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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 20

Verses 1-26

  1. SHEBA’S UPRISING! (20:1-13)
    1. SHEBA CEASES HIS OPPORTUNITY! (1,2)
    2. Sheba had the opportunity to either promote unity or promote himself!
    3. All it took to light the fire of conflict was a little speech from a would-be leader.
    4. Since he was a Benjamite, he hoped to get broad support from Saul’s friends & Davids enemies
      1. Once again, the people deserted God’s chosen king, for an opportunist.
      2. David was rejected again...you better know your calling for times like this!
    5. 10 WOMEN WHO WERE VICTIMS OF ABUSE! (3)
    6. David had the opportunity to either support them or disown them!
    7. Their needs woulds be properly cared for, but they would have to live the rest of their lives as though they were widows.
    8. These women had been raped by a rival king (Absalom).
      1. They were deeply humiliated, abused, and in need of special attention.
      2. Accordingly, David put them in a house under guard for protection and provided for them.
      3. Nevertheless, because of their previous sexual contact with his son, he prudently decided not to go in to them(Lev 18:15), causing them instead to live till the day of their death … as widows.
    9. Everyday you & I have opportunity to help out women who have been abused & taken advantage of or simply just need our care & support.
      1. Generate Hope - a 17 room home in San Diego that provides safe-housing & long term recovery for victims of sex trafficking & exploitation.
        1. We started financially helping this year. Kelly & Paula. Mark & Melissa help.
      2. Safe Families - provides a safe alternative to child welfare custody, thus significantly reducing the number of children entering the child welfare system.
        1. Our 1st 4 children are about to get placed! [We have 11 families from CM approved]
        2. We hosted a lunch this summer for 2 dozen churches in our Valley giving them opportunity to respond to this need & call from our county.
      3. Partners - Steve Gumaer called friday from Norway. He had emailed me stats, then called to talk w/me about the atrocities against the Shan people in Burma going on right now.
        1. About 30,000 people are affected in this 1 area. Forced from their homes, hiding in fields & in the jungle in Central Shan State.
        2. Problems: On the 5th August, Burma Army battalion 291 was traveling around Bang Suk district in Mong Kerng Township, Shan State. The Burma Army came across two sisters aged 21 and 18 from Bang Sak village. They forced both sisters to go with them. The soldier’s then gang raped both girls from 1:00pm until 3:00pm the following day.
          1. People are unable to farm their rice fields & already 1000’s are facing humanitarian crisis. This area is 100’s of miles from any border, thus no NGO’s to help & bring aid. Partners is the only one in this area (Stu’s team).
          2. Aug.16 their teams delivered rice, oil, raincoats, clothes and medicine to 2537 people. The teams await more funding.
          3. I asked the present need? They said they figure they could realistically help 5000 people for 2 months. Thats with being able to buy supplies, transport, & deliver.
          4. He figured out $2500 a month. I said a CM $5000 check will be sent Monday.
    10. AMASA, WATCH THE LEFT HAND! (4-13)
    11. Amasa had the opportunity to either lead David’s army or delay & lose his opp for greatness!
    12. Kelly told me the point was “just another reason guys shouldn’t grow facial hair!”
    13. At Gibeon, Amasa assumed his new position (David’s old/now new commander).
      1. And he was saluted in the most friendly way by Joab.
      2. I agree with Josephus the historian when he said, “the old general allowed his sword to fall out on purpose, that he might have an excuse for approaching Amasa, with a naked sword in his hand.”
    14. Joab seized his opportunity, removed his replacement, won the battle & got is job back.
      1. Joab had murdered Abner, Absalom, & Amasa; yet David apparently did nothing to discipline him. [at least he wasn’t a back stabber?]
  2. IV. SHEBA’S UNDOING! (20:14-22)
    1. A WISE WOMAN! (14-22)
    2. Abel of Maachah - Situated in the extreme north of Israel. [30 m. N. of the Sea of Galilee]
    3. This wise woman had the opportunity to save her city or not do anything!
      1. Blessed are the peacemakers! [I like how she uses the mother-card also!]
      2. Maybe she also is thinking of Deut.20:10,11 (read)
    4. Wise women played a role at several points in David’s career.[Abigail, wise woman of Tekoa, Michal]
    5. She was probably like Deborah, & was the cities judge & governor.
      1. She obviously choose to do something which prevented the siege, led to ending the war, & preventing many innocent people from being killed.
      2. Andy Stanley in his book Next Generation Leadership said, “Leaders see and seize opportunity. And in most cases, the opportunities take them by surprise."
      3. Many of the life’s duties and responsibilities might be better appreciated if viewed as opportunities.
    6. David Jeremiah gave 4 observations about why we don’t walk through God’s open doors, in his book Signs of Life (pg.150)
      1. First, opportunities are often disguised as Problems.
        1. The brilliant cartoon philosopher Pogo once observed, “Gentlemen, we are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.” :)
        2. Too often what we perceive as obstacles: no money, no machinery, no methodology, no manpower, are God’s opportunities in disguise!
        3. Don’t miss an opportunity because it’s dressed up in a misleading costume and is looking like a problem.
      2. Second, opportunities are often Time-Sensitive.
        1. When Walt Disney was planning Disneyland, he offered a friend the opportunity to buy up the scrubland surrounding the site, land that he knew would dramatically increase in value. The friend said he’d think about it. Because Disney needed an answer quickly, his friend lost the opportunity and tremendous wealth besides.
        2. If you fail to seize an opportunity God puts before you, it doesn’t necessarily mean God is finished with you. But it probably means He will turn to someone else who will jump at the opportunity.
        3. Do you remember what Jesus told the Jewish leaders when they failed to grasp that He was their long-awaited messiah? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it(Mt.21:43).
          1. As a result of Israel’s reluctance to walk through the door of salvation before them, God turned to the Gentiles and offered them the Gospel.
        4. Don’t let hesitation become procrastination that leads to devastation.
      3. Third, opportunities are often tested by Opposition.
        1. Some people have gotten halfway through an open door and turned around when they encountered opposition. They thought, “We must not have heard God correctly. This opposition can’t be from God.”
        2. If Paul anticipated opposition when going through God’s open doors, we should too.
          1. Opposition can actually be a sign that you heard God correctly and that Satan is doing all he can to discourage you and cause you to turn around.
        3. Paul and Barnabas warned the churches in Asia Minor, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God”(Acts 14:22).
        4. Don’t miss a blessing-filled Christian life by trying to have a problem-free Christian life.
      4. Finally, opportunities are usually missed because of Fear.
        1. ​​​​​​​I can’t think of a God-given opportunity I ever received without trembling hands. But let me assure you that I have often reached out and taken God’s steady hand as I walked through His open door - and so can you.
        2. All opportunities and all open doors have 1 thing in common: they focus on the future. And when we’re looking toward the future, we have 2 choices - to walk by faith or to walk in fear.
        3. So is there an opportunity in front of you at this very moment that makes you nervous, scared, weak, and faithless? Wonderful! You are right where you need to be to see God hold the door open for you as you walk through. I encourage you not to let fear dampen your anticipation of a victorious future.
        4. Wherever there is a fearful response on our part, there is a faithful reassurance on Gods
    7. Application for a beheading?
      1. Every Heart - is a walled city.
      2. Every Sin - is a traitor that lurks w/in its walls.
      3. God calls to us for our sin!
        1. If we love the head of the traitor above the life of our soul, we also will perish in His vengeance.
        2. We must be willing not just to turn-in our sin, but we must demand its beheading!
    8. ​​​​​​​GOVERNMENT JOBS! (23-26)
    9. David’s leaders are listed, including his military commanders, the leader of his labor force, his royal historian, his secretary, and his priests.
    10. Opportunities will come your way, how will you use them?
      1. How are you using the opportunities that have come your way lately?
        1. Opportunity to minister; to heal; to raise your children in the Lord; to be generous; to show Christ’s love; to do the right thing; to stand up for an underdog; to serve someone; to tell someone you love them before its too late; opportunity to heal a relationship; opportunity to behead a sin in your life, before it beheads you!!!
      2. Gal.6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 20". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-samuel-20.html. 2017.