Following hot on the heels of the rebellion led by David’s son, Absalom, came the rebellion led by Sheba in 2 Samuel 20:1-26. Called a ‘worthless fellow’ in verse 1, Sheba’s rebellion also proved fruitless and only led to more bloodshed, including his own and that of Amasa’s, David’s chief. Thankfully, God in His mercy did not treat our rebellion against Him as a reason not to come in grace and save us, which He did by David’s Son, Jesus who never rebelled but paid the price of death for rebels like us.
When Jesus gathered His twelve disciples to Himself at Caesarea Philippi in Matthew 16:13-23, He asked them two very important questions…who did the people say that He was and who did they think that He was? While they answered these questions well, God the Father also had something to add as revealed in Matthew 17:1-9. Of course, what God thinks about the question is more important than anyone else’s opinion! What do you think of Jesus?
Simon was puzzled by Jesus; who was he? Was he from God, a prophet even? So he invited him to eat with him – and Jesus accepted. In Luke 7:36-50, we find that during the meal at his home, a woman Simon knew to be a ‘sinner’ (prostitute) wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair and anointed them with perfumed ointment. But Jesus knew who she was, and that she had done this to him because she was a forgiven sinner; faith in Jesus had saved her; she had believed in him, and he had forgiven her, and she had done this to him because, having been forgiven much, she loved him much.
If Jesus has forgiven our sins, we cannot help loving him, and long to show our love for him, for we know our forgiveness cost him death on a cross; we know that the Son of God loved us and gave himself for us. If we love Jesus, we will know our love for him is not yet what it ought to be, and we will long to love him more, and we will nourish our love for him by meditating on his love for us, by the inward working of his Spirit, and by prayer. The proof of our love for him is not feelings, or tears, or costly gifts, but obeying him. Love for him will enable us to obey him and so prove our love, and our obedience with increase our love for him who died for us to save us from our sins.
With the death of Absalom, the civil war that threatened to undermine David’s kingdom came to an end. On returning to his throne, we find in 2 Samuel 19:1-43 that David immediately sought to put his house in order – rewarding some, ending the service of others and reviewing the actions of those given responsibility. When Jesus the King returns, he will also undertake similar actions and none shall escape his searching eye.
2 Samuel 18:1-33 records how the civil war led by Absalom against his father came to an inglorious end. It was a sad day for David for many reasons, one of which was that this was the culmination of some bad choices and parenting. Yet still, in spite of the tragic nature of the text, David again points us to Jesus who could do and will do what David could not.
After David fled from Absalom, it seemed that his whole kingdom was in danger of falling. Ahithophel, David’s trusted adviser, had gone over to join Absalom, and his counsel would have been dangerous for David. However, God was at work and in 2 Samuel 17:1-29, there are three particular evidences of His providence which meant that David knew that God had not abandoned him and that His plans were being unfolded.
When David left Jerusalem because of Absalom’s push to replace him, 2 Samuel 15 told of 3 men who came to his aid. Following this, 2 Samuel 16:1-33 tells of 3 other men who wanted to achieve just the opposite – either to further their own standing in his eyes, to curse him or to cause his kingdom to crumble. In the end, so much of what David endured points us again to His greater Son, Jesus, who also endured what He did to save His own.
The first century Christian church faced all kinds of trials from within and without. It was a time of much persecution and false teachers and teachings. In Colossians 2:8-12, Paul urged his readers to stand firm in Christ, but also told them why they should do that and in doing so, shed some light on the work of Christ on our behalf and the connection between circumcision and baptism.
After the events of 2 Samuel 14 where tensions between David and his son Absalom grew in their intensity, 2 Samuel 15:1-37 records how Absalom launched an all-out campaign to usurp David from his throne. As a result of this David fled, and in doing so must have known one of his darkest days, although not without the support of three individuals who came to support him. David’s darkest day points us to Jesus who went one step further, so that all who trust in Him (as David did – see Psalm 3) can find the great comfort and assurance of grace.
He died, he rose, what’s next? Keith spoke from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 about how Jesus’ return should fill us with joy and hope; even govern our actions. The Christian has great comfort that there is more beyond our earthly life because we will be raised to eternal life. As children of the light, we are to live in the world but not to be of it. We are to live in readiness of his unexpected return. Is that obvious in your life now? Are you ready?