September 11, 2022
With the royal succession plan settled, the aged King David issued a commandment to his son Solomon, directing him to act on unfinished matters of the kingdom—with kindness for some and with justice for others. Was David’s decree simply a matter of personal vengeance? Or did God’s anointed king bear the responsibility to administer justice? Alistair Begg considers how the Bible’s answer points forward to the fixed day when Jesus, as King, will judge the world with fairness and finality.
Sermon Transcript: Print
Well, I promised that we would come back to 1 Kings, which we’re going to do. And I’m going to read in a moment or two from 1 Kings 2 again, just reading from 5 through to 12. But before I read that, I want just to read two brief pieces from the New Testament, first of all in Matthew and in chapter 13.
Towards the end of the parable of the weeds, which Jesus explains—they come to him and they say, “Explain the parable,” and he explains that “the one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man” and so on, that “the field is the world, … the good seed is the sons of the kingdom” and so on. And then in verse 40: “Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
And then in 1 Thessalonians—I beg your pardon, in 2 Thessalonians—and in chapter 1. Verse 5: “This is [the] evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God consider[ed] it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
And then to our verses, 5:
“‘Moreover’”—having given him the first part of his directive, “Furthermore,” he says—“‘you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals [of] his feet. Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But deal loyally with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, “I will not put you to death with the sword.” Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.’
“Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.”
Well, Father, now grant us grace as we look at these verses. Help us to say what is said and not to miss what we need and not to invent what isn’t there. For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Well, not all were present this morning, but I won’t go back through these first four verses. The direction or instructions that are given to Solomon, the commandment that David gave to Solomon his son is very straightforward. It’s actually not difficult at all to understand. That is, of course, part of the problem. And the very clarity of it makes a challenge for us in terms of how we both understand it, how we interpret it, and how we apply it.
From verse 5 through to verse 9 we have David’s final words. These are the last recorded words that we have of David in his entire life. Of all the parts and pieces that we’ve been considering, some forty chapters out of 1 and 2 Samuel, all of the things we’ve known of him, learned from him, and so on—seen him in action, heard his directions—now it comes down to this.
And as I read it again, reading again this afternoon, I thought of how we are familiar with presidential pardons. It’s something that is unique, I think, to the United States. It’s certainly not something I was aware of before living here. It doesn’t imply, I believe, the innocence of the person who is pardoned, but it does mean that they are now free to live their lives no longer under that jurisdiction. And it is a quite significant thing, and I’m sure for those pardoned, it is a wonderful thing.
But this is something entirely different. Because although there is, if you like, an expression of providential care in the instance of Barzillai’s sons, what is directed for Solomon to do in relationship to Joab because of what he did to Abner and to Amasa and the direction that is given in relationship to Shimei is, of course, very graphic and at the same time very striking.
If in chapter 1 the matter of the succession of the kingdom has been settled—which it has, largely, and settled in such a way that although Adonijah had made a stab at becoming the king, vaunting himself, setting himself forward, that was set aside. David finally wakened up and dealt with that, prompted by Nathan and by Bathsheba. And we’re told then that the kingdom of Solomon “was firmly established.” That’s the summary statement at the end of verse 12. It comes again later on in the chapter. And that is actually the fact of the matter. It is the promise that God had given to David way back in 2 Samuel 7, saying that “I will establish a kingdom. There will be one that will come from your throne. And the establishing of that kingdom is a promise that will not be broken.”
And here, as David dies, he looks to that promise and this initial fulfillment of the promise, in real time with real people, not now at the end of the day with Jesus but with Solomon himself. And the idea, the very verb of “I will establish this” in 2 Samuel 7, comes again and again. And if you want to, you can go through the text, and you will find that it comes, I think, four or five times. But I won’t turn you to them.
So, from the succession, David then is concerned with the security of the kingdom. If the kingdom is established under Solomon, how is this going to go? He knows how it has gone for him. He knows the challenges he’s faced. He knows the decisions that he’s taken. He knows the battles that he’s fought and so on. But now he is about to go the way of all flesh. He will not be here to hold anybody’s hand. He will not be here to give any kind of direction. And so, seizing the moment that is available to him, he issues this command. And in the balance of the text, he says there needs to be justice for Joab, there needs to be kindness for Barzillai’s boys, and there needs to be justice for Shimei. Now, let me just walk us through that without spending an undue amount of time on it.
Why is there to be justice for Joab? Well, if your page is open like mine, you can see the balance of chapter 2—at least most of it. And the explanation is provided by Solomon there in verse 32, where he says, “The Lord will bring back his bloody deeds on his own head”—that is, Joab’s—“because, without the knowledge of my father …, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself.”
Now, he is then referencing what has been stated here by David in this section. And I’m in two minds as to whether to ask you to try and track back through this with me. I think you should probably trust me on this, and then go and see if the passages are where I say they are. Otherwise, we’ll be here for a long time. You need to go back to 2 Samuel chapter 3 for the Abner incident, as we’re going to refer to it. The Abner incident: “When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate.” Remember, he was going to have a little private conversation with him, “and there he struck him in the stomach,” and “he died.” And “when David heard of it, he said, ‘I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before the Lord.’” “We are guiltless before the Lord in this matter. I was not behind this.” That’s what he’s saying: “My kingdom is guiltless. I am not involved in this.” “[We’re] guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house.” He says, “May that finally come home to roost in Joab’s experience.” That’s what he says.
It is in chapter 20 that we find the Amasa incident. And again, I’ll just quote from it very briefly so that we have something of it in our minds—in 2 Samuel chapter 20, the death of Amasa. You know, I can’t even see it where it is. “Then the king said to Amasa…” I’d end up reading the whole chapter here to find it, because I was using another Bible up the stairs. Doesn’t matter. Well, it does matter a great deal, actually. “And Joab…” And here we go, verse 9: “And Joab said to Amasa, ‘Is it well with you, my brother?’” Well, he didn’t really care. “And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to [give] him [a kiss]. But Amasa did[n’t] observe the sword that was in Joab’s hand.” So Joab did what Joab liked to do: he “struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground,” and “without striking a second blow, … he died.” Not a nice person, you’ve got to agree. And that is what he did.
Fascinatingly, although it says here in the text, doesn’t it, “to me”… “Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me.” “To me.” In the death of Abner, you will remember that David wept—wept buckets—and everybody wept along with him. He took it to heart that this had happened to him. He was concerned about what had happened to Amasa, but the one that isn’t mentioned is the one that broke his heart entirely. Because Joab was responsible for killing Absalom. And you can find that also in the Bible: three javelins in the heart of Absalom, supplied by Joab.
Now, it does raise the question, doesn’t it? Why did David not deal with this at the time? Was it weakness on his part? Was it kindness on his part? The only hints that we have of it in the text are when he says at the end of the initial incident concerning Abner, he says, “You know, the sons of Zeruiah are more severe than I.” You remember: Asahel and Abishai and Joab, these guys were fighting, crazy men. And there was nothing they liked better than just, it would seem, going into a battle and killing people. That wasn’t David. That wasn’t David. David as king realized he was responsible for justice, but he wasn’t granted the privilege of murder. “The sons of Zeruiah are more severe than I.” And also, in that very same incident, he says, “[May] the Lord repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!” In other words, “God, you’re responsible for the execution of justice.” Now, it is also fair to say that that was part of his prerogative as a king. But it is as stated. The directive to Solomon is absolutely clear: “According to your wisdom, do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But deal with him, and deal with him properly, and deal with him quickly.”
So, justice for Joab, and then kindness for Barzillai’s boys, if we can put it in that way. The story of Barzillai, you will remember, was a lovely story. We found it quite endearing, back in chapter 17, when David was being chased around in the context of Absalom. And when he “came to Mahanaim” and “crossed [over] the Jordan” and so on… I still can’t find the jolly thing in here. This is rather embarrassing. Oh, no, there we go. He’s there:
Barzillai the Gileadite … brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans … lentils, honey … curds … sheep … cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”
He’s a nice fellow, right?
Now, in chapter 19—I’m even afraid to turn to it. But anyway, in chapter 19 you have it again: “Now Barzillai the Gileadite”—verse 31—“had come down from Rogelim, and he went on with the king to the Jordan, to escort him over the Jordan.” It’s a wonderful little piece. You can read it on your own. “Barzillai was a very aged man.” How old was he? “Eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim.” That’s what we were just looking for and found. And so the king says to him, “You know, you ought to come with me.” And you remember Barzillai says, “Yeah, well, that’s a nice invitation, but I’m an old guy, and I don’t really want to do that. I think that it would be like a reward for me to do that. Why would you ever reward me in that way? Why would you show me kindness in that way? Let me return. Let me go to my own city. Let me have my grave with my father and my mother. But here, you can take, if you want, Chimham.” Great name, Chimham. And whether he was one of his sons, actually, or whatever we don’t know—a servant. “And the king answered, ‘Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.’” And so “all the people went over the Jordan, … the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own home.”
Kindness. Kindness is long remembered in life. It’s remembered far more than genius or brains or acumen. Kindness. Barzillai was a kind man. And David was actually a kind king. He was a kind king. And in his kindness, he of course points us forward to the Shepherd King, of whom, when Paul writes to Titus, he says, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared”—speaking, of course, of the incarnation, of the arrival, of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. And in the same way that Barzillai responds to the expressions of generosity on the part of the king, it’s surely right for those of us who are in Christ to respond in the same way: “That you would have me come and eat at your table? That you would give your life for me? Such kindness!”
Justice for Joab, kindness for Barzillai, and justice for Shimei. Shimei. You remember this character as well. He got up to his tricks with big lumps of mud and stuff back in 2 Samuel 16: “When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually.” You get this picture.
And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men …. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! The Lord has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.”
Well, of course, that really got Abishai, one of the sons of Zeruiah, right up on his gander, as we might say. And the text says, “Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, ‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and [do what I do best: let me go over and] take off his head.’” And again David says, “Well, what am I going to do with you, the sons of Zeruiah? You’re far more severe than I am. This is not how we operate.”
And if you read on and into chapter 19, and once again the story unfolds: “Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, ‘Shall not Shimei be put to death …, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?’” And again David says to him, “‘What have I to do with you, [the] sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day?’” That’s important: “‘that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?’ And the king said to Shimei, ‘You shall not die.’ And the king gave him his oath.”
Now, the reason I emphasize “this day,” “this day,” “this day” is because obviously, the oath that he gave to Shimei was conditional. It wasn’t an unconditional or an absolute pardon. He was saying to him, “You know, if my friend here had his way, you’re a dead man. But I’m telling you, you’re not going to die. Not here at least, and not like this.”
Now, that’s what the text says, right? It’s there. And it’s important then for us to note that in the directive that he gives to Solomon in relationship first of all to Joab and then to Shimei, his appeal to Solomon is not a call for revenge but is for wisdom. For wisdom. He doesn’t say to him, “I want you to execute vengeance on these people.” In verse 6 he says, “You are a wise man.” (Where is it? That’s chapter 1. This is 2. It’s all right, I got it. But thanks, I appreciate it. Call out any time you like. It’s a difficult evening.) Verse 6: “Act therefore according to your wisdom.” Okay? “I want you to… Don’t lose your head in this program here. Act according to your wisdom.” And then in verse 9, in relationship to Shimei: “Now, therefore, do not hold him guiltless. Use your head. You are a wise man.”
Now, we need to take this first of all in the totality of the unfolding story of it all and, clearly, also in the totality of the Scriptures themselves. Having urged Solomon in his part-one directive to “be strong”—right? “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man.” And we said this morning that what kind of man is that to be? Well, it’s a Psalm 1 man. In other words, this is a man who walks in the path of righteousness. This is a man who does the right thing. And we acknowledged the fact that it’s going to take strength of character and resolve and the enabling grace of God to be that kind of man.
But if you take that “Be strong, and show yourself a man” in relationship to the directive now that is given vis-a-vis Joab and Shimei, you realize that there is a sense in which he may actually be saying, “You know, I’ve been inadequate in this regard, Solomon. You now need to be what I failed to be.” Now, that is purely conjecture. Similarly, though, perhaps, having failed himself to do what he ought as king and as his prerogative as king—having failed to do what he ought—he now appeals to Solomon’s wisdom so that in using his wisdom he will be enabled to do what he ought to do.
Now, the rest of the chapter simply gives to us, then, the way in which Solomon follows through on David’s command. And he does it swiftly, and he does it clearly. In fact, his speedy response may cause us to wonder. Are we to assume that he does what he does because there is in Solomon a kind of ruthless cruelty—a streak of ruthless cruelty that if you cut him open, you would find; and that ruthless cruelty in him, if it’s there, has been urged upon him by his father, who, from one perspective, presumably shares a desire for the same kind of cruel response?
Which, of course, is the interpretive question of the entire passage: Are we dealing here—in the directive of David to Solomon and then Solomon’s execution of the directive—are we dealing with a matter of personal vengeance? “He has done this very bad thing to me. He’s absolutely involved in it at the very core of his beginning.” But is that it? Is it just because of David—a sort of personality thing? That he’s now feeling bad about the fact that he missed some opportunities, and he should have done that, and he hated him anyway, and he’d just take care of it now? Or is he telling Solomon that as the established king of God’s kingdom, as the anointed of God, it is his responsibility, given him by God, to judge the people in equity and to administer justice? It is actually an obligation that falls to the king. It is a divine right, and it is, the same time, a huge responsibility.
Now, obviously, you can read of this on your own, and as you search it out, you will find a variety of views. I think the balance of interpretation leans towards the idea that this is just a disaster at the end of David’s life. He finally lost the plot entirely, and he has retreated, you know, to a kind of very earthly reaction to things. So, for example, one commentator says the end of David’s life is marked by the same moral ambiguity characteristic of his earlier years—that he’s now decided to resort to the methodology of the sons of Zeruiah from whom and from which he had distanced himself in the earlier part of the story. Somebody else suggests that the aging David’s view of the world is essentially simple: he has friends, and he has enemies. He’ll be nice to the people he wants to be nice to, and he’ll stick it to the people that he doesn’t like. And his days of showing grace-driven mercy, from that perspective, have now been left far behind. And these, then, are not actions of a godly king. That’s one view. And as interpreters of the Scripture, we have to sit and think.
What we do know is that the writer does not provide any indication of David’s motives. It’s never there. Nor does the writer pass any judgment on David’s decisions. And he simply reports the story as it is unfolded. And there is a sense in which the principle that we’ve often referred to in dealing with the Acts of the Apostles has a similar point of application here, in the sense that what we’ve said in studying Acts is that everything that is described is not necessarily prescribed, so that you can’t simply say, “Well, look what happened there, and therefore, it must happen here”; so that descriptive is not necessarily prescriptive. In the Old Testament context of this, then we would actually say that the narrative is not normative—that we don’t operate simply from the narrative story as it unfolds. We have to, as students of God’s Word, take everything that we have been given in terms of the story, in terms of David, in terms of these characters, and then ask the question.
And David, as I’ve said to you, recognizes that the security of God’s kingdom—the security of God’s kingdom, the promise of 2 Samuel 7—is actually in jeopardy, from a human perspective, as he faces his death. He’s already seen the fact that on his own watch, Adonijah, another of his boys, has made a run for it. He’ll be dealt with by Solomon as the story goes. And he recognizes that the ongoing presence of these characters will at least be no help at all to Solomon.
And I imagine that he sits and he says, “You know, what I’m asking Solomon to do should have been done by me. After all, it was my role as king to establish justice.” And if he was speaking to Solomon, he might have said to him, “You know, Solomon, I tried my best to serve God faithfully. I acknowledge that I haven’t served him perfectly. Solomon, you’re going to discover what I have encountered: that leadership in the world, service in God’s kingdom, is a real challenge, and the people that we are thrust in amongst are fallen and broken people like ourselves. And it’s not easy. It’s complicated. That’s why I’ve said to you, essentially twice, Solomon, be wise, and do what you ought to do. Do what’s right.” What was right? That justice would be served. Joab and Shimei deserved death. That was the punishment. “So,” he says, “take the matter seriously.”
Now, you can, over coffee, think this thing out for yourself. And if we find it easier to conclude that this is a kind of knee-jerk deathbed reaction on the part of this aging king in light of his acknowledgment of his earlier failures to take action—if that is our response to it: “Yeah, I think it was just he made a hash of it at the end”—there may be a number of reasons for that. And one of them would be this: because the alternative is really hard to deal with—that this actually is a genuine expression of God’s righteous judgment on these characters.
And the execution of judgment in any shape or fashion at this point of the twenty-first century is challenged at every turn along the road to legal justice. The difficulty in having a jury of twelve individuals that are able to think simply in terms of jurisprudence—that do not sit there and think, “Well, I wouldn’t have liked it if it happened to me,” or apply all kinds of relative perspectives—that in itself is a huge challenge. Many of you are in the legal profession. The last time you settled a case in court was a long time ago, because it’s all settled out in the corridor. Because we know if we get it much further in there, there’s no saying what is going to happen. Justice in itself! But then when you add into that—leave that aside for the moment—but the notion of the justice of God? It is an unpopular notion. And it makes us feel uncomfortable. And therefore, perhaps we would rather say, “Yeah, I think it was just that David kind of went a bit goofy at the end.”
Well, the whole notion of the justice of God, of course, extends far beyond King David. It goes all the way to King Jesus. When Paul preaches engagingly to the intelligentsia of Athens, starting with the doctrine of creation and working his way through, you remember where he ends up: he says, “And I should tell you, just before I close, that God has appointed a day when he will judge the world by the man he has appointed. And he has given proof of this by raising him from the dead.” This was not an appeal to their felt hopes and dreams. This was a declaration of the reality of sinful man’s condition before a holy God. And the anointed of God, the king, whether he did it right at the beginning or not, it was for him to declare to the king that would take his place, “Justice and equity and righteousness are on your tab. They’re on your watch. Take care of it.”
The day that God has appointed will be absolutely fair. It’s a day that is already fixed. And the judgment of that day will be absolutely final. That’s why I began in Matthew. These are the words of King Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians, these are the expectations of the apostles. “It is appointed unto [man] once to die, [and] after this [comes] judgment.” Jesus didn’t come to judge the world but to save. What does that mean? It means that in his coming, he came with a message of salvation. But those who are invited, as I would invite you, to respond to the offer of his salvation need to know that the same Jesus who holds out a hand of welcome to you as a repentant sinner will execute judgment on that day. And we read it.
Well, I don’t want it to say, “And then the congregation slept.” It says, “Then David slept.” “David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David.” And “Solomon sat on the throne …, and [the] kingdom was firmly established.”
So where’s David? You know, it’s interesting: when you read the Old Testament, and it talks about sleep, and it talks about Sheol, and it talks about things, it’s really, really clear that the uniform testimony of the Old Testament is that the dead are still alive. They’re still alive—that in death, they have experienced a change of place, they have experienced an altered state, and their individuality has been retained. That’s for another Sunday evening, that story.
But think about it. Think about it! Listen to our friends and neighbors talk. They say the saddest things: “Well, I think we’re all fine now. Well, after all, death evens everything out. All the bets are off. All the pieces go back in the box. Doesn’t matter. You could live like Hitler, or you could live like Mother Theresa, and whatever way you want to go, it’s all just—it all starts fresh from that point.” That’s a lie of the devil. You don’t die and go to nowhere. Death changes your place. Death alters your state. But death does not eradicate your individuality.
So somehow or another, I’m holding out for the idea that when this thing finally shakes out into a new heaven and a new earth, we can actually find David, as David. Not just, like, number 4972—you know, some kind of strange existence. No, it’s got to be far better than that. God has made this fabulous world. It’ll be good. It’ll be good. And we’re supposed to do this because this is just a foretaste of the meal that we’re going to have. I mean, this is a wee thing. That’s going to be a big thing. I don’t know how you serve all those people.
When I listened to Graham preach the other Sunday when I was gone and followed it online, he quoted one of my favorite verses—remember, when he was talking about “You’re not somebody with an unfulfilled future” or something. I can’t remember what it was. But he said, “You know, eye hasn’t seen (it’s invisible), nor ear heard (it’s inaudible), neither has it entered into the heart of man (it’s inconceivable), the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” But every so often he gives you a little inkling of it—sometimes when you sing, sometimes in the breaking of bread. Just sometimes. May our time have something of that now as we draw things to a close.
Father, we are all learners from the one who knows the answers. Thank you again for our answer in this morning’s catechism: What does the Holy Spirit do for us? Amongst all the things he does, he enables us to pray, and he explains the Bible to us. So we look to the fulfillment of that as we continue to be students of your Word. As we seek to gather around the Table, may we be struck anew by the wonder of your kindness towards us, even as Barzillai was amazed by the kindness of David. And we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
 See 1 Kings 2:46.
 2 Samuel 7:12–16 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 3:27–28 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 3:28–29 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 20:4 (ESV).
 See 2 Samuel 3:32.
 See 2 Samuel 18:14.
 2 Samuel 3:39 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 3:39 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 17:22, 24 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 17:27–29 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 19:33 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 19:34–37 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 19:38–39 (ESV).
 Titus 3:4 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 16:5–8 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 16:9 (ESV).
 2 Samuel 16:10 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 19:21–23 (ESV). Emphasis added.
 1 Kings 2:2 (ESV).
 Acts 17:31 (paraphrased).
 Hebrews 9:27 (KJV).
 See John 3:17.
 1 Corinthians 2:9 (paraphrased).
 The New City Catechism, Q. 37.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.