Theology


David and Saul; Contrasting Hearts

David and Saul; Contrasting Hearts


Posted By on Jul 27, 2020

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.  Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.”                                                                          1 Sam. 16:13-14 David and Saul were two men God had chosen to be kings of His chosen people Israel.   David was pleasing to God and He promised to establish from David’s descendants, One who would reign forever on the Davidic throne (2 Sam. 7:12-16).  Saul greatly displeased God and was permanently cut-off from having a relationship with Him (1 Sam. 13-14a, 15:23, 26, 28) –for these men possessed contrasting hearts.  David was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, 16:7, Ps. 89:20, Acts 13:22) and Saul was a man whose heart Satan was after (1 Sam. 16:14).  The contrast between the two is stark, and Scripture sheds much light on the many differences.  For instance, Scripture states King David had served God with honor: “…because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kin. 15:5b).  King Saul on the other hand, dishonored God in practically everything he had done: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands…I have rejected him from being king over Israel” (1 Sam. 15:11a, 16b).     As the book of First Samuel progresses, it becomes more and more apparent of David’s ever-increasing rise to an exalted position as Israel’s leader and eventual king (2 Sam. 5:1-4), opposed to King Saul’s continual deterioration and demise (1 Sam. 15:23, 28, 1 Sam. 31).  David’s godly character is shown when he spared King Saul’s life for the second time (1 Sam. 26, cf. 1 Sam. 24), but afterward was still convinced Saul would seek to kill him (1 Sam. 27:1).   Rather than harming King Saul, God’s anointed, the honorable David fled from Saul’s presence.  This contrasts with the despicable character of King Saul, who would spend much of his reign seeking to murder David, God’s anointed.   David was terrified of Saul so he hastily fled to Israel’s enemy, the Philistines and to Achish the king of Gath to whom he quickly grew in favor with.  While David dwelt peaceably in Ziklag, the Philistine city King Achish gave him to reside in, the Philistines formulated...

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The Lord is my [Good] Shepherd

The Lord is my [Good] Shepherd


Posted By on Jun 26, 2020

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jn. 10:11). There has been much debate regarding the deity of Jesus Christ.  Did He in fact claim to be God?  The consensus among anti-Christian sects and liberal theologians is one of denial, that Jesus cannot be divine.  However, this observation is absolutely erroneous and completely “misses the mark”, for on many occasions Jesus claimed deity.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus made twenty-three “I Am” statements—those statements alone are clear and convincing evidence that ought to quash the debate (Jn. 4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5, 6, 8).  In fact, even the Pharisees and Sadducees understood that Jesus claimed to be God.  For example, when Jesus made the powerful declaration: ‘“I and the Father are one.’  The Jews took up stones again to stone Him.  Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’  The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’” (Jn. 10:30-33).  However, like all unbelievers, the Pharisees and Sadducees could not accept the truth of Jesus’ claim.  The spiritually blind will not and cannot acknowledge truth, even if it is dangled before their eyes or trumpeted in their ears (1 Cor. 2:14).   In John 10:11, Jesus declared: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (John 10:11—emphasis added).  Jesus’ “I Am” declaration in this verse, transports the reader back to Exodus 3:14, when God first appeared to Moses in the burning bush: “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”  When God sent Moses to deliver His chosen people from Egyptian slavery (Ex. 3:10), Moses was commanded to say to them, “I AM” (YHWH), sent him.  Israel would have understood from ancient time past that the God of Israel’s name was “I AM”.  So, when Jesus repeatedly applied “I Am” to Himself, the people of Israel most likely knew He was claiming to be God. The twenty-third Psalm is perhaps the most well-known of the Psalms among Christians and even known among unbelievers [who often reciting it at funerals].  In the first verse of the Psalm a case can be made for Christ’s deity: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps. 23:1); King...

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After highlighting some of David’s serious sins (see previous articles), the question could be raised, why did God consider David “a man after His own heart”, when David repeatedly sinned against Him?  It appears as if God showed David leniency above and beyond all other servants of His.  Yes, God chastened David for his sin, chastened him severely; for he suffered consequences throughout his life because of his sin.  However, as compared to Israel’s great deliverer and leader Moses, for instance–it appeared as if God dealt much more sternly with Moses when he committed sin.  For example, when Moses was confronted by the multitude of thirsty, grumbling, and hostile fellow Israelites demanding water, Moses, out of frustration disobediently “struck the rock” [with his staff to obtain water], rather than “speak to it”, as God had commanded (Num. 20:1-12).  More important than Moses’ act of disobedience, was that he tarnished God’s holiness before the people: “But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’” (Num. 20:12, cf. Deut. 32:52).  According to Scripture, it appears for that one incident of disobedience, Moses was denied entrance into the Promise Land.  After forty years of arduous desert wandering, enduring inclement weather, and bearing the children of Israel’s constant grumbling and rebellion against his authority—Moses’ sudden display of anger seemed justified.  Amazingly, despite David’s many offenses against God, Him, still considered David “a man after His own heart”.  It was an honorable title God had uniquely bestowed upon David–no other servant, prophet, or king of Israel, was given such a designation.  Even David’s son Solomon, who inherited his father’s throne, never received such acclaim from God: “In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you.’  Then Solomon said, ‘Thou hast shown great lovingkindness to Thy servant David my father, according as he walked before Thee in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward Thee; and Thou hast reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that Thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.’” (1 Kin. 3:5-6).  In fact, all kings were measured against David’s standard of “righteousness”. The MacArthur Study Bible notes: “David is consistently presented as the standard by which other kings were to conduct their lives and be judged by God. (1 Kin. 3:14; 9:4; 14:8, 15:3; 2 Kin. 8:19; 22:2).” 8   In God’s eyes David was...

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Near the end of David’s reign, the Bible records another of the king’s lapses into egregious iniquity: “Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’” (2 Sam. 24:1).  The Bible does not provide specifics as to why God was angry with Israel, but one could presume it was for disobedience, for Israel’s history of rebelling against God was extensive.  Before we examine this great sin of King David, something needs to be clarified regarding God’s Word.  There are two accounts of this same sin recorded yet, they appear to differ from each other.  The account in 2 Samuel 24:1 reads, David was “moved by the Lord” to number Israel: “Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, ‘Go, number Israel and Judah.’”  But the account in 1 Chronicles 21 reads, David was “moved by Satan” to number Israel: “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” (1 Chr. 21:1).  So, which reference is correct?  Both are God’s inerrant Word.  So why are there seemingly contradictory accounts?  What appears to be a contradiction in the Bible, can easily be explained.  Satan, like all of creation, is subject to God’s authority and power.  Therefore, God sovereignly and permissively utilized Satan to tempt David into conducting a census of Israel.  Although David was tempted by Satan, he could have [or should have] resisted him (Jas. 4:6) and obeyed the word of the Lord, but in weakness chose to sin.  Even King David’s military commander Joab, knew he was sinning against God and challenged the king’s foolishness: “But Joab said to the king, ‘Now may the LORD your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?’” (2 Sam. 24:3, cf. 1 Chr. 21:3-4).   However, Joab’s appeal was in vain, the obstinate king commanded the conduction of the census.  Furthermore, Scripture does not reveal why David sinned, but perhaps it was self-aggrandizement because of his military strength, that prompted his numbering of Israel.  A.W. Pink’s asserts: “…it was pride of the heart which moved Israel’s king to commit such folly.  If he was intoxicated with the successes which heaven had granted to his arms, and was more occupied with them than their Giver, that that would account for his disastrous lapse, for ‘pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)’” 5  Keil & Delitzschalso...

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King David knew God disproved of polygamy—and that marriage is only between one man and one woman and has been that way from the beginning: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24).  Moreover, God commanded explicit laws regarding marriage for Israel’s kings: “Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.” (Deut. 17:17). Furthermore, all kings of Israel were commanded by God to write the entire law and read it daily, to have God’s law upon their minds. “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes.” (Deut. 17:18-19).  Yet King David clearly violated God’s law of marriage with his polygamous lifestyle.  He had eight wives: Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Macaah, Haggith, Abital, Eglah, and Bathsheba, not to mention his numerous concubines, many of which bore him children.  The exact number of concubines David possessed is not revealed in Scripture, but by examining certain passages, one could surmise the number was considerable. For example: “…David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to David.” (2 Sam. 5:13).  Furthermore, Scripture reveals more information about King David’s concubines. When David was fleeing from his son Absalom, who was trying to kill him (fulfilling Nathan’s prophecy 2), the King hastily vacated his residence in Jerusalem: “So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house.” (2 Sam. 15:16–emphasis added). David commissioned “ten concubines” to stay behind and look after the royal house he vacated.  Perhaps many more concubines left with King David. Regardless, David’s collection of wives and concubines was a direct violation of God’s law, to which King David was certainly privy (cf. Deut. 17:17a).  “Then it happened”, is howthe eleventh chapter of 2 Samuel begins.  Many times, the Bible employs such strong transitioning language to alert the reader that a drastic change of events is about to occur.  Such was the case with King David, as David had just sent his military commander Joab and his army to engage in battle with...

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Much can be written regarding the greatness of David’s faithful service to God and his promised eternal legacy, which will ultimately be fulfilled at Jesus Christ’s second coming when He will rule on David’s throne.  However, the focus of this article, is of an entirely different aspect of King David’s greatness; the great sins he committed against God.  Even though David was considered “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14, Ps. 89:20, Acts 13:22), God’s chosen king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:12, 1 Chr. 17:7), “the apple of God’s eye” (Ps. 17:8), and the recipient of God’s “unconditional [Davidic] covenant” (2 Sam. 7:12-16); he committed numerous sins against God.  Moreover, some of those sins permanently affected the lives of many people, as will be shown.  In fact, numerous lives were needlessly lost because of David’s foolishness and sin, yet God deemed him a man with “integrity of heart and of uprightness” (1 Kin. 9:4).   Furthermore, God is omniscient and foreknows all things (1 John 3:20) and obviously knew that David would fall into serious transgressions, yet He still chose David to be king of Israel: “I took you [David] from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over My people Israel.” (2 Sam. 7:8b).  In fact, despite David’s iniquities God made an everlasting covenant with him: “…When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:12-13-brackets added).     Considering this glorious promise God had made to David, we will examine some of his sins.   The relatively young David had just learned from his dear friend Jonathan, that King Saul (Jonathan’s father), was seeking to kill him (1 Sam. 20).  So, David, fearing for his life, fled.  It would begin a time in David’s life when he lived in constant fear of King Saul.  In fact, virtually the rest of the book of 1 Samuel (chapters 20-26), depicts David frantically evading Saul.  At the onset of his flight, David came to the city of Nob where he met the priest Ahimelech. (1 Sam. 21:1).  Being paranoid and afraid that Ahimelech would tell King Saul of his whereabouts, David proceeded to lie to the man of God.  Instead of trusting that God would deliver him from evil [as David penned in many of his Psalms] and truthfully explain to Ahimelech his plight concerning King Saul, David chose to deceive the...

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