Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Second Samuel, which describes the narrative of the reign of David king of Israel from the city of Jerusalem. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters eighteen and nineteen of this Old Testament book. BRING BACK THE KING! WOULD YOU BRING BACK THE KING! WHY DO YOU LET THE KING TARRY AWAY FROM THE THRONE! WHY DO YOU LET THE KING REMAIN APART FROM THE THRONE! RESTORING THE KING TO THE THRONE! RESTORING THE THRONE TO THE KING! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with the absolutely astonishing reality that after the conspiracy and rebellion of Absalom son of David was indeed put down, the king himself remained outside of Jerusalem. If and as you study the narrative and account of David king of Israel and read of how his own son Absalom had conspired against him to seize control of both the throne and the kingdom of Israel, you will find that David fled from the throne, fled from the palace, and fled from the city of Jerusalem in order that he might not be overtaken by his son Absalom. It might very well be said that David understood and knew what his son was capable of, and undoubtedly David looked back over and upon his life and looked upon that decade plus flight from the murderous hand and threat of Saul king of Israel. What we must understand is that this would not be the first time David would flee from the hand of one who conspired against him. If you study the narrative of the life of David you will find that David had spent more than a decade fleeing from the murderous hand and threat of Saul king of Israel, and had spent more than a decade hiding in forests, in wildernesses, in strongholds, in caves, and even in the territory of the enemy and adversary. In fact, there were two specific instances when you read of David departing from the land of Judah in order that he might come unto the territory of the Philistines. Attempting to find solace and safety in the territory of the Philistines David would enter into their territory in order to escape the murderous hand and threat of Saul king of Israel. Perhaps one of the most astonishing realities surrounding the narrative of David is that as you read the account of his life you will find that there were two distinct times when he was forced to flee from the conspiracy of another—the first before he sat upon the throne as king over the nation of Israel, and the second when and as he sat upon the throne over the nation and kingdom of Israel. What makes this even more intriguing is when you think about the fact that all the events which transpired in the life of David can be traced back to one single moment and decision within his life. If you read the narrative of the life of David you will find that everything that took place—from Tamar being raped by Ammon, to Ammon being killed by Absalom, to Absalom fleeing to Geshur, to Absalom mounting a conspiracy against David, and ultimately to Absalom’s death at the hand of Joab—can be traced back to a single moment within the narrative and life of David. Consider if you will the events which transpired in the life of David as was written and recorded within the eleventh chapter of the book of Second Samuel:
“And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Elian, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. And when they had told David, saying Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? When then didst thou not go down unto thine house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As thou lovest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew the valiant men were. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; and charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, and if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city, when ye did fight? Knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast a piece of millstone upon him from the wall, athat he died in Thebez? Why went ye nigh the wall? Then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely, the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were open them even unto the entering of the gate. And the shutters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him. And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Samuel 11:1-27).
If and as you read the words which are found in chapters thirteen through nineteen of this Old Testament book you will find that everything that transpired within the life and narrative of David were directly determined by this single act. What makes this even more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is that this act of sexual immorality, this act of adultery, this act of transgression and iniquity within the life of David came at the end of the year when David found himself steeped in conflict with the children of Ammon, as well as the Syrians. It’s quite remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that This particular narrative within the life of David would take place after—not one, but two distinct and separate acts of kindness. In the ninth chapter of this Old Testament book we find David seeking out any member of the house of Saul whom he might show kindness unto them for the sake of Jonathan whom his soul loved as a brother. Ultimately it would be made known that Jonathan himself had a son whose name was Mephibosheth who was lame in both feet, and who had dwelt in Lo-debar from the time his nurse took him and fled after news of the deaths of Saul and his three sons in battle. After suffering a fall while fleeing with the nurse, this son of Jonathan would be lame in both feet, and would be crippled for the rest of his life. When entering into the presence of the king, however, this son of Jonathan not only heard the king call his name, but he was also utterly and completely shocked when he found the king offering him a seat at his table continually. When in the presence of David king of Israel we find Mephibosheth not only receiving a place at the king’s table and in the place of fellowship and relationship, but we also find him receiving something he most certainly didn’t expect—the restoration of the inheritance which belonged to the house of Saul. The ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel would conclude with Mephibosheth not only receiving a continual and perpetual seat at the king’s table, but also receiving the restoration of the inheritance of his father and grandfather unto him. When you come to the tenth chapter you will find David once more seeking to show kindness unto another with the recipient of this kindness being Hanun the son of Nahash the king of the children of Ammon. Upon hearing how Nahash had died and how Hanun had succeeded his father as king over the children of Ammon, David sent his servants and messengers unto Hanun to bring comfort and consolation in the midst of his great loss, sorrow and anguish.
What so amazes me about the events which take place in the tenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel is that an act of kindness from the heart and soul of David would and could be so misunderstood and so misperceived that it would ultimately and eventually result in conflict, warfare and battle between the children of Israel, as well as the children of Ammon and Syria. You will find and read the narrative of David king of Israel how upon the arrival of his servants within the land of the children of Ammon, the princes of Ammon spoke unto Hanun and poisoned his heart and mind concerning the servants of David—and not only concerning the servants of David, but also concerning the motives and intentions of David. It would be the princes of the children of Ammon that would poison the heart and mind of him toward David and toward those servants he sent, and so much so that he would humiliate them and send them back unto David completely and utterly ashamed. Hanun would not only shave off one half of their beards, but he would also cut their garments in the middle from the front of their waist unto their rear end. What’s more, is that Hanun would send them away from the land of the children of Ammon utterly humiliated and ashamed. Eventually and ultimately we find and discover that when David heard what had taken place he showed kindness unto these servants and had them dwell in Jericho until their beards were fully grown once more. Upon hearing that they now stank in the eyes and sight of David, the children of Ammon enlisted more than thirty-thousand men from among the Syrians to join them in conflict and battle against the children of Israel and against David. The narrative concerning and regarding this kindness which David would attempt to show unto Hanun king of the children of Ammon is perhaps one that is so incredibly tragic because the events which would take place in the second half of the chapter could have been avoided. As a direct result of Hanun’s actions, and as a direct result of his enlisting the help of more than thirty-thousand men from Syria a conflict and battle would ensue between the children of Ammon, the Syrians, and the children of Israel. The account and narrative would reveal how Joab would choose unto and for himself a portion of the mighty men of Israel and would array themselves in battle against the Syrians, while his brother Abishai would have his own portion of the choice men of Israel and would be in battle array against the children of Ammon. Upon the arrival of Joab and those men who were with him we find the Syrians fleeing from the sight of Joab and all those with him. Once the children of Ammon saw the Syrians retreating from before Joab, they too would flee from the face and presence of Abishai and would return unto the city. What we find, however, is that this wouldn’t be the end of the conflict, as the Syrians would return for round two against the children of Israel. Consider if you will the words which are recorded in the tenth chapter of this book of Second Samuel beginning with the fifteenth verse:
“And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them. And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there. And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon anymore” (2 Samuel 10:15-19).
I have to admit that when I read the words which are found in the eleventh chapter—not only am I captivated by the fact that David remained behind in Jerusalem at a time when kings would go forth to battle, but I am also intrigued with and by the fact that the events which took place in the eleventh chapter came directly on the heels of two great victories and triumphs for the children of Israel. While we know and understand from the narrative in the tenth chapter that the conflict that would ensue at this time would be largely and mainly due to the heart and mind of the king of the children of Ammon being poisoned toward David and against those servants he had sent unto him during a time of loss, it’s worth noting that the events of the tenth chapter could have been avoided. There didn’t need to be tension, conflict and strife between the children of Israel and between the children of Ammon, nor did there need to be conflict and strife between the children of Israel and the Syrians. What we find within this passage of Scripture is a tremendous result of the kindness of the king of Israel being spat and trampled upon by the king of the children of Ammon. How absolutely and utterly fascinating it is to think about and consider that the kindness of David would and could result in conflict, strife and tension between the children of Israel and two distinct enemies and adversaries which were round about the nation and kingdom of Israel. When, however, the tenth chapter draws to a close—not only do we find both the children of Ammon, as well as the Syrians fleeing from before Joab and Abishai, but we also find that when the Syrians mounted a second attack and attempt to fight against David, they were smitten before David. The tenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel would conclude with David and the men of Israel securing a tremendous victory over the Syrians. What’s more, is that in addition to reading of the great victory David and the men of Israel had secured and won over the Syrians, we also find that all those kings which were servant to the king of Syria made an alliance of peace and security with David. The final verse of the tenth chapter describes how all those kings which served the king of Syria had transferred their allegiance and alliance to David, and that they made peace with Israel. Moreover, we find that the Syrians were fearful and afraid to help the children of Ammon anymore. By the time we come to the end of the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel we find two distinct and powerful adversaries and enemies of Israel being subdued before David and the mighty men of Israel which fought valiantly for the cities of the living God, and for the people of God which inhabited the inheritance and heritage of the LORD. What’s more, is that the place of security, victory and triumph we read of at the end of the twelfth chapter would be in addition to the great triumphs which David king of Israel had secured shortly after he had become king over the nation of Israel. If you turn and direct your attention back to the eighth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find the following words which describe David’s conquests after becoming king over the nation and kingdom of Israel:
“And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines. And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death,and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts. David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots. And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians becomes servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass. When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer, then Toi sent Jordan his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Jordan brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass: which als king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued; of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men. And he put garrisons in Edmonton; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went” (2 Samuel 8:1-14).
I find it absolutely astonishing to think about and consider that the eighth chapter was steeped in great victory, triumph and success during the reign of David as king over the nation of Israel, and on the heels of such great victory and success we find David setting out on two different and two distinct acts of kindness to two different individuals. The victory and success David experienced against Amalek, against Moab, against Syria, against Edom, and against the Philistines would be immediately followed up by his desire and pursuit for any surviving member of the house of Saul which he would show kindness to for the sake of Jonathan the son of Saul. In the tenth chapter we again find David setting forth to show kindness—this time not to a member of the house of Saul, but the son of Nahash king of the children of Ammon who had himself succeeded his father as being king over the land. The kindness of David king of Israel would be grossly spat and trampled upon, and would result in two distinct conflicts—the first being a conflict between Joab and Abishai and the men who were with them as they engaged both the Syrians and the children of Ammon in battle. The second conflict would be one that David and all the host of Israel would be drawn into as David and the host of Israel would completely conquer and subdue the Syrians. The direct and ultimate result of David’s defeat of the Syrians was that those kings which were subject to the king of Syria would now make peace with Israel, and the Syrians themselves would be fearful of making an alliance and allegiance with the children of Ammon. Having not only secured great victory, triumph and success over the nations and lands rounds about Israel, and after having put down two distinct conflicts against the Syrians, David would reach a point within his life when he would remain behind in Jerusalem during and at a time when kings would normally go out to battle. Instead of marching out with the host of Israel and accompanying Joab in battle against the adversaries and enemies of Israel, David would remain behind in the city of Jerusalem. Scripture isn’t clear as to why David remained behind in Jerusalem—only that at the time when kings would go forth to battle and when kings would go forth to engage in conflict and warfare, David remained behind in Jerusalem. Perhaps David had grown tired and weary of all the conflict, all the struggle, all the tension, all the warfare, all the bloodshed, and from the sight and sound of the sword. Perhaps David sought to enjoy the peace and rest that had been secured during the days of his reign as the men of Israel had conquered and subdued the nations, peoples and land round about the land of Israel. Whether because he was tired and weary from battle, whether he simply wanted to enjoy the peace and rest that had come as a result of military campaigns, or perhaps a combination of both we know that David would remain behind in Jerusalem at the time when kings would go forth to battle.
It’s quite telling and intriguing to think about and consider the fact that directly on the heels of great victory and success, directly on the heels of two powerful acts of kindness, David would open himself up to a point and place within his life when he would allow transgression, iniquity, immorality, and sin to creep into his heart and into his life. What we find in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel is a powerful narrative of David king of Israel remaining behind at a time when kings go forth to war, and I can’t help but get the sense that had David actually accompanied his men in battle we might not read of the events found in this chapter taking place. It is quite possible that we might find David on the top of his palace at night, nor his looking out from his palace and seeing a woman bathing. It is quite possible that when we read the words which are written and found within this passage that had David chosen to accompany his men in battle against the nations and lands round about, he wouldn’t have placed himself in such a vulnerable position. It’s quite interesting to think about and consider that Uriah the Hittite would go out to battle, thus leaving his wife behind. Uriah the Hittite would go forth to battle with the rest of Israel, and with Joab against the nations and lands round about the nation of Israel, and yet David the king would remain behind. If there is one thing we must recognize when reading the words which are found within this narrative, it’s the tremendous danger we open ourselves up to when we enter into a place when we stop fighting, when we stop going out to battle, and when we stop engaging our enemies in conflict. There is a great danger that arises and emerges in our lives when we cease taking up the sword which is the divine Word of God, and when we cease entering into our prayer closets and shutting ourselves in with the LORD. There is a tremendous danger that arises when we stop doing what we know we ought to do, and it is James who writes in the New Testament that he who knows to do right and does not do it—unto him it is counted and reckoned as sin. It’s interesting to consider the fact that sin isn’t necessarily doing that which isn’t right in the sight of the LORD, but sin is actually ceasing, and perhaps even refusing to do that which we know is right in the sight of the LORD. This helps shine a tremendous spotlight on what we find and read in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel, for within this passage we find that it was when David didn’t take up the sword, when David didn’t go out to battle, when David didn’t accompany his men in war that he positioned himself to transgress and sin against the LORD. It would be when David stopped doing that which he knew to be right that he actually positioned and opened himself up to sin and transgress against the LORD. IT should be noted that I do not believe for one moment that when David made the decision to remain behind in Jerusalem he intended on sinning and transgressing against the command and word of the LORD.
We must recognize and understand this particular reality when reading and considering the events that would take place within the narrative and life of David, for there is not a doubt in my mind that David didn’t wake up on this particular morning with the intention of sinning and transgressing against the command of the LORD. Moreover, I do not believe that David awoke from his sleep on this particular night with any intention of sinning and transgressing against the LORD. Furthermore, I do not believe that David chose to remain behind in the city of Jerusalem at a time when kings would go forth to battle with the intention of committing adultery with another man’s wife, trying to cover up his iniquity and transgression when he realized that something had been conceived from it, and even resorting to murder to cover up his actions. There is not a doubt in my mind that David set out to deliberately and intentionally transgress the command of the LORD which is what makes his decision to remain home behind in the city of Jerusalem at a time when kings went out to battle so incredible severe. It was David’s decision—not to sin and transgress against the LORD, but rather to stop doing what he had spent his entire life doing, and what he knew in his heart and would was right—that would ultimately lead him down the path of sinning and transgressing against the LORD. It should be noted that David could have easily walked away after looking up this woman from the roof of his palace as he saw her bathe. David did not have to remain upon his roof and look upon this woman, and he certainly didn’t have to inquire as to who she was. What’s more, is that once David learned that this woman was another man’s wife, he could have made the decision to abstain from any further action. Up to this point in time David hadn’t sinned, nor had he transgressed against the command of the LORD. We should be aware of the fact that when David ascended to the roof of his palace, he hadn’t committed iniquity and transgression against the LORD. When David happened to look out from the roof of his palace and spotted Bathsheba bathing, he hadn’t yet committed iniquity and transgression against the LORD. Even when David sent to inquire as to the identity of this woman, he hadn’t committed iniquity and transgression against the LORD. Where David began to commit iniquity and transgression against the living God was when he sent for the woman—even after learning that she was the wife of another—and upon her entering into his presence, he engaged in adultery and sexual immorality with her. I read one author speaking of this encounter and how David forcibly lie with Bathsheba and essentially raping her. This particular author would go on to state that David’s rape of Bathsheba would ultimately lead to the whirlwind of his own daughter Tamar being raped.
I feel the great need at this juncture to declare that I do not for one moment believe that David raped Bathsheba, and that he somehow forced his way onto her. Though some might argue that it was because David raped Bathsheba that his own daughter Tamar was raped, I do not believe that for one minute. Please note that I do believe that David committed adultery with Bathsheba and that he did in fact commit sexual immorality with her, however, I do not believe that he raped her and that he forced himself upon her. The question I can’t help but ask is why if he had forced himself upon her, and why if he raped her would she then come unto him and be his wife. What’s more, is that even though the son that was born out of this adultery and fornication would die, another son would be born unto David and Bathsheba whose name was Solomon. It would Solomon who would succeed David as being the next king of Israel, and it would be Solomon who would build the Temple of the living God. It would be during David’s day that the throne in Israel would be established, and it would be during the days of Solomon when the Temple and place of God’s glory and presence would be established. It would be during the days of David when the place of God’s government would be set up in the earth and in the midst of his people, and it would be during the days of his son Solomon that the place of God’s glory would be established in the midst of the earth. There is not a doubt in my mind that the interaction which took place between David and Bathsheba wasn’t a mutual interaction where both parties knew exactly what they were doing and engaged in an adulterous affair with each other. What makes this quite astonishing and intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that as I have already mentioned—I do not believe that David remained in Jerusalem with the intent on committing adultery with another woman. I do not believe that David chosen to stay behind in Jerusalem with the intention and plan of sinning and transgressing against the command of the LORD. I don’t believe for one moment that David woke up that morning with the intention of sinning and transgressing against the command of the LORD, and with the intention of committing adultery with another woman. What we must realize is that David had more than one chance and more than one opportunity to say no to this temptation, and actually choose not to move any further down this dark and dangerous path of lust, adultery, fornication and sexual immorality. David could have very easily have chosen to look away from Bathsheba and return to his bed without sending to inquire who she was. Even if David had inquired who she was, he could chosen to leave it alone after discovering that she was indeed a married woman. David could have very easily have chosen not to engage this woman at all upon learning that she was married, and yet even after learning who she was, he still proceeded to pursue her. Lest we forget—the ultimate step David could have taken to prevent this downward spiral from taking place was to continue doing what was good and right in the sight of the LORD.
TO HIM WHO KNOWS TO DO RIGHT AND DOES NOT DO IT—UNTO HIM IT IS COUNTED AND RECKONED AS SIN! I am absolutely and completely convinced that when you read the narrative of David and his iniquity and transgression with Bathsheba, it must be understood that the single greatest truth found here is that David opened himself up this dark and dangerous path the minute he stopped doing what was right and the minute he stopped doing what he had always done. The minute David stopped fighting and the minute David stopped going out to battle was the minute that he opened himself up to great iniquity and great transgression before the LORD. Not only this, but it would be a direct result of his choosing to remain in Jerusalem while kings and even Joab and the army of Israel went out to battle. It would be a direct result of David’s choosing to remain behind in Jerusalem that would directly lead to his iniquity and transgression before the LORD which would begin with adultery and would end in murder. Not only this, but his iniquity and transgression would also include both lying and stealing, as he would steal the wife of Uriah away from him after having him killed in battle. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on that which not only led David down the path of committing iniquity and transgression against the living God, but also to the sword being introduced within his own household. Up to that point the sword had always been against the enemies and adversaries of David, however, his iniquity and transgression would open the door to the sword being introduced and thrust into the very heart of his family. It would be his decision not to go out to battle, and his decision to take a step back from fighting that would ultimately and inevitably lead to the consequences of his sin. Although the prophet Nathan declared unto David that his iniquity had been pardoned and that he would not die, he nonetheless declared unto him that there would be consequences and repercussions which would come as a direct result to his sin and iniquity. From Tamar his daughter being raped, to Ammon his son being killed, to Absalom his son fleeing from Jerusalem and then returning to Jerusalem only to lead a conspiracy and rebellion against David, to the death of his son Absalom at the hands of Joab, we find direct consequences to the iniquity and transgression of David. What’s more, is that I would also dare say that the consequences David experienced and endured were not limited to his adultery with Bathsheba, but was also directly linked to his deliberate and intentional decision to remain behind in Jerusalem during a time when kings would normally go out to battle and go out to war.
The more you read and study the narrative of David during this particular portion of his life the more you will come face to face with events which would have been absolutely and utterly unthinkable by any stretch of the imagination. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but wonder if at any point throughout the life of this young man who would not lead a rebellion and conspiracy against David he as a father thought he would be capable of something so sinister. Was there ever a point during the life of Absalom’s life growing up when David thought within himself that he would be capable of growing up and mounting a full fledge conspiracy and rebellion against him? When we come to this particular portion of Scripture we will encounter the tremendous reality that the events which essentially sent Absalom on this path of conspiracy and rebellion would indeed and would in fact begin with the rape of his sister Tamar. Upon realizing his sister was raped—and not only realizing that his sister was raped, but also that she was raped Ammon one of the king’s own sons—Absalom decided to take matters into his own hands and avenge his sister. It would be Absalom who would take matters into his own hands—perhaps because he felt his father David would do absolutely nothing to address and speak to this particular situation. The thirteenth chapter of this Old Testament book concludes with David learning how his son Ammon had been killed, and we find David himself weeping over this news which had undoubtedly rocked and shaken him to the depths of his being. The thirteenth chapter concludes with David weeping over his son Ammon, and Absalom’s fleeing from the presence of the king. IN the final two verses of the thirteenth chapter we find Absalom fleeing from the presence of the king, and David longing and desiring to go forth unto Absalom in order that he might restore his son. What’s quite interesting to read and consider within these chapters is that the thirteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel concludes with it being mentioned how David longed to go forth unto Absalom—perhaps to bring him back and restore him unto his place in Jerusalem. What we find, however, is nothing at all of the sort taking place, for it isn’t until we come to the fourteenth chapter we find David actually sending to bring back Absalom. A question I can’t help but wonder within my heart and mind is what would and what could have happened to Absalom had David never sent and brought him back to the city of Jerusalem. If you read in verses twenty-three and twenty-four of the fourteenth chapter you will find the following words concerning the bringing back of Absalom son of David king of Israel:
“So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king’s face” (2 Samuel 14-23-24).
As you continue reading even further in the final portion of the fourteenth chapter you will find a description of Absalom, and how in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty, for from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. Moreover, you will find that upon Absalom’s being brought back to Jerusalem, he would spend a full two years in the city of Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. Even though Absalom would be returned unto the city of David, and even though he would be restored unto his own hom, he would not at all see the face of the king. What we must realize when coming to the final verses of the fourteenth chapter is the actions of Absalom, which begin to show signs of something brewing within the depths of his soul. This man who had slaughtered and murdered his brother in cold blood after he had raped his sister would now call for the setting on fire of Joan’s field in order to send a message to his father David concerning his not coming into his presence. Upon Absalom and Joab speaking with one another we find Absalom asking him why his father would bring him back from Geshur if he would not allow him to see his face. Moreover, Absalom would declare unto Joab that it would have been better for him to dwell in Geshur even then if he would and could not see the king’s face. It’s quite interesting to think and consider the fact that when Absalom was speaking unto Joab he spoke unto him concerning his entering into the presence of the king, and how if the king found any iniquity in him, he would kill and strike him down. The fourteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel concludes with Joab coming into the presence of the king and speaking unto him all the words which Absalom his son had spoken unto him in his presence. Ultimately David the king would call for Absalom to come into his presence, and upon entering into the presence of David his father he bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. The final verse of the fourteenth chapter concludes with Scripture revealing how upon Absalom being in his presence, David simply kissed Absalom. There is no other mention about that interaction which took place between Absalom and David the king of Israel, and we don’t know what words were exchanged between the two of them. We don’t know what the general purpose of this interaction was, nor what would transpire between David and essentially this prodigal son who had not only murdered one of the king’s sons as a son himself, but who had also fled from the presence of the king and returned unto the city of Jerusalem. The only thing we know for certain when the fourteenth chapter concludes is that Absalom was indeed brought into the presence of the king, would see the king’s face after at least two years living in the city of Jerusalem—this doesn’t include the time he was in Geshur after having fled from the king—Absalom’s bowing with his face to the ground before the king, and David kissing Absalom his son after not seeing his face for at least two years.
It is when you come to the fifteenth chapter of this Old Testament book you begin to see the heart of Absalom toward the king, for while the fourteenth chapter concludes with Absalom in a place of humility before and in the presence of the king—regardless of whether or not it was all a show and charade on the heart of Absalom or not we don’t know—we find Absalom launching and mounting a full scale conspiracy and rebellion against David his father, against the king of Israel, against the throne of David in the midst of the land, and against the kingdom itself. When you come to the fifteenth chapter you will find Absalom launching a conspiracy against the king of Israel as he stole the hearts of Israel away from his father the king in an attempt to subvert his authority as king over the nation and kingdom of Israel. It’s in the fifteenth chapter of this Old Testament book we encounter and come face to face with Absalom first beginning his conspiracy at the gate in Jerusalem, and how he would essentially intercept all those who would desire to see the king in matters of judgment. With each and every one who desired to come unto the king for judgment, Absalom would be there first to hear and listen to their words, their distress, their discouragement, their discontentment, and the like. Absalom would show obeisance toward those individuals who originally desired an audience with the king to receive judgment, and as a direct result of Absalom’s actions he would steal the hearts of the people away from his father David. In the seventh verse of this chapter we find it mentioned how after forty years Absalom spoke unto the king and inquired of him that he would let him go unto Hebron in order that he might fulfill a vow he made before and unto the LORD while he was in the land of Geshur. Essentially and ultimately Absalom would deceive his father into allowing him to depart from the city of Jerusalem and enter into the city of Hebron, for Absalom would ultimately be plotting a conspiracy and rebellion against the king there in Hebron, for we discover that when he entered into the city of Hebron, he sent spies throughout all Israel declaring unto them that when they heard the sound of the trumpet they would proclaim that Absalom reigns in Hebron. Moreover, we find that when the king did in fact grant Absalom the opportunity to journey unto Hebron, this son of the king would bring two hundred men out of Jerusalem which were called, and went with him completely unaware of what he was planning and plotting against the king. What’s more, is that Absalom would also send for the king’s own counselor in order that he might come alongside and align himself with him. The twelfth verse of the fifteenth chapter describes how the conspiracy of Absalom was strong in the land, for the people increased continually with Absalom.
As you come to the thirteenth verse of the fifteenth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find that when it was told David that the hearts of the men of Israel were after Absalom, David spoke unto all his servants which were with him at Jerusalem, and calling for them to Arise and fleeing that they might escape from Absalom. The ultimate reason and purpose for David’s flight is because of his perception that if they did not make haste, and if they did not flee quickly, it was quite possible that Absalom would and could come upon them suddenly, and bring evil upon them, and smite the edge of the city with the sword. Upon continuing to read the final words of the fifteenth chapter you will find David fleeing from the city of Jerusalem with his servants, with his household, and with a great number of people who ventured with him during this particular point of his life. Moreover, we find that in addition to the king’s servants and his household, the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. It’s worth noting that even though David would flee from the city of Jerusalem, and even though David would flee from his own son Absalom, he would not flee alone, for there would be at least six hundred man who would accompany him—this wouldn’t even include those of his own household, and his own servants. It’s worth noting and pointing out that as David was fleeing from the city of Jerusalem and as he fled from the conspiracy and rebellion of his son, the entire country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over the brook Kidron toward the way of the wilderness. Initially the Ark of the Covenant would accompany David and all those who were with him until David called for the Ark to be brought back unto the city of Jerusalem, and declared that if he found favor in the sight of the LORD, He would allow him to return unto the city to behold the Ark once more. The fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Samuel describes how David would go by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered as he went barefoot. All those who went up along with David would cover their heads as they went up, and even weeping as they went. What I so absolutely love about how the fifteenth chapter concludes is when you come to the thirty-first verse you will find it being told David how his own counselor Ahithophel was among the conspirators who aligned themselves with Absalom. Upon hearing his we find David doing something which is truly unique and astonishing when you take the time to consider it, for within these verses we find David praying that the counsels of Ahithophel be turned into foolishness. Moreover, we find it written that when David came to the top of the mount, he worshipped God.
It would be while David was worshipping the LORD when Hushai the ARchite would come to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head. Upon seeing Hushai David spoke unto him and instructed him to return unto the city of Jerusalem in order that he might be a servant unto the king from a distance, as he would not only counter the counsel of Ahithophel, but also as he would be an instrument that would defeat the counsel of Ahithophel which he would attempt give unto Absalom. Moreover, David would send Hushai unto Absalom in order that he might not only defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, but also that he might serve as a spy within the camp of Absalom and pass along words and report unto David as he would continue fleeing from the hand and conspiracy of his son Absalom. As you continue reading the words which were found in these chapters you will find the account of how Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth would come out to meet David with a couple donkeys saddled, and upon them would be two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. This which Ziba did for and on behalf of the king would be to provide sustenance for both he and his household as they continued along their journey, for none of them knew if or when they would indeed return unto the city of Jerusalem. It’s actually quite interesting to read and consider the words which are found in this chapter, for in the first four verses of the sixteenth chapter find the kindness of Ziba toward David and all those who were with him, while beginning with the fifth verse of the same chapter we find a man coming out unto them who was from the family of the house of Saul. This man who came out unto and among them was Shimei, the son of Gera, and he came forth and cursed as he came. Moreover, this Shimei would also cast stones at David, and at all the servant of king David. Even more than this we find that Shimei would speak unto the king concerning his being a bloody man, and how he was a son of Belial, for the LORD was the returning upon him all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place he reigned. As if this weren’t bad enough, we also find Shimei declared unto David how it was the LORD who was delivering the kingdom into the hand of Absalom his son, as he himself was taken in by mischief since he was a blood man. Upon hearing the words of this vile and cruel individual, Abishai inquired of the king that he might go over and slaughter him by taking off his head. It’s quite remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that not only did David refrain Abishai from killing Shimei, but he also declared unto him that it is possible that his cursing of him as they went might possibly be of the LORD, and that it was the LORD who was allowing him to curse him. What’s more, is that David would also speak unto Abishai and instruct him to continue to allow him to curse, for it might be that the LORD would look on his affliction, and the LORD would requite of him good for his cursing on that day.
LET HIM ALONE AND LET HIM CURSE! Please don’t miss and lose sight of these words of David, for they are actually quite unique and quite astounding when you think about them. It’s worth noting that David could have very easily authorized Abishai to go unto Shimei and strike off his head as was his original request. It’s worth noting that David could have very easily given Abishai permission and reign to strike down Shimei in the midst of his cursing, and yet what we find is something much different than what we might except. You might recall that this wasn’t the first time Abishai asked for permission to strike down a member of the family of Saul, for when he was with David in the camp of Saul as both Saul and all the men were sleeping, he asked permission of David to strike Saul dead with his own spear, and once and for all be rid of this mad and murderous king. There in the camp David would refrain the hand and heart of Abishai from killing and striking down the LORD’s anointed, and now here we are once again with David speaking unto Abishai and once more refraining and holing back his hand and heart from putting to death one who had come out to curse the king as he went. What I find to be so absolutely remarkable and astonishing when reading the words which are recorded in this passage of Scripture is how not only did David hold back the hand of Abishai from striking down Shimei, but he also instructed him to let him alone, as well as to let him curse him, for it might be that the LORD would look upon his affliction, and would require of Shimei concerning his cursing. Pause for a moment and consider the words which David spoke unto Abishai, for not only did he steady the hand of Abishai, but he also instructed him to leave this man alone and let him continue to cruse, for it would be the LORD who would look upon his actions and would hear his words. Even as David was fleeing from the conspiracy and rebellion of his own son, he would not strike down and put to death a single soul—even that one who would come out against him cursing as he came. Even more than this, we find that David steadied the hand and heart of Abishai to not only allow this vile man to continue cursing him as he went, but also to continue casting stones at him and all those who went with them. Consider if you will what great humility, what great strength, what great fortitude David must have had within his heart and soul to not only allow this man to live, but also to let him continue to curse him as he went, and even stone him. The question I can’t help but ask is whether or not this describes you, and whether or not you would or could allow another co continue to curse you, and continue to hurl stones at you—perhaps not physical stones, but stones of accusation, stones of condemnation, stones of slander, stones of gossip, stones of ridicule, and the like. Could you simply stand by and allow another to continue to hurl curses and insults at you, and allow them to cast all their stones of judgment toward and against you without retaliating and without acting out against them. Moreover, would you be willing to continue along in your journey—even though there is one who might come out against you to curse you, to slander you, to revile you, and to cast their stones of judgment against you?
As I bring this writing to a close it’s actually quite unique and astounding to consider the fact that ultimately and inevitably the conspiracy of Absalom would be brought to nothing, and Absalom himself would be killed by Joab who would thrust three darts into his heart. It would be there as Absalom would be hanging in a tree utterly and completely helpless that Joab would not only pierce his heart with three darts, but would also call for those who were with him to slaughter this son of the king. The eighteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel concludes with Absalom the son of the king being dead, and David hearing that his son was dead and was no more. Thus by the time we come to the end of the eighteenth chapter we find two of the king’s sons having been slain, for not only was Ammon slain by Absalom, but now we find Absalom being slain by Joab who was the commander of the host in David’s army. When you come to the nineteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel you will find Joab rebuking the king for his weeping and mourning over his son, for his sorrow and his anguish had turned the great victory which had been won that day into mourning and sorrow. David would listen to and heed the words of Joab the commander of his army and would go out among the people and sit in the gate. When and as you come to the ninth chapter of the nineteenth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find David king of Israel still away and apart from the city of Jerusalem, and not yet having returned unto the city and unto the Ark of the Covenant. It’s worth noting that when the nineteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel concludes, it does so with an intense and tremendous dialogue concerning bringing back and restoring the king to the throne, and restoring the king to the place of authority, dominion and government in the midst of the city. It is absolutely necessary that we realize and understand what was going on and taking place here, for here we have a strong and powerful call—not only to bring the king back to the city of Jerusalem, but also to restore the king to the throne in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. The nineteenth chapter of the book of Second Samuel concludes with the absolutely astounding and remarkable call to bring back the king—this king who had fled upon learning of the conspiracy and rebellion of his own son Absalom. Please don’t’ miss and lose sight of the words which are written and found within the final verses of this chapter, for it is absolutely prophetic in nature concerning our generation and concerning our society today, for there is an absolutely desperate need for this nation, this culture and this society to bring back the King who once ruled and governed over us. There is an absolutely wonderful and tremendous need for the King who exercised authority over us to be brought back—and not only brought back, but restored unto His rightful place of authority and dominion over and among us. Please note that this is just as much true on a personal level as it is on a national level. Please note that this is as much needed in the lives of individual men and women as much as it is needed in a corporate and national sense.
We dare not, we must not, we cannot miss and lose sight of this absolutely remarkable and astounding reality, for to do so would be to miss an absolutely wonderful need within our culture and society in this generation—namely, that the KING of kings and LORD of lords would be brought back among us, and would begin to once more rule, reign and govern as He once did. Oh that there would be a people among us in this generation who would call for the restoration and bringing back of the KING of kings, and the LORD of lords that He might rule and reign over us in His rightful place of authority, dominion and government, as of the increase of His government there will be no end. I leave you with the words which were written in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah in both the seventh and ninth chapters concerning this King who would be born unto us, and who would reign in all authority, dominion and power:
“Therefore the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear. Son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).