Jun 1, '07 7:05 PM
BAAAAAACCCCKKKK! Miss me?
was supposed to post on Wednesday, but because of activities with our son,
Chris, and his search for a home here (he's preparing to move his family from
Alaska to Sunnyside, Washington) there simply was no time to even be in my
office. Things are getting back to some semblance of "normal"
notice how kids seem to copy their parents? I remember as a child copying
things I saw my father do because I wanted to be just like him. Over the
course of the last 2 1/2 years, I've shared with you many of my experiences,
and most of you know that I have spent a lifetime in radio and television
broadcasting in one way or another -- both technically and in front of a
microphone or camera.
our oldest son, Chris, was about two and a half, (he's been visiting us from
Alaska for the past week, along with his 15-year-old son, Jake) I came home
from work one day to find that he had pulled out the television set, removed
the locks that held the back on the TV, taken the back off, and started pulling
tubes out of their sockets. (That WAS a long time ago! I don't even
remember when manufacturers quit making TV's with tubes in them.) Chris
had seen me repair or service many television sets and monitors, and at his
young age didn't understand that there was specific purpose or objective in
removing or checking certain components. But he'd seen me take tubes out
of TV's and thought that was the thing to do.
by his curiosity honestly. I was perhaps 7 or 8 years old when I got my
start in radio broadcasting (singing duets with my brother and playing my
mandolin -- he played the ukulele or the tipple [ten-stringed instrument] in
those days). Being at the radio station every week, I saw technicians and
engineers working on the broadcast equipment, and it fascinated me. I'd
already started taking radios apart to see what made them work, and seeing all
that equipment in the radio station wired me to no end (pun intended).
like it was 1953 or 1954 when we took a vacation trip back to Wisconsin to see
aunts, uncles and cousins, and my grandparents. My grandfather owned a
three-storey house in Madison in those days. He and Grandma lived on the
main floor, and Uncle Lincoln and Aunt Dorothy lived on the upper floor with
their son and daughter (my cousins, Lowell and JoAnn).
Uncle Lincoln had just bought a new Webcor
reel-to-reel tape recorder (they were the new technical -- and spendy -- marvel in the 50's), and it was my first chance
to actually put my hands on one of these new whiz-bang machines.
day when Uncle Lincoln was gone and Aunt Dorothy was at work, I decided to see
what made this recorder work. I took it off the buffet where it was set
up and proceeded to dismantle the machine so I could look at its inner
workings. Uncle Lincoln came home before I had reassembled the tape
recorder, and when he saw it in pieces on the dining room floor, he about had
heart failure. He stood over me while I put it back together, and then
made sure it still worked. It did, by the way.
Chris -- never mind the fact that he wasn't even three years old at the time --
came by his curiosity honestly.
Kids love to mimic their parents. That's how I learned to be a carpenter,
cabinet maker, plumber, electrician and interior decorator -- watching, and
working with my folks while they built churches throughout the arctic.
Grandkids learn from watching their parents AND their grandparents.
Jessica -- our five-year-old granddaughter (who thinks she's supposed to live
with us) -- has decided that Grandma Della doesn't need to vacuum the floors
any longer. She just needs to let her do it instead.
call him P.J.) likes to be a Papa's helper when I'm making Belgian waffles.
He gets the eggs out of the fridge, cracks them into a bowl and uses the
egg-beater to whip them and prepare them for me while I'm making the rest of
parents can learn from their kids, too. After Dad saw the success of my
career in broadcasting -- and particularly in radio -- he decided to learn ham
radio, and got his general class license. 'S Funny how that works
sometimes! His ham radio turned out to be a lifeline for many people
living in native villages prior to the advent of regular telephone
Kind of got to reminiscing this morning. Time to get on with the day.
Della picked up some French Roast coffee beans with the San Francisco Bay
label, and we've mixed them with the Double-Roasted French and what's left of
the Kona coffee Danielle sent us. That's what's brewing in the French
Press this morning. Smells great! Think I'll go pour my cup.
see if we can finish up this 14th of the 15 steps in the 23rd Psalm today: "Surely
goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
to stop last week in the middle of our discussion from II Samuel 1 while we
were talking about David's just learning that Saul and Jonathan had been
killed. As the event unfolds, a young Amalekite
soldier happens upon Saul as he is trying to commit suicide after being
David said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he
said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped. And David said
unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the
people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and
dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.
David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest
thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? And the young man that told him said, As I happened
by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon
his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered,
Here am I.Â And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am
said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is
come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him,
and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was
fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was
on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord."
see the full impact of this event on David. The Amalekite's
actions shook David to the core of his being. That he would somehow think
that his taking of Saul's life would please David clearly illustrated just how
different David was from the society of the day.
David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that
were with him: And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and
for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of
Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.
David said unto the young man that told him, Whence art thou? And he answered,
I am the son of a stranger, an Amalekite. And
David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to
stretch forth thine hand to destroy the LORD'S
anointed? And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and
fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. And David said unto him,
Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying,
I have slain the LORD'S anointed."
noted last Wednesday, this thing about touching the Lord's anointed was enormous.
David reverenced that anointing as He did the Lord Himself. The
subsequent putting to death of the Amalekite
illustrated something that is true even today. God does not look kindly
upon those who touch His anointed.
won't take the time to deal with the entire story today of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) other than to note that they disregarded
the anointing of the Holy Spirit, thinking they could get away with lying
and/or concealing the truth from Peter concerning the actual sale of their
[possession] estate, and the amount of money they received (the Greek word in
this instance isktema: acquisition, estate).
That disregard for the anointing cost them their lives. They died on the
spot, just as the Amalekite soldier died on the spot
for his disregard.
David mourned for Saul as though he were mourning over the loss of his best
friend. His sorrow over the loss of Jonathan was almost without measure,
and he determined to see that his covenant with Jonathan was kept to the nth
degree -- and then some!
death meant that Israel was without a king. Because David's reputation,
his skills, AND his anointing had long since preceded him (and because he was
of the house of Judah), the leaders and princes in Judah came to David; and he
was crowned King of Judah. Abner, Saul's former
captain and principal aide, however, was playing a political game; and he
feared for the loss of his position and the esteem of the people that went with
it. He therefore went to Jonathan's younger brother, Ishbosheth,
had him crowned King of Israel in his father's place and, of course, kept his
place as the power behind the throne.
with me while I lay some historical foundations to help you understand the
significance of David's fulfillment of his covenant with Jonathan; and so you
will clearly see the living demonstration of "goodness and mercy"
following David all the days of his life.
because folks want to play politics and decide their decisions have supremacy
over God's choices doesn't make it so. Ishbosheth
had never been anointed to become King of Israel, and he didn't last on the
throne with any recognized authority for more than two years. He actually
sat on the throne for the seven years that David ruled in Hebron, but was more
a figurehead than a true king. Abner had
successfully parlayed his position as the power behind the throne so that he
became the functioning leader in Israel for the last five years of Ishbosheth's titled reign.
funny thing (not really so funny!), but even anointed leaders find themselves
surrounded by folks who want to get in on the benefits of being around the
anointing. More than that, they want the recognition that goes with it
and frequently have nothing but self-serving political motives. David
certainly had men around him whose motives were self-serving.
had Abner. David had Joab.
And, Brother, those two were a pair! They were political competitors who
easily traded alliances, depending on the circumstances. Joab had served Saul, but under Abner.
When it served his purposes, Joab switched sides and
began to serve David. I'm not suggesting that all of his motives for
doing so were completely self-serving -- and he DID effectively serve David --
but there's no doubt about it: Joab was a politician
who continually watched for opportune moments to make gains for his master, and
of course for himself.
won't take the time today to quote the whole episode from II Samuel 2 (and you
can read it for yourself), but Abner takes a group of
his soldiers to the pool of Gibeon to meet up against Joab,
who also has a group of soldiers with him.Â
This is one of those moments where they expect to resolve the conflict of who
is going to lead all Israel. Joab is there
representing David, and Abner is there representing Ishbosheth (and the House of Saul).
suggests to Joab that they allow twelve of their
soldiers (from each side) to "have at it" so to speak. Twelve
of Joab's finest take on twelve of Abner's finest in what was expected to be a sporting
contest and kill them. Abner obviously was
unprepared for the event, and he fled the scene with his soldiers in order to
assemble the armies of the tribe of Benjamin and take on Joab's
brother, Asahel, made the foolish mistake of chasing
after Abner. Abner
stopped and confronted Asahel, and warned him not to
continue the chase. Asahel was determined to
take out Abner, obviously unprepared to do so, so Abner simply hurled his spear and pinned Asahel to the ground where he died. When Joab learned of his brother's death, he mounted a full-scale
attack against Abner and the armies of Benjamin,
killing some 360 soldiers without any casualties to his men.
you're wondering what this has to do with anything, but bear with me. I
may seem to be going around a forty-acre field, but I'm drawing a picture for
realizes that things had better come to a quick halt or he's going to suffer
the kind of military defeat that will end his career, his position in the royal
court and his standing with his puppet king, Ishbosheth.
He sent a message to Joab calling for a halt to
things on the basis that "innocent lives" were being shed over their
personal feud. Joab agreed and blew a trumpet,
effectively ceasing all military action.
battle may have stopped for that day, but it began a series of protracted wars
and battles between Joab and the armies of Judah and
David, and Abner and the armies of Israel that lasted
over a period of nearly five years. During that period the armies of
Israel under Abner's leadership suffered one defeat
after another while David's armies grew stronger under Joab's
to Saul's death, he had taken a young concubine by the name of Rizpah for himself. Though Saul was dead, she
remained in the royal court to be cared for. Abner
decided that since he was the real ruler of Israel, she was his for the taking.
Ishbosheth took offense and rebuked Abner for his unethical (and certainly impolitic act).
decides he's had enough of this game-play with Ishbosheth;
and -- knowing that time is short anyway for Israel's governance under the
House of Saul -- elects to take this moment to meet with David. He first
meets with the elders of the tribes of Israel. (See II Samuel 3:17-20)
sought for David in times past to be king over you: Now then do it: for the
LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save
my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all
Abner also spake in the
ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the
ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to
the whole house of Benjamin. So Abner came to
David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner
and the men that were with him a feast. And Abner
said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord
the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine
heart desireth. And David sent Abner
away; and he went in peace."
to be out engaged in a battle when this truce is reached, and Israel hands
itself to David under Abner's supervision. When
he learns that Abner has departed from David under a
peace treaty, he fears Abner's possible future
conspiracy against David and personally sets up a meeting with Abner in which he assassinates him.
David finally takes the throne over all Israel. But the intrigue within
the royal court of Israel hasn't ended. Ishbosheth
has had two captains serving under Abner by the names
of Baanah and Rechab.
Despite what happened to the Amalekite who thought to
do David service when he killed Saul, these two captains have somehow gotten
the idea that it's OK to do the same thing to Saul's son -- in service to
David, of course.
the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite,
Rechab and Baanah, went,
and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth,
who lay on a bed at noon. And they came thither into the midst of the
house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the
fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah
his brother escaped. For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed
in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took
his head, and gat them away through the plain all night."
maybe this idea of beheading one's enemies has been around for awhile?
they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to
Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth
the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life;
and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
And David answered Rechab and Baanah
his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,
When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good
tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag,
who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: How much
more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his
bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you
away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew
them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool
in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and
buried it in the sepulchre of Abner
David sure wasn't messing around with folks like this! Fact is, however,
there was much more to this than meets the eye. David was keeping his end
of the covenant he'd made with Jonathan -- and he was going all out to keep his
end of the covenant.
Take a look at II Samuel 9.
David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show
him kindness (kheseed) for
Jonathan's sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name
was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David,
the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said,
Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house
of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba
said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is
lame on his feet. (See II Samuel 4:4 for the reason.)
the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said
unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir,
the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar.
Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir,
the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar.
Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son
of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David
he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I
will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore
thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt
eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What
is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a
dead dog as I am?
the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said
unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to
all his house. Thou therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants, shall till
the land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits,
that thy master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth
thy master's son shall eat bread alway at my table.
Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
said Ziba unto the king, According to all that my
lord the king hath commanded his servant, so shall thy servant do. As for
Mephibosheth, said the king, he shall eat at my
table, as one of the king's sons. And Mephibosheth
had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all
that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth
dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was
lame on both his feet."
picture! How's that for keeping his end of the covenant? This is a
picture of both agape and kheseed all rolled into one. You'll recall thatkheseed conveys a picture
of "chasing after" (the phrase in Psalm 23 is translated "shall
follow") in an active sense.
didn't do this for Mephibosheth out of
"duty" to his covenant with Jonathan. He did this because they
had a bond of love between them that knew no bounds. It was his great
pleasure and desire to take care of Mephibosheth as
though he were David's own son.
been taken to a place called Lodebar when Saul's
servants had fled the palace following his death. Lodebar
traditionally translates to "pastureless,
without pasture," but it draws an even greater picture in the Hebrew text.
The word, Lodebar, is based in the Hebrew ¸ -- dabar, which is
translated both "word" and "thing" or "matter."
Thus, Mephibosheth lived in a place "without the
in this series on the 23rd Psalm, we read, "He
maketh me to lie down in green pastures," and saw that the
"green pastures" literally represented eating of the Word.
David's "goodness and mercy" (kheseed) has now been restored to a place where he has continual
access to the Word -- the Word of God as it comes through David, and the word
of David as King of Israel. Though legally Mephibosheth
has no more kingly authority because of the removal of the anointing for royal
leadership from his grandfather, Saul, yet because of the goodness and mercy
which had become part and parcel of David's character and makeup, he will eat
from the King's table and have access to the inner workings of the royal court
all the days of his life.
the Lord referred to mercy (in Isaiah's prophecy -- Isaiah 55:3) within the
context of "the sure mercies of David," He was drawing a picture of
His mercy within the context of someone whose life literally exemplified the
mercy of the Lord in human flesh.
covenant with Jonathan was filled with agape. It was a
covenant of kheseed, and
that is exactly what Isaiah prophesies, "Incline
your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an
everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
Bible is neither a collection of laws and commandments nor a book of rules.
It contains 66 bags of seed that we can plant in our lives. As long as we
actually plant that seed, and then water it appropriately with our daily
confession of faith, we will receive the expected and very tangible harvest.
Blessings on you!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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