But show loving devotion to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, because they stood by me when I fled from your brother Absalom.
I. MAN WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. This is His essential characteristic. The more He reflects this image, the more truly manly He is. The religion of the Bible restores His manhood.
II. THERE IS NO FACULTY IN MAN WHICH DOES NOT FIND ITS COMPLEMENT AND ITS DEVELOPMENT IN GOD. His reason finds in God alone the truth which it seeks. His heart only finds an object adequate to its power of loving in the God who is Love. His conscience has for its ideal and its law the Divine holiness. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). His will derives its power alone from God.
1. The Son of God was the Son of man, and realized the true idea of humanity in His holy life.
2. The religion of God honours and exalts man, even as falsehood and error degrade and debase him.
3. The Divine morality is in profound harmony with true human morality, that law which is written in the natural conscience. The petty religiousness which says, "Touch not, taste not, handle not" (Colossians 2:21), and creates all sorts of artificial duties, is not in accordance with true piety, the one great commandment of which - love to God and man - approves itself at once to the gospel and to the conscience.
4. Be a man means, finally, Do thy duty like a man. Be one of the violent who take the kingdom by force. Let us be careful not to effeminate our Christianity by a soft sentimentalism. Let us learn from the Son of God to be truly men "after God's own heart." - E. DE P.
Shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai.
(J. Telford, B. A.)
Great Thoughts.Sympathy for those who are stronger, wealthier, healthier, more influential, and higher in authority than ourselves, is not so easily rendered. It does not often occur to us to extend the sympathetic hand or word to those whom we look upon as in any way our superiors, and yet none need our sympathy more than such as these. The minister is expected to feel for and with his parishioners, but the truth is that the minister needs sympathetic encouragement from them quite as much. So, too, of the physician and his patient. One of Tennyson's biographers quotes the Queen as saying of the Laureate, "When I took leave of him I thanked him for his kindness, and said I needed it, for I had gone through much, and he said, 'You are so alone on that terrible height; it is terrible.'" The sovereign appreciated kindness, consideration, and sympathy from her subjects, and the poet had a full realisation of what it meant to be so high up as to be practically alone in the world. We easily give our pity, our sympathy, and even our helping hand, to those who seem to us in sore stress, but we are not so thoughtful about what consolation and strength we might give to those who need it because their very elevation isolates them, and cuts them off from those human relations to which we all look for sympathetic aid.
The service and the loyalty I owe,
In doing, pays itself. Your Highness' part
Is to receive our duties; and our duties
Are to your throne and state children and servants,
Which do but what they should, by doing everything
Safe towards your love and honour.
The rest is labour which is not used for you.The humility, also, of that Old Testament hero is already our New Testament humility in its depth and sweetness and beauty. In my spare hours this winter I have been delighting myself with Plutarch's Lives in Thomas North's Bible English. But how often as I read one noble name after another have I exclaimed, Oh, if some of those great men of old had only been among the Greeks who came to Philip, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus! Had they only seen Jesus, or even heard or read Paul! Then what ornaments would they have been in all New Testament nobleness and courtesy and humility.
(Alex. Whyte, D. D.)
Vers. 8, 9.
And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei, the son of Gera.Matthew Henry calls it, had come to an end with the death of David. Others again, and they, too, some of our. most conservative and orthodox scholars, say to us that the text should run in English in this way: "Hold him not guiltless; at the same time bring not his hoar head down to the grave with blood." You will blame me for my too open ear to such bold scholarship; and you will think it very wrong in me to listen to such evil men. But the heart has its reasons, as Pascal says, and my heart would stretch a considerable point in textual criticism to get Shimei's blood wiped off David's death-bed. Another interpretation is to take the text as it stands, and to hear David judicially charging Solomon about a care of too long delayed justice against a blasphemer of God and the king. And then the last explanation is the most painful one of all, and it is this, that David had never really and truly, and at the bottom of his heart, forgiven Shimei for his brutality and malignity at Bahurim, and that all David's long-suppressed revenge rushed out of his heart against his old enemy when he lay on his bed and went back on the day on which he had fled from Jerusalem. You can choose your own way of looking at David's death-bed. But, in any case, it is Bahurim that we shall all carry home, and carry for ever henceforth, in our hearts. We shall have, God helping us, David's Bahurim-mind always in us henceforth amid all those who insult and injure us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely; and amid all manner of adverse and sore circumstances, so as to see the Lord in it all, and so as to work out our salvation amid it all. And the Lord will look upon our affliction also, and will requite us good for all this evil, if only we wisely and silently and adoringly submit ourselves to it.
(Alex. Whyte, D. D.)
I. AS THE AGENT, UNCONSCIOUS OR OTHERWISE, OF DIVINE JUSTICE. We cannot conceive this measure as being the consummation of a Divine purpose, it had apparently so much about it of human plan. The Almighty's power, when exerted in support of justice, has always been certain and direct in its action, without any reference to contingencies. A man's punishment ,never precedes his crime, nor is inflicted without one. With God it is all justice or all mercy; no half measures. No sparing for a time in uncertainty or doubt as to our guilt, begetting in us a sense of false security, till suddenly the knell of .doom sounds on our deafened ears. How different from man's punishment this. The very manner of Shimei's death is the greatest argument against its having been ordained by God (vers. 36-46.) David's conduct in giving this dying injunction to his son may have been influenced —
II. BY A CONSCIENTIOUS DESIRE TO ADMINISTER HUMAN JUSTICE, ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD. David, we are told, was a man of God, one after His own heart. How; then, with such clear perceptions of the Divine attributes, can we conceive of him as acting in this matter conscientiously and with cool judgment, in the full belief of the harmony of his decree with Almighty rectitude? To do so is to dishonour the unswerving uprightness of God's justice, or to depreciate David's experiences and knowledge of the Divine character. We would rather be left to our final alternative in —
III. REGARDING HIS INJUNCTION AS PROMPTED BY REVENGE. As a man he forgave Shimei at the time of his crime, which, then, should have been utterly effaced from his memory. Heavenly justice, if not satisfied, would have taken its own way of vindicating itself, without further action on David's part. With David as a man of God and Israel's law-giver, we must utterly disconnect this act, and attribute it entirely to a flaw in his character, which, at the last, reasserted its natural power in antagonism to Divine grace. In nothing, during life, do men differ so greatly as at death. The weakest on earth often enter the gates of heaven triumphant. While yet in the flesh, one foot is firmly planted on the threshold of the mansion prepared for them. On the other hand, the spiritual giant now is frequently then but as a timid and fearful child; often, indeed, appearing to lose his entire spiritual existence in the fearful struggle which Satan and his earthly nature keep up in endeavouring to wrest another soul from heaven to people the wilderness of hell.
(R. Liswil, B. A.)
PeopleAbiathar, Abishag, Abner, Absalom, Achish, Adonijah, Amasa, Anathoth, Barzillai, Bathsheba, Benaiah, David, Eli, Gera, Haggith, Jehoiada, Jether, Joab, Maacah, Maachah, Ner, Shimei, Solomon, Zadok, Zeruiah
PlacesAnathoth, Bahurim, Gath, Hebron, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Kidron, Mahanaim, Shiloh
TopicsAbsalom, Ab'salom, Assisted, Barzillai, Barzil'lai, Brother, Deal, Drew, Eat, Eating, Face, Fled, Fleeing, Flight, Gilead, Gileadite, Guests, Kindness, Loyally, Loyalty, Met, Nigh, Shew, Sons, Stood, Table
Outline1. David, having given a charge to Solomon
3. of Reverence
5. of Joab
7. of Barzillai
8. of Shimei
10. Solomon succeeds
12. Adonijah, moving Bathsheba to ask unto Solomon for Abishag,
13. is put to death
26. Abiathar, having his life given him, is deprived of the priesthood
28. Joab fleeing to the horns of the altar, is there slain
35. Benaiah is put in Joab's room, and Zadfok in Abiathar's
36. Shimei, confined to Jerusalem, by occasion of going to Gath, is put to death.
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Kings 2:7
LibraryThe Horns of the Altar
WE MUST tell you the story. Solomon was to be the king after David, but his elder brother, Adonijah, was preferred by Joab, the captain of the host, and by Abiathar, the priest; and, therefore, they got together, and tried to steal a march upon dying David, and set up Adonijah. They utterly failed in this; and when Solomn came to the throne Adonijah was afraid for his life, and fled to the horns of the altar at the tabernacle for shelter. Solomn permitted him to find sanctuary there, and forgave …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 31: 1885
"He Ascended into Heaven:" Believe. "He Sitteth at the Right Hand of the Father...
Whether Curiosity Can be About Intellective Knowledge?
Whether the Angels have Bodies Naturally United to Them?
Whether the Natural Law Can be Changed?
The Whole Heart
"The King Kissed Barzillai. " 2 Sam. xix. 39
What Manner of Man Ought not to Come to Rule.
Authorship of the Pentateuch.
Fifth Sunday after Trinity Exhortation to the Fruits of Faith.
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