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Monday, May 5 2014
2 Samuel 16: Sticks and Stones
"Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone, and let him curse"
King David's departure from Jerusalem (see 2 Samuel 5: How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel?) at the start of Absalom's rebellion (see 2 Samuel 15: The Treason Of Absalom) was a great revelation for the king. In just a few hours, it revealed to David who his friends truly were - and who his friends truly were not. David's apparent overthrow brought out the best, and the worst, in just about everyone.
David had provided an inheritance to the crippled son of Jonathan (see 2 Samuel 9: Mephibosheth's Inheritance). As David was leaving the city, Ziba, a servant of Mephibosheth, brought David some supplies - and the news that Mephibosheth "abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father." When David returned in victory, Mephibosheth denied Ziba's report (2 Samuel 19:24-30). The Scriptures do not specify which of them was the liar, or when, but King David never trusted either of them again.
"16:1 And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
Others were much less subtle in their treachery. Shimei at least had the honesty and courage to express his contempt and hatred for David without any doubt what-so-ever. Ironically, David may have had more respect for the man who openly hated him than for those who were not doing so well in concealing themselves. When Abishai, David's nephew (Abishai was the firstborn son of Zeruiah, David's sister) asked permission to kill Shimei, David ordered his guards to leave him alone "and let him curse." Some days, any kind of honesty is appreciated.
"16:5 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. 16:6 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. 16:7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: 16:8 The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
In the meantime, the failure and death of the rebel leader began brewing. Like most liberals, Absalom's weakness was that he was only good at tearing down, not maintaining and building up.
"16:15 And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16:16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.
Fact Finder: Why are rebels driven by the spirit of liberalism? Who is the spirit of liberalism?
This Day In History, May 5
553: The Second Council of Constantinople began with participants from the West and East (Byzantine) Roman Empire.
1215: Rebel barons renounced their patriotism (the original meaning of patriotism was loyalty to the father; "king" meant father of the kin) to King John of England. The response produced the Magna Carta.
1260: Kublai Khan became emperor of the Mongol Empire.
1292: Adolf of Nassau was crowned German king. He was deposed in June 1298 by his Habsburg opponent Albert I.
1494: Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica. He named the island Santa Gloria. All four of the made-legendary voyages of Columbus to "America" were actually just to the islands of the Caribbean Sea (see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1646: After his defeat at the Battle of Naseby during the English Civil War, Charles I surrendered to a Scottish army at Newark.
1705: Leopold I, Emperor of The Holy Roman Empire, died at 64.
1821: Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France and conqueror of much of Europe, died at age 52 (most historians believe it was of cancer) while a prisoner on the island of St. Helena after his famous defeat at Waterloo (Belgium) on June 18 1815.
1860: Giuseppe Garibaldi and his "Thousand Redshirts" sailed from Genoa to conquer Sicily and Naples.
1865: The U.S. Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
1893: The stock market crashed on Wall Street, resulting in the closure of 600 banks, the bankruptcy of thousands of businesses and the unemployment of 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. work force.
1925: High school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution in his Dayton, Tennessee classroom (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1941: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia returned to his capital after British forces liberated Ethiopia from the Italian invasion forces that had occupied the country since 1935.
1945: British and Canadian troops liberated the Netherlands and Denmark from Nazi occupation.
1949: The Council of Europe was established.
1955: The Federal Republic of Germany became a sovereign state after the Allied High Commission dissolved itself.
1961: Alan Shepard became the first U.S. astronaut in space with a 15 minute sub-orbital flight (i.e. it did not go completely around the earth) in a Mercury spacecraft. The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space a month before, on April 12, with a 108-minute full orbital flight.
1964: The Council of Europe declared May 5 as Europe Day.
1980: In London, elite British SAS ( Special Air Service) troops stormed the Iranian Embassy, killing 4 of the 5 gunmen who had taken over the building and seized hostages.
2006: The government of Sudan signed an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army.
2010: Mass protests in Greece erupted in response to the austerity measures imposed by the Greek government as a result of the Greek debt crisis.