Daily Encouragement

June 3 – The sons dying for their father’s sins

June 3
2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
Acts 1:1-26
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 16:18

2 Samuel 20:15 – Abel of Beth-maachah is located on the present day border of Israel and Lebanon, about four miles from where the Tel Dan Stele was found. Sheba fled to the farthest northern reach of the kingdom.

2 Samuel 20:21 – While Israel was forbidden from multiplying chariots, in the geographically dangerous spot that is the cross-section of Assyria, Egypt, Philistines, and who knows who else coming between Europe, Asia, and Africa; in the agriculturally precarious position of being greatly dependent on the rainful, God did allow them to have walled cities (Leviticus 25:29, Joshua 19:35-38, 2 Chronicles 11:5-12). During the Divided Kingdom, Jezebel would be thrown down off the wall (2 Kings 9:33).

2 Samuel 21:1 – Many commentators say that this event did not directly follow the preceding chapter. Benson:

The things related here, and chap. 24., are, by the best interpreters, conceived to have been done long before Absalom’s rebellion. And this opinion is not without sufficient grounds. For, first, this particle, then, is here explained, in the days, that is, during the reign of David: which general words seem to be added as an intimation that these things were not done next after the foregoing passages, for then the sacred writer would have said, after these things, as it is in many other places. Secondly, Here are divers particulars which cannot, with probability, be ascribed to the last years of David’s reign: such as, that Saul’s sin against the Gibeonites should so long remain unpunished; that David should not remove the bones of Saul and Jonathan to their proper place till that time;

It is interesting that it took 3 years for David to recognize a supernatural cause of the famine. We see from many other places that famine was sent as a judgment (Nave’s Topical Index).

By the way – remember the Gibeonites from Joshua 9:15? This was roughly 400 years ago yet God still was allowing the consequences of a rash vow from 400 years ago cause famine.

David was hoping for a lesser sentence than that proscribed under the previous Noahic Dispensation of Government (Genesis 9:6) that demanded bloodshed, and the current Mosaic Dispensation of Law (Leviticus 24:17) that demanded bloodshed. God had previously stated that sin was punished to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7, Deuteronomy 5:9, Numbers 14:18, Leviticus 26:39). But how do we reconcile that with Deuteronomy 24:16 that says children shall not be put to death because of their fathers?John Piper says that “The sins of the fathers are punished in the children through becoming the sins of the children.” But why did God bless Israel (2 Samuel 21:14), for giving seven sons to be slain for a foolish oath taken 400 years ago? From Stand to Reason:

Now what does the history of Israel demonstrate?  It demonstrates that when God deals with Israel, He deals with them as a nation.  When the fathers, the ones in control, the adults are bad, everybody gets the punishment.

The mother who abuses her body with cocaine may give birth to a “crack baby,” who will suffer their entire life for the sin of the mother. Sons may suffer like Saul’s sons did. Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren may experience the hurt from an ancestor’s sin. The whole world is suffering from Adam’s sin. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound! (Romans 5:20).

It took seven sons to die to assuage (not propitiate) the wrath of God for the sins of one man. (Saul did not die for this sin even though he should have, he died for the witch’s sin that he took upon himself). Because these seven sons were sinners. Yet one thousand years later, one sinless Son would die to propitiate the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world!

2 Samuel 21:21 – We read about Jonathan’s  subtil brother Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:3, 2 Samuel 13:32), now we have an honorable nephew of David carrying on the family legacy of slaying giants!

Acts 1:22 – In addition to the twelve apostles, there were at least two other witnesses from the Baptism of John unto the Ascension of Christ who were constant companions. Yes indeed there are “many infallible proofs” of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Psalm 121:1-8 – The song “My Help” is based virtually word for word from this Psalm.

Proverbs 16:18 – One of the most misquoted verses of the Bible. Pride does not go before the fall… Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

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