Let’s turn now to II Samuel, chapter twenty two.
And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all of his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul (22:1):
This psalm came early in David’s career. It was thought that it was spoken by David, when he had come to the establishment of the kingdom, and had defeated the enemies all around him. Now his kingdom is firmly established. The king of Toi has sent messages of congratulations. David acknowledged the Lord and God’s providential care, in this psalm. This psalm is identical to Psalm eighteen. In the, as you’re going through the Psalms, this is repeated in Psalm eighteen, with few variations that can be accounted to just the change of a letter here or there. Hebrew letters are quite similar, and so the uh, it is, Psalm eighteen, in the book of Psalms itself.
No doubt, as we get into this psalm, we will realize that David wrote this psalm, before his sin with Bathsheba. For in this psalm, he protests his innocence, his righteousness, the cleanness of his own life, which he could speak of prior to his relationship with Bathsheba. Coming to God on the basis, and you find this in many of the earlier psalms of David, asking God to help him, as he came to God on the basis of his goodness, his uprightness, his innocence, and so forth.
But once he had experienced that sin with Bathsheba, from then on, he always came seeking the mercy of God, as is evident in the fifty first Psalm, the first Psalm written after the forgiveness announced by Nathan. He said, “Have mercy upon me, O, God, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. For against thee, and thee only have I sinned, and done this great evil in thy sight. That you might be justified…”, and all. So, David no longer seeks God on the basis of his own goodness, but on the basis of God’s mercy, and graciousness.
So as we get into the psalm, it will speak of David’s appreciation for God’s deliverance, and for the way God intervened in the battles, how that the rains, the lightnings, actually, came at uh, just the precise moment to set him free. And how he recognized God, in all of God’s works, and as God was helping and delivering him. And so…
He said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer (22:2);
The Lord, as a rock, is a common symbol, and as I suggested this morning, I suggest again, that you go through the bible, with a concordance, and study how that the rock has become a symbol for God. He is our strength, strong as a rock. A place of defense, as a rock. As in Proverbs, “The cony, the hydrax, or a feeble folk, but they make their home in the rock”. One of the three small things on the earth, that is exceedingly wise. Wise because it knows that it has no defense of it’s own. Thus it makes its home in the rock, and thus is strong, as the rock upon, in which it has made it’s home. So, “The Lord is my Rock, he is my fortress, he is my deliverer”.
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: for he is my shield, the horn of my salivation, my high tower, [Which is not a tower made with hands, but would be the high places, uh where David in his wanderings, and escaping from Saul, chased like a partridge through the mountain, would sometimes be up on the top of those lofty peaks, and uh “The Lord is my high tower”,] he is my refuge, my Saviour; [So notice, “Rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn, a salvation, high tower, refuge, savior”.] and thou savest me from violence (22:3).
David is surely one of the most articulate persons who has ever lived. Gifted and blessed with the capacity of articulating unto God. The praises, the worship, the acknowledgment of all that God is. Whenever I am in need of a way of expressing myself to God, I feel that limitation, I want to express to God praise. I want to think about things that God has done for me, or things to give thanks for, I turn to the Psalms. Because, in the Psalms, David is expressing so many things that you just don’t think of. If you sit down, and say, “Well, the Lord is good. The Lord is good, the Lord is…”, you know. But David, goes on and just gives you so many things of the goodness of God to think about and to express. So, I find great help in the Psalms, as I turn to them, and David says, “The Lord is my rock.”, I say, “Oh yeah! He’s my fortress, alright! Yes, the Lord has been a fortress! He’s my deliverer, oh sure He is!”, you know, and all of these things begin to come to pass, and I realize how they have happened in my own life, and I can personalize these things of David. But he helps me to express it. He helps me to give expression to my own spirit, when I read the Psalms, as he spoke by the Spirit of God, these things, and appreciation unto the Lord.
I will call upon the Lord, [David said. Because of all of these things. “He’s my savior, my refuge”. “I will call upon the Lord,] who is worthy to be praised: and so shall I be saved from mine enemies (22:4).
So David, because God is his refuge, his strength, his fortress, he will call upon the Lord, and in calling upon the Lord, he is delivered. He’s saved from the enemy.
So when the waves of death compassed me, [or encompassed me] the floods of the ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears (22:5-7).
So David speaks of the times of being hemmed in, and of course there were many times when it seemed like Saul was going to destroy him. In fact, David came to the place of discouragement one day, when he said, “I know that one day Saul’s gonna kill me”. He had seen the hand of God delivering him in many marvelous ways, from the hand of Saul, and though he had been anointed by the hand of God to be king over Israel, he had that lapse of faith. The pressure, the constant pressure began to tell upon him.
Often times in our lives, as we are undergoing constant pressure, it begins to finally tell upon us, and we get discouraged. Though God has helped us, though God has delivered us so many times, we begin to think, “Oh, you know it can’t happen forever, I know that one day, Saul’s gonna kill me”, and in that discouragement, “But, I will cry upon the Lord, when I’m in this distress, when I’m encircled by mine enemies, I’ll call upon the Lord”. In Jeremiah the twenty ninth chapter, the Lord said to Jeremiah, “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will show you great and mighty things, that thou knowest not”. Now, in the whole context, that verse comes in a very interesting place, because Jeremiah was in trouble, and he had just spent in the night in prayer. In the morning, after spending the night in prayer, in the morning, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, and said, “Call upon me in your day of trouble, and I will hear you, and show you, great and mighty things, that thou knowest not”. So, God’s people learn to call upon Him, and find His help, and His strength. Now David speaks about how God intervened by many miraculous ways.
The earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was angry. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and a fire out of his mouth devoured: and coals were kindled by it (22:8-9).
He’s speaking actually of the tremendous thunderstorm and the lightening, by which he was delivered from the enemy.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. And through the brightness before him were the coals of fire kindled. The Lord thundered from heaven, and he most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, and at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. And he sent from above, and he took me; and drew me out of many waters; And delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me (22:10-18).
God intervened, probably in one of the times that Saul had him cornered. Looked like David’s had it. And God sends this violent, extremely violent storm, that David describes in very picturesque speech. How that God came and discomfitted Saul, and all of his men. Gave David the opportunity for escape. Tremendous lightning storms! These guys were seeking refuge, and David used it as an opportunity to escape. “And he drew me out of the many waters. He took me, and he delivered me from my strong enemy, who was”, David acknowledged, “too strong for me”.
They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me (22:19-20).
That is true. The Lord delighted in David, even as the Lord delights in you, as His child. In a while we’re gonna read, well no. We read that it’s in Psalms, “The Lord is for me”, Psalm fifty six. Paul, in Romans eight, said, “If God be for me, who can be against me?”. It’s so important for you to realize that the Lord delights in you. The Lord is for you! David said, “The Lord is on my side, I shall not fear what man can do unto me”. Satan would have you to believe that God is against you, because of your failures, because of your weaknesses. But, not so. God delights in you, and God is for you. God knows all about you, He knew all about David. He knew the weaknesses of David, and yet the Lord delighted in him.
And the Lord rewarded me [he said] according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all of his judgements were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I also was upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight (22:21-25).
Now this tune changed in time to come, as David sinned, so completely and miserably in the sight of the Lord. I believe that David after that had a much better relationship with God. Because now he was relating to God on the basis of God’s mercy, and God’s grace, rather than his righteousness.
Growing up in a church that emphasized a works kind of a relationship with God, as I was a child I was taught never to smoke, never to drink, never to go to dances, never to go to movies. Growing up in that environment, I was relating to God in a self-righteous way, much as David was relating to God, because he also grew up with the law, the statutes. Having kept them, he looked at himself as righteous. Righteous as the result of his works. “My obedience to the law of God, and to the commandments of God.” I used to think of myself as righteous, because I could stand up and testify that I’ve never smoked, I’ve never drank, I’ve never gone to a show, Never gone to a dance. You know, and I had all of these negative things upon which I was premising my righteousness before God. I was approaching God on the basis of the fact that I didn’t smoke, and I didn’t drink, and I didn’t go to shows, and these things. That was the premise for my relationship with God, and when I would come to God, seeking God’s help, or God’s blessing, or God’s guidance for my life, I would come to Him on the basis of, “Because I deserve it. I’m worthy Lord. Look, I’ve never touched a cigarette in all of my life, and thus I’m worthy”.
However, there were a lot of things that were not good on the inside. I loved revenge. I would plot to get even. There were those that I could not stand, and I would do my best to see them hurt. Lot of evil on the inside, but this outward show of righteousness. Now I was convicted for the evil on the inside too, and thus relating to God on the basis of my goodness, there were many times that I could not relate to God. Because I knew that I had not been good. I used to get saved every Sunday night, and pray like everything that Jesus would come before Monday morning! Ha, ha! I would wait from Monday morning, till Sunday night, to get saved again, because I was aware that though I outwardly kept these things, that there were things within my heart that were not right. Thoughts that were not right. Thus I had a hard time relating to God, except at the altar call on Sunday night. I would go forward, and I would ask God to forgive me of my sins, and save me from my sins, and then I could relate to God on my way home.
But oh what a glorious day, when I discovered the mercies and the grace of God, and I began to related to God on the basis of what He is, and what He has done, rather than what I am, and what I have done! From that day, I’ve had unbroken relationship. I can relate to God anytime, because I relate to Him now on the basis of His grace towards me, and His mercy. I was brought into a much closer relationship with God, through the understanding of God’s work towards me, than I ever was, in trying to relate to God, according to my works for God. God is for me. God delights in me. Not because, that I am so good, and I don’t go to shows, or dances, and I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke, and I didn’t watch TV this week. Has nothing to do with my relationship with God, or God’s delighting in me. It’s because of His nature of love. His love for me as His child. His care and concern for me, and His marvelous grace, whereby I stand.
So David here, is trying to relate to God, by the basis of his works. He learned better than that in time to come. But you will find in some of the Psalms, where David is talking about his innocence, his keeping of the statutes, and so forth. Know that was in the earlier years, before his great sin, and before his coming into the joy, really.
For in Psalm thirty two, after Nathan said, “Your sin is forgiven”, David said, “Oh how happy is the man, whose transgressions are forgiven! Oh how happy is the man whose sins have been covered! Oh how happy is the man to whom God does not impute iniquity!”. I’m relating to God in a whole new way. As a child of God, living in the grace of God. God does not impute to me iniquity, but as I walk in the light, as He is in the light, I have fellowship with Him, as the blood of Jesus Christ is continually cleansing me from all of my sins! David said in verse twenty six…
With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt show thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; with the froward thou wilt show thyself unsavoury. And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down. For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness (22: 26-29).
So God’s dealing with men. “Blessed are the merciful”, Jesus said, “for they shall obtain mercy”. With the merciful, God will show Himself merciful. With the upright, God will show Himself upright. With the pure, He will show Himself pure. But I am these things, only as I am in Christ. My righteousness is not of my own making. It isn’t of my own efforts. My righteousness is something that God has imputed to me through my faith in Jesus Christ, and so by my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He makes me merciful, upright, pure.
By, for by thee [And I love this, David said,] I’ve run through a troop: by my God I’ve leaped over a wall (22:30).
I can, if there were another period of history, there’s a couple other periods of history, I would have liked to have lived. I would like to have lived in the time of Christ. I would like to have been one of the disciples. I would’ve really have loved that, just you know, kicking around the country with Jesus. And just, to me that would’ve been fantastic! I would’ve loved it! But, I also would’ve liked to have lived in the times of David. I’d like to have been one of David’s mighty men, leaping over the walls with him, pursuing the enemies, and at times, I guess being pursued by the enemies. But running through the troop, leaping over the walls, I mean, he’s my kind of guy! I love David, looking forward to meeting this fellow. He speaks to the Lord as his lamp, lightening his darkness.
As for God, [Now David said,] his way is perfect; for the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all of those that trust in him (22:31).
Beautiful words! God’s ways are perfect. Oh how God help me to realize that! Sometimes I complain to God concerning His ways. I have a tendency sometimes to ask God, “Lord why did this have to happen? Lord why have you made me thus?”, and yet I realize that God is sovereign, and as the potter, He has absolute power over the clay to make of it whatever kind of a vessel He wants. Yet here I am, the clay, saying to the potter, “Hey do you think that’s necessary? I don’t like that wrinkle that you put in there. Can’t you do something else?”. But God’s ways are perfect. God’s dealing with my life is perfect, for it’s tried, proven. For those that trust in Him, their strength, buckler.
For who is God, save Jehovah? and who is the rock, save our God? [Other than our God. So,] God is my strength and power: And he maketh my way perfect. [“The Lord will perfect that which concurrent you.” Then this beautiful,] He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and sitteth me upon my high places. [Sort of like an antelope who stands on the tops of the mountains, and is fleet of foot, running all over the mountains, “So God has made my feet like hinds feet, and sets me on the high places”.] And he teaches my hands to war; so that a bow of bronze; [Steel is a poor translation here, steel was not yet developed. “A bow of bronze,] a bow of bronze is broken by my arms (22:32- 35).
That is, “God has given me enough strength to draw on a bronze bow”. Now that took tremendous strength. I don’t know how many of you fellows are familiar much with archery, but you can get bows of sixty, seventy, eighty pounds pull on them. The bronze bow had a pulling strength of somewhere near ninety pounds. David speaks of God giving him strength so that he could draw with a bronze bow.
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness has made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. [He gave me big feet. Ha, ha!] I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet (22:36-39).
“Oh God has been with me, God has helped me, God has delivered the enemies into my hands!”
And thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. They looked, but there was none to save them; even unto the Lord, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them in the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, and thou has kept me to be the head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me (22:41-44).
So God delivered the Edomites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and these nations round about into David’s power, really, and they became subservient to David.
Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, and they shall be obedient unto me. Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places. The Lord liveth; blessed be my rock; and exalted be God of the rock of my salvation. It is God that avenges me, and that brings down the people under me, And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, I will sing praises unto thy name. For he is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore (22:46-51).
So the glorious psalm of David, as he recognizes that God has been the one that has been with him, strengthened him, helped him, gave him power over his enemies, delivered the enemies into his hands, and gave him to reign over the people, having anointed him. Thus his thanksgiving, and praise, and acknowledgment of God, for the things that God had done in his life.
Now these are the last words of David. [And as we pointed out this morning, the last words of a man, are often cherished. Because a person when he stands at the door of death, so often there on the border, he begins to have a little view over the wall. He now becomes more conscious of the eternal things. As he speaks, he so often speaks now of the eternal. You know, he, he’s not worried anymore about Del Taco, or McDonalds, “Where shall we eat our hamburger?”, you know. But now there is that eternal, and the thoughts of the eternal. The mundane things have been sublimated, and they’re sort of cast aside, as he begins to reflect on the real issues of life, and upon eternity. As David has come to this place, ready to leave this realm of the material, and enter into the eternal.] David the son of Jesse the man who was raised up on high by God, taken from the sheep coat, and made king over Israel, the one who was anointed by God to be king, [When Samuel came to the house and poured that oil over him.] the sweet psalmist of Israel (23:1).
As we said, again this morning, David left a legacy, not only for Israel, but for every saint, and child of God through the ages, in the psalms. Comfort, hope, encouragement, strength. Oh the psalms are so rich as they minister to the people of God through all ages! What a blessing, the psalms. Think of the loss that we would have if we didn’t have the psalms! Where is it that you flip in the bible, when you’re discouraged or you just feel, “Oh I need a quick fix”, you know. I need help, I need strength. We flip to the Psalms, and you don’t have to read very far, before God is speaking to you. You’re encouraged, you’re lifted up. You get perspective. God’s on the throne! God’s gonna take care of it!
This was the whole theme of David. The Lord is in control. Rest in Him. Don’t fret yourself because of the evildoers that bring evil devices to pass. Rest in the Lord, trust also in Him. Delight thyself in the Lord! And all of the help, and the strength, the ministry of God’s Spirit to our hearts, through the Psalms, the sweet psalmist of Israel. What a legacy he has left.
David acknowledges that these came to him from the Spirit of the Lord. The new testament acknowledges that David was a prophet. Peter said, “And David, being a prophet, spake not of himself, but of Jesus Christ, who was to come”. But Peter also acknowledges that David spoke by the mouth of the Holy Ghost. Jesus acknowledges this in Mark, twelve. “And David by the Holy Spirit spake, saying…”, and acknowledging that the Spirit of God had spoken to David. He was open, his heart was attuned to the Spirit of God. But not only did…
The spirit speak by him, and his word was in his tongue. But the God of Israel said, [So God Himself spoke to David, and then even further,] the Rock of Israel spake to me (23:2-3).
The Rock of Israel of course, is none other than Jesus Christ. Paul declares that in Corinthians, chapter ten. “Concerning that rock that was with them in the wilderness”, he said, “and that rock was Christ. He is the smiting rock of Daniel”. As Nebuchadnezzar saw this great image in his dream. The image that represented the nations that would have world dominating power. He watched this great image of man, until there came a rock, not cut with hands, that hit the image at its feet, and the whole image crumbled, and the rock grew into a mountain that covered the entire earth. As he interpreted that dream for Pharaoh, he told him that, “In the days of the ten kings, shall the Lord of glory come and establish a kingdom that shall exist for ever. The glorious, righteous, eternal reign of Jesus Christ”. That rock was Christ. So, Moses spoke of the rock, of, that was with them, there in the wilderness. In the thirty second chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, the song of Moses.
Here, David said it was the Rock, that spoke to him. So, the trinity, “The Spirit of Jehovah spoke by me, God spoke to me, the Rock of Israel spoke to me”. And this is what was said, David’s last words. “He that ruleth must be just. Ruling in the fear of God.”
No man can rule over man unless, he himself, is consciously ruled by God. Otherwise, you have tyranny, and you have slavery. Men are enslaved by tyrannic rulers who have no consciousness of their responsibility to God, who have no fear of God. Jesus, you remember in the parable, spoke of that unjust judge, who feared neither God, nor man. A ruler, a true ruler must regard man, and think of justice towards men, but he also must rule in the fear of God. A man who rules like this…
Shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; [The time of his reign will be blessed. Like the sunrise.] and like the tender grass that is springing out of the earth by the clear shining after the rain (23:4).
I’ve got a picture here in my Bible of uh, I wish you could see it, I know you can’t but uh, it’s taken over in Israel, down in the Jordan valley, just a little south of the sea of Galilee. Such color, such beauty, such glory. Just a vast field of riotous colors. Flowers like you cannot imagine or dream! The wild flowers, you might come up, and want to take a look at this after, it’s absolutely gorgeous! The fields after the rains in Israel. He’s using this as a picture of speech to describe, the beauty, the glory, the blossoming forth of people who are ruled over by a righteous ruler.
Now, David is speaking here prophetically of Jesus Christ, and of His kingdom, and of His reign, and the glory that will fill the earth, during the reign of Christ. God said, “And the earth shall be filled with my glory”. Like the green grass, and the glorious flowers blossoming forth, on a clear day after the rains, so, the glory and the beauty of those who will be able to live and reign with Christ during the time of His glorious reign here upon the earth. David acknowledged, “Hey it’s not been so with me”, you know he’s already gone through, and he’s realized, “Hey, I haven’t been all that I should be as a ruler. There were times when I did not have the fear of the Lord”.
Although it hasn’t been so with my house; yet though I have failed, God made with me an everlasting covenant (23:5),
Conscious now of God’s grace. “I haven’t been all I should be, but yet God in His grace made an everlasting covenant with me.”
David decided that it wasn’t fair that he should be living in a palace, and the ark of the covenant was still in the tent. So he said to his friend Nathan, the prophet, “Hey, I’ve been thinking Nathan. Here I am in this gorgeous palace, God’s still dwelling over there in that tent. That’s not right! I want to build a glorious house for God, for the ark of the covenant”. Nathan said, “Ah David, that’s a splendid idea! Do all that is in your heart. Go for it!”
Then that night, the Lord spoke to Nathan, and said, “Nathan, you spoke out of turn. You’ve gotta go back now and correct it. You have to tell David that I can’t let him build me a house, his hands are bloody with war. But I will raise up unto David a seed, who will sit upon the throne, and he shall reign on the throne of David forever”.
So Nathan came the next morning to David, and said, “David, I’ve got some bad news. God won’t let you build Him a house, your hands are too bloody. But I’ve got some good news. God said that He took you from humble beginnings, from the sheep coat, following after the sheep, He made you the king over His people, and God said He’s gonna build you a house David, and from your seed, there shall never cease to be one who is reigning over the people”.
David went in before the Lord, and he knelt before God, and he said, “Oh God who am I, that you should do this for me?. Humbled now by the grace of God”. He said, “And if that weren’t enough”, then he said, “you took me from just that humble beginning, you made me your king, you blessed me, you subdued my enemies, and if that weren’t enough, now you speak Lord, of the time to come! That from me, the Messiah will be born! Oh Lord, what can I say”. And this articulate, psalmist of Israel, sweet psalmist of Israel for once was speechless, when he realized the glorious grace of God! What can you say? God is so good! Though David was more articulate in his expressions of praise and thanksgiving unto God, than any person who has ever lived, yet when he saw, when he saw the greatness of God’s grace, he was speechless. “What more can I say, Lord? How can I respond?” And that beautiful time of just silence before God, as you commune spirit to Spirit, and let God read the innermost feelings of your spirit. Those feelings of love, and praise, and thanksgiving, for which words have not yet been invented. So, David speaks here…
God has made though it wasn’t so in my house, God did make with me the everlasting covenant, and he ordered in all things, and are sure: [The word of God is sure. It will come to pass.] for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow (23:5).
“God is my hope, He’s my salvation, He’s all that I desire.” Now, in contrast…
The sons of Belial [The wicked men] shall be all of them as thorns that are cast away, because they cannot be taken with the hands: Those that cast in the way must touch them, they must be fenced with iron [Those that touch them. You’ve got to wear iron gloves.] and the staff of a spear; [You take the thorns with your spear, and you lift them and throw them into the fire.] and they are utterly burned (23:6).
Those sons of Belial, those evil men. Now we get here a list of David’s mighty men. This is the group I would’ve liked to have been. There were, the first three…
The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; [Sounded like an Italian.] Adino the Eznite: in one of the battles he lifted up his spear against eight hundred, who he slew in the battle. [ I mean, tough cookie!] And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo (23:8).
Which is a name for David, it’s a nickname for David, actually. We have a friend in Israel today whose name is David, but they call him Dodo. We told him, I said, “You know, in the United States, that’s not too good a nickname”.
Now when they were in battle, [this fellow,] Eleazar, when they were in battle against the Philistines, the other Israelites all retreated, but he stood his ground: And he arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and the hand clave to the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; so the people returned after him, and all they found was the spoil of the Philistines (23:9-10).
This guy stood in the field, he stood his ground against the Philistines, and he was whacking them so long with his sword, that he couldn’t, the sword, his hand locked around the sword, and he couldn’t release it. Just like, it became a part of his body almost, an extension! He couldn’t release his hand.
This is a common occurrence in the times when they used swords for battle, it’s after a period of time, your hand locks on the sword. There are accounts in history, where they have to soak it in hot water, to relax it enough to release the sword, and so was this fellow Eleazar, in the battle against the Philistines.
The third man was Shammah and the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where there was a piece of ground full of lentils: [or barley] and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and he slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory (23:11-12).
So David had some powerful men! And these were the three who were the captains over the others, and they were the three mighty men of David.
And the three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in the hold, [the fortress] and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that I could have a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem, which is there by the gate (23:13-15)!
The Philistines had been invading, and they’ve taken Bethlehem, and David says, “Oh man I’m thirsty! If I could just have a drink of water from that well!” Probably you know, as a kid, he drunk water out of it a lot, you know how you think, “Oh man, that’s such good water, if I just could have a drink!”.
And so these three mighty men broke through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and they took and brought it to David: [I mean, these guys, here’s David, he’s expressing this desire you know, they’re out there battling, “Oh if I could just have a drink of water”, and these guys take off and they wipe out the Philistines, and they get water out of this well, and they bring it to David,] however David would not drink of it, but he poured it out unto the Lord. [He says, “Hey, I can’t drink of this!] Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: because this cost the blood of men, and men who went in jeopardy of their own lives? therefore David would not drink it. And these things did the three mighty men (23:16-17).
Then in the next, there was another group of three.
Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, who was the chief among the next three. He lifted up his spear against three hundred men, and slew them, and had a name among them. [Actually you remember Abishai saved David’s life, when David had weakened in battle, and a giant was gonna kill him, and Abishai came and killed the giant. But he killed three hundred men with his spear.] He was the most honorable of the next three. he was their captain: howbeit he didn’t attain to the stature of the first three (23:18-19).
Now these are the guys that gathered to David, when he was in the wilderness fleeing from Saul. God brought to David these guys that were in trouble, these guys that were in debt, and they were powerful guys, and they made a powerful army. God used a very unlikely crew to do a powerful work! God often times, uses very unlikely vessels, uh to contain His love, and very unlikely instruments to do His work. Just look at the list of Calvary Chapel pastors, and uh see how unlikely people God has used to do powerful work! You know, they’re not the kind that you would pick out of a crowd, and say, “Well, he, and he, and he, and he…”, I mean uh, these are the guys that you would’ve passed up. But yet God has used them, and is doing a mighty work through their lives. So, Abishai. Then the second group of three.
There was Beniah [Beniah was the head over David’s bodyguard, and Beniah became the captain over the host, under Solomon. He replaced Joab, and began to rule under, I mean, rule over the army, or was chief general, after the death of David, and during the reign of Solomon. He was a valiant man. He’d done many valiant acts,] he slew two lionlike men, of Moab. Then there was a lion that was troubling the inhabitants of a city, and he went down, the lion was in a pit, during the time of snow, and he jumped into the pit and he killed the lion with his spear that was in his hand: Then he fought against this powerful Egyptian, and the Egyptian had a spear, and all he had was a stick, and with this stick, he knocked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and then killed him with his own spear. So he was more honorable than the thirty but he did not attain to the first three. And David set him over the bodyguards (23:20-22).
Now it gives the names then, of the thirty men. Now the second three, it doesn’t give us the name of the third man, he’s obliterated from the record, which indicates that the third man, probably was Ahithophel, who later rebelled against David, with Absalom. Thus his name was taken out of the mighty men. Or it could possibly have been Amasa, who also defected from David and became the general over Absalom’s army. So either Amasa or Ahithophel, was probably the third of this second three, but his name was taken out of the record when he, when they rebelled against David.
Now, when you get to Chronicles, and it lists the mighty men of David, it lists an extra sixteen. They came along later. These are the ones that were with David, when David was fleeing from Saul, those that he gathered to him. They belong to the first company of David. As time went on, there were other valiant men who did great exploits during the uh, time of David’s reign, and they were added to the list, in Chronicles. So you have uh, more in Chronicles.
I’m not gonna read all those names, if you want to read them, you can. But let’s go to chapter twenty four. “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel…” Oh, I was hoping we were going to finish II Samuel tonight, but can’t do it. We’ll take uh, twenty four next week, and we’ll take the first chapter of Kings.
“Oh how blessed are the people who are ruled over by a righteous ruler.” What opportunities of glory spring forth from their lives. You have the opportunity of being ruled over by a righteous ruler. You have the opportunity of submitting your life to the reign of Jesus Christ. We often sing, “Rule over my soul, rule over my soul”, and that is, and should be our prayer. “Oh Lord, you take the reins, you control my life. I want you to rule over my soul.” How superior that is to you trying to rule over things yourself!
You know, so many times, as we try to run our own lives, we can make a royal mess out of things! During the last war, they used to have a thing they called “FUBAR”. An acronym for Fowled Up Beyond All Recognition. So many times, when we look at our lives, we say, “FUBAR! I’ve been able to Fowl things Up Beyond All Recognition!” You know it’s so glorious to be able to turn over the whole fowled up mess, and turn it over to the Lord, and say, “Lord, take over”. You work out your plan to surrender your life to God.
I’d encourage, if you haven’t done it, I’d encourage you to do it tonight. You can go back to the prayer room, some counselors will be back there to pray with you. You can find the beauty, the glory of living under the righteous reign of our Lord! Not only now, but we shall live and reign with Him forever! What a blessing, what a privilege! Sons of Belial are to be gathered like thorns, and put in the fire, and burned, destroyed. But the righteous shall shine as the stars in heaven, for ever, and ever.
God bless you, give you a glorious week. May the hand of the Lord be upon you to anoint you for service unto Him. In Jesus’ name.
2 Samuel 22-23, PW Twente, date 08/17/99, email@example.com, Phone # 310 476 4704
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7100