God-Hearted #28 — Do Not Be Afraid. Take Heart. Have Faith In God (2 Samuel 16-17)

  • Acts 27:24–25 (ESV) — 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.

1 God uses people who misjudge (2 Samuel 16:1-4).

1 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

  • Do you recall the story of Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son? David brought him to sit at his table. David gave him Ziba to care for Saul’s household.
    • Now, Ziba comes with Mephibosheth’s food to support David.

      2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’ ”

  • Ziba said Mephibosheth remained at Jerusalem because he thought he was going to become royalty once again.
    • Betrayal! Mephibosheth repaid David’s kindness with betrayal!

      4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”

  • 4 All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours: David took the household from Mephibosheth and gave it to Ziba. Ziba accepted.
    • When David finally returned to Jerusalem, there was evidence Mephibosheth was loyal to David.
      • 2 Samuel 19:24–30 (ESV) — 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. [Evidence 1: His appearance] He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered [Evidence 2: His testimony], “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. [Evidence 3: His submission] But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 28 [Evidence 4: His thankfulness] For all my father’s house were but men doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. What further right have I, then, to cry to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why speak any more of your affairs? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” [Evidence 5: David’s lack of conviction; David could not discern] 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king [Evidence 6: His response], “Oh, let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely home.”

  • God uses people who misjudge (he has to).
    • We often see others — or doctrines and methodologies — incorrectly.
      • Peter and Barnabas removed themselves from the Gentile brothers (Galatians 2:13).
      • The Corinthian church rejected Paul’s ministry (1 Corinthians 1-4).
      • Paul rejected John-Mark, but he eventually authored a gospel and became a key disciple.
      • Philip continued with Simon the sorcerer, not knowing he was a false convert (Acts 8:13).
      • David saw Ziba and Mephibosheth inaccurately (here).
        • Graciously, God used all of them!
    • It is a battle to have discernment.
      • Transformed looks — 2 Corinthians 11:14–15 (ESV) — 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
      • Disguised — Matthew 7:15 (ESV) — 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
    • God sees everyone accurately.
      • John 2:24–25 (ESV) — 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
      • In a sense, we deny ourselves like God did. But, in another sense, he cannot deny himself, but encourages us to do so (Mark 8:34).
        • Conclusion: Trust your intuition and gut less, but God more.

2 God uses evil for his purposes (2 Samuel 16:5-14).

5 When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8 The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.”

  • Shimei, for long years, brooded over and blamed David for the end of Saul’s reign. He felt David — your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood — deserved banishment. It was all untrue.

    9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.”

  • You do you, Abishai.
  • But how will David respond to this curse blasting stone chucker?
    • Option 1: yes, kill him.
    • Option 2: no, I’ll kill him.
    • Option 3: no, I’ll curse him in return.
      • Or was there another option?

        10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself.

  • 10, 11 If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, “Curse David” / Let him curse, the LORD has told him to:
    • David believed in God’s providential dealings with humanity.
      • First, God prevents evil, for we would have self-destructed were it for his preventative hand.
      • Second, God permits evil, for he allows humanity freedom.
      • Third, God providentially oversees evil, dictating its course at times.
        • He does not cause, but does direct.
      • Fourth, God’s produces good out of evil.
        • Romans 8:28 (ESV) — 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

  • God uses evil for his purposes.
    • Joseph: Genesis 50:20 (ESV) — 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it [their evil] for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today [what evil must you endure for future good?].
  • David got through Shimei’s verbal abuse because of his perspective.
    • 1 He saw the hand of God in every circumstance.
    • 2 He was able to compare Shimei to the bigger problem — (11) My own son seeks my life!
    • 3 He hoped in the future God would give — (12) It may be…the LORD will repay me with good.
  • Our perspective:
    • John 8:11 (ESV) — 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
      • Jesus could have come to throw stones. And pronounce curses. With justification. But he does not.
      • Once you’re secure in the One who throws no stones, you can endure the curse blasting stone chuckers of the world.

3 God overcomes widely accepted viewpoints (2 Samuel 16:15-17:14)

Setting (6:15-23)

15 Now Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him [they took Jerusalem easily…walked right in]. 16 And when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend [recap], came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” [Perhaps thinking of David!] 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, for whom the LORD and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 And again, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? As I have served your father, so I will serve you.”

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof. And Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

  • 2 Samuel 12:11 (ESV) — 11 Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

    23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.

  • 23 The word of God: Ahithophel was highly regarded. It would take a lot to defeat his counsel. Could it happen? It was seen as divine in origin.
    • Aren’t there philosophies, theories, and convictions in our world which are treated as if God spoke them? And isn’t God’s word and gospel treated as if it’s a mere idea of human origin?
      • How can these attitudes be reversed?
        • Love? Holiness? Living on mission?
        • How can the strongholds topple?

          Contest (17:1-14)

          1 Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3 and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

  • Ahithophel advised he oversee a quick surgical strike while David and his men are discombobulated.

    5 Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” 7 Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8 Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men.

    11 But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom.

  • 14 The LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel:
    • God involved himself. How?
      • 1 Absalom asked Hushai for a second opinion.
      • 2 Hushai was filled with boldness to question Ahithophel.
      • 3 Hushai had a secondary plan ready.
      • 4 Hushai’s plan would lead to Absalom’s death.
      • 5 He raised up the fear of David in Absalom’s heart.
        • Mighty men (8), enraged (8), like a bear robbed of her cubs (8).
      • 6 He appealed to Absalom’s vanity.
        • Gathered to you (11), in person (11), not even a pebble (13).
      • 7 He steered Absalom’s heart.
        • Proverbs 21:1 (ESV) — 1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

  • How can widely accepted viewpoints be overturned? God.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:22–25 (ESV) — 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the “foolishness” of God is wiser than men, and the “weakness” of God is stronger than men.
    • Love? Yes.
    • Holiness? Yes.
    • Preaching? Yes.
    • House-to-house? Yes.
      • But GOD!
        • Pray!

4 God provides for his children (2 Samuel 17:15-29)

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests [David’s informants], “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so have I counseled. 16 Now therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not stay tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel. A female servant was to go and tell them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they were not to be seen entering the city.

  • Organized espionage — Hushai to the priests to a female servant to their sons.

    18 But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard. And they went down into it. 19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, and nothing was known of it. 20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” [Shocking!] And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Arise, and go quickly over the water, for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.” 22 Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan. By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.

    23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

  • Why did Ahithophel kill himself?
    • 1 Minor: His counsel was rejected.
    • 2 Major: He knew they had lost.
      • Similar to Judas who also betrayed his master.

        24 Then David came to Mahanaim [where Ishbosheth and Abner had been years earlier]. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25 Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother [Joab’s cousin, David’s nephew]. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

        27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils, 29 honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

  • 27 Shobi / Machir / Barzillai: They all supported David.
    • Shobi: Brother to Hanun, the Ammonite king who cut off the beards (and garments) of David’s men.
    • Machir: Servant of Mephibosheth.
    • Barzillai: Eighty years old.
  • God provides for his children.
    • 2 Corinthians 9:6 (ESV) — 6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
    • 2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV) — 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
    • Philippians 4:19 (ESV) — 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.


  • Acts 27:25 (ESV) — 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.