Thursday, March 1, 2018

Things That Won't Be In Heaven

Each person you meet has a different idea of what heaven will be like. They differ because the Bible only gives us a small glimpse into what awaits the Christian there.
Today, however, I want to look at what isn't going to be in heaven. Because for all the wonderful things that heaven will contain, there will be some things that won't be there.
First, heaven won't have bills.
John 14:2- In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Everything in heaven is bought and paid for by Jesus. Every item in heaven was crafted with care by the God who created the universe! We won't have to toil and labor to pay for what we have- the price was settled at Calvary.
Next, heaven won't have goodbye's.
Revelation 12:14- And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Death is gone. We will have eternal life! We will never have to say goodbye to our friends or our loved ones again, so long as they asked Jesus to save their souls.
Another thing heaven won't have is misunderstandings, hurtful words, or destructive actions.
Revelation 21:4, 27- And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
I Corinthians 13:12- For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
How many times are we hurt by someone saying something we took the wrong way? How often are we wounded by someone's words, whether intentional or accidental? There's no sorrow and no crying in heaven! We are going to understand exactly what people mean, and no wicked intention will be allowed there.
Sickness and aging will be a thing of the past!
I Corinthians 15:51-53- Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Aren't you tired of aches and pains? Does the idea of never being sick again thrill you? Imagine, no stiff joints, no sore throats, no wrinkles or age spots, no cancer or heart disease, no cellulite!
While there are so many other things that won't be in heaven, I'll end with this last one- no darkness or loneliness.
Revelation 21:23-25-  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
We will live there forever with everyone who asked Jesus to save them. And, Jesus will be there! We will never feel lonely again. The darkness will never isolate us.
I really can't wait to get there! How about you?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 12)

David was now back in his capitol city. He had already paid the price for his sin. But, it seems like there is always something going on.
II Samuel 21:1- Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. ​
After three years of famine, David finally asked the Lord "why?". I wonder why David waited three years to ask? It wasn't because of his own sin that this famine was in the land. It was because of a sin that Saul had committed.
That tells us something about God. Some times the bad things we go through aren't our fault. It's not because God is punishing us. But, we still need to remember that how we respond to these bad times will be judged.
II Samuel 21:2-3- And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites [were] not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?
King David called the people that were wrong and asked them how to make it right. If we wrong someone we are suppose to confess it to God, but we are also suppose to make it right with the person that we wronged.
II Samuel 21:5-6- And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.
The Gibeonites wanted to punish Saul. Since Saul was dead, they said that they wanted his sons punished. They wanted 7 of Saul's descendants to die for Saul's transgression.
And David was willing to pay this price with one exception. David was a man of his word, and he was going to make sure that he kept his promise to Jonathan.
II Samuel 21:7- But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.
David found 7 men other than Jonathan's son and delivered them to the Gibeonites.
II Samuel 21:8-9- But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.
The Gibeonites took all seven of them and hanged them.
II Samuel 21:10- And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
The mother of two of the men went out there and kept watch over the bodies. She wouldn't let any of the carrion feed on them. Even after their death she was protecting them.
II Samuel 21:11-14- And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.
When David heard what this mother was doing, he went and gathered the bones of the men that had been hanged, along with the bones of Saul and Jonathan, and buried them in their grandfather's sepulchre.
The Lord healed the land of the famine. But, the people still did sinful things.
The Lord always punishes us for the wrong that we do. Some times, he allows time to pass before He punishes us. And, some times, like David, we choose the punishment.
II Samuel 24:1- And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
God moved David to number the people, even though He had said before that this was a sin.
II Samuel 24:8-9- So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
Once the people had been numbered, David realized what he had done.
II Samuel 24:10-12- And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
God was going to let David choose what his punishment would be. He gave him three choices.
II Samuel 24:13- So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.
David was told to choose wither seven years famine, three months of being chased by his enemies, or three days of pestilence. Which would you choose?
I'm sure David thought of these three options very carefully. If there was a famine people would starve to death, and there was no telling how many people would die. If they were chased by the enemy there was no guarantee that the enemy wouldn't attack the innocent cities of the land, and a lot of people could die. So David chose the option that would allow him the most mercy.
II Samuel 24:14- And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
David chose the pestilence. That way God would be the one to choose who would die.
II Samuel 24:15-16- So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
An angel of death went through the land killing people. He killed around 70 thousand people when he got to Jerusalem. Once the death angel was near Jerusalem, God told him to stop.
That's the power of God. Just one angel could kill 70,000 people in three days, but with one word God could make him stop.
II Samuel 24:17-18- And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite.
David prayed and confessed his sin. He begged for mercy, and God gave him the answer he needed. He was to go build an altar and sacrifice.
II Samuel 24:19-25- And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded. And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king on his face upon the ground. And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.
David bought the threshing floor and all the things that went with it, and he built an altar right there and sacrificed to God. God accepted this sacrifice and told the death angel to leave.
It's always hard to apologize for the wrong that we've done. But, when we confess our sins to God we obtain mercy. If we get mad at God for his punishment, then things will only get worse.
David learned this lesson because of all the troubles he went through. We don't have to go through our own troubles to learn. We can learn from the life of David.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 11)

After the death of Absalom, David returns to his royal city to finish up his rule. He has now paid the full price for his sin. His life will never be the same. Sure, the payment had been made, but the scars from the price tag of his sin would never go away.
II Samuel 19:15- So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.
The king and all his family and his Mighty Men that had fled from Absalom were now going back to Jerusalem. But, there was a man who had cursed David and thrown rocks at him while he was fleeing, and this man was now worried what the consequences of his actions would be.
II Samuel 19:18-20- And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan; And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king. ​
Shimei decided it would be better for him if he went to meet David before he got back to Jerusalem. He thought that he could apologize and he was hoping to receive some mercy for his humility.
There were some in David's company who thought that Shimei should be put to death for his acts.
II Samuel 19:21-23- But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD'S anointed? And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel? Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.
David had mercy on Shimei. He told him that he wouldn't die. David was happy that the Lord had not placed any of the curses on him that Shimei yelled at him. He knew that God wanted him to be king of Israel, and he was glad that the Lord would now bless him.
Mephibosheth also showed up to meet the king. He told the king that he wanted to go with him, but that Ziba didn't get him his horse and let him. The king also forgave Mephibosheth. He could see that Mephibosheth didn't bare him any ill will.
Along with apologies, there were also friends who showed up. One in particular who had been a great blessing to David and his family while they were on the run.
II Samuel 19:31-38- And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem. And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee. And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
Barzillai came to express his delight that David would be going back to sit on the throne. David wanted to invite him to a party, but Barzillai was a very old man. He told David that he wouldn't be able to hear the music or taste the food. He asked that David take his son to the party instead.
But, not everyone was happy to see King David going back to take his place on the throne.
II Samuel 20:1-2- And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.
Israel was now split between two. Some of them followed David, and some of them followed Sheba. The rift that Absalom had caused would not easily be sown up by just one battle.
II Samuel 20:6-7- And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fenced cities, and escape us. And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
David knew that if he didn't take care of this now that there would be a greater war coming. Even his nephew, Amasa, had joined with Sheba. David sent Joab and his Mighty Men after Sheba.
II Samuel 20:8-13- When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he smote him therewith in the fifth rib, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. And one of Joab's men stood by him, and said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab. And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.
Joab killed his cousin Amasa. He had no desire to see anyone live who was a threat to the king. Perhaps he still felt guilty about all the trouble Absalom caused; he was the one who talked the king into bringing Absalom home from his exile.
Joab then took the rest of the army to kill Sheba.
II Samuel 20:15- And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah, and they cast up a bank against the city, and it stood in the trench: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.
In his zeal to destroy this new threat, Joab was going to destroy an entire city and it's population.
II Samuel 20:16-22- Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the LORD? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, and they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.
The battle was ended by a wise woman. The Bible doesn't tell us how old she was, or how wealthy she was, or even how pretty she was. The Bible doesn't even give us her name. All we know is that she was brave and wise.
Proverbs 4:7- Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
This woman was so wise, in fact, that she was able to stop her city from being destroyed and her friends and family from being killed. She didn't do this by fighting in the battle. She didn't have to be strong, or cunning with weapons. She just had to be wise.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 10)

David's sin had cost the lives of two of his sons, his daughter to live in isolation, and his other son to flee because of revenge.
II Samuel 14:1- Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
The bible doesn't tell us why Joab was so keen to have Absalom come back. But, he went through a lot of trouble to get David to concede to bring Absalom home.
II Samuel 14:2-3- And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead: And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
Joab brought a wise woman to talk to the king. She told the king that her husband was dead and that she had two sons. The sons got into a fight and the one killed the other. She asked the king to spare the murderer son so that her family could continue on. David was moved with compassion by this story and sware to her that her son wouldn't be killed for his transgression.
II Samuel 14:13- And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.
The woman then asked the king why he didn't bring Absalom home. If he were willing to forgive her child whom he had never met, why wouldn't he forgive his son whom he loved?
King David was a wise man. He figured out what was going on.
II Samuel 14:19- And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:
The woman told David that Joab was the one who sent her to talk to him. So, the king called Joab and told him that he could tell Absalom to come home.
II Samuel 14:23- So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
Even though David allowed Absalom to come home, he wouldn't see him. He had forgiven him enough to have him home, but he was still too upset to associate with him.
II Samuel 14:28-29- So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
After two years, Absalom had had enough. He wanted Joab to talk to the king for him, but Joab wouldn't come see Absalom. Absalom set Joab's fields on fire. He destroyed his crop, and this made Joab come talk to Absalom.
Absalom wanted Joab to tell the king that it would be better for him to remain in banishment than to sit in his home town without being able to see his father. He said that he would rather David killed him than treat him this way.
II Samuel 14:33- So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.
Everything seemed to be going well. But, David hadn't completely paid for his sin. He said that the payment would be four fold, and now that Absalom was home it was only three fold.
Even though David had forgiven Absalom, it seemed that there was some hatred in Absalom's heart for his father. David should have had Amnon killed for hurting his sister, but David had allowed him to live. In fact, we don't read anywhere in the Bible where David punished Amnon for his trespass. And this would certainly upset Absalom.
Absalom decided that he would be a better king than David. So, he got chariots and horsemen to run before him when he went anywhere. And he sat in the gate of the city and made himself a judge. Slowly, he began to win the hearts of the people while planting the idea in their heads that he would make a just king if they would have him.
II Samuel 15:6- And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
When Absalom was 40 years old he put his plan into action. He told David that he needed to go to Hebron to pay a vow that he had made. But, he was lying. David didn't see that he was lying and told him to go.
II Samuel 15:10- But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.
Absalom set himself up as king in Hebron. He was going to amass an army and attack Jerusalem. He was willing to kill his father and take the throne by force.
II Samuel 15:13-14- And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
David didn't want a war. He knew innocent people would die if a battle started. So, David gathered his family and those who were loyal to him and they left the capitol city.
David had a few faithful men that he left to see what Absalom would do and to report to him.
II Samuel 15:23, 30- And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
As David went he was met by both friend and foe along the way. His friend, Ziba, brought food for his family. But, he told lies about Mephibosheth- Jonathan's son. Ziba was hoping that whoever won, he and his sons would get Saul's inheritance. If Mephibosheth was disloyal to David, then maybe David would slay him?
Shimei was the foe. He came out and started throwing rocks and David and his family and cursing him. He said that this happened because David had taken Saul's throne by war. We know that God had given David the throne, but Shimei didn't see it that way.
David's mighty men wanted to go kill Shimei for this, but David said "no". David said that maybe the Lord would bless him if he ignored Shimei's rantings. I'm sure this pleased the Lord, because He wants us to bless our enemies. David was certainly a man after God's own heart!
David went to hide in the wilderness while Absalom set up himself in Jerusalem. Now began the war talk. Absalom had received counsel to take the soldier's that he had with him in the city and follow David that night and kill him. But, one of David's loyal friends wanted to give David more time. So, he counseled that Absalom take the time to amass an army before going after David.
Absalom liked this idea. While he was gathering his army, David's friend sent a warning to David.
II Samuel 17:17-20- Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David. Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
The loyal spies went to tell David the news. They were almost caught by Absalom's guard, but a brave woman helped them escape.
II Samuel 17:24-26- Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother. So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.
This was truly becoming a family battle. King David was being fought against by his son and his nephew. David hoped that not too many lives would be lost, but I think he knew in his heart that there would be a terrible loss.
Again, David was met by friends- Shobi, Machir, and Brazillai, brought David and his family beds and food. Even though David was being chased by someone who wanted to kill him, he still found that God sent friends along the way to comfort and encourage him. David was never far from the Lord's protection.
David numbered his soldiers. He wanted to lead them into battle, but the people refused. They knew that if David died that Absalom would take over. They wanted to win the battle, but also to win with their king still on the throne. So, David stayed behind while Joab and Abishai led the army.
II Samuel 18:5- And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
David asked the army that if it were possible Absalom would not be killed.
II Samuel 18:6, 8- So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
Again, the Lord was helping David's army in the battle. More people died from accidents in the woods than from the soldiers.
Absalom had one thing that the bible mentions specifically. It seemed he was very prideful about his looks. He let his hair grow out long and only cut it once a year.
II Samuel 14:25-26- But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
Do you remember someone else who the bible says was prideful about his beauty? The Bible says that Satan was very proud that God made him beautiful. Absalom had the same sin as Satan! And this pride was going to cost him.
II Samuel 18:9- And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
Absalom went under a tree and his long hair got tangled around the branches of the tree. He was yanked off his mule and held captive by the object of his vanity.
A soldier went and told Joab where to find Absalom. Joab had hoped that the soldier would have killed Absalom, but the soldier said that he knew David wanted him alive. Joab didn't care. Perhaps he was mad that Absalom was able to accomplish this because it was he who had fought to bring Absalom home from his banishment. We don't know. But, Joab didn't want Absalom to live.
II Samuel 18:14-15- Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
Joab and ten of his men killed Absalom while he was tangled up. Then, they threw his body into a pit and covered it with stones.
II Samuel 18:16- And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
David's army wanted to keep fighting, but Joab knew that the battle was over and there needed not to be any more killing. He called his soldiers off and sent a message back to David.
II Samuel 18:24, 31-32- And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
David knew that meant that Absalom was dead. He had now paid the four fold that was required for his sin. His sin took only a few weeks for him to commit, but it took years for him to repay!
II Samuel 18:33- And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beginning Of The Kings- King David (Part 9)

David had sinned. He had murdered a man and stolen his wife. He had already faced part of the consequences of his action- the death of the baby. But, that wasn't the end of the price tag for this sin.
He had told Nathan the prophet that the man in the story would repay four fold. The price of the sin was going to cost David 3 more lives.
II Samuel 13:1- And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
David had a son who thought he was in love with his half sister. He never said anything to anyone, but one friend. He kept his thoughts to himself, but he found it hard to think about anything else and it was making him sick.
II Samuel 13:3-4- But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
Amnon told his friend that he loved his half sister. This friend was a sneaky man. He wasn't wise enough to tell Amnon to do right. He came up with a plan that would help Amnon steal what he wanted.
II Samuel 13:6- So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
Amnon pretended to be very sick, and when the king came to check on him he asked if Tamar could come make him some food. King David didn't think anything about this. He didn't know that Amnon had evil in his heart. And so, he sent Tamar to help her brother get better.
Tamar came to Amnon's house to make him some food so that he could get better. He put his wicked plan into action and ended up hurting his half sister. But, he found that after he had taken what he thought he wanted that he no longer felt that he loved her.
II Samuel 13:17- Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
Amnon called a servant and had her thrown out of his house. She was so ashamed that she ran to her brother, Absolom's, house and lived there for the rest of her life without ever leaving.
The second consequence of David's sin was that his daughter would lose her life. Not that she would die, but that she would live without ever really being able to have a life.
II Samuel 13:20b-21- So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house. But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
David was so angry when he heart what had happened. His daughter would now live in seclusion and there was no way for him to make it better. It was a fate worse than death!
But, that wasn't the last price he would have to pay.
II Samuel 13:23- And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
Tamar's brother, Absalom, had planned to get revenge. He was a patient man and he waited 2 whole years so that no one would think to warn Amnon. He planned to have a dinner party and he invited all of his brothers.
II Samuel 13:28- Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
Absalom told his servants to wait until Amnon was drunk, and then to come in and kill him. The servants obeyed him. This act scared the other siblings and they all got up to flee, fearing that they were next.
II Samuel 13:30-31- And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left. Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
Someone ran to tell King David, but they got the story messed up. They told him that Absalom had kill ALL of his children, not just Amnon. David was beside himself with grief.
II Samuel 13:32-33- And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
The same friend that had told Amnon to take what he wanted was the one who knew that Absalom had only killed Amnon. Some friend! He knew that Absalom was looking to get revenge, but he didn't warn his so-called friend. He let him go off to his death.
Be careful who you call your friend. Be careful from whom you take advice. Some people who call themselves your friend are only out to help you destroy yourself! Jonadab was no friend to Amnon!
II Samuel 13:35-37- And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
David mourned everyday for his son. Now he had two children who had died, one who was living as a hermit, and one who had banished himself because of revenge. If David had known this would be the cost of his sin I'm certain he would never have committed it.
But, that's the lie of the devil. His best device is to convince us that we can get away with our sin. He makes us believe that if no one sees, or we make it vanish, that we won't have to pay the price. But, there is always a price to pay when we make the choice to sin.
And, David still hadn't paid the full cost!