Pesky Jebusites

Today I hope to speak about King David conquering the city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5). In order to do this, I want to take some time to place this scripture in context (where in the bible are we?) and explain why this was such a significant event. The crux of the message is that this marked the end to the compromise the Kingdom of Judah (good guys) had with the Jebusites (bad guys).

Compromise is something that breeds complacency and eventually spiritual death, something we ought to avoid at all costs. I hope by the end of the study you will see the danger of compromise and how to avoid it in your own spiritual walk. I will wrap up with an examples from the New Testament, and some analogies.

Let’s place this story in context: The headship of Israel has switched from the judges to the kings. The last judge was Samuel, and King Saul took over from him. King Saul started off well, but the Spirit of the Lord had departed him, and 2 Sam 5:1-5 we learn that the people have approached David to be King.

David came from the tribe of Judah. King Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin (the importance of this will be made clear later in the study).

Acts 13:21 And afterward they asked for a king. And God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.

The two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) together to form the Kingdom of Judah, for which David ruled as king initially before becoming king of all Israel. David is 30 when he is made king (a foreshadow of Christ) and reigns for a total of 40 years. Despite his well known sin(s) with Bathsheba (2 Sam 11) , David is a good king, scripture tells us that he is a “man after God’s own heart” (e.g. 1 Sam 13:14).

Sometimes when you read the name ‘Judah’ it refers to the tribe of Judah, and sometimes it refers to the Kingdom of Judah (the tribes of Judah and Benjamin combined). Similarly, sometimes when you read ‘Israel’, it refers to all 12 tribes, and sometimes it refers only to the 10 “northern” tribes (everyone except the Kingdom of Judah and some Levites).

At the death of David’s son (Solomon) we see Israel firmly divided by the two Kingdoms (the divided era), with Israel in the north, and Judah in the south. Jerusalem is in the land held by the Kingdom of Judah. People who talk about the “lost” tribes are talking about the northern Kingdom of Israel.

There are many parallels in David’s life that make him a foreshadow of Christ. There is also a covenant named after him (the Davidic Covenant, 2 Sam 7) which promises that the promised Messiah would be a seed of David (a descendant of David, from the tribe of Judah), which is partially fulfilled by the birth of Christ (Matt 1:1).

Geographically, Israel has crossed over the Jordan river into the promised land. Each of the 12 tribes (with the exception of the Levites, who served as priests) were allocated a portion of the land, and they were commanded to drive out the inhabitants of the land, called Canaanites.

Num 33:51 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you have passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan,

Num 33:52 then you shall drive out all those who live in the land from before you, and destroy all their carved images, and destroy all their molded images and pluck down all their high places.

Num 33:53 And you shall possess the land, and live in it. For I have given you the land to possess it.

Question: What was Israel asked to do? Can you see an analogy beginning to form here about your own spiritual walk after salvation?

Israel was not completely obedient in this command. In particular, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were allocated the land containing the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem at that time was known as Jebus, and the inhabitants were Jebusites. However, the Jebusites were not driven from the land (Joshua 15:63). Later we read that the tribe of Benjamin and the Jebusites are living together (Judges 1:21).

This is a compromise from what the Lord required. Note that the tribe of Benjamin was not the only tribe that did not drive out the inhabitants of their land. Judges 1:27-36 lists many tribes who either did not dwell in their allotted land, or failed to drive out the inhabitants. The Israelites were given dire warnings about what would happen if they turned back, or if the inhabitants remained in the land:

Jos 23:11 And take good heed to yourselves that you love Jehovah your God.

Jos 23:12 Otherwise, if you go back in any way, and hold to those left of these nations, these that remain among you, and shall marry them and go in to them and they to you,

Jos 23:13 know for a certainty that Jehovah your God will no more drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and whips in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Jehovah your God has given you.

Question: what was Israel asked not to do, and what was the consequence of compromise?

Just how much a compromise this is, becomes clear when we look at the significance of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is where Mt Moriah is. It is where Abraham went up the mountain to sacrifice Isaac his only begotten son (Gen 22), something we now realise is a foreshadow of the sacrifice of Christ (the only begotten Son of God).

It is on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem that Abraham passes God’s test of faith. Mount Moriah came to symbolize for the Jews the supreme embodiment of their relationship with God. Then, “Abraham named this place: God Sees, which today is expressed as follows: On the mountain of God is one seen.” (Genesis 22:14) From this Jews understand that in Jerusalem, unlike any other place on earth, God is almost tangible. [http://judaism.about…jerslm_jews.htm ]

Israel is in the promised land but has failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land, directly disobeying the Word of the Lord, and is living in an uncomfortable compromise, despite the warning of what would happen. Their “holy city” Jerusalem is inhabited by the Jebusites (Canaanites) instead of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin.

King Saul dies, and King David begins his rule. As his first action, David takes the city of Jerusalem. Finally, Israel is putting an end to the compromising situation they are in. David builds a house (v11) and brings the Ark of the Covenant into the city (2 Sam 6). Jerusalem essentially becomes a holy city to the people of Israel and the center of worship.

We should have the attitude of David, and not Saul. Saul was king of all Israel, and came from the tribe of Benjamin, but in all his time as King he didn’t complete the task the Lord had given to drive out the Jebusites. Let’s have a closer look at how David and his men conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites.

2Sa 5:6-10

6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites, the people of the land. And one spoke to David saying, You shall not come in here, except the blind and the lame will turn you away; also saying, David cannot come in here.

7 And David took the stronghold of Zion; it is the city of David.

8 And David said on that day, Anyone who strikes the Jebusite, let him go by the water-shaft and take the lame and the blind, the hated of David’s soul. On account of this they say, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

9 And David lived in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built all around, from Millo and inward.

10 And David went on and became great, and Jehovah, the God of Hosts was with him.

Now, the first time I read this, I blinked. What is this saying about blind and lame people? The Jebusites are mocking David, suggesting that Jerusalem was so easy to defend, that even an army of blind and lame could defend it.

Jerusalem is high on a hill and walled on three sides. Any approach by normal methods is seen well in advance, it is naturally suited to defence. This was a significant stronghold, called a fort in v9. It was hard to take and that is why the tribes of Judah and Benjamin never conquered it.

Question: What kind of character attributes does David have, that we should try to copy, or does Saul have, that we should try to avoid?

How we can quickly settle with compromise instead of fully walking in the ways of the Lord! I remember when I first got saved, things were wonderful! I made good progress rather quickly. But after a few months, I began to realise that I had my own “pesky Jebusites” – sins and attitudes and desires in me that were not of the Lord, thing that represented compromise… while I was living with them I was not fully walking with the Lord.

It felt like those “pesky Jebusites” were so deeply woven into the fabric of my being that resistance was futile. I really resonated with the mockery of the Jebusites, that the blind and lame could defend their city, because that’s how I felt! These things were so firmly entrenched in me, if felt like even my strongest attempt to overcome would be easily defeated by the enemy.

Question [for personal reflection only]: have a think about your own walk with the Lord. Are you compromising?

Question [to discuss]: Can you think of anyone else in scripture who compromised their faith, and what was the outcome?

I encourage you not to become settled with these things. Continue to seek the Lord, striving to walk in His ways, and never accept compromise. A common “pesky jebusite” that plagues youth is lust. You really have to make a choice between becoming comfortable with it in your life, or like David, doing whatever it takes to dispose those “pesky Jebusites” from the Land.

Let’s have a look at an example from the next testament, of someone who gave everything they had to serve the Lord.

Mar 12:41 And sitting down opposite the treasury, Jesus watched how the people threw copper coins into the treasury. And many rich ones threw in much.

Mar 12:42 And a certain poor widow came, and she threw in two lepta, which is a kodrantes.

Mar 12:43 And He called His disciples and said to them, Truly I say to you that this poor widow has cast in more than all those who have cast into the treasury.

Mar 12:44 For all cast in from their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, has cast in all that she had, all her livelihood.

You might not have been given a task as big as King David. It is not about how much you have to give, or what role the Lord is asking you to fill, but that you give it all. No compromise, no holding back! Live fully for Him, don’t settle for 80 or 90 percent. Be like the poor widow, and cast in everything you have!

If you look closer at the tribe of Benjamin, you will see the small compromise lead to bigger and bigger compromise, and that is just as true for us as it was for them! The shameful events in Judges 19-21 further exemplify the consequences of compromise. I believe Ps 1:1 speaks about the slippery slope into deeper compromise.

Personally, I avoided kicking the “pesky Jebusites” out of my life because I feared the battle would be too strong for me, and I didn’t want the self denial was required for victory. But I should have feared the Lord more than the battle, because the consequences of not following the Lord fully are far worse than any earthly battle or temptation you could find yourself in.

I wanted to slip this quote in somewhere, and here seems like a nice place, to encourage you that we should have confidence rather than fear when it comes to engaging in battle against those “pesky Jebusites”.

“I’ve got The Father on my side, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit and 2/3 of the angels. What do you think I’m going to do? Sit down and cry?” – Leonard Ravenhill

The battle never ends, it is a constant day in day out, 24-7 life of living for Him regardless of the cost. Immediately after David took Jerusalem, the Philistines hear of the victory, and come up to seek David. God confirms that David and his men will get victory, and the Philistines are defeated (v17-25).

To finish tonight I want to share a long analogy, that brilliantly describes the kind of trust and faith we are to have in the Lord, going all the way and holding nothing back.

There was a tightrope walker, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts at tremendously scary heights. Then he would go across the tightrope, blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow.

An American promoter read about this in the papers and wrote a letter to the tightrope walker, saying, “Tightrope, I don’t believe you can do it, but I’m willing to make you an offer. For a very substantial sum of money, besides all your transportation fees, I would like to challenge you to do your act over Niagara Falls.”

Now, Tightrope wrote back, “Sir, although I’ve never been to America and seen the Falls, I’d love to come.” Well, after a lot of promotion and setting the whole thing up, many people came to see the event. Tightrope was to start on the Canadian side and come to the American side. Drums roll, and he comes across the rope which is suspended over the treacherous part of the falls-blindfolded!!

He makes it across easily. The crowds go wild, and he comes to the promoter and says, “Well, Mr. Promoter, now do you believe I can do it?”
“Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it.”
“No,” said Tightrope, “do you really believe I can do it?”
“Well of course I do, you just did it.”

“No, no, no,” said Tightrope, “do you believe I can do it?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Promoter, “I believe you can do it.”

“Good,” said Tightrope, “then you get in the wheelbarrow.”

Some of us claim to be living for God, but are refusing to get into the wheelbarrow. If you have been tempted to compromise, and not give the Lord your whole life, instead keeping a part for yourself, to control for yourself, trusting in your own abilities or bowing to the pressure of others, make a commitment today to step out in faith and give it over to the Lord.

If you haven’t made that first step of faith, today is the day of salvation, now is the time to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me tell you how you can become a Christian if you are not one already.

We have a sin Problem!
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,

Sin has a penalty Penalty!
Romans 5:12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned:

God has made a Provision!
Romans 5:8 But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Through faith in Jesus, we have a Pardon!
Romans 10:9-10 Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.

That is the end of the bible study today, would someone like to close in prayer, asking the Lord to keep this message in our hearts and mind, to help us recognise and eliminate the compromise in our lives, and instead trust fully in Him? After this, we have a few minutes for questions.


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