The Crucible // Part 9
This evening, we’re looking at the next to the last teaching from the series, “The Crucible”. The subject for tonight is “How does God fashion a man/woman of God?” You may remember the last time we were with David he was king over all Israel. David had passed the test of commitment – remaining faithful to God and His ways until his prophecies came to pass. But, the test of character is always a tough one. King David committed adultery with the wife of one of his best soldiers and had her husband killed to cover his sin. But what David had done displeased the Lord. Here’s God’s response through the prophet Nathan:
Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun. /// 2 Samuel 12:9-12
There was one more aspect to David’s sin:
However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die. /// 2 Samuel 12:14
David had broken the commandment of the Lord and put the Lord’s integrity up for inspection. God’s mercy and righteousness are seen in His discipline of David: David would not die for his sin but the child would. In chapter 13, the rest of David’s discipline begins. David’s oldest son, Amnon rapes his sister, Tamar. The law of Moses was specific about such an incident:
"If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." /// Deuteronomy 22:28-29
Verse 21 tells us that King David was very angry when he heard about what happened but we’re not told he did anything about it. Absalom, David’s son and full blood brother of Tamar is angry and eventually takes revenge on Amnon by having him killed. Absalom flees the country and lives in exile. Finally, David brings Absalom back to Israel but refuses to see him. Two years later, Absalom and David finally speak. But, Absalom is not satisfied. He develops a ruse with the goal to overthrow the king. What does David do now? He doesn’t fight to maintain his position. He leaves the city! Here we see the same belief in David we saw when he was running from King Saul. God is disciplining David. He must submit to the process. If it is God’s plan for David to be king, He will return him to the throne.
On his way out of Jerusalem, David has rocks thrown at him by a Benjamite and is cursed by him. When Abishai tells the king, “Who is the man to curse the king seeing you are the Lord’s anointed”, David replies:
So let him curse, because the Lord has said to him, “Curse David.” Who then shall say, “Why have you done so?” And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” /// 2 Samuel 16:10-12
David again puts his life and destiny into the hands of God. Do we have such trust in God’s sovereign ability? Do we have such trust in the fact that God knows what is best – not just for us but for the kingdom of God? Will we fight for our position or will we fight for God’s will? In his self-righteous anger, Absalom continues to seek his father David’s life. At the end, God returns David to the throne but it costs the life of one more son.
To fully learn the lesson, let’s read “A Tale of Three Kings,” a book written about the actions of three kings: Saul, David, and Absalom. We’ll quote the imaginary words of King David as he muses about how to respond to Absalom’s rebellion against him. In these words, you’ll find the treasure of tonight’s lesson. King David speaks:
“It is better that I be defeated, even killed, than to learn the ways of a Saul or the ways of an Absalom. The kingdom is not valuable. Let him have it, if that be the Lord’s will. I repeat: I shall not learn the ways of either Saul or Absalom. And now, being an old man, I will add a word that I might not have known then.
No man knows his own heart. I certainly do not know mine. Only God does. Shall I defend my little realm in the name of God? Shall I throw spears, and plot and divide…and kill men’s spirits if not their bodies…to protect my own empire? I did not lift a finger to be made king. Nor shall I do so to preserve a kingdom. God put me here. It is not my responsibility to take, or keep authority. Do you not realize, it may be his will for these things to take place? If He chooses, God can protect and keep the kingdom even know. After all, it is His kingdom.”
- 2 Samuel 12:9-12, 14
- Deuteronomy 22:28-29
- 2 Samuel 16:10-12
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