2 Samuel 23

I am not yet ready to pursue the rest of ch 22, so I will skip over to this one.

This chapter is, as it says, David's last will and testament. This chapter appears to be a little misplaced; it would appear that it should be after 1 Kings chapter 1. These last words of David are spoken after Solomon is established as king of Israel and after the great wealth is set aside for the temple.

Actually, the last words are only vv. 1-7. The rest of the chapter recounts the deeds of David's mighty men.

David sees death approaching, so he endeavors to one more time honour God in the presence of his hearers. This section can be divided thusly: a reminder of the grace and mercy and sovereignty of God, a reminder of how kings must rule, a mention of the everlasting covenant, and the confidence in God's final victory over the wicked. Thus, even on his death bed, David retained his hope that the wicked would be finally put down.

All who have experienced God's goodness and mercy should recount that goodness and mercy. They should do it like David did: throughout their lives and on their death bed.

1) David remembers from whence he came and how he got to become the King over God's people.

David, in his last words, confessed that it was the Lord Who took him from the sheep and placed him on high. David confesses that he was only a son of an average man in Israel, and God took him and made him what he was. David confesses that he inherited the goodness and grace of God through nothing on his part.

It is good that we remember from where we came. It is good that we be reminded who raised us up and why. It was not for any good on our part, but for His own praise and honour. He lifted us up strictly by His sovereign goodness and mercy. We must not forget that.

2) He confesses that it was the Spirit of God that spoke through him. On his death bed, he wants everyone to understand that God alone gets the glory for anything good he might have said while he was living.

3) David was not only the civil leader of the nation, but he was also the religious leader. He led the people in their praise and worship of their true God.

4) David used the gifts God had given him in his service to the Lord. The Lord has provided each of us various and sundry gifts. We must be as faithful using them for the Lord as was David in using his musical ability for the Lord.

5) I thing a very important point here is that we underestimate the power and purpose of proper praise to our God. An extensive study on this subject is on my mind, and I may get to it after I finnish chapter 22.

6) The Spirit of the Lord spake... and David shared what the Spirit said to him. He shared it in the book of Psalms and he shared it here on his death bed.

I have mentioned this before. Very shortly after I entered full-time into the ministry 21 or so years ago, I determined to spend several hours a day in the word of God and to keep notes as I went through it. I really did not share the notes with anyone because in the back of my mind was the idea, "If I tell others, they will know as much as I do."

My pastor in La told me that I must either use what the Lord has given me, or lose it, Use it, or lose it. So I started really sharing what the Lord gave me, and the flood gates opened. I have more material than I will ever be able to share with others. The mailings are an outgrowth of my pastor's instructions, use it or lose it.

I also believe this goes into every area that the Lord has equipped us in. No matter what gift He has provided, we must use it for Him or lose it. It is given to us for a purpose, and that purpose is to serve Him.

7) vv. 2, 3, notice the implied order here: The Father spoke to the Son; the Son spoke to the Spirit, and the Spirit spoke to the man David. Then David delivered the message to those who would listen to him. God uses individual men to speak to the general congregation of His people.

David was an holy man of old, moved by the Spirit of God to speak the word of God.

8) The Spirit of the Lord spake by David, and The Rock of Israel spake to David. The Psalms are the Lord speaking by David. Nathan's charge against David's sin was the Rock of Israel speaking to David. The Rock of Israel also spoke comfort to David

2 Sam 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [that is] born unto thee shall surely die.

In other words, the office in the Kingdom of God, pastor or people, does not place one above God speaking to him about a particular matter.

9) v. 3, notice what the Rock of Israel said to David: He that ruleth...

The Lord tells David the duty of the magistrate or ruler of the people. No doubt David was saying this primarily for the instruction for his own children, as he did in 1 Kings 1. Although this is given for David's children, it applies to all civil rulers. David tells them that they rule over men, but they rule under and for God. They are not permitted to rule after their own heart's desire, but only according to Gods justice.

A. The ruler must rule in fear, honor and reverence of God if he expects those under him to fear, honor and reverence him.

B. Those in places of authority must learn to be under authority. If they expect the Lord to be on their side, they must learn to listen to the Lord.

C. it is not enough that those in authority do no wrong, they must not allow wrong to be done

It is impossible to have justice in authority with no fear of God. Mem fear men, therefore, they are servants of men.

When men do not fear God, they will fear other men.

There can be no just authority without the fear of God.

10) V. 4, David is told by the Lord of the blessings upon the one who rules justly. Then David passes along the instructions to all rulers after him.

Basically, what David says is that the just and righteous one in authority who fears God will be blessed by God and by man. The just ruler is compared to a cloudless morning and good weather. People will welcome his rule.

On the other hand, the unjust ruler will be despised as one would despise a bad storm.

This verse also shows us that all creation suffers when unjust men rule.

I have noticed this year that, for the first time we have been here, Cargill is not piling grain on the ground. That is not a good sign. It is obvious that all creation is suffering for the wicked in authority.

11) my Bible identifies vv. 3, 4, as prophesying of Christ. The context easily sustains that understanding. David here is assured by God in the face of all his family difficulties, of the coming just ruler from his family, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are several verses which bear this out:

Isa 4:2 11:1-5 32:1-2 Ps 72:2

And we can find the same comfort in the midst of our calamitous times also.

12) v. 5 is a beautiful verse. David here says that his family was not as the Lord required in vv. 3, 4. But even though he did not deserve it, God made an everlasting covenant with him and his house. In fact, we could say that in spite of David, God made the covenant with him.

1 Ch 3:5 And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bathshua the daughter of Ammiel:

Ps 103:6ff is one of my favorite Psalms, and it fits right here. No doubt David wrote it at the end of his reign because it reflects the idea of David's last words, 2 Sam 23:5

The Rock of Israel spoke to David to comfort him after his repentance of his sin.

MH makes a very significant statement here: "We must be made to know that it is corruption, not grace, that runs in the blood, that the race is not to the swift, but that God gives his Spirit as a free agent." [2 Sam p 566.]

13) David's covenant was a covenant of grace in the mercies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Isa 55:3.

The same mercy David found is available to all believers in Christ Jesus.

14) David's and our covenant is an everlasting covenant. All the forces of the world, flesh and the devil cannot annul it. But notice v. 5, ordered in all things... The covenant is not a disorderly thing. It is conditional. The Word of God is very clear about the conditions placed upon each covenant-promise.

15) notice David's desire. It was to see the kingdom of God grow and fill the whole earth as promised in the psalms (e.g., Ps 45). But even though David did not see the fulfillment of the promise, he did not abandon his desire even on his death bed.

16) David expands further on his hope and confidence, vv. 6, 7.

A. he holds fast to his confidence that the Lord will prevail over the whole earth. The wicked are doomed and will one day be cast down and away.

B. David compares these wicked men to thorns. They cannot be taken by the hands of men, but God can take them.

C. David dies with the confidence that the Lord will overcome the wicked and the wicked will receive their just due.

17) no doubt David reiterates the end of the wicked as a warning to his own children who will rule. David had been promised that his seed would rule forever. This final statement is a warning to them that they must rule justly or they will be considered by the Lord as thorns.

18) it is also an encouragement for the house of David and the children of God of all ages. The wicked will be judged according to their wickedness.

Isa 27:3ff...

As David, we probably will never see the Lord's rule over the whole earth, but we must never give up hope. David went to his death bed clinging to the promises of God.

Can we?

2 Sam 23:8ff

I am almost having to develop the sixth commandment before I go on through 2 Sam 22. There are so many things that must be brought into consideration before we can do the passage justice, including an overview of Jeremiah.

So we will continue on here in 2 Samuel. When we finnish the book, I will have the sixth commandment completed enough to teach it.

The last second section of this chapter is vv. 8-39. I have no intention of reading all these names, but there are several points worth mentioning from that section.

This section lists David's mighty men, 37 in all. It names all 37, but only recounts the most mighty of the deeds done by these men.

1) No doubt these men are named in honor of David set the example of conduct and courage, and who trained them in warfare. The Lord taught David to war, 22:35. David passed on his ability to those around him.

Think of what kind of man David was to attract the hearts of men like the ones listed to himself. Of course, we know that it was the Lord who united their hearts with his.

An obvious point here is that we must pass on to those around and under us the lessons the Lord has taught us.

2) it is to the honor or dishonor of a leader as to the type of followers he has. Absolam had some very base men around him, as did Jereoboam.

3) David wrote a great many Psalms, hymns and praises to his God. And here we have listed 37 men of tremendous courage and ability. Thus, contrary to popular beliefs that religion produces whimps, genuine Biblical faith produces men of great courage, Pro 28:1.

We see from this section that godliness produced men with courage to stand against overwhelming odds. Godliness produced victors when they stood.

Fame in spirituality carries with it fame in courage in the face of all circumstances.

These mighty men are divided into three ranks, with the three greatest listed first. We do not read of the deeds of these mighty men in David's history, so we can assume the glories of David's kingdom was greater than we have record of.

1) The first one listed in v. 8, was the chief among the three. He slew 800 men of war at one time. We do not really know when he did this, but this was the greatest feat of any of David's mighty men.

2) The second man, vv. 9, 10. Evidently, the Philistines had defied the men of Israel, and the men of Israel, instead of confronting the Philistines, had left. Eleazar arose, and smote the Philistines.

During this one man battle against the Philistines, the one man grew very weary, but his hand held fast to his weapon. The result was that the Lord gave a great victory through him that day.

The people returned to Eleazar, but they only returned to spoil the Philistines who were slain.

A) every one left when the battle appeared to difficult to fight, but Eleazar held his ground.

B) he not only held his ground, but he attacked the enemy.

C) the Lord rewarded Eleazar's courage to stand alone by striking an equal amount of fear in the enemies' heart. The result was a great victory over the enemy.

D) he grew weary in the battle, but he continued on. After all, he was fighting all alone except for the Lord.

I am inclined to believe that the Lord did not appear to Eleazar and say, "Eleazar, you go fight the battle all alone, and I will be with you to give you a great victory." I believe that Eleazar just saw the need and mustered the courage to stand when no one else would stand.

It is natural to grow weary in the battle, especially when every one has abandon us. But it is supernatural to continue on in the face of great odds.

E) the people returned after the victory had been won. They do not return to praise the Lord or congratulate the victor, Eleazar. Rather, they return to spoil the enemy. What is in it for them.

3) the third mighty man is given in vv. 11, 12. The enemy was foraging, evidently for food, and the people of Israel were fleeing from them. Shammah stood against the enemy and defeated them.

There are a few important points to make from these men's actions.

First, The Lord wrought a great victory. Thus, no mater how strong the individual, or how great the victory, let no man glory in himself. Let him that glories glory in the Lord.

Second, all three of these men stood alone in the face of tremendous odds. God honored their stand, but they had to stand first. It certainly takes an unusual person to stand for right, righteousness and godliness all alone.

Now we come to the next three, vv. 13-23. These three are listed behind the first three but before and over the following thirty. For some reason, there are only two of the three named, vv. 18, 20. Here we see that there are degrees of greatness. David's 37 great men are divided into 3 sections of greatness.

1) the first thing listed about these three men is their united effort, vv. 13-17. These three men came to David while he was in the cave of Adullam hiding from Saul's attempt against his life, 1 Sam 22. We see in 2 Sam 23, that the Philistines were also pursuing David. Therefore, while Saul should have been pursuing the enemy, he was pursuing David.

Of course, the reason he pursued David instead of the Philistines was because he knew David was a threat to his throne, but the Philistines were not.

If Saul had permitted David to join him in his pursuit of the Philistines, the Philistines would have been destroyed, but Saul's envy prohibited it.

I think the church today is too much like Saul. It is allowing everything under the sun to prohibit its pursuit of the enemies of God.

V. 15, David was thirsty, and any water would have been sufficient. But David indulged a humor and expressed a longing for water from a particular site, the well of Bethlehem which was heard by these three men. This well was surrounded by Philistines, but these three men broke through and obtained the water.

These three men again remind us of what kind of man David must have been to excite this kind of devotion in the hearts of his followers.

Observe: firstly, we should be cautious about what we long for. We just might get it. We should think twice before letting our requests be known to others and to God.

Secondly, these men hazard their lives against great odds upon the whim of David. David had been anointed as king, but he was not yet king. Thus they hazard their lives for a man who was little more than a poor prince in hiding for his life from Saul.

The picture, of course, is of our King. He appears to be deposed from his throne. If these men would hazard their lives for a literal, earthly king, how much more should we hazard our lives for our heavenly King?

Thirdly, David only hinted of a desire, and they moved to fulfill it. Oh! that we might have this kind of a desire to obey our King, Ps 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Does our King have to threaten us to get us to move?

Fourthly, these men disregarded the threat of the Philistines. Whether they broke through with the sword or snuck through, we do not know. But we do know that their love for their leader, David, overcame any threat from the Philistines.

If we are serving the King, we have no reason to fear the foe.

Vv. 16, 17. David would not drink of the water, so he poured it out on the ground.

Observe: first, David's regard for the lives of his followers. He was not going to have them hazard their lives again for any such foolish whim on his part.

Secondly, David showed the foolish rashness of his remark by pouring out the water. He was not going to indulge himself in something that placed the lives of others in danger.

Thirdly, David poured the water on the ground. By doing this, he honored God. The blood of an animal was to be poured on the ground like water in order to recognize that all life comes from God. This shows these men that they are serving God not man.

Fourthly, these men purchased the water at the risk of their lives. Our Lord purchased the water of life at the expense of His blood. Let us not undervalue or take for granted the cost.

Vv. 18- 23, lists the deeds of two of the men.

First, Abisai, the brother of Joab. He slew 300 men on his own. This is not as many as the mighty man of v. 8 slew, but it was still a great number.

Second, Benaiah, v. 20. He did many acts, among which he slew two bold, strong, fierce and furious men from Moab. He also slew a lion that was evidently terrorizing the country side. He also, when unarmed, met an Egyptian, took his spear from him and slew him with his own spear. For these and other mighty acts, David set him over his guard.

Vv. 24-39 names the 31 remaining of David's mighty men, with Uriah tacked on the end.

Joab is not mentioned. I am inclined to believe that Joab is not mentioned because of the great harm and dishonor he did to David's kingdom in slaying two innocent men to protect his own position in David's army.

The first one mentioned in Asahel, the brother of Joab. He was slain at the beginning of David's reign by Abner, but his name is not forgotten.

Actually then, we have four classes of people in David's army: the first three mighty men, the second three mighty men, the third 31 mighty men and the average soldier in his army.

The Son of David, King Jesus has an army. It consists of mighty men, mighty men, mighty men and the average person. But every one has their name recorded in the Lamb's book of life, Rev 21:27.