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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

David Did Not Trust JEHOVAH And HIS People Were Punished



2 Samuel 24:1-25 NIV




David Enrolls the Fighting Men





1Again The Anger of The LORD Burned Against Israel, and HE Incited David against them, saying, 


“Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”



2So the king said to Joab and the army commandersa with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”


3But Joab replied to the king, “May The LORD your GOD Multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”


4The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.


5After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. 6They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. 7Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.


8After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.


9Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.


10David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said To The LORD,


“I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of YOUR servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”



11Before David got up the next morning, 

The WORD of The LORD Had Come to Gad the 

prophet, David’s seer:



12“Go and tell David,


‘This Is What The LORD Says: 



I AM Giving you three 


options. Choose one of them for ME To 

Carry Out against you.’ ”



13So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you threeb years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer The ONE WHO Sent me.”


14David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the Hands of The LORD, for HIS Mercy Is Great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”


15So The LORD Sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 



16“Enough! Withdraw your hand.”



 The Angel of The LORD Was then at the threshing 

floor of Araunah the Jebusite.




17When David saw The Angel Who Was Striking Down the people, he said To The LORD, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd,c have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”




David Builds an Altar






18On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to The LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19So David went up, As The LORD Had Commanded through Gad. 20When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.


21Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”


“To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar To The LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”


22Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23Your Majesty, Araunahd gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May The LORD your GOD Accept you.”


24But the king replied to Araunah,


“No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice To The LORD my GOD burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”


So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekelse of silver for them. 25David built an altar to The Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then The LORD Answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.





David’s Pride Punished



For the people's sin David was left to act wrong, and in his chastisement they received punishment. This example throws light upon GOD'S Government of the world, and furnishes a useful lesson.


GOD Could Not Be Angry with David for numbering the people If HE Moved him to do it.  But in the parallel place (1 Chronicles 21:1) it is expressly said, 


Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.






David, in all probability, slackening in his piety and confidence toward GOD, and meditating some extension of his dominions without the Divine Counsel or Command, was naturally curious to know whether the number of fighting men in his empire was sufficient for the work which he had projected. 


In essence, the pride of David's heart, was his sin in numbering of the people. He thought thereby to appear the more formidable, trusting in an arm of flesh more than he should have done, and though he had written so much of trusting in GOD only.



What appears to us harmless, or, at least, but a small offense, may be a great sin in the Eye of GOD, WHO Discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. GOD seldom Allows those whom HE Loves the pleasures they sinfully covet.








Why was it a sin for King David to number the people of Israel and Judah (and What Is GOD’s Reasoning in killing 70,000 people in reponse to this sin)?

 



                                          David Instructing Joab to Number the People

The first few verses of the twenty-fourth chapter of 2 Samuel seem pretty straight forward: GOD Tells David to go take a census of the people of Israel and Judah and David does just that. Joab voices his dismay about the task David sets forth for him, appearing to know that GOD Will Disapprove, but carries through with it anyway. Joab and the commanders of the army number the people of Israel and Judah, counting 500,000 and 800,000, respectively. Soon after, however, David proclaims that he has sinned by numbering the people and GOD Proceeds To Kill 70,000 people with a plague. Woah… let’s stop and think about this for a moment. GOD Told David to number the people and David followed The LORD'S Orders; so why was it a sin for David to take a census?
Before I go any further, I should note that the story of David’s census is told all over again in Chronicles 21 with a few seemingly minor but potentially major discrepancies, the main difference being that Satan, rather than YAHWEH, is credited in telling David to number Israel. It’s impossible to determine whether this is an accidental inconsistency or possibly a sort of addendum to offer insight into why David’s census was sinful, since obeying a direct order from Satan would obviously be sinful. It is possible that GOD permitted Satan to act in order to achieve HIS Purposes. This is a good explanation, but doesn’t fully hold up quite as well (that is, it kind of just seems like one of the writers of the books was a little uninformed) when noted beside the unexplainable discrepancy of the number of men in Israel and Judah (800,000 men within Israel and 500,000 within Judah in 2 Samuel; 1,100,000 men within Israel and 470,000 in Judah in 1 Chronicles). Thus, other answers for David’s supposed “sin” must be sought.
One explanation is that David’s census was a sin because he did it out of pride. He could well have considered with pride the fact that he had amassed a large number of people in reuniting the Israel and Judah, in conquering the Philistines and the Hittites, et al. Taking a census was a way of not only flattering himself and making a name for himself, but a way to raise an army for himself. However, GOD Had Not Given him any reason to go into battle, so numbering the men may have only been a display of David’s pride and ambition. Tied in with this explanation is the idea that David violates the Deuteronomistic Code, which forbade Kings to build military power for its own sake. The code referred to this as “multiplying horses” which is a euphemism for building a large army:  “Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since The LORD Has Said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold” (Deuteronomy 17:16-17 ESV).
Another explanation is that David sins by not trusting GOD. This explanation arguably ties into the idea of David being too full of pride as well though; hence, David’s pride may have led to a lack of faith in GOD’S Capabilities, causing him to unnecessarily rally men for battle with no say-so from The Lord nor real reasoning to believe that GOD Would Have any reason to send him into a battle. It seems likely to me that David’s pride may have played into his decision to count the men of Israel and Judah, but a distrust of GOD doesn’t necessarily seem to be present since David seems to only be obeying GOD’S commands (whether directly or through GOD’S potential utilization of Satan).
Still, this doesn’t explain why David’s sin ultimately led to deaths of 70,000 people. True, David did leave it to GOD’S Mercy when faced with three different options for punishment from GOD, but it’s not clear Why GOD Would Punish 70,000 other people rather than directly punish David. There are multiple explanations for this, one of them being that the people killed were not actually innocent in the first place

The one I see as most fitting, however, is that this is a moral tale that the innocent frequently suffer as a consequence of others’ sins.



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The SPIRIT Of JEHOVAH Spoke Through David About JESUS, The SON Of GOD




2 Samuel 23:1-39 NIV






David’s Last Words





1These are the last words of David:


“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
the utterance of the man exalted by The MOST HIGH,
the man anointed by The GOD of Jacob,
the hero of Israel’s songs:


2“The SPIRIT of The LORD Spoke Through me;
HIS WORD Was on my tongue.



3The GOD of Israel Spoke,
The ROCK of Israel Said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of GOD,
4he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.’
5“If my house were not right with GOD,
surely HE Would Not Have Made with me an Everlasting Covenant,
Arranged and Secured in every part;
surely HE Would Not Bring to fruition my salvation
and Grant me my every desire.
6But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
which are not gathered with the hand.
7Whoever touches thorns
uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
they are burned up where they lie.”






David’s Mighty Warriors




8These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:


Josheb-Basshebeth,a a Tahkemonite,b was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killedc in one encounter.


9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammimd for battle. Then the Israelites retreated,10but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD Brought About a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.



11Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and The LORD Brought About a great victory.


13During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. 17“Far be it from me, LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.


Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.


18Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.e He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.


20Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.


24Among the Thirty were:


Asahel the brother of Joab,
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25Shammah the Harodite,
Elika the Harodite,
26Helez the Paltite,
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
27Abiezer from Anathoth,
Sibbekaif the Hushathite,
28Zalmon the Ahohite,
Maharai the Netophathite,
29Heledg son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
30Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hiddaih from the ravines of Gaash,
31Abi-Albon the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Barhumite,
32Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
the sons of Jashen,
Jonathan 33son ofi Shammah the Hararite,
Ahiam son of Shararj the Hararite,
34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,
Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,
35Hezro the Carmelite,
Paarai the Arbite,
36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,
the son of Hagri,k
37Zelek the Ammonite,
Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
38Ira the Ithrite,
Gareb the Ithrite
39and Uriah the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.








Last Words of David






This does not refer to the Psalm in the preceding chapter or the last words he spoke, for he said many things afterwards for the advice he gave to Solomon, and the instructions to him about building the Temple, were delivered after this time. But these were the last after he had finished the Book of Psalms; or the last that he spoke under the inspiration of The HOLY SPIRIT, or that he delivered out by way of prophecy.


But the Targum calls these words a prophecy, and takes them to be a prophecy of The MESSIAH, and of things to come, as undoubtedly they are, paraphrasing them thus;


“These are the words of the prophecy of David, which he prophesied concerning the end of the world, concerning the days of consolation that should come.”


This is observed to excite attention, the last words of dying men being usually regarded and remembered.


David the son of Jesse said;


(1) He began with his descent, which was comparatively mean, in order to illustrate the distinguishing Goodness of GOD to him in his exaltation:


(2) and the man who was raised up on high; from a low estate to an high one, from the sheepfold to the throne, to be king over all the tribes of Israel, and a conqueror, and head of the nations round about him:


(3) the anointed of The GOD of Jacob; who was anointed king by Samuel by the order of The GOD of Jacob; and which was an instance of HIS Being The GOD of Jacob or Israel, and of HIS Care of them, and regard unto them, that HE Anointed such a man to be king over them, as well as it was an honor to David:


(4) and the sweet psalmist of Israel; who composed most of the psalms and hymns of praise for the people of Israel; invented and set the tunes to them to which they were to be sung, and the instruments of music on which they were sung; and appointed singers to preside, and lead them in that part of Divine worship, singing psalms and hymns; and very sweet were the psalms he composed as to the matter of them, and very sweet and delightful to the ear was the music in the manner of singing them: it may be rendered, who was "sweet" or "pleasant in the songs of Israel", his warlike exploits and victories being the subject of them, 1 Samuel 18:6.


For all that goes before are the words of the penman of this book, drawing the character of David; in which he was a type of CHRIST, a Branch out of the root of Jesse, highly Exalted, and Chosen from among the people, Anointed to be Prophet, Priest, and King; and WHO sweetly Expounded the Psalms concerning HIMSELF, and Ordered them to be sung in the churches, and of which HE Is the Subject, and May Be Said to be sweetly held forth in them.



Luke 24:44-45


Now HE Said to them, "These Are MY WORDS which I Spoke to you while I Was still with you, that all things which are written about ME in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. "Then HE Opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.








Amen.