Every time I tried to put something together, even from Proverbs, my mind keep coming back to this book. This was not really what I had planed for this evening, but I have been kind of working on this book of 2 Samuel for some time.
I dearly love these books of history. One of the best methods of teaching the Scriptures is with illustration and these OT books give tremendous illustration of the principles of God's word in action. These books are the principles of God's law in action, about which the NT authors wrote.
I like something with a lot of action and practical application and the books of Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings fit this extremely well. We taught through the book of 1 Samuel about 6 years ago, leaving us with 2 Samuel. These books are the principles of God's word in action, and a lot of action, I might add. There is never a dull moment in these books, as God gives us His record of these men's actions and the results of their actions. These books show us God in action in history.
In 1 Samuel we had God preparing a man to sit on the throne. This man was going to receive the promise of an everlasting kingdom. Now we move in to the book that describes this man coming to the throne and his reign.
In 1 Sam. 13:14 we see God preparing a man after His one heart, David. Therefore, in 2 Sam. we see how this man after God's own heart handles every situation except two, the woman and the numbering of the people. In these two exceptions we see how God handles these sins in the life of even a godly man such as David.
This book shows us how God expects every situation of life to be handled. He shows us this through this man David. This book also shows us the height of the rule of God's people, Israel, over the surrounding world. As they do right and sought God's face, God exalts them until sin crept in. The sin of spiritual adultery and unbelief.
David had sided with the Philistines while fleeing from Saul. The Philistines had gathered together to fight Israel under Saul. David had been sent home by the Philistines and when he got back, he found that the Amelikites had stolen everything.
David peruses and overtakes them, recovering all they had stolen from him. Then he returns Ziklag
Saul had been fighting with the Philistines, and the Philistines won. A man comes to David's camp from the battle with what he knew would be exciting mews for David. He went to David, expecting a reward for killing someone he thought was David's enemy.
David had made it clear all of these years that he did not hate Saul, even though Saul had sought to kill him over and over. As we know, Saul hated David and sought to kill him because he was threatened by David.
This is the root of a lot of hatred, a feeling of threatening by someone else. And, like Saul, most of that fear of threatening is in our mind. The enemy knows that if he can create this threat, he can create a lot of contention and even hatred among the people of God.
crown and bracelet. This is strange and shows us a great deal about Saul. Saul was lifted up with pride so much that he wore his crown and the marks of being a ruler, into battle. Compare this with David in 6:20. David uncovered himself before the Lord and before the people. He striped himself of all marks of royalty.
How many men of all walks of life do we know today that ware their marks of authority to be sure that everyone sees them all of the time? Dr. this and Dr. that.
This reminds me of the Pharisees of Christ's day. Mt. 23:1-12 (look up.) They wore their robes very openly, and expected others to recognize them. They desired to be called RABBI, RABBI.
We are overrun today with people who feel that they are someone and want to be sure that everyone knows it. As we see even among the 12 disciples, this is a problem everywhere. Our individual sinful nature feels that it should exalt itself over everyone and every thing. The warfare that is required to keep this under control is just as serious and deadly as this war that Saul fought with the Philistines. Those who lose this war are headed for the same fate that Saul met.
Saul started as a very humble man, even hid when his name was mentioned for being the king, 1 Samuel 10:22, 23. Within two years he was lifted up with pride, doing things the way he wanted to do them.
Saul is an excellent illustration of what happens to this kind of person. He was his own worse enemy as he killed himself. And this is exactly what the person does who refuses to have a servant's heart.
If there were ever a day that a servant's heart is needed, we are in it. The only thing that we have to be proud of is our Lord. We are servants for His sake. May the Lord in His mercy see fit to give us a servant's heart.
Saul at the start of his reign spared the best of this accursed nation, Amalek, 1 Sam. 15:8, 9. Now a survivor of this accursed nation brings the best of the spoil from Saul's battle to Saul's enemy. It must have been a well known fact that David would be the next ruler, because even this Amalekite came to him with the crown.
This is another interesting fact because in v. 1 David had just returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites.
The crown that David had waited so long for is now delivered
to him by a wicked man. It had been presented with lies in hope
of gaining reward.
We know from 1 Sam. 31 what happened, v.4-6. Saul saw the battle against him. He feared that his life was in immediate danger, so rather than allow the Philistines to kill him, he fell on his own sword. This Amalekite came along before the Philistines got to him and removed the marks of his royalty.
Before we move on into this next section, I would like to point out another thing about Saul. The people in 1 Sam. 8 (7) rejected God's rule over them, and demanded a king. Saul was that king.
The problem is that the Lord gave them a man after their own heart. They rejected the Lord's rule, so He gave them a king that rejected His rule also. They paid the price for their rebellion be having a king over them who was in rebellion against God. The judgment of God against Saul's rebellion affected the people because that is what they wanted.
In other words, people want to have their own way, yet still
enjoy the blessings of God. God will not permit this, so He raises
up leaders who also want their own way. The result is God's judgment
against the people through ungodly leaders. The illustration
that we have used before is a covetousness people will result
in covetous leaders. Now as God's judgment on the peoples covetousness,
He will extort from the people their money.
2 Samuel 1:13, 14.
David acts and talks as though this man knew the law of God, and judges him according to that law in this matter.
To this we must say that all men will be judged according to the truth of the word of God. Eternal death awaits whoever has not the Advocate, Jesus Christ.
The man said, I am the son of a stranger, an Amalakite. Evidently he lived among the Israelites. This man's actions in v. 2 would also indicate this.
All through the Scriptures the Amalakites are presented as a type of the old man, the sinful nature.
We have two characteristics about Amalek evident here.
This first is that he has no fear as he rebels against lawful authority, and especially against God's authority. He has no fear of being caught.
Some of the references would be Num. 12:8; Ps. 105:15.
This man, the Amalekite, a type of the flesh or the sinful
nature, not only was not afraid to claim that he had lifted his
hand against the Lord's servant, Saul, but he was quite proud
of his deeds. Now, Saul was no angel, he had pursued David for
about 13 years or so, seeking to kill him. He had lived a very
proud, rebellious life, yet David holds
this Amalikite responsible for stretching forth his hand against Saul.
Saul's rebellion and pride against God had the death penality against it, but no one could enforce it against him except the Lord.
Here this Amakalite had no fear of God or of man. He came boldly into David's camp and told the biggest lie that could have been told.
This nature comes to us with his offers to compromise and he does not even think about what will happen if we get caught. He has no fear as he tries to get us to go contrary to the word of God. He has no fear as he goes against lawful authority.
The second characteristic here about this man, Amalek, is that he expects to receive good for bad.
We find another record of this in 1 Sam. 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. And Samuel said, As the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
Amelek has not changed his ways, nor can he be reformed. The only thing that will deal with him is the cross of Christ. Death to the old nature that tells us that even though we might not be as good as we should be, we will still receive good from the Son of David, Jesus.
This Amalekite came to David, convinced that he would receive good for bad, and he even lied about the bad. He did not kill Saul, Saul killed himself. The man lied to David in hopes of gaining a reward, and he did gain a reward. But, it was not at all what he expected.
Notice v. 2. This liar gave the impression that he was a godly man, yet, clearly he was lying for the benefit of what he might receive.
How tempting it is, and how quick human nature is to offer this convenient opportunity. Here was an excellent chance to get into the good graces of the next king, and maybe even a chance to gain reward and or position of importance. There was no way that this lie could be traced, because all of the witnesses were dead. No one knew the truth except this man and the Lord. Boy, what a opportunity! No one would know.
What a temptation to lie.
What would we do in this situation? It is a lie that would not hurt anyone! After all, they are already dead. It won't hurt them and it won't hurt David. So why not lie if it will not hurt anyone and it is for my advantage? As we see over and over, truth is always in relationship to God and His word. Anything less than what His word requires is a lie.
And as this man found out, the truth will come out. It will catch up and at times in the most unexpected ways.
As a note here. Isn't this something. God had placed a curse on these people, they were to be completely destroyed. Instead, disobedient Saul had even permitted them to live among the people of Israel. How like us today! The very things that are to be destroyed completely from us, are not only permitted to live, but to live among us.
Col. 3:9 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Ja. 3:14-18 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Clearly, lying is to be put away from among God's people. When this is not done, there is strife, confusion and every evil work. Notice this man that came to David was lying, even if he did not say anything. He presented himself to David as a man concerned for the welfare of God's people. His only concern was for himself.
V. 15. Another important point here is this. Notice, what was David's first act was after gaining possession of this crown?
It was an act of judgment and justice! He executed justice and justice, he judged with righteousness. The Son of David is first of all The Righteous Judge.
Justice is so important to God that He gave His only begotten Son so that He could be just and still forgive sin, 1 Jn.1:9. Also that we could fulfill the righteous requirements of the law by His grace.
The average person, Christians included, seem to have the same idea of the KING as did this Amalekite: that the good which results from our evil actions, will somehow outweigh the bad.
As many of you have, I have encountered this attitude many times, as we try to talk to others about the Lord. People seem to think that there is a giant scales up in heaven. If there is enough good on one side, then they are safe. If there is not enough, then they are in trouble. They ignore that all of our good works are as filthy rags.
Notice David spoke to this man as though he expected him to know this law. Maybe this man felt that David would be so thrilled over receiving the crown that he would overlook, in fact, reward, this violation of the word of God.
(Bro. Siliven said [10/16/86] that while he was in jail, he wrestled with the question, "Which is more important, Soul Winning or obedience to the KING?")
As Christ sets upon His throne, He judges according to a righteous judgment, not according to the way the flesh (Amalek) thinks it should be, Jn. 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Romans chapter two covers this quite well.
Are we ready to stand before the King of kings on nothing but the word of God, or does the flesh (Amalek) have us convinced that He will be so thankful for the little good that we did that he will overlook a little lying or cheating? He is the righteous judge, 2 Tim.4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
This Righteous Judge is so concerned about righteousness that He provided the Righteousness of Christ, both to meet God with, and to live by.
There is a judgment day of reckoning coming, 1 Cor. 5:10, 11. That judgment will be according to His Righteous Word. What this judgment will consist of, I have no idea. Anything said would be pure speculation, but we do that we will stand before Him and we will receive, ..whether good or bad.
Amalek hasn't changed because he has many Christians convinced that they will receive good for bad. They desire to hear Christ say (as he hoped David would say here), Well done thou good and faithful servant..., when in reality the only thing they have been faithful in has been pleasing their own desires.
When I was reviewing this and putting it together (7/24/90), I heard a radio talk show on the degeneration of society into the abyss of immorality. The host ask the question about the women dressing immodestly and others lusting after them. He kept emphasizing that the problem is the lust not the immoral dress. And this is what James 1:13-16 says. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.
He was taking calls with comments. One woman called in and told how she dressed and said that if others had a problem with it, that was their own problem. The more the host questioned her, the more she keep repeating that she dressed like she did because that was the way she felt was fine to dress. This told exactly where she was coming from as she kept saying that she dressed to please herself. And even the host missed the point that she was making.
Now what was wrong with that statement? SHE DRESSED TO PLEASE HERSELF. How should we dress? We must dress to please the Lord. And Amalek comes along and says, It doesn't really matter.
A great many compromise obedience to God's word so they can do some good things. This Amalekite did a good thing, he brought this crown to David, but he violated God's word to do it. The result was death, as it is to anyone who follows after the way that seems right. Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Faithfulness is almost unheard of today, and it has influenced every area. Men don't want to be faithful in areas they do not enjoy in the flesh, yet we expect to hear the King say, "Well done..... rule with Me as your reward." Let me ask, How can we expect to rule with the Lord if we cannot rule our own spirit?
Faithfulness in Church, on the job, in our private life, in the gospel, in our homes, in our relationship to Christ...
If we really believed we would be judged according to the word of God what would we do?
The Amalekite here was confident that he would be rewarded good for the bad he said he did. The same lie of the flesh is going strong today. We must realize He will judge according to a righteous judgment, saved and unsaved.
This is a major doctrine today: God doesn't care how we do it, just as long as we do something good.
David required him to answer for his actions and when the Son of David requires we answer concerning our actions, we will.
Saul was not right with God and it seemed the right thing to do to Amalek, but according to the word of God (v.14), it wasn't. We will answer not on what seems right, but on the word of God. There is only one way to do serve God, and that is God's way.
V. 4, and Jonathan his son is dead. Jonathan loved God and loved David. Jonathan had no ill will at all toward David, even though he knew that David would get the kingdom over him. He had willingly submitted to David as the king that God had chosen to lead His people. He had risked his own life that David might escape the wrath of his own father, Saul. His goal and desire was to serve God under king David. These two men were closer than brothers, yet he died.
Why did Jonathan have to die?
He was not a threat to David's rule, in fact, just the opposite. The son who was the threat was Ishbosheth (the man of shame, who we will see more about latter, 2:10), yet he was spared (he was killed later). Why didn't the bad one die in battle and the good one spared to serve God?
This is one of those things which are hidden from us. All we do know for sure is what we have written in the law of God, Ex.20:5, 6. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
According to this, Jonathan paid the price for his dad's rebellion back in 1 Sam.15:17, 23.
This is similar to the question that we hear very regularly. Why did they have to die? They did nothing wrong! The answer is the same. Only the Lord knows! All we know is that the wages of sin is death and if Adam had not sinned, none would have to die.
How are the mighty fallen. An interesting message. When one of God's people fall, do not broadcast it. This is one of the greatest temptations that there is for a person. Especially the 'bigger' a person is for God in the eyes of men, the more temptation there is to spread around the word.
The fall of the men with great reputations for God are cause for weeping, not rejoicing.
Look at this elegy. How many of us could say kind things such as this for someone who had perused us for years in their attempt to kill us? David at all times had only good to say about Saul, while Saul had murder in his heart most of the time toward David.
It is hard for us to have good to say about those who are not pursuing us to the death, let alone some one who might be trying to kill us.
David was surely a man after God's own heart.