March 17, 2019 – March 23, 2019
“Rejoice not against me, 0 mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 737, 738; Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 89–91.
“David’s history enables us to see also the great ends which God has in view in His dealings with sin; it enables us to trace, even through darkest judgments, the working out of His purposes of mercy and beneficence.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 738.
BITTER EFFECTS OF SIN
- How had David’s sin reduced his credibility before his children? Proverbs 6:32, 33.
Note: “There was a great change in David himself. He was broken in spirit by the consciousness of his sin and its far-reaching results. He felt humbled in the eyes of his subjects. His influence was weakened. Hitherto his prosperity had been attributed to his conscientious obedience to the commandments of the Lord. But now his subjects, having a knowledge of his sin, would be led to sin more freely. His authority in his own household, his claim to respect and obedience from his sons, was weakened. A sense of his guilt kept him silent when he should have condemned sin; it made his arm feeble to execute justice in his house. His evil example exerted its influence upon his sons, and God would not interpose to prevent the result. He would permit things to take their natural course, and thus David was severely chastised.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 723.
- What is written about Amnon, David’s first-born son? 2 Samuel 13:1, 2, 10–16. Why did David neglect to carry out his convictions regarding Amnon’s violent act? 2 Samuel 13:21; Romans 2:1.
Note: “The shameful crime of Amnon, the first-born, was permitted by David to pass unpunished and unrebuked. The law pronounced death upon the adulterer, and the unnatural crime of Amnon made him doubly guilty. But David, self-condemned for his own sin, failed to bring the offender to justice.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 727.
BLIND PARENTAL AFFECTION
- How was Amnon brought to justice? 2 Samuel 13:28, 29, 32. What warning should parents and church leaders heed from observing the character and outcome of Amnon?
Note: “Like other sons of David, Amnon had been left to selfish indulgence. He had sought to gratify every thought of his heart, regardless of the requirements of God. Notwithstanding his great sin, God had borne long with him. For two years he had been granted opportunity for repentance; but he continued in sin, and with his guilt upon him, he was cut down by death, to await the awful tribunal of the judgment. …
“When parents or rulers neglect the duty of punishing iniquity, God Himself will take the case in hand. His restraining power will be in a measure removed from the agencies of evil, so that a train of circumstances will arise which will punish sin with sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 727, 728.
- How can we avoid the same mistakes David committed in mishandling the case of Absalom? 2 Samuel 13:38, 39; 14:21–24, 28.
Note: “The evil results of David’s unjust indulgence toward Amnon were not ended, for it was here that Absalom’s alienation from his father began. After he fled to Geshur, David, feeling that the crime of his son demanded some punishment, refused him permission to return. And this had a tendency to increase rather than to lessen the inextricable evils in which the king had come to be involved.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 728.
‘’[After being permitted to return to Jerusalem] Absalom lived two years in his own house, but banished from the court. His sister dwelt with him, and her presence kept alive the memory of the irreparable wrong she had suffered. … It was not wise for the king to leave a man of Absalom’s character—ambitious, impulsive, and passionate—to brood for two years over supposed grievances. And David’s action in permitting him to return to Jerusalem, and yet refusing to admit him to his presence, enlisted in his behalf the sympathies of the people.” lbid., 729.
CHARISMA, CHARM, AND TREACHERY
- What factors made Absalom attractive to the people, and how did he craftily use these to his advantage when the unsuspecting king had accepted him back into his court? 2 Samuel 14:25, 26; 15:1–6.
Note: “With the memory ever before him of his own transgression of the law of God, David seemed morally paralyzed. … The influence of David’s listlessness and irresolution extended to his subordinates; negligence and delay characterized the administration of justice. Absalom artfully turned every cause of dissatisfaction to his own advantage.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 729.
“Fomented by the artful insinuations of the prince, discontent with the government was fast spreading. The praise of Absalom was on the lips of all. … The king, blinded by affection for his son, suspected nothing. The princely state which Absalom had assumed, was regarded by David as intended to do honor to his court—as an expression of joy at the reconciliation.” Ibid., 730.
- Relate the hypocritical plot of Absalom. 2 Samuel 15:7–12.
Note: “Absalom’s crowning act of hypocrisy was designed not only to blind the king but to establish the confidence of the people, and thus to lead them on to rebellion against the king whom God had chosen.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 730.
- Relate the startling news brought to David, and the strategic steps he took. 2 Samuel 15:13–17. What was his aim in taking this action?
Note: “In his great peril David shook off the depression that had so long rested upon him, and with the spirit of his earlier years he prepared to meet this terrible emergency. Absalom was mustering his forces at Hebron, only twenty miles away. The rebels would soon be at the gates of Jerusalem.
“From his palace David looked out upon his capital—’beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth … the city of the great King’ (Psalm 48:2). He shuddered at the thought of exposing it to carnage and devastation. Should he call to his help the subjects still loyal to his throne, and make a stand to hold his capital? Should he permit Jerusalem to be deluged with blood? His decision was taken. The horrors of war should not fall upon the chosen city. He would leave Jerusalem, and then test the fidelity of his people, giving them an opportunity to rally to his support. In this great crisis it was his duty to God and to his people to maintain the authority with which Heaven had invested him. The issue of the conflict he would trust with God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 731.
- In this tragic hour, how was David comforted by the faith of men such as lttai the Gittite? 2 Samuel 15:18–23.
Note: “David, with characteristic unselfishness, could not consent that these strangers who had sought his protection should be involved in his calamity. He expressed surprise that they should be ready to make this sacrifice for him. [2 Samuel 15:19–21 quoted.)
“These men had been converted from paganism to the worship of Jehovah, and nobly they now proved their fidelity to their God and their king. David, with grateful heart, accepted their devotion to his apparently sinking cause.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 731, 732.
NOBILITY IN SUFFERING
- Though David eagerly yearned to keep God’s sacred ark with him, what noble decision did he make? 2 Samuel 15:24–29.
Note: “As the appointed ruler of God’s heritage he was under solemn responsibility. Not personal interests, but the glory of God and the good of his people, were to be uppermost in the mind of Israel’s king. … Without divine authority neither priest nor king had a right to remove therefrom the symbol of His presence. And David knew that his heart and life must be in harmony with the divine precepts, else the ark would be the means of disaster rather than of success. His great sin was ever before him. He recognized in this conspiracy the just judgment of God. The sword that was not to depart from his house had been unsheathed. He knew not what the result of the struggle might be. It was not for him to remove from the capital of the nation the sacred statutes which embodied the will of their divine Sovereign, which were the constitution of the realm and the foundation of its prosperity.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 732.
- Describe the hope expressed by David in this dark hour. 2 Samuel 15:30; 16:5–12; Psalm 3:1–3. What should we realize from this history? Psalm 89:18–20, 30–33.
Note: “David utters no complaint. The most eloquent psalm he ever sang [Psalm 3] was when he was climbing Mount Olivet.” Conflict and Courage, 181.
“The Lord did not forsake David. This chapter in his experience, when, under cruelest wrong and insult, he shows himself to be humble, unselfish, generous, and submissive, is one of the noblest in his whole experience. Never was the ruler of Israel more truly great in the sight of heaven than at this hour of his deepest outward humiliation. …
“In the experience through which He caused David to pass, the Lord shows that He cannot tolerate or excuse sin. … He caused David to pass under the rod, but He did not destroy him; the furnace is to purify, but not to consume.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 738.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why did David seem to be in a paralytic stupor?
2 How can we avoid repeating the mistakes found in David’s family life?
3 What factors can trigger an Absalom in the church?
4 Relate some evidences of David’s nobility during this period.
5 Why could David trust in God even at this time?