As we complete our study in the book of II Samuel this evening, remember that the last 4 chapters are not in chronological order but give us a overview of some of the events that transpired during the reign of king David. And as we begin in chapter 22, we see a Psalm of David, a Psalm of deliverance.
II SAMUEL 22
1. This Psalm could have been written shortly after the death of king Saul as he battled the Philistines in the area of Gilead. It is in this battle that both Saul and his son Jonathan were killed. And shortly after this David is proclaimed king over Judah in Hebron, and then 7 years later he became king over all of Israel.
2. This Psalm is almost identical to Psalm 18 and speaks of God's faithfulness towards David. If you remember when David was on the run, it was almost 10 years in which he was running for his life from king Saul, that he began to look at the situation he was in through the eyes of man. He thus came to the wrong conclusion, that Saul was finally going to catch him and kill him. (I Samuel 27:1). But God had anointed David as king long before and God was faithful in bringing that promise to a reality. Thus, this Psalm is full of praise to a faithful and loving God.
1. David is saying that the Lord brought stability to his feet, for he stood on solid ground, the rock of God. The Lord was also a fortress in which David was able to rest in safety behind those walls of protection. And it doesn't matter how big the enemy is, for if you are standing in the power of the Lord, He is able to deliver you.
1. God delivered David from many hopeless situations, when the enemy had surrounded him. Remember when David was fleeing Saul and he was in the area of the wilderness of Maon. Saul found his hiding place and began to circle around him. David was a dead man, humanly speaking of course. But God delivered David out of that situation by causing the Philistines to rise up against Israel, and thus Saul had to deal with them before he could go after and kill David. (I Samuel 23:24-28). Over and over again God heard the cry of David and delivered him.
1. Obviously the language used here is strong, and it is difficult to find a time when God did this for David. But again not everything about David is written down for us. God does usenature to carry out his plans and I think that is what is being implied here. In Judges chapter 4 we see Sisera come against Israel with his chariots and God caused torrents of rain to come down which made the chariots stick in the mud, and made them useless. Thus, God gave Barak and the children of Israel the victory. (Also the long day of Joshua, where God caused the sun to remain up for almost a whole day as Joshua needed that extra time to defeat the Amorites.
2. This may also be looking at a future event, as the Antichrist comes against the nation of Israel. As she flees from him, God causes the earth to open up and swallow up the army that is coming against them. And Israel flees to the rock city of Petra where they are preserved by God for 3 1/2 years.
1. I believe that David wrote these words long before his sin with Bathsheba. David was feeling pretty good about himself, almost to the point of self righteousness. And because of that, David felt he was being blessed by the Lord. But after David sinned with Bathsheba, his eyes were opened to the truth of what his heart was really like - EVIL! Thus, in Psalm 51 we see David cry out to God "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and may sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight..." Psalm 51:2-4.
2. If we relate to God according to our good works, the law, we will be on a roller coaster ride with our faith. When we are doing good, we are ridding high, but when we fail, we come crashing down, feeling totally unworthy and distant from God. We don't relate to God by our good works but through His grace. Thus, our faith will not be high and low but resting on God's faithfulness to us. That does not mean we should not strive to be holy, for we should. But don't let that make us self righteous, but only fall upon the grace of God.
1. God will deal with us according to how we treat others. Look at Jacob and how he deceived his brother Esau. God turned the tables on Jacob and Laban deceived him. All the deception that was carried out by Jacob, came right back to him. Why? Because God was working on Jacob's heart, changing him. No longer would he be called Jacob, or "supplanter", but Israel or "God rules." But before Jacob was changed, he needed his eyes to be opened to what he was doing and God used Laban to help that process.
1. David and his men were warriors, on the run and in battle. But David rested in the promises of God for they stood the test of fire, God's words came to pass.
2. There was a story of two elderly women who loved the Lord and served Him. And in time one of them died and as her family were going through her possessions, they found her Bible. And as they leafed through the pages they found the letters TP on many of the pages next tocertain verses. And they were very confused and could not figure out what that meant. And so they went to this woman's friend and asked her. And she told them that those letters TP, meant "tried and proven." You see, as God brought various experiences in her life, she too saw the faithfulness of God and marked next to that scripture TP! Your faith grows as you see God work in your life, for His words are not empty but living and powerful, and what God has spoken, will come to pass.
1. God gives us stability in our lives as we place our feet upon the rock and He also gives us the strength to fight and defeat the enemy. It is as Zechariah said "`Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6.
1. David reminds me a lot of James and John the sons of Zebedee, who wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy the people of Samaria for rejecting Christ. David says in Psalm 58:6 "Break their teeth in their mouth, O God! Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!" And in Psalm 3:7 we read "Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the check bone, You have broken the teeth of the ungodly." This, even though it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, was Old Testament theology, an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. David was an Old Testament saint and he wanted his enemies to have their teeth bashed in, their necks stepped upon and to have them crushed to powder.
2. But in the New Testament we are told to love our enemies not to smash their teeth and grind them to powder. Jesus rebuked James and John after they wanted to destroy the people of Samaria with fire from heaven by saying "...You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the son of man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them..." Luke 9:55-56. Tragically, many Christians today are ready to do as David did to his enemies, which is contrary to what Christ taught. Let love be the dominating force in your life, the love of God and love of others.
1. David had rose to the zenith of power, for not only did the nation of Israel come under his authority, but so did many other nations.
1. David can't hold back any longer and just explodes with praises unto God who lives and is concerned for His people. And also that He is a God who then can respond to our hearts cry.
II SAMUEL 23
1. As great men pass off the scene, their words of exhortation are used to strengthen and encourage those that remain behind. Joshua, before he dies, gives his farewell address to the nation as he recounts the history of the nation of Israel before the people. He tells them how God has established them and protected them over the years. How God has given them a land flowing with milk and honey.
And as he concludes he calls them to make a decision who they will serve. Either the Lord or the foreign gods. But if you turn from the Lord, understand that He will turn against you, there are consequences for your disobedience. But if you turn to the Lord there will be blessings for your life. And as Joshua finished his exhortation the people shouted they would serve the Lord.
2. David was a warrior, a tough fighting machine, but he was also called "the sweet Psalmist of Israel." David wrote 73 or more of the 150 Psalms, for David was a worshiper of the Lord as well as a warrior for the Lord!
1. David is saying that his words are inspired by God or that God spoke through him. Paul tells us that "All Scripture is inspired by God." II Timothy 3:16. And Peter tells us that God's prophetic word is even more sure than what we have seen with our eyes. He tells us "We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." II Peter 1:19-21.
2. Today many feel that the Scriptures are not inspired by God but are just words of men. First of all, inspiration is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit as He moved upon certain individuals to communicate in written form divine truth - we call it the Bible. Thus, these 66 books, written from around 1500 B.C. to 96 A.D. by 40 different authors from every walk of life, written on three continents (Asia, Africa, Europe), written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), has one continuous story without contradictions or errors.
A. OLD TESTAMENT EVIDENCE - TEXT OF ISAIAH (66 CHAPTERS)
1. 916 A.D. manuscript was the closest we had until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
2. 163 B.C. the Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah were found and only 1/2 of 1 percent was in error between the 2 texts. And many of the errors were spelling errors and not one error effected any doctrine! God has preserved His word - kept it pure!
3. I Believe that inspiration closed with the completion of the Bible. God does not give to us new doctrine but He does speak to us. I believe that pastors areanointed by God but again they do not speak or set forth new doctrine, as many would like to tell you.
1. If only leaders in this country and leaders in the church today would lead by this rule - "In the fear of God." If they did, not only would this country be great again, but the church would be dynamic, powerful and influence the lives of the people instead of being a social institution.
1. Again we see God's unconditional covenant that God made with David - that the Messiah would come from his linage and rule and reign from the throne of David forever!
1. The wicked are like thorns, not only useless, but dangerous to touch, to be near. They would choke the life of all that is good. And thus, their ultimate destination will be in the lake of fire eternally separated from God.
As we move into verses 8-39 we move into a section we can call the hall of fame of David's mighty men. 37 fearless warriors that David recognizes. But understand they did not start out that way. We are told in I Samuel 22:2 that David's men were "...everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him." This rag tag army David trained into mighty men, mighty warriors because of the example of their captain, DAVID! We will cover in detail some of these men on Sunday, but this evening we will get an overview of this section.
1. Adino, the first Italian in the Bible, killed 800 men.
1. Eleazar stood strong, as everyone else fled from the enemy, and he brought the enemy down with his sword. And when the people saw what he had done, they came to take the plunder or spoils of the victory.
1. Shammah was commanded to guard a piece of ground, and as his fellow soldiers fled, he stood firm in his service to his captain. He was faithful with what was entrusted to him.
1. David never commanded them to go and get this water, he just was talking out loud and these men heard him. They then risked their lives to bring their captain his hearts desire. But David refused to drink it, for he felt he did not deserve such devotion, only the Lord did. And so David gave back to the Lord that which was must precious to him - which was an act of worship.
1. Abishai was a mighty warrior but never surpassed the honor of the first 3 mighty men of God.
1. Benaiah also was a mighty man, killing two Moab warriors, a lion and a mighty Egyptian.
1. One name that sticks out among this list of 37 is Uriah the Hittite. He was one of David's mighty men, a valiant warrior, and yet, because of David's sin, because David tried to cover his sin with Uriah's wife Bathsheba, David had Uriah killed in battle. David killed one of his own to cover his tracks, one of his mighty men who was faithful to him.
II SAMUEL 24
1. We aren't exactly sure when this took place, but it seems possible that this was towards the end of David's reign, but again we really are not sure.
2. David is trying to raise a standing army, to enroll the young men in military service by taking this census. David was attempting to see how strong his kingdom was, how strong his military was. But why was God angry at David for doing this? Back in Numbers chapter 1, at the beginning of their wilderness wanderings, and in Numbers chapter 26, towards the end of their wilderness wanderings, they took a census. So what is the difference? In the book of Numbers God commands them to take a census, but here in II Samuel David is doing it all on his own. He is seeing how strong his kingdom is instead of resting in the power of God.
3. The "He" I feel speaks of Satan working on David to take this census. In I Chronicles 21:1, speaking of this incident, we are told "Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel." God was upset with Israel, for what reason we are not told, and thus He was about to bring judgment upon them. God was going to use this census to bring judgment upon Israel, and Satan was going to be the one to entice David in this matter. VERSE 2 1. Davidinstructs Joab to take a census from the northern part of Israel, Dan, to the southern part of Israel, Beersheba.
1. It is interesting that this warrior Joab recognizes that what David wanted to do was wrong, and David, a man after God's own heart did not see it as wrong.
1. Joab first went to the Transjordan side where Ruban, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh were located. He then covered the west side of the Jordan River and it took him some 9 months to complete his mission. And David had 800,000 men in Israel and 500,000 men in Judah.
1. In I Samuel 13:14 David is called a man after God's own heart, and yet we see his many imperfections. David was not a perfect man but when he sinned, he felt the conviction of God upon his life and he repented of his sin. You see, conviction will draw you closer to God, back to Him. While condemnation will push you away from God and this comes from Satan. Condemnation makes you feel totally unworthy to even call yourself a Christian and to attach yourself to Christ. But our relationship is not based on our goodness but on the free gift of God through Christ that has cleansed us from all our unrighteousness. When you see it in the right light, then you understand that there is no condemnation in Christ, only conviction as He conforms us into His image.
1. The prophet Gad comes to David with 3 choices of judgment for his sin, 3 years of famine, 3 months of fleeing from your enemy, or 3 days of plague.
1. David wants to fall into the hands of a merciful God instead of the merciless hands of man. As David said in Psalm 40:11 "Do not withhold your tender mercies from me, O LORD, let Your loving kindness and Your truth continually preserve me."
1. David cries out to the Lord as the angel of the Lord comes before Jerusalem, 70,000 men have already died, and David confesses his sin before the Lord and feels that he is responsible for their death. The sheep are innocent and he is guilty, that is the heart of a shepherd, a leader, for he wants to endure the punishment, not the sheep.
1. Remember we said that the city of Jerusalem during the time of David was much smaller than what we see today, and what it was like during the time of Solomon and the time Jesus. It was not even located near the top of Mount Moriah or Mount Zion but on a lower ridge and was only about 1/2 city block wide and 2 city blocks long.
2. Araunah owned this land and the threshing floor which was located higher up on this mountain on a flat area of rock so that you could thresh the grain.
1. Araunah offers to give David the land, the oxen, and the wood for the sacrifice, but David refuses to take it. David was not going to give to the Lord that which cost him nothing. That is a great principle for us to follow. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." You see, we don't place animals on the altar for sacrifice any longer, but ourselves, that is what true worship is all about. Don't give to God that which cost you nothing, for true worship will cost you your time, money, resources, YOUR LIFE!
2. For the threshing floor David paid 50 shekels of silver. Then in I Chronicles 21:24-25 we are told that David paid 600 shekels of gold for the whole area. David was probably thinking of building the temple and what a great spot it would be. That is why I feel that these events occurred toward the end of his reign.
3. This area of real estate is probably one of the most contested pieces of land in the world. The Muslims have control over the temple mount area and the Dome of the Rock, which is a shrine, is the place where they believe Mohammed ascended up into heaven from. Many Jews also believe that the Dome of the Rock is the sight of Solomon's temple, but as you look at this area, that can't be true. You see, the rock bed inside the Dome of the Rock is not a flat rock and thus would not be used for a threshing floor. But there is an area of flat rock, where the threshing floor of Araunah was located and where Solomon's temple was built. It is located some 322 feet to the north of the Dome of the Rock, a place called the Dome of the Spirits. This is the place where David will have his son Solomon build the temple and it will be the future site of the temple that will be built again in Jerusalem.