Solomon Asked for a Hearing Heart, not Wisdom

TODAY’S READING: 1 KINGS 3-5

It’s interesting what we come to “know” because we have heard it repeated so many times. For example, we’ve probably all heard countless times that Solomon asked God for wisdom. But, that is not what Solomon asked for. He literally asked for a hearing heart. Because he asked for this, God gave Solomon wisdom.

That may seem like a subtle distinction, but there’s a world of difference between the two.

A HEARING HEART

Let’s look at just a few translations of 1 Kings 3:9 to see what Solomon asked God for.

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” – English Standard Version

“So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge your people to discern between good and evil.” – New American Standard Bible

“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” – King James Version

“Give to you heart servant a listening heart to judge your people, to discern between good and bad.” – The Lexham English Bible

Both the NASB and the KJV have a note that says “understanding” is literally “hearing” in the Hebrew.

The Hebrew word translated understanding in the ESV is shama, which means to hear, to listen, or to obey. Rarely is the word translated understanding.

And, the Hebrew word translated mind in the ESV is leb, which is overwhelmingly translated heart, even though it can mean mind as well.

Solomon is clearly asking God for a heart to listen, a listening heart, or a heart to obey.

HEARING, THE HEART, AND WISDOM

Reading through the first few chapters of Proverbs, written by Solomon, shows that Solomon understood the the connection between hearing, the heart, and wisdom.

Solomon says that to know wisdom and instruction a wise person will hear.

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, but not everyone hears it.

We need to make our ear attentive to wisdom and incline our heart to understanding. The Lord gives wisdom and stores wisdom up for the person that does this. Wisdom will come into your heart.

Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

Solomon continually speaks about hearing, turning our heart to God, and receiving wisdom. Solomon knows this and can instruct his son in this because it is exactly what he did.

A WISE MIND

It was because Solomon asked for listening heart, an obedient heart, that God blessed him with wisdom.

In 1 Kings 3:11-12, God said, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself, understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind [heart], so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”

SOLOMON, A TYPE OF jESUS

In 1 Kings 3:8, Solomon says he is “your servant is in the midst of your people.”

John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus literally tabernacled in the midst of the people.

Like Solomon, Jesus never asked for long life or riches for himself. But, Jesus prayed a lot:

  • “He went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” – Matthew 14:23
  • “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
  • “And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.” – Mark 6:46
  • “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” – Luke 5:!6
  • “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer.” – Luke 6:12

Why was Jesus always going away to pray? So that, like Solomon, he would be able to discern good and evil and judge people righteously. In this way, Jesus would do the will of his Father.

Therefore, Jesus said:

  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” – John 5:19
  • “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” – John 5:30
  • “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak.”

Jesus knew that a listening heart was a soft heart. A soft heart would hear the Father’s commands and obey. In this way, Jesus received wisdom.

HEARTS TO LISTEN COME BEFORE WISDOM

What Solomon typified and what Jesus fulfilled are exactly what Jesus taught us.

Jesus said there are those who will hear but never understand and see but never perceive because their hearts are dull, their hearts are hard.

So, in Matthew 13:19, Jesus begins to explain the parable of the sower, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.”

The path was very hard ground because it had been continually trampled down by people walking on it. The ground was so hard, that the seed could not enter into it. When our hearts are hard, the seed, the wisdom of God, the life of God, cannot penetrate it.

But, in verse 23, Jesus says, “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit.”

Good soil is soft. It has been plowed up and made ready for the seed. The good soil is the heart that has been softened by prayer and meditation. The softened heart, the heart that is ready and willing to listen, not just hear but obey, is the heart that is ready to receive the wisdom and life of God.

Notice in Jesus’ parable that when the sower went out to sow the seed went everywhere. It did not just go on the good soil. Recall from above that Solomon wrote in Proverbs that wisdom cries aloud into the streets. Wisdom is continually calling out. But, only those with hearts ready to listen, ready to obey, hear wisdom.

So, like Solomon, like Jesus, we don’t need so much to pray for wisdom as we do listening hearts, hearts that are ready to obey at the first word. Then, we will receive all the wisdom we need.

Does Jesus Know You?

TODAY’S READING: 1 KINGS 1-2

“The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.” – 1 Kings 1:4

Abishag the Shunammite is the young woman in this scripture. Her beauty marked her as someone very special, someone to be esteemed. Abishag even personally served and attended King David. Yet, David did not know her.

This brings to mind Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:23, “And the I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

What is the connection between these two passages of scripture?

DAVID TO SOLOMON

I believe that David and Solomon are pictures of Jesus’ first and second coming, respectively. David is a picture of Jesus as the king who comes to wage war against Satan, Satan’s works – lies and murder, and Satan’s power – death. Solomon is a picture of Jesus as the king who reigns in peace, the king who has put all enemies under his feet and made them his footstool.

So far, there has been almost 2,000 years between Jesus’ first coming as David and his second coming as Solomon. Therefore, I find it interesting that 1 Kings 1:1 says, “Now King David was old and advanced in years.” In the Spirit, I believe this statement pictures this long time period between the two comings of Jesus.

COVERED WITH CLOTHES, BUT NOT WARM

“And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm.” – 1 Kings 1:1

Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus destroyed Satan through his death on the cross. Jesus’ death occurred in the ninth hour, or three in the afternoon. This is the hottest part of the day. The Hebrew word for warm in 1 Kings 1:1 is often used to describe the heat of the day.

It was during the heat of the day, as he hung on the cross, that Jesus’ love for us burned the hottest. In John 15:13, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” So, John says in 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.”

And, 1 John 4:9-10 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to the be the propitiation for our sins.”

It has been a long time since Jesus’ loved for us burned hot from the cross. And, now Jesus cannot get warm, cannot feel the heat of love returned.

Why?

We covered him with clothes.

What does this mean?

The Hebrew word for covered also means concealed. And, the Hebrew word for clothes comes from the root word that means to deal treacherously with or to depart treacherously from.

Jesus cannot get warm, cannot feel the heat of our love, because we have covered him, concealed him, by clinging to the course of this world, the works of Satan – lies and murder, thereby departing treacherously from Jesus’ way.

A WOMAN TO KEEP WARM

“Therefore his servants said to him, ‘Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.'” 1 Kings 1:2

The servants realized that their clothing the king was not keeping him warm. So, they sought a woman to lie in his arms. Ecclesiastes 4:11 says, “Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?”

But, the word arms can also be translated bosom. So, these servants sought a woman to lie in the heart of David. Therefore, we can understand this as search to find a woman, a bride, for Jesus that would lie in his heart, that would share his love.

So, the servants sough a young woman that would keep the king warm as she waited on him and was in his service. The Hebrew word for wait has the idea of standing before or being appointed. This calls to mind Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

The Hebrew word for service here means nurse, administrator, or steward. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” All of us have at least one gift from the Holy Spirit for the benefit of others. So, 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

But, this word for service comes from a root word meaning to be of use, to have the habit of, to be acquainted with, to be reconciled with, to run into danger. The young woman being sought after was not just to perform acts of service. So, too with us. Our service should have the habit, the manner, of Jesus. These acts should cause people to be acquainted with and reconciled to Jesus. Our service should even require us to run into danger. Jesus said in MAtthew 16:25, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

ABISHAG THE SHUNAMMITE

“So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.” – 1 Kings 1:3

So, the servants found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king.

Abishag means father of error.

Shunem means two resting places.

Abishag the Shunammite is a picture of those who are in error by trying to serve two masters. These are people that try to take rest, comfort, and peace both in Jesus and in the world. These are people that try to find rest through Jesus but also through their works, their own efforts, their service to the Lord.

James 1:8 says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. And, in Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

SERVING AND ATTENDING BUT NOT KNOWN

“The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.” 1 Kings 1:4

Abishag was very beautiful. She had an outward appearance that everyone would have desired. Abishag was of service to the king. She was his nurse, his administrator, his steward. Abishag attended the king too.

The Hebrew word for attended implies a personal service to God. Most uses of the word related to serving God in ritual service. Ritual is something done according to religious law or in accordance with social custom or normal protocol. A ritual is an established form of ceremony, an order of words or acts prescribed for a religious ceremony, a ceremonial act or action, and act or series of acts regularly repeated in a precise manner.

Abishag is a picture of those performing outward acts of service, but they are routines, patterns, habits, prescribed steps. But, all of this service is missing a key ingredient.

Therefore, even though Abishag was beautiful and serving and attending the king, David did not know her. The Hebrew word for know here implies a personal, experiential knowledge not a factual knowledge.

The same is true with us. Therefore, in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

Here are people intensely calling Jesus Lord, doing service patterned after the things Jesus did – speaking forth about God, casting out demons, and other mighty works. But, they are just ritual acts, service performed to a prescribed.

Jesus didn’t know them. The Greek word for know here implies a personal, experiential knowledge just like the Hebrew word. Jesus says he see the acts, see what’s being done, but he doesn’t know the people. Jesus is left cold, without warmth.

Why? What’s missing?

LOVE

Notice that Jesus said these people that he did not know were “workers of lawlessness.”

Jesus the entire law could be summed up in two commands: love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself, even as Jesus loved you. Therefore, to be a worker of lawlessness is to be a worker without love. There’s a pattern, a habit, a ritual of service that appears like Jesus. It’s beautiful on the outside. But, it lacks love on the outside. To Jesus, that kind of service is worthless. Jesus tells those kinds of servants that he doesn’t know them. Those servants should depart from him because they are without love.

In Luke 6:46, Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” For, in John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

Any service, any act, without love is nothing. It’s worthless. This is exactly what Jesus said.

We must always keep in mind that institutions – religious or governmental – do not love. Indeed, they cannot love. You could give all the money in the world to feed the poor through governments, but there will be no love with it. It’s work nothing. You could deliver up your body to be burned in a war, fighting for a government, but there is no love in it. It is worth nothing. It doesn’t matter what is done. It matters how it is done. It must be with love.

Therefore, 1 John 4:7-12 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

 

SOLOMON TAKES THE THRONE AND ABISHAG IS GONE

Adonijah, David’s son, desired to have Abishag as his wife after his father David died.

Adonijah means lord of the lord.

Adonijah was the son of Haggith. Haggith means exultation.

1 Kings 1:5 says Adonijah “exalted himself, saying, ‘I will be king.'”

Here is a picture of one who wants to be lord of the Lord, exalting himself as king. And, it is this one that desires to be joined with Abishag the Shunammite – the error of two resting places, a double mind to serve the Lord and money.

When Solomon, the peaceful king, finds out about Adonijah’s desire for Abishag, he has Adonijah executed. So, we see  all of our desire to be king, to have a foot in Jesus and the world, to do works of service without love, our works of lawlessness, will be done away with at the second coming of Christ.

The Last Words of David Are the Last Words of Jesus

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 23-24

The last two chapters of 2 Samuel are filled with prophecy of the last night and  the last day of the life of Jesus. Today, I want to look at David’s last words in 2 Samuel 23:1-8 in parallel with Jesus’ last words in John 13-17.

JESUS’ HOUR HAD COME

2 Samuel 23:1 says, “Now these are the last words of David.”

In John 2:4, Jesus says, “My hour has not yet come,” in response to his mother’s request that he something about the lack of wine at the wedding.

With the woman at the well, Jesus said “the hour is coming” in John 4:21, 23.

In John 5:25, 28, Jesus said “an hour is coming” when “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”

John 7:30 says that Jesus’ “hour had not yet come.”

But, when the Greeks asked to see Jesus, Jesus said in John 12:23, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

John 13:1 says, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father.”

It was in this last hour, at the appointed time, that Jesus spoke his last words to his disciples.

JESUS HAD COME FROM GOD

2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The oracle of David, the son of Jesse.”

David means beloved.

The meaning of Jesse is more difficult to determine. But, it means something like Yahweh exists. It is possible to consider Jesse like the noun form of God’s name I Am.

Here we have a picture of Jesus, the son of God, the son of the self-existent one, the son of the I Am.

John 13:3 says, “Jesus, knowing…that he had come from God.”

JESUS WAS GOING TO GOD

2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The oracle of the man who was raised on high.”

In John 3:13-15, Jesus said, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifter up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

Jesus is the man who raised up on the cross from where he would be exalted by the Father with a name above every other name.

John 13:3 says, “Jesus, knowing…that he…was going back to God.”

JESUS, THE ANOINTED SERVANT OF GOD

2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The anointed of the God of Jacob.”

Isaiah 53:11 says, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”

John 13:4-5 says, “He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his water. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” Jesus took the position of a servant.

In John 12:27-28, Jesus says, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” But, in this hour, as the anointed servant, Jesus’ soul was troubled, full of anguish.

JESUS, THE SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL

2 Samuel 23:1 says, “The sweet psalmist of Israel.”

This could also be read as “the pleasant song of Israel” or “of the favorite songs of Israel.”

On the mount of transfiguration, God spoke of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)

God was pleased with Jesus. He is the pleasant one.

As the psalmist of Israel, Jesus plays the strings of our hearts. He is the favorite song of our hearts. In Ephesians 5:18-19, Paul says we should “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Similarly, Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ [Jesus himself] dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

How did Jesus do this in his life?

John 13:1 says that Jesus knew his hour had come “having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

THE PROPHECY OF JESUS

2 Samuel 23:1 says that what is coming are the last words of David, an oracle of David, and an oracle of the man raised on high.

The Hebrew word for oracle means an announcement, an utterance, or a declaration. It’s often used in connection with prophecy.

The first use of this word comes in Genesis 22, which pictures Jesus as the lamb of God offered up by the Father. Genesis 22:15-18 says, “And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, ‘By myself I have sworn, declares [oracle] the Lord, because you have done and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of the heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

So, we have in John 13-17 an oracle, a prophecy, of Jesus of all that is to come after he is offered up. Amazingly, Jesus’ prophecy these chapters touches on virtually all of the same themes that the angel of the Lord spoke as promises to Abraham.

In John 13:7, 19, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand…I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.”

THE SPIRIT SPEAKS OF JESUS

2 Samuel 23:2 says, “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; his word is on my tongue.”

The Hebrew word for by could also be translated of. And, the Hebrew word for on could also be translated from or according to.

Therefore, 2 Samuel 23:2 could read, “The Spirit of the Lord speaks of me; his word is from (according to) my tongue.”

This is exactly what Jesus says of the Holy Spirit.

In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Then, in John 15:26, Jesus said, “But when the Helper comes, who I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”

Finally, in John 16:12-15, Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore i said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

JESUS RULES IN THE FEAR OF GOD

2 Samuel 23:3 says, “When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God.”

Jesus showed just what his rule looked like when he took the place of a servant and washed the disciples’ feet. By doing this, Jesus left an example of his rule for all of his disciples to follow.

John 13:12-17 says, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

JESUS RISES LIKE THE MORNING LIGHT

2 Samuel 23:4 says, “He dawns on them like the morning light.”

Recall in John 13:7, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” This was the night before his crucifixion. Jesus knew the disciples would not understand what he was doing or his last words. But, afterward they would. After what? The resurrection. After Jesus rose they would understand.

The Hebrew word for dawn means to rise, to come out, to appear. It was on the third day that Jesus rose from death, came out of the grace, and appeared to the disciples. It was then that the dawn of the light of Jesus began to shine into the hearts of the disciples. John 20:8 says, “Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.”

There is hardly anything more brilliant, more exciting that brilliant light of the sun coming over the horizon in the morning. The first light shining forth brings new possibility and new hope. So too, the first light of Jesus dawning in our hearts like the morning light brings new possibility, new hope, and a new creation.

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

So, we see that light of Christ shining forth like the dawn in his resurrection is linked to the glory of God.

In John 13:31, Jesus says, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.”

JESUS SHINES FORTH ON A CLOUDLESS MORNING

2 Samuel 23:4 says “Like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning.”

Moses would put over his face to hide the fact that the shining of his face from the glory of God was fading. So Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, “But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.”

The resurrection removed the veil that was over the glory of the Lord. Now, Christ shines forth like the sun on a cloudless morning. Proverbs 4:18 says, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” Jesus is that righteous one who’s resurrection shines like the light of dawn in our hearts, shining brighter and brighter in our hearts until we are completely transformed and conformed into his image.

Then, in John 17:1-5, Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”

Jesus’ full glorification came after he dies, was resurrected, and ascended to the Father. Hebrews 1:3 says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” Jesus is the radiant light of the glory of God shining brighter and brighter.

Therefore, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”

JESUS, THE RAIN THAT BRINGS LIFE

2 Samuel 23:4 says, “Like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”

Just like rain causes grass to sprout from the earth, Jesus brings life to men.

In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

And, as we saw above, “this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God.” Eternal life is to know God, to see God, and to see him clearly.

So, in John 14:7, Jesus said, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

But, Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father if that is the case.

Jesus responded in John 14:9, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”

SO JESUS’ HOUSE STANDS WITH GOD

2 Samuel 23:5 says, “For does not my house stand so with God?”

In his last words, Jesus repeatedly tells the disciples that he and the Father are one. This is how Jesus’ house stands. And, as Jesus and the Father are one, so we will be one with them.

In John 14:2-3, Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that I am you may be also.”

So, in John 14:11, Jesus says, “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”

Then, in John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you.”

ALL OF THINGS ORDERED, SECURED, AND PROSPERED

2 Samuel 23:5 says, “For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he cause to prosper all my help and my desire?”

God has made an everlasting covenant with Jesus that all things will be summed up in him, ordered in him, secured in him. Colossians 1:16-20 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.”

So, God will cause all of Jesus’ help to prosper as well as his desires.

How does God do this?

In John 14:12-14, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Speaking of making our home with him, Jesus says in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

In John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not chose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

As we abide in Jesus and he in us, as Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit make their home, their house, with us, then our prayers become the prayers of Jesus and Jesus’ prayers become our prayers. Therefore, everything we ask we ask in his name. Jesus will do all these things so that the Father is glorified.

THE FRUITLESS ARE BURNED UP

2 Samuel 23:6-7 says, “But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

Worthless men are those that do not bear fruit. Instead of fruit, these men produce thorns, a sort of aborted fruit. Thorny branches cannot be held in the hand.

In John 17:22-24, Jesus said, “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

Those that are one with Jesus and the Father have the glory of Jesus. These are the ones that bear fruit, the glory of God. These were the ones given to Jesus. The ones that Jesus were given he holds in his hands. But, Jesus cannot hold thorny ones in his hand.

Therefore, Jesus says in John 15:2, 6, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away…If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”

Truly the last words of David before he died were prophetically the last words of Jesus the night before he died.

You Save Me from Violence

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 20-22

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” – 2 Samuel 22:2-4

David wrote this psalm on the day when the Lord delivered him from all his enemies. However, David is a type or shadow of Jesus, the beloved of God. Therefore, we can read David’s psalms as the prayers of Jesus.

Whenever I read a psalm, I first ask the Holy Spirit to show me why and how Jesus could have prayed these words. After the Holy Spirit shows me Jesus in the psalm, then I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how Jesus identified with me in the psalm.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:14

“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:18

THE ENEMIES OF JESUS

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” And, 2 Corinthians 10:3 says, “We are not waging war according to the flesh.” We are told not to war against flesh and blood in obedience to our Lord because he did not war against flesh and blood. Jesus did not, does not, and will not wage war against any person ever created.

So, who are Jesus’ enemies? Who and what did Jesus come to destroy? Are these enemies found in 2 Samuel 22?

The enemy is Satan. Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus came to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.

In 2 Samuel 22:18, David says, “He rescued me from my strong enemy.” Jesus reveals his strong enemy as Satan. Jesus calls him the strong man. In Mark 3:27, Jesus says, “But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.” Jesus acknowledged that Satan was the ruler of this world, which is Satan’s, or the strong man’s, house. We are his goods. So, Jesus can take us from the strong man, Satan, until the strong man is bound, or defeated.

Another enemy of Jesus is the work, really the works, of Satan. According to 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

What are the works of the devil?

In John 8:44, Jesus reveals that there are two works of the devil. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” All lies, deceit, and untruth are the first work of the devil. And, all murder and violence is the second work of the devil.

In 2 Samuel 22:5, David says, “The torrents of destruction assailed me.” Earlier this week I wrote about the brook Kidron as the torrent of darkness and evil in Delivered from the Domain of Darkness. The torrents are of destruction are the raging waters of lies and violence from the enemy that came in like a flood against Jesus. It was after crossing the raging torrent of lies and violence that Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

While Jesus prayed that the cup, the lies and violence of his enemy, before him would be removed, his sweat was like drops of blood. Jesus was troubled and full of sorrow. David’s song says that the torrents of destruction, the lies and violence, assailed Jesus. The Hebrew word for assailed means to be terrified, to be gripped by sudden fear, to be overtaken by sudden terror. The lies and violence that Jesus faced on the cross were not some small thing.

The final enemy of Jesus is death. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

In Samuel 22:5-6, David says, “For the waves of death encompassed me…the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.” On the cross, death was crashing down upon Jesus, binding him up to pull him down to Sheol, and confronting him to his face with its trap.

JESUS SAVED FROM VIOLENCE

David starts this song saying that the Lord is a rock, a fortress, a refuge, and a stronghold. These are all places you hide. They are defensive places. In these places, David is saved from his enemies.

So too, Jesus is saved from his enemies. And, Jesus was saved by the Father – his rock, his fortress, his refuge, his stronghold. Therefore, Luke 23:46 says, “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!'” Jesus cried this out with a loud voice, full of strength. He committed his spirit, his person, to the Father and breathed his last. The enemy, Satan, could not touch Jesus. Jesus was saved from Satan, the lies and the violence of the cross, and death itself as he was resurrected three days later.

Jesus was saved from violence. But, the Hebrew word from can also mean without. Jesus was saved without violence as well.

Prophesying of Jesus, Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” Jesus could do no – that is none, not a single act of – violence because that was a work of Satan. And Jesus came to destroy Satan, his works – violence and lies, and the result of his works – death.

When Jesus was finally arrested to be executed, Peter took a sword to fight for the Lord. But, John 18:11 says, “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put away the sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?'”

In Matthew 26:52-53, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send more than twelve legions of angels?”

Jesus would have no part of ushering in his kingdom, the new creation, with even a single act of the sword, of murder, of violence. He would be saved and usher in his kingdom without violence.

At his trial, Pilate though Jesus must have been leading some sort of violent revolution against the Roman empire. Therefore, he asked Jesus, “What have you done?” In John 18:36, Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Every kingdom of this world is created, formed, and maintained by violence. Every single one, no exceptions. But, not the kingdom of Jesus! He formed his kingdom without violence. Jesus defeated Satan, his works – lies and violence, and his power – death, without any violence at all.

Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in the flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Jesus defeated death through death. He defeated Satan, lies and violence, and death not by fighting, not by violence, not by murder, but by dying on a cross. He laid down his life. Jesus did not resist. He willingly died, seemingly letting his enemies have the victory. But, it was death that saved him from and without violence.

This is so foolish in man’s eyes. How can you possible save someone from violence without violence?

But, 1 Corinthians 1:25, 27-29 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men…But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; and God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

YOU ARE SAVED FROM AND WITHOUT VIOLENCE TOO

Psalm 17:4 says, “With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.”

God calls us at all times to avoid all the ways of the violent. It’s not just murder but every act of violence we must avoid according to the word from the lips of Jesus – “love your enemies.”

Psalm 17:8-9 says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”

Jesus hides us from all those that do wickedness, evil, and violence.

Psalm 27:11-12 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will  of my adversaries; for false witnesses have arisen against me, and they breathe out violence.”

We need Jesus to teach us his salvation from and without violence. For, it is those that lie that breathe out, or are inspired by, violence. Read through the Old Testament and pay special attention to the connection between lies and violence – the works of Satan.

Psalm 140:1-2 says, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually.”

All violence and all war comes from men who evil thoughts and evil intentions stirring in their hearts.

Proverbs 21:6-7 says, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to what is just.”

In the last days, the end times, it is not God that destroys man with violence. God, Jesus, does no violence and has no deceit in his mouth. Rather, it is man’s own violence that sweep him away. It is man’s violence, his own wrath, that will burn him in the end.

Psalm 7:14-16 says, “Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns on his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.”

See, it the violence of the wicked man, the man who considers violence at some point necessary and just, that will come back on his own head. Indeed, man’s own violence will descend upon his own skull.

This is why Jesus began his ministry in Matthew 3:2 by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus wasn’t calling us to repent of the little bit of shoplifting I did or my sexual immorality or any other sin we practice (although Jesus never excuses or condones sin, nor does he want us to practice or be bound by sin).

No, Jesus is calling us to repent of lies and violence. He’s calling us to repent from the works of Satan that were the downfall of man from the very beginning in the garden. We must repent of our willingness to do the works of Satan – lies and violence. This is why lies and violence are almost always linked throughout scripture.

Satan’s lie is that God is not good, that God is both good and evil. If we do not repent of that lie, then we always be a part of Satan’s second work – violence and murder. If we believe the lie, then violence is unavoidable. This is the message that Jesus came to preach. God is light and not darkness. God is love and not fear. God is life and not death. Read 1 John and those words gloriously ring in your heart by the voice of the Holy Spirit.

When we repent from all lies and all violence – the works of Satan – then we are saved from the violence of the last day, the evil day. Not only are we saved from violence, but we will be saved without violence. This happens when we go to the cross, the place where Jesus died and defeated the last enemy – death – so that we could truly see that the Father’s kingdom is truth, always and only good, and peace, always without violence.

But, if we don’t go to the cross and repent from all lies and all violence, then in the last days we will be those wicked men that conceive evil, giving birth to lies, and having our own violence descend upon our own skulls.

How fascinating that Psalm 7:16 says that our violence will come down on our own skulls.

Where was Jesus crucified?

Golgotha.

The place of the skull!

You can either go to the cross, repenting of all your lies and violence, being rescued by God from violence and without violence.

Or, you can refuse to repent from the lie that God is both good and evil, maintaining your desire for and justification of violence, driving all the evil, violence, and murder you put upon Jesus on the cross into your skull.

That is your choice. That is what you are being saved from.

Either way, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The Foolishness of God Is Wiser than Men

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 17-19

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25

“But one of them. Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all. Noe do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.’ He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” – John 11:49-53

“Moreover, 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 the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king.” – 2 Samuel 17:1-2

Just like yesterday’s post, Delivered from the Domain of Darkness, there is an interesting connection between these three passages of scripture. The connection has to do with foolishness.

THE FOOLISHNESS OF STRIKING DOWN ONLY THE KING

Absalom has usurped control of Israel from his father David, the true king of Israel. Therefore, David is fleeing Jerusalem. So, Ahithophel, a co-conspirator with Absalom, says he will take 12,000 men and pursue David. He promises to only kill the king.

Absalom means something like my father is peace. However, we are not to think that this saying God is peace here. That’s because Absalom was not acting in the ways of God. His trying to take the kingdom through deceit, violence, force, and murder. These are not the ways of God. Rather, the works that Absalom did reveal his father to be the devil, just as Jesus said in John 8.

The peace that Absalom was about from his father is peace as the world gives – peace through war, violence, murder, control. This is what Jesus meant in John 14:27, when he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.”

Ahithophel means brother of folly or my brother is folly. Ahithophel was a counselor to Absalom. He gave Absalom foolish counsel.

Ahithophel was going to take 12,000 men to pursue David that night. Twelve is the number of government and 1,000 is the number of fullness, immensity, or multitude. Therefore, Ahithophel is saying that he will take the fullness of government to pursue David. He would pursue David that night, which was the night that David crossed the brook Kidron. Ahithophel would come for David when he was weary and discouraged. He would scatter the people and only strike down the king.

But, according to 2 Samuel 15:31, “And it was told David, ‘Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.’ And David sai, ‘O Lord, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.'”

Indeed, David’s prayer is answered as Absalom dies and returns to Jerusalem to take his seat on the throne again.

THE FOOLISHNESS FULFILLED BY JESUS

Caiaphas prophesied that is was better that one man die for the people. But, he didn’t say this of his own accord, which indicates that he didn’t know what he was saying. He thought he was saying one thing, but he was actually saying another. To Caiaphas, his words were foolishness. From those words of foolishness the plans were made to kill Jesus, to strike down only the king.

The chief priests and elders knew they couldn’t execute Jesus according to their law. He had done nothing worthy of being stoned. So, they took Jesus to Herod, the proxy in Israel for the Roman empire, the fullness of the government of the world. Psalm 2:1-2 says, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his Anointed.”

Caiaphas though he would bring peace to the nation by killing this one man. By setting up Jesus to die, the positions and power of the chief priests, Pharisees, and elders would be maintained. Caiaphas was planning to bring peace through violence and murder just like Ahithophel said Absalom should do. So, Caiaphas revealed who was his father.

The night before Jesus died he was weary and discouraged in the garden. And, when the Roman guard came to arrest Jesus, his disciples began to flee. And, it was true that of all the people with Jesus it was only the king, Jesus, that was struck down.

THE FOOLISHNESS OF GOD IS WISER THAN MEN

Caiaphas thought he was wise, giving sound counsel to the leaders of Israel. But, even as a wise man, he was nothing compared to the foolishness of God.

For God to send his son to die for the sins – the violence and lies believed about him – of the world is absolute foolishness to man. How would your son willingly dying at the hands of your enemy achieve anything?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:27-31, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

God’s plan was so foolish that no man would dare claim it. Therefore, once a man understood the plan and what God was doing that man would be able to do nothing but boast in the Lord.

Delivered from the Domain of Darkness

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 14-16

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron.” – John 18:1

“And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness.” – 2 Samuel 15:23

There is an interesting connection between these three passages of scripture. The connection has to do with being delivered from darkness and crossing the brook Kidron.

DAVID CROSSES THE BROOK KIDRON

The name Kidron means dark one, dark or turbid, or very black, full of darkness.

David crossed the brook Kidron when he was fleeing Jerusalem when Absalom usurped control of the kingdom. So, David crossed a dark, turbid brook, a brook full of darkness as he fled Jerusalem.

But, the word brook is somewhat misleading. When I think of a brook, I think of quiet stream. But, that is not what the Hebrew word for brook, nachal, truly means. The full meaning of nachal is a moving body of water of various sizes, varying greatly based on volumes of rain, that may or may not flow year-round (Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew). The Kidron could be completely dry or it could be a raging torrent of water depending on the volume of rain.

So, it would is more appropriate to think of David crossing a torrent of dark, turbid water or a torrent full of darkness. Isaiah 59:19 says that “the enemy shall come in like a flood.”

JESUS CROSS THE BROOK KIDRON

David crossed the brook Kidron as he fled Jerusalem and Absalom. And, Jesus crossed the brook Kidron immediately before he left Jerusalem for the final time.

In John 14 to 17, Jesus delivered a tremendous message about his departing, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the Father and Jesus making their home in the disciples. So, John 18:1 says, “When Jesus had spoke these words, he went out with disciples across the brook Kidron.”

I mentioned above that the flow of water in the brook Kidron could vary substantially during the year. It could be a dry stream or a raging torrent of water. Jesus’ crucifixion and departure from Jerusalem was in the March/April time frame.

In Israel, January was dark, gloomy month with very heavy rains. February alternated between sunny and rainy days. March was the month of the latter rains. And, sometimes March had the heaviest rains of any month. Therefore, at the time that Jesus and disciples crossed the brook Kidron, it was likely a raging torrent of water.

Having crossed this raging torrent of dark, turbid water, Jesus and his disciples entered a garden. Based on the other gospels, we know that this was the garden of Gethsemane. The disciples were in the garden during the night. So, not only did Jesus and the disciples cross the raging torrent of water full of darkness, but they entered the night where Jesus would be betrayed.

Jesus departed Jerusalem.

DELIVERED FROM DARKNESS

As we saw above in Colossians 1:13, Jesus delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into his kingdom. The disciples crossing the raging torrent of darkness with Jesus was the real beginning of this deliverance and entrance into the kingdom of God. For, this was the time that Jesus defeated the enemy and ransomed us from Satan.

There is so much more that could be said to connect David and Jesus’ crossing of the brook Kidron. I will give just one example.

Just after David crossed the brook Kidron he ascended the Mount of Olives weeping.

When Jesus crossed the brook Kidron he entered a garden, the garden of Gethsemane. Connecting the various gospel accounts and we know that this garden was on the Mount of Olives. It was here that Jesus was sorrowful and troubled, likely weeping, while he prayed that the cup would pass from him.

Jesus said all the scriptures witnessed to him. He showed this to the disciples after his resurrection. And, when the Holy Spirit teaches us, we see that Jesus truly fulfilled the scriptures. Even the parts that are not prophetic on the surface.

The Lord Afflicted David and Bathsheba’s Child?

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 12-13

“And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.” – 2 Samuel 12:15

JESUS REVEALS GOD’S TRUE NATURE

Jesus says if you have seen him then you have seen the Father. Jesus is the exact imprint of God’s nature and character. Jesus is the image of of the invisible God. We cannot see God, but we can see Jesus. Therefore, we always need to look to Jesus so that we can know God.

Do we ever see Jesus afflict anyone with an illness, a sickness, a disease?

No.

On the contrary, Jesus was continually healing everyone that was brought to him. Therefore, God’s character and nature is to heal illness, sickness, and disease, not afflict someone with it.

Further, people brought children to Jesus so that he could lay hands on them and pray for them. The disciples rebuked the people for this. But, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus does not afflict with disease. Jesus does not deny little children coming to him.

HOW TO READ “THE LORD AFFLICTED THE CHILD”

It is very likely that the writer of Samuel believed that the Lord afflicted David’s child with sickness. But, the writer of Samuel had a veiled view of God. The veil that covered God’s true nature is only removed through Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection.

Therefore, with the veil removed, we clearly cannot read these words at face value. To read the literal letters as written would violate the character and nature of God. This is Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 3.

That leaves us with basically two options. First, we assign responsibility for the affliction of sickness on the child not to God but to the one, Satan, who has the power of death, since sickness leads to death. Instead of believing a lie about God, making him responsible for sickness, we need to know the truth and assign the blame correctly. I wrote about this in Who Says “I Destroy” – God or Satan?

Second, we allegorize the story with the help of the Holy Spirit to understand a spiritual truth contained within the story. In this case, we are seeking the inspiration of scripture that is profitable for teaching, correction, rebuke, and reproof.

It is this second option that I want to pursue in this post. And, the key New Testament scripture that will help us in this effort is James 1:13-15, which says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”

DAVID WAS TEMPTED BY HIS OWN EVIL DESIRE

In 2 Samuel 10, we are told that is was the time for kings to go out to battle. But, instead of David, the king of Israel, going out to battle, he sent out his servants while he stayed behind. David was where he shouldn’t have been.

From his rooftop, David saw a beautiful woman bathing. David inquired about the woman was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah. These names are instructive for what David came to learn about the woman his desires were enticed by.

Bathsheba means daughter of an oath.

Eliam means God of the people or God’s people.

Uriah means Yahweh is light or light of the Lord.

Having asked who this woman was, David found out she was the daughter of an oath, one of God’s people, married to the light of the Lord.

But, David was so tempted, so lured, so enticed by his own desires that he took this woman, another man’s wife, for himself.

DAVID’S DESIRE CONCEIVED

Our desires do not produce sin on their own. A desire has to conceive with something to produce sin. That something is a lie.

David believe the lie that because he was king of Israel he could take this woman that was the wife of another man.

Ultimately, the lie that David believed was the same lie that Eve believed and the same lie that all of us have believed – God is not good. It this lie, always this lie, that conceives with our own desires to produce sin.

In 2 Samuel 12:7-8, Nathan, the prophet, said to David, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.”

God had given David everything. He delivered him from his enemy, Saul, who was constantly trying to kill him. When Saul died, God gave David his whole kingdom, his house, and his wives. God had been very good to David. And, God said if that was not enough for David then he would have given David even more.

David believed the lie that God was not wholly good. So, 2 Samuel 11:5 says, “And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, ‘I am pregnant.'”

The lie that David believe conceived with his own desire.

DESIRE CONCEIVES WITH THE LIE AND GIVES BIRTH TO SIN

In 2 Samuel 11:27, we are told that Bathsheba “became his wife and bore him a son.” The child that was born to David, conceived by the lie and his own desire, is a picture of sin we produce when our desires conceive with Satan’s lie that God is not good.

The child itself, in real life, was not sin. This is merely what the inspiration of scripture by the Holy Spirit is teaching us about ourselves. The Holy Spirit is using this story to teach, correct, rebuke, and reprove us from allowing Satan’s lie that God is not good to conceive with our desires.

I have always thought the child born to David died as baby. One reason I thought this is the continual use of the word child. Another reason I believe this is that David fasted and prayed for the child seven days. I assumed that the child died seven days after being born.

But, while we always read the English word child in 2 Samuel 11, there are different Hebrew words used. Several of the Hebrew words sued do not mean a baby. Rather, they mean a lad, a youth, or a young man.

So, this child that represented David’s sin was with David for many years. Just like James 1:15 says, David’s child had become fully grown. His sin come to complete fruition in him.

SIN FULLY GROWN BRINGS FORTH DEATH

In 2 Samuel 12:14, Nathan prophesied to David, “The child who is born to you shall die.” The sin that had fully grown in David’s life would bring forth death.

Verse 16 says that David, “lay all night on the ground.” And, verse 17 says that “the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not.”

I believe this is a picture of sin producing death in David. David laying on the ground all night and refusing to rise from the ground is a picture of his mind set on the things of the earth. Romans 8:5-6 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…For to set the mind on the flesh is death.”

THE LORD AFFLICTS SIN

When we see the child as the birthing of sin from David’s desire conceiving with the Satan’s lie that God is not good, then we can understand this as the Lord afflicting sin.

The Hebrew word for afflict here is nagaph. It means to strike, to injure by striking, to smite, to plague. It is most commonly translated defeated. It is most commonly used in the context of defeating an enemy.

Understood by the inspiration of the Spirit, the Lord is not afflicting David’s child but the sin in David’s life.

Romans 8:2-4 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

RECKONING OURSELVES DEAD TO SIN

I already mentioned that David lay all night on the ground and refused to raise himself from the ground. But, at the same time, David fastest and refused to eat with the elders who were trying to get him off the ground.

We could think of David as in a battle with his sin. By fasting, he was denying his flesh. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” We could think of David facing the battle in his mind that Paul describes in Romans 7.

On the seventh day of David’s fasting, his sin was dead. The number seven symbolizes perfection, completion, and rest. Therefore, we see that David at last has rest from his sin.

David has reckoned himself dead to his sin. David’s time on the ground and fasting could be thought of his dying with Christ. Romans 6:7-11 says, “For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

PRESENTING OURSELVES TO GOD

After David knew that the child had died, that his sin was dead, 2 Samuel 12:20 says, “Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.”

David arose from the earth, which is to say his mind was no longer set on the flesh but the Spirit. David was cleansed (washed), filled with the Spirit (anointed), and made righteous (changed his clothes). Romans 6:12-13 says, “Let not sin reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

DAVID’S SON WITH BATHSHEBA TELL THE STORY

As the story is told in 2 Samuel 12, it appears that David and Bathsheba have another son, Solomon, immediately after the child dies, David’s sin is put away. Verse 24 says, “Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon.” But, in reality, I believe there was quite a bit time of time David and Bathsheba’s first child, its death, and the birth of Solomon.

Speaking of David’s children, 1 Chronicles 3:5 says, “These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bath-Shua, the daughter of Ammiel.” These seems to imply that Solomon was the fourth, not the second, of David and Bathsheba’s children. And, if we know the meanings of the names of the four sons David had with Bathsheba, then they tell the story of David dealing with his sin.

Shimea means he (God) has heard.

Shobab means backsliding or brought back, returning.

Nathan means he will give.

Solomon means peace, peaceable, recompense.

David heard from God about his sin. Therefore, it seems likely that Shimea was the young man that died. David was backsliding, but he was brought back when he heard from God. So, God gave David peace.

When we read David’s story in this way, we can understand that Lord didn’t afflict David’s child. Rather, it was about David’s sin. And that, of course, is really the story of how God deals with our own sin too.

What Is the Judgment of Jesus?

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 8-11

Judgment is a very tricky subject.

Christians often confuse discernment and judgment. Discernment is to see, to understand, or to know. Judgment is to pass a verdict or a sentence. You can discern without passing judgment.

One sentence from today’s reading caused me to meditate on judgment.

“After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.” – 2 Samuel 8:1

Who judges who? And, how does who judge you?

WHO IS DAVID?

David means beloved. He is the king chosen by God, not because of his outward appearance but because of his heart. David was a man after, that is seeking, God’s own heart. Therefore, David is a picture of Jesus.

WHO ARE THE PHILISTINES

The Philistines were from Philistia. Philistia comes from the Hebrew root word palash. It means to roll, to roll in dust, to roll about in mourning. Palash is used just four times in scripture.

Micah 1:10 says, “Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll your selves in the dust.” This is an interesting verse because, as we will see below, Gath was one the five major cities of the Philistines. Another reason this verse is interesting is the name Beth-le-aphrah, which means something like the house of dust, the house towards dust, or the house that strives toward dust.

Jeremiah 6:26 says, “O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.” While the verse is not about the Philistines, palash is still connected to rolling in ashes. Further, palash is connected to mourning for an only son, a bitter lamentation, and the destroyer suddenly coming upon those rolling in ashes.

Man was made from the dust of the earth. And, after Adam’s sin, man returns to dust of the earth when he dies. In Genesis 18:27, Abraham said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.”

So, the Philistines rolled about in dust and ashes. They were people of the earth. This is why the Philistines were ruled by five lords, which symbolized the Philistines as people controlled by their five natural senses.

Therefore, the Philistines were carnally minded. Notice what Paul says about the carnal mind in Romans 8:5-8, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…For to set the mind on the flesh is death…For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

WHAT IS METHEG-AMMAH?

The name Metheg-ammah means “bridle of the mother” or “bridle of bondage.”

The same account we are looking at in 2 Samuel 8:1 is found in 1 Chronicles 18:1, which says, “After David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its villages out of the hand of the Philistines.”

So, we can see Gath as the mother city of the Philistine villages around it.

But, what is the bridle?

Gath means wine-press. So, Metheg-ammah, the bridle of the mother, is the wine-press of the Philistines. And, throughout the Bible, the wine-press is linked with judgment.

JESUS TOOK JUDGMENT FROM THE FLESH

So, in 2 Samuel, we see that David took judgment out of the hand of the Philistines. Therefore, this passage is a picture of Jesus taking judgment out of the hands of those that are of the flesh, those that are carnally minded.

In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Jesus is not speaking of discernment here. Remember, discernment is to see, to understand, to know. Instead, he’s speaking of a final judgment of someone. The Greek word for pronounce, krino, means judge, pass judgment on, consider, separate. The word means to hold a view, to make a legal decision, to decide. Most importantly, krino carries the connotation of condemnation.

This statement from Jesus is recorded a little differently in Luke 6:37, which says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you not be condemned.”

Jesus in even says in John 8:15, “You judge according to the flesh.” To judge according to the flesh is pronounce a sentence of condemnation to death. Recall from above Romans 8:6, which says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death. Therefore, when we judge others we judge them with a sentence of death.

But, Jesus took this type of judgment away from us. Romans 8:1, 5-6 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…But those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit…But to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

The word condemnation in Romans 8:1 comes from the same Greek word, krino, that we examined above. Therefore, there is no pronouncement of judgment for those who are in Christ Jesus. But, the word “for” is not in the Greek. It is assumed. And, we just as easily assume that the passage says, “There is therefore now no condemnation by those who are in Christ Jesus.” For, Jesus said, “Judge not.”

Instead of judging, condemning to death, we are to speak life and peace because we are in the Spirit. Let’s look at Luke 6:37 again, but this time I will quote the whole verse. “Judge not, and you not be judged; condemn not, and you not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

So, how does one in the Spirit, one who does not condemn someone to death, speak life and peace to someone?

Forgiveness.

Jesus took judgment from the hands of the flesh, from those that are carnally minded. He took away the judgment of condemnation to death.

THE FLESH PUT JUDGMENT ON JESUS

While the second part of 2 Samuel 8:1 says David took judgment “out of” the hand of the Philistines, there are alternatives for the Hebrew word translated “out of.” Alternatively, the second part of the verse could say that David took the judgment “because of” or “from” the hand of the Philistines. Therefore, instead of Jesus taking judgment away from the flesh, we could understand the spiritual meaning of this verse as the flesh putting judgment on Jesus.

During his trial in front of the high priest, scribes, and elders, the high priest declared that Jesus uttered blasphemy and said, “What is your judgment?” (Matthew 26:66) This is not the same word for judgment we saw above, but the word still means to think, to suppose, or to have an opinion. All those gathered answered, “He deserves death.” Just as the flesh does, the Jews pronounced a judgment of condemnation and death on Jesus.

In John 18, the Jews brought Jesus to Pilate, who symbolizes the ruler and all the people of this world. Pilate asked what the accusation was against Jesus? The Jews simply said that they would not have brought to Jesus to Pilate if he were not doing evil. In John 18:31, Pilate responded, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” Pilate uses the word krino for judgment, implying that he knew the Jews wanted to condemn Jesus to death.

While Pilate sought to release Jesus, the Jews convinced Pilate that he would be opposing Caesar if he did not do something about Jesus. John 19:13 says Pilate “brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat.” It was from there that Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified.

Therefore, both the Jews and the whole world, all flesh, passed judgment on Jesus, condemning him to death.

JESUS DEFEATED AND HUMBLED THE FLESH

When Jesus took the judgment of death out of, or received it from, the hands of the flesh, he defeated and humbled the flesh. This is what we see David doing when he defeated the Philistines and subdued them (the Hebrew word for subdued here also means humbled).

This brings to mind Peter’s first sermon in Acts. In Acts 2:23, Peter says, “You crucified and killed [Jesus] by the hands of lawless men.” Peter ends in his sermon in verse 36 by saying, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

God did not kill Jesus. Man killed Jesus because man judged Jesus according to the flesh, and the mind set on flesh is death. Therefore, the flesh is under the control of Satan since he is the one who has the power of death (Hebrews 2:14).

But, when the Jews, and any man thereafter, Peter was preaching to “heard this they were cut to the heart.” (Acts 2:37). In other words, they were subdued or humbled. This led to their repentance and their receiving the Holy Spirit, which yields a mind set on life and peace and not death.

WHAT IS THE JUDGMENT OF JESUS?

We know that the judgment of Jesus, the judgment of God, cannot bring death. Satan has the power of death. And, it is the carnal mind, the mind of the flesh, that is set on death and pronounces a judgment condemns one to death. However, as we saw above, there is no condemnation in Christ. There is no judgment of death in Jesus.

Also recall from above that Jesus told us to “judge not.” Generally, Jesus tells us to do or not to do something because that command or instruction is in accordance with the Father’s character.

In John 5:22, Jesus says, “For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.” Judge is the Greek word krino. The Father does not pass a judgment of condemnation to death on anyone.

While the Father does not give a judgment of condemnation to death, he does give the authority to judge to Jesus. However, in John 5:30, Jesus says, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Jesus cannot judge any differently than the Father because he judges as he hears. Therefore, Jesus cannot give a judgment of condemnation to death either.  Indeed in John 8:15, Jesus says, “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.” The flesh gives a judgment of condemnation to death. Jesus flat out says he does not give judgment that way.

In John 12:47, Jesus says, “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” Jesus said it another way in John 3:17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Jesus does not pass judgement in a manner that condemns one to death.

Then, what is the judgement of Jesus?

First, let’s look at the context of Jesus’ statement in John 5:21 that “the Father judges no one.” In John 5:21-23, Jesus says, “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that may honor the Son, just as the honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” Instead of passing judgment to death, the Father raises the dead to life. The Son also gives life.

Then, in John 5:26-29, Jesus says, “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

We’ve already seen that God and Jesus’ judgment is not condemnation to death. They cannot do that because they both have life in themselves. Further, Jesus came not to judge, or to condemn to death, the world but to save it. So, whatever “the resurrection of judgment” that evil are raised to evil is to give them life and not bring to death.

Why would God even resurrect the evil just to pass a final condemnation to eternal death upon them? How would that cause anyone to honor Jesus just as they honor the Father?

Even though Jesus judges no one according to the flesh, he says in John 8:16, “Yet even I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.” So, Jesus does judge, but his judgment is true, or righteous.

How is the judgment of Jesus true and righteous?

The book of Ecclesiastes closes with, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Paul says in Romans 2:16 that “according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

Where are these secrets that God judges by Jesus?

When Samuel was looking for a king to replace Saul, the Lord said to him, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Jesus says in John 7:24, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Psalm 44:21 says that God “knows the secrets of the heart.”

Because he knows the secrets of the heart, God is able to judge them by Jesus. This happens when the church, Jesus’ body, is gathered together. According to 1 Corinthians 14:22, Paul says, “But if all prophesy, and un unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.” Remember from above that the judgment of Jesus causes one to honor the son and the Father.

So, Jesus’ true and righteous judgment has to do the judgment of our hearts. Therefore, Hebrews 4:12-13 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Again, this judgment of the heart by Jesus is not a condemnation to death. Jesus’ judgment is to separate the intentions of the heart – the pure from the impure, the clean from the unclean. When these are separate there is life. Christ will be all in all.

In the context of his judging on the last day, Jesus says in John 13:49-50, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” Jesus has a commandment from the Father to speak eternal life. Jesus only says what the Father says.

Jesus did just this on the cross when he suffered under the judgment of the flesh to the condemnation of death. During his judgment, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Forgiveness is the judgment of Jesus. This it the commandment of eternal life that he speaks. Notice that this judgment is not for the believer only. The judgment of forgiveness for all. Getting to eternal life may require a painful separation of soul and spirit, but the ultimate judgment has been declared to all.

Jesus’ judgment is you are forgiven.

I Will Build You a House

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 4-7

“And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house.” – 2 Samuel 5:11

“Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.'” – 2 Samuel 7:1-2

“Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling.” – 2 Samuel 7:5-7

“For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.'” 2 Samuel 7:27

These are the passages of scripture that the Holy Spirit brought to me attention this morning.

Hiram builds a house for David.

David lives in the house that Hiram built for him. Then David decides to build a house for God.

God says he has never lived in a house. He has always been moving about in a tent.

God tells David, “I will build you a house.”

HIRAM KING OF TYRE

Today’s reading is the first time Hiram the king of Tyre is mentioned in scripture. But, the most extensive treatment of the king of Tyre is found in Ezekiel 27 and 28, which are a lamentation over Tyre and a prophecy concerning the king, respectively.

Tyre was a city whose wealth came from trading. The people of Tyre were merchants of the seas. Tyre’s borders, where it situated itself, were in the heart of the seas. The city was filled and weighed down with the heart of the seas.

Ezekiel 27:3-4 says, “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty.’ Your borders are in the heart of the seas; your builders made perfect your beauty.”

Ezekiel 27:25 says, “So you were filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas.”

The seas are symbolic of death. They are the realm of the great dragon (Isaiah 27:1 and Ezekiel 32:2). Therefore, the seas are viewed as the realm of Satan. This understanding sheds insights into the prophecy in Ezekiel 28.

The prophecy in Ezekiel 28 is for the king of Tyre. But, it is apparent that this prophecy goes beyond just the man who was the king of Tyre. For, the prophecy speaks of the king of Tyre in the garden of Eden. This links the king of Tyre with ruler of this world, Satan.

The name Hiram means brother of the lofty one. Hiram is a brother to, of the same family, as Satan. Satan exalted himself (Isaiah 14:12-14). He is the source of pride. In Ezekiel 28, we see the king of Tyre is very proud, making his heart like the heart of a god.

Tyre means rock. Hiram was the king of rock. But, while this is the same Hebrew word used to refer to Christ as the rock, Hiram was king of a different rock. Speaking of the enemies of Israel, Moses says in Deuteronomy 32:31, “For their rock is not as our Rock.”

Hiram king of Tyre is a picture of man building the kingdom of this world and not the kingdom of God.

HIRAM BUILDS A HOUSE OF CEDAR FOR DAVID

Hiram built a house of cedar for David to dwell in.

Wood symbolizes the nature of man. Cedar trees provide some interesting insight into this.

Job 40:17 says that Behemoth, the great land monster, “makes his tail stiff like cedar.” Cedar is stiff, lacking flexibility, as is the nature of man.

Isaiah 2:12-13 says, “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up – and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; against all the oaks of Bashan.” Cedars picture the pride of man. Verse 17 says, “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low.”

In order to build with cedar trees, they must be cut down, cut off from their root. The root is the supply of water that brings life to the tree. Therefore, to build with cedar trees is to build with a material that is dry and dead.

This shows that man, in his own strength, builds a dry, dead house for Jesus to dwell in. Building a house of cedar is a work of man’s own hands, part of the kingdom of this world. But, we believe it is for the Lord as we are building it for him to dwell in.

DAVID WANTS TO BUILD A HOUSE OF CEDAR FOR THE LORD

David is frequently a type of Jesus. But, not everything that David does pictures Jesus and what he did. Therefore, I believe that David wanting to build a house of cedar for the Lord is actually a picture of us in our role as ruling with Jesus wanting to build permanent structures to house our faith. We bring the way we built while we were in the world with us as we attempt to fulfill our calling to reign with Christ.

But, when we want to build a house of cedar, we are attempting to create something fixed and permanent. These permanent structures cannot change and they cannot grow. These permanent structures picture our relationship with God – dry, dead, incapable of growing.

But, God never asked for a house of cedar. He was moving about in a tent.

But, when Jesus was on trial, some testified, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will another, not made with hands.'” (Mark 14:58)

In Acts 7:47-48, Stephen said, “It was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands.”

In Acts 17:24, Paul says, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.”

Hebrews 9:24 says that the true holy places are not made with hands.

GOD BUILDS A HOUSE WITH DIFFERENT MATERIALS

We’ve seen that man wanted to build a house with cedar, a material that was dry and dead. And, this is the type of material – dry – that man always builds with.

In Genesis 11:3, man wanted to construct his tower to the heavens with bricks made from the earth that needed to be burned, or dried, thoroughly to be used as a building material.

And, in Exodus 1 and 5, when Israel was in bondage to Egypt, they built for Pharaoh with bricks that included straw and needed to be dried.

Bricks are made by men and are dry or dead. This is how man attempts to reach up to God.

But, God builds with a material. Instead of brick, God builds with stone, a material that man cannot make. However, God doesn’t use dry stone. No, God uses living stones, stones that become wet with the Holy Spirit.

I WILL BUILD YOU A HOUSE

David, as the servant of the Lord, comes to realize that God is going to build him a house that will continue forever before God. This reveals that Jesus knew just what God was going to build and how he was going to build it.

We could read David’s revelation, “I will build you a house,” as God saying he would build a house for Jesus. But, I believe it can also be read to say, “I will build YOU a house.” In other words, God is literally building Jesus into a house.

Isn’t this sort of what we see happening in the New Testament?

Jesus makes us living stones. We are his body. As his body, we are growing into a temple, a house for God.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:1 that “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

What is this house not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens?

Hebrews 10:5 says, “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me.'”

While we wait for the return of Jesus, we are being built into his body, the house not made with hands, right now.

Ephesians 2:19-22 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

“Do you know know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

So, we do not build houses or temples for God. Jesus showed us that has ended. He destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, symbolically destroying all the temples – inflexible religious strongholds – that mankind builds.

But, Jesus built another temple. He’s building a temple with our bodies. There’s nothing we can do to build this temple. We cannot cause it to grow and come together. We must let God build it.

Anointed Three Times – David and Jesus

TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 1-3

Have you ever noticed that David was anointed king on three separate occasions?

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” – 1 Samuel 16:13

“And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.” – 2 Samuel 2:4

“So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.” – 2 Samuel 5:3

Why was David anointed king on three separate occasions?

What does this have to do with Jesus?

The following is simply what I believe the Spirit was revealing to me this morning. There are likely other ways to understand David’s three anointings.

DAVID ANOINTED BY SAMUEL

Israel rejected God as their king and asked for a king like all the other nations. So, Israel chose Saul as their king. Saul means asked for. As I have written previously, Saul as king of Israel is a picture of our soul ruling our life in place of God.

Saul disobeyed God and was rejected as king. When he was rejected, God told Samuel to go to Jesse because he had provided for himself a king among the sons of Jesse. Samuel eventually found David, whom God told Samuel to anoint as king.

So, we read in 1 Samuel 16:13, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.”

Despite the fact that David was anointed by Samuel as king, Saul remained king for quite some time. So, while David was anointed king, he did not take his seat on the throne until Saul died.

How do we see Jesus in this?

Samuel means name of God. In this anointing, Samuel is a picture of the Father.

David means beloved. He is a picture of Jesus as the beloved son of God.

Horns represent power, and oil represents the Holy Spirit.

Now, we see the Father taking the power of the Holy Spirit and putting it upon Jesus in the midst of his brothers. Therefore, the Holy Spirit was on Jesus from that day forward.

Luke 3:21-22 says, “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

God chose Jesus as king from among his brothers. God anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Notice that this occurred during Jesus’ baptism, which was done in at the same time all of the other people were baptized by John. Jesus was anointed in the midst of his brothers.

When John the baptist baptized Jesus, he said God told him “he on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain.” (John 1:33). Not only did God anoint Jesus with the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus for the rest of his life.

Even though Jesus was anointed king, our souls still ruled our hearts as the kings we had asked for in rejecting God.

DAVID ANOINTED BY JUDAH

After Saul died, David was anointed a second time. But, he wasn’t anointed a second time Samuel. Now, he was anointed by the men of Judah. 2 Samuel 2:4 says, “And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.”

Then David was told that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul. In 2 Samuel 2:7 David said, “Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

2 Samuel 2:11 says, “And the time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.”

We saw the first time David was anointed as a picture of God anointing Jesus as king in his baptism. I believe the second time David was anointed is a picture of the believers acknowledgment and allegiance to Jesus as king. We “anointed” Jesus in the sense that we agreed with God that Jesus is king of our hearts.

How so?

First, the men of Judah anointed David as king. Judah means praise. So, we have a picture of all that praise Jesus as those that have anointed him king.

Second, notice that the second time that David was anointed Saul had died. The men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul. We know that Saul is a picture of our soul ruling our lives in rejection of God as king.

But, what does Jabesh-gilead reveal to us?

Jabesh means dry. There are a number of ways to translate Gilead, but one of them is perpetual fountain. So, those that have buried their soul, removed their soul as their king, are those that were dry but have come to perpetual fountain.

In John 4, Jesus meets a woman at a well. He asks her for a drink. The woman asks how Jesus could be asking her for a drink when he’s a Jew and she’s a Samaritan. Jesus says that if she knew who he was she would have asked him for a drink.

Eventually, Jesus tells the woman, “Everyone drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that i will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The water that Jesus is giving to this dry, thirsty woman will be a perpetual fountain.

As the conversation continues, Jesus says to the woman, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

So, the woman said to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). The woman saw that all of this was connected to the coming king.

Jesus said, “I who speak to you am he.”

The woman buried her soul, received Jesus as king, and proceeded to proclaim him king to everyone in her town.

The second time David was anointed we are told that he was king in Hebron over the house of Judah for seven years and six months.

What does this reveal about Jesus?

Hebron was one of the cities of refuge, all of which are picture of Jesus. But, this particular city of refuge, Hebron, means association, community, or alliance.

The number seven symbolizes perfection, completion and rest.

The number six symbolizes work.

Six month are half a year. A half symbolizes a covenant.

I believe David anointed as king over Hebron for seven years and six months is a picture of Jesus as king over his community, his church, those that have pledged allegiance to him. These are the people that have received his completed work, the new covenant.

While David literally was king over Hebron for seven years and six months, this is not the literal time Jesus is king over his church. Rather, it’s symbolic of the complete period of time that the people who have pledged allegiance to Jesus as king are in the rest, under the reign of Jesus, of his new covenant.

ISH-BOSHETH WAS KING OVER ISRAEL

But, the second time David was anointed was limited in its scope. David was only king in Hebron over the people of Judah and the people of Jabesh-gilead.

This is true today of Jesus. Jesus is only king to those who buried their soul and anointed him king of their hearts. Jesus is king to those who were dry but have come to the perpetual fountain. He is only king to those who are the community that are under his rest and work of the new covenant.

2 Samuel 2:8-10 says, “But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, took Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahaniam, and he made him king over Gilead and the Ashurites, and Jezereel and Ephraim and Benjamin and all Israel. Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years.”

The vast majority of the people did not come David’s kingship, just as today the vast majority of people do not recognize Jesus as king.

So, who was king over the rest of the people?

Ish-bosheth the son of Saul was their king.

Ish-bosheth means man of shame. Over and over, the psalms show that the man who trusts in God, who has made God his king, is not put to shame. Conversely, those who did not trust in God as king will be put to shame.

Interestingly, the name Ish-bosheth can also be thought of as the man who is dry. The dry men who came to the perpetual fountain, Jabesh-gilead anointed Jesus as king. The man who is dry has not received Jesus as king.

The man of shame who became king was brought to Mahaniam. Mahaniam was two camps or two hosts. All the people who have the man of shame as king are trying to serve two masters. There are people that try to serve God and mammon even though Jesus says that you cannot love them both. Truly, you can only love the one and hate the other. But, the vast majority of people try to love God and mammon.

The man of sham was king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and all Israel.

While Gilead can mean perpetual fountain, it can also mean heap of booty.

It’s not clear if the text means the Ashurites or the Asherites. But, if it is the Ashurites, it seems that these people are free from spiritual things and focused on earthly things.

Jezreel means God sows or he will be sown of God.

Ephraim means fruitfulness.

Benjamin means son of my right hand.

There seems to be a progression here.

The rest of people that have not received Jesus as king are ruled by the man of shame. They are divided between God and mammon. Instead of the man of shame being king over the perpetual fountain, he is king of a heap of booty, treasures of the earth. These people are free from spiritual things.

Philippians 3:18-19 says, “For many, of whom I often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”

But, Ish-bosheth became king when he was 40 and only reigned two years.

The flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights. Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness. Forty symbolizes testing and trials.

The number two can symbolize division.

So, those that are ruled not by Jesus but by the man of shame wander in testing and trial that separates them Jesus as their king.

But, as I said there seems to be a progression in what the man of shame was king over. For, God will sow into these people. They will become fruitful. Eventually they are with the son of my right hand all Israel.

That leads us to the third time David was anointed.

DAVID ANOINTED BY ALL THE ELDERS OF ISRAEL

Now, Ish-bosheth, the man of shame, had died.

2 Samuel 5:1-5 says, “Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.” So all the elders came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.”

All the people ruled by the man of shame now come Jesus who is king over his community, the church. All these people recognize that they are actually a part of Jesus, of his bone and flesh.

These people now recognize that even though they had their souls as their king, it was really Jesus who was their king, their shepherd, the one leading them out and then in, all along.

It’s then that Jesus is anointed king over all people.

Why do I say all people?

Israel in the Old Testament was a picture of God’s people. But, all men and women are created in the image of God. All people are God’s people. God has poured out his Spirit on all flesh. Yes, all have not realized it. And, not all will even realize it in this age.

But, Philippians 2:10-11 says “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Nothing in heaven and on earth and under the earth is excluded.

This is why Paul says in Ephesians 1:9-10 that God is “making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

Paul says it another way in Colossians 1:15-20, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of the cross.”

We see the fulfillment of Paul’s statements in the vision show to John in Revelation 7:9-12. “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our forever and ever! Amen.”

It’s interesting that when it is all Israel, all God’s people anointing David, Jesus, as king that it takes place at Jerusalem. Could this be a picture of the New Jerusalem? Revelation 21:3 says, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” And verse 5 says, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'”

David reigned in Jerusalem 33 years. Could this be a picture of God’s complete work of creation?

The number 33 appears quite a bit in the Bible.

Leviticus 12:1-4 says that after a male son was born, the woman was unclean for seven days, the boy was circumcised on the eighth day, and then the woman continued in the blood of her purifying for 33 days. Interesting.

1 Kings 2:11 says that David reigned in Hebron seven years and Jerusalem 33 years. David is a type of Christ. This is getting more interesting.

In the account of creation, which spans Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4, the 33rd time Elohim, one of the names of God, is used it says “God finished his work (Genesis 2:2). God finished (keep that in mind for later) the first creation the 33rd time his name was mentioned.

In the first mid-week Bible study in 2017, I spoke on Creation: A Witness to Jesus. In that study, I discussed how John says that Jesus was ushering in a new creation.

How old was Jesus when he died? 33!

How many unique miracles are recorded in the gospels when Jesus was ushering in the new creation? 33!

How many unique parables did Jesus speak when he was telling us about the new creation? 33!

So, David was anointed three different times.

The first anointing pictures God declaring Jesus king in our midst.

The second anointing pictures the believers, the church, declaring Jesus to be their king.

The third anointing pictures all creation, every knee bowing and every tongue confessing, around the throne declaring the Lamb to be king.