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King of Israel - Shepherd and Leader
The Bible mentions more about David than any other man except for our Savior Yahshua and Moses. We always think of David as being very lovable and practically perfect. Yet, the Bible holds only Joseph and Daniel to be without real fault.
   Even though Scripture reveals David's many shortcomings, his redeeming virtue is his immediate readiness to unashamedly admit his error. Whenever he is shown that he made a mistake and sinned, he freely admits his shortcoming and seeks forgiveness.
   Many of us have been taught that with the exception of a few gross sins, such as his shameful affair with Bathsheba, which for the rest of his life tarnished his image, David is to be considered a virtuous man who was always fully obedient to Yahweh. Yet, David was human and made some major mistakes.
   David was skilled on the harp and wrote the Psalms in which he captures the exact mood and expression of man's spiritual desire to serve Yahweh. His Psalms win our admiration.
   David's greatest virtue was when confronted with his error, he openly and unhesitatingly admitted his fault:
   "I have sinned against Yahweh!" blurted David to Nathan the prophet when confronted with his sin with Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 12:13.
   From David we hear no excuses, no attempts to justify his actions, no attempts to blame others, no argument, no attacks upon his accuser. Only a simple, "I have sinned!"
David's Alter Ego
But there is another side to David that is generally missed by most Bible readers. Errors in judgment and clear examples of strong-willed determination in direct opposition to Yahweh are also a part of David's life.
   He did not always follow Yahweh's wishes, but took it upon himself to do things his own way. Obviously, Yahweh allowed him to have his way even though He did not necessarily approve.
   David's carnal actions reflect mankind's desire to be in the right. David is determined to do things his way, heedless of any caution by others and in defiance of Yahweh. At times Yahweh seemingly tolerates some things.
   For example, it was Yahweh's plan that He would rule Israel through the priesthood. Israel was not to have their own king.
   However, He knew that eventually this desire to follow their pagan neighbors would surface:
   When thou art come unto the land which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother, Deuteronomy 17:14-15.
   Sure enough, Israel soon rejected Yahweh and made Saul king.
   The most glaring of King David's mistakes was his affair with Bathsheba. David already had six wives who had given him six sons, which he had brought from Hebron:
   Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron. And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul, 2 Sam 3:1-6.
   Yet, David seemed tantalized by Uriah's wife.
   This dark episode with Bathsheba and David's evil attempts to cover his sin are tragic, for David was but a weak shadow of his former self after this episode. His sons turned out to be an embarrassment, as Yahweh predicted. David lost much of his integrity and his character was obviously tarnished.
   As we follow the events in the life of King David, we note that Yahweh still loves him in spite of his arrogant blunders. But the penalty he had to pay remains.
   Bathsheba's baby died in spite of David's petitions that it might live. King David now seems subdued and reluctant to react as in former times, especially when the chastisement of his family is necessary, as we shall see.
David's Temple Blunder
King David apparently was obsessed with the idea that he should build a permanent dwelling place for Yahweh. This passion can be seen as he continues to collect the brass, silver, and gold that he later designates as being for the temple. As King David sits in his panelled house, he considers the Ark of the Covenant resting in a "house of curtains." The Ark had been properly carried by the Levites from the house of Obededom after its return from the Philistines and placed in the tent that David had prepared
for it.
   And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of Yahweh, and pitched for it a tent, 1 Chron. 15:1.
   So they brought the ark of Yahweh, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before Yahweh, 1 Chron. 16:1.
   David reveals to Nathan his plan to build a permanent dwelling place for Yahweh.
   David has been successful in his wars and rule of Israel, and Nathan reassures him to go ahead, for Yahweh is certainly with him.
   And it came to pass that night, that the word of Yahweh came unto Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus saith Yahweh, shalt thou build Me an house for Me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not Me an house of cedar? Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: and I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, and as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also Yahweh telleth thee that He will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy Seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for My name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever, 2 Sam. 7:4-13.
   This same story is repeated for us in 1 Chron. 17:3-14.
   Later, Nathan must reverse himself and commands David not to build Yahweh a house. Rather, Yahweh will build David a house.
   This we are to understand is a promise of a family dynasty that Yahweh will bring about through David's progeny. After David dies, one of his Seed will build a house (more correctly a temple) for Yahweh to reside in.
   This obviously is speaking of the coming Messiah, Who will be from the lineage of David and ho will build a spiritual house.
   David has firmly fixed in his mind that a physical building, a temple, will be built by his son Solomon. He therefore makes preparation for Solomon to build that house. Notice in 1 Chronicles 17:4, however, that Yahweh specifically says, "You shall not build Me an house to dwell in!" This is surely an imperative, comparable to "You shall not kill; You shall not steal..."
   Yahweh did not want a permanent house for Himself. He reminds David that He has never dwelt in a permanent house, but was in a movable tabernacle or tent ever since He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt,
   For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built Me an house of cedars? (1 Chron. 17:5-6)
   Yahweh obviously foresaw the future destruction of that Temple in 70 C.E. He also knew of the coming captivity of the Israelites, and of the Jews shortly thereafter, leaving Judea trodden down by the gentiles for nearly 2,000 years.
The Temple Is Spiritual
Stephen recounted that Solomon did indeed build the temple for Yahweh in Acts 7:48-50,
   Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool: what house will ye build Me? saith Yahweh: or what is the place of My rest? Hath not My hand made all these things?
   In the account he reviews the history of Israel and reminds us that Yahweh does not reside in man-made houses.
   A building is not holy because it is called a "church" or because the people of the Book meet there. Yahweh does not dwell in a permanent building, but through His Spirit He lives in the human heart.
   A building is only holy when Yahweh's people are assembled therein. When they depart, Yahweh's Spirit goes with His people and indwells them.
   Paul wrote the brethren at Corinth,
   Know you not that you are the Temple of Yahweh and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 6:19.)
   Paul reveals in 2 Corinthians 6:16 that believers together are a collective temple for Yahweh.
   And what agreement hath the temple of Yahweh with idols? for ye are the temple of the living Yahweh; as Yahweh hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
   In Ephesians 2:19-22, Paul maintains that believers are built upon Yahshua the Messiah the chief cornerstone and grow in a holy Temple as a habitation for Yahweh through His Spirit:
   Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of Yahweh; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua Messiah Himself being the chief corner stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in Yahweh: in Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Yahweh through the Spirit.
   Yahshua Himself told the woman at the well that the time was at hand when the Father would not be worshiped in Mount Gerizim, neither in Jerusalem.
   He continued in John 4:23-24,
   But the hour comes and now is when true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. Yahweh is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
   The New Testament is clear that True Worship is from the heart of the individual. "The Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him," we are told in Acts 5:32. It is the heart of the individual that Yahweh wants to see correctly constructed, not magnificent buildings with spires and steeples and stained-glass windows.
   He does not want fancy brick and stone buildings with polished marble columns and ankle-deep carpeting. Neither does He desire animal sacrifices. Yahweh seeks an obedient and contrite heart with- in the human family.
   The Greater Son, who was to build the house for Yahweh, is Yahshua the Messiah. He is the One who is building His Assembly today. The "Ekklesia," the "Called-out ones," is the group that is being prepared to rule and reign with the Messiah. The Temple is a spiritual building made up of converted humans, the saints.
Against Yahweh's Wishes
David apparently did not fully grasp the spiritual basis upon which Yahweh made the promise.
   This truth was not fully understood even by the religious leaders in Yahshua's time. Yahshua had said, "Destroy this `Temple' and in three days I will raise it up," John 2:19. The Jews responded that the Temple (of Herod) had been under construction 46 years. But Yahshua spoke of the Temple of His body, verses 20-21,
   Then said the Jews, forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spake of the temple of His body.
   David understood that his son Solomon was the one who would build the permanent temple in Jerusalem for Israel's worship. He was obsessed with building Yahweh a Temple that would be a grand representation and a memorial to David here on earth.
   He took the direct rebuke of Yahweh, "You shall not build Me an house to dwell in" (1 Chron. 17:4), and added words of his own. Notice what David says, "But the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, `You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars; you shall not build a house unto My name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in My sight,' " 1 Chronicles 22:8.
   Although David alleges that Yahweh gave him this message, nowhere can it be found as a statement from Yahweh! Usually Nathan or Gad came to David and gave the messages from Yahweh.
   Nowhere in 2 Samuel 7 nor in 1 Chronicles 17 do we find any statement coming from Yahweh saying that David's bloodletting in war precluded him from building the temple.
   David turned the actual construction of the temple over to his son, Solomon. And at the same time proceeded to accumulate much iron, brass, cedar, and other materials for the construction of the magnificent temple that Yahweh said He didn't want!
The “Solomon” Mistake
Another error in David's thinking appears in 1 Chronicles 22:9, where he supposedly quotes the exact words of Yahweh:
   Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon [Hebrew, "rest, peace, peaceable"], and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
   Notice that David had in his mind that his son was to be called Solomon. That is false. Yahweh had another name for Solomon. Yahweh told Nathan that David's son was to be called Jedidiah!
   And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and Yahweh loved him. And He [Yahweh] sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and He called his name Jedidiah [Hebrew, "beloved of Yah"] because of Yahweh, 2 Samuel 12:24-25.
   The Hebrew Tanakh reads, "And he was named Jedidiah at the instance of [Yahweh]."
   David had the audacity to say in 1 Chronicles 22:9, "...for his name shall be Solomon!"
   David had been so blessed of Yahweh in gaining victory after victory over his enemies, that apparently he thought he could do no wrong, that whatever he did was blessed of Yahweh.
   He even attributed words to Yahweh which are nowhere found in the Bible, and some are in direct opposition to the very words of Yahweh.
Collecting Horses, Wives
King David certainly was aware of the special warnings given to kings in Deuteronomy 17:16-20:
   But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as Yahweh hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his Elohim, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
   Verse 16 warns the king not to multiply horses unto himself. Apparently, this was because horses were employed primarily for war and not agriculture.
   Israel's kings were to depend upon Yahweh for their victories and not put their trust in fleshly strength and the might of the creature,
   Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of Yahweh our Elohim, Psalm 20:7.
   In 1 Chronicles 18:4, King David hamstrung the enemy's horses, but reserved 100 for himself for the chariots he had captured:
   And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.
   Although a hundred horses may not be as many as Solomon's thousands of horses, accumulating them against Yahweh's instructions shows that David was influenced to rely on the strength of horses in warfare instead of on Yahweh.
   Deuteronomy 17:17 warns the king not to multiply wives to himself lest his heart be led away from Yahweh:
   Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
   We learn in 2 Samuel 3:1-5 that David had six children born to him in Hebron, one from each of his six wives.
   Samuel tells of David's taking more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem after he came from Hebron! In Jerusalem David sees the wife of Uriah the Hittite bathing and lusts after her, sends for her to come to his palace, and ends up in an adulterous affair.
   Adultery is obviously more heinous than lesser sins, for David himself said, "I have sinned against Yahweh," 2 Samuel 11:13. Joseph, when Potiphar's wife attempted to seduce him, said, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against Elohim?" (Genesis 39:9)
   The punishment for breaking the Seventh Commandment is also more severe, apparently because one has defiled his physical body, which is the very temple of Yahweh, 1 Corinthians 3:16.
   David was headstrong and once he decided upon a thing, he ignored any outside cautionary advice.
   In 1 Chronicles 21:1 David was provoked by Satan to number Israel. Joab resisted that order and questioned David's decision. The king's word prevailed, however, and Joab told David there were one and a half million soldiers. Joab had omitted Benjamin and Levi, the priests, for the order was "abominable to Joab," 1 Chronicles 21:4-6.
   Apparently Joab was quite aware of the proscription found in Exodus 30:12-16, which said that when Israel was numbered, a half shekel was to be paid as a ransom price to forestall a plague from befalling them. Yet, David insisted upon taking the census anyway.
   And Yahweh was displeased with this thing; therefore He smote Israel, 1 Chron 21:7.
   Notice that as soon as Yahweh smote Israel, David confessed,
   And David said unto Yahweh, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech Thee, do away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly, 1 Chron 21:8.
   Because he did something contrary to Yahweh’s will, Yahweh sent Gad to David to tell him,
   Yahweh said to Gad, David’s seer, “Go and tell David, ‘This is what Yahweh says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for Me to carry out against you.’” So Gad went to David and said to him, “This is what Yahweh says: ‘Take your choice: three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of Yahweh- days of plague in the land, with the angel of Yahweh ravaging every part of Israel.’ Now then, decide how I should answer the One Who sent me,” 1 Chron 21:9-12 NIV.
   From the choices given, David picks three days of destruction by Yahweh's angel in which 70,000 Israelites fall.
Just as the Angel of Yahweh was about to destroy Jerusalem, King David again admits that he was the one who sinned, and asks that the hand of Yahweh be upon him, and not the people, l Chronicles 21:15-17. David is then commanded to build an altar on the threshingfloor of Oman the Jebusite, verse 18, which he does.

Temple Trouble
In the back of David's mind remains the desire to build a temple for Yahweh (which Yahweh doesn't want). When he sees the threshing floor he is inspired to make it the location for the Temple. He goes ahead and buys it from Oman.
   In chapter 22:1, David boldly states,
   This is the House of Yahweh Elohim, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.
   It makes no difference that Yahweh told David that he should not build a Temple for Him. David is determined that a Temple will be built.
   In l Chronicles 22:2, David commands that the foreigners in the land be gathered together to work on the House he has planned. But were not the Israelites to drive out the seven nations of Canaan and utterly rid the land of these foreigners lest they remain and defile Israel?
   When Yahweh thy Elohim shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when Yahweh thy Elohim shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve other idols: so will the anger of Yahweh be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire, Deut 7:1-5.
   There were not even to be any foreigners in the land!
   Now, David accepts the fact that foreigners were in the land and even has them engaged in the building of the very Temple!
   Note this: when the Tabernacle of Yahweh was built in Exodus (31:1-6), we discover that it was constructed by Israelites who were moved by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh to do the specific work. But here David takes the foreigners, the slaves and the gentiles, and puts them to work building Yahweh's House!
   The errors of false worship began when Israel allowed the heathen to get involved either directly or through influence.
   When Ezra came back from the Babylonian captivity, Zerubbabel saw to it that the construction of the Temple was done by Israelites, especially the Levites,
   Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all hey that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of Yahweh, Ezra 3:8.
   Neither did Nehemiah allow Sanballat to help build or interfere with their building of the wall around Jerusalem, Nehemiah 6:1-5.

True Temple of Israelites
The lesson is clear. The true Temple of Yahweh is the Assembly of the called-out ones. They are the ones who have been given of Yahweh's Spirit to do His work.
   The construction of His Temple continues even now and is done by those who have been called for this task. Peter reveals that Yahshua is the chief cornerstone, rejected by the men of the world, but chosen of Yahweh and precious,
   To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of Yahweh, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Yahweh by Yahshua Messiah. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed, 1 Peter 2:4-8.
   We as living stones are being built a spiritual house, and an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Yahweh.
   Notice that we are not referred to as bricks which are all the same shape, same size, same color. But we are referred to as stones, each a different color, different shape, different size, different density, different texture. Yet, we are all being fitted for that great Temple that Yahshua is building with His saints for the habitation of Yahweh.
   The shaping, fitting, grinding, polishing and selection of these living stones continues even today. Yahweh has also chosen leaders who are through the guidance and power of His Spirit to perfect the saints, through His work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah,
   And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Messiah, Ephesians 4:11-13.
   The work of the selecting and the shaping of the stones continues until the whole body, fitly joined together, grows into that holy Temple which will expand until it becomes a city,
   Behold, the tabernacle of Yahweh is with men and He shall tabernacle with them, and they shall be His peoples and Yahweh Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim, Revelation 21:3 TSS.
   With the above observation in mind, that the tabernacle built by Moses is really a physical representation of the spiritual assembly that Yahshua is now building with humans like you and me, we must look at David's activities. Notice in l Chronicles 22:2 that he commanded foreigners, strangers, to shape the stones that were to be used in the House he was building for Yahweh:
   And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of Yahweh.
Stones Not to Be Shaped
In Exodus 20:25 Israel was strictly forbidden to shape and chisel stones to make an altar for worship!
   And if thou wilt make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
   But David is having worldly men—unconverted, non-Israelites—working and shaping stones for Yahweh's house. It represents a human approach to Him.
   This happens today when churchianity selects for leaders and ministers those with charisma and good speaking voices; ones who have engaging personalities, who can quote selected Scriptures; ones who have singing voices, or are musically inclined. These are the shaped and polished attributes the world looks for.
   Yahweh, however, looks on the heart. A deep abiding faith in His Word, and ready obedience to His law are among HIS requirements.
   He can give His people the needed abilities to preach and teach His word just as he strengthened Moses, Amos, Paul, and a host of others.
   Seeking men with charisma, a good appearance and great speaking ability is not the primary consideration with Yahweh.
   The shaping and chiseling of stones done by worldly men simply makes these stones fit man's ideas and ways. It may not be what Yahweh wants at all. Just as the unconverted men shaped and polished stones to fit the plan of David's temple, so the men of the world want to groom certain men to fit their ideas of a religious leader.
   It is Yahweh Who chips off the rough corners of His people so that they fit into the mold He wants them to fill.
   Using men of the world may give the house of Yahweh the attraction and approval of the world, but Yahweh's ways are higher than man's ways. He looks on the inner man of the heart as He chooses whom it is He calls to be a part of His dwelling place. Therefore, Yahweh did not allow man to chip and shape stones for His altar of worship.
   (Yahweh did indeed inspire Israelites to engrave stones, Ex. 28, but these were for the priest on which to carry the names of the twelve tribes of Israel in the holy garments.)
David Pays Terrible Price
David told Nathan that a man who had done what he, himself, had done should die. But David was allowed to live and also continue as king of Israel because of his remorse and repentance. Yet, David had to pay a terrible price for his sins.
   The punishment of David revolves around his family, 2 Samuel 12:9-12. The firstborn son from Bathsheba died despite David's fasting and mourning. David's eldest son, Amnon of Ahinoam, raped David's daughter Tamar, sister of Absalom. His act violated Leviticus 18:9-11.
   When King David learned of this shameful behavior, he was upset, 2 Samuel 13:21, but did NOTHING. Significantly, the Septuagint adds, "But he did not vex the spirit of Amnon his son, because he loved him, because he was his firstborn."
   David did not punish Amnon for his sexual misconduct. But, then, how could he chastise his son when he himself was guilty of a more vile act, even committing murder! Such is the result of our sins as well. They render us spiritually weak.
   This incident that went unpunished is what infuriated Absalom, who two years later got Amnon drunk at his party and had him killed.
   After two years Joab affects a reconciliation between David and Absalom, 2 Samuel 14:33.
   There is no record of censure by King David for Absalom's killing of his brother. But then, how could
David punish his son when his own sin with Bathsheba led to taking a man's life?
   Absalom then set upon a program to steal the hearts of the people that he might usurp the throne of his father David and become king. He openly goes unto the top of the house unto the concubines of his father David in the sight of all Israel, 2 Samuel 16:21-22.
   Absalom then openly makes war with David his father who flees with Absalom in pursuit. David greatly loves his son Absalom in spite of the grief brought upon the family, and mourns the death of his son, 2 Samuel 18:33.
   There is no record that David ever did reprimand Absalom for killing his brother Amnon.
   In the closing years of his life, seventy-year-old David finds his fourth son Adoniyah plotting to make himself king. Being warned by Nathan and Bathsheba, David hurriedly has Solomon crowned king, I Kings 1:39-48. He charges Solomon with the task of erecting the permanent Temple at Jerusalem.
David's Redeeming Virtue
King David never rebuked his son Adoniyah who planned to steal the throne.
   Sadly, David did not take any action against the wicked behavior of his own sons who plotted against him. His character, now flawed by his sin with Bathsheba, renders him unable to bring himself to mete out strict discipline. He is the victim of his own sins through his offspring, just as Nathan had prophesied,
   Thus saith Yahweh, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun, 2 Samuel 12:11.
   David's own family was a source of trouble and concern for the remainder of his life. His redeeming virtue is that he always admitted his sin and turned to Yahweh in remorse.
   David did not blame others for his shortcomings, and in turn did not accuse those calling attention to his sin. Neither did he try to assassinate the character of his accusers as seems to be a general practice today.
   Perhaps that is why Yahweh said that David was a man after His own heart in Acts 13:22:
   And when He had removed him, He raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also He gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart, which shall fulfil all My will.
   The life of David is an account of a man who has shining attributes, but of a man who is very human and lapses into error just as does all mankind.
   His love for Yahweh prevails through all his adversity. He quickly turns to Yahweh when made aware of his mistakes.
   Undoubtedly the trials of his life prepared him to write the beautiful Psalms of encouragement which glorify Yahweh. We are commanded to sing and read the Psalms so that we might better joyfully praise our Heavenly Father and give thanks for His wonderful Son.
   Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to Yahweh, Eph 5:19.
   Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to Yahweh, Col 3:16.
   His Psalms of praise give us a beautiful example to follow as we struggle to avoid falling by the wayside and learn from both David's good and bad examples.
-Elder Donald R. Mansager

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