Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

God's Conquering King: Part 2 (1 Chronicles 19-20)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

I'm going to be reading a longer section of God's word this evening, so I'll invite you to sit tonight. This is first chronicles, chapters nineteen and twenty. This section, these chapters, for chapters nineteen and twenty, go together with eighteen as well, which we considered because two weeks ago, and this whole account gives a to US David as he comes to power, his defeat and rule over his enemies. The here are the last two chapters of this larger section, nineteen and twenty of first chronicles. Let's hear God's word now. After this, Nahash, the king of the AMMONITES, died and his son reigned in his place. And David said, I will deal kindly with Hannoon, the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me. So David Sent Messengers to console him concerning his father, and David servants came to the land of the AMMONITES, to Hann to console him. But the princes of the AMMONITES said to Hannan, do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land. And so Han and took David's servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle at their hips and sent them away and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed and the king said remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return. When the AMMONITES saw that they had become a stench to David Hannan and they ammanite sent a thousand talents of silver...

...to hire chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Aram, Maaca and from Zoba. They hired thirty two thousand chariots and the King of Maak with his army, who came and encamped before Medeba. And they ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle. When David heard of it, he sent Joe AB and all the army of the mighty men and the ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, and the Kings who had come were by themselves in the open country. When Joe AB saw that the battle was sent against him both in front and in the rear. He chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians. The rest of his men he put in charge of Abbeyshai, his brother, and they were arrayed against the ammonites. And he said, if the Syrians are too strong from meet for me, then you shall help me, but if the ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him. So Joe AB and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians for battle, and they fled before him. And when the ammonites saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abyshei, Joeb's brother, and entered the city. Then Joe AB came to Jerusalem, but when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates, with Sho Fok, the commander of the Army of Hata Desert, at their head. When it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to them and drew up his forces against them. And when David set back set the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him and the Syrians...

...fled before Israel and David killed of the Syrians, the men of seven thousand chariots and Fortyzero foot soldiers, and put to death also Showfok, the commander of their army. And when the servants of Hata deserts saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Syrians were not willing to save the ammonites anymore. In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joe AB led out the army and ravaged the country of the ammonites and came and besieged Raba, but David remained at Jerusalem. and Joe AB struck down Rab and overthrew it, and David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent of gold and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David's head and he brought out the spoil of the city a very great amount, and he brought out the people who were in it and set them to Labor saws and iron picks and axes, and thus David did do all the cities of the AMMONITES. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. After this there arose a war with the Philistines at Ghezzer. Then Sibakai, the hushathite, struck down Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and the Philistines were subdued. And there was again war with the Philistines, and El Hanan, the son of J are, struck down Lammy, the brother of Goliath, the gettight, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gaff, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty four in number, and he also was a descend was descended from the giants, and when he taunted Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimia, David's brother, struck him down. These were descended from the giants and Gaff and they...

...fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. May God bless his word. Well, the contents of these two chapters, I think, is pretty self evident. There's a lot of battles, a lot of fighting and a lot of winning on the part of David and those who are under his command. The big idea in all of this is that Israel trusts in God and God proves himself to be true. Isn't that true? Over and over again, throughout this chapter and the last, we see David and his coming to power through faith in the Lord, Trusting in God, and in all this God proves to be true. The theological center, we might say, is found in Joe ABS words that he says back in Chapter Nineteen. He says, he says to the men, he calls them together and calls them to be strong. This is in verse thirteen. Be Strong and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord, May Theah Way, do what seems good to him. I wonder if these words sound familiar to you, these trusting words, this call to put faith in God as they go out against their enemies. Well, it's very, very similar to several commands that are given to Joshua, and Joshua in turn gives to Israel as they are coming into the promised land. Moses tells Joshua, the Lord tells Joshua, Joshua and turn tells the people be strong and courageous, don't be afraid. These words then remind us that God is fulfilling his promises that go back a long ways.

This command that he's given to David to go and defeat these enemies, to create peace in Israel, to establish a land, a holy place for God's people, I'm has been something that is promised. I've been promised by God to Abraham, I'm to Moses. But this faith that we see demonstrated here was not always the case. Do you remember when the people came out of Egypt and first approached with Moses, the Promised Land? Do you remember what happened when the spies went into the land to see what would be like? Can Soe you what it would be like? They ammonites fear when they say to Han no, and hey, these these people aren't here to console us, they're here to spy out the land and overthrow us. Well, you can see why they might have thought that. That's because that's exactly what the Israelites did when they came into the promised land. But you remember what happened. They saw the giants, they saw these great mighty warriors and other things, fortified cities, strong places, and they said, we do not want this, this is too much, this is too great, and they ran away. God called them to go and to be strong and to enter into the promised land, and they didn't and they were judged for it. That generation died away before their children were able to return and try again, so to speak. That time they remained faithful, they trusted in what God said, and you remember what happened. They went up to Jericho and the walls fell down and victory after victory, city after city, they established themselves in the land. And this is what Joshua's ministry was. It was this conquering ministry, this this Ministry in which he was bringing peace for God's people. But it was a victory that remained incomplete in many ways. When Saul...

...comes to power, we see that the Philistines and many others are still waging war. These same people's that had been fighting had, throughout the book of judges, for example, continue to and God but the but in David, God annoints a king who will do what has what still needs to be done, what remains to be done. And so that's what we have here. In Joe AB's words. We have this call to faith. Be Strong and courageous, he says, or be strong and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God. And notice the second part of it. He says. And may the Lord do what seems good to him. He says. Ultimately, this is in God's hands, it is his war, it is his desire that is going to be fulfilled. That's what Joeab and David and all the people are trusting in. Well, that's the call to faith there and then throughout the rest of these chapters, filling around this theological center or this call to faith. We have a faithful God, don't we? Victory after victory after victory. I'm where there was fear initially, but with the people in the land now there is great faith and we see these enemies of God odd being defeated. Let's go through those a little bit and consider, consider a little bit of the details. Here you have this movement, kind of geographic movement, from east to West. It starts with the AMMONITES, who are in the southeast of Israel. They're on the other side of the Jordan, and then by the end of the chapter we get to the Philistines, who are over on the west side of Jordan. This, by the way, is exactly the same way that God's people...

...came into Israel, crossing from east to West, I'm, into Israel and establishing themselves in the land. So let's begin in the east, but the AMMONITES. So we read at the beginning that there is peace already. The chronicler here is summarizing a lot of material. That happens that we have in second Samuel. But he tells us that there is peace, genuine peace of some kind, kindnesses that have been traded, and this prince's father dies and David, I'm desiring to keep the peace and show kindness, sends messengers to go and console this prince. But this prince receives bad advice, doesn't he? He receives very bad advice and instead of sending them a way, they do something quite terrible. They break the piece by putting this undeserved humiliation on David's messengers. Do you remember what they did. You read it in verse four and following. He took David Servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle at their hips and sent them away, noticing the extreme nature of the humiliation. It's likely that there was the bottom half that was cut off and they beards were shaven. This was a big deal. There are these letters that we have, the Mauri letters, that are they are called, where in Assyrian King says to his son, are you not a man? Have you no beard? This is, of course, really fun for me to talk about, but he the beards. The beards were a sign of virility, of strength, of power, of manliness. I remember hearing a Shakespeare play, I think, once where someone was called a lackbeard.

It's that same kind of that same kind of idea and these and this culture especially, as what they were doing. They were going to shame these men, they were going to shave their beards, and that's why David says, will grow out your beards before you come home. And this is what they do. They shave their beards, they send them off naked. Well, the piece that was there has now been broken and David will not take this lying down. It says that they became a stench to David, a word that's used an exodus, when the fish die in the Nile and there is a great stink arising up throughout Egypt. These people become a stench to David. And when Hannoon Heroes of it, you know what he does. He says we are going to need help, we are going to need help big time, and so he sends a thousand talents of silver to hire an army, a thousand talents at thirty kilograms, equaling a talent, which is an approximation. The estimates vary, but that's on the low end. Thirty kilograms a talent. We're talking about something like sixteen and a half million dollars in today's money. This is the kind of money that the ammonites send, sixteen and a half million dollars, and they say give us your men, give us your chariots, and the Syrians say all right, and they send them down and they send down, they send down this army and they encamp against Israel. Well, David Responds in verses ten and following by sending the leader of his mighty men, Joe AB, out to battle. It's Joe AB and Abbey Shy, his brother, and they come up with this plan. They say, we'll send some of these people over to the Syrian side...

...and will send other people over to the ammonite side. They're kind of in the middle and if you are having a hard time, will come and help you, and if you're having a hard time, will come and help you. And this is what they decide to do, and this is when he calls them to be strong and courageous. Imagine being on one side of the battle and having a victory, being the better of the two, and then hearing the call from your brother, Hey, we're having a hard time here, come help us out. It's kind of a sacrifice, wouldn't it be, to leave your station, to leave the battle that's being won and to go and help? In this way, we see a kind of solidarity in Israel. It's not just David going out, but it's David and these armies and these leaders and everyone seems to be acting in perfect unison. At this point. There is great focus and vision in terms of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, how the call of faith is to be responded to. So there they are, and are there in the middle, an army on this side and army on this side. They split themselves up ready to do battle. And you know what happens? The Syrians run away. It seems as if there wasn't even a fight. And then when the Ammanite see the Syrians running away, then the Ammanites run away and there's Joe AB and Abbey Shies left standing there saying, well, I guess God is faithful. This is the case, isn't it? Over and over and over again, Israel trusts in God and God proves to be true. Well, when the Syrians back home here about this in Verse Sixteen, they're not happy. They realize that this poses a somewhat of a threat upon themselves.

So when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated, they sent messengers and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates. This is a fairly good distance now, and they have showfok, the commander of this army, at their head. And then there is another battle. David gathers together Israel, they cross over the Jordan, they come to them and he defeats them. There's some question as to what exactly these numbers are in Second Samuel, the number is seven hundred. On the chariots here at seven thousand. There's also some question about exactly what the these these numbers refer to, whether their chariots or chariot teams. But the basic point is perfectly clear. David Wins and he wins strong and he puts them to death and the commander of their army. And when we read in Verse Nineteen, the servants of Hotta desert saw that they had been defeated by Israel. They made peace with David and became subject to him. And then this great line. So the Syrians were not willing to save the ammonites anymore. No thanks, you can keep your money. We are done. But isn't this a great I love this sentence because it's a great contrast. Where the Syrians are unwilling to save the ammonites anymore, God, we see, is willing and able every time to save his people, Israel's help and Israel's great support, never backs down. He always succeeds in the battles that he desires to win. Am Non lost his help, but David, and US included, will never lose his well with the Syrians, defeated. The ammonites seemed to be a relatively easy pickings. Now they go into that country in the war time, in the spring,...

...and they lay siege to various cities and they even take the crown of the king and take it from his head. Take it from his head and put it on David's. We read that in verse two, he found that it weighed a talent of gold and it was and in it was a precious stone. But this talent of gold would be about sixty six pounds. That's fairly heavy crown. Perhaps it's symbolic, perhaps it was placed on for a short period of time, but whatever it was that, you can imagine that it was fairly dramatic this large, heavy crown, with probably a rather large jewel on it as well, being placed on King David. David or the ammonites now are not just a vassal country or a country which there's various political dealings with that the ammonites have a new king. David is not only King of Israel now, but he is king of the AMMONITES. These people are set to work and David rules over them and the people of Jerusalem of Israel. So these are the battles in the east, on the east side of the Jordan. And then in the final verses of Chapter Twenty, we read of the West side, of the Philistine side. And here those mighty men, these great giants that we read of back in Exodus, are no longer feared. Instead, they're taken down one by one. First there is this SIPPI, and then lammy and then a nameless one, but very memorable. Six fingers on each hand and six fingers on each foot, twenty four in number,...

...these three giants mentioned. And again it's it's not David going out right JD David, the giant slayer, the Goliath killer, it's his servants, it's his men that are going out and defeating them. And see this power that is invested in David, this anointing that God gives to him, is not just in this one person, but it extends out to the people. In David. Israel is blest in him. They are strong and even as the Boy David defeated Goliath, we see these other giants going down. Strong men, powerful men, a shaft whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Weaver's beam is about two twenty, two and a half inches in diameter. That's something like this big. That's a big piece of wood, and rather heavy too. These were big men, but of course never too big for God. So here David is king of Kings, is he not? He is defeating Kings, ruling kings, becoming supreme in his own country and and and end in the area surrounding so here, in these ways, we see the call to faith and we see God's faithfulness, his promises being fulfilled. Well, how does all this apply to us? How are we to read these stories and understand them and think about them? Well, one of the things that we've been reflecting on as we've been going through first chronicles is that David's covenant is our covenant. The promises that are made to David are fulfilled in Jesus and we in him. Therefore have a pardon that you remember. What David Prom are what God promises David Right. He promises to establish him...

...and His throne forever, unto eternity, through his son. This doesn't happen with Solomon, it only happens with Jesus. He promises defeat over his enemies and a great name for David and his kingdom. He promises peace in Israel, all things which we see here to a degree with Dave, but not even closed, not even close to the degree that we see them in Jesus. Hebrews tells us that Jesus, that in that God I'm crowned Jesus with a great, great glory. We read in Philippians that after Jesus did his work, he ascended on high and God gave to him the great reward of his obedience. We read of Julie. Jesus is rule and power and authority in all places throughout the New Testament, an authority that comes to him as the son of David, this expected child that we read of in Matthew. Jesus is the fulfillment of this covenant, and we in Him are like those who were under David. We are called to be strong and to be courageous, to not fear and to trust in God. Now, for the enemies of Christ, this fact is a dangerous thing, that Jesus is a king, and a much greater king and infinitely greater more powerful King Than David was. You can hear in these words in revelation nineteen, nineteen, verse eleven. Then I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse. The one sitting on it is called faithful and true, and in his and in righteousness, he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire,...

...and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He has clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is the word of God. And the armies of Heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nation's and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of his wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. After this, an angel calls and calls to all the head birds of the heavens to come and gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of the horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great. This is Jesus, US, Jesus with his great and powerful armies, riding like David did, to defeat the enemies of the Lord. For those who are against Jesus, just as those who were against David, there should be great fear. But to those who fear the coming wrath of God in his son, the anointed King, who will smash all his opponents with a rod of iron, there is a call by God himself not to remain there in fear, but to trust, by faith, in the promises of peace. There is a way to have peace with God other...

...than being smashed, other than being destroyed by him. It is to trust in the one who was smashed and destroyed and suffered under the wrath and curse of God. For us, Jesus is victory over sin and death will for the devil began on the cross, where he secures for us eternal life, where he transfers us from the bad guy side to the good guy side. Or, instead of us being those who are fighting against him and his king him, he brings us into his kingdom, makes a citizens of Heaven, citizens of the Kingdom of God. Through faith, we can kiss the sun and be saved. To those who belong to him, then, let me ask you, shall we be any less courageous than these mighty men who stood face to face with the AMMONITES and face to face to the the seert with the Syrians? Are we going to back down and cower? If they could be strong under David, can we not be strong under Jesus, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the one who didn't extend his empire just to one kingdom a little bit to the east, but to all the heavens and the earth? In that light, consider a passage like Ephesians chapter six, where we're called a together in the plural, in unity, two verse ten. Be Strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand...

...against the schemes of the devil, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand evil or withstand in the evil day and, having done all, stand firm you see what Paul, the servant, this Minister of Jesus Christ, calls us to do. He says be strong, be courageous. Your Joshua, your David, your king, is doing battle, is ready to do battle, and you must withstand the forces in our evil day. But how do we stand firm? What is the armor we put on? The battle is somewhat different now, in this age, in this time, we fight not with swords and spears, but in this way, stand firm, therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. And then, Paul adds, and also for me, that words may be given to me and opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel. This is how the enemy is of darkness will be defeated, with faith, with the word of God,...

...with the Gospel being proclaimed boldly and powerfully. Is this not how the forces of evil that are in you were overcome? Is this not how you were transferred from the dominion of darkness to the Kingdom of God's beloved son? It is, and it's with these weapons that we also fight with strength and courage in the name of the Lord Jesus. We fight with grace and with patience and with hope and with love. We fight with faith against much more powerful enemies than the AMMONITES, but we win. We win because the Lord Jesus is at our side. So the big idea as we end is again to trust in God, to put your faith in him and see how faithful he is to you. Let's pray.

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