March 24, 2019 – March 30, 2019
“Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed Thy strength unto this generation, and Thy power to everyone that is to come” (Psalm 71:18).
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 743–755; Conflict and Courage, 186.
“Glorious are the promises made to David and his house, promises that look forward to the eternal ages, and find their complete fulfillment in Christ.’’ Patriarchs and Prophets, 754.
- As David prepared for battle, what was his main concern? 2 Samuel 18:1–5. How did Absalom meet his death? 2 Samuel 18:9, 10, 14, 15.
Note: “As the king looked upon the opposing forces, the thought uppermost in his mind was not of the crown and the kingdom, nor of his own life, that depended upon the wage of battle. The father’s heart was filled with love and pity for his rebellious son.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 743.
- Relate how Joab had to arrest the reactions which followed this event. 2 Samuel 18:32, 33; 19:1–8.
Note: “Joab was filled with indignation. God had given them reason for triumph and gladness; the greatest rebellion that had ever been known in Israel had been crushed; and yet this great victory was turned to mourning for him [Absalom] whose crime had cost the blood of thousands of brave men. … [2 Samuel 19:5–7 quoted.]
“Harsh and even cruel as was the reproof to the heart-stricken king, David did not resent it. Seeing that his general was right, he went down to the gate, and with words of courage and commendation greeted his brave soldiers as they marched past him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 745.
BLESSING AND PRESUMPTION
- Although the full restoration of David’s kingdom was neither immediate nor easy, what was he able to declare? 2 Samuel 22:1–3, 7, 18–22, 51.
Note: “After the death of Absalom, God turned the hearts of Israel, as the heart of one man, to David.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 91.
- What was the next error which David committed? 1 Chronicles 21:1–4.
Note: “It was pride and ambition that prompted this action of the king. The numbering of the people would show the contrast between the weakness of the kingdom when David ascended the throne and its strength and prosperity under his rule. This would tend still further to foster the already too great self-confidence of both king and people. [1 Chronicles 21:1 quoted.] The prosperity of Israel under David had been due to the blessing of God rather than to the ability of her king or the strength of her armies. But the increasing of the military resources of the kingdom would give the impression to surrounding nations that Israel’s trust was in her armies, and not in the power of Jehovah.
“Though the people of Israel were proud of their national greatness, they did not look with favor upon David’s plan for so greatly extending the military service. The proposed enrollment caused much dissatisfaction; consequently it was thought necessary to employ the military officers in place of the priests and magistrates, who had formerly taken the census. The object of the undertaking was directly contrary to the principles of a theocracy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 747.
REPENTANCE AND CONSEQUENCES
- What did David humbly realize even before the census had been completed? 2 Samuel 24:10. What choices did God offer and what did David choose? 2 Samuel 24:11–14.
- Why did so many people have to suffer, and what was the effect of David’s intercession? 2 Samuel 24:15–17, 21, 25.
Note: “The taking of the census had caused disaffection among the people; yet they had themselves cherished the same sins that prompted David’s action. As the Lord through Absalom’s sin visited judgment upon David, so through David’s error He punished the sins of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 748.
“Swift destruction followed. Seventy thousand were destroyed by pestilence. David and the elders of Israel were in the deepest humiliation, mourning before the Lord. As the angel of the Lord was on his way to destroy Jerusalem, God bids him to stay his work of death. A pitiful God loves His people still, notwithstanding their rebellion. The angel clad in warlike garments, with a drawn sword in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem, is revealed to David, and to those who were with him. David is terribly afraid, yet he cries out in his distress, and his compassion for Israel. He begs of God to save the sheep. In anguish he confesses, ‘I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. Let thine hand be against me, and against my father’s house, and not upon the people’ (2 Samuel 24:17). God speaks to David by his prophet, and bids him make atonement for his sin. David’s heart was in the work, and his repentance was accepted.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 92, 93.
- How had David prayed to have special grace in his old age? Psalm 71:9, 18–20. Describe the final trial of David’s life, and the action which followed. 1 Kings 1:5, 6, 15–20, 32–35, 39.
Note: “Both by natural endowments and religious character Solomon was better qualified than his elder brother to become ruler of Israel; yet although the choice of God had been clearly indicated, Adonijah did not fail to find sympathizers. …
“David at once abdicated in favor of Solomon, who was immediately anointed and proclaimed king. The conspiracy was crushed. Its chief actors had incurred the penalty of death. … Joab and Adonijah were spared for the time, but after the death of David they suffered the penalty of their crime. The execution of the sentence upon the son of David completed the fourfold judgment [2 Samuel 12:5, 6] that testified to God’s abhorrence of the father’s sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 749, 750.
- Describe David’s deepest concerns at the end of his life, and what he realized more fully. 2 Samuel 23:1–4; 1 Kings 2:1–3; 1 Chronicles 28:9.
Note: “Great had been David’s fall, but deep was his repentance, ardent was his love, and strong his faith. He had been forgiven much, and therefore he loved much.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 754.
“The closing years of David’s life were marked with faithful devotion to God. … He manifested an earnestness and devotion in making extensive preparations for the building [temple], and spared neither labor nor expense, but made large donations from his own treasury, thereby setting a noble example before his people, which they did not hesitate with a willing heart to follow.
“David feels the greatest solicitude for Solomon. … He has learned by experience that the Lord will in no case sanction wrong doing, whether it be found in the loftiest prince, or the humblest subject, but would visit the leader of his people with as much severer punishment as his position is more responsible than the humble subject’s. The sins committed by the leaders of Israel would have an influence to lessen the heinousness of crime on the minds and consciences of the people, and would be brought to the notice of other nations, who fear not God, but who trample upon his authority, and they would be led to blaspheme the God of Israel.
“David solemnly charges his son to adhere strictly to the law of God, and to keep all his statutes.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 94, 95.
“David, in arranging his business, sets a good example to all who are advanced in years, to settle their matters while they are capable of doing so, that when they shall be drawing near to death, and their mental faculties are dimmed, they shall have nothing of a worldly nature to divert their minds from God.” Ibid., 96.
A LEGACY FOR THE LAST DAYS
- How are we to understand the promises recorded in 2 Samuel 7:16 and Psalm 110:1–5? Explain the significance of these promises. Luke 1:30–33; Matthew 22:41–45; Acts 2:29–36.
- What message penned by David is of particular importance to believers in these last days of earth’s history? Psalm 119:17, 18, 33–40, 126, 127.
Note: “It is possible for men to go so far in wickedness, under continual remonstrance, that God sees that He must arise and vindicate His honor. Thus it is at the present period of this earth’s history. Crime of every degree is becoming more and more strikingly manifest. The earth is filled with violence of men against their fellow-men.
“What position will the church take? Will those who in the past have had respect for the law of God, be drawn into the current of evil? Will the almost universal transgression and contempt of the law of God, darken the spiritual atmosphere of the souls of all alike? Will the disrespect of the law of God sweep away the protecting barriers? Because wickedness and lawlessness prevail, is the law of God to be less highly esteemed? Because it is made void by the great majority of those living on the earth, shall the few loyal ones become like all the disloyal, and act as the wicked act? Shall they not rather offer up the prayer of David, ‘It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law’ (Psalm 119:126)?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1153.
“[Psalm 119:17, 18, 33–40 quoted.] Such prayers as this the Lord’s servants should be continually offering to Him. This prayer reveals a consecration to God of heart and mind; it is the consecration that God is asking us to make.” lbid., 1152.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What can we learn from the conversation between David and Joab following the death of Absalom?
2 Why was David’s census displeasing to God?
3 Enumerate the fourfold judgment on David’s sons.
4 What rules did the Holy Spirit, through David, set up for church leaders?
5 What did the Holy Spirit, through David, prophesy about the Messiah that was to come, and appeal to us in the last days?
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