A MISPLACED CONFIDENCE
Apparently, King David was a very wealthy man. To begin with, his Dad Jesse was far from poor. And the bounty that came with being King 👑was substantial.
David admits that his prosperity and power made him cocky. Wealth and station in life have a way of infecting a man with prideful self-confidence. It got to David, and it turned into tragedy as we shall see:
“PRIDE 😤 GOES BEFORE THE FALL.”
David the Psalmist writes in Psalm 30:6,
“I SAID IN MY PROSPERITY, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED.”
I SAID! I SHALL! A feeling of invincibility! I’ll never go down! I’ll never be taken out! I’m immoveable, untouchable, unbeatable, unconquerable! You can almost hear Tarzan of the Jungle bellowing out and beating his chest! Get the picture?
David at least would go on to credit the Lord for His position of prosperity and strength, as we read in Psalm 30:7,
“LORD BY THY FAVOR THOU DIDST MAKE MY MOUNTAIN TO STAND STRONG….”
God had favored David indeed! Did you notice that He calls it MY mountain! David did not liken his prosperous and powerful station in life to a mere HILL, but to a MOUNTAIN, A VERY BIG, STRONG MOUNTAIN! HIS MOUNTAIN! He is full of himself not just up to his neck, but way over his head.
Look at Pikes Peak in the Colorado Rockies when you get a chance, and that is how David felt about himself. David is at the SELF-PEAK. It gives the words SELF-ASSURED a whole new feel.
Did you ever hear of the phrase:
“THE HIGH AND MIGHTY.”
Well, you are looking at one in King David. At this point, about as high minded as they come!
How many kings and kingdoms have stood and bellowed on their mountain peaks,
“WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.”
Not only have they been moved, they are no more. No man can ever say:
‘WHATEVER ILL MAY COME TO PASS WILL NEVER COME TO PASS ON MY STRONG MOUNTAIN.’
Not only did it come to pass, but they have passed away and their kingdom totally extinct.
David is quick to add the stark opposite of self-assured utopia, in Psalm 30:7,
“THOU DIDST HIDE THY FACE and I was TROUBLED.”
Who knows what a day, an hour, or even a minute may bring. And before you know it, the sun 🌞 is darkened, as dark clouds cover the earth. The immovable begins to quake and shiver. The mountain suddenly reduced to a quivering molehill.
God has His ways,
“OF HUMBLING A MAN, SO THAT HE WHO ONLY COULD LOOK DOWN FROM HIS MOUNTAIN, NOW CAN ONLY LOOK UP FROM HIS VALLEY.”
Sure, I too like to see Rocky Balboa dancing on top of the stairway of victory. But we all must learn the meaning of the words of Ecclesiastes 6:11,
“THE BATTLE IS NOT ALWAYS TO THE STRONG.”
ILLUSTRATION OF MISPLACED TRUST
You can read it in I Chronicles 21:1-22:6. Do you know what David based his confidence on? Very simple – ON THE SIZE OF HIS ARMY!
So one day, David ordered a census to be taken of his troops. Joab was his census taker, and the report was that there were 1,100,000 who could wield the sword.
You see, that is what David based his immovableness on. It ticked God off something fierce.
God is very hurt and wounded by misplaced trust. He wants and demands to be our total confidence. He sent a plague throughout Israel that killed 70,000 people. Not 7000! Not 17,000! But 70,000!
What are mere numbers compared to our God whose angels alone are beyond numbers – innumerable. Let alone God Himself who created stars uncountable, and calls them all by name! Do you think God is impressed by our numbers?
God wanted David to put his whole trust in Him for everything all the time. David didn’t! He found his security in the largeness of his armed forces.
Power in numbers! It could be the numbers in our bank accounts. Or the numbers in our 401Ks. It could be the numbers in our stock portfolio. For David, his cock sureness was based in the number of his troops.
Where is our confidence when it comes right down to it? We better get real before God gets irate! Where is the first place you turn to in the morning for strength, the WALL STREET CASINO OR GOD’S THRONE OF GRACE?
So God sent his angel throughout His people, just like He did in Egypt. There was death everywhere! David repented of His sin, and there was life again. A steep price to pay on his mountain for the numbers game. He lost!
David has a lot to learn and the journey will be long. It will not be an overnight transformation or a quick fix. But transformed an fixed he will be!
AN ABORTED BLOOD SHEDDING
David was not only proud, he was vengeful. They go together, for a proud person is easily wounded. His pride gets hurt, because there is so much pride to be hurt. He can therefore so quickly become an OFFENDED AND WRATHFUL MAN!
“HE WHO IS WRATHFUL DELIGHTS IN NOTHING AS MUCH AS THE VENTING OF HIS RAGE.”
“HE WHO 🔥 BURNS WITH LUST, PLACES HIS GREATEST SATISFACTION IN THE PLEASING OF HIS LUST.”
Welcome to David’s world 🌎! You have heard of DISNEY WORLD? Well, now you are in DAVID WORLD!
“ANGER AND LUST ARE THE DRUNKENNESS OF THE MIND.”
Jim Beam 😀, Crown 👑Royal, and Budweiser are nothing compared to anger and lust, though they work well with both. They combine as devastating and unbeatable teams. Most bloody anger and lust driven rape are 90 proof!I
“THE FUMES OF ANGER AND LUST INTOXICATE JUST AS SURELY AS BOOZE STUPEFIES THE HUMAN BRAIN.”
These are not the most pleasant times for David and the 600 soldiers with him who remained loyal to him.
These are days in EXILE, as David and his company are fleeing from demon possessed and insanely jealous King Saul who would
kill DAVID KING ELECT at the first opportunity.
The tired and hungry band are camped in an area near Carmel. It is sheep 🐑 herding and grazing territory, and David’s beleaguered bunch are on a hill overlooking 3 thousand of sheep and 1 thousand goats below.
They don’t know the RICH RANCHER, but they are near or even on the fertile pastureland of a wealthy man 🚹 by the name of NABAL and his wife ABIGAIL. Nabal was as ungodly as his wife Abigail was godly.
These were desperate days, as the driven and famished regimen of David sorely needed food and drink. This plus the gross indignity of living like scavengers off the land was not easy for David to take!
It was SHEEP 🐑 SHEARING season for the shepherds of Nabal. It really was a festival on the ranch land, as in those eastern countries it was also a time of feasting and joy 😄.
King-elect David is now reduced to a beggar. So he devices a plan, to send some of his men down to the yet unknown Nabal, and request of him food and drink for his companions.
But there was a scheme in all of this, namely, that David instructed his messengers to tell Nabal that they had been providing protection for His sheep and shepherds all along.
In other words tell Nabal that David’s band had been a SAFEGUARD TO HIS ESTATE, AND KEEPERS OF HIS FLOCK OF SHEEP AND GOATS ALL THIS TIME FROM THE VIOLENCE OF ROBBERS.
But there was one more card to be played. And that was to make it clear that DAVID’S SOLDIERS COULD JUST AS WELL HAVE COME DOWN LIKE 😠 MARAUDERS AND FORCEFULLY TAKEN WHAT THEY WANTED. But they didn’t, and instead they humbly stoop to beg for provisions.
Now then, that was the pitch, and to be honest about it, it was THE OLD EXTORTION RACKET IN OPERATION. Clever but crooked! What David was doing was to get Nabal to in effect PAY HIM FOR PROTECTION THAT NABAL HAD NOT ASKED FOR. MAFIA DOES THIS ALL THE TIME.
What David did not know was that Nabal was not a nice guy, but was nasty and boorish!
Now things get real testy! Nabal barks at David’s party, and growls at them in I Samuel 17:10,
“WHO IS DAVID, WHO IS THIS SON OF JESSE, THERE BE MANY SERVANTS NOWADAYS THAT BREAK AWAY, EVERY MAN FROM HIS MASTER.”
In other words,
“NEVER HEARD OF THE GUY, NOR OF HIS DAD FOR THAT MATTER. ANYWAY, THE WORLD IS FULL OF RENEGADE SERVANTS WHO BETRAYED THEIR MASTERS, AND ARE LOOKING FOR FREEBIES.”
(By the way, we already know who both David and Jesse are! David is the runt of dad Jesse’s litter, already anointed by Samuel to be the next King of Israel. There was no coronation ceremony, no HAIL TO THE CHIEF, no GOD SAVE THE KING! He is Israel ‘s King in waiting. Samuel is now dead, and Saul still sits on the throne.)
So Nabal continues his rant in I Samuel 25:11,
“SHALL I TAKE MY BREAD 🍞, AND MY WATER, AND THE MEAT THAT I HAVE KILLED FOR MY SHEARERS, AND GIVE IT UNTO MEN WHO I KNOW NOT WHENCE THEY BE.”
I mean, it is one thing to turn away their hunger, but to double the insult by implying that they are NOBODIES is not going to fly. They are sent back to David like a bunch of sharks.
David hears👂their report and instantly tells his men, 400 of them to be exact, to put on their swords, and David does the same! This is not a drill! This is a declaration of eminent attack!
They are not going hunting for rabbits. 400 hundred?! Against some sheep 🐑shearers! David is out for blood! No one will escape this blood bath! He has blood in his eye.
“WHO IS GOING TO STOP THIS MASS MURDER AT THE HANDS OF ONE WHO IS IN THE FULL RUSH OF RAGE, AND IN THE COMPLETE CONVICTION TO JUSTIFIABLY COMMIT IT?”
Now get this – David believes with all of his furious heart ❤ that HE IS RIGHT. That is what murderous rage will convince a person of who has been mistreated – RIGHTNESS!
Did you know:
“THAT YOU CAN BE SO RIGHT THAT YOU ARE WRONG!?”
I am reminded of the words of Jonah
in his temper fit when he says in Jonah 4:9,
“I DO WELL TO BE ANGRY 😠 EVEN UNTO DEATH. ”
That is David! And again, I am reminded of Saul before he became Paul, and his words in Acts 16:9,
“AND VERILY, I THOUGHT WITH MYSELF THAT I OUGHT TO DO MANY THINGS CONTRARY TO THE NAME OF JESUS.”
That too was David 😠! In other words:
“DAVID FELT STRONGLY THAT THE BLOODY PURPOSE THAT HE WAS ON WAS JUST, MAGNANIMOUS, AND MOST BECOMING OF A MAN OF HIS STATURE.”
“WHAT HELP WILL A MAN IN HIS VENGEFUL, RAGING PASSION, RECEIVE FROM EITHER HIS CONSCIENCE OR REASON, WHEN BOTH ARE ALSO UNDER THE SPELL OF HIS FURY!?”
The answer – NONE! NABAL and his sheep ranch hands are DEAD MEAT!
Now what happens is astounding, and all part of the POLAR OPPOSITES WHICH ARE DAVID!
ENTER NABAL’S WIFE ABIGAIL! I don’t have time to even touch on her ICONIC AND GENIUS PLEA TO DAVID. A Godly, wise woman turns David inside out and upside down. She literally stands him on his head.
It didn’t hurt that she was gorgeous, and came with a caravan of goodies for David’s men. She came to David with a whole bunch of donkeys laden with food. An entire fleet of SCHWANZ delivery trucks had nothing on her!
She masterfully prophesied that THE LORD would bless him for not carrying out His bloody vengeance as well as defeat his enemies. She called her husband foolish, and that David should not stoop to his level.
The Bible tells that God says,
“VENGEANCE IS MINE SAYS THE LORD.”
You must read it for yourself in I Samuel 25. What she says is mesmerizing! David becomes milk toast in her hands, and does a 180 as he says to Abigail in I Samuel 25:32-33,
“BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, WHO SENT THEE THIS DAY TO MEET ME. AND BLESSED BE THY ADVICE, AND BLESSED BE THEE, WHICH HAS KEPT ME THIS DAY FROM COMING TO SHED BLOOD, AND FROM AVENGING MYSELF WITH MINE OWN HAND.”
The next thing we know is that David and his 400 put down their swords, and God makes Nabal’s physical heart match his spiritual heart – hard as stone. Nabal drops dead! Total cardiac arrest. “That’s the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say.
I DIDN’T HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN!
You’re right, David never said that, but yet he did by His silence and attempted murderous cover up! It all amounts to the same thing, until David’s own Special Council Nathan squeezed the truth out of him.
I will not linger long here, for the story has been worn out by preachers and actors. Hollywood has milked this cow 🐄 to death, and preachers have preached the hide off from the same cow.
I can only say that we read nothing close to adultery when David was persecuted and running for his life. Too busy surviving and no time for surfeiting.
I think when he no longer had to run like a buck deer on the mountains, that mating season for the chaste roe took over. In other words, it was the DELIGHTS and DELICACIES of the White House that helped bring him down.
There he is now, drowsing upon his couch when as commander and chief he should have been with his troops. And all of that sunning and soothing himself on the balcony of the palace, allowed him to fall by neighborhood girl watching. No different than an old fashion window peeker! If he would have had binoculars, they would have been tight to his face.
Then he buried his honor and integrity in his neighbor’s bed, attaching a lasting slur to his name, and a deep wound to his conscience.
Then he left a trail of her husband’s blood to cover up his own DNA.
Only when the prophet Nathan put the screws to Him did he confess his sins. And confess them he did! We hear him crying 😢 out to God in Psalm 51:1-4,
“HAVE MERCY UPON ME, O GOD, ACCORDING TO YOUR UNFAILING LOVE; ACCORDING TO YOUR GREAT COMPASSION BLOT OUT MY TRANSGRESSIONS. WASH AWAY ALL MY INIQUITIES AND CLEANSE ME FROM MY SINS. FOR I KNOW MY TRANSGRESSIONS, AND MY SIN IS ALWAYS BEFORE ME. AGAINST YOU, YOU ONLY, HAVE I SINNED AND DONE WHAT IS EVIL IN YOUR SIGHT, SO THAT YOU ARE PROVED RIGHT WHEN YOU SPEAK AND JUSTIFIED WHEN YOU JUDGE.”
This was a jailhouse confession if there ever was one, coming forth from the suffocating prison of his guilt and shame day and night! This was the most transforming time of David’s life. He admits to himself that which before he never even came close to admitting,
“GOD IF YOU JUDGED ME, YOU WOULD BE JUST IN DOING SO!”
He would never again get close to testing the truth of those words.
The most stunning contrast of all against this entire backdrop is that God Himself calls David,
“A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART” (Acts 13:22)
If there ever was the highest of Divine commendations, this is it! That is some kind of resume! That is the all time topper! In all of the black-white contrasts that we have seen, you can color this GOLD!
Not only was David a man that rang loud in God’s heart, but he was the king of his people’s hearts as well. He rang God’s bell above all!
When David had to flee from his traitorous son Absalom, He was forced to leave the royal city, THE CITY OF DAVID. It was the love 💘 of his people that brought him back, and resettled him on his throne.
We read the awesome words of II Samuel 19:14 where it is said of him,
“THAT HE BOWED THE HEARTS OF ALL THE MEN OF JUDAH, EVEN AS THE HEART OF ONE MAN; SO THAT THEY SENT THIS WORD UNTO THE KING, ‘RETURN THOU, AND ALL THY SERVANTS.”
David, your popularity poll with God and the men of your kingdom is 1000%. Let’s see if that is reported on CNN. Amen