2 SAMUEL 15
Posted here is the sermon delivered by Br. Nitish Patel at Borivali Assembly on 19th November 2017.
Passage of Reference: 2 Samuel 15
1. DAVID FLEES (15:13-17)
13 ¶ And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
THE SUDDEN NEWS
It was Divine Providence that sent a messenger to alert David of the sudden danger. In one moment the news comes which takes David completely by surprise that all the men of Israel have chosen Absalom.
How do we prepare for the worst? What do we do? In David’s case he was prepared spiritually as the Psalms he wrote show. He knew what God said will happen to him after his sin although when it happened each time he was taken by surprise.
‘Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.” (Proverbs 3:25)
David wrote Psalm 3 when he fled from Absalom. It is believed he also wrote Psalm 4 on this occasion.
1 LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 ¶ I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
What shines here is David’s faith at a time when he was at his lowest with his own son seeking his life with ten of thousands of soldiers who had surrounded him. We learn how he had no fear but trusted in the LORD (v. 6). He had been through it all before with Saul and had seen God deliver him time and again. He speaks in faith of victory as if the battle was already won.
4:1 ¶ <> Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
6 ¶ There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Verse 8 again shows David’s peace and calm even in the darkest hour of his life.
LESSON FOR US
There are many things that suddenly come into our lives to shock, scare and worry us but the Apostle Paul exhorted us to commit everything to God in prayer and He will give us the needed peace.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The Devil has a evil day when he attacks us suddenly.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
DAVID THE WISE SOLDIER
David acted with decisiveness and speed. There was no time to lose. This saved him and many lives.
David acted wisely so that the people of Jerusalem was spared a siege and slaughter as he says but also he did not know who was with the conspiracy or not. By leaving Jerusalem, those who followed him could clearly be seen as the loyal ones.
“It is during this period of David’s history that hearts are manifested. Under the rule of the throne it is a question of submission rather than of love, but a rejected Christ attracts devotion and it is in these circumstances that we can see whether His followers are truly attached to Him.” (L. M. Grant)
Absalom did not care for the people but David always the tender shepherd thought of others.
David put the river Jordan between him and Absalom’s forces to gain time and an advantage.
15 And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.
DAVID’S LOYAL AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS
In a time of crisis, David commanded a loyalty from his men who completely trusted in him and were ready to serve.
Great David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus deserves our loyalty at all times and our immediate obedience in the day of His rejection.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
Here the stage was set for the prophecy to be fulfilled.
“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.” (2 Samuel 12:11)
The LORD said that He will do this even though it was Absalom who carried it out.
God is not the author of sin but when sin has manifested itself then He has every right to withdraw restraint that that it can be seen in all its heinousness.
17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.
The word “place” is the Hebrew word bayith bah’-yith
normally translated as “house” (Strongs 01004)
David stops at the last house of the city before ascending the Mount of Olives.
2. DAVID’S LOYAL COMPANIONS
18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
It was common practise to employ mercenary troops from others countries to augment the army but in the case of David’s followers their loyalty was more than just the money they could receive.
CHRIST’S GENTILE COMPANIONS
Here we see in type, David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus who has a vast following of Gentile believers when Israel received Him not and crucified Him.
Jesus is the centre of attraction to the Gentile nations when His own nation rejected and crucified Him.
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
David tries to dissuade Ittai from following him.
20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
David did not want Ittai did not have to suffer with him the rigours of exile.
21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.
AMAZING PHILISTINE BELIEVER
Ittai’s words reveal faith in Jehovah the God of Israel and he swears by the LORD that he will not leave David.
What would David have thought when he went to fight Goliath as a teenager that one day the Philistines of Gath would be his most loyal friends and his own people his enemies!
Sometimes we see some amazing turn arounds in life!
The words of David to Ittai and his response are one of the greatest words uttered by a Gentile and comparable to that of Ruth to Naomi and the Centurion to Jesus via his servants.
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
“The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matthew 8:8-10)
Leslie Grant points out in his commentary on 2 Samuel,
“But if David must die, death is welcome to Ittai. He is expecting it and puts it first: “Whether in death or life.” For him life comes after death. In whatever manner, whatever place, wherever David may be “even there also will [his] servant be.” How such feelings refresh the heart of the fleeing king, the heart of our well beloved Saviour. ”
Ittai placed his whole family in jeopardy by following David but he did not care for David’s enemies far outnumbered them.
Such words no doubt deeply cheered and uplifted David in his sorrow and rejection.
Ittai is placed in charge of one of the three divisions of David’s army in the battle that ensued.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
“Ittai is an island of fidelity in a sea of treachery.” (Davis, D. R, 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity)
OUR LOYALTY TO JESUS
“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:25-26)
Ittai’s words also remind us of Paul’s love for Christ.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.
Ittai was willing to go with his whole family.
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
A TYPE OF CHRIST
Here we see the beautiful type of the Lord Jesus rejection by His own for He also crossed that brook and eventually went up to heaven from the Mount of Olives.
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.” (John 18:1)
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