Impact on Jesus Week #19
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.