FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Revelation 1:6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The question of being fit for the kingdom is not a Bible question about being redeemed or not for one cannot be fit for the kingdom of God if one is not saved. However, just being redeemed does not make one fit for the kingdom of God or putting ones hand to the plow does not save any one. For if that were true then looking back would cause one who was saved to lose his or her salvation.
II Samuel 16:5-14 may not be one of the darkest hours of David’s life, but certainly it must be the most humiliating. By all rights David is King of Israel. He has been anointed three times. He is the man after the very heart of God according to Acts 13:22.
David has been dethroned, David has been removed from his position, and his own son Absalom has dethroned David. I just cannot imagine a greater heartache than to be betrayed by ones own son or by someone whom you have given your very life too.
I have more respect for a prostitute than a disloyal person. I have more respect for a pimp than a disloyal son, assistant pastor, staff member, or deacon. I cannot fathom David’s own son removing his father from the throne.
Absalom had stolen the hearts of the men of Israel. Ironic, for you never hear any one naming their boy Absalom. He as a good-looking longhaired boy. He was a charismatic self-centered son who never built anything and lived off of his dad’s success. His dad made him! His father gave every thing he had to him, for his dad gave him his position, his prominence, and the ear of the people.
However, this was not enough for Absalom. There is nothing wrong with receiving things from dad, but one had better do more with it than consume it and run it into the ground. Absalom had convinced himself that he deserved more than he had been given. He wanted to rule and he wanted his dad’s position. He set out to get it by guile, deception, and he did.
DAVID REFUSES TO IMPOSE HIS AUTHORITY
David refuses to lead by force so David gathers his family, his staff, faithful servants, and departs Jerusalem. David refuses to impose his authority for he knows his authority exists because of the followers and not him. He derives the right to lead from the right to follow. The day a leader decides the follower doesn’t want him should be his last day as leader. I’m not speaking of a minority of disgruntles for they will always exist. I am speaking of the majority however.
Please understand this David did not leave Jerusalem because he feared Absalom. David had dismembered bears, killed lions with his bare hands, and felled the great giant Goliath with one smooth stone. Don’t tell me you thought David feared Absalom for he did not.
Absalom has flattered the people and stolen their hearts from the king. He would say to the people at the gate, or head quarters of the government, “My father is too busy. Now, if I were king!”
The one who truly loves you is not the one who gives you what you want, but what you need knowing it may cost him your affection toward him. It is discipline not favoritism that is the maximum love given. You receive very little help when you get what you want instead of getting what you need. As a pastor I would rather hurt the members’ feelings than harm their future. One will get over hurt feelings, but you will never get over the harm done to ones future.
Israel chose Absalom to rule over them because he promised that which he could not possibly produce. (Sounds like Obama) The carnal man will always choose what he wants and what feels good. The devil’s plan is to offer you what you have always wanted and rebellion is the only door to getting what you want.
DAVID LEAVES JERUSALEM
Thus, David leaves Jerusalem and goes to Bahurim as a dethroned king, an exiled king, a rejected king, and a dejected king, but still a king nevertheless. By the way in his heart and God’s heart he was still a king. A just man may be down, but he is never out because he will always end up on his feet.
All of a sudden there appears a descendant of David. Shimei is his name. Shimei begins to curse David. He throws dust and dirt at David. He throws stones at David. Dust in Bible times was a picture of shame and scoffing. The throwing of stones was not to kill David, but a Middle East custom of showing disgust and provocation much like what you see on TV today in the Middle East with Arabs throwing stones at army tanks. They know they can’t hurt the tanks, but it is an act of disgust and provocation.
Shimei a bitter man accuses David of stealing the throne from Saul who was a bitter enemy of David and an old nemesis. He tells David that losing the throne is exactly what David deserves.
Then Abishai comes on the scene. I like Abishai. He is a loyal, loyal, loyal man. He is a man’s man! II Samuel 16:9, “Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the King? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.” By the way this is the spirit every loyal man ought to have.
Please take note of David’s response concerning Shimei his accuser. David said Shimei’s not worth my attention. Sometimes the best answer is no answer. Silence may be the best sound to make. David rebukes Abishai his defender and ignores his critic. David defends the one who is insulting him and challenging him, and saves the life of the one who is cursing and stoning him. David rebukes the one who wants to silence his critic. Sometimes a leader has too much true grit and not enough true grace.
This is one of the reasons God called David a man after his own heart. In Isaiah 53:7 it is just like how Jesus responds to his accusers for “He opened not his mouth.” A Christian is more Christ like sometimes when his mouth is shut.
II Thessalonians 4:4, “Study to be quiet.”
A man appears more masculine when he shuts his mouth and a lady is never more lady like than when she’s quiet. There is no law that says you have to express your opinion. The truth is you do not say what you think you say without thinking, because if you would have thought about what you were going to say you probably would not have said it. Most have diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain.
David did not address Shimei, he did not allow Abishai to retaliate against Shimei, neither did David retaliate against Shimei, nor did David allow Abishai to silence Shimei.
DAVID IS A DISPLACED KING, BUT STILL A KING
David is a displaced king, but a king nevertheless. In II Samuel 16:10-11 David is saying leave Shimei along. David is saying this is a minor irritation. My own son has broken my heart for I gave him life, I fed him, I clothed him, I loved him, and he has chosen to betray me and this relative of my mortal enemy, Saul, is nothing to me.
David is saying I have more important matters to attend to than this and I do not have time to get side tracked with this Benjamite and what he has to say to me. David is saying to Abishai let me focus on the real problem; let me focus on the kingdom, and on that which really matters.
ARE YOU FIT TO BE A KING WITH A KINGDOM?
My question is, are you dear leader fit for the kingdom? Are you allowing the little things side track you and make you unfit to be king of your kingdom? We are so obsessed with our little inconveniences of life that we do not pay attention to real life issues of our kingdom.
Do not become an Abishai or allow an Abishai seek revenge. Do not let your whole life be defined the wrong others have done to you. They will sleep at night while you toss and turn. Never let your life be defined by your enemies, or controlled by your enemies, or let your mind be distracted by your enemies, or allow your love of life to be destroyed by your enemies.
His own son dethrones David, but David knows he will return. David knows this is a small setback. Some men endured things that caused us to admire them and then watched them fall under the weight of a straw of something small or something insignificant. David refuses to let a response to Shimei disqualify him from returning to his throne. Do not think David could not have taken his head off.
GOD HAS MADE A THRONE FOR US TO INHABIT
God has made us kings and priests, a throne to inhabit, a scepter to hold, a royal crown, and a royal robe. Do not let a little conflict keep you from God’s blessings. Jesus is the King of kings. If we will stay focused Jesus will use us in our kingdom as a king.
The insignificant becomes significant to some. Some allow little petty things to get under their skin. Comments from someone who doesn’t really matter to the whole scheme of things can become a stumbling block. Refuse to let them cause you to be dethroned.
What a thousand Philistines could not do to Samson, Delilah did with a smile and a razor. The blessings of God are more important to me than the opinion of someone who doesn’t like me, maybe do not even know me, never heard me preach, never visited the church I pastored or some rebellious carnal Christian who has visited. 99 % of the people who criticized Dr. Jack Hyles never attended the church he pastored.
Do not become sidetracked by the Shimei's in your life or even the Absalom's whose life's goal is to take you down. Only God can do that. Stay focused on God's will for your life and stay diligent in the service to your LORD. Become fit and stay fit!
· You are meant to rule
· You have a kingdom
· You will have set backs
· You are still a king in those times of set backs
· You must not let insignificant or significant enemies sidetrack you
· You must do right even when done wrong
· Never give up on your kingdom