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The kings and The King

Dec 03, 2017 | Travis Walker

Where Judgment Ends

As difficult as it is, our lives should never be about our successes (David’s Mighty Men) or even our failures (David's Sin), but about the mercy and grace of God. Listen as Pastor Travis takes us through the final two chapters of 2 Samuel.

Sermon Transcript

Well, this morning we are in 2 Samuel. We are wrapping up the book and so it is my privilege to help you kind of wrap it up and put a bow on it and help us to see the whole book but also to focus in on the last two chapters. So while you're turning to 2 Samuel 23 and 24, I want you to think about something. Think about the last movie that you have seen. Think about the story that Hollywood was telling you when you were watching that movie, and think about how that compares to the stories that you have been told through 2 Samuel. We have been in the book a while and you've heard some amazing, crazy, spectacular, maybe even hard to believe stories in 2 Samuel. Think about the difference from Hollywood and maybe what we are learning about Hollywood, and then from what we have been learning in 2 Samuel and the pain that is painted for us from God about the men and the characters in 2 Samuel.

One thing that I was reminded of during this season that I hope you were as well, is that the Bible is way more honest than Hollywood. Do you notice that? The Bible reveals the true flaws of the main characters. It doesn't hide it. It doesn't sugarcoat it. It doesn't paint them in a good light. It reveals them as they really are, great sinners. But I think the Bible is also more shocking than Hollywood because many of these stories are so incredible and maybe so hard to read that they are also hard to believe. But the Bible is also more powerful and emotional than anything Hollywood has to offer because the raw relationship tensions in 2 Samuel and these stories are difficult to read as well: families fighting, siblings and best friends and backstabbing. It's more powerful, more emotional. And most of all, the Bible is more life-changing than anything Hollywood has to offer. As good as stories that Hollywood could put together, they can never compete with the life transforming and ultimately life-giving word of God. Isn't that true? What a better story. The amazing thing about the Bible is that the sin problem in the Bible is the same as the sin problem in Hollywood but the Bible offers a solution to the problem where Hollywood just leaves you empty, guilty and dead. So this morning, let's praise God for the life transforming message that is found in the book we will study today, and I hope that you read it with those lenses, and look at that and anticipate that, that the Lord will transform your life and move in your life this morning as we read it.

Today we'll look at another amazing maybe hard to believe but beautiful story as we conclude the book of 2 Samuel. So are you there? 2 Samuel 23 and 24. I think I have an outline for you I'd like to show you. This is where we're going today, kind of let you see where the passage goes so that we can dive a little bit deeper without any cloudiness. So in chapter 23, verses 8 through the end of the chapter is this unbelievable Hollywoodish story of David's mighty men. It's beautiful. It's fascinating. Middle school boys would eat this chapter up, right? You don't hear many often that this is your favorite chapter but it could be. It is fascinating. And then it takes a hard right turn in chapter 24, it's dark, quick, and it moves to David's mighty sin and its consequences in the first 17 verses. It's dark. It's sad. Then it ends with God's amazing mercy, chapter 24, verses 18 through 25, which if you're a student of your Bible, you know that most books end exactly where 2 Samuel ends, with the mercy and grace of God. It paints a dark picture and ends with the mercy and the grace of God.

So let's dive in today and let's look at our story. I'm going to try to move quickly through chapter 23, not because it's less important but it does give context for 24 and that's where I really want to focus the majority of my time today. So David's mighty men. If we were to give you a quick overview of chapter 23, it would look like this: David's mighty men is a group of 30 but there is also a group of three, his great men. His most spectacular men are in verses 8 through 12, then the rest of the chapter, verses 13 through 39 are the rest of the 30. If you were to count them, which some of you will, you'll notice that there is more than 30 or even more than 33 in this passage and that's, we believe, is because some would pass away and they would replace them, but most of the time David had a group of 30 mighty men who did most of his hard work.

So let's look at the three in verses 8 through 12, these amazing people with amazing talents. Let me read it for you.

8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time. 9 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the LORD brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. 11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the LORD worked a great victory. 

That's just a sampling of this chapter, these amazing stories of amazing men with amazing talents. We have Josheb-basshebeth who killed 800 at one time. Eleazar stayed when all of Israel withdrew. He fought the Philistines alone so long that his hand clung to the sword. Shammah defended the lentil field because the Philistines would raid their crops. When all of Israel fled and left him alone in the lentil field, he single-handedly defeated the Philistines. What amazing stories. What amazing men. Forget middle schoolers and high schoolers, forget having posters of Lebron James or Tom Brady on your walls at home, you should go and find these guys in Fatheads or posters and put them up. These acts of courage and ability is absolutely incredible. 

Real quick, I want to tell you about a couple of my heroes, not to bring glory to anyone but this will make sense eventually. Becky D., Heidi H. and Amy S. run our children's ministry and they impress me so much with the talents and abilities that God has given them that they use for his glory. One time, one time they took a large group of third through fifth graders on a winter retreat with zero sleep and they came back successful and alive. One time, you won't believe this, one time they put on a Christmas program with over 60 kids and the church didn't burn to the ground. Can you believe it? It's hard to believe but it's true. And then every single year, they put on a week long VBS for over 200 little kids every single summer and they are still alive to tell about it. Isn't that amazing? Wow, that is incredible but here's the point: as talented as these ladies are, we know and they know that they aren't the ones deserving of praise or the point because they know that ultimately God gives the victory, or in their case survival. 

All of this is summarized, look at verses 10 and 12, this is summarized two times. The author doesn't want you to miss this. In verses 10 and 12, it repeats this phrase, "and the LORD worked a great victory." Not the three, the Lord worked a great victory, reminding us that as great and as talented as these men are in our text, their success is fully a gift from God. Their talents and abilities are gifts from God and their ability to succeed in that moment is also a gift from God. So we don't lift up Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar and Shammah, we lift up the God who granted the victory and gave them the talents to do it. You see, we might accomplish great things in our lifetime, there are very talented people in this room, but if for one moment we think that our accomplishments are due to our great effort and talent, at that very moment we are robbing God of the glory that he is due, and I think chapter 23 helps us remember where the true credit belongs, not to the three mighty men but to God who works great victories.

The rest of the chapter is about the 30, these other mighty men who God, again, gives great talents and abilities to who fight battles. In verses 13 through 17, there is this beautiful story about the water from Bethlehem. I'll summarize it for you. Israel is in a battle against the Philistines. David and his men are in a cave and David's hometown has been taken captive by the Philistines and the Philistines are guarding Bethlehem. And David maybe in a moment, thinking he was alone or maybe just thinking out loud, says longingly, "Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!" Well, three of the 30, not the three but three of the 30 mighty men hear their king's heart's desire. They take it upon themselves to please their king so they break through the Philistine army, grab water from the well of Bethlehem, fight their way back out, go back to the cave where David is to present this amazing gift to him. Wow, what an act of courage. David receives the water and he is so overwhelmed by this kind act that he pours the water out onto the ground as a gift to God. What? What a bizarre response in action. I love Starbucks mugs. It would be if you went to an exotic place and brought me back a Starbucks mug and I'm like, "Thank you!" and shatter it on the ground. I would never do that. What's the point? What are we supposed to learn here? Well, this story teaches us that our greatest goal should be to accomplish our King's greatest desire. 

So a question real quick that I want you to wrestle with: what is our King's greatest desire? How would you answer that question? If somebody asked you what is God's greatest desire? What is your King's greatest desire? I think the answer to that question is his glory would be made known throughout the world. I think that's our King's greatest desire. Is that your greatest desire? Is that your greatest goal? And if not, ask yourself how is your life's greatest goal of more importance than your King's greatest desire? Or maybe a more important question, who is the King of your life? And you can answer that question by figuring out what your greatest goal is. Whatever my greatest desire is, it reveals who my ultimate King is and that's a really important thing I need to wrestle with.

So why did David dump out the water? Did you ever think about that? Do you wrestle with that? Why did David dump out the water? Was he wasting the water? Was he being disrespectful to these three men? No, it says in our text that he was giving the water to God. Well, what does that mean? You see, I think when the water was in David's hands, when it came back and it was placed into David's hands, he realized that the real gift was the sacrifice the men made, not the water itself. He was so blown away by that act that the element in his hands wasn't the gift, it was the act of valor. Ultimately, I think that what David did with this men's gift is the greatest act of respect possible. It was of such great value to David that he gave it to God. Instead of saying, "God, look at how great I am or the three, look how great I am," he refused to accept glory from the men and gave it to who truly deserved it, and instead of giving the glory to the men and saying, "Men, you guys are awesome. I can't believe you did that. Wow, you are incredible." No, he pointed them to their ultimate King also. This is such a good lesson for us. Any praise or glory that we receive from man, the greatest thing we can do with that praise is to give it to who truly deserves it, God. And that's why I think verses 10 and 12 repeat the phrase, "and the LORD worked a great victory," reminding us who deserves the praise.

All right, let's summarize the end of chapter 23. We learn about Abishai, Benaiah, and these are two more mighty men who get less fame and glory than the three but they are still promoted and talked about. Then in verses 24 through 39, we get the list of the other mighty men and it's merely just a list where their names are mentioned. They are more mighty men who get less fame and glory than the three, and even less than Abishai and Benaiah. This list of 30 is so fascinating, right? Because if you read ahead, you notice that the last verse of chapter 23 mentions Uriah the Hittite. Chapter 23 ends with a sobering reminder that David, as great as he was, is not the king we long for; a reminder that our King is greater than that king. Ultimately David's victories are summarized in verse 12 as well, "and the LORD worked a great victory."

So what's the point? What are we supposed to learn from chapter 23? I threw a few up there for you. What's the point of chapter 23? I think here are a few. 1. Our greatest joy is serving God's mission, not creating and serving our own. 2. God's people work better together and all of us are necessary. There isn't just the mighty three, there isn't just the mighty 30, all of us have been given talents and abilities to accomplish God's mission and every single one of you are necessary for the mission. 3. Our talents and abilities are gifts from God which ultimately are to make a name for God, not to make a name for ourselves. We are not the point. We never have been and never will be and that reality ultimately brings us more joy than if we were the point. And lastly, any praise or glory you receive from man, pour it out and give the credit to who deserves it, God himself.

So that's chapter 23. Does that make sense? You need to understand chapter 23 in order to understand chapter 24 because they are linked. These stories flow together. So here's a quick outline of chapter 24. Verses 1 through 9 is David's sin. Verses 10 through 17 is God's justice and the consequences from David's sin. Verses 18 through 25 is God's amazing mercy. 

Let me help you connect the two chapters and then we'll dive into chapter 24 a little bit more. I want us to connect the two chapters by noticing a major difference and the difference is David's attitude. So maybe in between those chapters write, "David's attitude changes." We don't know exactly the timeframe. We don't know exactly how many years passed, how many months passed, or days passed between these two stories, but we know there's a different David in chapter 23 than in chapter 24. Chapter 23, you see a humble, grateful servant of God who pours out credit and gives it to God instead of believing the praise of others and stealing glory from God. That's what we saw, beautiful, humble David, a David we should emulate and be like. But then chapter 24 is a different David. In chapter 24, we see a proud, boastful king of Israel. My best guess is that it is this attitude, this proudful attitude which causes verse 1 of chapter 24 to say, "Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel." We're not told why God's angry. We're not told why his anger is kindled but we do see a different David and maybe that's the point.

This chapter, I think, is about what happens when we fail to pour out the praise in accomplishments to God. What happens when we hold onto the praise and get proud and think that we've accomplished something. We become proud and confident in our own abilities and become less dependent and grateful to God. That's what happens. Instead of pouring out the praise, you receive the pats on the back. Instead of not believing your own press, we become proud and confident and think we're great and I think that's the David we see in chapter 24. Chapter 24, the results of believing we are great. David's great sin. 

So let's look at verses 1 through 9. This chapter should sound a lot like chapters 11 and 12, David's great sin with Bathsheba. As you read through it, it should sound a lot a like because it was written to sound a lot alike because there are so many similarities between these two stories. David's failure with Bathsheba and now David's failure to count the people. They are written to sound a lot alike.

But before we move on, notice that chapter 24 starts with a very difficult verse to understand. Go ahead and read verse 1. Let me read it for you. Verses 1 and 2,

1 Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go, number Israel and Judah." 2 So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, "Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people." 

So 24 here, the text says that the Lord incited David, but if we go to a correlating verse in 1 Chronicles 21:1 which is a re-telling of this story, 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that Satan incited David. So we have two accounts of the same story but different wording. Hm, what are we to do? How do we handle this? How do we work through this passage? How do we understand its purpose? Here we have a difficult concept to understand: one text says God told David to number the people, and another text says Satan told David to number the people. So what are we to do when there is a discrepancy? Here's a quick tip on how to interpret Scripture: what you cannot do, I know this, what we can't do is say, "I think this passage is right and I think this passage is wrong." That's what we can't do. We must allow all of Scripture to teach us how to understand both texts and this story as a whole. That's how we interpret Scripture, with Scripture not with what we desire it to say.

To my best ability, I think it is safe to read this story as God the Sovereign King of all had Satan incite David to number the people. God had Satan tempt David. You see, we're okay with this understanding because this seems similar to other stories we do understand. Let me put this in context of other stories. 1. You see God allowed Satan to test Job to see if he would curse God and die and we're okay with that understanding. 2. God allowed Satan to test Jesus in the wilderness to see if he would trust God or take matters into his own hands. What about this one: God allowed Satan into the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So this text, it shouldn't shake you. Don't let it shake you. Nowhere does David blame God for telling him to number the people. Isn't that interesting? I think that's where I would go, right? "This isn't on me." That's not what he does. He will eventually, David will eventually take full blame for all of his actions which helps us to understand the text.

Other questions to wrestle with in this chapter. This is not an easy chapter. Why was the census sin? Why was counting the people sin? I believe the sin is the selfish motive, not necessarily the act alone. Other places in Scripture, Israel would take censuses, they would count the people, but it was always according to God's desire and according to God's method. A tax would be taken. David seems to be acting on his own will here and according to his own method. David is merely counting how many warriors he has to prove his greatness and might.

Why count the number of valiant men who draw the sword? Because David was building up a military force just like all the other kings would. God has always fought Israel's wars. Why would David think he needs to start fighting his battles on his own? What changed in him? What's going on? We know from the rest of the Old Testament that fighting battles has never been a numbers game. Fighting battles was never a calculated risk. The risks were always in the hand of God in spite of numbers. This is the point of chapter 23, God could use one man to strike down 800, or use one man to protect the lentil field. It's not a calculated risk. This isn't a numbers game. Or in other texts, the angel of the Lord would come down and he would strike down hundreds of thousands without using a man to wield a sword. Israel's job has always been to obey and trust, not to build an army, and I think that's why this census is a sin.

I love this, look in verse 3. Notice Joab's response to David's impure motives, 

3 … but why does my lord the king delight in this thing? 

Oh, what a question. "Why do you want to do this David? Why does this make you happy? Why does this bring you joy, David?" Verse 4,

4 But the king's word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army.

Man, Joab here is encouraging David to allow God to add people, "If that's what you want, if that's what you desire...let God do that. This isn't about you, David. David, God builds his kingdom, not you. Let God do this." He says, "Why do you need to count the people, David? What does this accomplish?" Joab here sees his selfish agenda, sees David's selfish agenda and he's pointing out sin in his life. "David, I see a blind spot. I see a weakness and I'm pointing it out in your life." It's fascinating this comes from Joab too, because Joab hasn't always been the greatest of guys in 2 Samuel. He's not the moral compass. But here he is able to see right through David and help us see his sinfulness. Isn't that fascinating? 

But David's word prevails against Joab and Joab has the valiant men of war counted. What a low point for David's life. So this, that's David's great sin, so now let's move on and see what God's justice does. Let's see how the just Judge responds, verses 10 through 17. God's justice. In this section we see David's appropriate response to his sin and God's just actions. 24:10, you see David's guilty conscience.

10 But David's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the LORD, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly." 

I love this. What a great response from David. A guilty conscience is a really good sign. You know that, right? It's a really good sign. Why? Because believers hate their sin. I hate my sin. I should hate my sin. David has grown a lot if we compare this chapter to chapter 12, his sin with Bathsheba. This time David repents before the prophet has to call him out. This time the prophet is Gad. He repents before the prophet approaches him. A small sign of spiritual growth in David's life.

A theologian that I enjoy, A. W. Pink, says this, "It is not the absence of sin but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from empty professors." Isn't that interesting? That's what we see in David. We do see some growth, his eagerness to repent. David runs to God for forgiveness, "Take away the iniquity of your servant," instead of justifying or hiding his actions. How beautiful. It's another sign of spiritual maturity. So even though this chapter is a low point for David, it's also a good light on him because we see his willingness to repent.

Verse 11. Now another really interesting portion of Scripture. Thanks, Todd, for all these difficult texts here. I appreciate that. Then in verse 11, Gad goes to David and tells him that God is going to bring justice but David may choose one of three punishments. What? How bizarre? So what do we do with these three choices? Why does Gad tell David that God has given him three punishments and he's allowed to choose which one? Here's why, I think: similar to the testing in verse 1, here we see God working on David. God is teaching David the seriousness of sin and how all of our sins have consequences. This isn't normative, right? You don't get to choose your consequences. This isn't normal, but God isn't only David's just Judge but he is also his loving Father who needs to have a conversation with his son and that's what's going on in these three choices.

It reminds me of the several different characters who come to Jesus in the New Testament and ask him questions similar to this: what must I do to be saved? And in the New Testament, all three times Jesus gives each one of these men a different answer. You see, God knows our hearts. He knows what we're wrestling with. He knows the real issues and he works on our hearts in order to bring life-change, not just lead us to the right answer. Isn't that beautiful? I'm so grateful for that.

But now let's look at the three choices. Let's see which one David chooses and maybe we can learn something from that. The first choice is famine. The food is going to run out and you're going to have to deal with your people, the Israelites, for three years. That's the first choice, famine in the land. The second choice is the sword. Your enemies will pursue you for three months. So now you're going to have to deal with the Philistines for three months. And the last one is pestilence or plague. This is a picture of the wrath of God being poured out for three days. So David, would you rather deal with your people, the Israelites, for three years, your enemies for three months, or God for three days? What a fascinating dilemma. What do you think you would choose? A nagging people for three years, your enemies for three months, or God for three days? It's tough. I think God is saying here, "David, because of your sin, people are going to die. Your success is going to crumble. I'm going to break down your pride. How would you prefer my justice to be poured out?" 

And David's response, look at verse 14. David's response is beautiful and it teaches us so much in verse 14. He says, "I would rather fall into the hand of God." Really? I don't know. I'm just being honest. He says, "I would rather fall into the hand of God instead of the hands of people." Why? Because David knows that God might have mercy where the people never will. Isn't that true? This reveals that David knows God really well. God is just, yup, but throughout his whole life he has also been merciful to David. David knows God's character. David knows from his past that God has been more merciful to him than people have ever been.

What is the result of the plague? 70,000 men of valor die. God takes from David the very thing that David put his confidence in. Isn't that interesting? Verse 1 teaches us that. His military success, the thing that made him proud, God is destroying. The thing that he maybe loved more than God at that moment, God is tearing down.

Verse 17, this section ends with David's humble response. I love verse 17. Highlight it. Underline it. "Please, God, don't punish the people for my mistake. Let me die for my sins instead of the people dying for my sins. Pour out your wrath on me and my family, not the innocent people." Because we're going to talk about this verse more in just a little bit.

Verse 18 through 25, let's summarize the end of it. This is God's mercy. "David, you want my wrath to stop?" God is still in the conversation, still working on David. "David, you want my wrath to stop? Okay, here's how my wrath stops. You want my wrath to come to an end? Go and build an altar. Go build an altar on the threshingfloor of Araunah." Why is that the solution? Think about that. Why will God's wrath stop when an altar on a threshingfloor is built? Why? 

Let's work on this phrase a little bit. What is an altar? An altar is a place where you can sacrifice an animal to die in your place. A place to pay the price of your sins. What's a threshingfloor? A threshingfloor was always on the top of a hill and it allowed the chaff to blow away. Chaff usually is a symbol for sin so the threshingfloor would be a place where your sins can go away, can be blotted out, can blow away, and only what is good would remain. What about the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite? What's the significance of that? Well, we find out later that this will become the Temple Mount. Remember, David had a conversation with God, "God, let me build you a house." God says, "No, I'm going to build you a house. Oh, but your son will build me a house." The place where David's son, Solomon, will have God's house or temple built will be this place, the place where for years the nation of Israel will go to make payments for their sins and where God will be merciful to them for years to come. That's why. That's the point of this. Where does God's judgment stop? Only when an acceptable sacrifice is made.

David buys the threshingfloor instead of accepting it as a gift which tells us that David understood that a price must be paid for his sins. You see, sacrifice always includes a cost, doesn't it? Sin always has a penalty. Since Genesis 3, there has always needed to be a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin. Forgiveness isn't free, it always costs someone something. God is teaching David, "You're right, there needs to be a sacrifice but your life won't do. You're not a spotless lamb. It needs to be a spotless lamb. This is how my forgiveness has always worked and will always work."

Look at verse 25. David builds an altar to the Lord, offers burnt offerings and peace offerings and it is then and only then when a sacrifice is made that the Lord withholds his wrath and gives mercy to David and the nation.

Real quickly, let's learn what we can learn from chapter 24. 1. Be careful of believing you are something great. David's great sin was always pride, and guess what? So is yours. 2. Sin always has consequences. It costs somebody something. 3. God's plan has always been to save his people from their sins and his wrath. That hasn't stopped. That hasn't changed. Are there consequences? Yeah, we've been talking about that for weeks. There are definitely consequences but God's plan hasn't changed. It's always been to save his people from their sins and his wrath.

All right, now let's quickly summarize both chapters together and see how this all points us to Christ. So what's the point of both chapters 23 and 24 together? David, Israel's greatest king, isn't that great but he worships a great God. You see, chapter 23 isn't really about David, is it? It's about a truly mighty warrior who grants victories to his people by using his people, but we need to always remember where the credit belongs. Chapter 24 isn't really about David, is it? It's about a merciful God who would allow a substitute to die on an altar to pay the price of sinners. It ends with David's failures and him desperately needing God. That's a great place for all of our lives to come to an end, a place of desperation for God. You see, in life we will have successes and failures, isn't that true? When we succeed, what do we do? We run to God and thank him for using us to glorify his name. When we fail, what do we do? We run to God and thank him that he is a merciful God who has steadfast love for his children.

Now, how do we let this passage change us? We talked about that at the very beginning. The word of God is different than Hollywood because it has the ability to change lives. How? How can we let chapters 23 and 24 change our lives? And I think this is the take-home truth. As difficult as this is, our lives should never be about our successes, David's mighty men, or even our failures, David's sin, but about the mercy and grace of God. You see, spiritually growing people learn to repent quickly, often, and are willing to accept the punishment instead of passing it on to others. Spiritually strong people rest in the Gospel because they know it is all they have.

Let's go back to my favorite verse in this text, chapter 24, verse 17. The greatest verse in this whole story is one that is a beautiful arrow to the Gospel. Look at 24:17. Underline it. Highlight it. Circle it. Memorize it. Here David, a guilty king, goes to God on behalf of the people and asks that his sins would be poured out on him and his family instead of the innocent people. Compare this to our King who 2,000 years ago, Christ, after proving for 30 years that he is our sinless King, he goes to God on behalf of the people, us, and asks that our sins would be poured out on him instead of the guilty people. Wow. Jesus instead of buying and building an altar, would climb up the hill and become the sacrifice that would stop the wrath of God. Praise God for Jesus. 

Isaiah 53:6 and 7 reads this way. Does it sound like 2 Samuel 24? "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him," the innocent one, "the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed," Christ was oppressed, "and he was afflicted," not us, "yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb," you see, there's got to be a lamb, "that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." You see, the real King, the real Davidic King is so holy that someone has to die but the real King, the real Davidic King is so loving that he was glad to die for us. Praise God for our substitute, Jesus Christ.

So how do we summarize all this? The Lord is our warrior. The Lord will defeat our greatest enemies: sin, death and Satan. And the Lord is our Savior, the substitute for the death penalty that we deserve.

Series Information

Israel's biblical history is more than military conquest in chronological sequence. It is messianic prophecy in narrative form. This is especially and beatifully seen in the books of 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, and 1–2 Chronicles. Prepare to enjoy the adventure of the Old Testament in our 2017–2018 series, "The kings and the King," and appreciate anew the anticipation of Christ woven throughout each of these historical books.