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David and Absalom

Nxt: The Transition
Jmp: King Bassaha
Last: Manasseh
Will David Endure?
Sin and Its Effect
Effects of No Discipline
David and Shimei
The Role of Trials and Afflictions
What Matters Most
David and Ambition
Notes & References
Prvs: Rise D& Fall S
Ahab


Will David Endure?

David was king and for a while he had no known enemies from within and without. But that in itself turned out to be a dangerous position to be in for Satan does not sleep. Sitting at home and relaxing seemed desireable but when it also relaxes spiritual awareness, and the tools of spiritual warfare, the Word of God, is laid aside, then danger is by our side. In the case of King David it was adultery.

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away." Proverbs 6:32,33, ESV

Of David's legacies, his victory over Goliath and adultery with Bethsheba, the latter followed him all the days of his life. From than on out, his sin had been used throughout the ages to excuse and justify sin. People say, `Oh, God will forgive me,' or, `God was unjust for forgiving David.'

Where did David go wrong?

He learned what a great evil concealing something is, for then one's options are narrowed.

For him there was only one way of escape.

"When in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt. . . . Bathsheba, whose fatal beauty had proved a snare to the king, was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David's bravest and most faithful officers. . . . Every effort that David made to conceal his guilt proved unavailing. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan. . . . There appeared but one way of escape, and in his desperation he was hurried on to add murder to adultery. . . ." {CTr 147.4}

David realized he had sinned against God.

What did he forget?

He forgot how the Lord had led him in the past and that God will not countenance sin.

Having let his guard down, meant that spiritual warfare would consume him continually.

9:25 "Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
9:26 So I do not run ailmlessly; I do not box as one beating in the air.
9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."
1.Corinthians 9:25-27, ESV.

"God intended the history of David's fall to serve as a warning that even those whom He has greatly blessed and favored are not to feel secure and neglect watchfulness and prayer. And thus it has proved to those who in humility have sought to learn the lesson that God designed to teach." [50]

Sin and Its Effect

As we presented alread, sin and its consequences keep on going. But the Lord was merciful to David.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalm 32:1,2.

Still though, David had to deal with the effects of his sin, the residual effects, all his life.

When we think we are ok, we are to watch out.

In the case of David he had to bear its consequences in his own house. So would we.

What happened in David's own house?

David had a son by Ahinoam, his wife, whose name was Amnon. Amnon had a problem and to get on with it, he got himself some help.

13:3 "But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man.
13:4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
13:5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand."
2.Samuel 13:3-5, KJV.

Amnon proceeds to make his request to Tamar, his sister.

But Tamar was not like he was. She had made God's law the rule of her life. She was a straight edge.

Tamar, however, does not completely turn Amnon off, she told her brother, `Go, speak to the king.'

"And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee."
2.Sam. 13:12,13.

But Amnon does not listen, Passion possessed him now and so he forced his will Absalom and Tamar upon his own sister and committed the sinful deed. - After the act, he did not love her, however, far from it, he now hated her.

Amnon hated Tamar now so much that he told her, `Go away.' [120]

He behaved like a dog. After the conquest he wanted his emotions were cold as ice. People, this kind of sin, even raises its ugly head today in families of all descriptions. Beware, beware!

That is what Satan does to every sinner who falls for his glitter. After man sins, Satan lets him reap the results himself.

"And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her. Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her." 2.Sam. 13:16,17.

It was not long and Absalom, the brother of Tamar, finds out what happened to his sister. What does he do? Absalom tells her, `Don't take it too hard.'

After David finds out, what does he do?

David gets angry.

"But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth." 2.Sam. 13:21.

Why is David angry?

He is angry for he is now doubly guilty. His own sin is being used in his own house as if it is ok to be committed.

Parents. Do not commit sins in your house for your children may commit them, adding to them doubly, and you will be grieved all the days of your life.

Effects of No Discipline

David did not discipline his grown up son Absalom.

The same scenarios can occur in the church. Some time we may let go of discipline, because we are guilty of such things too.

"The shameful crime of Amnon, the first-born, was permitted by David to pass unpunished and unrebuked. The law pronounced death upon the adulterer, and the unnatural crime of Amnon made him doubly guilty. But David, self-condemned for his own sin, failed to bring the offender to justice." [200]

What does the law say should be done?

We read,

"You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home. . . . For anyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 18:9,29,30, ESV.

People who do such things are to be cut off from their people, they were to be exiled. David should have sent Amnon far away. Perhaps all the way to Egypt were they committed such abominations as a matter of course, for they were steeped in sin which weakened them continually.

What then is the procedure for reconciliation of such offenses against laws of God?

It could only be reconciled by coming before the Lord, acknowleding, confessing the sin, repenting of such trespasses, committing oneself to leave such a sinful life behind; and in David's time, go to the priest with a sin offering and on the Day of Atonement, bring an atoning offering, and remain innocent of any further offenses of the Law of God.

How can one be reconciled today? The same way minus the animal offerings for Christ offered Himself to reconcile sinners back to God by His blood.

As to David, the father of Amnon, what should he have done? He should have disciplined Amnon.

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Proverbs 13:24.

David neither disciplined Amnon, nor did he counsel with him to lift his spiritual level reminding him to seek forgiveness for his sin.

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15.

David does nothing because of his self-condemnation.

In fact, because of that David makes things worse.

"Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Proverbs 23:13,14.

Now David has two rebellious sons in his house.

But Absalom hated Amnon for what he had done to his sister. For some two years he held his peace however. Then, one day, he invited Amnon to a feast.

13:23 "And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
13:24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.
13:25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
13:26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?
13:27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
13:28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
13:29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled."
2.Sam. 13:23-29.

Then the servants of David came and told him that Absalom had slain all the king's sons. That was not a true report.

"And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead."
2.Sam. 13:32,33.

It is always important not to jump to conclusions too quickly but research first before acting upon advise. Even though you may receive, what appears to be divine guidance through some source, be still and verify if it is taught in His Word for sure. If it is not according "to the law and to the testimony . . . it is because there is no light in it." Isa. 8:20. Never go by how it sounds in your own ears alone, for we are fallible and so are all people when principles of living are at issue even in small ways.

"Like other sons of David, Amnon had been left to selfish indulgence. He had sought to gratify every thought of his heart, regardless of the requirements of God. Notwithstanding his great sin, God had borne long with him. For two years he had been granted opportunity for repentance; but he continued in sin, and with his guilt upon him, he was cut down by death, to await the awful tribunal of the judgment.
David had neglected the duty of punishing the crime of Amnon, and because of the unfaithfulness of the king and father and the impenitence of the son, the Lord permitted events to take their natural course, and did not restrain Absalom. When parents or rulers neglect the duty of punishing iniquity, God Himself will take the case in hand. His restraining power will be in a measure removed from the agencies of evil, so that a train of circumstances will arise which will punish sin with sin.
The evil results of David's unjust indulgence toward Amnon were not ended, for it was here that Absalom's alienation from his father began. After he fled to Geshur, David, feeling that the crime of his son demanded some punishment, refused him permission to return. And this had a tendency to increase rather than to lessen the inextricable evils in which the king had come to be involved. Absalom, energetic, ambitious, and unprincipled, shut out by his exile from participation in the affairs of the kingdom, soon gave himself up to dangerous scheming."
[320]

Absalom determined that he wanted to take the kingdom by force.[325] So what does David do with Absalom?

David alienates Absalom at first when he left ... while he had pleased Amnon.

David told Absalom, `Don't come home.'

But then he tells Joab, `Bring Absalom home, but he can't see my face'

David did not deal equal with love and justice in his house.

"And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me." 2.Sam. 14:32.

Satan paints such a picture of God. He claims that God is unfair with man.

David hadn't seen Absalom for four years. He had isolated Absalom from access to his father's house, the house of the king for four years.

Did he have alternatives?

Absalom was a grown man. Could he have told Absalom in order to speak with him to try and consider lawful options?

So what does Absalom do? He decides to run for office.

Why?

Because inside of him he now riled against his father, he hated him now.

15:1 "After this Absalom provided a chariot and horses for himself, and an escort of fifty men,
15:2 He would get up early and go and stand by the road at the city gate. Whenever someone came there with a dispute that he wanted the king to settle, Absalom would call him over and ask him where he was from.
15:3 And after the man had told him what tribe he was from, Absalom would say, `Look, the law is on your side, but there is no representative of the king to hear your case.'
15:4 And he would add, `How I wish I were a judge!' Then anyone who had a dispute or a claim could come to me, and I would give him justice.'
15:5 When the man would approach Absalom to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out, take hold of him, and kiss him.
15:6 Absalom did this with every Israelite who came to the king for judgment, and so he won their loyalty."
2.Sam. 15:1-6, GNB.

While David seemingly acted thoughtless, Absalom developed wicked, clever plans designed to eventually topple the government of his father, the King of Israel.

For this purpose, Absalom will choose helpers for his cause, Ahithophel and Hushai.

"But he sent messengers to all the tribes of Israel to say, `When you hear the sound of trumpets, shout, Absalom has become king at Hebron.'" 2.Sam. 15:10, GNB.

Sly and equipped with a definite plan Absalom proceeds on his treacherous course.

15:25 "Then the king said to Zadok, `Take the Covenant Box (Ark of the Covenant) back to the city. If the Lord is pleased with me, some day he will let me come back to see it and the place where it stays.
15:26 But if he isn't pleased with me - well, then, let him do to me what he wishes.'
15:27 And he went on to say to Zadok, `Look, take your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar's son Jonathan and go back to the city in peace.'
15:28 Menawhile, I will wait at the river crossings in the wilderness until I receive news from you.'
15:29 So Zadok and Abiathar took the Covenant Box back into Jerusalem and stayed there."
2.Sam. 15:25-29, GNB.

David, was he now an outcast, a fugitive?

For how long can he walk around in self-condemnation weakening his spiritual sensibilities?

David is now facing another result of his sin.

Bethsheba was the daughter of Eliam and the grand, beloved wife of Uriah the Hittite.

To solve his problem by human means, David is now locked in his tower of power.

His sin has brought disgrace on his family.

15:31 "When David was told that Ahithophel had joined Absalom's rebellion, he prayed, `Please, Lord, turn Ahithophel's advice into nonsense!'
15:32 When David reached the top of the hill, where there was a place of worship, his trusted friend Hushai the Archite met him with his clothes torn and dirt on his head.
15:33 David said to him, `You will be of no help to me if you come with me,
15:34 but you can help me by returning to the city and telling Absalom that you will now serve him as faithfully as you served your father. And do all you can to oppose any advice that Ahithophel gives.
15:35 The priests Zadok and Abiathar will be there; tell them everything you hear in the king's palace.
15:36 They have their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan with them, and you can send them to me with all the information you gather.'
15:37 So Hushai, David's friend, returned to the city just as Absalom was arriving."
2.Sam. 15:31-37, GNB.

David is in despair, but he has a little glimmer of hope.

David and Shimei

What David didn't do to the house of Saul.

"Not long after that, Ahithophel said to Absalom, `Let me choose twelve thousand men, and tonight I will set out after David." 2.Sam. 17:1, GNB.

It makes a difference whom we consult. While we cannot tell what is in each person as God can, we can follow the injunction to only consider the ways of the Lord and not man's ways.

16:11 "And David said to Abishai and to all his officials, `My own son is trying to kill me; so why should you be surprised at this Benjaminite? The Lord told him to curse; so leave him alone and let him do it.
16:12 Perhaps the Lord will notice my misery and give me some blessings to take the place of his curse.'
16:13 So David and his men continued along the road. Shimei kept up with them, walking on the hillside; he was cursing and throwing stones and dirt at them as he went.
16:14 The king and his men were worn out when they reached the Jordan, and there they rested."
2.Sam. 16:11-14, GNB.

Why did David have to go through such afflictions?

". . . if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes,
but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness."
Psalm 89:31-33, ESV.
The Role of Trials and Afflictions

"But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went." 2.Sam. 15:30, ESV.

From these accounts in the life of David we want to shine light on what Christians can learn about the role of trials and afflictions on their life. We ought to learn the difference of how we, faulty, finite humans, see trials and afflictions, compared to how God sees them.

What lesson ought we to learn?

We ought to learn from these accounts, that, when you experience such trying times, such trials or changes in your circumstances it is because you are worth something to God. God uses such to chasten and grind you, not to grind you to powder but rather to polish you - make you into a jewel he can add to the treasures of heaven for He says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Rev. 3:19.

God speaks of this `making sinners valuable' in his shop of trials and afflictions the way we shall describe soon.

These are huge lessons we can learn from the life of David, Absalom, the entire household of David.

We can ask for instance, `Is there ever an appropriate time to lie? Can we ever use `Situation Ethics?'

How often do we see our cursing through the furnace of affliction because of our sins and our lack of faith in the Lord? Do we realize His purposes in our life? Are we conscious of our need to be purified?

The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process;Presumed location of David's palace it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel. But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace (See image for presumed palace remains).
The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realized.
Our heavenly Father is never unmindful of those whom sorrow has touched. When David went up the Mount Olivet,
"and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot" (2 Samuel 15:30), the Lord was looking pityingly upon him. David was clothed in sackcloth, and his conscience was scourging him. The outward signs of humiliation testified of his contrition. In tearful, heartbroken utterances he presented his case to God, and the Lord did not forsake His servant. Never was David dearer to the heart of Infinite Love than when, conscience-smitten, he fled for his life from his enemies, who had been stirred to rebellion by his own son. The Lord says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Revelation 3:19. Christ lifts up the contrite heart and refines the mourning soul until it becomes His abode.
But when tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob! We think it the hand of an enemy; and in the darkness we wrestle blindly until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance. To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had been contending--the Angel of the covenant; and, weeping and helpless, he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for which his soul longed. We also need to learn that trials mean benefit, and not to despise the chastening of the Lord nor faint when we are rebuked of Him.

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth: . . . He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." Job 5:17-19. To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by precious revealings of His presence.
God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love. The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about. We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all the day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace.

Think of this, children of suffering and sorrow, and rejoice in hope. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4. [500]

What can we learn? We can learn that trials and afflictions in our life reveal the presence of God. He is not yet done with us to make us into polished stones fit to live in His Kingdom. We learn that God has not abandoned David and He will not abandon us. For Christ died for the grossest sins done among man, and He loves us with an everlasting love. The only sin God cannot forgive is, when sinners turn away from Him despite all these evidences how God is continually working for our salavation.

To see that, we study the lives of these people.

We learn that David was not the only casualty of the course sins took in his life and that of his children.

"Had God permitted David to go on unrebuked in sin, and while transgressing the divine precepts, to remain in peace and prosperity upon his throne, the skeptic and infidel might have had some excuse for citing the history of David as a reproach to the religion of the Bible. But in the experience through which He caused David to pass, the Lord shows that He cannot tolerate or excuse sin. And David's history enables us to see also the great ends which God has in view in His dealings with sin; it enables us to trace, even through darkest judgments, the working out of His purposes of mercy and beneficence. He caused David to pass under the rod, but He did not destroy him; the furnace is to purify, but not to consume. The Lord says, "If they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail." Psalm 89:31-33. [620]

David saw the faithfulness of the Lord.

What was David's major problem now?

"Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Prov. 27:1.

Circumstances are ordered to bring us to see our need to come to terms with the Lord.

David acknowledged his condition, Saul had not done that. This is a major difference in our Christian life too.

Many of your afflictions have been visited upon you, in the wisdom of God, to bring you closer to the throne of grace. He softens and subdues His children by sorrows and trials. This world is God's workshop, where He fashions us for the courts of heaven. He uses the planing knife upon our quivering hearts until the roughness and irregularities are removed and we are fitted for our proper places in the heavenly building. Through tribulation and distress the Christian becomes purified and strengthened, and develops a character after the model that Christ has given. The influence of a true, godly life cannot be measured. It reaches beyond the immediate circle of home and friends, shedding a light that wins souls to Jesus. [660]

As long as we pay attention to God's Word it can shape us and lead us and cause us to arrive safely at our destination.

"Rejoice not over me, O my enemy, when I fall, I shall rise; When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication."
Micah 7:8,9, ESV.

But those two helpers Absalom chose, Ahithophel and Hushai, what did they accomplish?

"Ahithophel said to Absalom, `Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.' And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel." 2.Sam. 17:1-4, ESV. (See also the following verses.)

Was that the way things worked out in reality?

Hushai speaks up now. We read,

"This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.' Hushai said, `You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. . . . my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba . . . and that you go to battle in person. So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found . . . and we shall light upon him . . . that none shall be left." 2.Sam. 17:7-12, ESV.

The conspirators did not know that one of the maids would tell Jonathan, and Jonathan would tell David so their cause was doomed to failure before it began.

Was this of the Lord?

The Lord knows what will happen. There is nothing hidden from before Him. He can turn the life of people as only He knows the way it should be. David was not abandoned by God for he still sought God while Absalom did not. He never sought God.

When he prayed, `Lord, please turn his prayer into nonsense,' was that prayer answered? What attitude was David in when he prayed it? He was in an attitude of contrition and humbleness.

David was in trouble. If the plan of Ahithophel had been followed, David would have lost his kingdom.

We just read the part which shows how Ahithophel's plan didn't come to fruition?

When Absalom chose against Ahithophel, the latter saw that as a sign that his courier was over and he went out and hanged himself.

Who else helped David? The heathens who knew his history helped him. Those among whom he had hidden while trying to remain alive in the days of Saul. These men brought food.

17:27 "And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
17:28 Brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
2.Sam. 17:27-29, KJV.

And Absalom and all his entourage were defeated in one day, even though they outnumbered David 10:1

God's resources are endless. They may come from quarters we do not even consider.

What Matters Most

What matters most? Discipline on the outside or on the inside?

"And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, `Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.' And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom." 2.Sam. 18:5.

Wow, what a dangerous course to pursue for David.

What would the people think of such an order?

Isn't David giving the impression that Absalom is to him more important than the kingdom?

Meanwhile, what happened to Absalom?

"And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. . . . and Joab took three javelins ... and thrust them into the heart of Absalom." 2.Sam. 18:9-14.

How would these threats to David's kingship be resolved? And how would David react? That we study next.

Thus perished the instigators of rebellion in Israel. Ahithophel had died by his own hand. The princely Absalom, whose glorious beauty had been the pride of Israel, had been cut down in the vigor of his youth, his dead body thrust into a pit, and covered with a heap of stones, in token of everlasting reproach. During his lifetime Absalom had reared for himself a costly monument in the king's dale, but the only memorial which marked his grave was that heap of stones in the wilderness. [700]

A flood of worldly ambitions come to their end, as they come for all who leave out the Lord. Those who wait upon the Lod have something the world does not have. The world can in the end only build up a level of hate, while God brings peace and love.

For David, two obstacles had been removed.

When David heard about the death of his oldest son, he went and wept and wept. The people saw this as his priorities being out of whack. Upon the return of Joab,

... the king was not waiting to bid them welcome, but from the chamber above the gate his wailing cry was heard, "O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"
"The victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people; for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle."
Joab was filled with indignation. God had given them reason for triumph and gladness; the greatest rebellion that had ever been known in Israel had been crushed; and yet this great victory was turned to mourning for him whose crime had cost the blood of thousands of brave men. The rude, blunt captain pushed his way into the presence of the king, and boldly said, "Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters; . . . in that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now."
Harsh and even cruel as was the reproof to the heart-stricken king, David did not resent it. Seeing that his general was right, he went down to the gate, and with words of courage and commendation greeted his brave soldiers as they marched past him.
[800]

Why did the Lord let things go this way?

As to David, we see clearly how his leniency toward his children - his sparing the rod - spoiled two of his sons. He dwelt on his sons more than on his kingdom. He saw the fruits of his sins and what they reaped. He jeopardized his family and their salvation. Had David not gone to the gate, he might have had an insurrection of the people.

How many do that today? May the Lord open our eye sight so such tragedies will not be repeated over and over again even in our days.

These accounts from the life of David teach that sin must be dealt with - ours and others - or we will never like the consequences.

For `you are also God's building ...

3:10 "Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and another man is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds.
3:11 For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid.
3:12 Some will use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation; others will use wood or grass or straw.
3:13 And the quality of each person's work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. For on that Day fire will reveal everyone's work; the fire will test it and show its real quality.
3:14 If what was built on the foundation survives the fire, the builder will receive a reward.
3:15 But if anyone's work is burnt up, then he will lose it; but he himself will be saved, as if he had escaped through the fire."
1.Corinthians 3:10-15. GNB.

How is it that the worker who loses the low quality structure he built upon the foundation will be saved?

Because, while his work was poor quality, it was still built on the right foundation, upon Jesus Himself. While he can still find salvation it comes with trials and afflictions,

"`I destroyed some of you as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like a burning stick saved from a fire. Still you did not come back to me,' says the Lord." Amos 4:11, GNB.

Even though the trials caused by the recognition how worthless such things are, which he built on his own volition, his trust in self, and how he had persuaded others to trust in his workmanship, by the grace of God his life is still saveable.

That ought to encourage all of us. We ought to know the great love God has for His people, all those who still pay attention to His words and actually read all the Bible verses.

David's Principle Concern, How Satan Used it Against Him

Absalom, David's son was dead. The son who turned against his dad, the King of Israel in rebellion to uproot him, was dead.

Still, David mourns for his son. He cannot get him off his mind.

While deep sadness seems to incapacitate David, his army general, even though David had asked him to deal gently with Absalom, had killed him.

Yet David,

". . . overcome with grief. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he cried, `O my son! My son Absalom! . . . I only I had died in your place." 2.Sam. 18:33. GNB.

Why does the Bible mention even where David was?

Because now all those of Israel who passed through the gate knew that their king was more concerned about his dead son than about his nation. It seemed to them, David had come to oppose those who had loved him and supported those who hated him for "Joab was told that King David was weeping and mourning for Absalom." (2.Sam. 19:1).

Joab, however, realizes that David was in grave danger to lose all the support of those who formerly had stood by him through battles and adversities. He had humiliated his troops, his battle hardened friends. The issue of undue affection was a means that Satan could use against God's anointed. His great sadness turned into a form of idolatry and we are reminded of the following words,

Jesus taught his hearers that not one of the precepts of Jehovah could be broken without violating one or both of the great principles upon which rested the whole law and the prophets: Love to God and love to man. Every precept is so connected with the others in meaning and obligation that in breaking one, the whole is broken; for they are all united in one symmetrical body. It is impossible for man to love God with all his heart and yet to have other gods before the Lord. This supreme love to God does not consist in a mere acknowledgment of his universal power, and the offering of a prescribed form of worship to him, while the heart finds delight in serving idols. Self-love, love of the world, or an undue affection for any created thing, is idolatry in the sight of God, and separates the affections from him. God requires the heart's best and holiest affections, and he will accept nothing less. He must reign supreme in the mind and heart. [890]

Jesus also states that sort of problem this way . . .

"Whoever comes to me cannot be my disciple unless he loves me more than he loves his father and his mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and his sisters, and himself as well." Luke 14:26, GNB.

We learn here the important lesson that love for God comes first, not our love for anyone else, including superiors, church members, etc., for Satan can use that type of idolatry and lead us away from serving God, our only shield and help in times of need. The following scriptures address this sort of problem.

"But you, my friends, as you wait for that Day, do your best to be pure and faultless in God's sight and to be at peace with him." 2.Peter 3:17, GNB.

"Keep your covenant with me, your Lord, and dedicate yourselves to me, you people of Judah and Jerusalem. If you don't, my anger will burn like fire because of the evil things you have done. It will burn, and there will be none to put it out." Jeremiah 4:4, GNB.

"Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father." 1.John 2:15, GNB.

How these problems can work themselves out, the particular danger, is now addressed.

"The sad thing in our churches today, is that Jesus is misrepresented in the character of those who profess to be his followers. Many claim to believe in and love Jesus, while they do neither. They advocate the law of God, but are transgressors of its precepts. The first four commandments require supreme love to God. Parents, children, wife, husband, houses, lands, or any other earthly treasure, whether of friends or property, are not to be loved selfishly, and thus become an idol to divert the mind, the time, the service, from God. He that loves and serves mammon, cannot love and serve God supremely. When friends and relations are loved with inordinate affection, they are taking the place in the heart where God should be. "Ye, therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Here idolatry is plainly revealed, as existing in those who claim to worship God. The pure, refined, ennobling love is buried up by the love of carnal things. This the True Witness represents as a fearful loss in experience and character-building -- the loss of the first love. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent." The True Witness sends forth this warning. Mercy and the love of God are the attributes of his throne. While claiming to be the subjects of the kingdom of God, and yet refusing to be converted from their selfish love, their stern, iron will, their own perverse ways, many are constantly bearing a false testimony of Jesus Christ. [950]

David and Ambition

What was now the ambition of David? Israel had grown a mightier nation. He wanted to know the strength of his kingdom. His ambition drove him to become a power broker amongst the nations, which was an open invitation to Satan to try his craft. David didn't seem to remember, that when the Lord was with him, he was a hundred times stronger than all others.

"... after David had taken the census, his conscience began to hurt, and he said to the Lord, `I have committed a terrible sin in doing this! Please forgive me. I have acted foolishly." 2.Samuel 24:10, GNB.

Did the overthrow of Absalom bring peace? No!

Were they still wondering, who is ruling Israel?

They were confused.

"All over the country they started quarreling among themselves. `King David saved us from our enemies,' they said one to another. `He rescued us from the Philistines, but now he has fled from Absalom and left the country. We anointed Absalom as our king, but he has been killed in battle. So why doesn't somebody try to bring King David back?" 2.Sam. 19:9,10, GNB.

Now, of all Israel Judah was the last tribe to ask David to be king. Why? What happened?

"The news of what the Israelites were saying reached King David. So he sent the priests Zadok and Abiathar to ask the leaders of Judah, `Why should you be the last to help bring the king back to his palace? You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood, why should you be the last to bring me back?' David also told them to say to Amasa, `You are my relative. From now on I am putting you in charge of the army in place of Joab. May God strike me dead if I don't!'
David's words won the complete loyalty of all the men of Judah, and they sent him word to return with all his officials."
2.Sam. 19:11-14. GNB.

So David gets ready to go back home, back to his palace to rule. However, on his way home he runs across someone he knows.

"... and they crossed the ford to bring over the king's household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, `Let not my Lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.'" 2.Sam. 19:18-20, ESV.

What does David do now?

He says, `Who asked your opinion?'

Why did Shimei have to bring that up again? There is no answer.

"... David said, `What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?'
And the king said to Shimei, `You shall not die.' And the king gave him his oath."
2.Sam. 19:22,23, ESV. [972]

Had David now steered clear of temptation?

"Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel." 1.Chronicles 21:1, ESV.

What is the problem with wanting to know the census, the number of people in the realm?

In the case of David it was applying worldy methods to try and measure success. He was really counting and recruiting soldiers. He wanted to be like the other nations and kings. He wanted to be respected by his neighbors for having a sizable army. It was shear pride and ambition that caused him to count Israel, the people who had grown in strength and prosperity under his rule.

Are such things a problem today? What can happen in churches which may represent similar problems? How about having your picture taken at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, another plus in your collection of achievements? How about counting baptisms because of pride of achievement?

In the case of David, what impression was he giving to the other nations?

They saw in this that David was trusting in his army, not the Lord!

This is where David gave Satan room to tempt him.

"David gave orders to Joab and the other officers, `Go through Israel, from one end of the country to the other, and count the people. I want to know how many there are.'" 1.Chr. 21:1, GNB.

What does Joab think about these orders?

"Joab answered, `May the Lord make the people of Israel a hundred times more numerous than they are now! Your Majesty, they are all your servants. Why do you want to do this and make the whole nation guilty?'" 1.Chr. 21:3, GNB.

Joab was concerned, why David would offend the Lord and cause Israel to sin? Why would anyone want to count when God said in His Word not to do that, Exodus 30:12? ... Grow uncertain about the Lord who was the source of the strength of Israel in battle with your enemies?

So we ask, are there times when we do the same thing today? Does this apply to churches?

Workers for Christ are never to think, much less to speak, of failure in their work. The Lord Jesus is our efficiency in all things; His Spirit is to be our inspiration; and as we place ourselves in His hands, to be channels of light, our means of doing good will never be exhausted. We may draw upon His fullness and receive of that grace which has no limit. [990]

Well, David insists, saying, `Don't listen to Joab.'

So Joab goes ahead and does the census and . . .

"... reported to King David the total number of men capable of military service: 1,100,000 in Israel and 470,000 in Judah." 1.Chr. 21:5, GNB.

Is it a reliable report? No. He didn't count the tribes of Levi and Benjamin.

Why did the Lord let it happen that 70,000 in Israel died of the plague?

There are souls in their darkness, full of remorse and pain and anguish, who still feel that God is just and good. The Lord is keeping alive the spark of hope in their hearts. The poor, darkened soul feels, If I could only appear before God, and plead my case, He would pity for Christ's sake, and this horrible fear and agony would be relieved. He has tried to speak to men, and has been rudely repulsed, reproved, taunted by his supposed friends. Sometimes the reproaches heaped upon his head have well-nigh destroyed the last spark of hope. The soul that is conscious of sincere and honest intentions finds he has less to fear from God than from men who have hearts of steel. The soul wrenched with human agony turns away from the misjudgment and condemnation of men who cannot read the heart, yet have taken it upon them to judge their fellowmen. He turns to One who is without a shadow of misapprehension, One who knows all the impulses of the heart, who is acquainted with all the circumstances of temptation. God knows every deed of the past life, and yet in consideration of all this, the troubled soul is ready to trust his case with God, knowing that He is a God of mercy and compassion. [1010]

But as so often in the life of David and in our own life, on another day we see the error of our ways and we come before the Lord and pray for forgiveness. . . .

"God was displeased with what had been done, so he punished Israel.
David said to God, `I have committed a terrible sin in doing this! Please forgive me. I have acted foolishly."
1.Chr. 21:7,8, GNB.

David's actions made all heaven astir for God forever grants man the power of choice - which, however, will have consequences.

"So Gad came to David and said to him, `Thus says the Lord, `Choose what you will: either three years of famine or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.' Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me." 1.Chr. 21:11,12, ESV.

Three years of afflictions or three days. What a choice to make.

"Then David said to Gad, `I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man." 1.Chr. 21:13.

And we may tremble at this even today. Is there any word of the Lord for us today?

"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10, KJV.

Yes. David made the only choice that was put to him which was sane.

Let Us Fall into the Hand of God. When David was bidden to choose the punishment for his sin, he said, "Let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man." He felt that God knew the struggle and anguish of the soul. When one is enabled to catch a glimpse of the character of God, he sees not in Him the heartless, vindictive spirit manifested by human agents; he sees that affliction and trial are God's appointed means of disciplining His children, and teaching them His way, that they may lay hold of His grace. "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." As the poor backsliding one is led to the river of God's love, he exclaims, When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold purified. The suffering soul is made patient, trustful, triumphant in God under adverse circumstances. [1050]

The toll on David's sin was terrible. Seventy thousand people died of the plague. That is to show us today the terrible sinfulness of sin.

But we may ask, `Why did the Lord punish Israel for a sin instigated by David?'

We learn soon enough, yes, David decided to follow a route which brought sin to the door, but his people, the people of Israel had these same ambitions and pride. They agreed with what David was doing.

The taking of the census had caused disaffection among the people; yet they had themselves cherished the same sins that prompted David's action. As the Lord through Absalom's sin visited judgment upon David, so through David's error He punished the sins of Israel. [1110]

David had failed to protect his people from such an error. So apparently the priests and everyone else. Something had to be done to stem this tide of rising sinfulness, the estrangement from the Lord.

What occurs today in our places of worship that could be likened to this type of sin?

Do we hear today census reports? Do we take pride in statistical numbers? All churches in the world?

Yes! That takes place very often. Is it then any wonder that our spiritual strength is more fatigue than strength? And we could know the reason why, but we are blinded? We do not study these accounts which are related to us in God's Word to know how His people are to be led?

Do our leaders study God's Word from cover to cover?

Oh, yes, we read this in junior classes at church, but we forgot what it meant. Or, no, we never read this, at least consciously.

Is that the way it goes?

So we hear sermons designed to lull is on in our sleep. There are few watchmen on the walls of Zion these days. There is no methodical searching. The mid-week Bible studies are poorly attended. There is a neglect of interest to want to know all this because they cannot imagine such truths are buried in the Word of God - so they don't come. They can't imagine that someone in the church knows how to teach, or they don't like the teacher, or they don't like to be away from home, or this, or that. . . .

So churches are starving spiritually. We die a spiritual death if that continues. Thousands can die such a spiritual death, just like in Israel where 70,000 succumbed.

It is a true death for it is sin and people die the second death!! Are you listening?

These types of principles are taught in scripture over and over again. We do not have an excuse since we have Bibles in our houses and know how to read.

The angel of the Lord came to Jerusalem and ....

"David saw the angel who was killing the people, and said to the Lord, `I am the guilty one. I am the one who did wrong. What have these poor people done? You should punish me and my family.'" 2.Sam. 24:17, GNB.

How did God respond?

"That same day Gad went to David and said to him, `Go up to Arauna's threshing place and build an altar to the Lord.' David obeyed the Lord's command and went as Gad had told him to." 2.Sam. 24:18,19, GNB.

So David pays Araunah the price of 50 pieces of silver for the oxen and the threshing floor, 2.Sam. 24:24, and we are reminded of the words to what is important in real estate, `Location, location, location.'

Arauna's threshing floor was the place where Abraham had taken The so-called Solomon's Pillar which used to be at Nuweiba Beach's Exodus site, until someone removed it.Isaac to be sacrificed. It was the place where Solomon later built the Temple which was the place where our Saviour preached the gospel.

Oh, how different are the standards by which God and men measure character. God sees many temptations resisted of which the world and even near friends never know--temptations in the home, in the heart. He sees the soul's humility in view of its own weakness; the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil. He sees the wholehearted devotion to His service. He has noted the hours of hard battle with self--battle that won the victory. All this God and angels know. A book of remembrance is written before Him for them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name.
Not in our learning, not in our position, not in our numbers or entrusted talents, not in the will of man, is to be found the secret of success. Feeling our inefficiency we are to contemplate Christ, and through Him who is the strength of all strength, the thought of all thought, the willing and obedient will gain victory after victory.
And however short our service or humble our work, if in simple faith we follow Christ, we shall not be disappointed of the reward. That which even the greatest and wisest cannot earn, the weakest and most humble may receive. Heaven's golden gate opens not to the self-exalted. It is not lifted up to the proud in spirit. But the everlasting portals will open wide to the trembling touch of a little child. Blessed will be the recompense of grace to those who have wrought for God in the simplicity of faith and love.
[1220]

We do live in weak human flesh. That ought to mean that we would the more seek the Lord, study His Word so we may not run aground before we get anywhere.

How weak is our flesh? We read,

12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2.Corinthians 12:7-10, KJV.

... and we, do we need to despair? No. We read,

"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. . . . Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great." 2.Samuel 22:31,36, KJV.

The history of David affords one of the most impressive testimonies ever given to the dangers that threaten the soul from power and riches and worldly honor--those things that are most eagerly desired among men. Few have ever passed through an experience better adapted to prepare them for enduring such a test. David's early life as a shepherd, with its lessons of humility, of patient toil, and of tender care for his flocks; the communion with nature in the solitude of the hills, developing his genius for music and poetry, and directing his thoughts to the Creator; the long discipline of his wilderness life, calling into exercise courage, fortitude, patience, and faith in God, had been appointed by the Lord as a preparation for the throne of Israel. David had enjoyed precious experiences of the love of God, and had been richly endowed with His Spirit; in the history of Saul he had seen the utter worthlessness of mere human wisdom. And yet worldly success and honor so weakened the character of David that he was repeatedly overcome by the tempter. [1250]

6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain.
6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
1.Timothy 6:6-11

David's humility, his returning back to the Lord, his confession at the sacrifice and his contrition, brought him close to the Lord again.

We must know that the following admonition will help us in such a time of need just like it did David.

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1.John 2:1,2.

Never give up the Word of God. Never stop reading in it daily and the grace of God will keep you and transform you and you build on the sure foundation, on Jesus Christ Himself.



Notes & References

[50] CC 180.7.

[120] We make here a still highly tentative assumption that the liaison of Amnon with Tamar produced a child, possibly the child named Neferure which we elsewhere identified as a child of Solomon, but now consider the possibility that she was the child of Amnon and Temar as a working hypothesis, to see if Tamar, the daughter of David and Ahinoam, and the sister of Absalom, could have become Hattie, Maatkara, Hatshepsut - who accordingly was half Egyptian and half Israelite.

[200] PP, 727.2.

[320] PP 727.4-728.2.

[325] Other Bible verses containing such repeating phrases are 2.Samuel 19:4 where David laments the death of his son Absalom. The connection between this event and Babylon is
(a) David cried, "my son, my son", for Absalom tried to take the kingdom by force which is the intention of those in Babylon who will not come out.
(b) Another example of such a repetition factor is when Jesus looked upon Jerusalem and he saw the city and cried out, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem." Jesus longed for Jerusalem to hear his voice but they would not. So too with those in Babylon.
(c) The first city of Babylon which built that tower would not believe God that He would not send another flood. That is typical Babylon today too. They do not believe the plain words of God.

[500] MB 11.1-12.3.

[620] PP 738.2.

[660] 4T 143.2.

[700] CC 184.4.

[800] PP 745.1-4.

[890] 3SP 52.1.

[950] HM, December 1, 1894 par. 13.

[972] The events surrounding the actions of Shimei were put in the Bible because such may occur over and over again to individuals, organizations and churches. There are some professional `dirt' diggers who will use anything of this sort to put their target down and lift themselves up. The Lord knows such and they are written in His books, and they will have to answer for their evil deeds and ill speaking and calumni. While some accusations may have some substance, and some members may have overstepped boundaries, to accuse a whole church is quite another thing. But to do it, such Shemeis have to continually dig in dirt to find it, and what a mind set will that produce? - " In David's prosperity Shimei had not shown by word or act that he was not a loyal subject. But in the affliction of the king this Benjamite revealed his true character. He had honored David upon his throne, but he cursed him in his humiliation. Base and selfish, he looked upon others as of the same character as himself, and, inspired by Satan, he wreaked his hatred upon him whom God had chastened. The spirit that leads man to triumph over, to revile or distress, one who is in affliction is the spirit of Satan.
Shimei's accusations against David were utterly false--a baseless and malignant slander. David had not been guilty of wrong toward Saul or his house. When Saul was wholly in his power, and he could have slain him, he merely cut the skirt of his robe, and he reproached himself for showing even this disrespect for the Lord's anointed." {PP 736.2,3} - Like in this story, the accused may have done some things in error, but "David acknowledged, before his people and chief men, that this is the punishment God has brought upon him because of his sin, which has given the enemies of the Lord occasion to blaspheme; that the enraged Benjamite might be accomplishing his part of the punishment predicted, and that if he bore these things with humility, the Lord would lessen his affliction, and turn the curse of Shimei into a blessing. David does not manifest the spirit of an unconverted man. He shows that he has had an experience in the things of God. He manifests a disposition to receive correction from God, and, in confidence turns to Him as his only trust. God rewards David's humble trust in Him, by defeating the counsel of Ahithophel, and preserving his life. [1SP 383; 2BC 1024.3]

[990] 6T 467.5.

[1010] TM 354.1.

[1050] TM 354.2.

[1110] PP 748.3.

[1220] COL 404.2.

[1250] PP 746.2.


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