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Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
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From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 47
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

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
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
-   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
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  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl
Listowner of chr-exp@nic.surfnet.nl
"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