Psalm for the week: A humble victim of a violent take-over

Greetings to all. I have been away from the blog for a short while. It turns out that I needed a break from blogging just to find time to recharge. I’m back fresh, eager, and hopefully humble.

Today, we dig straight into Psalms. The last article in this series was about King David prophesying about Jesus being the King of all the kings of the world. It was a bold prophesy that most likely upset the giant kingdoms of the day.

Now comes Chapter Three, and David is in deep problems. He has had a take-over from within. One of his children has decided to take over the throne instead of waiting for a succession plan. Absalom has moved the people of Israel to rally behind him, forcing David to run away from Jerusalem to seek refuge in the wilderness. The story is covered in the book of Chronicles. It is a moving narration.

Do not be afraid.
Do not be afraid.

But this is what Psalms records:

“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”

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Psalms‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭KJV‬‬ http://bible.com/1/psa.3.1-8.kjv

Absalom, the vindictive

Of all the characters of the Old Testament, I find Absalom a very disturbing figure. He does not have a forgiving heart, he’s very ambitious and he’s a skimmer par-excellence. His character first shows up when his half-brother forced himself on Absalom’s sister. This shameful act caused Absalom to react. He plotted an elaborate plan to avenge his sister’s shame. He effected a 2 year plan, and finally managed to kill the perpetrator.

For taking matters into his own hands, the king banished him out of the kingdom. After some years, he was brought back but never enjoyed audience with the king. The state of affairs made him a bitter man. So he planned how he would gain audience again. And it involved setting on fire the harvest of the Army General, just to get his attention, and used him to ask David to meet him.

It worked. But this did not satisfy him. He went on to plan a super grand coup de tat of all times. He hatched a 40 year plan to take over his father’s throne. Talk about focus and determination. 40 years is equal to a generation. And that’s how long he took to implement his evil plan.

In the end, it worked just as he had planned. He took over the throne, kicked the king out of his city, slept with the king’s concubines to debase the public image of David, and had the backing of the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, he missed a point or two in his plan.

David, the humble but wise

Now, enters King David in the picture. When David fled the throne, the High Priest joined him, and came along with the Ark of Covenant. This was the ultimate symbol of God’s presence, and by extension, the spiritual proof that the king was indeed God’s chosen.

But then David does the unthinkable. He asks the priest to take back the Ark to Jerusalem, right in the domain of the enemy. He wanted to see the Ark in its rightful place, rather than clinging to it to legitimize his kingship. He does not utilize the Ark, to serve his personal needs.

And David refuses to fight the young man. Yet, he plans to set his counsel to nought. So he sends into the victorious plotter’s camp, a strategist whose sole purpose was to bring down the new rulership.

By the way, along the way, those that had a gripe or two with king David took advantage of the situation to bad mouth the king. The king’s followers were not pleased with this, and one of them demanded to chop off the offender’s head. David, not surprisingly declined, and took the insults in his stride. What a man!

In the end, Absalom got defeated, killed, and David got restored. The king used the power of humility and wisdom, to get rid of his enemies, and left a big lesson for us all.

Jesus, the more humble and much wiser

Again, this is a prophesy for Jesus. His enemies planned against His downfall for much longer than 40 years. For we are told that He was crucified before the foundation of the world. Genesis introduces the anti-Christ in the Garden of Eden that would bruise His heel. And when He came to the world some 2,000 years ago, the enemies were right beside Him, doing all they could to frustrate His ministry, and in the end terminated His life.

But just like David, Jesus resolved not to fight back. In fact, He forgave those that were baying for His Holy Blood. That’s an amazing character. He died, but that was not the end of it. He rose up Immortal, and is beyond the powers of this world. He is the most powerful person as we speak.

King David, the Brave

So here comes my favourite part:

Verse 6: I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

Whoa! There’s more than meets the eye here. Ten thousands of people, is a huge crowd if they constituted the camp of the enemy. So King David was not a coward after all. He just wanted God to intervene. Those are the words of a brave warrior, who never allowed fear to dominate his life even in the darkest moment. He never lost sight of his God, and believed that he would return to Jerusalem in his former glory.

In our day to day life, often we get disturbed by what people say about us. It may be a mouth or two. It may not even be 20 individuals. But then, we allow this to ruin our day, our lives and even our relationships. David here says, even if they were more than 10,000 souls, it would mean nothing as long as God was in control. Think about it.

King Jesus, the Ultimate Warrior

The humble King who was struggling to carry His cross on the way to Golgotha had much more to offer than what the people of His day saw. He was not afraid to face death. He was not ashamed to be crucified as a sinner on our behalf. For He knew He would emerge a victor, having conquered hell and death.

Just like Absalom, the devil got hoodwinked. The external humility of these kings, masked the powerful wisdom that figured out the enemy’s plot, exploited the enemy’s pride, and both emerged victors. And behind that vulnerability, beat a heart that knew no fear.

Of all the prophesies about Christ, I find this one outstanding. And yes, there’s so much to learn from it on how we should deal with life, when caught in our weakest moments. We must turn to God, and not fight back the way the world expects.

When push comes to shove, try to use humility, wisdom and bravery, and see what God will do for you.

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