David Chapter 11 David and Absalom
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Absalom was the third son of David, with a foreign mother, Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, according to 2 Samuel 3:3. The Scripture says of him "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" (2 Samuel 14:25). His personal comeliness was share by Tamar, his sister, and was the cause of her being violated by Amnon, David's firstborn son by another mother (2 Samuel 13:1-18). When Absalom learned of this incident concerning his sister, he brought about the death of Amnon, thus incurring the displeasure of David, which caused him to flee to Geshur (2 Samuel 13:19-39). The first part of Nathan's prophecy had come true (2 Samuel 12:10). After three years of exile and a further two years of banishment from the court, David received his son back into favor and was repaid by a plot against his throne (2 Samuel 15:1-15). All of this was setting the stage for the rebellion that was to follow. Absalom appealed to the flesh, as usual, Israel, plus the modern church, had plenty flesh of which to appeal. Flesh appeals to flesh. So, the scenario is made to order. However, let us make this statement. If David had not done what he did regarding Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah, David's consecration would not have changed his sons, but to be sure, The Lord would have stopped them from what theydid do. But now, the die was cast, and it had to play out to the bitter end, and it would be. With Amnon now dead, actually murdered by the hand of his brother, Absalom was in line for the throne. While he was in no way qualified to rule, and to be sure, The Lord would not have accepted him, still, it was in his mind to take the throne, which he would greatly attempt to do. while Joab did not throw in his lot with Absalom, still, this wily fox played both sides of the fence. He attempted to ingratiate himself with David, which he constantly did and, as well, with Absalom. Israel, at the time, was extremely prosperous, with all enemies around her defeated. In other words, if the truth be known, she was, at that time, one of the leading nations of the world of that day. In Absalom's mind, and seemingly in the minds of many other leading individuals in Israel, including many in David's personal cabinet, Israel was ripe for the plucking, so to speak.
The revolt of Absalom, David's son, had to be the most bitter trial of his life. To face such as David did would have been awful from any quarter. However, to have his own son lead this rebellion and seek to kill him in order to take the throne was beyond comprehension. If he had succeeded, it would have resulted in the ruin of Israel. All of this was because of what David did as it regarded Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. David awakened with this every morning and went to sleep with it every night. Despite the forgiveness of God, it was a weight that seemed to be unbearable. David wrote several Psalms at that time, which revealed the depth and greatness of these trials (Psalms 3; 41; 43; 51; 61; 69; 109).
The Scripture says, "...Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him" (2 Samuel 15:1). Carnal men and even a carnal church are easily swayed with pomp, pride, and ceremony. Absalom appealed to the carnal and not the spiritual. At that time, there seemed to be such little spiritual strength in Israel that they readily fell for the carnal. Regrettably, the church is little different presently. As we've already stated, Absalom easily deceived the people by a profession of devotion to them and, as easily, deceived his father by a profession of devotion to God, all which were false. When man fell in the garden of Eden, he fell from a position of total God consciousness, which throbbed with life, down to the far far lower level of total self-consciousness. Consequently, man can readily deceive and be deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). We see this web of deceit as Absalom subtly weaved it among the people "...Oh that I were made judge in the land..." Then, he would appeal to the one to whom he was speaking by taking him and kissing him (2 Samuel 15:4-5).
The Absalom Spirit
The Scripture then says, "...so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (2 Samuel 15:6). The surprise was not that Absalom would attempt this thing, but rather that Israel was so spiritually weak that they fell for it. But yet, the reason Israel was so easily swayed and deceived is because they judged David not according to the Word of God but according to outward appearances. Of course, by now, the knowledge that he had affected the murder of Uriah was undoubtedly known throughout the nation. Actually, the Psalmist said that David became the song of drunkards (Psalm 69:12). Consequently, in Israel's eyes, they were justified in their decision. However, any decision that is opposite of the Word of God can only bring ruin and wreckage. The "absalom spirit" now seeks to usurp authority over God. It will fail, but the damage will be great. Unfortunately, the "absalom spirit" is rampant in the work of God presently. This spirit is comprised of any effort made by anyone to anoint himself in the place which God has anointed. Unfortunately, the "absalom spirit" is replete in most religious denominations because political maneuvering is the norm. Therefore, the "absalom spirit" rules.
The Scripture says, "And the king said unto him, Go in peace..." (2 Samuel 15:9). If David had inquired of The Lord, he would not now be in this precarious position. Actually, it would be no peace, rather, it would be war. The die is now cast for the rebellion to succeed. In the eyes of most, it could not fail. Absalom had stolen the hearts of the men of Israel, and as well, according to 2 Samuel 15:12, had the advice, support, and counsel of "Ahithophel the Gilonite." This man was one of the wisest men in the world of his day. He had been David's counselor. The Holy Spirit says of him that he "...was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God..." (2 Samuel 16:23).
Why would Ahithophel turn against David as he did? His position in the kingdom was because of David. His wealth, his honor, in fact, the touch of God regarding the wisdom on his life was all because of David's anointing. No doubt, it was because Bathsheba was his granddaughter (2 Samuel 11:3; 23:34). One can well imagine the hurt, pain, and suffering which Ahithophel faced as it regarded what David did respecting his granddaughter, Bathsheba, and her husband, Uriah. Still, as someone has said, two wrongs don't make one right. I think it is obvious that Ahithophel seethed with anger, even hatred, toward David as it regarded what had been done. Admittedly, it would have taken the presence of The Lord for this man to have overcome this situation, as it would any man. However, the path he chose, which was rebellion against God's anointed, would leadto his death by suicide and, thereby, the loss of his eternal soul.
What Should Ahithophel Have Done?
As wise as he was, he knew that God had chosen David to be the king of Israel. He knew that the prosperity of Israel, and, in fact, his own place and position were all tied to David. Israel was now one of the mightiest nations of the world in that day, and Ahithophel knew the reason for all of that. However, he allowed personal anger, grief, and disappointment, in fact, acute disappointment to cause him to make a decision, which would be totally and diametrically opposed to the way of God. As stated, he would suffer the loss of his soul because of his direction. Knowing what he knew, he should have taken the thing to The Lord and asked for mercy and grace and the leading of The Holy Spirit as to what he should do, how he should act, and the position he should take. To be sure, The Lord would not have told him to come against David, but, rather, He would have instructed him to give David his unqualified support despite his disappointment and sorrow. Admittedly, it would not have been easy to have been done. He would have had to have the help of The Lord, but, to be sure, The Lord most definitely would have given him that help had he only sought The Lord about the matter.
The Loss of the Soul
As well, other than the situation with Bathsheba, his granddaughter, there may very well have been other problems of which we are given no other information. Maybe David had not given him the recognition of the place and position that he thought he should have had. One by one, these grievances may have piled up until now he saw his opportunity or, rather, that which he thought was an opportunity, and he struck. The results would be that the wisest man in the world of that day would lose his soul. Listen to Paul, "For it is written (Isaiah 29:14), I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent (speaks to those who are wise in their own eyes, in effect, having forsaken the ways of The Lord). Where is the wise? (this presented the first of three classes of learned people who lived in that day) where is the scribe? (this pertained to the Jewish theologians of that day)where is the disputer of this world? (this speaks of the Greeks who were seekers of mythical and metaphysical interpretations) hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (this pertains to what God did in sending His Son to redeem humanity, which He did by The Cross; all the wisdom of the world could not do this)For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God (man's puny wisdom, even at the best he has to offer, cannot come to know God in any manner), it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (preaching The Cross) to save them that believe (Paul is not dealing with the art of preaching here but with what is preached)" (1 Corinthians 1:19-21).
Considering the place and position in of Ahithophel in helping the kingdom and considering his wisdom, which was known all over the land, for him to turn against David, no doubt, persuaded untold thousands of Israelites to throw in their lot with Absalom. Despite the terrible personal loss which Ahithophel had suffered, he should have done his very best to have helped David climb out over the situation with Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. Had Ahithophel done this, more than likely, Absalom would not have been able to garner enough support to have brought forth the rebellion. This would have saved the lives of untold thousands of people and so much heartache and grief. The question becomes, as wise as he was, why could not he see the duplicity, the hypocrisy, and the deception nurtured and fostered by Absalom? Undoubtedly, he did see this deception, however, he overlooked it simply because self-will blinded his eyes to spiritual reality. Concerning this deception, even though, no doubt, Absalom had given him assurance that Bathsheba and her sons (the great-grandsons of Ahithophel) would be spared upon his taking the throne, still, he should have known that this man, Absalom, could not be trusted. The truth is, had Absalom, God forbid, gained the throne, he would have killed every single pretender to the throne, including Bathsheba and her sons. Self-will sees what one wants to see. It seldom sees the reality, and if it does, it refuses to recognize it for what it is.
Despite the odds against him, David would not be overthrown because it was not the will of God, despite the terrible sins he had committed. God had not called Absalom but rather David, had not called Ahithophel but rather David. In fact every single position in Israel and all the blessings in their entirety were because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on David's life. Yes, what David did was abominable, hideous, and horrible. In fact, it is difficult to find words to describe it. Nevertheless, when God calls someone, irrespective of what happens, if he doesn't quit, God won't quit. The Scripture plainly says, "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (the gifts and calling of God are not subject to a change of mind on God's part, for He will never change)" (Romans 11:29). The Lord had also said concerning Himself, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). Let me say it again, the only time that a call upon a life is laid aside is when the person quits believing, quits serving God, refuses to repent, etc. As long as the person, whoever he or she might be, is trying his or her best to follow The Lord, the call remains and will go forward . Anyone who tries to stop it, as Ahithophel, will, in effect, be committing spiritual suicide.
"And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom" (2 Samuel 15:13). At this juncture, Absalom, Ahithophel, and all with them, who, in fact, numbered the greater part of Israel, felt they could not lose. They also, no doubt, felt very justified in their actions. Please note the following, when a person is down and cannot defend himself, and anyone can do any negative thing to him he so desires and not fear at all being reprimanded but rather applauded, then one finds how many good Christians there actually are. There are not many. If believers will always follow the Word of God, they will never find themselves in the position that the people of Israel now found themselves. Why would Israel turn on David, especially considering that all of their prosperity was due to his leadership and, in fact, the touch of God on his life? As stated, they were deceived, but let the following be understood: a perfectly honest heart before God can little be deceived. Deception works on the promise of self-will. In other words, every single person who threw in their lot with Absalom, in some way, felt that this would benefit them. They did not consider the Word of God in their actions, only their own personal self-will.
No Help for Him in God
In the minds of hundreds of thousands in Israel, David had sinned grievously. As well, his sins were far worse than ordinary. They were about as bad as they could be. No doubt, hundreds of thousands were saying that The Lord was no longer with David. Considering that, they felt perfectly free and justified in their actions regarding turning on David. At about this time, David wrote the 3rd Psalm. In that Psalm, he said, "Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God..." (Psalm 3:2). Evidently, there were many in Israel at that time who thought such, and so, in their minds, this opened the door for them to do whatever they so desired. Considering that there was no help for him in The Lord, or so they thought, they would kill David and place Absalom on the throne. Believing man, and I use that term advisedly, will usually accept that which seems to be right in his eyes, but most of the time, will prove to be wrong. Here's why, most Christians function after the flesh and not at all after the Spirit. Israel came very close to losing everything because of doing just that. They saw no future in David when the entirety of their future was in David and only in David. They would learn the hard way.
Ittai the Gittite
Ittai the Gittite was evidently a Gentile but now a proselyte of the Jewish faith. Whereas The Holy Spirit thought it necessary that the testimony of this man be included in this Sacred Text, to be sure, The Holy Spirit did this for a reason. The presence of all his family with him shows that this man had broken entirely with the Philistines and left his country for good, vowing to go with David wherever David went. In other words, David's fortunes would be his fortunes, whatever that may have meant. This converted Gentile showed more spiritual sense than most of Israel.
David spoke to Ittai, informing him that the way ahead could be extremely precarious. The answer this Gentile gave is striking indeed: "...surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be" (2 Samuel 15:21). If it is to be noted, his consecration was very similar to that of Ruth the Moabitess. The loyalty of Ittai the Philistine and the royal bodyguard of 600 Philistines, which he commanded, here stands in contrast with the disloyalty of Absalom and the men of Israel. They illustrate the present loyalty of the Gentile nations to the Son of David when rejected by His own nation and people. Let the reader peruse these happenings very carefully. Basically, in one way or the other, everything that happened to David fell out as a type, whether of Christ or of Israel. Ittai was a Gentile. As to exactly why he left Philistia and came to David, we are not told. Perhaps there were political problems where he'd fallen into disfavorwith the Philistine king, but for whatever reason, he threw in his lot with David, which was the greatest move he ever made. David, it seems, made him joint commander of his army along with Joab and Abishai (2 Samuel 18:2). As well, it seems that Ittai was not with David merely for personal gain but rather that he had sold out to David's God, whatever that future might bring. Little did Ittai realize that the situation he made that day would be inserted in the eternal Word of God and would be read by untold millions down through the many many centuries. Let the following be known: whenever a person throws in his lot totally and completely with Christ, consecrates to Him fully, and dedicates his life to Him in totality, his consequences and actions then become eternal. As stated, this was the greatest move this Gentile ever made. Little did he realize that he would serve as a type of the Gentile world, who would accept Christ when Christ's own people would turn against Him.
Why Did Ittai Remain Loyal to David When Most of Israel Did Not?
That's a good question. It is obvious that Ittai well understood what was taking place. He knew that most all of Israel had turned against David. He also recognized that it did not seem like David had much chance, if any, to survive. However, despite all of that, he made a solemn declaration before all men that wherever David would be, whether in life or death, that is where he would be. I think this decision had already been made by Ittai some time back. At the time he made the decision to leave Philistia and join David, it seems that he cut all ties with the past. Whatever he had seen in David, it was real, genuine, and right, so he made his decision to go with David. When the crunch came, which it soon did, his mind had already been made up. It was not a decision that he had to make; it was already made.
David and the Blessings
That being the case, this tells us that most in Israel had never really made that decision. They were just there. They didn't understand that all their blessings were because of David. They didn't understand that all their prosperity was due to the "Sweet Singer of Israel." They didn't understand that the freedom they held and the fact that all the heathen nations around them had been defeated, with them not having to live in fear, was all because of David. They didn't have enough spiritual sense to see that, to understand that, or to know that. So, they threw in their lot with Absalom, whereas the Gentile threw in his lot with The Lord Jesus Christ. Regrettably and sadly, the spirit that characterized Israel at that time of their existence when they turned on David would continue to characterize the nation some 1,000 years later, causing them to crucify their Lord, their Messiah, and their Savior.
The Ark of the Covenant
Concerning the Ark, which was important beyond comprehension, the Scripture says, "And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him" (2 Samuel 15:24-26). There is some discussion about the phrase, "and Abiathar went up," as given in the 24th verse. The Jewish scholars translate it, "Abiathar offered burnt offerings," which is probably correct. The Ark of the Covenant being moved would have required, we think, sacrifices. Years earlier, David had learned this lesson the hard way. We've already addressed this earlier in this volume, but years before, when David was bringing the Ark to Jerusalem from its place of seclusion, where it had been for many years, we remember that he set it on a new cart, which was unscriptural. Uzzah was given the place and position of superintending the new cart (2 Samuel 6). Crossing a threshingfloor, the cart tilted, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady it and was stricken dead. Consequently, the festivities stopped, and the Ark was taken to the house of Obededom, simply because David, at that stage, did not know what to do. The Scripture says that David consulted with all of his mighty men about bringing the Ark into Jerusalem but never consulted the Word of The Lord as to how it was to be transported (1 Chronicles 13:1). Upon consulting The Word of The Lord, he learned how the Ark was to be transported, which he should have known all the time. Then, he retrieved it from the house of Obededom, where it had been for three months, incidentally, the Scripture says, "...the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household" (2 Samuel 6:11).
All of that was said so that it may be understood, when the Ark was finally moved correctly from the house of Obededom to Jerusalem, with his domicile probably being very near Jerusalem or even in the city limits, the Scripture says, "And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings" (2 Samuel 6:13). Six paces were about 18 feet. This means that every 18 feet they offered sacrifices. Of course, these sacrifices typified the Cross of Calvary. Everything then was predicated on the Cross of Christ as everything now is predicated on The Cross of Christ. As we repeatedly state, The Lord Jesus Christ is the source of all things from God, while The Cross is the means by which these things are given to us, all superintended by The Holy Spirit according to Roman 8:2. Considering all this, undoubtedly, the Jewish scholars are correct. When they speak of Abiathar offering sacrifices, the Ark of The Covenant must not be treated in any other fashion. It was all, as stated, predicated on the shed blood of The Lamb.
David's thinking, it seems, as evidenced by verse 26, was if God was with him, it wouldn't make any difference whether the Ark of the Covenant was in his presence or not. If he deserved condemnation and The Lord willed that the throne be taken from him or he be killed, he would not escape by carrying the Ark about with him. The phrase as used by David respecting Zadok, the priest, "Art not thou a seer?" (2 Samuel 15:27) is probably an unfortunate translation. It probably should have been translated, "Do you not see?" respecting David's thinking concerning what The Lord wanted to do with him. In other words, as stated, the presence of the Ark would not decide that account. So, for it to be safe, it must be taken back to Jerusalem, which Zadok and Abiathar agreed to do and, in fact, did so.
The Scripture says, "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. And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness" (2 Samuel 15:30-31). It had been about 10 years since David's terrible sin with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah. However, even though he had repented and The Lord had accepted his repentance, still, with the uprising of Absalom against him and due to the fact that most of Israel had thrown in their lot with Absalom, David did not really know if The Lord might allow Absalom to take the throne. He should not have thought that, that is, if he did. At least the "Sweet Singer of Israel" knew that all of this was because of his sin, despite the fact that God had forgiven him. That's the reason he "wept as he went up." That's the reason that he "covered his head." That's the reason that he "went barefoot." He knew, despite Absalom's evil heart, that he, David, was to blame. Then, on top of all of that, the news was brought to David that "Ahithophel is among the conspirators." David prays to God for the counsel of Ahithophel to be frustrated, and so it was. It is believed that David wrote the 3rd Psalm at this juncture. Some claim that he did so while resting on the Mount of Olives and others think it might have been at the fjords of the Jordan.
The Third Psalm
"LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me (The Holy Spirit put these words into David's mouth the morning after his flight from Jerusalem because of Absalom's unnatural rebellion; David is seen here as a type of The Messiah, rejected by His own people; though surrounded by enemies, David slept in confidence upon the mountainside beneath Jehovah's sheltering wing and in the assurance of faith, declared that God will lift up his head and destroy his foes; so, even though many of these Psalms speak of David, they more speak to our Greater David, The Lord Jesus Christ; in other words, David was a type of Christ).
"Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah (as Israel said this of David, he said it of The Lord Jesus Christ [Matthew 27:43])."
The Lord Our Shield
"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head (the latter phrase proclaims the fact that it is The Lord Who put David on the throne, and The Lord will keep him on the throne).
"I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah (David believed in prayer, and so should we).
"I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me (even though in the midst of a terrible problem, with Absalom trying to kill him, David knew that The Lord was in control).
"I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about (The Lord with one man who believes in Him is a majority [Romans 8:31]).
"Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly (a euphemism or allegory portraying The Lord discomfiting our enemies; the idea is, if we are truly right with God, the enemies of The Lord are also our enemies).
"Salvation belongeth unto the LORD (He, alone, can save):
"thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah (the blessings surely are not on God's enemies)" (Psalm 3:1-8).
All of this shows that the presence of The Lord was with David. Consider the following:
The Flesh and The Spirit
David now prayed, but it seemed, was not yet ready to trust. Man's poor confused heart is always ready in times of stress and danger to "do something." Generally, that "something" is evil or foolish. We are ever trying to "help God." Through the mercy of God, David's "helping the Lord" seems to have been overlooked with The Lord blessing Him anyway. How so graceful and merciful The Lord is to us at times, overruling our mistakes and failures due to our lack of trust. How kind He is to us when we deserve the opposite. The hearts of Israel judged Absalom to be more morally qualified to rule Israel than David, and it was because of David's great sin. However, they judged wrongly. God had put away David's sin, but the tragedy was that Israel had not. Therefore, in their spiritual ignorance, they took upon themselves a tyrant and threw out the man of God. As well, thankfully, God overruled even the wicked intentions of unforgiving Israel. What a mighty and gracious God we serve.
Ziba and His Lies
The Scripture says, "And the king said, And where is thy master's son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king" (2 Samuel 16:3-4). 2 Samuel Chapter 16 is freighted with deceit, lying, cursing, and ungodly counsel, which would, nevertheless, fulfil the prophecy of The Lord. Verses 1 though 4 of the 16th Chapter of 2 Samuel reveal Mephibosheth's servant, Ziba, lying and scheming to effect a gain of property. The Scripture says, "...the love of money is the root of all evil..." (1 Timothy 6:10). In conjunction with this, "There is no conceivable evil that can happen to the sons and daughters of men, which may not spring from covetousness -- the love of gold and wealth." During times of this nature, the entirety of Israel should have been on their faces before God. Instead, some, if not many, as Ziba, were trying to use these times for selfish purposes. Ziba would seek to ingratiate himself with David, thereby gaining favor. Sadly, David, at that time, acted with impetuosity instead of wisdom, took Ziba's words at face value, obviously believing them when he should have given time to the situation and, thereby, had it investigated. He would have found that Ziba was lying and that Mephibosheth had said no such thing, had done no such thing, and in fact, had remained totally loyal to David. Ziba's lie was two-fold. It was done to better himself, or so he thought, and it was done to hurt someone else, namely, in this case, Mephibosheth. In fact, most lies are in that capacity.
The Sin of Lying
The commandment against lying, i.e., "bearing false witness," is one of the prohibitive ten commandments (Exodus 20:16). Twice, God is said to hate false witness (Prov 6:19; Zechariah 8:17). Jeremiah 5:2 condemns those who swear falsely, even though they sayas"The Lord lives". One should, as well, note the warning against taking The Lord's Name in vain (Exodus 20:7). It is said by some that the hardest thing for a new Christian to do is to quit lying. Due to the fall, lying is a part of the psyche, i.e., "the soul and the spirit." That's at least one of the reasons there are more lawyers, it seems, than people. The truth is the entire system of the world is built upon "the lie." Almost all people are going to hell, simply because they believe a lie. Satan lied to Eve as it regards what The Lord said to her, and the lie has characterized life and living from then until now. To overcome the problem with lying, and to be sure, it is a problem and a bad one at that, the believer must anchor his faith exclusively in Christ and The Cross. Only then will and can The Holy Spirit rightly help the individual become what he or she should be. In fact, it is The Holy Spirit alone who can rid us of this terrible sin -- and sin it is. He only requires of us that our faith, as stated, be exclusively in Christ and The Cross (Romans 6:1-14; 8:1-2, 11; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 23; 2:2; Galatians 6:14; Colossians 2:14-15). If Ziba had known that his lie would be included in the Sacred Text and that untold millions would read it in the future, in other words, would know of his deceit and perfidiousness, perhaps he would have given more righteous thought to the situation. As believers, we should always tell the truth. If we are not fully aware as to what the truth actually is, we should do our best to answer as forthrightly as we can, whatever the question might be.
"And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:" (2 Samuel 16:5-7). Shimei was lying. David had not shed any of the blood of the house of Saul. In effect, Shimei was accusing David of being the murderer of Saul. That was wholly untrue. However, David could not rescind it because he was, in fact, the murderer of Uriah. David, evidently, suffered this as a part of the chastening of God for his sin with Bathsheba. His answer to Abishai expressed a deep and humble resignation to the course of providence. Insults such as this are very difficult to endure, but not for David as he fully recognized himself as under the divine hand of chastening for his sin. For the balance of David's life, he was mindful of this cursing by Shimei, but he was determined never to avenge it in his lifetime. He left the matter to the wisdom of Solomon, with it being one of the last things he mentioned in his dying hour (1 Kings 2:8-11).
The Attitude of David at This Time
The question becomes, was David wise in not taking action at this time at Shimei? Why did he do what he did? Shimei's crime was great. He was cursing (placing a curse or attempting to do so) against David, who was the king of Israel and was appointed by God as well as anointed by God. What he was doing was actually punishable by death. Had it been on any other occasion, he would have been executed on the spot. In fact, this man was a disciple of satan. There were two things that, no doubt, were primary in the mind of David at this time. They were:
NUMBER 1: THE AWFULNESS OF DAVID'S SIN
The first thing on David's mind was the awfulness of his sin that he had committed against Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. I think one could say that David had a far greater grasp of the malignity of his sin than most. Actually, the hurt of the modern church is that it does not understand the gravity of all sin, not just some sins. The slightest sin, whatever that might be, is enough to condemn an individual to hell. God cannot abide sin in any form, shape, or fashion. To be sure, some sins are most definitely worse than others, and David's sins had been about as bad as they could get. All of this is the reason that we, as believers, must have the constant intercession of Christ on our behalf. Considering the intercession of Christ, the Scripture says, "Wherefore he (The Lord Jesus Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost (proclaims the fact that Christ alone has made the only true atonement for sin; He did this at The Cross) that come unto God by him (proclaims the only manner in which man can come to God), seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (His very presence by the right hand of The Father guarantees such with nothing else having to be done [Hebrews 1:3])" (Hebrews 7:25).
How Does The Lord Make Intercession for Us?
The truth is, the intercession has already been made for all who place their faith and trust in Christ and what He did for us at The Cross. The fact that God has accepted Jesus means that He accepted Christ's sacrifice of Himself, and this is proven by the fact that He is "...sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3). Christ's very presence there settles it all. Actually, if He had to do something else other than The Cross, this would mean that his work was not a finished work. It was a finished work, and it has been accepted by God the Father in totality, so His very position in the presence of God the Father guarantees intercession for all who come to Him. The prayer of intercession, as we may think of such, has already been prayed a long, long time ago. In fact, as previously stated, the 51st Psalm was not only a prayer of David for forgiveness, but it is a prayer of the Son of David as well. Jesus put Himself in our place, took our sins and their penalty upon Himself. He now pleads for mercy, grace, and forgiveness on our behalf. As stated, this is a prayer that has already been prayed. In other words, when we ask for forgiveness, The Lord does not have to do anything else. Such is granted simply because the sacrifice of Christ has already been accepted, and as well, the prayer (Psalm 51) has already been prayed.
NUMBER 2: WALK SOFTLY BEFORE THE LORD
Speaking of Shimei, as we've already stated, the first thing on David's mind as it regarded his attitude toward this follower of satan was his consciousness of the terrible sins that David had committed. Even though forgiven, as a human being, he could not totally forget them, as would be obvious. The second thing that David faced was the absolute necessity of The Lord being with him, especially at this time. This means that he could not afford to do anything that might be displeasing to The Lord, that is, if he was to survive. David did not feel that he was in any position to execute judgment upon this man, even though he deserved judgment. He wasn't sure if The Lord would be pleased with such or not. While David definitely was not guilty of the crimes leveled against him by Shimei, still, he was guilty of murder. David had shed innocent blood as it regarded Uriah. So, even though David was not guilty of the crimes claimed by Shimei, nevertheless, David was guilty. Of course, knowing all of this and being ever mindful, not escaping its terrible accusation for even a moment, David felt he must walk softly before The Lord, not doing anything that might displease Jehovah. Shimei's denunciation of David as a murderer of Saul was unjust, but David could not resent it, for he was, as stated, the murderer of Uriah. So, David gave instructions to his men that Shimei was not to be executed, but yet, the instructions regarding this man were some of the last given by David before his death. In fact, Solomon would execute Shimei because Shimei ignored what was demanded of him (1 Kings 2:8, 36-46).
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I'm found;
I was blind but now I see