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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.

King David

"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.

16:2 And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these?

And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.

16:3 And the king said, And where is thy master's son?

And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.

16:4 Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth.

And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king." (2 Samuel 16:1-4 KJV)

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.

16:9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.

16:10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?

16:11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, 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; for the LORD hath bidden him. 16:12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

16:13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. 16:14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there." (2 Samuel 16:5-14 KJV)

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.

16:17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend?

16:18 And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide. 16:19 And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.

16:20 Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.

16:21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. 16:22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom." (2 Samuel 16:15-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why are rebels driven by the spirit of liberalism? Who is the spirit of liberalism?
See Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal


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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.

Napoleon 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.



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