The Lion of Judah – A Royal Dysfunction Part 1

…and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 2nd Samuel 12:6 esv

Those were David’s own words against the rich man who’d been accused of stealing the poor man’s ewe lamb. God’s Law did indeed provide for such restitution. “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. Exodus 22:1 esv

Little did David know, however, that when he uttered that judgment that he’d be the one paying the restitution with his own lambs. Bathsheba’s baby was the first of David’s sons to die after Nathan’s prediction.

And while David was hard-core in his judgments against people he wasn’t related to, he was soft on his sons…and what was dangerous about that was that David had taught them little regard for God’s word and self-control.

David denied himself nothing when it came to pleasing his flesh. If he was grieved and wanted revenge, he took. If he wanted horses, he took. If he lusted, he took. But David had no reason to take. God had given David blessings in abundance.

Through the prophet, Nathan, God told David, if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight?

10 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.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of 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. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 2nd Samuel 12:8b-12 esv

The prophet’s words are a little misleading here. We know the character of God is good and perfect, therefore we know that He does not raise up evil. I believe that God allowed the natural course of evil to reign in David’s home, and it was because of what David had taught his family. I believe that David could have stopped it from unraveling at any time – but he lacked the conviction and courage when it came to dealing with his kids.

David’s eldest son at this point is this character, Amnon. And what the manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal to us about Amnon is that David loved him because he was the firstborn. Being the eldest then, Amnon is the assumptive crown prince in David’s kingdom

Tamar is David’s only daughter, and she lives sequestered in the palace, kept completely safe away from all men, because her virginity is of utmost importance. She will be kept pure until the time of marriage because if she’s the only surviving child of David, her husband would then be in line for the throne.

The other thing, little known fact about these princesses, and what I learned in my studies on this, is that they were famed for their ability to make these delicate little pastries…and they loved to do it.

1Now Absalom, David’s son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David’s son, loved her. 2And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 2nd Samuel 13:1-2 esv

That phrase to do anything to her reveals exactly where this character is at. The original language there indicates that Amnon has tried to get her attention, or perhaps strike up a relationship with her, but to no avail. She’s uninterested in him.

Amnon wants Tamar bad. Verse 1 says that he loved her, but the Hebrew word that’s used is ʾāhab, and Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible says that, in this instance, it’s not referring to love, but to sexual lust. And he’s allowed himself to be so consumed with having sex with her, and not being able to possess her, that he makes himself physically ill. This guy is nuts, and he’s dangerous. And because Amnon is the favored son, David’s probably been looking the other way for a long time. I’d bet, however, that everyone in the palace knows that Amnon has a problem – including Tamar and her mother.

Along with David’s nephew, Jonadab, Amnon lays a trap in order to have his way with Tamar. (Please read 2nd Samuel 13:3-19)

Sure enough, David falls for it and sends Tamar over to his house.

And I think besides arguing with Amnon before the act, Tamar must have put up quite a struggle during the act as well. The Scripture says: 15 Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. 2nd Samuel 13:15 esv

Tamar was NOT interested in this guy. He had to force himself in order to be with her – and he wasn’t happy about it. He has been scorned by the object of his obsession. He was humiliated, and he blamed her. When he was finished with her, he couldn’t wait to get her out of his sight. He threw her out of his house.

Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, second in line to the throne, hears about it (please read 2nd Samuel 13:20-22) and he starts to nurse a grudge – though he tells his sister, basically, don’t broadcast the thing around the kingdom. Let’s keep this within the family.

When David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 2nd Samuel 13:21 esv

David heard of all these things because the atrocity committed against his own daughter had been brought before him. Not only was he king, but he was the ruler and he judged the people. It was his responsibility to punish the aggressor.

David’s. Very. Angry.  But that’s it?!

Everybody in the family knows what’s supposed to happen here. Amnon must pay a fine for what he’s done, and then he must marry Tamar (unless David refuses), and never divorce her all the days of his life. (Please see Deuteronomy 22:25-29*Special Note: Some scholars believe that Amnon should have been put to death, since Tamar was a princess being kept pure for marriage like a betrothal. I am also in that camp.)

But, if the simplest interpretation of the law would have been followed, it would mean that Tamar would be queen when Amnon takes the throne. He’s stuck with a woman who will probably never love him. How could she?

Instead of calling Amnon into the court and publicly disciplining him, David is very angry. That’s it.

Absalom takes Tamar into his home – and this is a very significant action. I think Absalom, Tamar and their mother Macaah have decided together that David is unworthy of the crown. This whole thing, on top of what happened with Bathsheba, makes David look like a very ineffective leader. And if we’re honest here, we can admit that we see into the family dynamics of what just happened. As I said before, Amnon was nuts and dangerous, and the entire family had to have known. Think about it. When we get together with our families don’t we have certain relatives from whom we guard our children? Don’t we just know? Yet, David sent his daughter, the virgin princess, into a doomed situation.

As a result Absalom shows outwardly to the entire kingdom that he doesn’t trust the king to protect the princess anymore. David’s unwillingness to judge Amnon makes Absalom doubt the king’s ability to discern wrong from right – and probably plants that doubt into the hearts of Jerusalem as well.

Please come back next week for A Royal Dysfunction Part 2 in our series, The Lion of Judah.

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If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

© 2018 Ta`Mara Hanscom

Posted in Amnon, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Old Testament, Tamar, The Lion of Judah | 1 Comment

The Lion of Judah – An Affair to Remember Part 2

Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward – David & Bathsheba
20th Century Fox 1951

Bathsheba mourned for her dead husband one week and married David the next. They’d gotten what they wanted. They were together at last, and no one could stop them now. Honestly, does this remind anyone but me of the Forensic Files?

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. 2nd Samuel 11:27 esv

30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:30-31 esv

David very much falls into the hands of the living God.

It is generally believed that about a period of one year passes between the end of 2nd Samuel 11 and the beginning of 2nd Samuel 12. During that time, the newlyweds are presumably living it up, celebrating their new baby, and thinking they’ve gotten away with murder…until that pesky ole prophet showed up.

1 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 2nd Samuel 12:1-3 esv

Uriah was never afforded the chance to tell his side of the story – and so God does, through the prophet, Nathan.

Uriah loved Bathsheba, affectionately and deeply. He shared his own portions with her, and she drank from his cup. They were like the young couple you see in the restaurant, so gaga over one another that they are feeding each other off their own plates. Uriah was a man wholly in love with his wife, and she was sacred to him. He held nothing back from her. Furthermore, she was all that he had and he was delighted to have her.

Nathan continues with his story:

4Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 2nd Samuel 12:4 esv

A traveler came to the rich man. The Hebrew word for traveler is hēlek, and it can also be translated as wayfarer. This is a person who travels from place to place on foot.

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1st Peter 5:8 esv

This traveler, the wayfarer, the devil, came prowling over to David’s place, looking for someone to devour, and he found it. David is not being sober minded. Judging from his actions over the past year or so, we can just about guess where he’s at in his Bible study. He’s supposed to study the Law every single day, (see Deuteronomy 17:18-20) and he’s been given a directive to shepherd the flock. Well, the flock has been dispatched without its shepherd for a considerable period of time. The shepherd stayed in Jerusalem and the flock was out there fighting the Ammonites on their own. The devil came to David with some carnal desires and had to be fed. And instead of going to his own harem, he exploited the sacredness of a good man.

Make no mistake, these carnal desires will demand to be fed, and if we’re not sober minded and watchful somebody is going to get devoured.

When Nathan is finished with his story,

5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 2nd Samuel 12:5-6 esv

David is so moved with compassion at the story that he blasts, he deserves to die!

Isn’t it funny…we can always see the gravity of sin in someone else, but we’re completely blind to our own. Didn’t Jesus say something about that? Oh, yes, here it is in my notes: Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 esv

David invokes the Law with which to punish this guy Nathan is talking about – God’s penalty for such a crime is to return the stolen property fourfold (Exodus 22:1). And in that, David prescribes his own judgment.

7Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now 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.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of 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. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house. 2nd Samuel 12:7-15 esv

And in the weeks to come we will see how David’s own judgment plays out in his personal life. He will pay back that lamb he stole fourfold…and judgment begins immediately.

And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. 2nd Samuel 12:15-20 esv

David worshiped. David was trying to come back to the Lord. He’d been on his face before God for seven days, possibly writing Psalm 51. In his repentance he recognized the work of the Lord in his life.

He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2nd Samuel 20:20-23 esv

In the whole lesson, my greatest comfort comes from verse 23. Let me tell you why.

Thirty-four years ago at Thanksgiving we lost a baby. This verse gives me hope that I will go to that baby someday. David believes he will see his little one someday, though he knows he can’t bring him back to this place. I know that too.

That David possessed a deep understanding of God’s character is evident by the way he responded to God’s judgment. Before the blow fell he prayed, knowing that Jehovah was a God of mercy. After the blow fell, he worshiped knowing that Jehovah was a God of righteousness. He forgot the things that were behind, accepted the divine discipline, and looked ahead to the future. He did not despair because he knew that God would yet bless him. He was right.

—William McDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary

Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba… 2nd Samuel 12:24 esv

The Hebrew word for comforted is nāḥam—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, and this is the definition from Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible:

“to repent, comfort.” [… ]to bring acts of kindness and favor, and encouraging words to another. David “comforted” Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin […] this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.

Put simply, David repented of his sin against God, but also how he’d sinned against Bathsheba. He’d seduced her away from the arms of a man who loved and cherished her, and now here she was grieving the death of her child. David was sorry for what his sinful actions had brought to her life. As a result, he went to her with kindness and encouragement, and repented of his actions, and God blessed him for it.

[David] went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord. 2nd Samuel 12:24-25 esv

This new little one, Solomon, has been conceived not in the sinful will of the flesh, but within David’s tender repentance toward Bathsheba. This is an important aspect of repentance. David acknowledged that he’d sinned first against God Almighty, and then he went to the injured party and repented – and God blessed David’s sincere actions with a new life. With Solomon, and the Lord loved him.

 

I will be out of town for the next ten days, so please come back in two weeks for A Royal Dysfunction Part 1 in our series, The Lion of Judah.

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If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

 

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

 

Posted in Bathsheba, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Nathan, Solomon, The Lion of Judah | Leave a comment

The Lion of Judah – An Affair to Remember Part 1

Please note: You might want to familiarize yourself with the story of David and Bathsheba if you don’t know it very well. You can find their story in 2nd Samuel 11 and 12. P

Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward – David & Bathsheba
20th Century Fox 1951

lease read 2nd Samuel 10 as well so that you have a pretext for the story at hand.

David and Bathsheba’s story actually begins in 1st Samuel 11, where we saw Saul take on King Nahash and really clean his clock. Here are some of the important details:

According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, and also Anthony Campbell and Mark Obrien, authors of Unfolding Deuteronomistic History: Origins, Upgrades, Present Text, Nahash, King of the Ammonites had brought the tribes of Gad and Reuben under his subjection. His regular practice with them was to gouge out their right eye. There were hardly any Israelites living on the east side of the Jordan River that hadn’t had their right eye gouged out. About 7000 men had escaped Nahash’s reign of terror and were living in Jabesh. Nahash desires to reclaim them, thus starting a war.

So this is the history between the Ammonites and the Israelites – so I cannot explain why David then says, many years later, “I will deal loyally with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me.” 2nd Samuel 10:1-2 esv

Some scholars believe that this is evidence that Nahash aided David in some way when he fled from Saul.

So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the Ammonites. 2nd Samuel 10:2 esv

Now, David doesn’t do any of this messaging personally – he’s always sending these servants back and forth to speak for him. His men are humiliated (2nd Samuel 10:4), and a huge war begins with the Ammonites.

 7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. 2nd  Samuel 10:7 esv

So while Joab and the mighty men are duking it out with the Ammonites, David is walking around on his roof…watching a woman taking a bath.

And she isn’t just any woman. She is the wife of one of his mighty men. Not only that, she is the daughter of Eliam, he is also one of David’s mighty men, or we see them referred to as The Thirty.

Let me be clear, David suddenly gets Bathsheba’s husband and her father out of town, while he himself stays at home to relax in the palace. I think that’s interesting!

Here’s what else I think: This woman does not just happen to be taking a bath on her roof at the same time the king is walking around above her. I think they were well acquainted with one another and had had something going on in their heads for a while. David, however, had the power and the means to do something about it.

2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” 2nd Samuel 11:2-5 esv

This fling turned into more than just a late afternoon roll in the hay. Very rarely does a woman get pregnant the first time around. I think that Bathsheba had stayed with David for a while – while her husband and father are out on the battlefield attempting to overcome the Ammonites.

I can’t imagine what went through their minds. Their sin was punishable by death, which they both knew, and now the proof of what they’d done was on its way. And apparently David has a sudden glimmer of realization that it isn’t worth dying for. But, he has the power and the means with which to formulate an amicable solution.

Perhaps he thought: I’ll call her husband back to the palace. After all, he’s one of my top men. It’s perfectly normal that I ask him questions about the battle. I will then treat him like one of my own sons, who are not on the battlefield, pretend that he is special to me, and then I’ll send him home to Bathsheba. She’s a smart girl. She’ll know what to do and we’ll make Uriah think the baby belongs to him….

But it didn’t go like that.

9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 2nd Samuel 11:9-11 esv

David must be so blown away. Uriah has some impeccable moral character. He can’t stand the thought of his comrades fighting on the battlefield while he luxuriates in the comforts of home and woman.

I find it incredibly ironic that the man David sought to remove from the city so that he could freely pursue his wife, he now calls back to cover what he’s done with her – and he can’t get Uriah to take the bait!

Something else that points to Uriah’s character is his personal self-discipline when it comes to the Law. He knows that if he has relations with his wife he’ll be considered ceremonially unclean and have to wait a day or so before he can rejoin the other soldiers.

David had to have been thinking, wow…what am I going to do with this goody-two-shoes. I know… I’ll get him so hammered he doesn’t know up from down, send him down to the wife, and Bathsheba can take it from there.

But it didn’t go like that.

12 Then David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 2nd Samuel 2:12-13 esv

Even getting him drunk did not make Uriah compromise his faith. That’s some self-will.

David is beyond freaking out at this point. The only solution appears to be Uriah’s death.

When David realizes that Uriah stayed away from Bathsheba he writes a letter to Joab – a man he knows is brutal and beyond moral scruples – and invites him into the plan to have Uriah killed. Uriah, devoted soul that he is, unwittingly carries his own death sentence and delivers it into the hands of his executioner. I love what George Williams wrote about this:

 …and so this false step also led to the moral wreckage of this chapter when David further surrendered himself into the hands of Joab.

 —George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary

Joab does what’s expected, and through messengers he and David basically congratulate one another on a job well done.

Bathsheba mourned for her dead husband one week, and married David the next. They’d gotten what they wanted. They were together at last, and no one could stop them now…

Honestly, does this remind anyone but me of the Forensic Files?

 

Please come back next week for An Affair to Remember Part 2 in our series, The Lion of Judah.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

 

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

Posted in Bathsheba, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Old Testament, politics, The Lion of Judah, Uncategorized, Warrior | Leave a comment

The Lion of Judah – It Seemed Right To All of the People Part 3

When David’s heart is right before God, everything falls into place just as it should. In 2nd Samuel 7 and 1st Chronicles 17 we see the beautiful communion between Creator and the created. The intense worship (proven in the words of his psalms) of David draws him deep into a love and devotion of God Almighty – so much so that he desires to build God a special temple for the Ark. But God says no, giving David a generous explanation of His divine reasons:

… ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 2nd Samuel 7:8 niv 2011

In those reasons we see the warrior parallel between David and our Messiah.

David was a shepherd, and God took him from that pasture so that he might do for God what he did for his father’s flocks. We touched on this, briefly, earlier in our series: 34… “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 1st Samuel 17:34-35 niv 2011

David is a shepherd with a warrior’s heart – like our Shepherd.

The Lord is a man of war:
the Lord is his name.
Exodus 15:3 kjv

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. Revelation 19:11 esv

Make no mistake, Jesus Christ will fight for us and bring us into peace.

As the great Captain of the Host, He will overcome all His enemies, establish His throne in Zion, redeem Israel, and make the gentiles subject to His scepter.

—George Williams, The Complete Bible Commentary

Our Savior is a warrior, but it is only one aspect of the fullness of His character.

Speaking of Jesus Christ, Paul wrote: For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Colossians 1:19 esv

Jesus was the only single person in whom this could ever happen. It takes the entire Body of Christ to do what was possible for Jesus as one. Paul described it this way: 22And He [speaking of God] put all things under His feet [speaking of Jesus Christ] and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23 esv

Therefore, David can only be warrior and shepherd. There’s no room in David for anything else. He’s full. And God explained to David:

12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 2nd Samuel 7:12-13 niv 2011

There will be another who will have the peace-time to build the temple.

And we’ll talk about this king’s beginning next week in An Affair to Remember, in our series: The Lion of Judah.

 

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© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

 

Posted in Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Uncategorized, Warrior, Warrior | 1 Comment

The Lion of Judah – It Seemed Right To All of the People Part 2

David had learned, the hard way, that he had to look closely into the holy word of God, contemplate it, wonder about it with careful and deliberate vision, and then do things God’s way in order to get closer to that Ark. And so,

After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”

David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to the place he had prepared for it. He called together the descendants of Aaron and the Levites:

From the descendants of Kohath,

Uriel the leader and 120 relatives;

from the descendants of Merari,

Asaiah the leader and 220 relatives;

from the descendants of Gershon,[a]

Joel the leader and 130 relatives;

from the descendants of Elizaphan,

Shemaiah the leader and 200 relatives;

from the descendants of Hebron,

Eliel the leader and 80 relatives;

10 from the descendants of Uzziel,

Amminadab the leader and 112 relatives.

11 Then David summoned Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel and Amminadab the Levites. 12 He said to them, “You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.” 14 So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the Lord. 1st Chronicles 15:1-15 niv 2011

…in accordance with the word of the Lord…

That’s a prospective we often leave out of our personal consideration when we’re in over our heads in comfort and ego.

If you don’t know the Word very well, and you’re sitting around in a whole bunch of confusion and you’re angry with the Lord, then do some learning about Him. Learn how things should be done according to the Word of the Lord, and pray for understanding. Here’s a good starting place:

145 I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O Lord!
I will keep Your statutes.
146 I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.
147 I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
148 My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O Lord, revive me according to Your justice.
150 They draw near who follow after wickedness;
They are far from Your law.
151 You are near, O Lord,
And all Your commandments are truth.
152 Concerning Your testimonies,
I have known of old that You have founded them forever.
Psalm 119:145-152 nkjv

He’ll answer. It’s a promise. We have a guiding force that loves us so much He came and died for us. That’s some dedication.

Let’s go back to 2nd Samuel and see how this thing turns out.

12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. 17 So they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when David had finished offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. 19 Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”

21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”

23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death. 2nd Samuel 6:12-23 nkjv

David got the Ark to where it belonged, and he brought it in with God’s blessing…but there’s going to be trouble at home. There is a ton of symbolism here that should not go unnoticed. The first is this intense parallel between David coming into his new kingdom, and how that mirrors Jesus Christ coming into His reign – a picture of kingly power and grace. The Ark here is representative of the Throne. The king himself appears as Messiah – and what that means is that when Christ comes our king and priest won’t be two different people anymore. Christ will be both, performing all duties in one person. The duty of sacrifice He already made, once for all by his own blood.

And then there’s David’s wife, Michal…

Michael Youseff said, “David had many wives, but he loved Michal.” – Loved her so much that he demanded she be taken away from another who obviously loved her, and that she be brought back to him. And that action that David took was without the seeking of the Lord.

In 1st Samuel 19 we learn that Michal was into idols. She, as well as her father Saul, had some distain for the things of God. So when she sees David (a man she loved at one time) dancing with all his heart and soul for the sheer benefit of pleasing the Lord, her stomach turns…he sort of looks like a hypocrite here. Her own father had done this sort of thing from time to time. He’d go off wildly prophesying and praising one minute, then be trying to murder a righteous man the next. Now here’s David doing the same thing. He hadn’t asked the Lord about tearing up her marriage to Paltiel, and Paltiel was devastated over the deal. Yet, when given the chance to worship so freely and openly in public, he does that. She confronts him about uncovering himself as one of the base fellows. She’s not talking about what he’s wearing, because he is very well covered. But he’s taken off his royal robes and she doesn’t like that at all. Her heart is revealed when she uses the word base fellows – she’s talking about David being vain – as if he were showing off in worship. She thinks, he’s a hypocrite. Good grief! Could he at least dress like a king? Does he have to display his utter phoniness in public?

Michal misjudged her husband. He had finally reestablished communion with the Lord he loved, and there was no way she could ever understand that, at least not in her present condition. And because of that, she had no children until the day of her death. Her heart remained cold and unchanged. She didn’t repent and look for restoration with the Lord, or her husband. Robert McDonald noted:

Because of her critical attitude, Michal suffered the reproach of bearing no children to the day of her death. This is a needed reminder that a critical spirit stifles fruitfulness.

—William McDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary

And I think that critical spirit was a source of strife at home. This thing with Michal is a consequence for David – just as moving the Ark his own way brought death to Uzzah, moving Michal back into his home in his own way brought death to that relationship. She despised him in her heart. Her heart changed toward David and I’d guess there wasn’t a whole lot of intimacy after that. She had no children to the day of her death.

But David is resolved in his worship, despite the confrontation with his beloved wife. He sticks to his guns here and declares that worship is what he has planned for the heart of Israel – and even the maidservants are going to honor this.

Please join us next week for the rest of this story in It Seemed Right to all of the People – Part 3 in our series: The Lion of Judah.

 

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If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

 

Posted in Ark of God's Covenant, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Michal, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Warrior, Warrior | Leave a comment

The Lion of Judah – It Seemed Right to All of the People Part 1

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark.  2nd Samuel 6:1-2niv 2011

1st Chronicles, chapter 13 gives us a little more insight as to how this whole event goes down. Please read this account carefully:

David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.

So David assembled all Israel, from the Shihor River in Egypt to Lebo Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. David and all Israel went to Baalah of Judah (Kiriath Jearim) to bring up from there the ark of God the Lord, who is enthroned between the cherubim—the ark that is called by the Name. 1st Chronicles 13:1-6 niv 2011

Please note these specifics in the above verses:

David brought them together – and David conferred with each of his officers – and if it’s the will of the Lord – and it seemed right to all the people.

Okay, if it’s the will of the Lord…? Well, it seemed right to all of the people….

What happened to the part where David inquired of the Lord? I double checked this in several translations and they are all the same – David took this action himself, seeking the advice of men, instead of the Lord. It was just more disobedience.

Here is what I want to illustrate for us: How many times do we realize that we’ve allowed something or a situation to bog us down in some sin. For instance, David knew that Israel hadn’t inquired of the Ark of God during the reign of Saul. His intention was to repair the communion that had been lost between God and Israel – his intentions, at the outset, are righteous. However, what isn’t righteous is that he begins to repair the situation without consulting with the Lord.

Here’s an example from my illustrious past:

I started dabbling in some new sin in early spring about twenty some years ago, and by Christmas of that year I knew my communion with God was all screwed up. Did I ask Him how to handle the situation? Did I ever once ask Him how I should go about positioning myself closer to the Ark? Did I ever once consult His Word on instruction with regard to my distance?

The answer to all of those questions is “no.” I thought I could just get a new cart (or in my case, a new life), throw God’s Presence onboard, and move on.

David had a similar solution:

They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah… 2nd Samuel 6:3-8 niv 2011

Every time I set out with that new life, the Ark (God’s Presence) would literally fall on me, crushing me to death in my own ignorance. Believe me, those were some painful and embarrassing falls – and in my stupidity I was mad at God.

Just like David, I wasn’t willing to try it God’s way, so I tried it my way – which I considered to be better, you know, more up-to-date and less archaic than the old Word of the Lord. I was modern and hip, and I put the Grace of Jesus Christ on the end of a butter knife and slathered it all over my new life.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Romans 6:1 niv 1984

It doesn’t work that way. God cannot bless our wickedness for He is holy.

Here’s what I learned, and David learned the same lesson as well.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2nd Corinthians 7:1 nknv

This filthiness of flesh and spirit is our personal beliefs – beliefs apart from what is holy to God. We have to perfect our holiness (our own identity, that is, as what’s holy to God). In other words, our identity and what other’s see should be holy. Jesus said, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 niv 1984

How do we do that…exactly. Well, we have to do a lot of learning when it comes to God and His ways. For instance, John wrote, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 nkjv

I love to use that verse when I’m teaching because when John wrote that portion of the Gospel he used what I consider to be a significant word. The Greek word for beheld is theaomai and it is:

a prolonged form of a primary verb; to look closely at

—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible gives a more in-depth definition:

“to behold, view attentively, contemplate,” had, in earlier Greek usage, the sense of wondering regard. This idea was gradually lost. It signifies a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for “to see,” “a careful and deliberate vision which interprets its object,” … more than merely seeing.

John and the disciples took an attentive, earnest, contemplative look at the Word that became flesh, which was Jesus the Christ, the Savior of the world. They didn’t merely see Him there – they had a wondering regard.

Just like David, I had to take a good, close look at the Word – not just merely read it and set it aside (please see James 1:22-25) – but I had to look closely into that Word, contemplate it, wonder about it with careful and deliberate vision, and then do things God’s way in order to get closer to that Ark.

Please join us next week for the rest of this story in It Seemed Right to All of the People – Part 2 in our series: The Lion of Judah.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

Posted in Ark of God's Covenant, Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Uzzah, Warrior, Warrior | Leave a comment

The Lion of Judah Series – A Kingdom Established Part 2

After Saul died, his son, Ish-Bosheth, was taken by force by Saul’s general, Abner, and made king. Ish Bosheth knew he wasn’t the anointed leader of Israel, but Abner pressed him into the role anyway.

Soon after Saul died, Ish Bosheth is murdered and the murderers bring David his head as proof of their deed.

Unfortunately for these murderers, David has sworn an oath to Saul that he would not cut off any of his descendants. Resultantly, David has the murderers executed.

After this action of righteousness, David begins to repair his communion with God.

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 2nd Samuel 5:1-3 niv 2011

…the king made a covenant…

Some translations also say compact. The word there is:

berîtCovenant or a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh) […]

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

And how I’m going to explain that is to have you look at Genesis 15. In this chapter we see God making a promise to Abram that he will have a son, “your own flesh and blood” v. 4, and that Abram was going to take possession of the land before him, v. 7.

Beginning at verse 8:

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land…” Genesis 15:8-18 niv 2011

Here’s what I found about covenants in my NIV Study Bible:

In ancient times the parties solemnized a covenant by walking down an aisle flanked by the pieces of slaughtered animals […]. The practice signified a self-[curse promising] oath: “May it be so done to me if I do not keep my oath and pledge.”

NIV Study Bible © 1984

And that’s where God Almighty put Himself, in the form of the smoking firepot and blazing torch – may I be torn asunder as these animals have been If I don’t keep my promise to you, Abram.

And that’s what David does with the people of Israel. He promises to lead them as their anointed king, according to what the Lord said to him, “You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.”

David is a gifted warrior and God puts him in charge of defending and protecting His peculiar treasure – this is part of what a good shepherd does. Remember David’s testimony before Saul? Just as he was going to fight Goliath, David declared:

34… “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1st Samuel 17:34-37 niv 2011

And what was it that Jesus said about the good shepherd? I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11 niv 1984

God wants that kind of a shepherd, and He has anointed it in the person of David.

When David calls on God, there’s enormous victory for the flock. For instance,

18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So that place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. 24 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 25 So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 2nd Samuel 5:18-25 niv 2011

And when David finally takes Jerusalem and calls it the City of David:

12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 2nd Samuel 5:12 niv 2011

So we know God is in all of that.

But David is covered in the same flesh that we have – and within it dwells a besetting weakness.

For instance,

13 After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 2nd Samuel 5:13 niv 2011

He has a slug of children that he would have never had had he consulted with the Lord about taking additional wives – and, as we’ll learn in this series, some of the children born of those wives and concubines will make the kind of troubles that Saul could have only fantasized of making for David.

With David’s conquests came some prosperity and freedom. He could finally have some peace. This is a comfortable man at this point, as evidenced by the taking of the additional intimate partners.

Honestly, you cannot have this kind of recreation unless you’re in the midst of some peace and quiet.

And knowing how my flesh influences me during times of prosperity and the peace that comes with it, my personal opinion is that David got sort of full of himself…unfortunately, this condition besieged him shortly before he decided to move the Ark – which we will talk about next week.

Please come back next week for It Seemed Right to all of the People – Part 1 in our series: The Lion of Judah.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

If you’re interested in my fiction, please visit www.TaMaraHanscomBooks.com for a free download of the first 4 chapters of The Pretender.

© 2018, Ta`Mara Hanscom

Posted in Bible Study, Christian, Christian Bloggers, Christianity, King David, Old Testament, The Lion of Judah, Warrior, Warrior | Leave a comment