76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 17 - King David, a man of God.
August 2nd, 1958
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
Another instance of David’s forbearance is found in preventing Abishai, Joab’s brother, from killing Shimei, a man of the house of Saul, when that individual cursed David as he came to the village of Bahurim. Shimei came out of his dwelling, cursing and picking up stones, and cast them at the king and his servants. And thus said Shimei, “Begone, thou man of blood, and base fellow; the Lord has visited upon thee all the blood shed by thee of the house of Saul in whose place thou hast reigned; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son, and behold, thou art taken in thy own mischief, because thou art a man of blood.” (2 Samuel 16: 7 - 8)
What Shimei said, of course, was true, as David was involved in a series of great conflicts, with heavy carnage inflicted both upon the adversaries as well as the Hebrews themselves, and the captives thereof were put to death. And David recognized the truth of Shimei’s invectives, and he stayed the hand of his servant. For Abishai said, “Why should this dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.” And David replied, “I want nothing to do with such a slaughter, son of Zeruiah. Let him curse, for the Lord has put it into his head to curse David. Who then shall challenge Shimei for his words?” (2 Samuel 16: 9 - 10)
For David was not arrogant, but moderate, and he did not seek another’s death if it could be avoided, even though he was the ruler of the Hebrew nation and his word was command; for he had learned a lesson from the death of Uriah, the Hittite, whom he had caused to be killed in taking Bathsheba; and he felt that God had brought about blood shed among his own sons in retribution; he was, furthermore, as I have said, naturally kind and forbearing. Thus, in line with the religious ideas of his time, he felt that his dangerous position was due to the action of a God who was avenging Himself for his sins, and he was resigned to what he felt would be God’s decision regarding Absalom’s revolt. That he was wrong here is due to ignorance in his time, and indeed, in your own, that the Loving Father does not avenge or punish, but that man punishes himself in his own conscience and that this is an existing law in the spirit world.
Hence David said, “Behold, my son, the flesh of my flesh, seeks my death. How much more, then, does this Benjamite seek it? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has so bidden him; and perhaps the Lord will repay me in good the evil which he wishes me in his heart this day.” (2 Samuel 16: 11 - 12)
And so, as David and his men continued their retreat, Shimei went along the hillside with them and continued to throw stones at him and dirt, and cursed as he went.
Now when Absalom was destroyed in the forest of Ephraim, in Jordan, only a few miles south of the birthplace of Elisha, the prophet, and David was returning victoriously to Judah, this same Shimei hastened to Gilgal, just west of the Jordan river, to meet David. And he came with a thousand men of Benjamin, and members of the house of Saul; and he fell down before the king, begging: “Let not the Lord impute iniquity unto me, nor remember what thy servant did so miserably the day that my lord, the king, went out of Jerusalem, for I know that I have sinned and therefore, behold, I am here the first of my house to greet the lord, my king, and seek his pardon.”
But Abishai said to David: “Shall not Shimei be put to the sword for this, in that he cursed and stoned the Lord’s anointed?”(2 Samuel 19: 19 - 21)
But if David spared the life of Shimei at the time of his great trouble and bitterness, and when Shimei was stoning and cursing, how much more was David prone to spare the life of this same man in a moment of victory, which he in sincere faith attributed to the Lord? And David replied: “What have I to do with thee, son of Zeruiah, that thou be an adversary unto me this day? Shall there be any man put to death today in Israel?”… . And David told Shimei: “Thou shalt not die.” (2 Samuel 19: 22 - 23) And here again do we find the noble heart of David, with a sense of mercy and forbearance, that has no equal in his time from a man who acted as the barbarious conditions of his century dictated.
Now before continuing with David, I wish to tell you about the sentence, “What have I to do with thee, ye son of Zeruiah?” which was lifted out of the story in the Old Testament and placed by New Testament writers into my mouth as follows: “What have I to do with thee, woman? Mine hour is not yet come.”(John 2: 4) This is what I am supposed to have said at the marriage feast of Cana, according to John, the Evangelist. Needless to say, neither did I make wine out of water, for I was not Dionyseus, the god of the grape, nor did I ever address my mother as “woman.” The sentence was written into this fable because it associates me with King David, my ancestor dating back a thousand years, and the Davidic covenant, of which I am the fulfillment.
The New Testament writers caused a great deal of worry to the early church because of their use of the word “woman”, instead of my saying Mary, or mother. Many writers have tried to justify this word, as it sounds disrespectful to the ear. Well, I wish to repeat that I never said it, nor performed the miracle connected with it. The word “woman” was used in order to parallel the Old Testament construction “son of Zeruiah,” that is to say, not to use the name or give the relationship. For you must know that both Abishal and Joab were David’s nephews by his sister Zeruiah, and as David is reported not to have used their names or called them nephews, so the New Testament writer did not use the name Mary or give the relationship “mother.” I am glad to explain this at this time, and Christians who read this may perhaps realize that these words actually come from Jesus of the Bible, and are the truth.
I want to pass over those events in the rebellion against David that speak of the crudity of those times, and of the conspiracies and battles, but I do wish to mention Hushai, David’s friend, who remained in Jerusalem to outwit Ahithophel, the king’s counselor who conspired with Absalom; and also to mention Jonathan, David’s nephew and Ahimaaz, son of the priest Zadok, who hid in a well in Bahurim, to escape Absalom’s scouts and to give David the plans of his rebellious son; also the woman who covered the well with ground corn to foil the pursuers; and Shobi, the Ammonite, and the old patriarch Barzillai, of Gilead, who brought food and equipment to feed David and his men at Mahanaim.
The decisive battle was fought in the wooden area of Ephraim, in what is today Jordan, and Absalom’s men were no match for David’s mighty men. Absalom’s army was commanded by Amasa ben lthra, an Israelite, who defiled Joab’s aunt and David’s niece. He and another rebel, Sheba ben Bichri, were killed. Meanwhile David’s love for Absalom was undiminished. His first command to his generals was: “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, my son Absalom.” (2 Samuel 18: 5) And it was a command given publicly, so that the people and soldiers alike would understand the king’s wishes.
For if David was merciful enough to spare the life of Shimei, who was an open enemy and of the beaten house of Saul, would he not spare the life of his own son, foolish and ambitious though he be? And David wanted to chastise his son, not to put him to death. And he thought that Absalom might see the light after his defeat, and he was ready to forgive him his trespass, much like the father of the prodigal son, whose parable I taught in my mission as the Messiah. For where there is love, there is mercy, just as the Heavenly Father is all merciful because He loves His children with a Love that surpasses the understanding of humankind, even when these children devise evil and work to the sorrow of the Father. And thus David, in his sorrow and anxiety for his erring son, was showing that mercy and love which showed him to be a man of God.
For the fact is that Absalom’s safety meant more to David than did the kingdom. When the runners came to report to the king the news of the battle, his first words were not: “Have I won the day? Am I still king?” But his first words of inquiry, showing the anxiety he felt for his son, were: “Is the young man Absalom safe?” (2 Samuel 18: 29)
And when he heard that Absalom was dead, the king was much moved, and he went up to the room which stood over the archway at the entrance to the town and he wept, crying, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would to God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18: 33)
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens