2 Samuel 23:6 – Like Thorns

King David’s last words tell us much about political systems and the nature of men.  Not long before he died, David wrote a psalm in which he exalted the Lord as he inevitably did in all that he wrote.  The Holy Spirit inspired David’s words whereby he proclaimed how good it is for the king to be Godly.  David’s psalm in 2 Samuel 23:3-4 declares:

The God of Israel has spoken;

    the Rock of Israel has said to me:

When one rules justly over men,

    ruling in the fear of God,

he dawns on them like the morning light,

    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,

    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

Consider the importance that David attributes to ruling justly in the fear of God.  When the leader of a nation believes in the Lord and follows His ways, blessings accrue.  God loves to pour out His love in the form of abundance, both upon individuals and nations.  David likens this to the spring rains in Israel that water the fields and create the means for crops to grow and ultimately to reap an abundant harvest.  He goes on to say in verse 5 that it is God who brings prosperity and security to those who cling to Him.

Conversely, look at 2 Samuel 23:6 about those who are corrupt and far from God:

“But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away,

    for they cannot be taken with the hand;”

Whether simply an individual or someone in a position of power, a person who rejects the Lord – in the eyes of the Lord – is worthless.  Yes, he is made in the image of God; yes, God wants him to turn from his wicked ways; yes, because God loves ALL of His creation, this person has worth and potential.  But, when he chooses to hate God and do that which is right in his own eyes, he becomes a fool with little value to add in the sphere in which he operates. In the inspired word of David, this man is like a prickly thorn that has nothing useful to give.

In fact, those around this person must take heed as David says in 2 Samuel 23:7:

“but the man who touches them

    arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,

    and they are utterly consumed with fire.”

Note that verses 5-6 are quoted.  David is relaying the Word of God, not just his own thoughts.  Anyone that is near this worthless man must protect himself.  Ultimately because of how fruitless this man is, like a thorn that cannot be used for anything else, he must be burned in the fire. In other words, such a person is destined for hell.

David recounted all this in the context of ruling and leadership. What was true in his day is equally valid today.

Unfortunately, evil men and women have risen to the highest places of power in America. It’s not a stretch to say that they are wicked, anti-God, in fact, God haters. They can declare all they want how religious they are, but religion does not a Godly person make. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings one into God’s kingdom.

Have such people rule this land forebodes terrible things to come. In God’s own Words, these leaders are worthless and of no use other than to be consumed by the fire of God. For those of us living under their tyranny, we must arm ourselves. As followers of Jesus Christ, this doesn’t mean equipping in the natural realm; rather we are to put on the full armor of God that Paul in Ephesians 6:13 admonishes:

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Just like in David’s day when men donned physical armor to protect and fight against the wickedness surrounding them, so we must put on the spiritual armor that only we can.  It is by this covering that we can stand and be strong in the might of God (Ephesians 6:10).

The Word of God shows us clearly that such times of evil as we’re currently experiencing must come in order for God to eventually accomplish His will.  Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier.  For those of us who love the Lord, we grieve at the destruction of our nation, the erosion of our liberties, and the shattering of all we hold dear. Even worse, we hate to see the corruption within the church that has made it feckless, and even a tool of the State in some instances.

I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that following David’s psalm, Scripture recounts the exploits of his mighty men. These were warriors who stood for and by him, combatting the worthless men and the evil that pressed upon David and the nation of Israel.

Perhaps we should take heed of their exploits.  They didn’t win such battles without God empowering them.  Neither will we.  But, God’s Holy Spirit and that power will only work through us when we press in to the Lord in prayer and through reading His Word to know His mind and heart.

God will see us through, but to achieve total victory in all that we do, we must follow hard after Him in reverence and obedience.

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