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David Returns to Jerusalem

Scripture Passage: 
2 Samuel 19:1-43

INTRODUCTION: Who’s in charge? Is it Absalom? No, he died hanging from the oak tree. Is it Joab who prompts David to action? No, he is to be replaced by Amasa (2 Samuel 19:13)…maybe. Is it Abishai who desires the death of Shimei? No, Shimei is to be pardoned…for the time being. Is it David? The tribes of Israel hesitate (2 Samuel 19:9-10). Then, David prompts his own tribe of Judah to action (2 Samuel 19:11). David is indeed to be king (2 Samuel 19:22): “for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?” David is in charge. As such, it is a day of forgiveness and mercy (Shimei and Mephibosheth). It is a day of grace and blessing (Barzillai and Chimham). Truly David can say, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-2) as he prepares to ascend from the valley of the Jordan up through the hills of Judah to the gates of Jerusalem.

  1. VICTORY ALMOST BECOMES DEFEAT (2 Samuel 19:1-8)
    1. The People React to David’s Sorrow (2 Samuel 19:1-4).
      1. King David grieves for his son (2 Samuel 19:1).
      2. A day of victory becomes a day of mourning (2 Samuel 19:2-3).
        1. The people hear of the king’s grief (2 Samuel 19:2).
        2. The people steal away into the city (2 Samuel 19:3).
      3. David continues in his grief (2 Samuel 19:4; see 2 Samuel 15:30).
    2. Joab Provokes David to Lead (2 Samuel 19:5-8).
      1. David shamed the faces of the servants who saved his life (2 Samuel 19:5).
      2. David has shown love for his enemies and hatred for his friends (2 Samuel 19:6) in that he has chosen his enemies over his friends (compare Genesis 29:30-31 where loving Rachel more than Leah is equated with hating Leah; also Luke 14:26 with Matthew 10:37; Romans 9:13).
      3. David must speak comfortably unto his servants (2 Samuel 19:7).
      4. David arises and sits in the gate (2 Samuel 19:8).
  2. DAVID IS RECALLED AS KING (2 Samuel 19:9-15)
    1. Israel Struggles Over whether to Restore David (2 Samuel 19:9-10).
      1. David gave us past deliverances, but ran from Absalom (2 Samuel 19:9).
      2. Absalom is dead, should we not bring him back (2 Samuel 19:10)?
    2. David Convinces Judah to Take the Lead (2 Samuel 19:11-15).
      1. David scolds Judah for their hesitation to restore him (2 Samuel 19:11).
      2. David reminds them of their family ties (2 Samuel 19:12).
      3. David promises to promote Amasa, Absalom’s captain, to Joab’s position (2 Samuel 19:13).
      4. David “bowed the heart of all the men of Judah” (2 Samuel 19:14).
      5. The men of Judah come to the Jordan River to meet the returning king and welcome him back (2 Samuel 19:15).
  3. SHIMEI RECEIVES MERCY FROM DAVID (2 Samuel 19:16-23)
    1. Shimei Meets the King at the River (2 Samuel 19:16-17).
      1. He comes down with the men of Judah (2 Samuel 19:16).
      2. He comes with a thousand men of Benjamin (2 Samuel 19:17).
      3. He comes with Ziba and his household (2 Samuel 19:17).
    2. Shimei Asks for Mercy from David (2 Samuel 19:18-20).
      1. A ferry boat carries the king’s household (2 Samuel 19:18) –“to do what he thought good.”
        1. As David returns to Jerusalem, three special men speak to him: Shimei, Mephibosheth, and Barzillai.
        2. Each one asks him to do what he deems good (2 Samuel 19:18, 27, 37).
      2. Shimei falls down before the king (2 Samuel 19:18).
      3. Shimei confesses his sin and pleads for mercy (2 Samuel 19:19-20; 2 Samuel 16:5-8).
    3. David Offers Mercy to Shimei (2 Samuel 19:21-23).
      1. Abishai desires to kill Shimei (2 Samuel 19:21; 2 Samuel 16:9).
      2. David refuses to put any to death on the day of his return to the throne (2 Samuel 19:22).
      3. David swears to not kill Shimei (2 Samuel 19:23).
  4. MEPHIBOSHETH IS RESTORED TO HALF HIS LAND (2 Samuel 19:24-30)
    1. Mephibosheth Comes to Meet the King (2 Samuel 19:24).
      1. His feet are not dressed.
      2. His beard is not trimmed.
      3. His clothes are not washed.
      4. He has not done these things since David left Jerusalem.
    2. Mephibosheth Accuses Ziba of Treachery (2 Samuel 19:25-28).
      1. David asks why Mephibosheth had not gone with him (2 Samuel 19:25).
      2. Mephibosheth reminds David that he could not walk (2 Samuel 19:26).
      3. Mephibosheth accuses Ziba of slander in blaming him (2 Samuel 19:27).
      4. Mephibosheth places himself at the mercy of the king (2 Samuel 19:28).
    3. David Divides the Land between the Two (2 Samuel 19:29-30).
      1. Mephibosheth readily accepts the judgment of David (2 Samuel 19:29-30).
        1. Ziba and Mephibosheth are to divide the land (2 Samuel 19:29).
        2. Mephibosheth would forfeit all just to have David return in peace (2 Samuel 19:30).
      2. The mounting conflict
        1. Who is lying? Though we do not know for certain, it is likely Ziba.
          1. He shows up with Shimei (a bad connection) and does not approach the king (2 Samuel 19:17).
          2. Mephibosheth’s spirit seems pure. He shows humility (2 Samuel 19:28) and clear acceptance of David’s judgment (2 Samuel 19:30).
        2. Why does David divide the land?
          1. He has already promised the land to Ziba (2 Samuel 16:4).
          2. Ziba has served the king well in the past (2 Samuel 9:9-11).
          3. This is a day of mercy, not of judgment (2 Samuel 19:22-23).
  5. BARZILLAI SENDS CHIMHAM TO THE PALACE (2 Samuel 19:31-39)
    1. Barzillai Conducts the King over Jordan (2 Samuel 19:31-32).
      1. He comes down with David to take him over the Jordan (2 Samuel 19:31).
      2. He is described (2 Samuel 19:32).
        1. He is eighty years old.
        2. He provided sustenance for the king.
        3. He was a very great man: in means, in importance, in integrity.
    2. Barzillai Refuses to Go with David to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 19:33-36).
      1. David offers Barzillai a place in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 19:33).
      2. Barzillai excuses himself because of his infirmity (2 Samuel 19:34-36).
        1. He cannot have long to live (2 Samuel 19:34).
        2. He cannot discern good and evil (2 Samuel 19:35); sometimes, evil refers to that which is bad; not that which is sinful. In this context, that is certainly the meaning. His senses are so weak that he cannot make the judgments that he used to make.
        3. He cannot taste what he eats or drinks (2 Samuel 19:35).
        4. He cannot hear the voice of singing (2 Samuel 19:35).
        5. He would be a burden to the king (2 Samuel 19:35).
        6. There is no need for such a reward (2 Samuel 19:36).
    3. Barzillai Requests the Favor for Chimham (2 Samuel 19:37-39).
      1. Barzillai desires to return so he can die in his own city (2 Samuel 19:37).
      2. He would like David to take Chimham to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 19:37).
      3. NOTE: Chimham is certainly one of the sons of Barzillai. We know this because of David’s instructions to Solomon (1 Kings 2:7).
      4. David agrees to take Chimham and do with him whatever pleases Barzillai (2 Samuel 19:38).
      5. Barzillai receives the king’s blessing and returns to his own place (2 Samuel 19:39).
      6. Later blessings:
        1. One of the daughters of Barzillai marries a priest and begins a family of priests known as the children of Barzillai (Ezra 2:61).
        2. Chimham is only mentioned one more time in the Bible. At the time of the Babylonian captivity, Jeremiah mentions “the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem” (Jeremiah 41:17). This means that Chimham received an inheritance in Bethlehem. Why Bethlehem? This was David’s hometown. David promised to bless Chimham for the sake of Barzillai. It is likely that he gave Chimham a portion of his own inheritance. In this regard, Chimham became an heir to David.
  6. JUDAH AND ISRAEL ARGUE OVER PROCEDURE (2 Samuel 19:40-43)
    1. David Is Taken Up to Gilgal (2 Samuel 19:40).
      1. By all the people of Judah
      2. By half the people of Israel
    2. Israel and Judah Fight over the Privilege (2 Samuel 19:41-43).
      1. Their first complaint (2 Samuel 19:41-42)
        1. Judah has stolen away with the king (2 Samuel 19:41).
        2. Judah replies that they are near of kin (2 Samuel 19:42).
      2. Their second complaint (2 Samuel 19:43)
        1. We have ten parts to your one.
        2. Judah initially spurns their advice.
        3. But the words of Judah are fiercer.

CONCLUSION: This passage deals with three responses to the return of the king. One feared his return and the following judgment. One desired his return and wanted to make things right with him. The third was already with the king. So, too, our King will soon return. What will your response be to His return?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:3

When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.