II Samuel 19:41 - 20:26

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Text: II Samuel 19:41-20:26

SHEBA'S REVOLT

INTRODUCTION:

Sometimes things don't go as planned. I'm guessing that you have experienced this just as I have. Remember that Romans 8:28 is true even when it comes to interruptions of your plans or of your schedules. You may wake up tomorrow morning with an elaborate plan for the day only to discover that it just doesn't work out.

One thing is certain: no matter how confusing things become, God is still on the throne, and this makes verses such as Psalms 37:23 and Romans 8:28 absolutely certain. You can trust God and His Word.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he [i.e. the Lord] delighteth in his [i.e. the good man's] way. [This includes the interruptions to your schedule!]

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We remind ourselves of one of the consequences of David's sin with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of Uriah.

II Samuel 12:10 - Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

We remind ourselves of another truth found in the Scriptures. Believers are engaged in a spiritual warfare. Satan and his demons would love to destroy us.

I Peter 5:8-9 - 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

II Corinthians 2:11 - Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices [i.e. of his methods, of his designs, or of his plots].

Ephesians 6:10-18 - (10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

In Acts 5 and 6 we see a couple of problems we as believers may face in our local churches.

In Acts 5 Ananias and Sapphira were pretending to be something they weren't. We may encounter people who, like Ananias and Sapphira, pretend to be something they really aren't.

Acts 5:1-4 - 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

In Acts 6 the Greek-speaking Jews believed their widows were not being treated as well as the widows of the Hebrew-speaking Jews. They attempted to solve the problem by grumbling. Grumbling can destroy a local church. It could also happen in our church just as it did in Acts 6 . There was a legitimate problem, but the people did not handle it as well as they should.

Acts 6:1-7 - 1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

We see that -

I. THERE WAS CONTINUED STRIFE BETWEEN THE MEN OF JUDAH AND THE MEN OF ISRAEL - 19:41-43

II Samuel 19:41-43 - (41) And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan? (42) And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king's cost? or hath he given us any gift? (43) And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king [this is because the men of Israel represented ten tribes], and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us [i.e. treat us with contempt], that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer [i.e. more harsh] than the words of the men of Israel.

What a mess! Rather than rejoicing together at the return of David, the Israelites were scrapping with each other. What a shame! What difference did it make who brought the king back to Jerusalem? He was back, and they all should have been rejoicing rather than getting their noses out of joint.

We also see that the strife between Israel and Judah provided -

II. THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SHEBA TO REVOLT - 20:1-2

Sheba was an opportunist.

II Samuel 20:1-2 - (1) And there happened to be there a man of Belial [i.e. a worthless man], whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part [i.e. portion, share] in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. (2) So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave [i.e. remained loyal] unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem.

There has been a division between Judah and Israel since the days of Saul's death. David was made king of Judah, and Ishbosheth was made king of Israel; and there was war between the two factions. David eventually was made king over all Israel after Abner the captain of Israel's army defected to David.

The discontent was evidenced by Shimei's comments when David was fleeing from Absalom and the rivalry intensified in this chapter by jealousy over who should bring David back from his exile as a result of Absalom's attempted takeover.

After the death of Solomon, the division between Israel and Judah would become permanent.

Next, we see -

III. DAVID AND THE TEN CONCUBINES - 20:3

II Samuel 20:3 - And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward [i.e. in seclusion, under guard], and fed them [i.e. provided them with sustenance, provided for them], but went not in unto them [i.e. did not lie with them sexually]. So they were shut up [i.e. kept in confinement] unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.

David was unhappy with Joab, so he demoted him -

IV. DAVID ORDERS AMASA TO ASSEMBLE THE MEN - 20:4-5

Joab had openly disagreed with some of David's policies, and David had had enough of him. I remind you of what David had done in II Samuel 19:13

II Samuel 19:13 - And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab [i.e. in the place of Joab].

For the present time, David demoted Joab and made Amasa captain of the army. It's hard to imagine that this was a wise move on David's part. Amasa, although a nephew of David, had been captain of Absalom's army and had been fighting against David's loyal supporters in an attempt to kill David and seize the throne. Promoting Amasa to be captain over David's loyal soldiers in place of Joab who had been their captain makes no sense to me. How would you like it if you had been one of Joab's loyal soldiers and he was demoted and your new commanding officer was your former enemy?

II Samuel 20:4-5 - (4) Then said the king to Amasa, Assemble me the men of Judah within three days, and be thou here present. (5) So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah: but he tarried [i.e. delayed] longer than the set time which he [i.e. David] had appointed him.

Might Amasa's delay be the result of reluctance on the part of the men of Judah to support him as their captain and fight for him? I would think so.

David's appointment of Amasa as captain over his army would eventually get Amasa murdered.

As a result of Amasa's delay, David revised his plan and -

V. DAVID ORDERS ABISHAI TO PURSUE AFTER SHEBA - 20:6-7

II Samuel 20:6-7 - (6) And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou thy lord's [i.e. my] servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fenced cities [i.e. fortified cities], and escape us. (7) And there went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men: and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

David's appointment of Amasa to be captain of David's army cost Amasa his life. We see that -

VI. JOAB MURDERS AMASA - 20:8-13

II Samuel 20:8-13 - (8) When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him [i.e. Joab was dressed in battle armor, Joab was wearing his military attire], and upon it a girdle [i.e. a belt was strapped over his garment] with a sword [i.e. dagger] fastened upon his loins [i.e. upon his waist, upon his hips] in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it [i.e. the sword, the dagger] fell out. [It appears that the sword or dagger fell out purposely and was then picked up by Joab but not placed back in its sheath.] (9) And Joab said to Amasa, Art thou in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him. (10) But Amasa took no heed to [i.e. did not notice, was not on guard against] the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he [i.e. Joab] smote him [i.e. struck Amasa] therewith in the fifth rib [i.e. Joab struck Amasa in the belly (or stomach) with the sword (or dagger)], and shed out his bowels to the ground [i.e. and his entrails poured out upon the ground], and struck him not again; and he died. So Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri. (11) And one of Joab's men stood by him [i.e. A man of Joab's young men stood over Amasa], and said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab. [It sounds like there had been some reluctance on the part of the men to follow after Amasa, their newly appointed captain.] (12) And Amasa wallowed in blood in the midst of the highway [i.e. lay wallowing (or lay rolling around) in blood in the middle of the road while dying]. And when the man [i.e. Although this man is not identified, it seems that it is Joab's man in verse 11 who had said, He that favoureth Joab, and he that is for David, let him go after Joab] - when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a cloth upon him, when he saw that every one that came by him stood still. (13) When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

Eventually we see that -

VII. SHEBA'S REVOLT WAS SUPPRESSED - 20:14-22

II Samuel 20:14-22 - (14) And he went through all the tribes of Israel unto Abel, and to Bethmaachah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him. (15) And they came and besieged him in Abel of Bethmaachah [located in Northern Israel], and they cast up a bank [i.e. cast up a siege mound] against the city, and it stood in the trench [i.e. against the wall]: and all the people that were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down. (16) Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither [i.e. come near here], that I may speak with thee. (17) And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. (18) Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak [i.e. they used to say] in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel [She is in the town of Abel where advice used to be given]: and so they ended the matter [by following the wise advice]. (19) I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel [i.e. a metropolis]: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord? (20) And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. (21) The matter is not so: but a man of mount Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, hath lifted up his hand against the king, even against David: deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said unto Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to thee over the wall. (22) Then the woman went unto all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and cast it out to Joab. And he blew a trumpet, And they retired from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem unto the king.

Finally, we see -

VIII. DAVID'S LEADERS - 20:23-26

II Samuel 20:23-26 - (23) Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites: (24) And Adoram was over the tribute [i.e. the forced labor]: and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder [i.e. royal historian]: (25) And Sheva was scribe [i.e. secretary]: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests: (26) And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David [i.e. a personal priest to David].