2 SAMUEL 7:1 – 9:13 and LUKE 22:39–71
2 Sam 7
David is now well established as king over Israel and the Lord has given him and the nation rest from their enemies. When God is in control and God’s people rule righteously there is peace and security from the enemies of God. David is at rest in his own house of cedar and is burdened to see a more appropriate dwelling place for the Ark. David knows that it is God that has brought him to this place and is a bit shamed in seeing God’s presence dwelling behind curtains.
In verse 3 Nathan encourages David to do that which is in his heart and states that the Lord is with him. The Lord then shares with Nathan, which is to be told to David as to how He dwelt in a tabernacle or a tent since the time of Moses. This would cover a period of about 600 years. The Lord never prompted any of the other leaders or Judges to build such a house so why should David think about it now (vs 7)? Still, it seems that it was God that put this desire in his heart. There was never a king/priest figure like David up to this point. What David desires to do is something that the Lord will bring to pass through his heir (vs 13).
What we will later see in King Solomon will be a picture of the millennial reign of Christ. What we are seeing in David is a picture of him as one who will have rulership in the millennium. It is a picture of Rest that God will one day have with His people during the time of the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. It must have been disappointing for David to hear that God would not have him be the one who would build Him a house but in actuality he is being given a far greater future promise. We have commented previously on the Sabbath and the Rest of God. The millennial reign will take place after the completion of 6000 years. The next one thousand years will be God’s Rest with His people. God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th (Gen 2:1-2).
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Samuel 7 begins with David ruling from a position of Rest (vs 1). The balance of the chapter speaks of the ultimate Rest of God that will be experienced on earth during the millennium. The Lord will reign from Jerusalem and David will be His prince.
Eze 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
2 Sam 8
The reign of David becomes even more solidified as he now goes forth to do battles with many enemy nations. There is an expression seen on a few occasions in this chapter that makes mention of the Lord preserving David whithersoever he went (vs 6, 14). Here we see a picture of what the 2nd coming of the Lord will be like. The Lord will come with ten thousands of his saints as He comes to establish His kingdom upon earth. David in his reign as a king/priest is giving a portrayal, a type of what it will be like in the last days (Rev 19:11-19). Immediately after the marriage supper of the lamb the heavens will open and the Lord will come forth on a white horse with His armies alongside. The armies that are with Him are mentioned as being clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Rev 19:8). This denotes a righteousness that has been worked within. We see nations that come under David’s authority like Edom and others. David dedicated all of the spoils of the nations unto the Lord.
David also executed judgment and justice unto all the people (vs 15). He was a king who was reigning in righteousness. There is much of the Lord Jesus Christ that can be seen in this period of David’s reign. We are also introduced to Zadok the priest as well as Ahimelech who is the son of Abiathar. Through the upcoming period of David’s rule we will see both Abiathar and Zadok serving faithfully alongside David. We need to recall that Abiathar can trace his roots through Ithamar, one of the 4 sons of Aaron. The priest Eli also comes from this line. The Word of the Lord came to Eli in 2 Sam 2:32 where it was said that the family line of priests will one day be cut off. As of now it is still functioning through Abiathar. Zadok can trace his lineage to Eleazar one of the other 4 sons of Aaron. We earlier saw the exploits of Phineas in the transgression of Balaam (Num 25). He was given the promise of an everlasting priesthood due to his assuaging God’s anger at the blatant act of immorality in the camp. This brief bit of history helps to put Abiathar and Zadok’s role into perspective as we shall see through David’s life. This portion of Israel’s history is rich in meaning and importance for our day. It helps to give understanding into aspects of the 2nd coming of Christ and His soon to follow millennial rule.
2 Sam 9
David’s benevolence is seen as he seeks out anyone from the house of Saul whom he may be able to show kindness. He takes immediate action when he discovers that Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth. He summons for him and gives him a place of honor in lieu of the kindnesses that Jonathan had given to David. He is given land that is to be tilled for fruit that will be overseen by Ziba for his family and servants. Ziba was a servant in the house of Saul. David gave clear instruction that Mephibosheth was to eat at his table continually (vs 7, 10, 13). This was a very high honor and it speaks of the deep relationship that David had with Jonathan.
David is bringing forth beautiful kingdom principles in his early years of being on the throne. It is a bit more understandable why it took thousands of years before God would have a man of His choosing in the role of a king. To effectively rule as a king one must be groomed and tested. There is no easy way to the throne although we seem to make it easier with much of our theology today. It is the lamb, the priestly role that establishes true authority and kingship. It is a costly process.
David was a shepherd who was faithful in his role; even to the point of risking his life. The Lord saw his heart and called him out to be anointed as the next king (1 Sam 16). This took place after the first king, the king who was the choice of the people who failed in areas of obedience. Though anointed, David had to be groomed and tested in his wilderness wanderings in fleeing from Saul. He faced humiliation and virtually the loss of all things by the time he arrived at Ziklag. He could have given up right there especially when his own men talked of stoning him. The ultimate qualifier was his ability to “encourage himself in the Lord” against all odds (1 Sam 30:6). The Spirit man prevailed against the soul and things turned from that time onwards. The Spirit man is strengthened by the Word of God and trusting in Him. The spirit man puts God above all soulish inclinations. These are the attributes needed for ruling and reigning. This is why David qualified and found such favor with God and then later the people. Once he came into Rest as king over all Israel he expresses the desire to build the Lord a house. Though God does not give David this privilege now He speaks to a future time when Israel and the people of God will enter into true rest. It will be here where David will have a vital role as a prince in the millennium. We see in David’s conquests against enemy foes a picture of the Lord’s return to the earth at the time of the 2nd coming. We also see the generous and benevolent spirit that David expresses for acts of kindness rendered to him through Jonathan. He never forgets this kindness and finds a way to return this kindness by taking in his son. Once again David is bringing forth another powerful attribute of the Lord.
The church today is so kingdom minded and rightly so. Still, to fully appreciate kingdom principles one must look at the qualifications that brings a person into such a position. The life of David thus far gives us such a message.
Things are now coming to a climax. The enemies of Christ realize that the time to kill him at his hand since He is continuing to grow in favor with the people. The account of Satan entering into Judas is a bit different than the account we see in John (John 13:27). Suffice it to say that Judas’s heart was now fertile ground for the seeds of betrayal to be planted. There then came a time when his heart was conducive and open for Satan to literally enter into Judas. This is not be confused with what happened with Peter when Jesus rebuked Satan through Peter (Math 16:23). Peter’s intent was neither malicious nor conceived from an uncircumcised heart; he merely took issue with what Jesus said regarding His going to Jerusalem to die. Satan seized on this vocalised challenge to try and dissuade the Lord from His appointed mark at Calvary. Judas heard the Truth but allowed his heart to become corrupted to the point of becoming a thief. Satan was able to take advantage of this. Once again, we need to have that constant cry for a pure heart (Math 5:8, Psa 51:6). The men were happy to satisfy Judas’s request for money by agreeing to give him 30 pieces of silver. All he had to do was to seek an opportunity to turn him over at a private place outside the view of the masses.
The Lord commissioned Peter and John to prepare a room for the Passover meal (vs 8-14). The room they were sent to was exactly as Jesus said it would be. This should have helped them to realize that Jesus could be trusted in what He was speaking to them. Is it possible for them to believe that He will die and rise again after three days? He tells them that this will be the case. The details that Jesus gives regarding the room they were to prepare should have helped to serve as a reminder.
In verse 15 we see the great joy and desire Jesus had in having this opportunity to fellowship with them. The Bible speaks about our not forsaking the gathering together of brethren especially as the last days draw near (Heb 10:25). Jesus needed the strength and blessing of being around His chosen ones having full knowledge as to what was about to take place. These troubled days are serving as a reminder as to how much we need each other. The strength and support of the body of Christ is an essential.
The Lord makes the disclosure that one among them will betray Him (vs 23). You can imagine the discussion that would have taken place after such a disclosure. How is it possible that this group that has walked closely together with the Lord in recent years would have a betrayer among them? What is scary is that no one knew who it was up until the time Jesus disclosed the culprit to John. The heart is deceitfully wicked in its ability to conceal its intent and motives. There is no doubt that Judas knew that what he was doing was wrong but I feel he had no idea as to what length it would be taken. He may have been able to get away with deceitful acts before without any kind of disclosure and may have felt this would be no different. We can note the frustration he began experiencing when Mary broke the expensive perfume bottle (John 12:3-4). His heart had become desensitized to Truth and the things of God.
If this was not enough for the Lord to deal with there was strife among the brethren as to who would be the greatest. The Lord must have been truly saddened and concerned. On the one hand He was looking at this gathering for the purpose of fellowship and being strengthened. He was about to become sin and go to the cross. Now there is the issue as to who would be the greatest in the kingdom. This had to be a significant added burden to the Lord. He knew that the promise of the Father (The Holy Spirit) would soon be given but it would be prohibitive in an atmosphere of disunity. We will see how Jesus handles this when we look at John 17. The Lord quickly assumes the role of a servant, after knowing that all power had been placed into His hands (John 13:3-5). The Lord had everything that these men desired so what did He then do? He took a towel, got on His knees and assumed the role of a servant. He further stated that true greatness will be determined by the extent that one serves (vs 25-28).
The Lord speaks to Peter that Satan desires to lay hold of his life (vs 31-34). He also mentions that he is praying for him; that Peter’s faith will not fail. Peter takes issue with the Lord’s words and says he is ready to go to prison and even unto death for the Lord. There is no denying the love that Peter had for Jesus but he did not have a clue as to the dynamics that were about to take place. The moment at hand is the greatest conflict heaven and earth has ever experienced. The will of the Father which was ordained before the beginning of creation (Rev 13:8) will soon materialize.
Peter felt he had the capacity to stand in this hour. In challenging the Word of the Lord he was opening himself up to Satan to sift and try him. Satan knew the potential that resided within Peter. Satan also knew that the hour was at hand when Jesus was about to take upon Himself sin, as the Lamb of God. Peter, would be designated as one of the chief spokesperson for the Gospel hence Satan’s desire to lay hold of him. God is about to establish His kingdom on earth (as decreed before the foundations of the world) as it was decreed in heaven (Rev 13:8). It is here where the greatest spiritual battle ever known and will be is about to take place. Peter, in challenging the Words of the Lord had no idea of all that was about to take place. Jesus prayed for Peter and no doubt is praying for us that our faith will not fail; He is ever interceding. As we near the end of the age we too need to be reminded of the challenges that will confront us. We cannot be indifferent or half-hearted in these days. By the grace of God we must be willing to stand for Truth and hold firm in our convictions.
We now come to one of the most solemn yet powerful moments throughout all of Biblical History. To me, the account that Luke brings forth regarding this moment is the most dramatic and descriptive. The Lord is now entering Gethsemane and immediately comes into a posture of intense prayer. One of the most agonizing verses is seen below:
Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
What is the above verse all about? What is it about the cup that the Lord is struggling with? What is the cup? Let’s go back before the beginning of the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
In the foreknowledge of God, He knew that man would one day disobey His command, even before man was created. God knew that there would have to be a sacrifice to atone for man’s transgression. It was decided that God the Son, as the Lamb of God would become that sacrifice. There could be no other way. What a cost! What a price that would have to be paid.
Before man was created there was a rebellion in heaven amongst the angels, spearheaded by Lucifer. In his role as worship leader in heaven he sought to usurp the glory and honor that belonged to God alone. How did he do this? He asserted his will.
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Lucifer failed in the area of his will and as a result was cast out of heaven along with a third of his rebellious cohorts. When God created man, he was created in innocence, free from sin but not holy. Holiness needs two things to be realized. First there needs to be a choosing to be holy (Lev 11:44, 1 Pet 1:15-16). Secondly, holiness must be tested. How then did the test come about as it pertained to man?
God gave a commandment to Adam in Gen 2:16-17. In this commandment he gave the Law of not partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Up until now man was free from laws. Once the law was given, man is then put into a position of choosing as to whether he will keep the law or disobey it. Adam and Eve had no problem keeping the law until they were put into a position of being tested. How did this test come about? It came about by Satan himself when he introduced himself to Eve by challenging the one law that God had given to man.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Adam and Eve are now being tested. If you read further in Genesis 3 you find that Satan is seeking to get man to fail in the very same area he himself fell. In verse 5 he entices Eve by saying that she would be like god. We know that man failed God by disobeying His law which resulted in man becoming a partaker of the sin nature. God now has a problem! How can God have a problem; after all He is God? The problem is this. How does God reconcile man, whom He loves who is now bathed with the nature of sin, which He hates and disdains more than anything else to Himself?
It can only be remedied by the ultimate sacrifice, the giving of the life of the Son of the living God. The Son of God must become man, live as a man and experience what it is like to be a man, yet without sinning. At the appropriate time this sinless Son of Man must become sin in order for the sacrifice to be complete. That time is now in the garden. This is what the cup represents; it means Christ must become sin and take it to the cross. Why is this such agony for Jesus? Why is there such a struggle? Up until now Jesus had a close intimate love relationship with His Father. Now, as he becomes sin, He will become the object of everything the Father hates. Think of the price being paid by the Father at this moment. His beloved Son is now going to have to take upon Himself the entire sin of mankind and suffer the consequences of a horrible death upon the cross. If we can grasp this reality we will never ever see God as owing man anything; He has already demonstrated and expressed His love in a way that can never be repaid. Oh how He so loves you and me!
What is now taking place at Gethsemane is the fulfilment of what was ordained before the time of creation. This is where the greatest spiritual battle of all time is taking place. The kingdom of God is being established upon earth, at Gethsemane as the Lord decreed it in heaven, even before creation. We also know that all of hell was present as well. Satan is working hard in trying to get Jesus to assert His will above that of the Father in much the same way he did when he rebelled in heaven. The battle is in the area of the will.
The Lord, as the Son of man was looking for an alternative; Father is there any other way? Still in the end, He was able to declare these words which served as the death blow to Satan; nevertheless, not my will, but thine will be done. There it is! The battle has been won. Now, this does not mean the battle and agony of the Cross has been any less diminished. He still had to be arrested, betrayed, tortured, humiliated and die an agonizing death. The battle of the will is the key. Jesus prevailed where Satan failed. It is an opportunity we have as well. If we can come to that place of seeking the Lord to help us in those times when our will is challenged, He will help us. The Holy Spirit can bring us into places we cannot enter into in our own strength (John 21:18). It comes down to our will, which means we have a choice. It is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man. The intensity of this battle that Jesus had is summed up in verse 44. It mentions that he sweated great drops of blood through His time of intense prayer.
We are not only forgiven for our sins when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives but we are also provided an opportunity whereby we can become like Him; to be holy. It is not automatic. There has to be choosing to be holy. This is accomplished by knowing and embracing His Laws; His laws bring us into the position of choosing as to whether we will keep them or ignore them. The enemy will always be there to try to get us to assert our will against God’s commands. May God help us through the strengthening and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to cry out “not my will, but thine O Lord be done”.