II Samuel 14:1-24

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

THE WOMAN OF TEKOA

INTRODUCTION:

As we introduce the message today, we note some things that the Scripture has to say in order to guide our thinking and practice.

II Timothy 3:16-17 - (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Psalms 1:1-3 - (1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Galatians 6:6-7 - (6) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him [i.e. share with him] that teacheth in all good things. (7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

In today's message we see that we should follow the teaching of the Word of God rather than the advice of an ungodly person.

Remember that Absalom had intentionally murdered Amnon.

Remember also that David as king was obligated to enforce the Law.

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 - (14) When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; (15) Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. (16) But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (17) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (18) And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: (19) And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: (20) That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

The Law clearly required Absalom's death.

Numbers 35:33 - So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Genesis 9:6 - Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

This verse was given before the law was given and is, therefore, still in effect today.

David failed to keep the Law. He should have executed Absalom. Perhaps David was paralyzed by his own guilty conscience.

We have seen that after murdering Amnon, Absalom fled to his grandfather's kingdom, the father of Absalom's mother.

II Samuel 13:37 - But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.

David longed to go forth to Absalom

II Samuel 13:39 - And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

We see -

I. JOAB'S SCHEME - 14:1-3

Watch something here. People permit themselves to be manipulated by men rather than by the Word of God. We should learn from this not to allow it in our lives.

II Samuel 14:1-3 - (1) Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward [i.e. inclined toward or concerned about] Absalom. (2) And Joab sent to Tekoah [Tekoa was located on the west side of the Dead Sea south of Bethlehem], and fetched thence [i.e. brought from there] a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself [i.e. pretend] to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead: (3) And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth [i.e. Joab told her what to say].

Next, we see -

II. THE WOMAN'S STORY - 14:4-7

II Samuel 14:4-7 - (4) And when the woman of Tekoah spake [i.e. spoke] to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance [i.e. prostrated herself], and said, Help, O king. (5) And the king said unto her, What aileth thee [i.e. what's troubling you]? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead. (6) And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field [i.e. they fought with each other in the field], and there was none [i.e. there was no one] to part them, but the one smote [i.e. one struck] the other, and slew [i.e. killed] him. (7) And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid [i.e. against your maidservant, suggesting against me], and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother [i.e. struck his brother], that we may kill him [i.e. that we may put him to death], for the life of his brother whom he slew [i.e. whom he killed]; and we will destroy the heir also [i.e. then we will get rid of the heir also]: and so they shall quench my coal which is left [i.e. they will extinguish my ember, which refers to my one son who is left], and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder [i.e. descendant] upon the earth.

Take note that things are not always as they appear.

One who is filled with grief over the death of a loved one may not think as clearly as he needs to think. Too many times I have watched the skillful manipulation of grieving widows or parents by funeral home directors. Figure out well in advance what you are going to do when the time comes. I don't mean to be unkind when I tell you that your dead husband will not enjoy an extravagant funeral any more than he will enjoy a relatively inexpensive one. Besides, you will likely need the money he has set aside for you far more than the funeral director needs a new Cadillac. I do not mean to imply that all funeral directors are unscrupulous.

Although her story is supposedly parallel with what Absalom had done, there are several statements in her story which do not match what Absalom had done.

1. The woman's son murdered his brother in a fit of anger.

I remind you of -

II Samuel 14:6 - And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together [i.e. they fought with each other] in the field, and there was none to part them [i.e. there was no one to separate them], but the one smote [i.e. the one struck] the other, and slew [i.e. killed] him.

However, Absalom had not slain Amnon in a fit of anger. It was premeditated murder. Absalom had planned for two years to kill Amnon for raping his sister Tamar.

2. The woman's son murdered his brother when they were alone together.

I remind you of -

II Samuel 14:6 - And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together [i.e. they fought with each other] in the field, and there was none to part them [i.e. there was no one to separate them], but the one smote [i.e. one struck] the other, and slew [i.e. killed] him.

Absalom had not murdered Amnon when they were alone together. Absalom had murdered Amnon in the presence of all his brothers.

3. There was cruel persecution against the son by those who were coveting his inheritance.

I remind you of -

II Samuel 14:7 - And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid [i.e. against your maidservant, suggesting against me], and they said, Deliver him that smote [i.e. struck] his brother, that we may kill him [i.e. put him to death], for the life of his brother whom he slew [i.e. whom he killed]; and we will destroy the heir also [i.e. then we will get rid of the heir also]: and so they shall quench my coal which is left [i.e. they will extinguish my ember, which refers to my one son who is left], and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder [i.e. descendant] upon the earth.

Note also verse 16 -

II Samuel 14:16 - For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid [i.e. to deliver his maidservant, meaning to deliver me] out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of [i.e. from] the inheritance of God.

There was no cruel persecution against Absalom by those coveting his inheritance. God's Law demanded Absalom's death.

4. The woman's son who murdered his brother was the only remaining son of the woman. Her family would become extinct when she died.

I remind you of -

II Samuel 14:7 - And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid [i.e. against your maidservant, suggesting against me], and they said, Deliver him that smote [i.e. struck] his brother, that we may kill him [i.e. put him to death], for the life of his brother whom he slew [i.e. whom he killed]; and we will destroy the heir also [i.e. then we will get rid of the heir also]: and so they shall quench my coal which is left [i.e. they will extinguish my ember, which refers to my one son who is left], and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder [i.e. descendant] upon the earth.

Absalom was not the only remaining son of David. There was no danger of the royal line becoming extinct.

Following the woman's story, we see -

III. DAVID'S REACTION TO HER STORY - 14:8-11

II Samuel 14:8-11 - (8) And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee. (9) And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless. (10) And the king said, Whosoever saith ought [i.e. says anything] unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more. (11) Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the Lord thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer [i.e. permit] the revengers [i.e. the avenger] of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

We see that -

1. David promised to protect the woman - v. 10

He made a promise without knowing the facts. We should learn not to act before we know the facts.

II Samuel 14:10 - And the king said, Whosoever saith ought [i.e. anything] unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

We also see that -

2. David confirmed his promise with an oath - v. 11

Swearing an oath without knowing the facts is not wise. We should never swear an oath without knowing the facts.

II Samuel 14:11 - Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the Lord thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer [i.e. permit] the revengers [i.e. the avenger] of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

Following David's reaction to the woman's story, we see -

IV. THE WOMAN REQUESTS PERMISSION FOR ABSALOM'S RETURN - 14:12-17

II Samuel 14:12-17 - (12) Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on [i.e. speak]. (13) And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought [i.e. why then have you planned] such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty [i.e. as one who is guilty], in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished [i.e. in that the king does not bring home again his banished son]. (14) For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground [i.e. for we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground], which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person [i.e. yet God does not take away a life - Really? This is not correct. God does take away the lives of some.]: yet doth he devise means [i.e. but He devises means], that his banished be not expelled from him [i.e. so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him]. (15) Now therefore that I am come [i.e. Now, therefore, I have come] to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said [i.e. and your maidservant said, by which she means, I said], I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid [i.e. of his maidservant, by which she means of me]. (16) For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid [i.e. to deliver his maidservant, meaning to deliver me] out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of [i.e. from] the inheritance of God. (17) Then thine handmaid said [i.e. then your maidservant said, which means, then I said], The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable [i.e. comforting]: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad [i.e. evil - take note of her flattery - David knew he was not as an angel of God and able to discern good and evil]: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee [i.e. the Lord your God will be with you].

The woman requests permission for Absalom's return.

1. Because David was not pleasing the people of God.

Note that her reason for requesting Absalom's return was not because he was not pleasing God. It was because he was not pleasing the people of God. Pleasing God is a good reason; pleasing people is not a good reason.

Back to verse 13 -

II Samuel 14:13 - And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought [i.e. why then have you planned] such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty [i.e. as one who is guilty], in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished [i.e. in that the king does not bring home again Absalom, his banished one].

2. Because God had spared David, the woman argued that David should show leniency toward Absalom.

The cry, Show love, not judgment, has been heard frequently over the centuries. It is better that we do what is right. Violent murderers are protected from execution by bleeding heart liberals. Execution is regarded as cruel and unusual punishment. There seems to be little or no sympathy for the victim who was cruelly murdered.

Look at verse 13 again -

II Samuel 14:13 - And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty [i.e. as one who is guilty], in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished [i.e. in that the king does not bring home again Absalom, his banished son].

3. She flattered the king

Back to verse 17

II Samuel 14:17 - Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable [i.e. comforting]: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad [i.e. evil]: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee [i.e. the Lord your God will be with you].

Next, we see that -

V. DAVID FIGURES OUT THE SCHEME - 14:18-20

II Samuel 14:18-20 - (18) Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee [i.e. please do not hide from me anything that I ask you]. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak. (19) And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee [i.e. with you] in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth [i.e. as surely as you live], my lord the king, none [i.e. no one] can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought [i.e. from anything] that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me [i.e. commanded me], and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid [i.e. in the mouth of your maidservant, which means = into my mouth]: (20) To fetch about this form of speech [i.e. to bring about a change in this situation] hath thy servant Joab [i.e. your servant Joab] done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth [i.e. to know everything that is in the earth - once again she flatters David].

Finally, we see that -

VI. DAVID ALLOWS ABSALOM'S RETURN - 14:21-24

Although David figured out the scheme, he went along with it. Was it because it was what he wanted to do all along?

II Samuel 14:21-24 - (21) And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again. (22) And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth [i.e. your servant knows] that I have found grace in thy sight [i.e. in your sight], my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant [i.e. my request]. (23) So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. (24) And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.

David was influenced by a sentimental heart rather than by the Word of God.

David will pay for it in Absalom's rebellion and incur the result of not obeying the Word of God. He brought back a rival to the throne, a rival whom he should have executed and who would eventually lead a rebellion against his father in an unsuccessful attempt to usurp the throne.

CONCLUSION:

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

To know the Word of God thoroughly and to obey it completely must be one of our highest priorities in life. David was a great man of God, a man after God's own heart, but he was not sinless; and his sins against Bathsheba and Uriah brought serious consequences into his life.

Let's stay out of sin.