2 Samuel 9:1–11:27
In chapters 9 and 10 David aspires to show kindness; in chapter 11 he turns into a different “kind” of man.
Typically kings of new dynasties would annihilate any traces of the previous royal lineage, lest they rise up in rebellion against them. But David was definitely different, he wanted to show kindness to the house of Saul, for Jonathan’s sake (2 Samuel 9:1).
Through a servant named Ziba, they were able to trace down a son of Jonathan’s named Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was lame in his feet. We read about him back in:
2 Samuel 4:4 (NKJV) “Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth.”
David called for Mephibosheth, who no doubt feared for his life. Little did he know that David wanted to bless him, to grant him the land of King Saul, and most significantly, to have him eat at the king’s table – continually! Mephibosheth beceomes a picture of us. Lame and unworthy and yet found and favored, blessed beyond measure with the privilege of eating at the King’s table, every day of our lives! This is the Kind of King Jesus is to us!
After Mephibosheth, David wants to show kindness to the country of Ammon, as their king had passed. David genuinely offered his condolences. We read in:
2 Samuel 10:2 (NKJV) “Then David said, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.’ So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the people of Ammon.”
But the princes of the people had a twisted heart (often times we are a suspicious people and perceive others to be the way we are). The princes convinced their new king that these messengers of David were only sent to spy out the land in order to overthrow it…so they sent the men back in absolute shame.
Word is sent to David, who instructs the men to wait until their beards grow back to return home, but David wastes no time in sending Joab out to fight the Ammonites (he would later join them). I’ve always loved Joab’s philosophy for fighting in:
2 Samuel 10:11–12 (NKJV) “Then he said, ‘If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight.’”
The Ammonites had hired the Syrians and it was looking to be a tough battle. Joab’s words are good words for us in the battle. If what I’m going through is too tough for me, would you help me? And if what you’re facing seems to be too tough for you, I want you to know that I’ll do anything I can to help you. Let’s be strong with God’s strength, let’s fight for our families, our flock, and the future of our nation. The results are ultimately in God’s hands.
Thankfully the Lord gave Israel a great victory. He will do the same for us.
I sigh as I now write. We come to 2 Samuel 11, the chapter that chronicles the fall of King David. He not only fell into adultery with another man’s wife, it was the wife of one his faithful soldiers, Uriah is described as being a part of David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:8, 39).
It was the time of year that king’s went out to war, but King David stayed home at the palace. The old adage is so true, “Idleness is the Devil’s workshop.” He sees her and finds out she’s married to Uriah – that should end it, right? Not in the condition that David is in. He’s on top of the world, close to 50 years old, he has everything the world has to offer, he has indulged the appetites of the flesh and probably feels entitled. Sometimes the most dangerous place to be is that place of success, “on top of the world.”
David ploughs through all the red flags God set before him. He sees her, calls for her, lays with her, sends her home and is no doubt ready to move on. But he finds out she’s pregnant. No problem, he thinks, I’ll cover it up by calling Uriah home from the battle and he’ll think the child is his. The only problem with that is that Uriah is a much better man than David. He comes home for two nights (David even gets him drunk one night) but Uriah can’t see himself enjoying his wife while the soldiers are out there on the field fighting for the nation without such indulgences. Wow!
But David’s wheels keep turning. He thinks he can cover his sin another way, just get rid of Uriah and marry his wife. Which David does by sending Uriah with his own death letter to deliver to Joab; who abandons him to die in the heat of the battle. David calls for Bathsheba, marries this poor widow, some may have thought it was a noble thing David was doing but God knew. God knows everything, and we read in:
2 Samuel 11:27 (NKJV) “…but the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.”
The sweet Psalmist of Israel, the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), anointed and appointed by God, preserved, protected, blessed beyond measure, how could he do such a thing? Tragically many “mighty” men have fallen, it doesn’t HAVE to happen, but it often happens, and we must guard ourselves perpetually from this sin. It is forgivable when there’s genuine repentance, but O the consequences – especially in the lives of those, like David who know better.
I can visualize Jesus as the Vine, the Father as the Vinedresser, and myself as a branch attached to the True Vine (Jesus). The first situation mentioned in John 15:2 speaks of a branch that doesn’t bear fruit, it is taken away. It may mean just that (see Matthew 3:10). Or, it also may speak of a branch that needs to be lifted up (the Greek word suggests that). Vinedressers would often have to do this, to lift up branches that we too low to bear fruit. Our Father often does this. When I fall to the ground, the Father lifts me up, to bear fruit.
Warren Wiersbe comments, “A branch is good for only one thing—bearing fruit. It may be weak in itself, but it has a living relationship with the vine and can be productive.”
Bearing fruit is the root reason Jesus chose and appointed us (John 15:16).
As I begin to bear fruit, the Father prunes me so that I may bear more fruit. I would imagine those are the painful times in my life when certain things and sometimes even certain people, are stripped away. Again, Warren Wiersbe said, “We know that we are abiding when the Father prunes us, cutting away the good so that we can produce the best.”
My responsibility as a Christian is to abide in Christ, to rest and remain in Him. This word is found 7 times in 4 verses. The Greek Scholar, Kenneth Wuest helps us understand abiding, he put Jesus’ words in John 15:4 this way, “Maintain a living communion with Me, and I with you.”
Rest in Him, remain in Him, maintain a living constant communion with Christ. If we do, we will see the progression of production – fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.
Some people will read John 15:7 (Jesus’ promise in prayer) and either doubt and disregard it, or go to the other extreme of name it and claim it, but we need to maintain a Biblical balance. “Jesus never promises to gratify every chance whim believers may have. But as long as they are seeking the Lord’s will for their lives, Jesus promises to grant every request that will help accomplish this end.” – Expositor’s
So many times I’m asking, I’m praying, I’m hoping for God to be glorified, and yet it’s interesting to note the truth of John 15:8, that the Father is glorified when I bear much fruit. I believe the context speaks of ministry fruit, but I can’t exclude the “moral” fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23. Maybe I should add to my prayers, “Lord help me to bear much fruit – for I want You to be glorified.”
Love is one of the greatest fruits of all, some say it’s Fruit of fruits. As the Father has loved His Son, so the Son has loved us, and so we are to love one another (John 13:34). When I abide and draw from Christ, who is the Vine, I’m “attached” to the source of love, and this life brings joy, even when that life includes a cross – because we have the eternal perspective. The greatest love of all is when we lay down our lives for others. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will be martyred for my faith (although we’re open to that). God will show us how to lay down our lives for our friends.
It’s interesting how Jesus mentions this great love from God – side by side with this awful hatred the world will have for us because it hates Him.
It’s hard to imagine and understand, but the world hated Jesus because of who He was and what He taught. If I’m representing Him accurately the same hatred will be directed towards me, because of who I am and what I stand for. This means that there will be various forms of persecution coming my way. It’s important that I don’t back down, or water down the truth in order to avoid this type of hatred or persecution. I believe this is why Jesus is teaching on this, to prepare us – we should expect it, embrace it, see it as a good sign of doing something right, and never ever back down.
One last thing before we leave this section. Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit coming and testifying of Him (John 15:26). It’s good for us to know what the Bible teaches about all 3 Persons of the Godhead – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But some churches or people OVER emphasize the Person of the Holy Spirit. Here we read that the Holy Spirit points people to Jesus (not Himself). The reason the Father and the Spirit point to Jesus is because He is the Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and He is the expression of God’s love and grace (John 1:1, 14; Titus 3:4)
When we’re going through hard times, those times of affliction, we have God’s Word to comfort us (Psalm 119:50). As a matter of fact, when we pop open our Bibles during those difficult and “dark” times (Psalm 119:55) (by faith) we comfort ourselves (Psalm 119:52). Of course we know it’s only God and His truth that bring any amount of peace, but we have a part to play in seeking Him by faith. This Bible, God’s Word is the key, let’s open it frequently.
We are to obey God’s Word (Psalm 119:57), wholeheartedly (Psalm 119:58), we are to turn away from sin (Psalm 119:59), and do it immediately (Psalm 119:60). As we battle evil spirits and their lies, we are to remember God’s Word (Psalm 119:61) and even in the middle of the night, when we can’t sleep, we will give God thanks (Psalm 119:62) all because of His Word, the Bible.
How others value the Bible is even good litmus test for the friends we choose, notice what we read in:
Psalms 119:63 (NKJV) “I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts.”
May the Lord surround you with friends, companions, and co-laborers in Christ, who fear the Lord, and obey His Word.
V. 1 – This promise is for any of us who want God to speak through us. We get our hearts right, prepare, pray, maybe even study…but let it be His words that flow from our lips.
Matthew 10:19 (NKJV) “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak.”
Not necessarily saying that we don’t study; we just don’t worry. Sometimes we say things that mights surprise us, when God speaks through us (Peter – Matthew 16:17).
Jeremiah 1:9 (NKJV) “Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.’”
V. 2 – Most of the time we show ourselves a ton of grace, we think we’re pure, we’re good, we’re A-ok; but Paul the Apostle teaches us in 1 Corinthians 4:3-4…that the final judgment is still to come.
I should get on the Spiritual scale and ask God to weigh me; what does He see?
Daniel 5:25, 27 (NKJV) “And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.” “TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting;”
V. 3 – There are a couple of ways of looking at this passage:
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT) “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
If you’re committed to work, and act for the Lord, you will be successful. (simple/powerful)
Another way, however, to see this passage – is rooted more in the original language.
The Hebrew word translated “commit” is the Hebrew word (01556 galal gaw-lal’) and it means to roll.
The Hebrew word translated thoughts is usually translated “thoughts” (not plans). So, what we find is that this passage is connected to and enlightened by:
1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV) “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
When we do that, roll (cast) our cares and concerns upon the Lord, we find peace of mind…our thoughts are solid…they settle down. Let’s give it to God. He can handle it and He loves us.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.