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