Day 65 of 240 Days Bible Reading Group 3947 Chapter 23 to 24
SHAMMAH - THE GREAT WARRIOR
But, Shamma took his stand in the middle of the field. (2 Samuel 23:12)
In 2 Samuel chapter 23 we read of David's mighty men - one of whom was Shammah.
Once when the Philistines attacked the Israelites at a lentil field, they all fled away.
Only Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field, defended it and struck all the Philistines down.
Shammah resolved in his mind that even though others would run away he would stand and fight.... even if it costs him his life!
And because of his perseverance and courage he won a great victory!
If he had run away like all others, the Israelites would have been defeated and their enemies would have prevailed.
Most importantly the last part of the verse 12 says, "the Lord brought about a great victory"
✳ It was the Lord who gave Shammah the ability to stand.
✳ It was the Lord who gave him the power to fight.
✳ It was the Lord who gave him skill to win.
✳ It was He who gave him victory over his enemies!
Shammah might have had the sword in his hand - but it was God who fought the battle for him.
Dear friends what a great lesson for us to learn!
The enemy is still attacking the people of God.... to weaken us physically and mentally, and to make us unproductive in the work of the Lord.
We are engaged in the greatest battle the world has ever known.
We are working with God, and for God to reach the world for His name's sake - and the devil is working against it every step of the way.
Verse 12 says that when the Philistines came all the Israelites fled away from them.
😔 How pathetic!!
How delighted the Lord would have been - to see one man, Shammah standing for Him!
Where do we stand today?
Are we running away in fear of the enemy while he ransacks our families and our churches?
Or like Shammah, are we willing to take our stand for the Lord regardless of the consequences and fight until the victory is won?
💠 David's Last Words 💠
David's last words were his last poetic testimony. David was conscious of God's Spirit at work in enabling him to speak under the Spirit's guidance. He recalls God's covenant with him and His dynasty which will be brought to fruition through David's promised descendants.
When a ruler rules in righteousness and fear of God he is like the light of the morning at sunrise and brightness after rain. Godless people who have no interest in a righteous king will be destroyed. David gives list of his 32 valiant warriors and description of their exploits.
📝 David took Census 📝
This action was motivated by pride in the size of his empire he had acquired or his reliance on man power for his security rather than the Lord. So a plague was sent by God for 3 days.
At the threshing floor of Araunah it was stopped. David paid for the threshing floor because he did not want to offer sacrifices that cost him nothing. There he offered fellowship and burnt offerings. Then the plague was stopped.
Successor to David's Throne
Adonijah tried to usurp the throne and set himself as king. David favoured Solomon. When David came to know that without his consent Adonijah was trying to usurp the throne he called for the Prophet and Priest.
He asked them to anoint Solomon and set him on the throne. The trumpet was sounded and the people shouted Long live the King. Adonijah was filled with fear and humbled himself before Solomon and he was sent home.
📋 Lesson to Learn 📋
Though David glorified God in his final speech his final act of taking census displeased the Lord and a great plague fell on Israel for 3 days.
We as Christian believers must know Satan is waiting to make us fall in our Christian walk and should be alert with the help of the Holy Spirit never give into pride and displease God. May the Lord help us to lead lives pleasing to God.
Mrs Caroline Chellappa
Kings and their life style 2 Sam. 23
David the Shephered boy is a better role model than David the King. As a king he had access to a life style which a normal citizen would be ashamed of ( e.g.being looked after, when old, by a young Shunammite girl to keep him warm )
Israelites desire to have earthly Kings rule over them instead of the rule of the heavenly King proved costly time and again.
Though David caused the death of seventy thousand Israelites by his decision to take census of fighting men both in Israel and Judah it was the sinfulness of Israel that made the Lord incite David to go for the census( v1)
Since God and sins are mutually exclusive sins have to be paid for either by us or by our descendants ( Exo.20:5 ). In old testament times capital punishment was meted out often due to lack of an appropriate sacrifice to cancel it.
As we live in a period of grace some of us escape the capital punishment for our sins due to the blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ shed on Calvary which is the most appropriate and the only sacrifice which could stop the wrath of God from giving capital punishment.
Plague was stopped in response to King David's repentance (v17) and the sacrifices made by him after the Lord asked the angel to stop afflicting the people (v16).
Since obedience is better than sacrifice ( supreme sacrifice has already been offered by our Lord)let us live in obedience to the word of God and offer the praises of our lips to invoke God'e mercy upon our life to prevent any affliction caused by our sinful life style.
Here David describes the significant qualities that a ruler chosen by God should possess, 2 Samuel 23:1. He should be one who rules fairly among men and rules in the fear of God, vs 3, and one who is a light that shines brighter and brighter right from its first appearance in the sky at dawn. Thus, he will bring forth, during his reign, godly vision in a clarity that clouds cannot obscure, and which will facilitate growth to and enlightenment upon all those he rules over, vs 4. As David sought to live like this, and was openly honest about his failures, accepting God's judgment upon him when he was wrong, God approved of his dynasty, made a perpetual covenant with him, as well as, made sure to bring it to pass, fulfilling his heart's desires and delivering him, whenever he called upon God in truth, vs 5. He compares those who ruled otherwise to be like 'thorns' whom the Lord will toss away and burn up in the end, vs 6,7!
When God was angry with Israel, he incited David to take a census of the army, but later David realised that he had done wrong, 2 Samuel 24:10! I guess that it was wrong on David's part to put his confidence in the arm of flesh instead of the arm of God. This shows the need for a nation to pray for its leaders, so that they make right decisions. However, the people won't do so, if they themselves are living in sin, as was in the above case. This can cause the leaders to sin, and the nation can suffer as a result! So, even though David realises his mistake, he had to pay heavily for the same. Invariably, 3 days of plague sent as a punishment, found 70,000 men dead, and it was only as David asked to be punished himself, instead of the people suffering for his mistake, vs 17, did God tell him through the prophet Gad that he was to build an altar for the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, and offer burnt and peace offerings there, in order to stop the plague.
David willingly agreed to do so, and paid a price to buy that threshing floor, because he said that he didn't want to offer God a sacrifice that cost him nothing! It was only then that the plague was halted, vs 25, and the prayers accepted! Ironically, history reveals that it was on that same spot that Abraham offered up Issac, that Solomon's temple was built and Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, which is located just outside the walls of Jerusalem, not more than 700 m from the spot where King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple! So, God's house was built on the 'place of sacrifice' that cost God a huge price in offering up His only begotten Son, which alone could arrest the plague of sin and death and get us our salvation, which we will do well not to neglect or take for granted! Any other method of seeking to acquire salvation through our own good works or self effort is, therefore, highly displeasing to God and will not bring the desired result!
May these Scriptures inspire us to understand what godly leadership is all about, and seek to be leaders of that class or category, as well as, understand the sacrifice made on our behalf to do away with the guilt of our past sins, give us power to live an overcoming life for the present, and deliver us completely from the presence of sin in the future! Let us determine not to give to God that which costs us nothing, and not just in terms of monetary gifts and talents or time, but primarily by offering up our bodies as living sacrifices unto the Lord which is the true form of spiritual worship, Romans 12:1,2, for it is such worshipers whom the Father seeks, John 4:23,24. May we be in that number and so bring delight to God's heart.
RANSOMED TO REJOICE
➡ “When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a RANSOM FOR HIS LIFE to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them. [Exo 30:12]
🔸The census was meant to be a time of re-consecration to the Lord
🚩But David turned into an exercise in counting the strength of his army. Consequence: pestilence & death. [2 Sm 24:1-9, Ex 30:11-15].
⚔The Angel of Death/Judgment stood on Araunah the Jebusite’s threshing floor.
🔸David offered burnt offerings [as repentance & consecration] and peace offerings [as reconciliation & fellowship] on the threshing floor.
🔸 The Atoning Blood paid the ransom for Israel which they themselves had neglected to pay. Israel was delivered from the sentence of death.
✝ A tiny picture of Jesus paying a debt we did not & cannot pay to ransom us from the grave.
➡ I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing. [2 Sm 24:24]
Burnt offerings symbolized total repentance & total consecration to God.
✝ Jesus paid the debt we cannot pay, so that we can offer ourselves daily as living sacrifices to God. Total consecration to God is costly… it is death to pride, self-rule & self-gratification. [Rf Rom 12:1-2, Col 3:5-17]
💥 Araunah = joyful shouting of Yah [Source: BDB]
💥God, our loving Father, delights to forgive & welcome His children home. [Rf Neh 8:1-10, Lk 15:20-24]
💥Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents”. [Lk 15:10]
We often say the angels rejoice over a repenting sinner.
But if you read the verse carefully, you will notice it says, in the presence of the angels.
God rejoices unashamedly each time one of His children decides to make a U-turn and come home.
💥❤ Christmas reminds us that God’s love split out of heaven with joy to clear a Way for prodigal sons/daughters to stop eating pig-food & come home to eat the Bread of Life & quench their thirst with Living Water.
💥❤ Angels joined in the joy of their King as they sang proclaiming the birth of the Baby who would be the Open Door & the Way for the great Family Re-union between God & Man.
💥✝ There on the Cross, His Body broken & battered, our Saviour shouted with joy – “IT IS FINISHED”… satan’s kingdom was breached, sin’s yoke was broken, and countless slaves to sin were leaving their chains behind as they walked into the freedom, purity & healing of God’s kingdom of Light & Love.
💥 Now the Holy Spirit floods our hearts with God’s love and tunes our heart to His “pitch” so that in harmony with the Triune God, we become His agents of Shalom flooding the earth with the glory of God’s love.
❤ The LORD your God is in your midst,
✝ (Emmanuel) a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you by His love;
❤ ✝ He will exult over you with loud singing. [Zep 3:17]
❤🔔 … the joy of the LORD is your strength. 💪 [Neh 8:10]
Holy God, open my ears to hear Your “songs” of love. Tune my heart to Yours so that I may move in perfect harmony with You. Take my lips & let them be, filled with messages from You. Take my heart and let it sing always only with joy for YOU my King. In Jesus Name. Amen.