2 Samuel 21, Time To Consider The Past, Present And Future
1. Your Past Promises Are Not Released By Time (v1-2)
2. Your Past Wrongs Are Not Cleansed By Time (v3-9)
3. Past Failures Do Not Mean Dishonor For All Time (v10-14)
4. Your Present Role In God’s Work Changes Over Time (v15-17)
5. God’s Future Work Passes To Others With Time (v18-22)
2 Samuel 21, Time To Consider The Past, Present And Future
2 Samuel 21, Time To Consider The Past, Present And Future
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Well, as we look at Second Samuel Chapter 21, I've titled the message time to consider the past, present and future time to consider this evening. We have time to consider all three of these. The past, the present, and the future. Now second Samuel chapter 21.
Kind of deviates a little bit from the pattern that we've been following as we've been working our way through second Samuel.
The closing chapters of this book, which is what we're heading into the next few chapters, will wrap up the book of Samuel.
We'll be moving on to into the to the Book of Kings and into the reign of King Solomon.
But these last few chapters starting here in Chapter 21 are not in chronological order. It's kind of like at the end of the book.
You know the author, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says, you know there's a few things that we didn't hit in the record in the account so far, and so these things don't necessarily happen.
You know, immediately after.
Chapter 20 but but the Lord gives us.
A few other key elements.
Of David's reign here in Second Samuel Chapter 21, and as I was reading through this chapter and considering what the Lord would have for us, the various time periods really stood out to me.
And so that's what I want to share with you this evening and have us consider the past, the present, and the future different elements of those aspects.
Of time in life that the Lord wants us to consider this evening and so the first point we'll find here in verses one and two.
Your past promises are not released by time.
First, we're going to consider the pasts and promises that were made in the past.
Look again at verse one and two.
It says now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year, and David inquired of the Lord and the Lord answered, it is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeon nights.
So the king called the Gibeon Nights and spoke to them.
Now the Gibeon nights were not of the children of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites.
The children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.
There's a lot of important things that we can unpack here from verses one and.
First of all, we need to understand that the context is given to us.
There's a famine going on and the famine is lasted up to this point for three years.
Now over the course of life, it is fairly common for there to be famines, and so year one.
It just seems like David and the nation.
Of Israel thought, well, that's part of the seasons of change and the the things that happen, and so there's a famine and they.
Push through it.
And carry on as normal.
Year 2 happens and the famine continues. Now it's going on now for a second year, and perhaps there was like stirring up more and more concern as the time was prolonged until finally year #3.
Now the third year of famine now David is recognizing this is not just an ordinary change of seasons or cycles or something like that, but this must be from God, and so it tells us in verse one that David inquired of the Lord.
He realizes there's this situation happening.
God is withholding rain from the land of Israel.
Now he had told the children of Israel back in the Book of Deuteronomy that if they were disobedient to him, he would.
He would withhold the rain that that is one of the things that would happen in their disobedience.
And so perhaps David and reflecting on Deuteronomy realizes this is one of the things that got promised as we're walking with him, there's going to be the early in the latter rains and and they would be protected from famines.
But now this famine has gone on.
He realizes it's supernatural.
This is something that is from God.
God wants our attention and there's something he wants to accomplish through this.
We can consider this, of course, for our own lives, that famine could represent all kinds of trials for us, and I would make sure to point out that not all famine or trial is judgment for sin, right?
On Sunday we talked about the times of crisis and there are those times of crisis in our lives.
Need to be careful.
To not make the mistake of jobs.
Friends and automatically make the connection if there's a famine.
There must be sin.
If there's a crisis, there must be sin.
If there's you know a trial, there must be sin.
That was the mistake that job friends made, and we need to be careful not to make that mistake.
But we also need to be careful not to go too far the other way, because sometimes a famine or a crisis is exactly.
Judgment for sin and God trying to get our attention to get our eyes on him that he could lead us into correcting the situation.
This famine in David's case was exactly that God had a specific situation, a specific issue that he wanted David to address.
When David inquires of the Lord, the Lord answers, it is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house because he killed.
The Gibeon nights.
And so this was directly a result of sin.
Now not Davidson.
But his predecessor saw.
And because of what's all did and the way that he treated the Gibeon nights, God brought this famine at this time and so for three years they've experienced famine for something that Saul had done many years earlier, perhaps as much as 30 years earlier.
You might say that David reigned for 40 years.
And so this seems to have happened in the latter part of his reign.
We can't place it exactly but 20 or 30 years ago saw treated the Gibeon nights.
Poorly he killed the Gibeonites, and God says because of that, there was this in there was this issue.
20 years ago.
30 years ago.
And that's why this famine is happening.
Now again, there's some context here to consider.
Joshua Chapter nine sets the stage for us as the children of Israel are coming into the promised land.
It's the Gibeon nights who hear about all these works of the children of Israel and the battles that they're winning.
And so they take old bread.
They make themselves look like they've been traveling for a great distance.
They come to the children of Israel, and they say, make a covenant with us.
We're from really far away, don't kill us.
Let's be friends.
And so it tells us in Joshua Chapter 9, verse 14 the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but they did not ask Council of the Lord.
So Joshua made peace with them made.
A covenant with.
Them to let them live and the rulers.
Of the congregation swore to them.
400 years prior.
To this event happening in David's life.
The children of Israel, led by Joshua, made a promise to the Gibeon nights.
Like let that sink in a little bit 400. The time of the judges was 400 years, 400 years ago. A promise was made.
That promise was broken by Saul 20 or 30 years ago, and God says today, David, I want your attention to address this situation again.
That gives us the point.
Your past promises are not released by time.
This wasn't David promise, right?
But but it was Israel promise and David as the head.
Of Israel is responsible for Israel promise that was made 400 years prior to the Gibeon night.
And when David inquires of the Lord, the Lord is the one who's saying this right?
It's not David like making a stretch and trying to like, you know, be exaggerating and and and being really severe in in all of this review of previous commitments.
It's it's the Lord, saying.
Here's the issue.
That promise that was made 400 years ago.
It still holds today.
It's still something that I expect of the Nation of Israel.
Even though the promise was made under false pretense, right as the Gibeon nights pretended to be far away, and then they go, you know, three days later they find the city of Gibeon, and they say hey you lied to us.
You told us you were from far away, you're from right around the corner here even though.
They lied and tricked Israel into this promise.
God says it's a promise you made a covenant.
The congregation that the rulers of the congregation swore to them.
And 400 years later, it's just as strong as it was the day that.
It was made.
And so when Saul broke this covenant.
God took it seriously.
Now his timing maybe is not the way that we would expect or think.
He deals with this 20 or 30 years later, after Saul is already off the scene, but it doesn't matter.
Because the issue is.
Israel was not released from this promise.
And they treated the Gibeon nights poorly through their headship through.
Saul and his household.
Now we don't know why Saul did this.
We don't know when Saul did this.
This isn't recorded anywhere else, and so this is all we know about it.
It tells us in verse 2.
That he had sought to kill the Gibeon Knights in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.
And so the most likely situation here is there's a misplaced zeal.
He gets really excited and passionate about Israel and Judah and he says these Gibeon nights they're not from Israel.
We should get rid of.
Them and all of his battles.
At some point it just came across his mind.
It came on his heart.
And and in the name.
Of Israel and Judah.
In his zeal for Israel and Judah.
Like something you could perhaps consider a good thing, right?
But but there is a.
Overreaching in his zeal.
His zeal for his brethren, his zeal for people caused him.
A promise that had been made caused him to break.
A vow that God wanted him to keep.
Pastor Warren Risby comments on this. He says Saul's religious life is a puzzle attempting to be to appear very godly. He would make foolish vowels that nobody should keep.
Well, he made that nobody should eat this day until the Philistines were defeated.
And that was a foolish vow that even his son Jonathan points out.
So he makes foolish vows that nobody should keep all at the same time.
He didn't to be the clear commandments of God.
God told them to go wipe out the Amalekites.
But he didn't do that yet he went to try to exterminate.
The gibian heights.
So the things that God directly said.
He didn't do.
The vows that didn't need to be made those he often made, and here we see him breaking a vow.
He's kind of all over the place.
It's a bit puzzling and.
I bring that up.
I share that this evening to just make a side comment.
Is your spiritual life a puzzle?
As you look back, or maybe as you put yourself in somebody else's shoes, like looking on at your spiritual life.
Reading and analyzing your spiritual life.
Is it a puzzle like sometimes you will be the commands of God, but the direct commands of God you also disobey.
You break vowels, but you make vows that nobody asked you to make that God never required of you.
Is your spiritual life a puzzle?
Well, either way, the point stands.
Your past promises are not released by time.
And so I would.
Ask you to consider this evening.
Is there any commitment, any promise, any covenant that you've made?
That you need to perhaps revisit.
That you need to seek the Lord about as far as where you're at with it, and if he wants you to continue to hold it to that promise that you made, and if you should press on and and continue.
In the course that you're on, or if you should modify your course because of things that you've committed to in the past, there are many times in our lives where in different seasons the Lord has touched us and moved on our hearts.
And we've committed things to him.
We've promised things to him.
And you can see here in this situation, even if 400 years have passed, that doesn't necessarily mean that the.
Lord lets us off the hook.
That there might be those commitments as promises that we've made to.
The Lord in.
The past again, maybe it's 30 or 40 years ago.
That the Lord would say to you.
Today I need you to go back and.
Revisit that promise.
Re enact that promise, put it back into effect in your life.
And begin to live that accordingly.
God takes our promises seriously.
He takes our vows, our commitments.
Husbands and wives.
You made that vow to one another.
And you might say, well, that feels like 400 years ago. I don't know if I should be bound to that any longer 'cause there's no.
If it feels like 1000 years, you're still to keep it.
That's your you made that promise you're not released just because time is past.
The Lord can release.
You from vowels and foolish vowels and.
Absolutely the Lord can, but time itself.
Does not release us.
You may have forgotten about that value may have forgotten about that promise, but God has it.
It's one of the reasons why we're really kind of discouraged in the scriptures from taking vows.
Because the vowels are not required.
The Lord says this a couple of times that you weren't required to take a vow, but now that you've made the vow, God says I'm holding you to that.
That meant something that means something.
Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
That that you would be a person of your word that you.
Would hold fast.
To the things that you commit to.
You're not released from them just because time has passed.
Now in thinking.
About God's view of these promises and these covenants, Pastor David Guzik has a great word of encouragement for us.
He says if God has such a high expectation that men keep their covenants, we can have great confidence that he will keep his covenant with us.
There is an emerald rainbow around the throne of God to proclaim his remembrance to his everlasting covenant with his.
You know, we might kind of resist and be a little bit frustrated at the idea of God holding us responsible for the promises and commitments that we've made to him.
And although we might get a little bit frustrated about that for ourselves as we understand that God holds us to that because that's the way that he is, that's the way that he relates to promises and commitments.
We can look to him then and understand his commitment.
To forgive us when we confess our sins, it's.
Guaranteed it's for sure he's not going to break that covenant.
His commitment to take us into eternity and to provide for us a place to be with him for all of eternity, as we believe in Jesus Christ.
That's a covenant that he will not break those promises that he's made towards us to work all things together for good to those who love him.
You know the called according to his purpose.
That's a promise.
It's a covenant he will not break.
God will not break his promises and so he calls us.
To be like him.
And just the passing of time.
Even if God made a covenant 2000 years ago to us a promise to us, the promise the the passing of time doesn't change that covenant. It doesn't change that promise for God or for us.
And so, again, your past promises are not released by time moving on to verses 3 through 9. Now we get point #2 and that is your past wrongs are not cleansed by time.
Your past wrongs are not cleansed by time.
The promises they're not just nullified because of time.
But the sins and the issues of the past don't just go away with time.
They don't just disappear or fade away because time has passed.
Check out verses 3 through 6.
Therefore David said to the Gibeon nights.
What shall I do for you and with what shall I make atonement that you may bless the inheritance?
Of the Lord.
And the Gibeon Nights said to him we will have no silver or gold from Saul or his house, nor shall you kill any man in Israel for us.
So he said whatever you say, I will do for you.
Then they answered the king.
As for the man who consumed us and plotted against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the territories of Israel.
Let seven men of his descendants be delivered to us, and we will hang them before the Lord in Gibeon of Saul, whom the Lord chose.
And the king said, I will give them.
As David inquires of the Lord, the Lord reveals to him the issue.
It's important to note that it's God who is revealed this issue right. This isn't David's idea, and he's not just trying to like make something up that makes sense to try to resolve this situation.
God is the one who brought it up.
This is this is a work of God and as difficult as this passage might be for us, we might wrestle with this passage quite a bit.
We need to see the hand of God in it.
God is the one who said here's the issue.
Saul broke the covenant with.
The Gibeon nights.
And so David goes to the Gibeon nights and says, I understand this covenant has been broken.
And so there is a.
Displeasure that you have.
Towards Israel, there's some inks that you have against Israel.
And so David says, what?
What can I do?
To make atonement.
How can I make this right so that in the end, at the end of verse three says that you may bless?
The inheritance of the Lord.
What can I do to satisfy?
The injustice that you feel, the injustice that you've seen so that once.
Once it's completed, you're able to look favorably and to say, oh the Lord, bless Israel, what?
What can be done?
To change our relationship to bring us.
Back into fellowship together.
What can be done for us to be reconciled?
Our relationship or we have broken our relations that David is saying.
We've sinned against you.
How can we make this right?
Really great example for us.
Jesus said if.
You are there about to offer your gift at the.
Altar and you remember that?
Your brother has something against you, not that your brother hurts you, but that you've hurt your brother that you've harmed or sinned against somebody.
Jesus says, go make it right.
Follow the example here of David go and say what can I?
Do for you.
How can I make atonement that we might be reconciled?
That you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?
We may overlook this aspect of broken commitments, but in God's law.
One of the important pieces of making things right was a thing called restitution.
So that when there was damage that was done that it wasn't just.
The person being made whole, but that there was.
Additional given additional required in order to compensate the person for the harm that had taken place.
And so that's what David's doing here. He's saying, all right.
We've broken our commitment.
We've broken the law of God.
God directed me to you.
So what is it?
What can we do?
Gibby nights responded.
They say we're we're not asking for money.
We're not lashing out against.
People you know and and calling for worse than what was given to us.
But they point out the family of Saul.
He's the one who came against us.
So that seven of his descendants be delivered to us.
For them to be put to death, for them to be hung before the Lord in Gibeon.
And David said, OK, I will give them now again we can wrestle with this quite a bit, and we can go back and forth about it a lot.
I, I think one of the things that is important to keep in mind though, is that at the end of this, as David complies with this request.
Removes the famine and brings the rain.
And so again this is the hand of the Lord from beginning to end, and so although we might not understand all of the details and wrestle with some of the particulars, the end result is David was right where he needed to be right in compliance with God in.
Fulfilling this request.
He fulfills in verses 7 through 9 it says, but the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan, the son of Saul.
So the king took armor, Armani and Mephibosheth.
The two sons of risk by the daughter of Aja, whom she had boards us all, and the five sons of Michelle, the daughter of Salt, whom she brought up for edge, real the son of Barzillai the Maho fight.
First nine and delivered them into the hands of the Gibeon nights and they hanged them.
On the hill before the Lord.
So they fell all seven together and were put to death in the days of harvest in the first days in the beginning.
Of the barley harvest.
And so David complies with their requests, delivers over.
He spares mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, because of his promise to Jonathan, and he upholds that oath and keeps that promise.
But he delivers over these other descendants of Saul from the Daughters of Saul, and they are put to death and hung before the Lord.
There by the Gibeon Knights.
Was accomplishing the restoration or the reconciliation between the Gibeonites and Israel.
Now again, there's a lot of perhaps wrestling or struggling you could do with this.
Like is this justice for these seven guys to die for something solid?
Did 20 or 30 years earlier like how?
How does this make sense?
And again, we don't know all the details and so we can't have definite answers in.
All of that.
But there is something interesting found in verse one.
When the Lord responds to David, it says the Lord answered, it is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house.
Because he killed the Gibeon nights and so one possibility to consider is that these men were not just some random men of the House of Saul.
But that these men were men who were involved in the blood thirst in the attack in the destruction of the Gibeon nights. And so it's not really an issue of them being judged for somebody else's sin.
But for really justice to be done, all the rest of Saul's descendants who were also probably part of you know the attack against the Gibeon nights.
They were also dealt with.
They died in battles with the Philistines.
They they'd already been executed previously, but these survivors, who really never got, you know.
What was coming to them as as a result of their thirst for blood, were now executed and judged, and dealt with at this time, so that seems like the most likely scenario in my head.
But again, there's some discussion around that, and you can.
Wrestle with it if you'd like to.
The point is.
Even though the.
Issue happened 20 years ago, 30 years ago.
The sin wasn't just a race because 20 or 30 years had passed.
It's important for us to understand.
Your past wrongs are not cleansed by time.
How are past wrongs cleansed?
Well again, first John 19 tells us if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to cleanse us.
But but unconfessed sin in the past doesn't just go away by time or wrongs that we've done where we have done people wrong and and left them in a condition where our.
Our relationship is severed because of our wrong against them.
They don't just resolve over time and and we need to understand that there is the need.
For us to allow the Lord to direct us and go back and make things right.
Reconcile and restore relationships.
Compensate for harm done for loss that has taken place, even if it was something for 20 years ago.
Now I'm not suggesting that we all sit here and we relive 20 years ago and try to find things right.
But again, this all came about because there was a famine.
And God brought it to their attention.
So that David inquired of the Lord and God says, here's a situation I want you to address.
And so here's what I'm suggesting.
There's going to be times in our lives where God brings to light or brings back something that happened in the past.
And we need to understand that it's not just random memories.
Perhaps that are happening, but that God is bringing it back.
Because it's unresolved and he wants us to address it and we can think to ourselves.
Ah, you know, like there was five years ago.
Like, who cares, right?
Like we were in junior high back then, it doesn't really matter.
We we can talk ourselves out of reconciliation and restitution.
We can talk ourselves out of going back to make things right.
But but we need to understand the the wrongs that we've done in the past.
They they're not just cleansed by time alone, they're cleansed by confession, and sometimes by restitution and reconciliation.
By going back, making things right and and having that relationship be restored.
And perhaps you need to go and ask.
Harvey 30 years ago.
I stole $20 out of your wallet. How can I make it right? What can I do? You've been angry and scowling at me ever since. What can I do to restore our relationship?
Maybe you need to ask.
God, God I hurt this.
Person I I don't know how to make it, I don't.
Know how to heal this relationship or resolve this situation.
It's not gonna go away, just with time by itself.
An apology by itself might not really be sufficient for what God desires to do and what is necessary for the situation.
Confession itself, just confessing it to the Lord that might.
Not be enough.
There might need to be.
And some offering of making things right.
Your past wrongs are not cleansed by time alone.
Well, moving on to verses 10 through 14.
Point #3 tonight is that past failures do not mean dishonor for all time. Here we get to see some aftermath of these guys being put to death for the Gibeon nights and verse 10 it says now rizpah, the daughter of Aja took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock.
From the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven and she did not allow the birds of the year to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of.
The field by night.
And so here in this verse.
First of all, we can see that it began to rain the three year famine is over because David heard from the Lord.
He handled the situation.
He resolved the situation so that God was satisfied and now God returns of the rain to Israel and in their restored relationship with the Gibeon nights.
Israel is blessed and able to.
Grow crops, grow crops again and harvest them and recover from this famine.
And so again we can see the hand of God from beginning to end.
But now, in response to this rizpah, the daughter of AI.
Hangs out with.
These seven who were put to death.
This is the mom of some of these guys.
The aunt of others of them, and it's pretty difficult right to imagine what she must have been experiencing emotionally.
Having her sons, having her nephews be put to death.
At the same time, it's really admirable the way that she behaves.
She restrains herself, so she hangs out there by those who have been killed.
For several months.
To protect them from the birds of the year so that the birds don't rest on them day or night.
You can understand, but the body is hanging there.
The decay that would be happening there would be this natural attraction to the local wildlife, right?
And so she is there to guard them against that.
And her motivation of course, is love and and their honor.
She's preserving and protecting their honor.
It would be dishonorable for them to be devoured in such a way.
And so she is there to preserve them and protect them from that kind of thing.
At the same time.
You would understand she probably had great desire to cut them down and bury them.
Give them a proper burial and and you know finish the situation altogether.
But but she didn't go that far.
She didn't overstep.
She honored the Lord, allowed the sentence to be carried out, allowed the judgment.
Took the steps that she could take.
To honor to express love and devotion to her sons and to her nephews in that time, Matthew Henry puts it this way.
She attempts not to violate the sentence passed upon them, that they should hang there till God sent rain.
She neither steals nor forces away their dead bodies, but she patiently submits with her servants and friends.
She protects the dead bodies from birds and beasts of prey.
It wasn't her favorite thing every day.
She would have to wake up and look and see.
Oh how heartbreaking.
Her son hanging there still.
But she submitted to the Lord.
It was the appropriate thing to do the right thing to do.
It was the necessary thing to do.
Again, it was not unjust because God allowed it, directed it, and blessed it.
So, however, which way you want to try to figure that out, there was justice.
That was served in this situation and she would not turn against God or violate what God desired in the midst of that.
But at the same time she is honoring.
Serving loving her sons and nephews in the midst of this verse 11.
And David was told what Rizpah, the daughter of a I the concubine of Saul, had done.
Then David took her, went and took the bones of Saul in the bones of Jonathan his son, from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hung them up.
After the Philistines had struck down salt in GABA.
So he brought up the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son.
From there, and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged.
They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin, in Zala and the tomb.
Of Kish his father.
So they performed all that the King commanded and after that God he did the prayer for the land.
Here we see David inspired by Rizpah as she is.
For some period of time expressing this love and concern for her family members.
Again, submitted to the plan of God and the authority of God is as difficult as that must have been for her.
But expressing honor and devotion to her family, David says that's a really good example.
And so he goes, and he takes the bones of Saul and Jonathan.
Now they had been killed many years earlier in the battle against the Philistines.
They were hung out by the Philistines, to mock and ridicule.
Well, but the men of Bethshan had gone and rescued their their bodies and so.
They stayed there with the the men of Beth Shean, and so David says.
You know, let's let's give them an honorable burial and and it was an important thing for for them and their society and their culture that that they would be buried properly and buried together with their family.
And so he goes and collects the bones of Saul and Jonathan now.
Again, this is Saul, who had persecuted David and attacked David for many years, tried to kill David, and we saw how David always preserved and and honored saw in a way that he didn't deserve, but that the position deserved and David continues that here.
So what he did was killed the Gibeon nights and broke the covenant and caused them to have a famine for three years, right?
Like there's much reason that David could be upset with us all over all over again, but he says, you know, I'm gonna go and onursal
I'm going to honor his son, Jonathan.
I'm going to honor those who were even executed in the midst of this reconciliation.
And the things that were necessary for justice should be done.
But it's not going to be a, you know.
We're going to hate them forever kind of thing but but I will honor them in burial and and give them a proper burial with their family where they bill.
Along there, with Kish, Saul's father, and so past failures do not mean dishonor for all time.
I think a.
Great example in the New Testament of that, of course is the apostle Paul, you know, talking about past failures.
He had past.
Failures, but but it didn't mean that forever and ever.
You know, he had no hope, no opportunity, no possible honor, all of that, but no, of course, in in the Lord all things can be made new.
Now sometimes things won't be made right until after we're gone.
Or death and and that's that's one of the realities of sin.
And that's one of the reasons why God says stay away from sin.
'cause some things you do are so bad.
That you know you're not.
Going to escape from the judgment and.
Consequences of that until eternity.
You can trust the Lord and be forgiven right now, but you know your life is going to be miserable for the rest of your life because of.
The choices that you made and there's going to be the aftermath of those choices, but in eternity you know that it's going to be a fresh start, a new beginning because you've trusted in the Lord and then cleansed and forgiven.
Past failures do not mean dishonor for all time.
There's a new work that God can do and will do as you allow him to transform you and change you well.
Moving on to verses 15 through 17, we get point #4 your present role in God's work changes over time. So we've been talking a lot about the past. Reviewing the past promises, the past failures. All of those.
Things, but now consider the present.
Your present role in God's work is going to change.
It's going to change as time goes on.
As time marches forward.
God's going to have new things for you. Different roles and responsibilities, different avenues for you to walk down and we can see that demonstrated in David here in verses 15 through 17.
Here's what it says.
When the philistines were at war again with Israel, David and the servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines, and David grew faint.
Then Ishbi Benarba, who is one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was 300 shekels. Who is bearing a new sword, thought?
He could kill David.
But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid and struck the Philistine.
And killed him.
Then the men of David swore to him, saying.
You shall go out no more.
With us to battle.
Lest you quench the lamp of Israel.
This occasion, again not in sequential order necessarily, but does seem to have occurred in a later portion of.
Probably after his return to the throne after the issue with Absalom, perhaps again we can wrestle with those kind of things and try to place them in different places, but.
David goes out to battle with his men against the Philistines.
And as he's in the midst of the battle, we find that there's still giants to fight.
You can go back to first Samuel chapter 17.
David, as a young boy fighting against Goliath.
Many years later.
30 years later.
We'll call it that 25 years later somewhere around there, right?
There's still giants to fight.
There's still big battles going on, but here we find a change in David's role.
Because in the midst of the battle this giant.
It should be Ben AHB.
The weakness that David has.
It tells us in verse 15 he grew faint.
He he recognizes beiben obsese David.
He seized the faintness.
He sees you know, perhaps he's like sewing there.
You know a little bit woozy.
Or, or maybe they're directly battling each other and it should be Ben of is realizing wow, yeah he doesn't have the strength like he used to have and so now's my chance. I'm going to be able to take this guy out.
Ishbi Behnoud thought he could kill David.
He was convinced there is this weakness.
I'll be able to exploit it and I'm going to be able to take him out now.
Abishai also recognizes the faintness of.
David sees the need, and jumps in and intervenes and rescues David from that, but it causes the men of David to say.
OK, we need to change things here.
We really appreciate all the giant battles that you fought.
Really, you know you've done amazing things, Valiant warrior.
You've proven yourself in that.
You need to change course now.
You can't keep going out to battle with us.
You can't keep trying to fight giants like your time fighting Giants is over.
That's not your role any longer.
There were still giants to fight, and we'll see that in the coming verses.
You're not going to.
Be part of that.
You're not going to be directly involved in the battle.
You'll have a different part in the battle.
You'll have a different part in that, but but not directly clashing swords or or or fighting against the the Giants in the midst of the battle.
We need to understand in a similar way that our present role changes not just because physically we get tired, but because over the course of time God has different seasons for our life and different plans and purposes in each one.
I always like the example of.
Saul and Barnabas, who later on became Paul and Barnabas, right Saul and Barnabas, as they began their missionary journey.
Barnabas was leading.
He was in charge.
He was the more mature believer.
He was leading them forward in the mission trip that God had set before them.
And that was the appropriate thing for the season.
But as they progressed down the missionary journey, the roles change.
And instead of being Barnabas and Saul, Barnabas and Saul, Barnabas and Saul suddenly it's Paul and Barnabas.
That their roles change and now Paul is leading the expedition and God is using Paul to take them forward in the course that he has set before.
It's one of the things that happens over time that things change and and God has different seasons for us.
Different roles in our lives that.
We may have, you know, some gifts and some supernatural abilities by the Lord, but but they might be in use in different ways and in different arenas as time progresses and as the Lord leads us through different seasons of our life, and so we need to allow the Lord to redirect us.
And change our role and that that can be challenging sometimes because.
You can have so much of your identity and your joy and your focus bound up in your role, right?
I mean, I would see David kind of struggling like oh, but man, the thrill of battle.
I love it.
And the joy of victory, and and the the way that God worked like I just I really continue to be part of that right David.
He was a valiant warrior and I could see him having a hard time stepping away like how can I let other people risk their lives while I just sit here and watch like, oh, that's agonizing, right?
I don't know if you ever experienced that.
Maybe you don't experience this, but you know sometimes.
You're like sitting there while other people are working and it's like torture.
It's like I feel like such a lazy lard.
I'm just like sitting here and like everybody else is doing it and I'm just like yeah, I'm just sitting here like oh, it's such an agonizing thing, right?
But that might be exactly the role that God gives to us.
And we need to be OK.
With we need to allow the.
Lord to change our role.
And even if that changes and maybe challenges who we are and our identity and the things.
That we love.
We need to allow the Lord to redirect our roles change overtime.
Now there is the need to find the right balance.
Because David at this time is called out of the battle.
Sit on the sidelines, David, SIT at headquarters.
There's other ways for you to be involved in the battle, but you're not to be there in the midst of it.
David previously pulled out of the battle and it got him into some trouble.
Remember, in second Samuel Chapter 11, Rick shared this a couple Sundays ago.
In the spring of the year, the times when kings go out to battle that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all of Israel.
He sent out the army.
He said I'm not going to battle with you at this time and then put himself set himself up for that fall.
That situation with Bathsheba.
You changed the role too early.
You jump out of the battle to really well that there's some danger that could be present.
Then running ahead of the Lord in that role.
Hey, maybe you're tired, maybe you're exhausted.
Maybe you want that role to be over that work to be done.
I just can't do it any longer.
But if God hasn't changed the role, then it's not time for us to change the role to change our behavior.
We we need to find the balance and allow the Lord to direct that there is a time for David to get out.
Of the battle.
And they'll have.
Other responsibilities, other roles, other ways for him to be part.
Of God's work.
But it's going to change, but but if we jump the gun, if he goes too early, well, he sets himself up to be in that situation where he is prone to fall and have issues, and so your present role in God's work changes over time.
I see that.
For me, right?
For the season that I was here full time that this was, you know, the full source of income for me and my wife that I had a very different role.
You know, thinking about like the night like you know I used to be heavily involved, had planning everything, building all the booths out of two by fours and moving all the hay around, right?
There was a real definite role that I had this time around.
People are asking me questions about life and I'm like I have no idea.
I'm the least informed person about life and I have no idea what's happening when it's happening where it's happening.
People are, you know, like I just my role has changed and it's part of the season of.
Part of this season of life of course revolves around my schedule, revolves around our niece and our opportunity.
There's a huge you know ministry there that Kim and I have with with our niece and ministering to her and watching her and pouring into her.
It's just part of the season that we're in.
Things change over time now.
Another way that roles change with time is a couple weeks ago I was working in the attic.
A couple things to patch up and seal up.
I don't know.
Ever since then my back has just really been messed up and just like weird and it's like good for most of the day and all of a sudden I just do one thing, you know, lift that cup of coffee wrong and then.
It's like Oh my back my back.
Realizing oh man, my my role might be changing.
It might not be my time to move speakers much longer, right?
That maybe no I need to enlist know how to.
Maybe that no, or that no which one everyone to to to move some speakers and you know, but I'm the sound guy right?
Like I'm the one who moves the speakers and sets up the equipment.
And well, maybe maybe.
In the future, God is going to.
Change that role.
And I don't want to jump out of it.
Too soon, right?
I need to be find the balance, but let the Lord change it.
Let the would change when he wants to change it and be in that place where God wants us to be.
And we may not always be the most excited about it the most.
Happy about it, it might.
Not be our dream but but the best thing for us is to be right where God wants to.
What God wants us to be.
Well, finally verses 18 through 22, wrap it up with point #5 God. Future work passes to others with time, so our present role is going to change in the present.
We might have a different role than the past, and we might have a different role than we will have in the future.
In the present, it's always going to be changing.
God is going to be doing new things and directing us as we go.
But what we?
Can be assured of what won't change is the future of God's work.
Is going to carry on.
Others will carry that baton as hard as it might be for us to take a step back in certain areas or different things.
There's a baton to be passed and a new crop of the people of God that will move forward.
The work of God that he has planned.
Now it happened afterward that there was a again a battle with the Philistines at Gob, then sibiti the Hussite, killed Saff, who was one of the sons of the Giant.
And again, there is where it gob with the philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jerry Oregon, the Bethlehem might killed the brother of Goliath, the Gittite, the shaft of who's spear was like a Weaver beam.
Yet again, there was war at Gath.
Where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, 24 in number. And he also was born to the Giant.
So when he defied Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shamya Davids.
Brother killed him.
These four were born to the Giant in Gath and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
So this whole latter section of the chapter is really devoted to the battles against these giants.
David was part of it early on, before he was king.
He was part of it and the battles that he fought as king.
But then his role changed.
But although there was still giants to fight.
And although David was now removed in his new role, he wasn't fighting those battles anymore.
Somehow those battles continued.
To be fought.
Giants continued to fall and victory continued.
To be established for Israel, how did that happen?
Well, because it's not just about David.
It's not just about.
His faith and his work and his valiant warrior Necessitas.
It's not just about David.
There was others that God was going to raise up.
And to use in David Stead.
And so these.
Additional giants that are mentioned here.
Three other giants.
Dealt with by three other guys, not it's not even one guy who replaced David, but it's different guys that God used and raised up in the absence of David in the midst of that, if David had been there on the battlefield, then all of the guys would have just been like, OK, there's a giant that's David guy and let him get him, so I'll fight.
You know all these other weak guys over here, but now David is not on the battlefield.
And so the soldiers are looking at each other, like I'll flip you for it.
You want to fight the giant.
I want to fight the giant.
I'll take him.
And they're they're now taking down the giants.
They're going forward, and God is.
Doing a work.
Defeating Giants through these other guys, similarly to what he did through David.
He passed the baton guys my days of fighting giant battles.
They're done now it's your turn.
You take the baton, you go, take steps of faith.
You go fight these heavy, intense battles.
Continue, continue on or carry.
On the work of God.
In numbers Chapter 8, God prescribes certain parameters for the levite's. The Levite's were the people who served at the Tabernacle, and later at the Temple.
And God said an age range for them in numbers chapter eight, he said, between the ages of 25 and 50.
They would be able to serve the Lord, but once they turn 50 they they have to stop doing the work.
Back to the previous point, their role was gonna change from 25 to 50. They would have this role then as they turn 50, they're going to have a new role and their role is really going to be passed on to the next generation. The next crop of 25 to 15 to 50 year olds.
But it's interesting in numbers, Chapter 8, verse 26 says God is giving this instruction.
To this older generation, he says they may minister with their brethren in the Tabernacle of meeting to attend to needs, but they themselves shall do no work.
Thus you shall do to the levite's regarding their duties, and so the role would change. And so these older levite's would essentially become mentors.
To the younger levite's.
They would still get to be part of it.
They had a role, they had an opportunity to.
Be part of it, but.
But they themselves were not to be doing the work.
I'm sure every Levi who went into this.
Didn't just go OK, great. My time's over hand off the baton.
I, I'm sure there were many who struggled with.
But I love.
To do it, I want to do it.
How's the Tabernacle gonna run without me you?
Know like I've there's never been a Levite as good as me.
Who could you know? Organize these things and get these things in order. Like I know there was levite's like that, right? Like they're people just like us.
But at 25 years old God says, OK, I'm sorry 50 years old. God says, OK, now your role has to change, but.
You're not cut out, you're you're helping to pass the baton and you have a different role.
So similarly David, he didn't mean he wasn't part of the battles or part of the the victories, but he had a different role, a different work in it.
And it was just as important for the baton to be passed for the next generation to be spurred forward.
In this new work that God had for them, now we don't have to necessarily just restrict this to, you know, aging out of responsibilities, but again, as different seasons of our life change and there's different courses that God has for us.
Our roles are different, and so it might be you're involved in something just for a cup.
Years, and not necessarily because of age, but just 'cause God is redirected.
And so now you have a different role, but again, it doesn't mean that you just you know, let what the Lord had you involved in like just let it fall to pieces and just walk away without a care in the world, right?
Like maybe you need to be not serving in the same capacity.
Not working in the the same way, but.
Involved in the mentoring.
The counseling, the helping and the directing of others who will take that place and move that thing forward.
Move that ministry forward that work forward that God wants to do.
Campbell Morgan puts it this way.
Let those who after long service find themselves waning in strength, be content to abide with the people of God still shining for them as a lamp and thus enabling them to carry on the scene.
Such action in the last days of life is also great and high service.
Waning in strength again.
Your energy levels changed.
Your strength has changed your ability, your opportunity has changed.
But here are you saying but just being present you can shine a light and encourage people to carry on.
There's ways for you to continue to be part of that work, even if your role has changed to help.
The others who are now you know, moving into that role, moving into that position to pass it on, and to encourage them, and to help them just like the older Levite swear to help the younger Levite Sin in their roles and responsibilities.
With or without us God future work.
Passes on to others.
He's going to March it forward.
He's going to accomplish his purposes, but we get the great joy and privilege of being part of it.
Sometimes it's just for a season.
We have that role.
And sometimes we pass on that baton.
We help others who are coming up after us serving in our workplace, perhaps within our family within the church, doing the work of God that he has set before us, and he will continue to do.
You know, sometimes we can.
Feel like it's all up to us and nobody else cares.
Nobody else is gonna do anything or be involved right after we pass off the scene.
There's just that's going to die.
And you know for some ministry.
This isn't too offensive like that might be the truth.
Some ministries were meant to be temporary.
I always like to think about the example of John the Baptist right.
Yeah, that was a ministry that was always intended to be temporary to announce the Messiah to announce the Savior and then to move off the scene that that was a temporary ministry.
Sometimes God calls us to that.
But the work of God continues and you can understand that John the Baptist passed the baton into Jesus.
And now the Kingdom of God is not just being announced, but now it's here and there's the next phase of what God wants to do in a similar way, we need to understand God's future work is going to continue.
He's not lost and desperate without us, but he does invite us to be part of his work.
We get to.
Have a role?
In a part.
It's going to change from time to time and then we get to have a role in a part of helping others to step into new roles for them and new things that God wants to do in their lives.
So time to consider the past, the present and the future.
Your past promises are not released by time.
Does the Lord want you?
Revisit some previous commitments, some previous things that you told him you would do that you told him you would walk with him in this way and and gave to him, delivered to him.
Promise to him.
Your problem your past wrongs are not cleansed by time.
Time in itself doesn't just do away with wrong.
Maybe it's an old wound, an old issue and old relationship broken.
Don't just think that well.
10 years have passed, they should be over it by.
Now maybe, maybe the Lord wants you to go back and bring about a reconciliation and bring about a confession of sin for yourself and restitution and reconciliation for those past wrongs.
Past failures do not mean dishonor for all time.
There's new opportunities in the work of God, new opportunities in the plan of God.
And there is ways to honor the decisions of the Lord and the Justice of the Lord at the same time, expressing mercy and and and love and forgiveness to others around us. Your present role in God's work changes over time. So allow the Lord to direct you.
In that, but the future work of God is going to continue with or without us.
God is going to accomplish his purposes.
We can trust him for that, so consider past, present and future.
Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word, the great promises, the great encouragement.
I pray Lord, that you would help us that you would stir up in our minds the things that we need to consider.
And if you want to get our attention just like you wanted to get David's attention, but I pray that we would be open to that and looking for you and for you.
Your word in our situation, Scott.
May we allow you to direct us to correct us to lead us on to new pastures to new opportunities.
Please and Lord may we be a great encouragement and blessing to others who are doing your work in different ways or maybe ways that we used to load.
May we be a great source of light and comfort to them as we cheer them on for the work that God has for them.
We pray this in Jesus name.