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The Charge Of God

By Elie Nessim, November 6, 1999 Printer Friendly Version



Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: "I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the LORD may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,' He said, 'you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.' Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed. And he shed the blood of war in peacetime, and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet. Therefore do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother. "And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD, saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.' Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.
Psalm 27 verse 14 says "Wait on the LORD, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD." In 1 Corintians 15:58, we are told to be, "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the LORD." In our text David tells his son Solomon "to keep the charge of the LORD his GOD." That is the same charge that GOD gave to Joshua. But, more particularly, David is referring to that charge he gave Solomon in public, as recorded in 1st Chronicles 28:9: "As for you, my son Solomon, know the GOD of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever." That was the charge that he is speaking about. And how are we to determine the full nature of this change, or similarly, where are we going to have this charge enlarged upon? He says to keep 'His statutes; His commandments; His just judgments, and His testimonies as it is written in the Law of Moses.' In other words, the Law of Moses is a code for holy living. And we ignore it to our peril.

There are lots of people who get confused on this point, and who think that now that GOD has made a New Covenant with us through the Messiah, that the Law no longer applies to the Believer. That is a total fallacy! And people who believe like that are going to get into trouble. Let's hope that at the very lowest, they are being inconsistent, and that they are really obeying the Law, even though they say they are not. Because in the Second Covenant, GOD says, "I will take My Laws and write them in their hearts and in their minds." He doesn't say, 'Good-bye Law.' No, He takes the Law that was originally written on the tablets of stone, and now He writes them on the tablets of the heart. So it's even closer; it's inside of us now; it's not outside. That's how important the moral Law is. I'm speaking about the moral Law in particular. The statutes; His commandments; His judgments; His testimony. They are all meant to guide us to keep the charge of the Law; they are meant to instruct us how we can do so; what is right in the sight of GOD; what is wrong. So he's encouraging Solomon to do this.

Not only that, but he says, 'As the result of it, 'You will prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.''When we keep GOD's Word; GOD's Word keeps us!  So that the thing we keep, turns out to be keeping us.  It's a reflex relationship with each other.  And the word 'prosper' means 'deal prudently.' The Book of Psalms opens up, 'Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the Law of the LORD and in His Law he will meditate day and night.' That's in the Psalms!

We must take all the Word of GOD!  We can't say some of It is out of date.  Who's to be the judge, then, of what is not out of date?  Take It all, and then you're safe.  He also says that he is 'to do it with his heart and with his soul.'  In verse 4: 'That the LORD may fulfill His Word which He spoke concerning you saying, 'If your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me in truth and with all their heart and with all their soul,'''Sh'ma Israel', it is the Sh'ma again: - 'You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.' Heart and soul, that is the manner of our walk with GOD.  It's got to be with 'heart and soul.' 

Now comes the problem, (from 1st Kings, Chapter 2, verse 5 through 9):  'Moreover, you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed; and he shed the blood of war in peacetime and put the blood of war on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals that were on his feet.  Therefore, do according to your wisdom, and do not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace. But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite and let them be among those who eat at your table, for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom, your brother.  And see you have with you Shimei, the son of Gera, a Benjamite fro Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim.  But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD saying, 'I will not put you to death with the sword.'  Now, therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him.  But bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.' 

That's the problem!  Let's look at it in order.  First of all, Joab.  Joab was the general; the ex-general now.  He had murdered two other men; Abner who was actually a relative, and Amasa, who was also a relative.  He murdered them both in peacetime. David had been unable to punish Joab, in the first case when he murdered Abner, it was because David had just newly become king and he was still weak.  He says, 'This day I am weak though I am anointed king.' But the second one was because of his guilt.  It was a moral guilt.  It was a moral inability when Joab murdered Amasa.  If David had turned around to Joab and said, 'Alright, you deserve to be executed for murdering Amasa,' Joab would say, 'What about that letter you sent to Uriah the Hittite?  The man who carried his own death warrant in his hand when he carried that letter from you to me, because in that letter was written, 'Joab, put Uriah in the front of the battle where he can get killed so that I can have his wife Bathsheba.'  David's inability in the second case was a moral inability.  In both cases, he was unable to deal with Joab and to punish him. The principle for us is: Keep a clear conscience!  Keep your conscience clean!  An accusing conscience is like hell on earth.  Keep your conscience clean because if we turn around and say something against an evil action, people can turn around and say, 'Speak for yourself.'




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