2 Samuel 19-21
When we ended the last lesson, the rebellion of Absalom had been put down and Absalom had been killed by Joab.
We should ask our selves, “What are the qualities of a good national leader”?
1) A good leader must be able to communicate!
A leader should be able to speak well, but this means “more about personal strengths and character” than of being a great speaker.
2) A good leader must possess courage, patience, and tenacity, which is the ability to keep things together.
He should be able to stand up and “stand alone if need be” and not succumb to pressure that goes against his character and the truth.
3) A good leader must be able to change course. This world changes, as do the things around us, a good leader will see these things and choose the path that is the safest and wisest to meet his goals.
4) A good leader will possess humility and presence. He will not place himself above his own people and certainly not above God.
5) A good leader will be responsible. He will be the first to accept the blame when things do not go according to his plans.
6) A good leader will analyze his own strengths and weakness and surround himself with people to help with these things.
7) A good leader will use the Word of God as his guide.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And with all these things, a good leader must “Be Real”!
Each of us should analyze our own selves to see if we possess any to these things.
We should also analyze our own national leaders to see if they do.
But today let’s see how King David uses these traits.
We must realize that God’s people will suffer many afflictions, but God will deliver those that love Him out of them all!
*****2Sa 19:1 And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom.
The army of Absalom had been unable to stand against the elite army of King David.
King David was a great tactician and he chose the right place to war with Absalom. The army of Absalom had moved quickly which shows us that they were on horses and on chariots.
King David chose a place where his mighty men had the advantage as warriors in hand to hand combat.
King David had 3 generals who had much experience and they had a real purpose to defend the true King of Israel but they could fight on 3 fronts.
20,000 Israelites did die in this battle this day and the rebellion was put down but King David could only think of one thing.
David had lost another son.
There is nothing wrong with a father grieving for the loss of a son. We all expect to go to the grave before any of our children do.
BUT, there is much wrong in any national leader, who do not to have his priorities in order!
Absalom was seeking to kill his own father and maybe the rest of his family.
Many loyal men had given their lives in order to stop this from happening.
And Joab was told of King David’s mourning the death of his son.
*****2Sa 19:2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.
As a father David would have given in to his son.
But as King, he had to defend Israel from all her enemies and that included rebellions from within even from within his own family.
Even those that had brought victory to this king, joined in mourning for the death of Absalom, feeling ashamed of what had happened.
The joy of victory in Israel had been robbed by King David’s actions!
It was not like David to be so insensitive to the sacrifices of his men, but on this day he turn a military victory into an emotional defeat and it showed on all his men and they, as in shame returned to Jerusalem, while a confused nation was observing what was happening.
*****2Sa 19:3 And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
Absalom was not only a murderer but he was also a liar, a traitor and a rebel. As a father it may have been alright to grieve for his son and maybe even over look his son’s mistakes, but as a ruler of God’s people it was time to lead this nation back to unity!
David the father ignored the fact that he was David the King, the chosen one of God!
The victorious army of David came back to Jerusalem as a defeated army and “themselves the traitors” when it was they who had saved the nation.
King David had allowed his own personal failures again to interfere with good judgment!
And David himself came back to Jerusalem as a defeated man.
*****2Sa 19:4 But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
What is our lesson in these things?
When God disciplines his saints it can be very painful!
God had been forgiven David and his life had been spared.
David’s remaining family had also been spared but David still had to live in the reality of his own sin!
Sin will take you farther than you want to go.
Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay.
Sin will cost you more than you want to pay.
There is no victory in Sin!
King David was finding the Word of God to be very true!
Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
King David needed a jolt back into reality.
*****2Sa 19:5 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines;
2Sa 19:6 In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well.
2Sa 19:7 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
At the very time when Israel needed a true leader to unify the nation, King David was still useless to his nation because of his own guilt.
David knew he was to blame for all these things and he had now lost two sons!
We will pay a terrible price for sin!
David was God’s chosen man in his day and God expects better from those with that special calling!
Many others in Israel had lost their own sons in this war within David’s family and they were understandably disappointed in their king!
It was right for Joab to remind the King of these things!
It was wrong for Joab to be so harsh in the way he did it but his method was effective.
What is our lesson here?
2Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
2Co 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, “lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow”.
When our sin causes us to grow cold and unconcerned, it is the Word of God that must be used to restore us!
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
A two-edged sword has no blunt side it cuts both ways. God’s Word will “cut the conscience” and “wound the heart” but only then can true healing come about!
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
There is another thing to consider. Even in this thing David was a type of Christ!
David wished that he might have died for his son who was ungodly but “this is exactly what the Lord Jesus did for each one of us”!
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time “Christ died for the ungodly”.
Not one of us was worthy of the death of Jesus Christ!
Yet without the blood of that death we would still be in our sin!
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, “and washed us from our sins in his own blood”,
After this King David returned to his people to begin the healing process of God’s people.
*****2Sa 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
These were people who had remained loyal to their king. These were not all military people.
Some of these were the fathers and mothers and the families, the everyday innocent people, who get caught up in the tragedies of politics and war.
These people had fled their homes out of fear and had lived in tents during the time of this civil war in their own nation.
It was at the gate of the city where justice was administered by the king and David had returned to his rightful place, though at this time David was still in Mahanaim his temporary capitol.
The remaining tribes had lost faith in their king.
*****2Sa 19:9 And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.
These people began to remember the good times.
It was King David who had gain victory over all the enemies of Israel.
It was King David who had who had delivered Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.
And it was many of these same people who had come under the spell that crooked politician, Absalom.
The tribes of Israel had again divided, with 1o tribes (Israel) and the other two (Judah).
Absalom had died in the battle at the hands of Joab.
Absalom had not been appointed of God and therefore there should have been no true allegiance to him.
But no one had spoken of restoring King David to his throne.
King David had to reunite this nation as only he could do!
It was Judah who was David’s own tribe and it was Judah that had accepted Absalom. Therefore it was Judah where King David would begin to heal his nation.
David sent the High Priests, Zadok and Abiathar, to be his ambassadors to Judah.
Amasa had been the general of Absalom’s army but Amasa was also the son of David’s sister, Abigail.
It is probable that David now knew that it was Joab who had murdered Absalom, directly ignoring the orders of his Commander-in-Chief.
So, David offers Amasa the top position in his own army and replaces Joab.
This was probably a shock to Judah, but in this action it showed that David would pardon all those that had followed after Absalom.
David had also reached a point where he finally understood that Israel needed a true leader more than they needed a Warrior King. It was no longer a time when Kings should go to war!
David needed a general that would be obedient to his commander and Joab had proved that he would not always be obedient.
With these things Judah asked their king to return to Jerusalem and his throne.
*****2Sa 19:14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants.
2Sa 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.
While all the other tribes were still debating what to do, the tribe of Judah went to receive their king.
Gilgal was another place that had a great history to Israel.
It was at Gilgal that Joshua had made his first camp when Israel had first claimed the land that God had given to them.
And it was at Gilgal is the place that Samuel had chosen to renew the kingdom.
1Sa 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.
This was a time of re-dedication of the king to all of Israel!
God gave King David many opportunities to show his re-dedication as he returned to Jerusalem.
Shemei, the cursing man, ask for and was granted forgiveness and Shemei represented the house of Joseph.
Ziba returned to honor the king. Ziba represents the house of Benjamin.
Mephibosheth who had made a personal vow, not to shave, nor to change his clothes until the king returned, came to receive the king.
The king not knowing the truth of Mephibosheth and Ziba forgave then both and divided the lands of King Saul between them!
King David still remained true to his covenant with Jonathan!
And then their was a close friend.
*****2Sa 19:34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?
2Sa 19:35 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?
King David felt deeply indebted to this man who had supported him throughout this entire ordeal.
In a real sense, Barzillai was someone who David could never repay for what he had done!
Barzillai was also someone who David felt an eternal obligation!
Barzillai’s family would always find a ready acceptance in Israel’s royal court!
And David gave these words to his son Solomon:
1Ki 2:7 But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
Let’s listen to what the Lord Jesus says to His disciples:
Luk 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
Luk 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
Luk 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And what else did Jesus say?
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
No matter what the rest of the world is doing, and no matter what the cost, we need to be like Barzillai and stick close by Our King, King Jesus!
*****2Sa 19:36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?
2Sa 19:37 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.
Barzillai wanted to be shown “no favor” from the King!
Barzillai’s joy “came from serving” and seeing that his king had remained safe!
Barzillai should remind us of every servant of the Lord “who has served all his days and has now grown old gracefully to live out his remaining days”.
Barzillai “had no interest in the things of the world” nor “the life of royalty”.
Barzillai had the servant’s heart!
Barzillai knew he would have no pleasure in a royal court of the King but would enjoy his last days doing the things he most enjoyed.
When death came Barzillai wanted to be by his closest friends and buried near those that had gone on before him!
At 80 years old Barzillai had seen all the days of King Saul and all the days of King David but Barzillai had chosen David.
By life’s end we will have seen many kings and rulers but the wise will have chosen King Jesus, and remained faithful to Him!
It was Chimham who had stood by his own father and as this son, it would be he who would receive his father’s reward here on this Earth!
*****2Sa 19:38 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.
Several hundred years later Jeremiah wrote of Chimham.
Jer 41:17 And they departed, and dwelt in “the habitation of Chimham”, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
King David was born in Bethlehem and it seems that Chimham was placed as the overseer of David’s personal family inheritance in Bethlehem.
This later “habitation” was probably an inn according to the Hebrew word used.
There many today that suppose that it was in the stable of this inn where the Lord Jesus was born but the Bible does not say nor does it deny this thing.
Luk 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
But David’s return as King did not make everyone happy!
There is always the trouble maker!
*****2Sa 19:41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David’s men with him, over Jordan?
2Sa 19:42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king’s cost? or hath he given us any gift?
2Sa 19:43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.
2Sa 20:1 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.
There may have been some peace in David’s family for a time but the sword was still hanging over David’s head!
King David knew that he needed the tribe of Judah in order to remain King of Israel but because Judah came alone to welcome David back into Israel it brought on extreme jealousy and David’s troubles were not yet over.
The invitation for the return of the King had first come from those ten tribes but Judah had taken the lead as usual and again this caused a rivalry between the tribes.
What does God say?
Mat 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
God also has this message for us all:
Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
In all these things, we never read that anyone had taken the time to reach out to the Lord and when this happens Satan will always take advantage of the situation!
Sheba was a worthless man who had no interest in peace and wicked men think they are safe when they can conceal their unworthiness from the eyes of the world.
To Sheba, David had never been a king and certainly did not deserve royalty. To Sheba, David was just the son of Jesse a very poor man.
It sometimes seems that every bad man will get an opportunity to stir up strife!
That is because there are always ears open to criticism and this plays into Satan’s hand!
Satan will find a way to get his message heard so the ten tribes of Israel departed to their own homes.
King David proceeded to Jerusalem to set things straight.
David had chosen Amasa, who was soundly defeated by David’s army to stop this rebellion of Sheba but Amasa showed his incompetence by not being able to assemble an army in the time allowed by his Commander-in-Chief.
And David sent Abishai with Joab’s men to capture and to stop Sheba before a new revolt could take place and Israel back in civil war.
Amasa was not able to raise an army, so he tried to join with Abishai but when Joab saw him, he killed him for wearing his own uniform.
Amasa had lost his own sword and was defenseless and Joab murders another human being for no real reason.
When someone is pierced between the fifth rib, “it is a death blow”, because it penetrates the lungs and on into the heart and the victim will drown in his own blood. It is a painful, and a struggling slow death that cannot be reversed by any medical means.
This is the same blow that was delivered to Jesus on the cross but The Lord Jesus had already given up the ghost.
Joh 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
Every soldier is taught the blows that bring this kind of death!
Sheba escaped and had took refuge in the city of Abel.
At this time Abel was a strong city and was referred to as “the mother of Israel”.
It seems that at this time this city was governed by a truly wise woman.
Those that say God does not treat women as equal to men do not know the Word of God!
God does expect a man to take the leadership role in the family and this includes the Church!
*****2Sa 20:16 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.
2Sa 20:17 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.
2Sa 20:18 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.
2Sa 20:19 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?
The city of Abel was about to be destroyed because this city was harboring the enemy of the King.
Why is is that evil men who know they are wrong always use innocent people as a barrier between them and justice.?
This is the favorite tactic of Muslim extremist, yet the Muslim world will not put a stop to it.
It is within the power of the Muslim world to end this terror in the world we live in, but they are not as wise as this woman of Abel.
No city, and no place is safe with the traitors of peace within it’s walls!
And no place is safe that harbors and exalts sin!
God says wisdom comes from the Word of God!
And wisdom comes not only from knowledge but also from perception of right and wrong!
It was not necessary for this city to suffer for the guilt of this one man!
Most all the world is not as wise as this woman!
Take Caiaphas in the day of Jesus Christ, who knew the Word of God and condemned an innocent man knowing his own nation would suffer.
Today, the guilty are cared for and protected while the innocent suffer for them!
We can see that we just do not have our priorities in the right order.
No doubt it is always better to seek peace before the armies are dispatched for destruction!
We should ask ourselves, is it worth the cost in lives and other things, to protect the guilty or should we be more willing protect the innocent?
Joab would not have stopped until he had destroyed this city to rid Israel of this traitor Sheba.
20,000 Israelites had already died, there was no need for more death and Joab answered.
*****2Sa 20:20 And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
2Sa 20:21 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.
This wise woman simply told Joab, that the people of the city had not been given the opportunity to decide amongst themselves if they would fight for the life of Sheba and she wanted that opportunity.
A great lesson for the lost can be realized here.
Every person is a city within themselves. Satan is the “traitor”, the enemy of God. If we love the “traitor” above our own soul we will certainly perish with the “traitor”!
And if we will willingly part from our sin, God will withdraw His “judgments”!
The Lord Jesus has these words:
Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
It is always best to take off the head of Sheba, than for our city to be destroyed!
Wicked men always think they are safe when they think they can hide their own evil from the eyes of the world but God is never fooled by such men!