Holy Spirit inspired me to write on this subject of
team work when I mediated Psalms 3. I pray and believe that this article will be an encouragement and will equip those who are reading this for a better walk with God and in evangelizing this world.
We see the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ in Mathew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We see here an order for Gospel work; (1) We need to go out (we cannot make disciples by staying inside the four walls of the church) to make disciples of all nations, (2) Baptism after teaching them about the need of baptism and (3) Continuous teaching of the word for them to abide in the word. We often prioritize step2 here and forget about steps 1 and step3. We see the after effect of neglecting steps 1 and 3 in the so called churches today. A lot of church problems we see are attributed to either the church member is NOT a true disciple/not abiding in the word.
Let me come back to the subject of team work. Psalms 3 forms a bridge between Psalms 2 and Psalms 8. In Psalms 2, we see rejection of God’s anointed one and in Psalms 8, we see His ultimate victory as a man. We see in Psalms 3, what happens to His people in between the rejection and His ultimate victory? Trials, sorrows, confusions, problems and sins. We also see here in Psalms 3 their confidence in God, the promises of God and their prayers for deliverances.
Primary interpretation of Psalms 3 is the personal experience of David as he fled from Absalom his son. Its direct application is to the godly remnant in the nation of Israel during the Great Tribulation and God’s people everywhere at any time in the history of the world. Apart from these interpretations, Holy Spirit led me to look into the Historical record of this Psalms 3 we see in 2 Samuel 15 – 19.
We see the following main persons in these chapters of 2 Samuel 15 -19; David, Absalom, Ahithophel, Ittai, Hushai, Ziba, Shimei, Abishai, a female servant, a young man, a man and his wife, a messenger, Priests-Zadok and Abiathar and their sons-Ahimaz, son of Zadok and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, Shobi, son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir, son of ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim. We also see David’s officials here.
Let us review each of these characters now. David is the King and Absalom, his son is planning here to remove or kill his own father, the anointed king of Israel (2 Samuel 15: 1-10). Ahithophel is David’s counselor, later changed his position to advice Absalom.
We read in Psalms 12: 1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. We need to pray for raising faithful servants. Just for selfish achievements, even the so called children of God are becoming unfaithful. They don’t care about loving, respecting or caring about others. When we are not faithful, it is hindering the gospel to be preached in a powerful way. We the children of God need to be a model for the world to follow. But many times, we don’t set ourselves as good examples for others in our work place and schools. We may try to exhibit all our good deeds in the church.
Let us look at the next person in this incident. Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God (2 Samuel 16:23). We see many people like Ahithophel in our surroundings. They are mightily used by God. We notice Ahithophel didn’t remain faithful. So when he saw that his advice had not been followed, he hanged himself (2 Samuel 17: 23). If you and I are not faithful, it doesn’t matter how we are used by God now or in the past, end will be displeasing. It doesn’t matter what our parents and grandparents did for the Pentecostal movement, we are accountable for ourselves. We need to be faithful in whatever role God has placed us in our work, church and all the responsibilities God vested within us. We shouldn’t manipulate or try to control using the God given authorities. On that day (Lord’s Day), we need to give answers for even the small thing we did displeasing God. We need to be sensitive to the sovereign plan of God, regardless your counsels and selfish plans are implemented or not during our pilgrimage here.
Next we see Ittai, the Gittite (a foreigner) in 2 Samuel 15:19-22: The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.” But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.” David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.
Just like Ittai, we need to serve our Master (Lord Jesus Christ) with fervency, life or death, we are not going to compromise with this world for the temporary benefits we may avail to be ‘so cool’. We notice the benefit Ittai reaped for this stand he took in 2 Samuel 18: 1-2: David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over those commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. Here we see Ittai in the same rank as Joab and his brother Abishai. If you and I walk with God in this pilgrimage, we are going to reign with Him.
Then we see a team of five; Hushai, Zadok, Abiathar, Ahimaaz and Jonathan. We see this team of five in 2 Samuel 15: 32-37 When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice. Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace. Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.” So Hushai, David’s confidant, arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.
Here we see that each person in the Kingdom of God is unique. The same person who is effective in a church or in a particular place or in specific surroundings may not be effective if the same person is moved around. We all have unique calling. If we don’t fully understand our calling, we will be a burden for others (2 Samuel 15: 33). If we fully understand our calling and our role in the Kingdom building, we will be a blessing for others and for our Lord’s Kingdom.
Since Hushai got this message to his heart from the King, we see him later on very effective in frustrating Ahithophel’s advice. We see this happening in 2 Samuel 17 which resulted in Absalom’s death. We are in a battle field here now in our pilgrimage. For us to be effective, we need to follow clearly the instruction from our King, Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the instructions and the roles we need to play here may conflict with our ego. Remember, we are here to fulfill our King’s desire and build his Kingdom. Let us understand our calling/position in the sovereign plan of God.
We see some messengers in these chapters (2 Samuel 15 and 17). 2 Samuel 15: 13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.” Just like these messengers, we are messengers to this perishing world. Our responsibility here is to urge the world about the eternity in the midst of their hearts are being persuaded after the world. Remember 1 John 2: 15-17 do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Before I introduce the remaining messengers, let us review the strong communication chain we see here In 2 Samuel 17: 17 -22 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel. A female servant was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city. But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left at once and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it. When Absalom’s men came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman answered them, “They crossed over the brook.”[c] The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem. After they had gone, the two climbed out of the well and went to inform King David. They said to him, “Set out and cross the river at once; Ahithophel has advised such and such against you.” So David and all the people with him set out and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, no one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.
In the above paragraph, we see a young man who saw Ahimaaz and Jonathan on their courier trip to David. Ephesians 6:12 says For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. In this war field, we need to put on the full armor of God in our daily walk with God (Ephesians 6: 13 - 19 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.)
We see a clear communication chain, 2 Samuel 15: 27 - 28 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons. I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” All communications start from the Palace The Priests Priest’s sons Female Servant David. If anyone in this communication does not perform her duty well, enemy will win. You and I are in this communication chain playing different roles, we are the priests who gets heavenly message from our God’s palace and deliver it to the appropriate ones for delivering to the one who is running in this world of fear of death.
We see a lady in 2 Samuel 17:17 -21 Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel. A female servant was to go and inform them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they could not risk being seen entering the city. But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So the two of them left at once and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it. His wife took a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it. No one knew anything about it. When Absalom’s men came to the woman at the house, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman answered them, “They crossed over the brook.” The men searched but found no one, so they returned to Jerusalem. After they had gone, the two climbed out of the well and went to inform King David. They said to him, “Set out and cross the river at once; Ahithophel has advised such and such against you.” So David and all the people with him set out and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, no one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.
Here we see the wise act of a lady made the communication chain intact. Lady acted quickly based on what she saw. What this lady did here is very significant. Sometimes people think that being in a church choir team or preaching the word on the pulpit are important and they ignore cleaning after fellowship lunch/dinner. Don’t misunderstand, if you are doing anything to please the King, that’s all it matters. We are here to work as if we are in a war filed, no time to sit around and gossip. If you and I don’t act based on God given wisdom, it will affect negatively the communication chain of evangelizing the world.
Just like the lady sheltered them in a well, we need to cover this world with the Word of God. Do whatever we can do to spread the Gospel around the nations. Another message we get here is you and I need to prohibit the exhibiting act of our dear brothers and sisters, meaning we should not act as a catalyst spreading rumors or an act of an error by one of our dear ones in Lord. Rather we need to stop these types of accusations from spreading. Let us spend time in praying for them rather spending time on discussing these activities.
Another sub team we see is the team of providers. We see Ziba in 2 Samuel 16: 1- 4 When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine. The king asked Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness.” The king then asked, “Where is your master’s grandson?” Ziba said to him, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, ‘Today the Israelites will restore to me my grandfather’s kingdom.’” Then the king said to Ziba, “All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” Here we see Ziba is providing for the King and he got all the inheritance that belonged to Mephibosheth who was a descendant of King Saul. If you and I are providers for HIS kingdom, we going to get the heavenly inheritance belonged to the royal heritage. I understand Ziba is not a good example since he did it because of his selfish and was deceiving Mephibosheth.
We also see another sub team of providers in 2 Samuel 17: 27 - 29 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Makir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 28 brought bedding and bowls and articles of pottery. They also brought wheat and barley, flour and roasted grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds, sheep, and cheese from cows’ milk for David and his people to eat. For they said, “The people have become exhausted and hungry and thirsty in the wilderness.” If you are the true children of God, we will be provided throughout our pilgrimage here. You may be going through some hard times in your life now, it doesn’t matter, our God is able . Philippians 4: 19 says And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. God blessed us to be a blessing to others who are in need.
We see Shimei in 2 Samuel 16: 5 – 13 As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul’s family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left. As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!” Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, -------------------. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt.
We see typical Shimei’s around us also, especially when we go through hard times. In this modern age, Shimei may not curse face to face and will go around our back and tell others. These peoples who are trying to find the cause of others going through trouble don’t read and meditate the word. If they genuinely understand the word, they cannot talk bad about others. You and I go through valleys and heights are a process God building us to be like his own image. We always like to be on mountain top which seldom happens in real life.
Character builds up when we go through our toughest times. It is easy to pray, sing and memorize all the words when we are on mountain top. Do we really love God just for all his benefits we are enjoying in our life? Or do we really love God for who he is? Does the word we memorized is producing its results when we go through our valleys of life? Almighty God is our father. So no matter what happens in our life, he is able to sustain us.
In 2 Samuel 19: 15 – 20 Now the men of Judah had come to Gilgal to go out and meet the king and bring him across the Jordan. Shimei son of Gera, the Benjamite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David. With him were a thousand Benjamites, along with Ziba, the steward of Saul’s household, and his fifteen sons and twenty servants. They rushed to the Jordan, where the king was. They crossed at the ford to take the king’s household over and to do whatever he wished. When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king and said to him, “May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king.
Don’t you see this type of people in our daily life? We have many friends around us when we are famous and things go well. Let me repeat Psalms 12:1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Let us see David’s response in 2 Samuel 19: 21 – 23 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the Lord’s anointed.” David replied, “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?” So the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king promised him on oath. . We see a picture of the current grace period here, if you and I repent and ask God for forgiveness, He is faithful and just as we see in 1 John 1:9.
Let us summarize everything we read so far, we noticed Evangelism is a team work where we need Messengers, Priests, Royals, Providers, Communication Chain, etc. Let us work together, each one in their God called rolls. No work is insignificant in the Kingdom Building. Let us focus on spreading the good news/Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ rather than wasting time for spreading the bad news/gossips about our brothers and sisters.
MAY OUR GOOD LORD RICHLY BLESS YOU TO BE A MIGHTY WARRIOR FOR HIM!