2 Samuel 23; 24
Chapter 22 gave us a record of King David’s “Song of Praise”. King David gave the Lord much praise for delivering him out of the hand of all his enemies going back as far as Saul.
When the Lord Jesus died on the cross it was so we could be “delivered” from all our sin but even after this God will continue to “deliver” us all the days of our lives from the actions of Satan!
Chapter 23 contains some of the last words of David and we should look at some of them.
*****2Sa 23:1 Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said,
2Sa 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
It is believed that David wrote 73 of the Psalms, in the Book of Psalms, but in these few verses, we have the last Psalm that David wrote.
We should immediately notice in verse 2, that David’s psalms were inspired by the Holy Spirit. This confirms what is written in the New Testament.
2Ti 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
This verse also gives us the goal of every true teacher and preacher. “His Word was in my tongue”.
I know I am not much of a teacher but “if His Word is in my tongue” then at least I know I am speaking the truth and if I can just get myself “out of His way” then He can use me even when though I lack in so many of the abilities of a good speaker.
It takes godly leadership to be a true servant of the Lord and that begins with God’s written Word!
God gave David a heart of integrity and God will do the same for every believer.
*****2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
David never ceased to marvel how the Lord could take a lowly shepherd and make him a King.
But David never realized that the Messiah, that was promised from his own seed, would not come as King of Israel but He would first come as the Lamb of God and the True Shepherd of all people.
But David also knew that every King and every Ruler was to be “just” and rule in the fear of God!
*****2Sa 23:4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
This verse describes to us something that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished but no man on the Earth has.
This was the goal of David and it should be the goal of every “Born Again” believer!
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We must hold up “the pure light of a consistent life” against the evils of this world or we will appear to be just another sinner and God’s Word will not be effective in us!
This does not mean that God will train to just be put on display before this evil world!
God just expects us to do the best we can to be like His Son Jesus and act more like John the Baptist.
Joh 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
We have no light in ourselves, our light must come from the Lord Jesus Christ!
*****2Sa 23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.
The house of David had suffered much because of David’s own sin. In fact “the sword would truly never depart from the house of David” and went all the way to the Cross!
But God knows all things and He still made an everlasting covenant with David while he was still alive.
That is the exact same thing God does with each of us when He saves us!
God knows that we will fail from time to time. When we do, then we must ask for forgiveness and for reasons I cannot explain nor understand, God will immediately forgive us of our sin.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Why? Because God has made us an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure!
Just as God promised David, He makes that same promise to every believer!
Act 13:34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, “I will give you the sure mercies of David”.
Notice that word “sure”, these are the promises God gives to us when He saves us!
David would not live long enough to see the covenant fulfilled and the Messiah come but he knew these things would happen.
David knew this to be true as did all the prophets but most of them looked to the Second Coming and missed that Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, the Lamb of God!
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
King Jesus will still execute judgment and justice on this Earth!
But there is still more.
*****2Sa 23:6 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:
2Sa 23:7 But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.
That same Savior, Jesus Christ, will also execute judgment on His enemies.
Sons of Belial, are men and women who are truly worthless! They are reckless and full of lawlessness!
To clearly understand we must know that they are the followers of Satan.
The followers of Satan are all those that reject the Word of God.
To reject the Word of God makes you then, “ungodly”!
Jesus described them this way:
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
They ignore the Word of God!
They are like thorns that are so prickly and sharp that they cannot be handled by human hands but there is “One” who can handle them.
Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
The remaining verses in Chapter 23 tell us about David’s “Mighty Men”. We can see why the army of Absalom never had a chance against these mighty men of the army of David.
So we will move on to Chapter 24.
*****Chapter 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.
In last weeks lesson we saw how David had given praise to the Lord for being his “Rock” and his “Deliverer”.
We also know from a study of the Old Testament that the size of the Army of Israel has never been important when battling her enemies.
What history has told us about King David is that, after his kingdom was reunited and Israel had survived the 3 years of famine and hardships, that David spent his remaining years, near 7 years, gathering the things for the Temple.
It is very possible King David began to let his own pride again interfere with good judgment.
When this happens the “Tempter” will show up.
***1Ch 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
We can see that the Lord lifted that “hedge of protect” from around David one more time.
God allowed Satan to tempt David in order to accomplish His purpose!
Satan opposed God’s people throughout the Bible and He still does in our day!
Satan tempted Eve.
Satan attacked Job on two occasions.
And Satan accused Joshua the High Priest in the Book of Zechariah.
There was nothing wrong with taking a national census if it was done by the Word of God.
A true census would count every citizen from the age of 20 and above and a “half shekel” would be gathered and this money would be given to the work of God.
This later became known as the Temple Tax.
But we will see as we go forward that this was not David’s intention.
*****2Sa 24:2 For the king said to Joab the captain of the host, which was with him, Go now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the number of the people.
2Sa 24:3 And Joab said unto the king, Now the LORD thy God add unto the people, how many soever they be, an hundredfold, and that the eyes of my lord the king may see it: but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?
2Sa 24:4 Notwithstanding the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.
We can see that King David began to count his strength by the size of his army and not the power of God.
When things get to going real good we always seem to forget the Lord who provides all our needs!
We can also see that Joab, through all his evil deeds has regained control of David’s Army.
Besides the Mighty Men of David, the remaining army was probably more loyal to Joab.
Even Joab knew enough to know that what King David was doing was wrong, because he had witnessed Israel win many battles not having the greater numbers.
King David even wrote a song about such things as this:
Psa 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
We need the help of God to restrain us from the power of sin!
But we cannot twist the Word of God around to allow us to think we have the freedom to sin!
*****2Sa 24:5 And they passed over Jordan, and pitched in Aroer, on the right side of the city that lieth in the midst of the river of Gad, and toward Jazer:
2Sa 24:6 Then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; and they came to Danjaan, and about to Zidon,
2Sa 24:7 And came to the strong hold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites: and they went out to the south of Judah, even to Beersheba.
2Sa 24:8 So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.
2Sa 24:9 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.
Joab may have actually counted all of Israel but King David was only interested in how large his army could be.
King David wanted the world around him to know that he could place over a million man army on the battlefield if he needed to.
If we think about it, we could say that David was at this time, acting like the leader of North Korea, or Putin of Russia, but God is never impressed with these things and to Him it is a great sin to rely on our own strengths and not on the Lord.
The Bible still says:
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ “which strengtheneth me”.
The opposite of this is that we can do nothing without The Lord Jesus Christ!
Just as soon as David realized what he had done, he knew he had sinned and he repented of his sin.
*****2Sa 24:10 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.
David had begun to trust in his own strength.
David wanted the world to know that it Israel’s army that was so strong and not Israel’s God!
David had collected a “half shekel” from each person, “by force” to start a building fund for the Temple that Solomon would build but God will only accept “free will offerings” for these things.
The Tabernacle had been built with a free will offering and the spoils of Egypt:
Exo 35:5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
God loves a cheerful giver and is best pleased with a free-will offering!
Our gifts are our acknowledgement that we have received all things from the Lord and are “willing” to dedicate ourselves to Him!
Jesus Christ became poor for our sakes to make us rich in eternal things!
We must be willing to give of the things that He provides while we are yet living in this world!
David realized he had done foolishly and that this sin was even greater than what he had done with Bathsheba and Uriah.
And God again sent the prophet.
*****2Sa 24:11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,
2Sa 24:12 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.
2Sa 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.
King David had been relying on his own understanding so God gave David the option of choosing from these three judgments.
God had already made certain things known to His people when they allowed pride to rule their lives.
Lev 26:19 And “I will break the pride of your power”; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Lev 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
Lev 26:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
1) If David thought he was in charge, then he could choose 7 years of famine. Maybe he and his government could possibly make it rain. Or maybe they had saved up enough as Joseph had in Egypt to feed all his people.
2) If David thought so much of his army then, he could choose to flee before all the enemies of Israel for three months. Maybe by their own strength, without God they could survive.
3) If David thought his government was so great and so advanced, maybe the nation could survive 3 days of a fast moving plague or virus throughout all the land.
These things were not new, they were what God had said He would do!
Lev 26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
Lev 26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
What choice would you make?
What is the truth?
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
We should always keep these words in our mind when we are under temptation to sin.
Satan may tell us differently but it is God who runs this world!
What did David do?
David did what we all should do.
David begged for mercy!
*****2Sa 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.
2Sa 24:15 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.
It is always the wise thing to do to fall into the hands of God.
Because, No one loves us as God loves us!
In a war, David may could have protected himself.
In a famine, David’s riches might have sustained him.
In the pestilence, Davis was just as exposed as all of Israel!
It was the just and right thing to do to be in as much danger as his people.
This was another test before God executed judgment and the Lord sent the pestilence and in 3 days this rapid moving disease killed 70,000 men.
These 70,000 would have been from those that were counted, not women and children!
And where did this take place?
*****2Sa 24:16 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.
2Sa 24:17 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.
2Sa 24:18 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.
Repentance is a change of mind and a change in direction and a change of purpose of life.
God has never had to change His mind.
God has never had to change His purpose.
But because God is merciful, He may change His direction and this is why our prayers can be effective!
David was allowed to see this angel of God’s judgment poised to enter into Jerusalem and God changed His direction!
For David, he needed a change in his mind, a change in his purpose, and also a change in his direction and as sinners it is the same for all of us, as it was for all of Israel.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
It is important for us to know this location where this angel was seen.
Wheat was reaped by the sickle and bound into sheaves and taken to the threshingfloor to be separated from the chaff.
It was only then that the clean grain could be ground into flour, something usable while the chaff was burned.
Jehovah God has fed his people with the finest of wheat and the finest of that wheat is Jesus Christ, the bread of life.
In verse 23 we will see that Araunah was the deposed King of the Jebusites, the former rulers of Jerusalem.
This is the place David offered sacrifices and the place where Solomon later built the Temple.
And just as important, this is the very place on Mount Moriah where Abraham had been asked to offer up Isaac.
*****2Sa 24:19 And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD commanded.
2Sa 24:20 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.
2Sa 24:21 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.
David had built his palace on the lower part of the city and this not a fit place for winnowing the wheat.
King David could have just taken this property.
Or, King David could have certainly just borrowed this property.
But, King David insisted on buying this property because David now understood “the high cost of sin” and he knew he could not offer the Lord “something that had cost him nothing”.
What is a sacrifice?
The sacrifice did not originate with man but is, God appointed!
What was the first sacrifice?
God killed an animal, a lamb, to provide clothes for Adam and Eve.
But the sacrifice must be according to God’s will, as Abel offered and not as that of Cain.
The Bible teaches us that there is a difference in clean and unclean things.
And every sacrifice in the Old Testament pointed toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
We cannot take from another, to offer to the Lord, for ourselves!
*****2Sa 24:23 All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.
2Sa 24:24 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.
This verse tells us that Araunah, the Ornan of the Book of Chronicles, had been the King of the Jebusites.
The “threshing floor of Ornan” was bought for 50 shekels of silver but after this sacrifice was made and the hand of God was stayed, David went back and purchased the entire property.
1Ch 21:24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
1Ch 21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
King David bought the entire piece of land of the Temple mount through a legal transaction and it still belongs to Israel today and not to the Muslim world.
And it was David who built an altar where Mohammed later laid claim to the Dome of the Rock.
*****2Sa 24:25 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.
What were King David’s greatest sins?
1) The sin of Bathsheba and the death of Uriah.
Out of that Solomon was born.
2) The sin of numbering the people of Israel in the wrong way.
Out of that the Temple was born.
BUT, What God did for David cannot be used as an excuse for sin!
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
We should remember King David paid a heavy price for his sin with the things that happened in his family and there would be some other things even before Solomon was made king.
But we can still see the truth of the Word of God!
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”:
Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, “even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord”.
We are saved by the merciful, Grace of God!
If not for “Grace”—God’s Riches At Christ Expence–There would be no “Salvation”.
It’s all about “Grace”!