God's Kingdom is established - but God is in no one's debt Introduction : Means and ends Not by might, nor by power God carries out his plans in his way. We cooperate and do his will and it is joyful for us and all glory goes to him. We resist him and he uses our rebellion to judge us and carry out his plans. Means vs ends. The selfishness of man does not work the righteousness of God. Lenin; 'anything done for the proletariat is honest'. Solzhenitsyn, if you start by motivating by hatred, when is enough? When will the point come where the means change? Instead, the ends must define the means. The way you form is the way you norm. Inevitability versus means. cf, for example, Communist vision. Or Zionist state. If this is inevitable in history, why do you need to be so ruthless to take it into your own hands? Why do you need a shortcut? 1. Baanah and Rechab take a shortcut to power Nothing necessarily wrong with wanting a high position in David's administration, but the means was appalling. Cf being an elder - a noble thing. But the means can be utterly contrary to that. Benjamites kill their own brother/leader (not an outsider assassination) The point of the detail is to portray Saul's house as crippled. Rechab and Baanah portrayed as actual cowards, killing a person in their sleep and then boasting about it. Mahanaim to Hebron, 80 miles or so - so at least 2 days. They dress it up in theological terms v8b. Dress up murder in theological cloaking, 'the LORD' etc. This is a 3rd commandment issue and immensely subtle and common. Justifying or covering sin with theology. Better to obey than sacrifice. Simply using God and his truth and his name as a means for our own ends, using and manipulating him as an argument, to justify what we already want and have decided to do. And the proof, by the way, of knowing merely about God and actually knowing God is revealed only ultimately in manner and means and methods. They are what show you share in his life and commune with him and actually know him and bow to him and enjoy him [talking about motherhood and being a mother, or talking about military and being military]. cf v8 and v9. They didn't need to fuss about David's enemies (if that even really was their true motivation), since David knew well all about YHWH's protection! and cf the 'out of every adversity' phrase in 1 Kings. FCF: We are like them! Sinful humanity chooses 'shortcuts', unrighteous means to unrighteous ends. And under the guise of religion, we justify unrighteous means by seemingly righteous ends. And we desire these shortcuts, even if we don't choose them. Examples: Excusing unpleasant ways of talking or arguing out of 'love for the church' Addressing 'controversial' topics very early in a church plant, which might mean you don't rapidly draw a crowd (marriage, sexuality etc) Addressing difficult pastoral issues rather than ignore them (eg SSA) Preaching whole OT books even if they aren't what popular culture wants to hear Health is the goal, not growth or shortcuts to growth Compare this to the received wisdom for growing a church: teach easy, non-controversial series that draw a crowd. Keep sermons short. Plenty of multimedia to keep people interested. Catchy advertising. Set the mood right. Make it an impressive show. Once you have a big crowd, then address thornier discipleship issues. Or in an earlier generation, Christianity is in crisis, it needs to be made more reasonable. We can do without all kinds of frills and supernatural bits of the Bible - then it will be more appealing. 2. David punishes them for their treachery Davis, ' They dare not claim too much, but they want to put a certain spin on their treachery to suggest that David is indebted to them for this finishing touch that makes his person and his kingdom secure. And therein lurks the temptation. Are they not, however subtly, pretending to be David's redeemers to whom he owes something for coming to the kingdom? But as these pseudo-redeemers show up out of nowhere on some Thursday morning David is able to recognise them for what they are and to repudiate their claim because he remembers his true and only Redeemer...because he remembers how YHWH rescued him from every one of his troubles he is not suckered into crediting evil men with the deliverance of a gracious God' (p54-55) v11 David must have known the details about 'on his bed' from them telling him. In this tiny initial portion of David's kingdom, he will do justice and not take shortcut means. [cf Jesus and temptation to all the kingdoms]. The way you form is the way you norm. David, 'it is the sign of something greater. Every bit of micro-justice enacted under David's regime should be taken as a fore-gleam of the macro-justice that David's promised descendent will enforce throughout the whole earth in his own time.' The fury of God's king is terrible, but just God's Kingdom is established, but not in a way that makes God in debt to anyone. Just as Ish-bosheth was murdered by cowards striving for power, Jesus was led like a lamb to the slaughter and crucified by men striving for power. Just as David vindicated Ish-bosheth by destroying his murderers, God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead. Just as David is the king in a small patch of land doing God's justice, so Jesus is the greater David on the cosmic throne committed to doing justice absolutely, everywhere. David as type of Christ, who will definitively destroy all wickedness. cf Psalms like Psalm 101. It is Jesus who sings them. Justice by human systems is vital and necessary. But can never be definitive since - so many have died without being given justice, either way in recompense or punishment. So there must be resurrection and a true judgement. And, human judgement doesn't get into the recesses of the heart - slander, secrecy, hidden words etc. But God's justice will. No injustice can establish the kingdom. Difference between ungodly and godly opportunism. David will take no shortcuts - cf Mark 8 get behind me satan. James 1.19-20 the wrath of man does not work the righteousness that God requires. cf 1 Peter 3.15, 2 Timothy 2, 2 Timothy 4.
2 Samuel 4:1-12
Ish-bosheth Murdered 4 1 When Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron, f his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Now Saul’s son had two men who were captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon a man of Benjamin from Beeroth ( g for Beeroth also is counted part of Benjamin; 3 h the Beerothites fled i to Gittaim and have been sojourners there to this day). 4 j Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan k came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, and as she fled in her haste, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. 5 Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. 6 And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they stabbed him l in the stomach. Then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 1 7 When they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. They took his head and went by the way of m the Arabah all night, 8 and brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron. And they said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, n who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.” 9 But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, o “As the Lord lives, p who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, 10 q when one told me, ‘Behold, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, r I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now s require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12 And David commanded his young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hanged them beside the pool at Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it t in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.
2 Samuel 4:1-12
4 1 וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע בֶּן ־ שָׁא֗וּל כִּ֣י מֵ֤ת אַבְנֵר֙ בְּחֶבְר֔וֹן וַיִּרְפּ֖וּ יָדָ֑יו וְכָל ־ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נִבְהָֽלוּ ׃ 2 וּשְׁנֵ֣י אֲנָשִׁ֣ים שָׂרֵֽי ־ גְדוּדִ֣ים הָי֪וּ בֶן ־ שָׁא֟וּל שֵׁם֩ הָאֶחָ֨ד בַּֽעֲנָ֜ה וְשֵׁ֧ם הַשֵּׁנִ֣י רֵכָ֗ב בְּנֵ֛י רִמּ֥וֹן הַבְּאֶֽרֹתִ֖י מִבְּנֵ֣י בִנְיָמִ֑ן כִּ֚י גַּם ־ בְּאֵר֔וֹת תֵּחָשֵׁ֖ב עַל ־ בִּנְיָמִֽן ׃ 3 וַיִּבְרְח֥וּ הַבְּאֵרֹתִ֖ים גִּתָּ֑יְמָה וַֽיִּהְיוּ ־ שָׁ֣ם גָּרִ֔ים עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה ׃ ס 4 וְלִיהֽוֹנָתָן֙ בֶּן ־ שָׁא֔וּל בֵּ֖ן נְכֵ֣ה רַגְלָ֑יִם בֶּן ־ חָמֵ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֣ים הָיָ֡ה בְּבֹ֣א שְׁמֻעַת֩ שָׁא֨וּל וִיהֽוֹנָתָ֜ן מִֽיִּזְרְעֶ֗אל וַתִּשָּׂאֵ֤הוּ אֹֽמַנְתּוֹ֙ וַתָּנֹ֔ס וַיְהִ֞י בְּחָפְזָ֥הּ לָנ֛וּס וַיִּפֹּ֥ל וַיִּפָּסֵ֖חַ וּשְׁמ֥וֹ מְפִיבֹֽשֶׁת ׃ 5 וַיֵּ֨לְכ֜וּ בְּנֵֽי ־ רִמּ֤וֹן הַבְּאֵֽרֹתִי֙ רֵכָ֣ב וּבַעֲנָ֔ה וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ כְּחֹ֣ם הַיּ֔וֹם אֶל ־ בֵּ֖ית אִ֣ישׁ בֹּ֑שֶׁת וְה֣וּא שֹׁכֵ֔ב אֵ֖ת מִשְׁכַּ֥ב הַֽצָּהֳרָֽיִם ׃ 6 וְ֠הֵנָּה בָּ֜אוּ עַד ־ תּ֤וֹךְ הַבַּ֙יִת֙ לֹקְחֵ֣י חִטִּ֔ים וַיַּכֻּ֖הוּ אֶל ־ הַחֹ֑מֶשׁ וְרֵכָ֛ב וּבַעֲנָ֥ה אָחִ֖יו נִמְלָֽטוּ ׃ 7 וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ הַבַּ֗יִת וְהֽוּא ־ שֹׁכֵ֤ב עַל ־ מִטָּתוֹ֙ בַּחֲדַ֣ר מִשְׁכָּב֔וֹ וַיַּכֻּ֙הוּ֙ וַיְמִתֻ֔הוּ וַיָּסִ֖ירוּ אֶת ־ רֹאשׁ֑וֹ וַיִּקְחוּ֙ אֶת ־ רֹאשׁ֔וֹ וַיֵּֽלְכ֛וּ דֶּ֥רֶךְ הָעֲרָבָ֖ה כָּל ־ הַלָּֽיְלָה ׃ 8 וַ֠יָּבִאוּ אֶת ־ רֹ֨אשׁ אִֽישׁ ־ בֹּ֥שֶׁת אֶל ־ דָּוִד֮ חֶבְרוֹן֒ וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל ־ הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ הִנֵּֽה ־ רֹ֣אשׁ אִֽישׁ ־ בֹּ֗שֶׁת בֶּן ־ שָׁאוּל֙ אֹֽיִבְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּקֵּ֖שׁ אֶת ־ נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וַיִּתֵּ֣ן יְ֠הוָה לַֽאדֹנִ֨י הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ נְקָמוֹת֙ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה מִשָּׁא֖וּל וּמִזַּרְעֽוֹ ׃ ס 9 וַיַּ֨עַן דָּוִ֜ד אֶת ־ רֵכָ֣ב ׀ וְאֶת ־ בַּעֲנָ֣ה אָחִ֗יו בְּנֵ֛י רִמּ֥וֹן הַבְּאֵֽרֹתִ֖י וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֑ם חַי ־ יְהוָ֕ה אֲשֶׁר ־ פָּדָ֥ה אֶת ־ נַפְשִׁ֖י מִכָּל ־ צָרָֽה ׃ 10 כִּ֣י הַמַּגִּיד֩ לִ֨י לֵאמֹ֜ר הִנֵּה ־ מֵ֣ת שָׁא֗וּל וְהֽוּא ־ הָיָ֤ה כִמְבַשֵּׂר֙ בְּעֵינָ֔יו וָאֹחֲזָ֣ה ב֔וֹ וָאֶהְרְגֵ֖הוּ בְּצִֽקְלָ֑ג אֲשֶׁ֥ר לְתִתִּי ־ ל֖וֹ בְּשֹׂרָֽה ׃ 11 אַ֞ף כִּֽי ־ אֲנָשִׁ֣ים רְשָׁעִ֗ים הָרְג֧וּ אֶת ־ אִישׁ ־ צַדִּ֛יק בְּבֵית֖וֹ עַל ־ מִשְׁכָּב֑וֹ וְעַתָּ֗ה הֲל֨וֹא אֲבַקֵּ֤שׁ אֶת ־ דָּמוֹ֙ מִיֶּדְכֶ֔ם וּבִעַרְתִּ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִן ־ הָאָֽרֶץ ׃ 12 וַיְצַו֩ דָּוִ֨ד אֶת ־ הַנְּעָרִ֜ים וַיַּהַרְג֗וּם וַֽיְקַצְּצ֤וּ אֶת ־ יְדֵיהֶם֙ וְאֶת ־ רַגְלֵיהֶ֔ם וַיִּתְל֥וּ עַל ־ הַבְּרֵכָ֖ה בְּחֶבְר֑וֹן וְאֵ֨ת רֹ֤אשׁ אִֽישׁ ־ בֹּ֙שֶׁת֙ לָקָ֔חוּ וַיִּקְבְּר֥וּ בְקֶֽבֶר ־ אַבְנֵ֖ר בְּחֶבְרֽוֹן ׃ פ
2 Samuel 4:1-12
4 1 καὶ ἤκουσεν Μεμφιβοσθε υἱὸς Σαουλ ὅτι τέθνηκεν Αβεννηρ ἐν Χεβρων καὶ ἐξελύθησαν αἱ χεῖρες αὐτοῦ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἄνδρες Ισραηλ παρείθησαν 2 καὶ δύο ἄνδρες ἡγούμενοι συστρεμμάτων τῷ Μεμφιβοσθε υἱῷ Σαουλ ὄνομα τῷ ἑνὶ Βαανα καὶ ὄνομα τῷ δευτέρῳ Ρηχαβ υἱοὶ Ρεμμων τοῦ Βηρωθαίου ἐκ τῶν υἱῶν Βενιαμιν ὅτι Βηρωθ ἐλογίζετο τοῖς υἱοῖς Βενιαμιν 3 καὶ ἀπέδρασαν οἱ Βηρωθαῖοι εἰς Γεθθαιμ καὶ ἦσαν ἐκεῖ παροικοῦντες ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης 4 καὶ τῷ Ιωναθαν υἱῷ Σαουλ υἱὸς πεπληγὼς τοὺς πόδας υἱὸς ἐτῶν πέντε οὗτος ἐν τῷ ἐλθεῖν τὴν ἀγγελίαν Σαουλ καὶ Ιωναθαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐξ Ιεζραελ καὶ ἦρεν αὐτὸν ἡ τιθηνὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔφυγεν καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ σπεύδειν αὐτὴν καὶ ἀναχωρεῖν καὶ ἔπεσεν καὶ ἐχωλάνθη καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῷ Μεμφιβοσθε 5 καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν υἱοὶ Ρεμμων τοῦ Βηρωθαίου Ρεκχα καὶ Βαανα καὶ εἰσῆλθον ἐν τῷ καύματι τῆς ἡμέρας εἰς οἶκον Μεμφιβοσθε καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκάθευδεν ἐν τῇ κοίτῃ τῆς μεσημβρίας 6 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ θυρωρὸς τοῦ οἴκου ἐκάθαιρεν πυροὺς καὶ ἐνύσταξεν καὶ ἐκάθευδεν καὶ Ρεκχα καὶ Βαανα οἱ ἀδελφοὶ διέλαθον 7 καὶ εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὸν οἶκον καὶ Μεμφιβοσθε ἐκάθευδεν ἐπὶ τῆς κλίνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κοιτῶνι αὐτοῦ καὶ τύπτουσιν αὐτὸν καὶ θανατοῦσιν καὶ ἀφαιροῦσιν τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔλαβον τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπῆλθον ὁδὸν τὴν κατὰ δυσμὰς ὅλην τὴν νύκτα 8 καὶ ἤνεγκαν τὴν κεφαλὴν Μεμφιβοσθε τῷ Δαυιδ εἰς Χεβρων καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ἰδοὺ ἡ κεφαλὴ Μεμφιβοσθε υἱοῦ Σαουλ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ σου ὃς ἐζήτει τὴν ψυχήν σου καὶ ἔδωκεν κύριος τῷ κυρίῳ βασιλεῖ ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐχθρῶν αὐτοῦ ὡς ἡ ἡμέρα αὕτη ἐκ Σαουλ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ σου καὶ ἐκ τοῦ σπέρματος αὐτοῦ 9 καὶ ἀπεκρίθη Δαυιδ τῷ Ρεκχα καὶ τῷ Βαανα ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ υἱοῖς Ρεμμων τοῦ Βηρωθαίου καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ζῇ κύριος ὃς ἐλυτρώσατο τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐκ πάσης θλίψεως 10 ὅτι ὁ ἀπαγγείλας μοι ὅτι τέθνηκεν Σαουλ καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ὡς εὐαγγελιζόμενος ἐνώπιόν μου καὶ κατέσχον αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπέκτεινα ἐν Σεκελακ ᾧ ἔδει με δοῦναι εὐαγγέλια 11 καὶ νῦν ἄνδρες πονηροὶ ἀπεκτάγκασιν ἄνδρα δίκαιον ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς κοίτης αὐτοῦ καὶ νῦν ἐκζητήσω τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἐκ χειρὸς ὑμῶν καὶ ἐξολεθρεύσω ὑμᾶς ἐκ τῆς γῆς 12 καὶ ἐνετείλατο Δαυιδ τοῖς παιδαρίοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀποκτέννουσιν αὐτοὺς καὶ κολοβοῦσιν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν καὶ τοὺς πόδας αὐτῶν καὶ ἐκρέμασαν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τῆς κρήνης ἐν Χεβρων καὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν Μεμφιβοσθε ἔθαψαν ἐν τῷ τάφῳ Αβεννηρ υἱοῦ Νηρ