Hildebrandt, OT History, Lit., and Theology, Lecture 24
© 2012 Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
This is Dr.
Ted Hildebrandt in his Old Testament History, Literature and Theology course,
lecture number 24 on: David--his compassion, his passion and his hatred of
A. Quiz Preview [0:00-1:27]
Class, a couple of things for next week, for next Thursday. You folks are working on the Prophets. So there will be select readings on the Prophets. I have not checked the online syllabus, so do the selected readings there. Give me until tomorrow morning to get that accurate, but you can start working on some of the prophets. For some of the select readings, I’m not sure if the syllabus is right. My guess is the syllabus is right but I want to double check it against the online syllabus. I’ll have that perfect for tomorrow morning. But basically we will be working on the Prophets. Next Thursday is our last quiz day. Isn’t that going to be a sad day. Then after that we have just got the final left. The final will go from the last exam. I will probably put out a study guide for the final after our last Thursday class, the next Friday morning.
B. David’s Compassion [1:28-3:09]
Well, let’s jump in. Today we are going to focus totally on David’s life. Previously, we introduced David and Saul, with David when he was younger and his marriage to Michal Saul’s daughter and then his fleeing from Saul who was trying to kill him for a number of years. At the end of the book of Samuel, Saul himself is going to this witch of En Dor. Does the witch of En Dor bring Samuel up? No, she does not bring Samuel up. She is more startled, I think, than anyone when Samuel actually comes up. She freaks out and then Saul talks/interviews with Samuel. Samuel tells Saul, “you and your boys are going to be with me tomorrow.” This means Saul is told in chapter 28 that he is going to be dead, that he is going to be with Samuel who had already died in chapter 25.
So today I want to look at some things about David. The big thing with David I’m not going to take 2 Samuel chronologically, rather I’m going to deal with it more thematically. The theme that I want to develop is that David was a man after God’s own heart. My question is: what does it mean to be a person after God’s own heart? So I want to look at king David as a model of what it meant to be a person after God’s own heart. In order to do that, I am going to take themes in David’s life. The first theme in David’s life that I want to examine is David’s compassion. So I am going to go through various scenarios of David’s compassion then we will talk about David’s passion and finally we will talk about David’s hatred of evil.
C. The Death of Saul [3:10-9:06]
First, on his compassion, who killed Saul? Does anyone remember reading the end of 1 Samuel? It says Saul killed himself and then when you turn over to the next one, and let me just read 1 Samuel chapter 31 verse 4 and following, it says, “The fighting grew so fierce around Saul and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.” So a guy shot a bow and arrow and the arrow hits Saul. He is wounded critically. They could not get the Medevac helicopter into to him. “So Saul said to his armor bearer, ‘draw your sword and run me through or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.’ But his armor bearer was terrified and would not do it.” By the way, who also had an armor bearer? Does anybody remember Goliath? Goliath had his armor bearer and now Saul’s got his armor bearer and the armor bearer is probably really loyal to Saul and carried his weapons out for battle. Saul tells the armor bearer to kill him but the armor bearer won’t do it. Does it take quite a bit for a person to kill another human being? It’s a big deal. I don’t know whether you guys know that in World War II a lot of the guys that went into battle shot their guns into the air. They did not shoot at another person because to draw your gun and shoot another person is a really hard thing to do. So in a lot of the earlier wars the people shot their guns into the air. It is a huge percentage of guys who never really actually put a bead on somebody and actually took them down. So that is interesting. Those kinds of facts don’t usually get out. But what happens is then his armor bearer is terrified and would not do it. “So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor bearer saw that Saul was dead….” So Saul, he is shot critically, but he is still alive, then he falls on his own sword because the armor bearer won’t kill him. “When the armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and he died. So Saul, his three sons and his armor bearer and all his men died together that same day.” So you have this tragic ending for Saul. But what is interesting is when you turn the page--so in chapter 31 of 1 Samuel it is Saul killed himself. He fell on his sword; he killed himself. We call that suicide. He committed suicide when he fell on his sword.
But when you flip the page and go over to 2 Samuel, chapter 1, it says this down about verse 10. There is an Amalekite who got away. So there is an Amalekite who comes to David. Let me just tell the story. The Amalekite comes to David with the crown of Saul and the band from his arm. Now, by the way, will David immediately recognize that crown as being Saul’s? Yes. So the Amalekite comes to David with the crown and the band and then the Amalekite narrates the story. “‘I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,’ the young man said, ‘and there was Saul leaning on his spear with chariots and riders almost upon him and he turned around and saw me and he called out to me, and I said, ‘what can I do?’ He asked me, ‘who are you?’ ‘I am a Amalekite,’ I answered. And then he said to me, ‘stand over me and kill me, I am in the throes of death but I am still alive.’ So I stood over him and I killed him because I knew that after he had fallen he could no longer survive. I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and I brought them here to my Lord.”
So the question is who killed Saul? From what I understand, you can only get killed once. So did Saul kill himself or did this Amalekite kill him? This becomes a question and there are basically two options. Now there may be more. You guys are more creative than I am so there may be more options but here are two possible options on this. One is, Saul was shot. He then fell on his sword but he was still alive. When you fall on a sword like that, does a person die slowly usually? Does it take a lot to die? So he falls on his sword he is still graveling around and he is still alive. Then he calls out to the Amalekite, “come over and finish me off.” So that is the first scenario: the Amalekite is telling the truth. Saul had fallen on his sword, though he had given himself a mortal wound from which he was going to die but he calls to the Amalekite and says “come finish me off more quickly so the Philistines don’t catch me and do some sort torture on me and it gets really ugly.” So, in that case, the Amalekite would be telling the truth, that’s possible.
I think what is probably more likely is, that the Amalekite is lying. What happened is Saul fell on his sword and Saul died. Then the Amalekite is lying to David. He grabbed the crown off Saul’s head and the band off his arm and brought them to David because what does the Amalekite want? He wants a reward and favor from the new king. He is bringing the crown to the new king and so he makes up this story and tells it to David hoping for a reward.
Now what is the problem? The Amalekite tells David. With David, do you touch the Lord’s anointed? No. This Amalekite has now claimed that he has slain the Lord’s anointed, So this guy gives his own death sentence. By the way, there is some irony here too. The guy claims he is a Amalekite. Do you remember Saul in 1 Samuel 13? Who was Saul supposed to wipe out? What tribal group was he supposed to wipe out? The Amalekites. He refused to do it and now you get an Amalekite standing over Saul in his death. My guess is that the guy is lying, wanting a reward from David. He goes to David and David says, “Man, you messed with the Lord’s anointed. You’re a dead man.” So David puts the Amalekite to death.
D. Suicide Discussion [9:07-16:54]
Now you say, this isn’t real compassionate, but there are things here that I think we need to talk about. When a person commits suicide, do they go to hell because of unconfessed sin? Now I realize this isn’t really much of a question in Massachusetts because in Massachusetts everybody goes to heaven. But in other parts of the world, they think that there is a place called “hell.” So if a person commits unconfessed sin, their last act is a murder of themselves. Therefore there is unconfessed sin and the person is rebelling. So some people think that if a person commits suicide they automatically go to hell. I think that is wrong. Let me tell you one story and then let me illustrate it out of the text. By the way, when I look around the class this size, there are likely some of you who know what it is like to have friends and family that have committed suicide. Is that a real serious issue?
My son got back from Afghanistan and when he got back from Iraq, a lot of his friends just got drunk all the time. They are Marines and they get drunk all the time just to try and forget what they saw. Another of his friends, he said this guy was totally well-adjusted, was a quiet guy. Somebody went into his room and got him just before; he had an M16 up his mouth and was going to pull the trigger and somebody broke into his room and knocked the gun away. But unfortunately there were some other people who they didn’t get to people time and there were people he came back with that committed suicide.
The one for me that is most outstanding let me tell you a story about Mr. Mill. Mr. Mill was a multimillionaire. He was from Columbus, Ohio. He was in a very big business. He was so well known in that town when he would go into his favorite restaurant, they didn’t even ask Mr. Mill what he wanted to order. They knew what he wanted and so they ordered for him. This guy was a limo, a multimillionaire kind of guy. I was teaching with his two sons, both PhD’s wonderful young men. At the time we were in our early thirties. He had a wonderful family, wonderful wife, and big business. He retired from the business. He didn’t have anything to worry about for the rest of his life. He was well set. When he left the business, he lost his reason for living, because the business was so much a part of his life and now all of a sudden he is sitting around and he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He is getting more and more and more depressed. Then one day his wife went out to the garage and he had strung himself up and hung himself in their garage.
You ask: how did you get in on this? They called me because I was the same size as he was and so I got all these really expensive clothes that he had bought. I wore Mr. Mills clothes for probably ten years, at least. And I actually still have them. What was amazing to me was his shoes. I have really wide foot and I take a 10 ½ triple E. In other words, I always have to get 12s or something because my feet are so wide, I can never find shoes that fit so I always get them really long. Mr. Mill broke his toe when he was younger and guess what size shoes he wore? A 10 ½ triple E. I can’t even go to a shoe store and find them. Whenever he bought shoes, he bought two pairs of them. So until this day, actually when I was recently at my daughter’s wedding I was wearing Mr. Mill’s shoes. They were very nice. They were 100 dollar shoes. For you guys that is not much today for shoes but back then those were beautiful leather shoes. Mr. Mill was a Christian all his life. He was involved in the church during his life. His two sons, were teaching with me in a very Christian school. His wife also a wonderful Christian.
Question, did he go to hell because he hung himself like that? I want to say, first of all that would be really wicked and cruel to ask his wife. You would never think to say anything like that. Hopefully you are smarter than that.
What does the Bible say? This is a real issue. Have you ever been around somebody…
[Student speaking] “also somebody who has depression, you have to look at mental and physical ability so he wasn’t really responsible for his acts.”
[Hildebrandt] I have a problem with some mental illnesses and not being responsible for my acts. I know I am probably going overboard but I am just thinking about that Norwegian guy. Do you realize the Norwegian guy who blew 77 people away, they said he was crazy. So the guy is not going to jail. Now they will put him away for some psychiatric diagnosis. So there is balance with that.
I don’t know where the line is for responsible or being irresponsible. I also know and I have had personal experiences with my dad, when my dad was dying of cancer. I look up to my dad. I think he was a better Christian man than I will ever be. I really, really respected my dad, but when he was going down, and he had cancer all throughout. I can’t tell you how much pain that was--pancreatic cancer. I was pumping him with morphine. He would not let anybody else give him morphine. I was the only one he would let give him the morphine. I didn’t know what I am doing. I am not a doctor but he would not trust anybody else. But I was giving him morphine but toward the end he pleaded for death. What do you do when he is pleading wanting to die? He wants to go and be with the Lord and his pain was just horrendous. What do you do? There are conflicts over this kind of stuff. Praise God, I didn’t have to make that decision because about three days later he died of his own accord but it was really horrendous.
Some of you know what I am talking about because you have had friends who have committed suicide or family members, it just rips your guts out. Let me just go to a passage. What does the Bible say about this? Do you remember back in 1 Samuel 28? Samuel comes up and what does Samuel say to Saul? “Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.” Well, you can say, that simply means they will be dead. But notice he says, “tomorrow, you and your sons…” Now we don’t know about the rest of his sons but one of the sons who dies here that we do know is Jonathan. Question: is Jonathan one of the best of all of the Bible? So I want to say if Saul and his sons go to be where Samuel is, it is a good place. So I want to say, heaven probably. It isn’t conclusive if you know what I am saying. I can’t do a philosophical or exegetical analysis to prove it but I’m saying, it seems to me that the evidence leads in that direction.
[Student speaking] “But what I was trying to get at was, how mental take physical manifestations and say somebody dies, him killing himself is really the depression. You know what I mean? It’s not him.
Hildebrandt’s response: Yes, what I’m saying is I don’t know where the line is for somebody that is down and I have to leave that out but it does seem like the text indicates that Saul and his sons went to be with Samuel, which is a good place. So I want to say that we have some biblical data for that.
E. David’s Compassion: Eulogy for Saul [16:55-21:03]
Now here is where David gets back on. David does the eulogy for Saul. Now do you know what the word eulogy is? Eulogy is what? Usually when somebody dies you do a eulogy. The word “eu” on the front of a word means “good” in Greek and English. Does anybody know what a euphemism is? A euphemism is when you “speak well.” This is a eulogy. “Logy” is from logos. Logos means, “in the beginning was the logos, in the beginning there was the word.” The “good word.” So what happens is he is going to give a eulogy, a “good word,” for Saul, but was Saul the very one who had been trying to kill him for years. Here is what David says about Saul. “He’s gone. Praise God, the guy is dead. He has been trying to kill me for years. He has finally got what was coming to him.” Is that what David said? Here is what David says in his eulogy. David is a poet, as you know, from the book of Psalms. David writes almost half the book of Psalms.
David says this, “Saul and Jonathan, they were loved in gracious in life.” Do you remember when Saul was trying to kill him? He says in the eulogy, “he was loved and gracious and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep for Saul who clothed you in scarlet and finery. Who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. How have the mighty fallen in battle!” Is he praising Saul here? The guy has been trying to kill him for years, the guy who is the king, that is. The Spirit had left him and had come on David. Saul had been trying to kill him. This is amazing. So this shows me David’s compassion, that David is not vindictive. He is not vengeful. Saul tried to do all sorts of nasty stuff to him, but when he dies, David laments for Saul.
Now this part is kind of really weird. I hate bringing it to text but this is the way in the twenty-first century, these texts are looked at. He says, “I grieve for you Jonathan, my brother.” Was Jonathan David’s best friend? Jonathan was David’s best friend. His best friend has just died. Is that a big deal? When one of your best friends dies, does that do something to you? My son can tell you about that. When somebody you care about and is your best friend and they die, that affects you big time. “I grieve for you Jonathan, my brother. You are very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”
How do people in the twenty-first century understand that? They take it as if David and Jonathan had a gay relationship. Does that have anything to do with anything here? No, it doesn’t. So to read that in, you can say we do reader response. You can do that all you want but what I’m talking about is the fact that David and Jonathan were friends. Is it possible for males to have friendships without being gay? So what I am saying here you have got two guys that are just like blood brothers--close. They were close in battle, close in life and here he dies. David says, you know I had a special relationship with this guy Jonathan. He was David’s best friend. So be careful about how the scriptures get twisted in the twenty-first century. I think it is wrong.
[Student speaking] “Didn’t he also have a bad time with some of his wives?”
[Hildebrandt] Yes, David had plenty of wives and we are going to get to that. Give me about ten minutes and we will get to David’s wives. I mean some of them were good.
Did everybody hear that? He said the reason he lost moral love for women was because he had such a bad experience with women. No, don’t do that. Let’s do something different here. Interesting suggestion, I have never heard that before.
F. David’s Compassion: Ishbosheth [21:04-23:20]
Okay, now Abner and Ishbosheth, who are these guys? First of all, Saul is dead. You guys are Israel, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, and Dead Sea. You guys are Israel, Jordan, Mediterranean Sea. [Prof. Hildebrandt designated sections of the room as geographic landmarks] David takes over Israel. So David gets this territory. Saul’s son is named Ishbosheth. Ishbosheth takes over this area in Jordan. So Ishbosheth had this [Jordan]. David has this [Judah].
Now was Ishbosheth really the guy’s name? The guy’s name is Ishbosheth but actually, when you look over in Chronicles, you say Hildebrandt why don’t you like the name Ishbosheth? Would you name your son this? Ishbosheth means “man of shame.” Would you name your kid “man of shame”? You say that is a really odd name for a kid. No one would ever do that to their kid I don’t think. But what happens is if you go over into Chronicles, you see that his real name was Ishbaal. Ishbaal means what? “Man of Baal.” By the way, in Hebrew when I say, “Baal,” what comes to your head? Baal worship and things like that--Baal and Asherah worship from the Canaanites. That probably wasn’t how the kid was named. Baal can also mean “owner” or “master.” “Man of the master,” which would be Saul which is “man of the master” and that he was the big baal [master] guy. In other words, Saul was the owner/master. So I think what you have here is that Ishbosheth is his nickname. The later scribes did not like writing the name Ishbaal and they didn’t because it meant “man of Baal.” So the guy after his own lifetime was probably called Ishbosheth, “man of shame.” So I think that Ishbosheth is a nickname. Do you nickname people with various names especially if someone has got an offensive name?
“Yes, Hannah.” [Student speaking] “What do you think Nabal’s name was really?”
[Hildebrandt] Nabal’s name may have meant “fool” but it may have been his nickname too. It is hard to say. With Nabal, all we have got is Nabal’s name with Ishbosheth we have got his other name too. So this one we know because there is actual text but you’re in 1 Samuel 25 there with Nabal is the only name you’ve got.
G. Death of Abner: David’s compassion [23:21-29:13]
So, Ishbosheth is Saul’s son but what we need to know is, who was Saul’s general? King Saul had a general whose name was Abner. David had a general and his general’s name was Joab. So those are the two guys. Saul, his main general was Abner. David’s main general was Joab. Now when Joab appears in the narrative, what is Joab going to do? Almost every time he does exactly the same thing. Joab does what to people? Yes, Joab kills them. Joab is a killer. Joab is David’s general and almost every time he appears in the narrative he is killing somebody. Abner is Saul’s general and he is going to do some things there too. Joab then is going to kill Abner. Let me just tell you the story of how this happens and then I want to look at David’s compassion in the story.
Joab and Abner were the two generals of David and Saul respectively. They got together at a pool called the “Pool of Gibeon” (2 Sam. 2). Do you remember the Gibeonites? They were the ones who made an alliance with Israel. There is a pool in Gibeon about from that pillar to this pillar to around where I am. It is a huge pool. From these pillars, there is a pool and Joab’s men and Abner’s men sat around the pool. Joab and Abner, the two generals, say, “Hey, why don’t we let these young guys get up and grapple and fight each other to see whose guys are tougher.” So the guys get up and they start getting into battle and then it gets thicker and thicker and all of a sudden people start killing each other. So Abner decides, “I’m getting out of here. This is getting dangerous. These guys are killing each other.” So Abner takes off running. Now Abner is the big, strong general. Joab’s younger brother is a guy named Asahel and it says he was “fleet of foot,” which meant he was quick. So Asahel chases after Abner and Abner turns around to Asahel and he says, “Asahel get off my tail. I don’t want to hurt you, because if I hurt you, I have to answer to whom? Your older brother.” Do older brothers take care of younger brothers? When I was young this happened forty years later, my brother remembered this. When I was young my brother came home from school one day and some kids had jumped him and beat him up. He got home, I’m the older brother, what did I do? I whipped off my belt, put it around my fist and I went out and took care of business. So when I got home, it was just over. It’s over; it’s cool. They won’t be bothering you again. Did you know forty years later when one of my kids was getting married my brother was telling nasty stories about me and what he said was, one of the things I remember about my brother was that whenever I got in trouble like that, he would take my side. He protected me and he took care of business. He remembered that forty years later where I had totally forgotten about it. What I’m saying is the older brother protects the younger brother.
So what happened? Abner says to Asahel, “get off my tail. I don’t want to fight Joab. So just back off.” He takes the butt-end of his spear and he pushes the kid back with the butt-end of his spear. But what’s the problem? The butt-end of the spear goes through the kid and he ends up killing the kid by accident and now Joab is going to be on his case.
So now what happens? Abner is over here with Isbosheth in Jordan and Isbosheth has got Saul’s concubine, who is named Rizpah. I could never understand that. It is like “the floor lady.” Rizpah means “floor.” But anyway, Abner says can I have Rizpah the concubine of Saul and Isbosheth freaks out. Abner says, “I fought for Saul for twenty years and now you give me nothing. I’m going over to David.” So Abner takes himself and his troops and he goes over to David and he says to David, “I want to make an alliance with you. I’ll bring the kingdom over to you David. You’ll have territories on both sides of the Jordan River now.” Abner and David make an alliance. Joab is not there. Joab shows up and he says, “Hey, David you should have never made and alliance with Abner. Abner tried to kill you. What did you make alliance with him for?”
So Joab sends and says, “Abner come back here. Abner comes back thinking he is going to talk to Joab. Joab takes out his knife and sticks him under the fifth rib and kills Abner in cold blood. So now Abner is dead and he has been killed in cold blood. What is David’s response to this? Joab stabbed him. This is chapter 3 verse 32, it says, “they buried Abner in Hebron and the king wept aloud at Abner’s tomb and all the people wept also.” Abner was killed in cold blood by Joab. It was murder; Joab killed him. “The king sang a lament for Abner. Then the people came and urged David to eat something.” Why did the men come try to get him to eat? David wasn’t eating. When something is really tragic you don’t eat, right? So David is fasting and just not eating because he is so upset with this. “While it was still day, but David took an oath saying, ‘may God deal with me, may if be so severely if I taste bread or anything else before the sun sets.’ All the people took note and were pleased. Indeed everything the king did pleased them. So on that day, all of the people and all of Israel knew that the king had no part in it.” So David wept for Abner and he said and he wouldn’t eat until the sun was down and all the people knew that David had nothing to do with the murder of Abner and that it was Joab’s fault.
So David is compassionate and even with his enemy here. He shows respect to Abner even though Abner had tried to kill him. So David’s response and the people’s response is the people know David had compassion on Abner, his enemy. He weeps for him and this is kind of how the story goes down. That is the second situation where David shows compassion.
Mephibosheth and David’s Compassion [29:14-33:15]
Here is another one. This is over in chapter 9--2 Samuel chapter 9. This is a beautiful story, not totally beautiful but it’s Mephibosheth. Say that three times fast. David now is king over everything. He has gotten Israel, he had gotten Trans-Jordan. David is the king over everything. David says, “are there any of Saul’s descendants that I can help?” David is in position of power and now he says, “are there any leftover of Saul’s descendants that I can help?” They say, “Yeah, there is one guy named Mephibosheth but he is, what is Mephibosheth problem? He is lame in both legs. Apparently when the nurse was carrying him, either she dropped him or fell on him or something and the guy is crippled in both legs. Now, by the way, in our culture if you are crippled in both legs, is it really a big problem? You can get prosthetics. You can get, you know elevators taking you up. You can get a wheelchair. You can even race in a wheelchair. In our culture it is a problem but not huge. Did they have wheelchairs? Did they have escalators? Did they have elevators and things like that? No.
Mephibosheth is whose son by the way? Jonathan’s son. Remember David made a vow with Jonathan that he would take care of his descendants forever. So David basically takes care of Mephibosheth and this is a beautiful situation. He says, “Mephibosheth you can eat at my table from now until forever. You are considered like one of the king’s sons. I will feed you forever.” That was the first welfare program ever in existence, David taking care of Mephibosheth. So that is kind of the storyline behind it.
This is the point I want to draw from it. The goodness of a person can be seen, can be measured, on how they treat people who cannot pay them back anything. Suppose you want to get a promotion and you are working down at a corporation down in Boston like my son was. A guy comes in he works four hours a day and you come in and you work eight and nine hours a day. The guy works four hours a day and even in those four hours he barely does any work. But question, what does the four-hour-a-day guy do? He goes out golfing with the boss every day or whenever the boss goes out on weekends. He goes golfing all the time with the boss. Time comes for raises who is going to get the raise, the one that goes out golfing with the boss or the one who does the work? The one that does the work should get the raise. No, the one who is working four hours a day, coming in at ten and going home at two, going out golfing with the boss, he gets the raise. Is that how it works? You do favors, you become friendly with somebody and then all of a sudden you get the promotion. Now is that fair? Is that right? No, it’s not but that is how it works often times. Do people work employers that are over them to try and garner favors from them? That is how it normally works. So you want to go against that.
You say what did Mephibosheth have that David needed? Nothing. In other words, David did not getting anything out of this. This is grace; this is compassion. David has compassion and is gracious to Mephibosheth and provides for him. It is wonderful what David did. He is not wanting anything from Mephibosheth. So how do you treat people that are outcasts? How do you treat people that don’t fit in? That is a mark of your character. Everybody always wants the people who are on the top but how do they treat the people on the bottom? David is a compassionate guy. He goes after Mephibosheth and invites him into his home and takes care of him for the rest of his life. Mephibosheth had his problems, as seen in some of the later things we are going to skip.
I. Absalom and David’s Compassion [33:16-48:53]
Now what about Absalom? This is one I want to camp on for a while. Absalom was David’s son and Absalom is going to get into some trouble here big time, so I want to work through the Absalom story. This shows David’s compassion very, very well.
First of all, here’s how the story goes down. You may remember it. There was a guy named Amnon “and it came to pass” let me start with chapter 13 verse 1, 2 Samuel 13:1: “In the course of time, Amnon, son of David, fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom, son of David.” So Amnon, the son of David falls in love with Tamar, the daughter of David. Is that a problem? Yes. Now, by the way, is Amnon half-brother to Tamar? By a different wife David had Amnon, so they are what? Half-brother, half-sister. So Amnon falls in love with his half-sister. Remember how I said geography plus hormones equals love. So geography, they are close together.
So Amnon is sick with love is it really love or is it lust? What is the difference? Lust is a very consumptive--now kind of thing; whereas love is, I’m sorry but I’m going to be really corny, but love waits. Love can wait, lust can’t. So what I am saying is that Amnon can’t have her because she is his sister. So Amnon has a nasty friend named Jonadab who makes a suggestion of how to take care of the problem. “You pretend like you are sick and you tell the king, ‘I want Tamar, my sister to bring me in some nice, what is it you eat when you are sick, chicken soup? So bring in some nice chicken soup so that it will make me feel better. I’m sick.’” So she brings in the chicken soup. She prepares it or whatever it was and then Amnon sends everybody else out. Then what does he do? He is stronger than she is and he rapes her. By the way, if you ever want a passage this 2 Samuel 13, do you actually have the dialogue between the brother who is going to rape his sister and the sister trying to defend herself. It is actually verbally described here. It says, “but he grabbed her and he said to her, ‘come to bed with me my sister.’ ‘Don’t my brother,’ she said. ‘Don’t force me. Don’t so such a thing.’” Does it record the narrative between these two? It is narrated here. It is incredible the Bible records something like that.
Amnon rapes her because he is stronger that she is and then he throws her out. This passage just makes you so angry. “Then Amnon hated her with an intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he loved her.” Can lust turn to hate? Yes. This is what happens. He throws her out and she says, “throwing me out is worse than what you have already done to me.” So this is really bad.
Now what happens here? David’s family is having problems. Why is David’s family having problems? The David and Bathsheba lies behind this in chapter 11. Now how do you tell? Love can wait, lust can’t. What is the role of a father? Is the role of the father in the family to administer justice to his kids? The role of the father is to administer justice. Does David do anything to Amnon? David doesn’t do anything. So what happens when the father doesn’t administer justice, do the kids take care of it among themselves? When the father does not administer justice the kids take care of it themselves.
So what is going to happen is Absalom is Tamar’s brother. Now, by the way, what do we know about Absalom? Does anybody know? There used to be a guy named Keith Green. I love his music. He has a big old head of hair. This guy Absalom is known for his big head of hair, he was handsome guy. He was one of the most handsome in all of Israel. So Absalom is her older brother and he says, “sister, you go, I’ll take care of it.” So what he does is he throws a big party and he invites Amnon. He says, “get Amnon drunk and then when Amnon is drunk, kill him.” So Absalom has his half-brother killed for raping his sister, Tamar. Absalom kills his brother. Does it kind of echo back Cain and Abel? So Absalom kills Amnon.
Now what happens (2 Sam 14)? After Absalom kills Amnon, he flees from the city and goes up towards Damascus out of reach of David. Absalom hides out for a while; he flees. Now is Joab a really smart guy? Joab is maybe not too bright himself, but when you want wisdom, what kind of a person do you go to? When you want somebody shrewd or wise who do you go to? You go to a woman. When you want to bring compassion out of a man, who do you go to? So he goes to a woman and the woman comes in. She is the wise woman from Tekoa. Tekoa is just south of Bethlehem, maybe about ten miles south of Bethlehem. So since they are sister cities, David would have known Tekoa well. So Joab gets this wise woman of Tekoa. By the way, I should mention, Joab is from what town also? Joab is from Bethlehem. Joab is from the same town as David. Is it very likely that David and Joab grew up together and all their life they were together? So Joab knows David from back when they were in grade school. They didn’t have grade school but anyway, back when they were kids. He grew up with him. Joab becomes the great fighter and David respects his abilities because he is very gifted at doing what he does.
But now what happens? Joab goes to the wise woman of Tekoa and says, “Go tell David this story.” So the wise woman of Tekoa goes to David and says, “David I’m a widow. I don’t have a husband. I have only two boys and my two boys got into a fight with one another and one killed the other one. Now the townspeople are wanting to kill my last son. But if they kill my last son, I’ll have nothing. David would you pardon/spare my son?” And David says, “I’ll spare your son.” And then what does the wise woman of Tekoa say? Just kidding. You thought it was my son. Why would you spare my son, David, would you not spare your own son? Spare your son Absalom. Forgive him. Let him come back. You’ve spared my son, why won’t you spare your own son? Do you see the argument there?
So David says, “Okay, Absalom can come back but when he comes back,” and this is part of the problem, David says, “I don’t want to see his face. He can come back to Jerusalem and he can be with his buds when he comes back, but I don’t want to see his face.” I want to call that partial forgiveness. Is partial forgiveness dangerous and bad? Yes. Partial forgiveness is going to grieve the heart of Absalom. Absalom is going to get more and more angry at his father. Now when I say Oedipus Complex, what are we talking about there? As soon as I say Oedipus, what comes into your head? Good old Sigmund Freud. Did Sigmund Freud have it right on some things? He had his problems, I’ll give you that. Absalom is going to try to kill his father. He’s going to get so hateful towards his father; he’s going to go after him to kill him. So this is breeding in Absalom’s heart now.
Now, let me just set this up. Where does Absalom go to breed the revolt that he needs to revolt against his father? I’ve skipped this. When David first became king, where did David first administer his kingship from? He administered it from a town called Hebron. Is Hebron the hometown where Abraham and his wives were buried? Hebron is a very noble city. The people, even to this day, are noble. I took a picture of a guy in Hebron, and the last thing I remember of that was being chased down the road. He chased me with a butcher knife. I outran him obviously, but he was running after me, and I ran for my life. The butcher knife was about that long, but I took a picture that was wrong that violated him, and he then proceeded to chase me. I got the picture though. It’s a long story. I don’t want to get into it. I was wrong. I should have been more sensitive to his culture. I was a young kid and I was too stupid at the time. I didn’t deserve to get the knifed, however, but I did deserve to be chased.
Hebron is a noble city. Here’s how it worked. David was king in Hebron for seven years, and the last thirty-three years of his reign, he moved the capital up to Jerusalem. So the people of Hebron are noble and dignified even to this day, and they said, “David, when you were nobody, we were good enough for you, but as soon as you got to be the big king, you moved everybody up to Jerusalem. So now Jerusalem is your big capital, but we were good enough when you were nobody.” So are the people in Hebron going to feel snubbed by David? Yes. So Absalom goes to Hebron because he knows that’s a weak point, and he also knows the character of these people. He basically says to them, “Hey, I want to be President of the United States so I tell all you college students there will be no tuition. You don’t have to take out loans. The government will cover all your loans, and I will take care of it. The prices of your schooling will be slashed to a tenth, and there won’t be tuition. There should be free education for all. I’m running for President of the United States. Please vote for Ted Hildebrandt, he approves this message.” When you promise people something for nothing, people vote for you. So Absalom goes down there. That’s exactly what he does. He says, “If I were king, I would do this,” and he tells the people exactly what they want to hear. So pretty soon the people say, “Absalom should be king.” So he rallies the people at Hebron, and he marches up to Jerusalem after David.
Now what’s the problem? When you go after David, and you’re Absalom—is Absalom a pretty boy? I don’t know how else to say it. Absalom is a big, handsome guy with all this hair. Tell me about Goliath. Tell me about the battles. Is David a warrior? David’s a warrior. Could David have stood up to his son and taken him on and probably taken him down? Yes. David’s a warrior. Did David choose to do that? No. David, when he heard his son was coming up fled the city, and he fled out of Jerusalem down to the Rift Valley, and up over into Jordan. David flees from his son. David doesn’t want to hurt his son, so David flees.
Now what happens? Chapter 18, Absalom’s catching up with David. So David can’t get away now. David realizes that the two armies are going to go to war with one another. So it says, “The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai,” and this is what the king said. “He’s says, ‘Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.’” In other words, don’t kill him. “And all the troops heard the king giving the order.” David didn’t just tell Joab on the side, David announced it in front of all the troops, “Be gentle. Don’t hurt Absalom.”
Now what happens? What’s Absalom most famous for? His hair. He’s riding on a donkey. He goes under a low oak tree. They have these long hanging branches from the oak tree. What happens? His hair gets tangled up in the branches. The donkey runs off, and Absalom is swinging in the air with no donkey under him. He’s caught in the tree by his hair. Who would be the one person in Israel you would not want to meet at that point? You’re totally helpless and guess who shows up? Joab shows up, sees him dangling in the breeze, and Joab thinks, “I know what to do.” He takes three darts and jams them into Absalom’s heart. He kills him and he falls down. Ten men surround him, and they take him out. So David’s son Absalom is killed by Joab and his boys, after David had urged mercy.
Now, watch David’s reaction, and then I want to watch Joab’s reaction after this. David gets news after his boy has been killed. Now, by the way, had his boy tried to kill him? Had his boy violated his concubines in front of everybody attempting to totally violate David? Yes. Absalom dies. Here’s what the narrator says. “The king was shaken,” chapter 18, verse 33: “David went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said, ‘O, my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom. If only I had died instead of you. O, Absalom. My son. My son.” Have you ever seen a person grieve, where they keep saying the same thing over and over and over again? They’re grieving. David is grieving, deep grieving. Joab was told, the king is weeping and grieving for Absalom and the whole army. The victory of the day was turned into mourning because that day the troops were heard, “The king is grieving for his son. The king covered his face and grieved aloud, ‘O my son Absalom! O my son, my son, Absalom!” David is really shaken up. His son, whom he loved, is dead now. So this is David weeping, showing his compassion for his son who tried to kill him.
I think what is more interesting to me than this is Joab’s reaction. Joab is the one who killed him. David’s weeping and check out what Joab says here. This is really interesting. Does Joab know David really well? Joab had grown up with David. Joab had been in war with David. They had been chased by Saul together. Joab knew David like of a book. Joab is going to give an indictment against David and he’s going to nail David. Listen to what Joab says. He’s going to make an accusation against David. Joab is really ticked. He killed Absalom. Yes, he did. But Absalom should have died, according to Joab. “When Joab went into the house of the king and said, ‘Today, David, you have humiliated all your men who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines.’” Then he says, “‘David, do you know what your problem is? I’ll tell you right now, David. This is your major problem, David. You love those who hate you.’” Now all of a sudden you’re sitting here thinking, Can you hear the echo? You love those that hate you. Echo. Echo. Echo. Sound like somebody else you know? You love those that hate you? Does it sound like Jesus? I mean, you can’t get much closer than that. So you get this echo with Jesus. “You love those that hate you.” That’s what Joab, who knows David’s heart, says, “That’s your problem, David.” Is that the very thing that makes him a man after God’s own heart that he loves those that hate him? It’s a beautiful statement, chapter 19, verse 5 and following there. Joab’s got it absolutely right. David is a man after God’s own heart. He loves his enemies.
J. David’s Passion: Ark to Jerusalem [48:54-59:52]
Now, that’s David’s compassion. He has compassion on his son Absalom. He has compassion on Saul. He has compassion on Mephibosheph. But what about David’s passion? For this, we’ll jump back to chapter 6 in 2 Samuel about the ark. I want to bring up this map here and describe what’s happening.
First of all, remember the Philistines back in 1 Samuel? The Philistines captured the ark, so they’re down here—Gath and Ekron. The Philistines have taken it here. The ark then is taken back up to Bethshemesh. Cattle basically haul the ark back up to Bethshemesh and the ark is down here. Now, where is David at this time? David’s at Jerusalem. David is an administrative genius. This guy is really sharp. David captures Jerusalem. Jerusalem is known as the “City of David.” It’s his city. He captured it, so it’s his city. It’s the City of David. It’s the political capital.
Now what does David say? David says, “I know Jerusalem is the political capital,” but David says, “The ark is down there in a tent.” He says, “I want to bring the ark to Jerusalem.” By bringing the ark to Jerusalem, what does David do? He consolidates the power, so Jerusalem will not only be the political capital, but now it will be the religious capital. It would be like Rome being brought to Washington D.C. or something like that—the political and the religious coming together into one. So David’s going to haul the ark up. He’s going to haul it from Bethshemesh up here to Kiriath-jearim. As he goes up into hills, this is where the ark’s going to hit a rock. Uzzah’s going to die here in Kiriath-jearim, and in a later time, David’s going to bring the ark up from Kiriath-jearim to Jerusalem. David’s going to house the ark there in a tent in Jerusalem. It is going to be like a tabernacle structure in Jerusalem. David’s going to bring the ark to Jerusalem.
Before we get there, let’s just walk through what happens as the ark goes up to Jerusalem because there’s some really cool things there. This ark coming up to Jerusalem shows David’s passion. Before we get to the passion, the joy of David is found in 2 Samuel 6. Let me first hit Uzzah. As the ark is going to Jerusalem, they put the ark on a cart. Now, first of all, is the ark supposed to travel on a cart? When they travelled in the wilderness and when they went around Jericho, how was the ark to be transported? With poles on the priest’s shoulders. The priests were to hand-carry the ark on poles. They put it on a cart. The cart goes up into the mountains, hits a rock, and the ark is going to fall off the cart. What does Uzzah do? Uzzah reaches out his hand. By the way, how big is the ark? The ark is about this big by this big. You know what I’m saying? Is the ark big enough that you could handle it. One person probably couldn’t pick it up because it was overlaid with gold, but what I’m saying is it’s only about this big. It’s like a small cedar chest. What happens is, it’s going down because it hit a rock. Uzzah sticks out his hands to try to keep it on the cart and God slays Uzzah on the spot. When you violate that which is holy, is there usually a quick action from God on the spot? Does anybody remember Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 11 when they offered up an unauthorized fire to the Lord, and Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, dropped dead.
Is it possible that Uzzah had proper motives to save the ark? But sometimes, just because your motives are right, does it also matter what you actually do? Well, you say, “But my motives are good.” No, no. It matters what you do as well as your motives. It’s not an either or. My motives were right, but what I did wasn’t right. No, no. They both have to be right. What you do has to be right, but your motives have to be right also. So he may have had right motives, but what he did was violate something that was holy. Uzzah went down. David freaks out. He says, “Whoa, I’m not bringing the ark up here. The one guy’s dead already. We’re not going to do that.” David was upset with that.
So David leaves the ark there for a while. Then David realizes God’s blessing on the place there, so David comes down and brings the ark up. This time David goes down and they carry it up on the poles with the priests carrying it. Then every seven steps, they offer up sacrifices to God. Sacrifices all the way up. Then I want to read about David’s celebration as he brings the ark into Jerusalem. So now the ark of God is coming into Jerusalem for the first time. This is David’s celebration. He’s bringing the ark to the City of David. It says, “David, wearing a linen ephod danced before the Lord with all his might.”
I was reared in a really strict Baptist church, and we didn’t dance. It was like illegal to dance. You say, “It’s alright, Hildebrandt. White men can’t dance anyways.” That’s probably true, for me anyway. It’s really interesting here. Did David dance before the Lord? Is this guy-girl dancing, like after basketball games, me and my good friends—this wasn’t a good scene actually. Here David’s dancing before the Lord and praising God—just leaping and praising God. It says, “David, wearing a linen ephod.” He took off his royal robe. So he’s just in his t-shirt, and David’s down there, basically getting down with the people. He takes off his royal robe, and he’s getting down before the Lord. He’s dancing with all his might “while he and the entire house of Israel brought the ark of the Lord with shouts and with the sounds of trumpets. As the ark was entering into the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, watched from the window,” and she said, “How proud I am. Look! There is my husband bringing the ark of God into his city, Jerusalem, and my husband is leading the way as the King of Israel. Isn’t this exciting?” Not. Here’s Michal, “and when Michal saw David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.” Is it possible for a wife to despise her husband? I’ve been there sometimes, usually for good cause in my case, but she despises him. This is the happiest day of David’s life. He’s dancing before the Lord, just praising God.
Then he comes home to see his wife, and here’s how she greets him. “When David returned home,” verse 20, of chapter 6—David’s coming home to bless his household, as a father would bless his family. “David returned home to bless his household. Michal the daughter of Saul came down to meet him and said, ‘How the king of Israel distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of all the slave girls.’” David, you know, you really turned them on—getting down, and they really like seeing the king. “And slave girls, as any vulgar fellow would.” Is she being sarcastic, cynical, and degrading her husband? Her husband comes home happy and excited. He goes in and meets that. You can just see it. It takes him down.
Now, there’s some things here that I don’t want to say David’s always the smartest guy in the world. David does something here that from my perspective is stupid. I know this to be true. I’m going to tell you it’s stupid, but when you see it, you’ll know it. Don’t do this. When you’re married, don’t do this. David responds, and I’m critiquing this. So she says, “O, David, you turned all those little slave girls on, didn’t you, David?” David then says to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me, rather than your father.” When you do the “your father” business—where is her father? He’s dead. Is that cool? “He chose me rather than your father.” That “rather than your father” part—I’m telling you when you’re arguing with your spouse, you don’t bring the father-in-law and don’t bring the mother-in-law into it either. That’s just like off the table. I just want to tell you just don’t do that. In a critical way, this is stupid. I can tell you from experience, it will blow up in your face. This is not good.
But then David does say some things here that are good: “or anyone from his house, when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s house.” Then David says this, and this is beautiful: “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this. I will be humiliated in my own eyes, but by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” Did you see that? He says, “I’m the king. I will humiliate myself in front of them. But by them, will I be held in honor.” A king that comes down and is with the poor people—do the slaves then honor that? Is that a big deal?
I could use that example here at Gordon college. This is the honest truth. I’m sitting up at my office, the wonderful office. Some of you have been up there. You’ve seen my wonderful office. I’ve been up there twelve years. I’ve never had a president of Gordon College come up, and I’ve never seen him on the third floor of Frost ever, in twelve years. I’m here all the time. All of a sudden I’m sitting in my office, feet kicked up, and all of a sudden I hear a knock on the door. I turn around, “Come on in,” figuring someone wants to take a late quiz or something. I turn around, and there is the president of Gordon College. I’m like “whoa.” It’s a total shock, but the guy comes up to the servant corridors and says, “Hey, what do you think about this?” So we start talking together. Does that blow me away? That blew me away. Am I impressed with that? The president like that—that he would get up and do that. That’s impressive: a person of high status comes down and visits a person of low status. Maybe that example doesn’t fit exactly. But this is really interesting here.
The next verse the narrator puts in is this. This is a sad verse: “And Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no children until the day of her death.” You see how the narrator says this? Kind of evens it up. She despised David when he was praising God. She has no children until the day of her death. All I’m trying to show here is David’s passion. David is a passionate person, and he loves the Lord. He gets really excited. He dances, the ark dancing—Michal’s response, and then David saying, “I will humble myself, but those people who are the underlings, the lower class, will hold me in honor.”
K. David’s Passion: Building a house for God—Davidic Covenant [59:53-63:22]
Now, this is another one of David’s passions. He brings the ark to Jerusalem, but what’s the problem? The ark is in a tent. Where is David living? David is living in a palace of cedar. I always wondered how that smelled. David’s living in a palace of cedar, and David says, “God,” in chapter seven, “God, you’re living in a tent and I’m living in a cedar palace. I want to build a house for God.” But what happens there is there’s a play on words with this term beth. Remember when we said beth lehem was “house of bread?” Beth means “house.” Beth-el means “house of El.” David says, “I want to build God a beth. I want to build God a house. I want to build God a temple.”
Then, what does God do? God comes down and says, “David, you’re not going to build me a temple because you’re a man of blood. Your son Solomon, who is a man of shalom, he will build the house for me.” But God says, “David, you want to build me a house, a temple?” God says, “David, I will build you a house.” But when God uses the term “house,” there’s a play on words there. He doesn’t mean he will build a temple for David when he says, “I will build a house for you, David.” He’s saying, “I will build your descendants, a dynasty.” In other words, “Your house will be your descendants. Your descendants, David, will sit on the throne of David. I will build you line of descent such that your sons will sit on the throne of David forever over Israel.” Ultimately, who is going to be the son of David then who sits on the throne? Who is that one who will build David a house forever? Jesus Christ. So this is called the Davidic Covenant.
This is really important. Let me just back up. What covenants have we had so far? We’ve had the Abrahamic Covenant. What did God promise him? Land, the seed would be multiplied, and he’d be a blessing to all nations. We’ve had the Sinaitic Covenant where they went to Mount Sinai, and God gave them his law, the Ten Commandments: thou shall not lie, thou shall not steal, thou shall not do murder, thou shall not commit adultery. He gives them his law, that was the Sinaitic Covenant. So you had the Abrahamic covenant and the Sinaitic covenant giving the law. Now you have the third covenant saying, “You’re going to bless all nations, and how is it going to be administered? David, I’m going to make your house, your descendants, your line, to rule over Israel forever.” This is the Davidic covenant, and it points straight to Jesus. Jesus will be the son. By the way, Jesus will be called what? The Son of David. When Jesus goes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, what will they say to him? “Hosanna! Hosanna! The Son of David!” And they’ll call Jesus, the Son of David. He’s the Messiah. That’s the one they hoped would rule over Israel. This is called the Davidic Covenant and it is built off this play on the term beth or house. David wants to build God a house [temple]. God says, “I’ll build you a house [dynasty].”
By the way, did Nathan the prophet get it wrong here? Nathan the prophet told David to go ahead and build the temple. God steps in and says, “Wait, Nathan, you’ve got that wrong.” So God actually corrects Nathan the prophet here.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful passage. This is the Davidic covenant. It’s one of the three major covenants in the Old Testament. It’s really pointing straight to Jesus.
L. David’s Hatred of evil [63:23-64:25]
Now David hates evil. When the Amalekite comes and says, “I slew Saul,” What does David do to the Amalekite? He kills him because he touched the Lord’s anointed, and David says, “You don’t touch the Lord’s anointed.” So David has a really harsh time with evil. So David has a hatred for evil, and he kills the Amalekite. David hates evil. By the way, does the Bible say to cooperate with what is evil, put up with what is evil? Does the Bible say hate what is evil; love what is good? I see a lot of love for what is good in this area. But do we really hate what is evil or do we try to tolerate it and kind of cooperate with it? We tolerate it. We’re a very tolerant people right? So we tolerate evil. It’s okay. We can handle it. The Bible says, “Hate what is evil. Love what is good.” By the way, that’s in the New Testament. Sorry for jumping ahead there.
M. David’s evil with Bathsheba [64:26-78:46]
Now we want to look at David’s personal evil. This is in chapter 11 and is probably the most famous passage of David that everybody knows: David’s sin with Bathsheba. Let me start with chapter 11 verse 1. It says this. “In the spring,” 2 Samuel, chapter 11, verse 1, “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war.” Why is that a slam on David? First of all, why do the kings go off to battle in the spring? When do the crops come up? The wheat and barley—in the spring. So if you take all your troops out in the spring, can you rip off the farmers and get food for yourselves. Who is the genius who did war all year round? Who is one of the first people who did that? It actually wasn’t him [Alexander]. It was his father who built this fighting machine, where they could have supply lines so that they can go all year round instead of just in the spring. Does anybody know Alexander the Great? His father Phillip of Macedon actually built the system and Alexander implemented. But normally kings went off to war in the spring because they could just live off the crops that were coming up naturally.
David’s troops were going out to war over here in Jordan. It’s saying, “In the spring, when kings go off to war.” Is David going to go off to war with his men, or is David going to be sitting at home shacking up with this girl? So this is a slam on David right from the start. Kings go off to war. “One evening, David got out of his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.” Is the roof of the palace, high or low? Palaces are always what—high or low in the city? The palace is always high. David’s palace is always high. David’s on the roof of his house. He looks over to the other roof from his house, and there was a very beautiful woman, and David—well, let me read it, “From the roof of his house, he saw a woman bathing.” I thought, “Oh what do you mean? This woman’s got a bathtub up there. She’s taking a bath, and David looks down, sees this woman like that.”
First of all, a lot of people accuse Bathsheba of trying to seduce the king. Is that true? I want to say that’s not true. First, let me just explain houses in Israel. The houses in Israel are smaller than from over here. That’s the house. Question, when you’re in the house, do you have privacy? There’s no privacy in those homes. Do you understand? Basically, things are open. When you want privacy, when you want to be by yourself, where do you go? You go up to the roof. The roof is where you have privacy. You don’t have privacy down in your home. There are animals and there are people walking in and out. When you want privacy, you go up on the roof. She’s bathing up there. Is this her bathing in a big tub? First of all, would they have a bathtub? Would you waste water like that in Israel to take a bath in Israel with water? Would people waste water like that? No. She’s probably taking a sponge bath on her roof. David looks down and sees her. This isn’t her displaying herself.
Anyway, David looks down so be careful—just be careful here. The process of temptation is next. So David looks. He sees that she’s beautiful and sees that she’s bathing. So he sees with his eyes. So the process of temptation, comes through the eyes. Question: do guys have problems with their eyes? The answer is: yes. But for me, it’s always the second look that kills you. Why is the second look so important? The first look is just what? You may see something that you really shouldn’t be seeing, but when you look back the second time, is there intention there? So what I’m saying is, watch out for second looks.
A classic for me was when I remodeled a house once in a place called Winona Lake, Indiana. And our house was six feet, well maybe ten/twelve feet from our neighbor’s house on this side—maybe ten, twelve feet from our neighbor’s house on that side. I gutted the house, rewired, and replumbed it and all that. So we’re moving into the house. So, I’m on my way up to school. I walk to school. I’m a morning person—a serious morning person. I usually get up—this morning I think it was about ten to five. I just want to tell you, my wife gets up a lot later. When you get up at five or five thirty, it’s dark out, so I go out the door of my house. It was early, about six, six thirty or something like that, and I walk out the door of my house. I’m going to walk to school. It’s about two blocks up to the school. As I walk out the door of my house, there is Kim, our neighbor, about a twenty-five year old woman, who’s married to her husband Rich. There’s a window there and it had frosting on it. You know what I’m saying? Frosted windows usually you can’t see through them. But what’s the problem when you put a light behind the frosted window? All of a sudden, there’s no frosting there. So I’m standing there, and here’s this woman standing there bli kol-bushah as the Hebrews say—stark naked. She’s taking a shower right there. And I’m like, “Holy cow!” You know? I’m thinking, “Wow, six o’clock every morning we get free shows.” So this is—no, no, no. That was a joke. So, I go up to the school. Do I have a problem? And you say, what do I do tomorrow? I have a wife. Do I tell my wife? You say, “Are you out of your mind? You don’t tell your wife that kind of stuff.” I have a wife. Does my wife know every thought that goes through my head? Do I tell my wife stuff like that? You say, “No, you don’t do that.” Yes. We have a totally open, honest relationship. I went home that day, and I knew I had to tell her. I said, “Annette, you’ve got to do something. Just go over to Kim and tell her to put up a curtain or something and we’re cool. I said you’ve got to go over and talk to her and tell her to put up a curtain to cover that window.” What did my wife say to me? She says, “How can I go over there and tell them to put a curtain up there. My husband has a problem. How can I tell her to put a curtain up there?” She says, “I can’t do that.” So she didn’t do it. So now do I have a bigger problem?
Do I now have to purposefully and intentionally walk out the opposite door of my house, to go to school from that side every day for about a year and a half. Then when Joe and his wife, the next couple, moved in, what was the first thing I did. I was over there. “Joe, you’ve got to get a curtain up on this window as soon as Joe moved in, and he put it in right away, so it wasn’t a problem after that.
What I’m saying is, you get in some situations. You have to be careful about your eyes. We live in an Internet age, do you have to be careful about your eyes? As I look over in that seat over there, I see a student at Gordon College looking at pornography at Gordon College. You say, “How’d he get passed the”—anyway, in that seat right over there. What I’m saying is, “Is this a big problem in our culture?” It’s a big problem. So, I’m saying, “Guard your eyes.” Especially the guys—guard your eyes. Guard your heart--second looks.
Now, what happens? David sees her, but if he doesn’t act does he take action now? He invites her up. Is this Bathsheba’s problem? He invites her up. Some people say, “O, she’s going up to seduce the king.” When he invites her up, where is her husband? Her husband, Uriah the Hittite, who isn’t even Jewish, is out fighting David’s war out over in this area in Jordan. David invites her up. When David invites her up, is she thinking she’s going to get seduced, or is she probably thinking, “What is David going to tell me?” Her husband’s out in battle, so she’s thinking David’s going to tell her that her husband’s been killed, hurt or something like that.
So she goes up to see the king. The king seduces her. Now, by the way, is she partially culpable? It’s a mutual consent kind of thing at that point, but then, what’s the problem? The problem is, I want to say, “Back off this blaming of Bathsheba.” It’s always the woman’s fault. I don’t think so. I think she consented to it eventually, but I think her coming up to David she was probably thinking that he’s going to tell her that her husband was dead and report that.
Now, David and Bathsheba have relations. She finds out she’s pregnant. Has her husband been out on the field for quite a while. She finds out she’s pregnant. Does that take time? Her husband’s been out on the field, so David does what? He’s got to cover his sins, so what does he do? He invites Uriah the Hittite back and says, “Send Uriah back here.” So Uriah comes back. David comes in and says, “Hey, how’s the war going? What’s going on out there?” What does David figure? The guy’s been out on the field for at least the past three or four months. When he gets back home, who’s the first person he’s going to want to see? Is he going to want to see the king? Forget the king, he’s going to want to see his wife.
Now what happens? Does he go down and see his wife? No, and I’ve heard some people say, “Well, that shows you that Uriah had a bad relationship with Bathsheba, and that’s why Bathsheba cheated on him because he had a bad relationship with her.” No. Does Uriah tell us exactly why he doesn’t go back down to his wife? Uriah explains to David why he didn’t. He says, “David, the ark of God, Joab and all my buddies are out fighting a war. How can I go and sleep with my wife when the ark of God is out there?” Do you hear the irony there? The ark of God is his concern and he’s a Hittite. He’s not even a Jew, and he’s got more respect for the ark than David did. So basically what happens then is David says, “Okay. The guy won’t go sleep with his wife. When you want to get someone to do something they wouldn’t normally think about you get them drunk.” So David says, “Let’s get Uriah drunk.” When Uriah gets drunk, is he going to go home? Even drunk, he won’t go home. Has this guy got core moral principles?
So now what happens? David sends Uriah back out to the front lines, back out over to Joab. He tells Joab, “Put him out on the front line, and then pull your troops back, so Uriah will be killed.” Is Joab worried about killing people? This is Joab. So Joab puts him out there, pulls the troops back, then sends the message back to David: “Uriah’s dead. Everything’s taken care of David.” So David gets away with it.
This is David’s sin—not only the immorality with Bathsheba, but now the murder of Uriah the Hittite who showed great uprightness. Uriah was a good person. He worked with the Jews. It is very interesting in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, whose name gets in there? “She who was Uriah’s wife.” In the genealogy of David, it doesn’t even mention Bathsheba’s name. It mentions Uriah’s name in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1. So I want say Uriah was a good man.
He was off at war, and by the way, when guys are off at war, do their wives cheat on them? My son was in Iraq. He said, “Every one of the guys he was with who was married—every last one of them except one, their wives cheated on them when they were gone. The guy goes into battle fighting for his life. He knows that his wife is at home cheating on him, sleeping with somebody else. How do you fight a war when you know that kind of stuff is going on? The only one who was faithful in Iraq, when he went to Afghanistan, he came back. The only one left when he got back from Afghanistan got shot through the neck. It missed by less than a millimeter his aorta coming down. He goes to his wife and says to his wife, “Honey, I love you.” She gets him back, and she’s like all over him. He says, “I’ve got to have space. I’m not the same person.” He’s seen all sorts of stuff. There’s a lot of evil that happens in war. He says, “I just need some space. I can’t just be like I was. I’ve changed now, and I just need some space.” She couldn’t give him space. And the next thing she did—ran up the credit card to ten thousand dollars, “See you later, Charlie,” and divorced him. That’s really sad. Hadley was the only one left. Does my son have a good view of these things? No! He’s all messed up. But what I’m saying is, “In war, do these kind of things happen in the background?” The answer is: yes.
Now, what happens? Nathan shows up. Nathan is the prophet, and Nathan is going to go to David and Nathan is going to tell David a story about a guy with a little lamb. Does David know about sheep and getting attached to little lambs? David knows all about that, and Nathan says, “There was a really wealthy guy, who had all these sheep. This other guy had just this little lamb to rest in his arms. The rich man had somebody come to his house. The rich man says, “We need to have a little bit of lamb for food here.” So he went and took the lamb from the poor man and ripped it off and butchered it. David was furious, “that guy deserves to die.” And Nathan looks at him and does what the prophets do the best. He says, “David, you’re the man. You’re the man, David. You’re the one. You had all these wives, but this guy had one wife, you took her, and you killed him.”
So Nathan is a prophet. What is the role of the prophet? The role of the prophet is to rebuke the king. Now, what does the king do, usually? He kills the prophet. The prophets usually lose. Remember John the Baptist, you get your head cut off. Jeremiah, you get put in a septic tank for three days. But with David—does David kill Nathan? No. David repents. I want to look at David’s repentance next time. We’ll actually go through the process of repentance.
Okay, see you on Tuesday!
Transcribed by Paula Gomes and Allee Keener
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt 2