76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 21 - David regrets the injustices existing in his reign.
January 4th, 1959
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
I wish to continue with my sermons on the Psalms of David and those which were continued under his influence, to show how the Hebrews turned to God for trust and strength to overcome the threats and struggles of the earth life, and for consolation in his hours of bereavement.
Blended with the different religious themes that make up the diversity of the Psalms is an awareness of man’s responsibility for ethical dealings and conduct towards one another in the Hebrew nation as children of the Living God, who demands righteousness and morality. David himself could testify eloquently to the perversity and wickedness he saw in his own court, and he could - and did - confess to his own wickedness in his dealings with others, as his treatment of Uriah the Hittite so regretfully reminds us, yet his penitence made him feel free to denounce social injustice such as he could see it in his own domain - oppression of widows and of the fatherless, murder and exploitation of the poor. He understood that God loves righteousness and in fact he could write of Him: “His countenance doth behold the upright.” (Psalms 11: 7)
In Psalm 10 David bewailed the social evils about him:
The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor; Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined… . His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud; Under his tongue is mischief and vanity. He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places doth he murder the innocent; His eyes are set against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den; He lieth in wait to catch the poor… . (Psalms 10: 2 - 9)
David thus expresses his sympathy for the lowly and the downtrodden and he bade God shield the poor from those who sought to exploit them. And he prayed to Him that He succor the poor who, he felt:
“…committeth himself unto Thee; Thou art the helper of the fatherless.” (Psalms 10: 14) And again in Psalm 9:
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed; A refuge in times of trouble. And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; For thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee. (Psalms 9: 9 - 10)
As a matter of fact, David wrote of these injustices because he had not been, in his reign, one to undertake the administration of justice in his realm with the firm hand which the times warranted, and David knew in his heart that he had not done that which a real monarch should have done to guarantee equal justice in his land. The truth is that David had devoted himself primarily to strengthening the Hebrew nation against hostile neighbors, and his main concern had been to establish his kingdom on a firm footing militarily, to instill the other powers on his frontiers with fear of the Hebrew and his Deity, Jehovah, and in this respect he had triumphed in an amazing way; and so great, indeed, was this triumph that David felt that he owed his victory, as I said previously, to the power of God.
David realized that he was unable to undertake the task of reorganizing the duties of government and their functioning for the betterment of his subjects, and he regretted this inability. It cost him dearly, too, for one of the claims made by Absalom was that it was he who considered the welfare of the people and not David, and this idea enjoyed considerable currency at the time of the revolt against him.
And again, David’s efforts in time of peace was to prepare for war, and his census of the people, which was unpopular and caused him considerable embarrassment through a plague that followed, was instituted with a view to getting an estimate of the number of troops he could have at his disposal in the event of further hostilities.
So that when David wrote psalms about justice in the realm, one can feel the note of regret or frustration with which they are written; justice is looked upon as a sort of ideal which will be dispensed by God, and not by David, His ruler. More in line with his own convictions and closer to his nature, religion was for him something to be worked at, not only as his own relationship to God was concerned, but also as the relationship which God and His people, the Hebrews, were assumed to maintain. Therefore David was concerned with a Temple for his people, which he was unable to construct because of the effort and treasure that went into the wars that made Israel a nation to be reckoned with at the time.
Now David was aware of these limitations and defects in his rule, especially in the area of the administration of justice, but he wrote of them just the same as a theme that could not be ignored and because that theme was one which had an important part in his concept of the Father, the God who demanded justice and righteousness from great and small, from ruler and ruled, from rich and poor alike.
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens