【Bible Study】2 Samuel 1: King David treated his people with kindness and honesty
Bible Study: 2 Samuel
Hello everyone! Today we are looking at the second chapter of 2 Samuel. It is a quite difficult to find the main topic of Chapter 2 of 2 Samuel as the chapter records several completely unrelated stories. Are these paragraphs irrelevant? No, in fact they were all discussing the same thing.
The author was describing one thing, and many people would read it in fragments. They lack focus but read bits and pieces of the chapter. Learning difficulties will occur if a person is scatterbrained. When God created man, he has made man to be organized and sorted out the mess and put them in order.
The second chapter of 2 Samuel mainly mentioned about King David's kindness and honesty to the people. I would like everyone to ponder about it. You say No, it was David who asked God. In fact, David's questioning of God was only a small part of what this chapter is about. The main topic of this chapter is King David, who treated his people kindly and honestly.
We must know why David became a King that is pleasing in the eyes of God and why he became the loyal priest in the eyes of God? In both books of 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, they were talking about God searching for a faithful priest and a King who was after God’s heart. It does not matter if you are called a king, a priest, or a pastor. What is important is that you must be that person who is after God’s heart. Do you think you can please God if you value the throne more than God?
God anointed David as the King of Israel. When Saul the king of Israel died if David thought that he would be the King after Saul’s death that would be a disaster. If David thought in this way, the Israelites would be confused, and it would cause chaos among them. David did not do that instead he seek God’s permission first.
“Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The Lord said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered. 2 Samuel 2:1 NIV
The way how David thought was pleasing in God’s eyes. David was not thinking “ I want to be the King” instead he asked, and he was humble before God. Many people are not like David, they assume and are not humble.
Interestingly, to be crowned as the King requires to seek approval from God. Why? The crown to be the King is enthroned by God and this should be our basic understanding. The King position is not important but is the responsibility that is important. Can everyone understand the difference between the position and the responsibility of the King? The title is not important, it is the responsibility under that title is important. The church that I have established is to serve others, to be service of those who are struggling, and I know this is pleasing in God’s eyes.
Once, I was chatting with a sister and she was telling me that one of the Pastor who was 60 years old had stepped down and his son had replaced him. The sister remarked was “ Wow! What a beautiful sight!” She did not know what my next sentence was. I told her that his son has cancer. Was it still a beautiful sight?
King David knew that his throne came from God. China is a very interesting country, the emperor is the son of the heaven, the emperor was throned by Heaven therefore God had given the authority to the emperor. We have been calling son of the heaven and have forgotten the meaning behind it. We must understand that the throne comes from God. Though David was officially the King of Israel, he did not stop seeking God, he knew to Honor God and did not want to follow the path of Saul. God’s will is more important than the throne and that is what we called humility. David started from a humble beginning, taking his time to become the King, he did not rush for the title. He was after God’s heart.
Today, we must understand that the position of the King is not important, the status is not important, but the responsibility is important. It is to treat people with kindness, honesty and learn to be a leader managing the people of Israel. I want to be like David who understands God’s heart. Deeply in my heart, I understand God’s heart and I want to follow God’s will to treat people with kindness and honesty. I have read the book of Samuel long time ago and I knew that God’s will is wanting us to build a serving church. Let us look at David’s question.
In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The Lord said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
2 Samuel 2:1 NIV
Once David arrived in Hebron the heads of the tribes of Judah and many of them are the prominent men together with the elders anointed David and made him the King. Brothers and sisters, the throne was given by God through others not by yourself. Originally, David wanted to be at Hebron, but God exalted him, promoted him , asked the Patriarchs and elders of Judah to anoint David as their King of Judah. The people heard the news and came, bowing themselves down under King David's hand. Why? Because David had the virtue of kindness and honesty.
King David was a very smart person; he knew how to deal with situations. The first thing a king should do is to reward the faithful. The men of Jabesh-Gilead risked their lives because they did not know what David would do to them in the future. The previous King Saul was killed. They did not know what would happen to the new king? The new king's name was David. They held a grand funeral and buried King Saul and his son Jonathan. The men of Jabesh- Gilead was a small branch of the twelve tribes of Israel. They did not know what David’s reaction would be when they buried King Saul and his son Jonathan. They were unsure if they had offended King David. What did it say in the bible?
he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The Lord bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 2 Samuel 2:5-6 NIV
The previous chapter was talking about David was a faithful person. This chapter is talking about David rewarded those faithful people. When the men of Jabesh-Gilead heard that David wanted to give them reward, they were surprised! They thought they have no ulterior motive for treating Saul and his family kindly and not asking for a reward. As a result, David treated them favourably, and the people of Jabesh-Gilead did something rewarding for no apparent reason. Why? Because there is loyalty. Everyone must know that during the Qing Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty destroyed the Ming Dynasty, but the Qing Dynasty respected ministers who were loyal to the Ming Dynasty emperor. This is quite interesting.
It is important to be a faithful person why? If a person comes before God to please Him, he must worship God in spirit and truth. If you think you are unable to do it, God will make you able to do it. Do not be proud and thinking you are mightier than anyone or anyone.
We need to be kind and just like the men of Jabesh-Gilead who did a very humble gestures by burying their master Saul and this pleased God. From today onwards, we must learn to be a loyal person. It will be a tragic if we are a loyal person. All we ask before God is to become a faithful and good servant. I am someone who likes to say the truth, if it does not work then it will not work. If it does work, then it will work. We must learn from David and treat those who are faithful with kindness and honesty.
There is a characteristic in our church that we do not tolerate pretentious or faking. Do not think you can pretend to be remarkably busy, pretending to have a heavy burden on your shoulders. Do not come to me to me and say, “ It is tedious work.” I will tell you that the tedious work you mentioned does not count and stop pretending to me.
It was interesting when we went to the supermarket to buy grocery shopping, we came back with plastic bags full of things. We came across a sister who was carrying one plastic bag as she was carrying something weighing tens or hundreds of kilograms and her waist was almost bending down. I took over her plastic bag and was surprised to see, in the plastic bag, there were packages of tissues. I said to her these were tissues and you tried to fool me as though it was a heavy thing in the plastic bag. I told her if she had a boss like me, it was not advisable to behave in this way. If your boss were not like me, you could continue with this attitude. I told her sternly if she came to me and tried to deceive me, I am not here to entertain her.
Therefor we must manage our reputation well, treat our people with kindness and honesty. I understand some people are really bad at work, but I will treat them well because they are loyal and faithful person. Though that sister felt she was carrying tons of kilograms of tissues, it did not matter as she was still a very loyal person. She had forgotten thinking she was still working at her workplace. We must be smart to be a King! As a King, you must know what kind of people to reward. You must reward loyal people. If loyal people do not do their job well, they should be corrected.
If you are running a cell group, a pastoral group, a country, or an enterprise, you must know who to reward. If your rewards were not genuine, all pretentious and it will be in ruins. No matter which level of leadership you are in, you must rack your brains and think about whether I have been deceived. It is not okay for them to trick me. Why can the church get to where it is today? The reason behind was I trained those people under me to treat the people with kindness and honesty, I must also be a loyal person, serving God with kindness and honesty.
The length of time David was king in Hebron over Judah was seven years and six months. 2 Samuel 2:11 NIV
David reigned as king of Judah in Hebron for seven and a half years, during which time he did not go to war. Why? David understood going to war was not a solution, people will die, and to establish a peaceful reunification. Chinese government is also committed to peaceful reunification of one country with two systems. War is not the best option and after the war how can we deal with so many deaths? It was David's established policy not to rush to be the king of Israel. Why not do it in a hurry? David was waiting for the other tribes to surrender before him. Therefore, it is impossible to be a king without being kind.
There are many vivid examples in the Chinese history. Qin Shihuang of the Qing Dynasty unified the Central Plains and unified China. It was a vast territory! In that era, there were no tanks, artillery, Hummers, or BMWs. People walked out on their feet and ran out on horses. After unifying China, what did the commoners say? The world had been suffering for a long time. Qin Shihuang thought that he was the first Emperor in the world. He thought that he could unify China and that his throne could pass down to all generations. However, by the time of the second generation of Qin, the Qin Dynasty was wiped out completely. Why? They were not kind to the people.
There are two completely different things between ruling a country with torture and ruling a country with love and honesty. Therefore, water can carry or overturn a boat, so David was not in a hurry to become the king of Israel.
Joab answered, “As surely as God lives, if you had not spoken, the men would have continued pursuing them until morning.”
So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the troops came to a halt; they no longer pursued Israel, nor did they fight anymore. 2 Samuel 2: 27-28 NIV
Joab was the Marshal of Israel and clearly understood that if they did not stop the battle, they would continue to pursue and fight more. In other words, if others do not harass us, we should not fight with them. Why? We cannot be in a hurry to be the king of Israel, nor can we be in a hurry to be someone else’s shepherd. If people are willing to surrender, they will surrender. If they do not want to, what should you do? It cannot be fixed. Therefore, it cannot be conquered by force. Joab was David's Marshall, and Abner was Saul's Marshall. Later, he assisted Saul's son and became king of Israel.
As soon as he heard that David was king in Hebron, he came to attack David and wanted to fight by force. What was the outcome? If Abner had not come to provoke him, David would have been waiting for the day when he could unify peacefully and bring the twelve tribes of Israel under his own name to govern them. This matter had applied to our situation, establishing a peaceful reunification and one country with two systems. As a result, after waiting for seven and a half years, Abner came and submitted to David. This sounds very authentic! We need to know that the third brother, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel, were David’s commanders. Abner and his men were defeated, and Asahel went after Abner. Abner was a man of good faith, so he said:
Then Abner said to him, “Turn aside to the right or to the left; take on one of the young men and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel would not stop chasing him.
Again Abner warned Asahel, “Stop chasing me! Why should I strike you down? How could I look your brother Joab in the face?”
But Asahel refused to give up the pursuit; so Abner thrust the butt of his spear into Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He fell there and died on the spot. And every man stopped when he came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died. 2 Samuel 2:21-23 NIV
David was not in a hurry to kill all these people. David was kind and did not want to put people to death. Let me tell you something from the bottom of my heart as a pastor, you should never expect to gain anything from the people you are pastoring. What I hated the most is when pastors do business through the people, they are pastoring, and trying to make money from them. After making money from the people you are pastoring, these people look down on you.
Many church pastors involve in pyramid schemes. What I hated the most is Multilevel Marketing ( MLM), and the second thing I hated is MLM in the church. If you do not shepherd well in the church, you call them brothers and sisters what you are selling at first is not Jesus, but health care products. Don’t you think this will make God angry? For that little money, you ruined your reputation with God and ruined it with me too. A while ago, I went to visit a pastor, he introduced his MLM products to me and told me happily that he had sold hundreds of units and was growing rapidly. If each unit earns at least one or two thousand, several hundred units would be worth hundreds of thousands. This is what I hated the most. Are there anyone among us? If there is you are one of them, please change gradually. Why? You are reaping benefits from the people under you that is not pleasing in God’s eyes.
As the King of Israel if you want to extract benefits from the people and you will be anxious of getting those benefits in your advantage. If you want to give all you have to the people of Israel, there will be nothing for you to feel anxious. Our Church does not care about numbers and few days ago, I have reprimanded a few cell group leaders. Why? They were focusing on the tithe and how much money the members have donated. As soon I heard this, and I knew it was not right. I put him in place and questioned him if he counted this as an achievement? Do not treat this as an achievement. It is all about what problems you solved for people. When you lead him in prayers, his illness will be cured. Due to your training, his salary has increased, and his personality has changed. If you tell me about his life transformation, I will happily reward you because you are a kind pastor.
You need to know why David could wait. In fact, David did not need them to be his people. He wanted to give these people the benefits he received from God. David’s perspective was if you wanted to come, accept it; if you did not want to come, followed Ishbosheth son of Saul who was a bad king. He did not know how to be a king. He was messing around. If you do not have that ability, but you are king, how can it not be hard? Please do not rush. You must grow up well and become a capable person. We have plenty of time, from the age of thirty to forty, from the age of forty to fifty, we can study many degrees. If you study for one degree in three years, you can study seven. Let us complete one project at a time slowly. If you are anxious all your life, and in the end when it was decades, you will find out that you have accomplished nothing. Isn’t your life in ruin?
Therefore, do not rush to be a shepherd, do not rush to be a king. Importantly is to shape yourself into a person who is after God’s heart. If you become a person after God’s heart, how could you not be lifted by God? God is sitting on His throne seeking such people, seeking faithful and good servants. In the future, God will give you a city, ten cities, or a hundred cities for you to rule. God has a high demand for talents, not that other talents are needed, but a talent who meets the criteria of being a king who is kind and treats the people with kindness and honesty.
In honesty, our church has come to this day, you must not think we want to take anything from you. No matter how rich you are, the first thing in my mind is how I can give you something. This our vision and mission of our church as the church is the place to imparts blessings not a place to plunders people’s wealth.
If we use force to establish a reunification, is that call kindness to people? When people are sacrificed to form the reunification and lead to death, What can we do? How long forceful unification can last? My answer is extremely tough. You must be righteous and do not seek your own interests or your own throne. If a person values his throne and thinks it is exceptionally beautiful, then it is completely bad. If you think that the position of a pastor is very prestigious, then that is bad too. Therefore, one thing I hope is that after passed away, everyone will be able to remember what I said. When managing the people of Israel, you must not seek your own benefits, but require responsibility. Why are so many people unable to receive pastoral care in other churches, but they can grow up healthily when they come to us? Our church that we are building is to manage God’s people and we ask God to give us wisdom.
Obedience is neither forced nor intimidated. I laughed so hard after listening to the testimonies of some churches. They said you would be cursed if you disobeyed, and the brothers and sisters were so scared. It is scary having to submit all day long and stating that people will not have a good death in the future, is this not a cult? If I am not loyal and do not treat the people with God's love, I will be cursed and have a painful death. I said this to myself, what else could I say? If you say it the other way around and say you will die if you do not obey, you will scare people to death. Due to that pastor’s wrong preaching many of his church members ran to our church and are still living well.
In our Ming Ding theology, we do not enforced people to obey more but obey with a willing heart. As a pastor, we should seek your interests and in future, you will also seek other interests when you are shepherding. What a wonderful church we have! God is with us; God’s spirit is among us and his will is satisfied.
Does everyone think that the main topic of this chapter should be this topic? How wonderful it is to be a church after God’s heart! God is with us; we have saved a lifetime of medical expenses. How wonderful that all the time spent in the hospital bed in one’s life has been spent worshiping God! What a great deal we have made? I really wish that brothers and sisters could hold on to God tightly. There is no such good grace on earth. I hope that all the brothers and sisters among us can follow David's example and be a king and priest after God's heart and be a loyal and good servant. What a wonderful thing!
May God bless everyone!