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Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 47 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Deuteronomy 21:22,23 - The hanged 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 2 1. Deuteronomy 21:22,23 - The hanged ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading: Deut.21:10 - 25:19 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance. Deuteronomy 21:22,23 At the end of this 21st chapter, we meet some examples of evildoers. These are examples for the people, that they may be frightened to commit the same sins. In our text, it is about a man, who has not done a sin of the lighter sort (though all sins are abominable before God), but a sin worthy of death. When one has committed such a great sin, he will first be put to death, and then he will be hanged on a tree. He will not be hanged on a tree, while still alive, as happened to Absalom through God's providence. The sinner in our text will first be killed, either by stoning him, or in any other wise. And then, his corpse will be hanged on a tree. David, who knew the law, has also applied it when it was necessary. When Rechab and Baanah had killed Ishbosheth, and had reported it to David, he commanded to slay them, to cut off their hands and feet, and to hang them up over the pool in Hebron. He said: "How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged [them] up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried [it] in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron." (2 Samuel 4:11,12) When such a sinner was hanging there, between heaven and earth, He might not remain all night upon the tree. "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree", said God. He had to be buried that same day. For, it was already terrible enough, that one hung there. To keep the people from becoming accustomed to cruelty, the body had to be removed, and buried the same day. When they would let hang the body, God says, that the land would be defiled. The reason is, that "he that is hanged is accursed of God". Such a hanged has committed a great sin, worthy of death. To show that he is accursed of God, he was hanged. When the people passed by, and they saw one hanging, they knew that he was accursed of God, because of his sins. Centuries later, we see Another hanging on the wood. Since the hanged is accursed of God, we know that also this Hanged is under God's curse. It is Jesus, who was hanged, not because of His Own sins, for He had none. But He was hanged for the sins of the people, who were given Him. He bore their sins, and also God's curse due to their sins. As a visible sign, that He bore our sins, He was hanged. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" (Galatians 3:13) By our transgressing the law, we heaped curse on curse, and we daily increased, and still increase our debt to God. But Christ, the Messiah, bore the curse of those that are engraved in Him by faith. If there is any, who is bearing his own curse, let him or her then look to Jesus, hanging on the cross. When your burden of sins becomes too heavy for you, it is really time to look upon Jesus, hanging on the tree. When you have already laboured for so many years, to lay off that burden, by fulfilling the law, and you have never succeeded, yea, when your guilt daily increases - when these things are so, it is time to look upon Jesus, Who is able to set you in freedom. He has already done it so often. When one came to Him in faith, He said: "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee". (Matthew 9:2) It is so with all those people, who are given by the Father to Jesus, that they will come to Jesus, and He will accept them. They will come to Jesus, when they feel the need of Him. When they see their great heap of sins, daily increasing, and when they hear that there is grace in Jesus, they will come to Him. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37) 2. 2 Samuel 7 - The prophecy of Nathan, part 2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Outline of the chapter: 1-2 David has settled down, and wishes to build a house for the LORD. 3 The prophet Nathan praises this. 4-7 But God immediately forbids David's plans, through Nathan. 8-17 God repeats the great benefits which He has bestowed on David in the past, and gives a promise of a still greater future. His son Solomon will build the house of the LORD, and the Messiah would arise from his seed. 18-22David is very surprised at this, he rejoiced in it, and he heartily thanks the Lord. Continuation of last week's part. 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime. God says, through the mouth of Nathan the prophet: "Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel". Above what He has done already, He will "moreover" add benefits thereunto. First, He will appoint a place for His people Israel. This means, that He has given, and will give, Canaan to them for a place to dwell in. He will "plant" them. Like a plant, when you plant it in the ground to give it a fixed place, so also God planted the children of Israel in Canaan. This is "a place of their own", so that they will move no more, as they have done before. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all of them have never had any fixed place. They were strangers, and moved through the lands, dwelling in tents. Afterwards, Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt, where, after having lived there sometime in rest, "the children of wickedness" afflicted them. The Egyptians oppressed them, and made slaves of the people of Israel. They now shall not afflict them anymore, as beforetime. A question may arise. God has promised them that the children of wickedness shall not afflict them anymore. But when we read the other histories in the Scripture, we see, that after David's time, they were oppressed often by all sorts of surrounding enemies. How is this possible? God said that they would dwell at rest, but it appears that they have never done so for a long time. How is this possible? The answer is easy. God promises them all these good things, on condition that they will obey Him. This can be seen in the fourteenth verse, which will be explained there. If they then obeyed God's voice, He would give them a fixed place, prosperity and peace. 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. After the people Israel was led out of Egypt, the land of slavery, they dwelled in Canaan. But they always forgot their Lord. Then the Lord caused enemies to invade the land, that they oppressed the people. He did so, that they might experience what is the difference between serving God and serving enemies. After a shorter or longer time, the people began to cry to the LORD for deliverance. Then God "commanded judges over the people Israel", to drive off the enemies, and to govern the people. In the time of the judges, we repeatedly see the following order (Judges 2:11-18): - And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. - And served Baalim. - And provoked the LORD to anger. - And he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them. - So that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. - The LORD raised up judges. - The judges delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. The people, in their wretchedness, always forsook the LORD. But God, in His goodness, always delivered them out of the hands of their enemies. Wretched people, and a merciful LORD. Ever seen a greater difference? And God kept delivering them, even unto the time of David. That is why God says to David: I "have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies." David dwelt at rest now, together with the entire nation of Israel. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. David had said that he wished to build a house for God, but in this text, we see the matters turned. Not David will do something for God, but the LORD will do something for David. "The LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house." Not a house of wood or stone, or even gold and silver, but a much better house: a house consisting of his sons, sitting upon his throne forever. A wooden house may perish, but the kingdom of David will remain always, through the grace of God. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. David receives the promise, that after his death, one of his sons will reign. God will establish his kingdom. We see that it is God, who sets up kings. "I will set up thy seed". Though kings may be chosen by people, or may inherit the throne of their fathers, it is yet God, Who sets them up. It is also in God's power to establish a kingdom, or to break it off. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. Not David will build a temple for God, but his son will do it. But in this verse is promised something greater. The kingdom of David will be an eternal kingdom. "I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever". The son of David will sit upon the throne, and his kingdom will endure forever. Not that the son will live forever, for we know, that also David's son, Solomon, once died. But the kingdom will endure forever. Here is a promise given of the Messiah, the son of David, the King of Israel. The kingdom of David's Son, of the Messiah, will endure forever. That means that also now that kingdom stands. When anyone doubts, and asks where that kingdom is, the answer is ready. Whether you see it, or not, the kingdom is there. The kingdom of the Messiah, when it is eternal, and it is not seen by many, that means that the kingdom is not of this earth. God promised that David's kingdom would be forever. When we see it not, it yet is there. It is then a spiritual kingdom. The Messiah reigns now, and all the enemies will once, now or later on, experience His power. "He shall build an house for My Name", says God. Solomon built the temple, but also the Messiah will build God's temple. Solomon's temple was visible, and is destroyed. Yet, the house of God will stand forever. It consists now of all born-again children, who serve the LORD in truth. Solomon built a temple of wood, stone, gold and silver, but Jesus Christ, David's Son, builds the temple, consisting of living stones. These living stones are all the children of God. They are hewn to make them fit for the temple. They are made holy, so that they can be used in God's building. They form the new temple. The old temple, made of stone, is destroyed, but a better temple came in its stead. Nobody, who once has seen this new temple, longs back to the old one. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: God will be for that king as a father, and he will be God's son. The king, who follows up David, will be as dear as a son to God. If he does something wrong, he will not be punished heavily, but "I will chasten him with" a soft rod, namely with "the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men". As a father spares his son, so will God spare the new king. We know that Solomon was God's son, namely through adoption. The Messiah was also God's Son; not through adoption, but through birth. Solomon was God's adopted son, but Jesus Christ was God's natural Son. Solomon committed iniquity, and was therefore chastened with the rod of men. But Jesus was free of any sin. He was not punished for His own sin, but God laid the sins of all those that were given Him, on Him. 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee. When to son of David commits iniquity, he will be chastened, but God's mercy shall not wholly depart away from him. He may loose the feeling of God's mercy, but he will not totally be deprived of it. This in contrast with Saul, who was put away. He lost his kingdom because of his sins. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. Here we read again unambiguously of the eternal kingdom of David's son. That kingdom is not visible now, and therefore, to let it be eternal, it must necessarily be a spiritual kingdom. The kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, King Jesus, shall be established for ever. His throne stands for ever and always. "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre." (Psalms 45:6) Unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." (Hebrews 1:8) 17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. God gave Nathan all these words to speak, and Nathan, being a true prophet, added nothing from himself unto it, but he delivered the message faithfully to the king David. So do all God's prophets. They have nothing of themselves to say. They trust not in themselves, but they speak only God's words. "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:27) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop -- firstname.lastname@example.org Listowner of email@example.com "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-047.txt .