The Psalm 23 Adventure, Part 59
September 29, 2017
It has always been a
source of astonishment to me when I look at what God had developed in David's
life. The fact that he could show mercy
to his betrayers in the way that he did, and then show mercy again and again to
them in the face of their crimes against him is why, I believe, Jesus made it
clear that if our brother offend us, we are to forgive seventy times seven --
and that was in a single day. When we
can arrive at that point, the mercies of the Lord indeed follow us all the days
of our life.
what happens now with Absalom after David has forgiven him !
II Samuel 16:5-14: And when king
David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house
of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and
cursed still as he came. And he cast
stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and
all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come
out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned
upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned;
and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and,
behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody
Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should
this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off
his head. And the king said, What have I
to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath
said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done
so? And David said to Abishai, and to
all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life:
how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and
let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that
the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this
day. And as David and his men went by
the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as
he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. And the king, and all the people that were
with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
mercy, isn’t it? Got the picture? David is the real king of Israel, but because
of the circumstances that have taken place, he has had to flee for his life. Shimei comes out to curse him and throw rocks
at him. Abishai, one of David’s
soldiers, is deeply offended and wants to immediately kill Shimei. David stops him and says, “Maybe God is
allowing him to do this so that I can be blessed as a result in the future.”
Wow! That’s mercy with a degree of understanding
that has long been missing from most folks’ comprehension. By now, you are seeing why God refers to “the
sure mercies of David.”
the betrayal and offenses against David just keep increasing!
II Samuel 16:15-23: And
Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and
Ahithophel with him. And it came to
pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that
Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king. And Absalom said to Hushai, Is
this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend? And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom
the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be,
and with him will I abide. And again,
whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his
son? as I have served in thy father’s presence, so will I be in thy presence.
Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we
shall do. And Ahithophel said unto
Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the
house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then
shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of
the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all
Israel. And the counsel of Ahithophel,
which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the
oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and
The tables are going to be turned against the betrayal and conspiracies — and
even in the midst of what unfolds, the heart of David for mercy towards his son,
Absalom, is still on display.
II Samuel 17:1-14: Moreover
Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I
will arise and pursue after David this night: And I will come upon him while he
is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people
that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: And I will
bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if
all returned: so all the people shall be in peace. And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all
the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom,
Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom
spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after
his saying? if not; speak thou.
And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath
given is not good at this time.
For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be
mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her
whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge
with the people. Behold, he is hid now
in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some
of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There
is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. And he also that is valiant, whose
heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel
knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be
with him are valiant men.
Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto
thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for
multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where
he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground:
and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left
so much as one. Moreover, if he be
gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will
draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. And Absalom and all the men of Israel said,
The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of
Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of
Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
Hushai — who has remained loyal to David — sends messengers to David to warn
him of Absalom’s plan so that he will not be caught off guard. Ahithophel, seeing that his counsel has been
set aside, leaves the palace, goes home, sets his affairs in order, and then
II Samuel 18:1-18: And David
numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands
and captains of hundreds over them. And David sent forth a third part of the
people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the
son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king
said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. But the
people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not
care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou
art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou
succour us out of the city.
And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do.
And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds
and by thousands. 5And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and
Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even
with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains
charge concerning Absalom. So the people went out into the field against
Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; Where the people of Israel were
slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that
day of twenty thousand men. For the battle was there scattered over the
face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the
And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a
mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head
caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth;
and the mule that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it,
and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. And Joab said
unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst
thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle. And the
man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver
in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s
son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying,
Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should have
wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the
king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took
three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he
was yet alive in the midst of the oak. And ten young men that bare
Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. And Joab blew
the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held
back the people. And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the
wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. Now Absalom in his lifetime had
taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale:
for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the
pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.
David hears what has taken place with Absalom, we again see his heart of mercy.
II Samuel 18:31-33: And,
behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD
hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young
man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all
that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to
the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son
Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my
son, my son!
shortening the whole story because to get into all of the detail would get us
into things that don’t directly bear on the pictures of mercy. However, I want you to see one last
event. David is returning to Jerusalem
with all that accompanied him, and the military troops that fought with him to
overthrow Absalom’s wickedness.
II Samuel 19:16-23: And
Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and
came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. And there were a thousand men of
Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen
sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the
king. And there went over a ferry boat
to carry over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei
the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan;
And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me,
neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my
lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his
heart. For thy servant doth know that I
have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house
of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.
But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be
put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’S anointed? And David said, What have I to do with you,
ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there
any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am
this day king over Israel? Therefore the
king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.
could easily have allowed Abishai to kill Shimei but once again, the mercy that
had become so much a part of David’s character and makeup was on display. One more time, another of David’s sons — Adonijah,
younger brother to Absalom —decides that he is going to take the throne. David is old, and Adonijah decides that his
father will do nothing if he assumes the throne. Bathsheba has had the promise of David, ever
since the birth of Solomon, that Solomon would become king in his place and she
goes and tells David what is happening.
I Kings 1:32-40: And king David
said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of
Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take
with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine
own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the
prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say,
God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and
sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him
to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said,
Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. As the LORD hath been
with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater
than the throne of my lord king David. So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the
prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites,
went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him
to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and
anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save
king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with
pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of
you will see that the sure mercies of David pass on to his son, Solomon.
I Kings 1:45-53: And Zadok the
priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are
come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the
noise that ye have heard. And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the
kingdom. And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David,
saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne
greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. And also thus said the king, Blessed be
the LORD God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this
day, mine eyes even seeing it. And all the guests that were with
Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.
And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and
caught hold on the horns of the altar.
And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon:
for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king
Solomon swear unto me to day that he will not slay his servant with the
sword. And Solomon said, If he will show
himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if
wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die.
So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he
came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine
have skipped over so much more that could have been shared, but my objective
has been to show you why David could write, Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
It did! And it extended past his
life into that of his son, Solomon.
is what God has been doing in our lives, from the moment we declared that The
Lord is my Shepherd! Our obedience to Him throughout the years,
our walk with Him in the Paths of Righteousness, our experiences in the Valley
of the Shadow of Death — all have seen events unfold in our lives where the
mercy of the Lord absolutely had to be developed in us so that God’s mercy
would become our mercy, and follow us non-stop!
week we will begin the wrap-up of this series of Coffee Breaks as we disucss the significance of dwelling in the House of the
For those of you
who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call,
we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and
continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break
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past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months
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in other activities. That said, we will
resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our
Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about
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is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings
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Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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