II Chron. ch 16 v. 9 says “ the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong, on behalf of those whose heart is perfect towards Him”. This is surely the key verse in these books about the kings of Israel. God is no respecter of persons and has a heart towards the “whosoever,” in the Old as well as the New Testament eras. God is more willing to bless mankind than mankind is to be blessed. The Kings were well aware of the requirements for success through God, but being the sinners that they were, preferred their own choice, to fulfil their own lusts, even though ultimately the results proved disastrous. The key person in these narratives is obviously David. Amongst all the Old Testament characters surely David must top the list when it comes to fitting in to God’s will and purposes. He, like Job was a man of integrity but mainly a man of intensity. In mind heart and will he was intense. One could say that he even sinned intensely by committing what we all self-righteously regard as the greatest sins, adultery and murder. But his repentance was just as, if not even more intense. Not only do we have Psalm 51, which has become to us the classic sinner’s prayer, and no doubt thousands have found their way back to God through this Psalm, but we have that sorrowful, repentant walk to escape from Jerusalem as Absalom was contending for the throne. Significantly David accepted the taunts and stone throwing of Shemei as he passed through the valley. Under normal circumstances the man would be put to death for uttering a single word of rebuke or scorn on the king, but David allowed it. Jesus himself walked the same path over the Brook Kidron when bearing our sins at his death. Psalm 51 could well be the Saviour’s prayer on our behalf. If Jesus has not confessed our sin to God then there is no hope for us. When Samuel went on his mission to find the King that God had approved, we read this wonderful quote; “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart”. Even then, though David was a mere youth, God knew David, the man, because he could see his heart, and that it was perfect towards Him. It is the essence of the real man. If you can see a man’s heart you know all you need to know of him. Check out Hezekiah in this study. Does it seem that God has left you at times? - then how you react will reveal your true heart towards God. Also we must take note that David is set up as the pattern for all future kings. He is God’s standard, and all future kings would be measured by him. Solomon was told that if he walked in the ways of David his father then he would have God’s approval and blessing. But we go on to read that Solomon failed to keep up to that standard, although he managed to do so for a long time, eventually failing where he compromised. Other kings failed miserably, even diabolically, to reach the standard and were regarded as the wicked kings of Israel. If we examine the bible record we will see that only four kings managed to please the Lord by walking “in the way of David” their father. We would be very surprised, if that meant committing adultery and murder so heaven must have dealt with David’s sins in a manner different than earth would have done. We can in fact categorise the kings under three headings. Those headings being the names of the first three kings of Israel. (12 of the 19) Saul DavidSolomon Jehorum Asa Rehoboam Amaziah Jehoshaphat Abijah Manassah Hezekiah Uzziah Jehoiakim Josiah Jotham These did evil These pleased These compromised, and wicked things the Lord not fully obeying.
David The true Man of God.
He loved God and God loved Him Without question, one of the most outstanding Characters of the Old Testament, is David. Not only because of the exploits, and talents displayed in the natural realm, but also within the spiritual, he is amongst the finest “type of Christ” in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, being the kind of people we are, we usually remember David for his exploits in the flesh, for his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah her husband. However an understanding study of the books of Samuel Kings and Chronicles would soon alter that narrow assessment of the character of David. One outstanding verse gives testimony to David, and that is found in 1 Kings ch. 15 v. 5. Speaking of Abijah, the son of Solomon, it says; “His heart was not fully devoted to the Lord as was the heart of his forefather David. For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not failed to keep any of the commands of the Lord, all the days of his life, except in the case of Bathsheba”. David so pleased the Lord, that the Lord said he was “a man after his own heart.” Yes God has a heart,- emotions desires and beliefs. David had a a heart like God’s. You may remember that the king previous to David was Saul. When he was chosen he was outwardly all that you would ever want of a King in those days. However, from a beginning in which he “was little in his own eyes”, he deteriorated into a man who was rejected by God because of his disobedience and independence from God. But David was anointed by Samuel, after the latter had looked over all his strapping brothers. Outwardly, he did not seem to be the one most suited, but the Lord told Samuel, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” In the case of Saul, it is recorded that “the Lord gave Saul a new heart”, whereas David already had a heart that pleased God. Although the sin of David is recorded in Kings, it is not recorded in Chronicles, although they both cover the same period of time. This helps us to understand why we have two separate records of the events, for Chronicles is a more “spiritual” account, and is more inclined to be written from God’s point of view rather than from man’s point of view. This principle is common in scripture, where we see similar events recorded twice. If you read the book of Kings, you will soon notice that every King is judged according to how he measured up to David. For the Lord had promised Solomon, that if he walked in the ways of David his father, then Israel would prosper in blessings from God, but if he did not, then the kingdom would fall. In the book of Kings we have a very sorry record of the people of God and the kings who ruled over them. The Kings were the key to the prosperity of Israel. If the king trusted and obeyed God, then they had victories over their enemies and consequent riches, but if they turned to other gods, their enemies conquered them. One would think that given such obvious evidence that every king would walk before the Lord in trust and obedience, or at least you would expect that eventually they would get the message, so to speak, and continue to follow the Lord. But no, for eventually the Lord despaired of His people and had them taken into captivity. Ten tribes were taken by the Assyrians, and two were taken by the Babylonians. Many of the Lord’s people today can see a similar sinful state in the church today. The days of Hezekiah and Josiah, were days of revival for Judah, and a close reading of those days gives us a good illustration of what to expect in a revived, God-honouring church today. The Kings are clear representations of spiritual leaders of God’s people today, as they had David for their standard, so the Holy Spirit points such leaders to Christ. Perhaps a closer look at the character of David will illuminate their vision of the Lord. But it is probably more true to say that we have a message here for each individual.. It illustrate man's personal sovereignty, having been "crowned " with glory and honour.The Kings had supreme power. Their will was final. We note in this study that the very first day that Hezekiah became King he began to change things dranmatically. It is also true to say that each believer is a king in his own right, and his reign in victory or defeat could well be illustrated also by the lives of the kings of Israel and Judah. Power brings privilege and responsibility. we will all give account of how we used our "free will. In many ways the division between Judah and Israel could well mirror the division we see today between the orthodox established churches and the bible believing, gospel preaching, spirit-led churches, oft regarded by the main stream as extremists. I personally in my studies sensed a great similarity. There are those who have the name of the people of God, as Israel did, but have their own throne and their own temple, and high places. Much of their worship is idolatry. Many ministers in the established churches are more enraptured it would seem with the age of the bricks and mortar of their churches than in making known the unsearchable riches of Christ. The stained glass, the marble altars, the centuries-old carvings all seem to be what they would have us know when they take one on a tour of their church. Maintaining their bit of history seems to be their justification for existing in the face of an unbelieving world. In St David’s church in Wales there is a ruin of the Bishop’s palace. Obviously it was a huge place, built, together with the magnificent St David’s cathedral, by lay people who worked endlessly and tirelessly for 3p per day, (if I remember rightly) while the bishop lived in a palace. One would think that, far from offering this palace as a tourist attraction ( with an admission charge) the church would clothe it in sackcloth and ashes, in the light of John 13 where Jesus gave an example as to how his servants should live. When Hezekiah showed the envoys from Babylon around the temple and showed them the Holy things of the temple, God was very displeased. The God of Kings and Chronicles is definitely a jealous God who hates compromise. He would have no part in the so-called unity which is in fashion today. I am sure Jehoshaphat thought he was being very kind, tolerant and non-judgemental when he befriended Ahab, or when Solomon allows his foreign wives to bring their false gods with them. But that is not how God saw it. Jehoshaphat should have had only one message for Ahab and that was “repent”. God hates compromise and mixtures. The devil loves such for they generate great confusion. Today in the year 2001, if there is one word to summarise all that is going on in the christian church in this modern world, it would be the word, “confusion”. God would rather have separation and division, rather than compromise. Jesus said he would bring it even into families- Parents against children, brother against brother, not peace, but a sword. The established church is for the main part just a religious shop where people pay to be baptised, married or buried. Martin Luther in his commentary on Galatians, refers to a text which says we should restore someone who has been overtaken in a fault with the spirit of meekness. In his day there were false teachers who quoted this text because he was so vehemently opposed to them and apparently showed no meekness. Amongst other things, he says they are very strong on this text and truth but very weak on the sacraments which they adulterated. Today we have those who are strong on not being judgmental but very weak on proclaiming what the scriptures teach on adultery, fornication and homosexuality. If the cross is anything, it is a division between the world and the church. By it we are crucified unto the world. We have only one message for those who are drowning outside the boat of salvation. That is “repent, stop trying to save yourself and cling to the “life belt of the gospel,” and call upon God for salvation. But such a message has long since gone from most churches. A baptist elder was recently heard to say of such a message, “we couldn’t preach that, they’d all leave.” As a baptist by conviction I am saddened to note the moves into ecumenicalism by the baptist union, and their frank admission by email that the Baptist Union accepts “ as a servant of God, doing the work of God and called of God, a person who is teaching people the following; 1, Mary didn’t die she ascended bodily into heaven. 2, Mary did not sin. 3, Mary had only one child Jesus. 4. Mary can intercede between us and Jesus if we pray to her. 5. Other sinners who have died can also intercede. 6. There is no second commandment about bowing down to idols- ( the ten are made up by making the tenth command into two). 7. Transubstantiation. 8. No salvation for those outside the catholic church. 9. Salvation within it, is obtained by works- masses celebrated or said, penance, payment for masses and candles, penance, repetition of prayers, 10. After death – we go to purgatory, escape from which depends upon item 9. 11. The infallibility of the Pope. 12. The “Church” is more important than the bible in terms of authority, as a chicken to an egg. (The church wrote the bible) Not one of the above beliefs can be backed up by scripture. To love a person who believes such things is surely to graciously point them to the word of God, not condone their blindness. It surely shows the lack of faith such baptists now have in their own belief system. It seems that the church is as the Jewish religion was in the time of Christ for we are seeing “blind leading the blind, teaching the traditions of men as the commandments of God”. Although the bible denounces false teachers, even to the point of not allowing them into one’s house, the Baptist Union says and believes that such teachers are valid servants of God. What blasphemy! what apostasy! Oh that such blind would study these books and see Jehovah God, and the principles of holiness and separation He desires for his people in this world. Babylon in scripture is a well established type of false religion. For the main part the Babylonians would all probably be very nice people. Those who profess to be God’s people who have the spirit of Babylon in them will themselves be taken off to the captivity of Babylon. That is why we can see the ecumenical movement all coming under the umbrella of Rome eventually, for it is certain that Rome will have no unity that does not conform to such a pattern. The Book of Revelation is not an easy book to understand but some word pictures are abundantly obvious, none less than chapter 17. Great will be the fall of Babylon. Many living today will probably see it destroyed by the state, it now seeks to woo.
David’s likeness to Jesus Christ.
His amazing Grace. If you read the account of how David dealt with the house of Saul, you will soon be amazed at his kindness and grace. Saul hunted David for many years, and caused him and his family to live as outlaws and vagabonds, while being hunted to death by Saul. During that time David had two very easy opportunities to kill Saul, but at no time did he ever lift a finger in attack against Saul, for he said “it is not for me to touch the Lord’s anointed”. Truly this was a far more loving and forgiving attitude than we would really expect in the circumstances. But from events which occurred after Saul’s death, it is amazingly clear that he did not bear any resentment against Saul either. Sometimes we are able to put up with things if we think we deserve them, but if we are suffering unjustly, especially while those who are inflicting the injustice upon us seem to doing alright, then that is a different matter. Very few, and certainly nobody that I know, would fail to react, some would rightly call such reaction, righteous indignation. But David does not even show any righteous indignation. It would have been clear to him that if Saul caught him he would die, and as long as Saul lived he would be under the threat of death. But it is as if David kept the command of God even to the point of not loving his own life. “He loved not his own life unto death”. He could well have justified killing Saul, in that he knew He was God’s chosen and anointed man for the throne of Israel. He truly is not only an illustration of the Spirit, surviving in the war against the Flesh, but also reveals his character as yet another shining picture and example of the Lord himself. His amazing love for Abner. Eventually, Saul, David’s long standing enemy died. After which Saul’s leading soldier, Abner, set up Saul’s son, Ishbosheth as king of Israel. To get a clear picture of the situation let us recap over the recent history prior to these events. From the time that David slew Goliath at the age of about seventeen, (only a boy) David was a national hero. This hero worship, caused Saul to be jealous, especially in his fits of depression which came upon him from time to time. This jealousy issued forth in occasionally trying to kill David, by throwing a spear at him etc. David however continued to serve his king and led Israel in many battles and he became famous as a soldier and commander of soldiers, so much so that a pop song of the day said, “Saul has slain thousands, but David has slain Tens of Thousands.” Now that would not set Saul up to be his favourite friend, for in those days, and especially with Saul being of the temperament that he was, David was a great threat to Saul’s leadership and popularity. But the threat was all in Saul’s mind, for there was not the remotest possibility that David would do anything to harm Saul or jeopardise his position as the King, for Saul was the Lord’s anointed. For David, being the God-honouring man that he was, acknowledged this as a special unction upon a man. He was God’s appointed man, and to seek to dethrone him would of course be tantamount to rebellion against the will of God. Though it is true that the Lord later regretted that he had ever made Saul king, yet the Lord remained faithful, and allowed him to see out his reign. The same mark of anointing is shown further on in scripture. For later on in the book of Kings you will read of wicked kings who were assassinated. The assassins, it would seem, did the people a service, and in their minds they were doing God a service, but when the next king came on the scene, quite often they first put to death the assassins of their previous king. Only Jehu killed a king and did not suffer for it. He was anointed by Elisha. (by proxy), he had the God given right to rule over Israel, though in truth, Israel were a renegade nation and the real kings in God’s eyes were the kings of Judah, for they were the descendants of David. Jehu stood out as a leader of Israel, because he was not even the son of a king. Almost always the king was followed by his son, whether in Israel or Judah, but Jehu was just an army officer, who when anointed by Elisha’s servant, immediately set out to kill the reigning King of Israel, and set about bringing long awaited judgement to the house of Ahab and Jezebel. So the precedent set by David, not to touch the Lord’s anointed became a statute, almost, in Israel and Judah throughout the centuries. But David went beyond what the “law “ might demand of Him. For you may recall that when the Lord decided that Saul was not the right man to lead his people, He sent Samuel to anoint David as king. But even though David was anointed he did not attempt to dislodge Saul or strive in any way to make himself ruler, by force. Even though he had every cause to have religious zeal, and make everyone else accept him. If he had done, who would say he had done wrong? Jehu stands out a a zealot for Israel, so much so that once said to a passing friend “come with me and see my zeal for the Lord” David’s unction brought no such zeal, to cause him to force his righteousness upon others. That he was anointed to reign, was a true fact in earth and heaven, but he did not force the issue. So through out the wars between his household and the household of Saul, David only defended and retreated. He never attacked. Meantime the Elders of Israel would have known that David had been appointed King, and no doubt most of the people knew also, but quite naturally they would all remain faithful to the king in power. They would have expected David to take the initiative. But he did not. Such action, or should we say, lack of action reminds me of that incident in the garden of Gethsemane, where Peter expected the Lord to take up the sword and fight, and so begin to set up His kingdom. But he was wrong. Saul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, so his close army of soldiers who protected him would naturally be Benjamites, the rest of the tribes were not really involved in fighting David. On the other side, again quite naturally, David’s family, mum and dad, brothers and sisters stayed with David and David felt responsible for them. So generally speaking they and their surrounding families all came from the tribe of Judah. Being a national hero, he would therefore have had the allegiance of all members of the tribe of Judah. His small army consisted of such followers and many of the outlaws and outcasts of society. David’s leading soldier was a chap called Joab, and being a soldier, he did not have the same charitable feelings that David had. His enemy was his enemy. Abner was his opposite number, and they met in fights from time to time. On one occasion their two bands of fighting men met face to face, and after they had weighed each other up with respect, they decided to have a kind of party game, where representatives from each side paired off. They took each other in one hand and daggers in the other, and fought, no doubt to the death. In all their fighting together, Saul’s household, or rather the Benjamites lost 360 men and David only lost about 20. He probably lost most of them in this silly war game. So we now see the background to the events which led to Ishbosheth being made King in Saul’s place. Abner being an enemy of David, would not have fancied his chances of surviving, if David became King. However, once again David made no attempt to force himself upon the people as King, to rule over them. No doubt those around were very surprised. David’s only strong reaction to the death of Saul was to go into deep mourning. Even the poor chap who brought David the news, thought he was bringing good news and expected a reward. But David had the chap killed because he had reported that he had killed Saul. We know from the account of the death of Saul that he was lying, for Saul had committed suicide. But this unfortunate messenger had probably witnessed the event and went to David with what he thought would have been good news to someone who wanted to become King. How wrong he was! Once again we can see a clear illustration of the spirit of Jesus, and an indication of a principle in our daily life. If God has said a thing will happen, then it will. (See Solomon’s prayer at dedication of temple- “Your mouth has promised and your hand has accomplished it”) If we take any steps or action “in the flesh” we are in danger of frustrating the plans of God. In this case, David would have had to kill his fellow Israelites to take the throne. He knew that was wrong, indeed both Abner and Joab knew it was wrong, and discussed the matter before announcing a cease fire. That is equal to what we would call acting “in the flesh”. David did not take any steps to kill or dethrone Ishbosheth. Ish means the “son of”, and it could be said that “bosheth” has it’s root in the word “Baal”. Ishbosheth reigned for a number of years. David left it to the Lord, and in a wonderful way eventually came to the throne, without force. No doubt Abner would have been quite surprised that David had not sought to dethrone Ishbosheth. It would have surprised him that the one “anointed” to be king, had seemingly accepted his action in crowning Ishbosheth. Then something quite strange happened, as often it does when God begins to work. For some reason, best known to Ishbosheth, the latter accused Abner of immorality with Saul’s concubine. The accusation was so preposterous to Abner, that he equated it to being a “dog in Judah”. However, so great was the hurt of the accusation that he changed sides, and joined David. This confirms that the two years of peace from David had convinced Abner that David was a friend and not an enemy. David welcomed Abner, but Joab resented him, because Abner had killed his brother. (Not willingly, for he had given him a chance to get away, but Joab’s brother fancied his chances against Abner in a fight, and unfortunately was proved wrong.) Joab therefore conspired, and eventually killed Abner, when he was off guard. This then is the point of all that has been said. David once again went into dreadful mourning, over the death of Abner. He would not eat, but continued to lament the death of this fine soldier. Surely this total lack of ill-feeling towards his enemies is amazing, even to the most loving of us. It is only equalled in the love of the Lord Jesus towards us. And indeed if we can believe by recognition, that David did not have a wrinkle of malice against, Saul, Ishbosheth, Abner, nor any member of Saul’s household, then surely we should be thrilled at , the love of the Lord has towards us. He hours our sovereignty. He stands at the door and knocks waiting for an invite Incidentally, previous to the death of Abner, Ishbosheth had been killed by two men who thought they were doing David a service. David made them pay with their lives for the murder and once again went into mourning over the death of this renegade king. There is a wonderful gospel tract entitled “The Incomparable Christ”. Among the many things said in that tract, one reminds me of this episode with Abner. “He never marshalled an army or fired a gun, but he has caused more rebels to stack arms than any general in history”. David’s love, turned Abner’s perception of him from an enemy to be feared to a King He could trust. Later on when David was truly on the throne, David went out of his way to seek out any member of Saul’s household who might be in need, or to whom he could show a kindness, and you remember he found a chap called Mephibosheth, who was a cripple. David lavished good things on him and invited him to sit at the Kings table. What amazing grace, so strong and free. Finally, it is wonderful to read how, after the death of Ishbosheth, then, all the elders of Israel come to David and ask him to reign over them. Truly the Lord Jesus will not force his way into our lives, but waits for us to see all rivals tried and removed, then when we open the door, He comes in to rule and to reign. He reigns through love, never fear or force. Love so amazing, grace so amazing, surely should cause us to say, “Come Lord Jesus and take the throne of my Life, and there without a rival reign”.
David’s Provision for Temple.
The same prophet who was sent to David to convict him of his sin, was also sent by the Lord to commend him and to announce that the Lord wanted him to prepare for the building of the temple. In 1 Chronicles chap 22, David tells Solomon that he “had taken great pains” (NIV) to provide for the building of the temple”. All that could possibly be needed, David provided. In our monetary terms today, David provided 4000 tons of gold, and almost 40.000 tons of silver. Now that is a lot of wealth, in anyone’s account book. Even today I doubt if any company could lay out for such a building programme. In like fashion, and with the same lavishness, has Christ provided all that is needed for a temple of praise and worship to be built. Not a temple of brick or stone, but of praising people. He has provided enough to give cause for every member of the church to be filled to overflowing with thanks and praise for all they have received. This is what the scripture calls Grace. An acrostic of Grace reads - God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. As surely as Solomon enjoyed such riches to be able to build the temple, but they were “at David’s expense” Truly as David did, Jesus has “taken great pains” to provide such riches for his people to enjoy. No-one ever took greater pains to do anything. David did not get his riches easily. He had to fight for them. David set out on a campaign in the name of His God to conquer all the enemies of Israel. Such was the manner of life and survival in those days. It is recorded in the days of Elisha, that “in the spring, when Kings go out to war”. This is a little insight into those days. For to exist, one had to be strong in military terms. Fighting plundering and slavery was the order of the day. If your god was stronger than the next nation’s god then you would win in a battle. We know that men do not give up their riches easily, and a soldier’s life, even today is a hard one, especially in the front line of battle. No greater price can be paid than to risk one’s life. David paid such a price. In order to see fully how this relates to us today, then you must read the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians. In this light, it should explode into a thousand spiritual delights. Ephesians is the epistle which gives us many pictures of the church. They are Body, Building, Branch, Bride and Army (Battalion). The story and character of David provides an illustration to see what we mean by the glory of the Lord, and God living in the praises of His people. Before David told Solomon of the riches that he had to give him, he prayed that the Lord would give Solomon. wisdom and understanding. Likewise in the natural life, that if one is born into wealth, or if it is inherited, it is totally wasted if bestowed upon a fool. In order to gain the most benefit from things given to someone, there is an absolute necessity for wisdom and understanding. Understanding relates to “what” has been given, and wisdom relates to “how” the wealth is best used. If you have read Ephesians then the prayer of Paul for the Ephesians will immediately come to mind. “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ will give you the spirit of wisdom and understanding so that you might know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened in order that you may know the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints”. There are some oft recurring words in Ephesians. They are “grace”, “riches” “power” “glory” and “praise “ If you also remember or recognise that the epistle is about the church, you will realise how the temple of the Lord, (the church) is built. The scripture says that the Lord “inhabits (lives in) the praises of His people”. It should be a temple of praise. Why should the people praise? Because of the riches of His grace. Ch 2 v 7 calls them “the incomparable riches of His grace”. Ch 1 v 6 “He pre-destinated us to be His Sons, in accordance with the pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given to us in the one He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace, which He has lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” This then is how the temple is built. God gives riches to us in the spiritual world. Priceless riches beyond the scope of money. Who could pay for one sin to be forgiven? What was the price of our redemption.? We were once as slaves in the market place. The price put on our heads for our freedom, was so high, our old slave driver, did not think that anyone would think us worth it. We ourselves did not think we were worth it.? Nor that anyone would love us enough to pay the price. But Hallelujah, One stepped forward and paid the price, with His own blood. Can we ever stop praising Him for our freedom. Every person in the temple of God is redeemed and therefore all have been filled with enough grace (lavished) that praises should rise continually. If God was not rich enough, he would not be able to lavish such rich eternal blessings on everyone, but Jesus has provided more than enough. The banquet is adequate for all who want to come in, and “yet there is room for more”. Eph ch 2 tells us of our utter hopelessness and total depravity, unable to save ourselves . Then it says “But God who is rich in mercy”... There is a millionaire in America who is going about the country giving money away to all in need, but even this illustration of grace, is a poor reflection of what Christ has done. The riches of the American millionaire are limited. The amount he gives is limited, but the riches available to us is as much as we want, or can receive. Notice the personal testimony of the Apostle Paul in ch 3 v. 2. “administration of God’s grace given to me for you. Ch.3.v.7.; “I became a servant of this gospel, by the gift of God’s grace given to me.... Although I am the least of all God’s people. This grace was given to me to preach to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” The wonderful thing about riches is the power that they provide. (hence the reason you should know the riches of your inheritance) There’s not much you can do if you are poor in the natural world.. This testimony shows that there are possibilities for all of us. For if the least of all God’s people should be used in such a way then God can bless us in His service. Paul had nothing to boast of in himself, everything he had worth boasting of or rejoicing in, he had received freely by grace. David’s likeness to Christ comes lamentably short when we compare the “unsearchable riches of Christ” with the tons of silver and gold he gave to Solomon. So not only has the Lord provided for us to be well fuelled with praises in worship, he has also supplied any power we might need to serve Him.. One of the greatest things we can do for the Lord is keep his command “Love one another”. Surely if such grace and forgiveness has been bestowed upon us we should have abundant power to forgive and show grace to others. If we ever stand back to admire some mighty work of men, such as going to the moon or building a mighty dam and power station, then you soon think of the cost. If one individual has financed the project, then he gets all the glory, because he had all the power, (in the riches).”I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner man.” Do you get the picture now. God gives and gives and gives and gives. We receive, receive, receive and receive. He is such a wonderful God, it reveals His “glory”. To have such wealth, and wealth is power, then such a person must deserve glory. For if any great fete is accomplished, then the one supplying the power should receive the glory. “The glory of the Lord filled the temple” of Solomon. The temple was the Lord’s doing. How much more should our praises fill the church with the glory of the Lord; the “church” of course being the people. Do we not seem more concerned if the toilets are not clean or the flowers not arranged properly than if the people meet with their God in the presenc eof the Holy Spirit. If the glory could fall under the Old Covenant, how much more should we expect the glory of God’s presence under the new. Sadly, those who immerse themselves in God are merely stared at and looked upon as “over emotional” or “drawing attention to themselves”. If those who are drawn to gaze on such things would but concentrate themselves upon the Lord, rather than looking on others may be more of the glory would be made manifest, or even worse, may be we can’t see the glory when it is expressed. Solomon, it could be said is the type of the Holy Spirit, for as David provided the where-with-all for Solomon to build the temple, so Jesus has provided, forgiveness, redemption, power, wisdom understanding, so that the Holy Spirit may build us up as His body, a temple to the praise of God’s glory. Notice also that David could not build the temple because he had shed blood and was a man of war. Solomon in contrast reigned in peace for forty years, and the temple was built in complete silence. All the noise was made off the site, and construction was made without noise. So we see a contrast between Jesus, the man of war who shed his own blood, and the Holy Spirit, symbolised by a dove of peace, and who has quietly and unseen, been building the church of God for over 2000 years. One final thought, and wonderful it is . Eph. ch 4, v. 7, tells us that grace has been given to every one of us. So we are all part of the temple and we should all have sufficient “wealth” in terms of forgiveness and redemption, to cause us to praise Him from full and overflowing hearts. If we do not appreciate the riches enough to want to praise Him, then we need to pray for wisdom and understanding, because we are as a paupers living in a rich family. People who praise are by definition, happy people. People who are left riches usually show some signs of great joy, even if for a short time. So there is really no excuse for anyone, not to bring the sacrifices of praise into the house of the Lord. We have all been given plenty, to enable us to bring sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. You will remember that we said David was a man of war, and the riches were acquired by victories over his enemies. Then read those verses in Ephesians chapter 4, which say, “he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men”, and we have a mighty warrior who defeated the enemy, came away with booty, and distributed it freely. In Peter we read of how Jesus led such “captivity captive”. He descended into Hell, He defeated Satan, and took the keys of Death and Hell, and preached the good news of the gospel, to all those in captivity. He captured them for Himself and brought them out. You will remember that the gospel of Matthew records that at the time of the resurrection of Jesus, some people that had been dead were seen alive again. Perhaps those who wanted to return to earth did so, while those who wanted to stay in the spiritual world with Jesus went straight to heaven. In either case he led captivity captive, did he not? In the final part of that great prophecy in Isaiah chapter 53, we read that He will “divide the spoil with the strong,” because he has “poured out His soul unto death”. This is a reference to these spoils of victory. Having taken great pains he has provided all that we need to praise and serve him. Let the one who feels He is not good enough, cast away such foolish reasons, and take from the mighty hand all the riches of forgiveness and righteousness which he has for those who trust in Jesus. Let the one who says I can’t serve God, cast away such foolish reasoning, and recognise that if you want to, God will provide the power. There is great power in received grace. When I first started driving a car, many years ago, I had an old Ford Anglia. It wasn’t very powerful, to say the least, but I can remember on a preaching trip over the Pennines that the car struggled to get over the top. Somewhat foolishly I remember the mental and emotional effort I was putting in to encourage if not help the car to make it over the hill. Needless to say it was all wasted effort, for I was not travelling over the Pennines under any power of my own, all the power was in the car. The car eventually made it, perhaps I shouldn’t have had any anxiety after all, for it proved a good servant over many years. Even those drivers in the outside lane knew it was the power of the car that took them to 90 miles an hour. The power to live the Christian life is provided by the Lord. Some may look at others in the outside lane who seem to be going great guns for God, and think that they could not live such a life, but those in the outside lane, will clearly tell you that the power is not theirs’, but the Lord’s power in them. “I can do all things through Christ who provides the power.” Jesus has truly provided for enough and more than the church will ever need, to fulfil His purposes here on earth. Let your church become a temple of praise to the one who made it all possible, rejoicing that without him we would be nothing, nor could do nothing, for we are all that we are by the grace of God. Eph. ch 1 v 6. To the praise of His glorious grace. Eph. ch 1 v. 14 To the praise of His glory . Amen. Don’t be like the elder brother who could not enter in to the rejoicing of His brother, in His forgiveness and re-instatement. Many a sad christian stands envious and empty of other christians who are rejoicing and happy in their worship. They are only happy in the grace they have received, so don’t stay outside, enter in, and rejoice with those that rejoice, and praise God your father, that all that he has is yours.
Flesh and Spirit. Many experiences of David during the years between being anointed and becoming king, are wonderful illustrations of how the Spirit survives in the battle against the world the flesh and the devil. Saul is his main protagonist, and for the main part is a good illustration of the flesh, which wars against the spirit. Elsewhere we have our studies on the Books of Samuel. In the light of the knowledge of scriptural patterns and principles, one can arguably conclude that the Book of Samuel is mainly to give us a living illustration of the battle between the Flesh and the Spirit. For that reason they are included in these study notes.. Abigail and Nabal. (1 Sam 25.) Here we have one who is intelligent and a man whose name means “fool.” They also represent the two different attitudes we can take in relation to the Spirit, in regard to wealth and earthly possessions. David representing the Spirit, gets angry at the attitude of Nabal, who discounts David’s right to food and drink, with arrogant dismissal. “Who is he, where does he come from?” Such is the cry of many who are confronted with their responsibility towards the Spirit. By that I mean those who resent the promptings of the Spirit to support those working for the Kingdom. Ponder the parable well. It is the Spirit who controls . “He who now lets, will let till he is taken out of the way” is a clear statement of the power of the Spirit of God on earth. If we get rich, it is because he allows it. Especially in the case of the christian, who he protects continually. Sometimes natural things are necessary for the Spirit’s work. To go up the Amazon to preach the gospel, you need a boat. Someone who has money will need to give of their wealth to pay for that boat. The missionary needs food and drink, so the “Spirit” will make justifiable demands upon our income from time to time. To deny Him is folly. To deny Him is to stir up His anger. Wisdom is to use the natural things we have, and put them at the disposal of the Spirit. Nabal ate and drank, we read. This is a typical expression of the flesh. The Spirit’s respect for our sovereignty is shown in the fact that David did not steal from Nabal. God is not a burglar or a thief, he waits for us to open the door and to give what we have to Him, for His work.
Witchcraft. Saul sought the help of a medium when he could get no response from above. The flesh when wanting to be “spiritual” will go, not to the spiritual world above, but will go to spiritual world beneath. “Spiritualism” is rightly named, but it is the natural man wanting answers. David on the other hand continually “enquired of the Lord” If he did not get an answer, he waited or found out why. Saul could not wait, nor did he want to put right the wrongs he had done, to get heaven to hear him once more. Not all mediums however are as genuine as this one. Many are like their founder, liars and cheats. Some converted mediums will confess of the fraudulent and deceptive practices in the past. Also many so called “dead” that are brought back, are lying spirit’s, sent to increase the darkness of the enquirer.
Shew-bread from the temple David when hungry went to the priest for sustenance. The only food available was for the priest, according to the law. Apparently here David broke the Law, but in terms of spiritual interpretation, David represents the Spirit, who is above the law of Moses. Jesus also came under the same condemnation from His accusers and he quoted the example of David, to justify his actions. So clearly in this respect, he is a good type of Christ.
Feigning madness. (This is dealt with at greater length in our notes on Samuel 1.) It is a miracle that we survive at all in this hostile atmosphere. If the world, (illuminated by the devil ) recognised Jesus, and thereon wanted to put Him to death, we should not be surprised that the world should also hate us, when it truly recognises us for what we are. However we survive very often because the world just thinks we are mad. Paul was addressed thus by his judge in court, “Much learning has made you mad” We are tolerated on the basis of the worldly pride which makes them sane and us mad. The reverse is true of course. David’s foaming at the mouth could well illustrate the Christian who in the presence of his enemies such as sickness or adversity, which the Philistines would represent, he is praising God. Such praises would seem like a sign of madness. But Ps 23 says he anoints our head with oil and our cup runs over, in the presence of our enemies.
Goliath’s Sword. (This is also dealt with in more detail in our notes on Samuel.) When he had eaten the bread from the priest, he asked if the priest had any weapons that he could borrow. The only weapon there was the sword that David had taken from Goliath. David took it, declaring “There’s none like it. “The battle between David and Goliath could be said to be the illustration which shows us how Jesus defeated Sin for us. Goliath represents Sin, The Law & Death. The sword is the Law, which brings about death. Because of Sin, (Goliath) we all live under the fear of death, according to Romans and Hebrews. The sword could then well represent the Law. Though the Law was intended to bring life it actually brought death.(Rom.7) Hence Paul’s explanation in Galatians ch 2, “I through the Law am dead to the Law” and the scripture that says that the Lord, “by death, slew him that had the power of death”. We can see that illustrated here for Goliath was slain by his own instrument of death. Also, when the Spirit goes out now throughout the world, to bring men to Christ, he is as a soldier, going out to battle against the enemy, and the weapon he uses is death, by the Law. For he goes forward, (within those who preach the gospel) to bring about death. For the gospel brings us to death, that we might enjoy new life. We preach the condemnation of the law to bring conviction. Baptism is a burial after the death. Hence, in Revelation, the saved are called the “slain of the Lord” One further note regarding Goliath is found in I Chronicles ch 20 v 4-8. He had a brother and a son who were also giants. His son had twelve fingers and twelve toes (including the thumbs of course), but significantly they were defeated by men of Judah when they challenged the people of God. The Son of Goliath was slain by David’s nephew, Jonathan.
Most outstanding “type of Christ”. While it is true to say that the only relevance of any character in the Old Testament is by what measure they portray the Lord Jesus, it is also true to say that some characters portray Christ more than others. If 20% of a person points us towards Christ we can say that the other 80% is of little or no value. Very few could be said to be 80% in representing or portraying Jesus. But without doubt David would measure above that. Is it little wonder that he thrilled the heart of God so much, for here was a man who walked in his ways all his life and even that gross iniquity he repented of deeply, and paid for greatly. In marrying Bathsheba he chose the harder route of spending the rest of his days being reminded of the condemnation of Nathan the prophet and the life of Uriah that he had terminated. But he faced his failure and did what was “right” with Bathsheba and the child born to them, Solomon, became a part of the eternal purposes of God. If a close study was made of David, as a shepherd, a king, or as a writer\prophet, or as soldier, one would have abundant evidence of this fact. All these could be said to be aspects of the Lord Jesus’ ministry.
Numbering the People. It is significant to notice that the “sin” of David, recorded in Chronicles, is not that which concerned Bathsheba, but was in numbering Israel. 1 Chron. ch 21 v1. We read an even more significant slant on the “sin” in verse 1 of chapter 21. “Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to number Israel. This adds weight to our suggestion that Chronicles emphasises the spiritual aspect of the record more than than Kings. Also we can believe that in God’s estimation numbering the people was far more displeasing to the Lord than the episode with Bathsheba. Why should that be so? Numbering the people would seem to be a harmless enough exercise. To man, yes, but not to God. He discerns our motives. Throughout scripture God has looked for men with faith. Their faults and failures, (such as Jacob, Moses, Ruth) seemed of lesser importance than the faith they had in their heart. Numbering the people was only a very feint sign that David was looking to the number of people he had, to measure his security or success. It was a slight leaning away from trusting God, but it was sufficient for God to recognise the seed thought. Jonathan when going against the Philistines with only one other person, said “It is nothing to the Lord to deliver by many or by few”. It is this kind of faith that God looks for in his people. He is not looking for perfect people. There is no-one perfect, but God will count people perfect if they have faith in Christ. This is the essence of Justification by faith. Romans ch 8, says If God be for us, who can be against us. Numbering the members is still today a besetting sin of the church. There is not a church which would not justify such numbering, claiming that it is in no way evidence of lack of faith. But I wonder? God sees the heart. He is able to discern the hidden motives and desires of the heart. He sees the christian’s concern about the exact amount in his pocket or bank balance. Hebrews ch 4 v 12, tells us that His word can slice even between the Soul and the Spirit, (which are as close as water is to Hydrogen & Oxygen,) to discern the true motives, (intents and desires) of the heart.
Spoils of Victories won. Christ entered in to the very headquarters of the great enemy himself, and took from him all his power. The power to keep men in bondage to fear of death. But Jesus took the keys of Death and Hell and proclaimed that All Power now belonged to Him in heaven and in earth. A victory that provided enough bounty and treasure to build the temple of God, the church. You are God’s building, a temple prepared and fit for the very presence of a Holy God. More magnificent in it’s structure and fabrics than any Kings palace. We are more magnificently adorned in God’s eyes than Solomon’s temple ever was. The riches Christ provided are not to be compared with the earthly gold and silver of David’s booty. He who was rich became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich. How rich? Silver and gold could not pay that price of our Redemption,, but we are free, How did we get free? by our own efforts? by our own so called riches? No! but by His grace. He has given to everyone his undeserved favour. Not one of us could exist as part of this temple without him having given us his grace. Not one of us would ever be a useful ornament, or vessel in the temple if we were not given the power to function. It is Christ that works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, According to the mighty working of his power in us. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the power” Jesus has provided more than enough of what the church will ever need. He has not provided great economic ideas for making vast profits, or tablets that provide life energising vitamins or cures, for all such things are temporal. Health and wealth are at times necessary, and can be to us part of our christian life in terms of stewardship and service, but in terms of our eternal relationship with God, or our worship of Him, they play no part whatsoever. As individuals and within our fellowship of the church, we should become temples of praise. Praising people are happy people. The world pursues it’s pleasures, positions and riches in a quest to find happiness. When Christ lives in the midst of our praises no earthly joy compares. Without Christ we would be nothing, and having known him all that is in the world is nothing without Him. Enjoying his grace is the key. If you read Psalm 119 you will be amazed at the joy David finds in the Law. It is as if he skips along between these tramlines of the law like a little child, deliriously happy knowing how safe and blessed he is within these lines. The Law to David was not a restriction but it was God’s assured pathway for Life. David had come to learn that within the Law life worked to it’s greatest, bringing peace and security. No doubt we guilty sinners might find it almost impossible to enjoy living within the law as David did. But that is the whole message of the Old and New Testament. One is under the Law and the other is under Grace. If David could rejoice in the Law because within it he had found the secret of knowing the presence of the Lord in his Life, how much more should we skip along in grace knowing that nothing can separate us from the Love and presence of God under this new agreement of grace. When Paul is revelling in it through Romans ch 3-5, he comes out with the amazing suggestion- “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound.” Although he went on to explain why it is best not to sin he was confirming that sin did not stop God’s grace but rather caused it to flow in greater torrents. What more could we guilty, hell-deserving sinners ask for. If God declares His love to us, then let us allow Him to love us. I once heard of a lady who complained that her husband wouldn’t let her express her love for him. Why? Simply because of guilt. He had been unfaithful to her and was so sorry and ashamed that he could not receive the love on the grounds that he did not deserve it. He wanted to merit it. So let’s away with any feelings that we must earn God’s love, by faithful service or holy living. Those things will grow inevitably from the life which is immersed in God’s love and grace. Let’s give Him all the glory.
Idolatry- the besetting sin of Israel The first and second commandment were constantly broken by the Israelites. God being a jealous God, in terms of loving his people and wanting them to love Him, eventually had to resort to drastic measures to rid them of this sin once and for all. God rid his people of idolatry by 70 years captivity in Babylon. After which the Jews ever remained believers in Jehovah God as their only God False worship of Baal (which means “master or lord.”) & Ashtaroth While engaged in these studies I asked the Lord what “Baal” symbolised, and there came an immediate answer to my mind; “Money”. It was so strong a thought that it surprised me. I had never thought of it before. I asked then what Ashtaroth typified (although I already probably had an inkling) and the strong thought came like a word of reply “Fortune telling” Jesus said that no man can serve two masters. Money is one of them and God is the other. Ashtaroth and Baal worship today. .Ashtaroth was the Moon goddess, Queen of the heavens. Astrology has the same root. AshTAROT another derivative. Tarot cards are in full fashion today. Why should these two things be phenomena of a godless society. Simply because man was made to depend upon God. Sin, which is independence, separated man from God and man then seeks security in the things he sees or touches with his senses. He professes to need no faith,(dependence) which he argues is a crutch, or a leap into the dark. But the same society is inundated with fortune tellers, tarot card readers, horoscopes, insurance companies, bank stores for money- all are man’s attempt to be able to know or determine the future. Some have more blind faith in the stock exchange than God would ever expect of a human being. Trusting God is not a "leap into the dark" but a leap into the light. Atheists and Agnostics who say such things, are by definition already in the dark. If the anxiety is real why should not an equally spiritual thing be real- such as the faith that takes away the anxiety. God wants his people to depend upon him. The Kings of Israel and Judah show us this more than anything else. Asa and Ahaz are typical examples which we can all empathise with. In the Law of Moses, the Kings were commanded not to store up wealth. (Deut. 17:14-17) Jesus told us not to store up wealth, for those who have riches are likely to trust in those riches. The attitude of the world to money should not be the attitude of the christian. The world, bows down to it, and worships it. The worldling depends upon it and gives themselves to the pursuit of accumulating it. In Kings we read that Ishbosheth reigned instead of David. “Ish” means "son of" or "Helper" or "husband". Bosheth means shame or one derivative has its root in Baal. One meaning therefore could be that Baal is my helper. I Hebrews ch 13 tells us not to covet, and to be content with such as we have, for the Lord has promised never to leave us, therefore we can boldly say “The Lord is my helper” The New testament tells us that Covetousness is Idolatry. (Col. 3:5.)
Present day Idolatry- Daniel; The children of God in Babylon symbolises the christian in today’s world. The golden image must be worshipped, where worship is based upon the fact of worthship. A christian believer attended a course in relation to her job. The instructor asked someone on the course, if their job was the most important thing in their life. When he got a negative answer, he asked “What are you doing here then?” It is expected that work and the gaining of wealth is the main object of life. People are happy when we are worshipping, the gaining of wealth to many is their most enjoyable experience. Our heart will be in those things we treasure most. Much church going these days is just sheer superstition or some hazy belief in a higher power. In many cases it is sheer patronage. It is an act to hopefully gain the smile of God. After the service is over it’s back to the god of Baal. There is far more distress, anxiety and animation expressed over the loss of some material thing than the prospect of some deficiency in the quality of the ministry in the church. It is argued that there is nothing else more important in this world. Money is the answer to all problems. If Jesus had believed that he would have followed his disciples, and not the other way round. Can you imagine the wealth of the church these days if Christ had joined in the fishing industry. The miraculous catches, the bigger boats, the shops, the supermarkets, the banking etc the escalation in business would have been unbelievable. The church would now be in control of every government in the world and there would be great unity, no poverty, and peace worldwide. No church appeals, no lack of equipment for missionaries, all the money available as much as might be needed. Alongside that growth, of course the Lord could have resurrected the disciples every seventy years or so and they would still be here organising the world. What a wonderful plan that would have been. But no! Jesus said to the disciples, - “leave your nets and business and follow me!” Where did he take them? Answer, to the CROSS. Has the church missed something? I think it has, especially the ministers in the pulpits. Laodicea lives again. Godless governments throw money at everything as the solution. Everything is measured by how much it costs. Comic relief, Band-aid, and Children in Need appeals all are only temporary aid. People are not changed, and the Ethiopians or the Arabs, though poor do not have the level of violence, crime, nor break up of families that the wealthy countries have. The three young men who did not bow to the image, were not affected by the result of not bowing down. The Babylonians who threw them into the fire, were themselves burnt. Those receiving state benefit and live in poverty, have to endure the taunts of those who complain that they are living off other’s labours. It is a fire of persecution they have to be thrown into. We know that even in christian circles those who live by faith or who don’t chase after wealth, are often criticised by those who give a great deal of their time to making money, because they think those who don’t bow are supported financially by those who do. They know little of the God who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds, who told his disciples, not to be concerned about what they eat or how they are clothed. Those to whom the Lord has provided a job, should beware of trusting in their job and the wages, rather than trust in the Lord. For if the job dries up, where will they turn. God's dealing with the Kings of Judah will shed light and endorse this truth To say that you can’t do your job properly if money is not your god is proved by the young men in Babylon to be incorrect. They were the wisest rulers because gold was not their god, but a gift from the true God. Final note: Pauls command:- Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
The Work of King David.
1. He subdued all his enemies. 2. He United all Israel. 3. He prepared the building of the temple. Notice if you would the steps of progress within the purposes of God. First essential is a heart right with God. Three others follow; a, PERSONAL INTEGRITY. b, SPIRITUAL UNITY. c, MORAL AUTHORITY. d, WORLD INFLUENCE All these things are to be seen in the study of the Books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Concerning David ‘s character, one could probably write notes forever. We have to stop somewhere, so we will close at the next full stop.