76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 16 - King David’s love of his rebellious children.
August 1st, 1958
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
Yes, I am here once more to continue my story of David, the king, as a man whose innate impulses were good, in that, faith in God, kindness and generosity were in his heart.
I have tried to show that David, in his conduct towards Saul, Jonathan and Abigail, Nabal’s wife, revealed a heart in which forbearance and restraint were much in evidence. Through this goodness of action, David gained a respect and popularity which helped to give him the allegiance of hundreds and later thousands of men, all leading towards his accession to the throne of Judah, and ultimately, to kingship of the entire Hebrew nation.
His internal troubles as King resulted from his sinful conduct towards Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. Evil conditions were thereby attracted to David and to those surrounding him; for as David thus rebelled against the Law of God, so did his sons and officers rebel against the word of David; and Absalom, his son by a daughter of the royal family of Geshur, in Aram, that is to say, a neighboring district in Syria, conceived the plan of ousting his father and becoming king. Because he pertained to royalty on both sides of his family, he considered himself superior to the other sons of David, his father; and, in fact, exacted vengeance himself on Amnon, his half-brother, for the act of defiling his sister Tamar. He then fled to Geshur and lived there with an uncle for three years. David, who loved his children dearly, was very much grieved over this murder and also because he longed for Absalom, who was winsome and dashing, and reminded him in some ways of his own youth.
Absalom, who kept informed of David’s frame of mind, was able to enlist his uncle, Joab, in an effort to have him brought back to Jerusalem; and this was accomplished, but David, with his sense of justice, refused to see Absalom’s face. This went on for a certain time until the king’s son lost patience and by setting fire to Joab’s barley fields, forced him to intercede with David for him; and David relented, and kissed his son as a sign of forgiveness.
For David had suffered very much in this strife, and he realized that Absalom’s absence could not bring back Amnon to life. But he did not, or did not wish to, understand that Absalom sought to return to Judea in order to foment civil war against his father, and it was another blow to him when he was told that his son had raised the standard of rebellion against him from Hebron, and was marching towards Jerusalem with a host of soldiers.
But David had faith in the Father and acted in that faith. As in the days of Saul’s persecution, he felt that the best policy lay in flight, and to reach a place from which to gather his faithful servants and have time to prepare for battle. Yet even in this critical moment, when things looked bleaker than storm clouds, David did not remain indifferent to the welfare of his followers. His concern for the six hundred Gittites, the Philistines of Gath who became his partisans, is an example of his goodness of heart. For then said David to lttai the leader, “Why come with us? Return and abide with Absalom, for thou art a foreigner and an exile from thine own place, and thou should not risk thyself and thy people in all the perils and wanderings that now confront us. Therefore, return and take back thy brethren with thee in kindness and truth.” (2 Samuel 15: 19 - 20)
And Ittai, with faith in that God which had made him unwanted in his own land, and faithful to his new found king, made answer, “As the Lord liveth, and as the Lord my king liveth, in what place he shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will thy servant be.” And David said to Ittai: “Go and pass over the brook.” (2 Samuel 15: 21 - 23) And Ittai passed over, he and all his men and all the little ones that were with him. And all the region about Jerusalem wept as the king and the people passed over the Kidron to the mount of Olives, on the way north to the land of Israel.
The priests also came, Zadok and the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God, to take it along in the flight from Jerusalem, so as to have Jehovah the Lord abide with them, as they thought, but David knew that he did not need to seek God in any temple, but that God could be reached with prayer anywhere and had faith that God would answer his prayer, either to deliver him out of the hand of his enemy or, as he thought, to reject him, and in either case David would accept the decision of God. And the king said unto Zadok: “Carry back the Ark of God into the city; if I shall find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back, and show me both it and His Habitation; but if He say thus, ‘I have no delight in thee,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him.” (2 Samuel 15: 25 - 26)
And so Zadok and the priests brought the Ark of God back into Jerusalem. And David went up to the mount of Olives, and wept with covered head and bare feet; and those that were with him went likewise. And he Instructed Hushai, the Archite, his friend, to remain in JerusaIem and pretend to serve Absalom, so as to bring to naught the evil counsel of Ahithophel, who had conspired with his son against him. And David instructed Hushal to pass all information to the priests, Zadok and Ablathar, who would relay all news back to him. So that Hushal greeted Absalom as king, to serve the son as he had the father.
I will stop now and continue with this subject in my next sermon.
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens