Second Samuel 23 Commentary
After the events of chapter 11, it is difficult to think of David in the lines that begin chapter 23. We can see that the author has completely ignored the many difficult moments experienced by the sinful David. Definitely, the killing of Uriah isn’t an example of ruling over the people in righteousness and in the fear of God. Well, that is exactly the point.
David’s many shortcomings have been ignored. Yes. Ignored. Ignored by the LORD who has exalted him. Reason? Repentance. David had the humility to turn to the LORD each time he sinned. Here is an example of what the LORD means when he talks of wiping someone’s record clean. Genuine repentance does that. Therefore, above everything else, this chapter is highlighting the generosity of the LORD.
These pages and our own view of David over the previous several chapters may not exactly have the balance that the Book of Psalms gives us. David knew the importance of genuine repentance. For similar offenses against the LORD, many people will end up in hell. Sad. It shouldn’t end this way, especially when the option to return to the LORD remains wide open.
We can see something else here. The list of David’s mighty warriors is yet another celebration of God’s faithfulness. Be strong, be courageous; The LORD had told Joshua. And true to the word of the LORD, the courage of these mighty men achieved for Israel victories at critical moments in the history of the nation.
The example of Shammah exemplifies the happenings here. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. Verses 11 and 12.
The saint can learn something from here. The Philistines weren’t aimless in their aggression. The purpose was to drive Israel out of the blessing of the harvest. In this way, Israel would starve, not because the LORD didn’t provide the harvest but because the enemy showed up. Take note of the timing. The enemy doesn’t show up until the LORD has blessed you. In Christian warfare, the LORD has simple instructions to the saint: Be courageous; be strong; defend the harvest. Then the LORD will bring about a great victory.
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