OYB May 29
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 May 28
14:13-14 The woman said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one. For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him. This is one amazing passage. To me, the entire first 14 verses seem to be painting a picture of the two sons, Israel and Jesus. One Son was killed by the other, and the murdering son deserved death and not to receive his inheritance. But if that guilty son was killed, there would be no offspring left for the family namesake and inheritance. So the king determined that not a hair would perish from the head of the guilty son on behalf of the mother's plea.
So the woman related it to David's situation, but I see a picture of humanity. The woman even said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God?" She is speaking not of an individual son, but of a nation. Let me repeat: Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him. (By the way, this is from NASB, which reads much stronger than NLT!)
14:19 Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant... It's like Joab, the acting director, steps into the story and says, "Cut! Cut!" Then he walks up to the royal throne (via the help of the woman) and says to David, "Hey, we're in a story here, people! David, you are playing Jesus and you can't change the plot now. You have to follow the script! As Jesus, you have to bring your banished son back!" This is a cool picture of the nation of Israel being brought back, as well as other banished sons.
14:24 However the king said, "Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face (NLT says "never see my face"-GONG!)." So Absalom turned to his own house and did not see the king's face. In a way, David is both like Christ and not like Christ in this manner. Though he brings Absalom back, he refuses to let Absalom "see his face." This is sort of the picture in the NT of Gehenna, when people who are being punished are thrown outside the city gates or the Kingdom.
‘Depart from me, all you evildoers.' "In that place (Gehenna) there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. "And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13:27-29). I believe Gehenna could be a place where Jesus will temporarily hide His face and His glorious presence from those "sons" (Jews or professing believers) who have willfully and unrepentingly committed the sins He spoke of in the Gospels (lawlessness, oppressing other servants, unabashed carnal living, spiritual apathy/unpreparedness, etc.). If it was completely removed, Jesus would not say "when you see..." I believe that whenever Gehenna was used as a warning, it was always in regard to professing "sons."
14:25 Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom... Can you imagine in the future Kingdom seeing all those glorious people of old? Can you imagine seeing ourselves resurrected into powerful, healthy bodies? I think in our times, 6,000 years after creation, there are many genetic weaknesses and flaws in our bodies that were not present in these earlier days before mutations, food and environment chemicals, and all kinds of pollution. Our bodies today are probably a far cry from how strong, beautiful, healthy, and "flawless" people were in the first 2-3 thousand years. Because of this, our resurrection is going to be all the more glorious for us when we have more strength, wholeness, vitality, energy, and beauty than we ever imagined! Woo hoo...makes me want to go do a back flip! Ouch. Hurts just thinking about it.
14:28-29 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king's face. Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent again a second time, but he would not come. Okay, I think the way David is not Christlike in this passage is that he makes it too hard for Absalom to come back into his presence. I want to defend Absalom anyhow because he is the only one who fought for his sister's honor. Did David get off script again? David, David...tsk, tsk. No, not really. Nobody truly gets off script, just off perfect script. But we're not perfect, so he did exactly what he was supposed to do for the greatest good to take place in the big picture.
15:8 "For your servant vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, `If the LORD shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.' " There are many "believers" who do sneaky, dishonest things in the name of serving the Lord! And the masses are usually easy to deceive and to persuade with the lie, "And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom" (vs. 12).
15:14 "Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword." We hear the echo... "the sword shall not depart from your household..."
18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron... What's really weird is that the last verse we just read in 2 Samuel, David went across the Kidron. So in a significant place for David during the betrayal of Absalom, we see a significant place where Judas is betraying Jesus. Twilight zone music, please...
18:14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people. This was a prophetic word from Caiaphas earlier in John. Amazing! Let's refresh:
And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, "How can you be so stupid? Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people." This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn't think of it himself; he was inspired to say it. It was a prediction that Jesus' death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world. So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus' death. John 11:49-53
119:111-112 Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart's delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end. This is my prayer for my family and me!
16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. I am learning a lot about "the illusion of free will." I don't have it all figured out, but from many verses throughout the Bible, not to mention how God's perfect plan has unfolded according to schedule throughout history, I believe our only true free will is our response to the sovereign circumstances God puts in our path daily. I don't know how it all works, but I now believe we have a lot less free will than we've realized. A story is written, and we are playing the part according to schedule. This would make some people feel mad and controlled, but I see it as protection and love. Left to our free will, this world would have been destroyed a long time ago. God has hemmed us into His plan of love and purpose for the ages. It is really beautiful to behold! Consider the following verses:
Man's goings are of the Lord. Proverbs 20:24
The King's heart is in the hands of the Lord, He turns it wherever He desires. Proverbs 21:1
My counsel shall stand, and I will do ALL MY DESIRE. Isaiah 46:10
In Isaiah 10, the King of Assyria is bragging about how he had ransacked Jerusalem. He says,
"By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants" (verse 13). How does God respond?
"Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood" (verse 15).