2 Samuel 19

The King Returns!

 In Chapter 19 we read that the army of David was victorious over Absalom and the army of Israel in their rebellion against King David. Absalom’s plan was to kill David and become king in his place but Absalom lost his life in the battle and the rebellion was over, but is it really over?

 A Chaplain for the police and fire department told me once that, “Every dysfunction comes out in a crisis.” That is certainly evident in this chapter. Israel is talking about bringing David back as king. Judah is dragging their feet about bringing David back but finally asks him to return. Shimei is now asking David for mercy and forgiveness for his verbal attack on David when David was being driven out of Jerusalem. Abishai still wants to kill Shimei but again David restrains him. Ziba and Mephibosheth meet David as he returns and David wants to know why Mephibosheth didn’t come with David as he was leaving. After all, David had extended him mercy and grace based on the covenants David had made with Saul and his son Jonathan.  Mephibosheth claims Ziba betrayed him and David demonstrates wisdom in determining the truth and what or whom these men really value. Solomon must have been there and observed for he will use the same wisdom as he judges disputes when he becomes king. Barsillai who went with David as he left Jerusalem returns as far as the Jordan. They part company at the river. The crisis is over. Barsillai has served David in that time of crisis but now he will return home yet he leaves his servant Kimham with David. Sadly, Israel and Judah are divided and arguing with each other, and David the returning king, is left to straighten all this out.

 One day our Lord and Savior Jesus, will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords after He is victorious against the antichrist who will attempt to rule the world. This will mark the end of the great tribulation and judgment will follow. Much like we see in Chapter 19 the return of Jesus will bring out the evidence of man’s rebellion and reveal what is truly hidden in the heart of each person. Jesus will do this in preparation for His thousand year reign called the Millennium where there will be perfect peace as Satan will be bound and the world will be put in order for the first time since the Fall of Man. After the thousand year reign Satan will be set free to deceive the nations and a final battle will follow. We wonder why this must take place. There are two reasons.  There will be those who will be born during the Millennium who will have to make a choice who they will serve.  There will also be people like Shimei, Ziba, and Mephiboseth who, from our viewpoint, could be feigning allegiance to the King or they could be true followers now. We don’t really know. What we do know is that each of them received mercy and grace in their encounter with the king. Will they love much because they were forgiven much as Jesus said? Man’s free will allows them to decide. The same is true for us and that is the more important question. Do we love much based on what our King has done for us?

 Trials and crises come to all of us. They are a shaking that upsets our complacency and reveals our true allegiance. They are a sifting process which identifies the things of the world that are attached to us. The trials and crises bring out what is truly hidden in our heart. That is why James tells us to rejoice in trial, not for the pain, but that the trials we are going through are developing godly character. James 1:1-8.

 God is taking us through what we must go through, but don’t want to go through, in order to get us to where we want to go with the godly character He wants us to have.

 Trials can be hard and overwhelming. Included in our study today is Psalm 143.I love this Psalm. When I find myself overwhelmed by trials this is my go to prayer. It helps me refocus on the true big picture while I deal with what seems to be my big problem.  I have found that as I pray my perspective begins to change as I am reminded of God's unfailing love for me.

 Love much. The King is coming!

Pastor Dave