Impact Week #19
2 Samuel 18-19 tells of Absalom's death and Davids return to the throne. However, David does not initially see this as a victory because in the process he lost his son.
David sent his men out to war with Absalom and he gave his men a very specific order, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake." Absolam is Davids son and although he has betrayed his father and humiliated David public ally, David still yearns on his heart for his son. However, Joab, Davids commander, saw it differently, and when the opportunity arose, he struck Absalom down.
When news of the death reached David, instead of rejoicing, David wept bitterly. He focused on the loss more than what had been gained.
Joab convinces David to take heart for the men in the army's sake and David does. On their way back to Jerusalem, David is greeted by Shimei, a man who had thrown rocks at David and cursed him as he was fleeing from Absalom. This time though, Shimei has come to help David back and makes a plea for forgiveness. Davids men want to strike the man down, but David sees things differently and shows the man mercy. He says to him, "You will not die, I give you my word."
The Kings word, his oath, cannot be broken. Shimei's life was safe no matter what.
As Jesus reads this story, he reads a story of love and mercy. Jesus learned to weep as his enemies were slain because his heart desired to be retired to them. Jesus looked over Jerusalem and wept because they did not receive him. Yet, a man hanging on a tree next to him mocks him and curses him. His own follower denies him. His other followers desert him and flee and hide. Many others cast "stones" and curse him as he walks on earth. Yet, like David, Jesus realizes they have been sent by God (2 Samuel 16:10-12) just like David realized Shimei had been sent by the Lord.
Through it all, Jesus learns from David the act of mercy toward those who curse him, hate him, desert him, and are embarrassed to be connected with him. Like David, Jesus, the King of Kings, hears the cries of those in his army saying, why don't you just destroy them? But Jesus, impacted by a story written for him to learn from, declares an oath as our King of Kings and says, "You shall not die" but instead he invites us to LIVE with him forever!
Again, I am so grateful for our King of Kings, my merciful Savior, Jesus Christ. And every day as I read these stories, I am more grateful they were written so a young man named Jesus would hear them, understand them, and then live out the truths in them so that I, a man who cast stones and curses as he was nailed to the tree, could be looked upon by him and told, "You shall not die, but today you will be with me in paradise!"
2 Samuel 21:14 "After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land."
What is interesting to me is what comes before the "After That."
In chapter 20, we read of the story of Joab murdering Amasa and leaving him to wallow in the middle of the road with his intestines hanging out. Honestly, that whole chapter confuses me as to why we are told this story. I know Joab was jealous because David had given his position to Amasa. But I will have to ponder more the reason behind this story being there for Jesus.
Now we come to the reason for 2 Samuel 21:14. The Before of the After that.
Chapter 21 starts with the reality that Israel was dealing with a 3 year famine. After three years David seeks the Lord, inquiring of God (words that have been missing the last little but in David's story) but after three years of famine, David is back before the Lord asking what is going on?
Gods response goes back to an event in Sauls life when Saul tried to kill off the people of Gibeonites (the people Joshua and Israel were tricked by and had made a covenant with not to kill them.) Saul chose to try and change that and broke the Covenant Joshua and Israel had made with with the Gibeonites. Now, years later, God has withheld the crop growth from Israel.
Next David approaches the Gibeonites (those who remained) and asked what he could do to make it up to them. Long story short, they asked for 7 of Saul's descendants to be given to them to be slain and David did it. These men were slaughtered and then spread out on a hillside to rot in the sun. One lady from their family camped their and kept the birds and wild beast away from the bodies until David sent and had them retrieved and buried.
"After that, God heard the prayers on behalf of the land."
Reading this, a Covenant had been broken and only the blood of the family of the transgressor would suffice God. Though this is an extreme example of the horrific fallout of a broken Covenant, it spoke very loud to Jesus in preparing him for what was ahead.
As Jesus reads, he grows to understand that man, Adam and Eve, had broken the Covenant between man and God. They transgressed and because of it, were banished to a famine in their relationship with God, separated from Him. No matter what man did, nothing bridged the gap completely in order to reach the "after that" required to be reunited with the Satisfier of their longings. So the King of Kings, Jesus, knew only one thing would do. A man broke the Covenant, so the blood of a man who faced the same choice as Adam and Eve would have to be slain and hung up for the world to see! So Jesus learned from this obscure story the desperate need we had for one of us to obey fully, to walk humbly, and then die so we could live in the "After that" in which now God dwells with us, in us, and hears the prayers of the land.
What Impact! Glory be to God for the One who was able to bring me to the "After that" in which now God hears my prayers now and forever more!
Praise be to the Lamb!
2 Samuel and Psalm 18 read almost identical. In the NIV it list it as David's song of praise. This was surely recorded here because David must have loved singing this one song so much as he reflected on all God had done for him. I wonder how much Jesus loved singing this song as he grew into a young man, as he worked with Joseph, as he walked the roads with the disciples, and as he must have heard it in his head hanging on a tree!
To recount the whole Song from 2 Samuel 22 would take a great length of time, listen to these highlights Jesus surely loved to belt out -
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,"
What a glorious start to his life's song. To know who's hand held your very life and soul.
"In my distress I called to the Lord. . . He heard my voice" v7
To know your voice was always heard by the one who loves you.
"He parted the heavens and came down. . . He reach down from on high and took hold of me, he rescued me from my powerful enemy. . ." V.10&17-18
David knew God was fighting on his behalf and Jesus lived constantly in this truth, especially while hanging on a tree.
"He rescued me because He delighted in me." V.20
"This is my Son in whom I am well pleased!" Jesus could deliver his spirit into his father's hands with confidence because he knew His Daddy delighted in him.
"The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight!"
If David could sing this, being a sinful man and history told Jesus that God loved David and rewarded him despite his failures, how much more would God hold true to his promises to reward Jesus who was flawless in Gods eyes!
"He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him" v 31
David trusted in Gods protection, Jesus lived boldly and gave up his life in confidence that his Daddy would be his shield and defender!
"You armed me with strength for the battle." V 40
David knew it was God who enabled him to win and Jesus allowed this truth to permeate his soul and Jesus lived a life depending not on his own power, but in the power of the Lord to move through him to destroy his enemies.
"The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! . . . You exalted me above my foes. . . He gives his King great victories, he shows unfailing kindness to his Anointed, to David and his descendants (Jesus and all who are in Christ) forever!" v 47, 49, & 51
As I read this song, it was as if I could hear both David and Jesus trumpeting this song, not only while hear on earth, but as an eternal anthem of praise to God the Father. How greatly this song impacted Jesus, allowing him to sing Psalms of worship and praise to His Father, as well as, give him strength to endure the battles in life and the war on the cross, knowing that God would lift his name on high and make him victorious over his enemies and rule and reign forever!
Man, I cannot wait to hear Jesus singing this song!
When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, "I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let Your hand fall upon me and my family." 2 Samuel 24:17
The final chapter in 2 Samuel I will admit is a bit confusing to me. It starts off with "The Lord" being angry at Israel, but it does not say why. The NIV says God incited David against Israel to take a census. The MSG says God tested David and told him to take a census. The CSB says God stirred up David against them. But as for the exact "why," it is not there
What we do have is David sending out Joab to number the fighting men, against the wishes of Joab I might add. Over 9 months later, Joab returns with the numbers and immediately David who seemingly ordered the census in obedience to Gods stirring, is grief stricken and says "I have sinned!"
What follows is the prophet Gad coming in and offering three solutions to David from God. 3 years famine. 3 months losing in battle to David's enemies. Or 3 days of plague. David chooses to fall into the hands of a merciful God vs into the hands of the enemy, so the plague is chosen.
70000 people die before the angel comes toward Jerusalem. This is where we see David cry out the words in verse 17. Little did David know how these words would resound in the heart of Jesus as he fulfilled Davids request.
I wonder how heavy these words were to Jesus? "Let Your hand fall upon me and my family." David was pleading with God to stop the plague that was killing the people. David, a man after Gods own heart, offers himself as a replacement for his people. Basically he was saying, "Please God, stop hurting the people, take my life instead."
Jesus, impacted greatly by these words, looked around and wept when he saw the people "wandering about like sheep with no Shepherd." (Matthew 9:36) He saw people living in misery, under the plague of sin and death. With these words seared on his mind, he cried out "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing (or have done.)" His heart was that of a Shepherd (just like his ancestor David's) and as our Good Shepherd he cried out "These people are but sheep. Father, hear the prayer of David, and now from me your only begotten Son, and let Your hand fall upon Me!"
And just as God listened to David, who purchased a field (because no sacrifice is of value unless it is bought with a price. David would not offer something to God that cost him nothing and neither did Jesus, 2 Samuel 24:24) and stayed his hand and removed the plague, God listened to His Son, and has stayed His hand of justice and has extended His mercy and Grace to all who believe.
"David built and altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague was stopped" 24:25
Jesus, willingly laid down his life for his sheep. He crawled up in a cross, and sacrificed himself, the Perfect Passover Lamb, and then the Lord heard his prayer, and the plague of sin and death on His people has been stopped forever!
Praise be to God our Redeemer and Friend.
1 Kings 3:9. Solomon asked for discernment in order to properly lead Gods people. God was pleased with this request and not only gave him discernment but also blessed him in other areas of life.
As Jesus read this offer from God to Solomon, to give Solomon whatever he wished for, I am sure it must have rung deep in his soul. Solomon could have went for wealth, unstoppable power, expanded kingdom, but instead, he realized his lack of experience in leading and asked for wisdom to direct the people of God.
Jesus too could have chosen anything his heart desired. He was offered fame, fortune, and all the kingdoms of the world. Yet he chose to follow the heart of Solomon and his greatest desire was to please God by properly leading Gods people with discernment and wisdom.
It is evident that Jesus' desire was honored by God and it pleased the Lord to give him wisdom as he did to Solomon, and all the things he did not ask for or desire are now his as he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and everything in heaven and earth has been given him to rule and to reign over.
Praise be to His Name.
Stories of #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Solomon is living the most amazing life. He has been granted wisdom from God, but more so, wealth beyond imagination, and peace from war. On every side his enemies lie silent and his allies give him praise. With things as they are Solomon desires to do what his father David longed to do, build a temple for God to dwell in.
This is where we find Solomon in 1 Kings 4-5, preparing to accomplish this goal. God longs to be with his people, and Solomon determines to build the home for God that David desires to build. So Solomon begins by gathering leaders, workers, and making a deal for the lumber it would require.
As Jesus read this, I am sure it was an exciting story for him. Seeing so much effort put into getting a permanent home out in place for his Father to dwell in. Solomon desired to fulfill his father's dream, and like Solomon, so did Jesus.
However, Jesus knew it was not a home of wood, stone and precious metals that is really what God wanted. No, God wanted to be "with His people." So Jesus came in the form of a man and he began to prepare the way so that his Dad could have what he desired, oneness with His creation. Oneness with those He loved. Oneness with you and I!
Just like Solomon, Jesus asked his Father for wisdom, and in that wisdom he realized it was not the physical temple his Father longed to dwell inside of, but rather, His heart was to be with and living in the temple of His people. Therefore, Jesus began to plot the course, and prepare the way, and once all things were fulfilled, Jesus labored in love to fulfilled the desire of His Father's heart.
Today, because of the work Jesus did, God dwells with you and I through the Holy Spirit.
Love these stories of Impact.