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Who Has Your Heart?

Your Name Magnified Forever  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:26
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Who has your heart? Are you loyal to the true king, Jesus? Does He have your heart? What does that look like? What are the marks of a loyal servant, one who follows Him with a steadfast and faithful love? As we look at this passage, we see that there are at least two defining traits of a loyal servant.

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Your Name Magnified Forever

8/11 – Who Has Your Heart? (2 Samuel 15:13-23)

Summary: When David gets the news of Absalom’s rebellion, he says to all his servants who are with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” The king’s servants respond. They say, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.”

So, the king goes out. All his household follows. David leaves ten concubines to keep the house. The king goes out, and all the people after him. They stop at the last house. All his servants pass by him, including six hundred Gittites who followed him from Gath. They pass before him.

Then David speaks to Ittai the Gittite. He asks, “Why do you also go with us?” David tells him to go back home, and David gives a blessing saying, “mercy and truth be with you.” Ittai responds to David. He says, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” David replies, saying, “Go then, pass on.”

So Ittai the Gittite passes on with all his men and all the little ones with him. And all the land weeps aloud as all the people pass by. And the king crosses the brook Kidron, and all people pass on toward the wilderness.

Main Idea: It’s a time of intense civil unrest. The nation of Israel is in turmoil. Why? Many people are joining Absalom’s conspiracy. Their hearts go after an enemy. In contrast, servants of king David show themselves to be faithful to him. By their own lips, they tell him that they will do whatever he decides. They will go wherever he goes. They are loyal and courageous servants to the exile king. Which king will you follow? Who is your true king? Which king has your heart?

Sermon Idea: Who has your heart? Are you loyal to the true king, Jesus? Does He have your heart? What does that look like? What are the marks of a loyal servant, one who follows Him with a steadfast and faithful love? As we look at this passage, we see that there are at least two defining traits of a loyal servant.

DOES A RIVAL KING HAVE YOUR HEART?

13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.”

The writer contrasts two people here. On the one hand, Absalom is ambitious. He takes short cuts. He says what people want to hear. He is proud. He is murderous. His relationship with the LORD seems like a sham. He is not loyal to his father. He is sneaky. He seeks to harm the LORD’s anointed king. Absalom puts himself forward as king. He steals hearts. He is a rival. Absalom is an enemy king. On the other hand, David is loyal. His relationship with the LORD is real. David is humble. He seeks the welfare of others. He says what people need to hear. He takes the difficult path. He bolsters hearts. He leads well. He is regal. He is the true king. Yet, he is about to be an exile. Which king would you follow? Who would have your heart?

Do not underestimate your rival. Your enemy, Satan, is proud. He says what you want to hear. He makes such big promises. But he is a liar. He is a thief. He steals hearts. He seeks to harm the LORD’s anointed. He wants to destroy Jesus’ church. As one who can look so good, Satan wants to make us look so bad. He starts early and doesn’t relent in his deceptive plans. Make no mistake, Satan is a rival. He is your enemy. Don’t give him your heart!

DOES AN EXILE KING HAVE YOUR HEART?

You are ready to do whatever he decides!

14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

David takes firm, quick action. After a time of being slow to make any decisions, the king now does not hesitate to make a bold decision. Listen to what he says, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

He urges his household to leave Jerusalem without delay. David takes seriously the news about Absalom’s rebellion. David does not want his enemy to trap him. He does not want his enemy to destroy the city he loves. It’s clear that David does not underestimate his rival. It’s also clear that David wants the best for his servants. He seeks their welfare. He seeks their deliverance from the enemy. Here David shows himself a bold, wise, and loving king. And his servants respond with loyal courage. Listen to what they say.

15 And the king's servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.”

David asks his servants to follow him out of Jerusalem and into an exile life. It won’t be easy for any of them. They will trade familiar routines and comforts, for an uncertain and uncomfortable journey. But they are ready to follow David. His servants tell him that they are ready to do whatever he decides. In other words, they will obey all that the king says.

How about you? Are you ready to do whatever King Jesus says? Are you ready to do whatever He decides? Have you counted the cost of obeying Him? Do you know what He’s asking you? Do you know His clear commands? Do you know how much He loves you? Does He have your heart here?

You are ready to be wherever he is!

21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”

As David’s servants pass by, he speaks to one in particular. The king asks Ittai, “Why do you also go with us?” Twice the exile king directs this exile servant to go back. He doesn’t expect or demand Ittai to go with him on this unknown and possibly dangerous journey. But Ittai answered the king. Listen to what he says. “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” Did you hear that? Ittai says he is ready to be wherever the king is. And that includes death or life. He will be right there beside David. That’s fierce loyalty in action. That’s a servant who has given his heart to the king. He has an exemplary attitude here. His choice is courageous and potentially costly, both for himself and for his household. When David gives the word, it’s not just Ittai who goes. It’s all his men and all the little ones with him. (22)

23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness.

Now everyone in David’s household passes by. The king crosses the brook Kidron (see John 18:1). They are heading toward the wilderness. They are leaving Jerusalem behind. As they depart, others begin to weep aloud. This is a time of sadness and suffering. This is a time of lament and loneliness. As John Woodhouse states (2 Samuel, Your Kingdom Come, p. 388), this is David’s darkest day. His path anticipates the path Jesus would follow.

At this dark time David commits to follow the LORD completely (v. 25-26). Though rejected (Isaiah 53:3), he entrusts himself to God. (1 Peter 2:23)

How about you? In this season of life, have you committed to follow the LORD completely? Are you ready to be wherever He leads? Have you counted the cost? Are you willing to follow King Jesus anywhere? Are you entrusting yourself to Him? Does He have your heart here?

Deny yourself. Take up your cross daily. Follow Him. Do not be ashamed of Him or His words. (Luke 9:23-26) By God’s grace, delight in Jesus. Be loyal to Jesus. Love Him. Listen to Him. Obey Him. Why? He is the true King. He is worthy of all your service. So, give Him your all. Give Him your heart.

Observation for 2 Samuel 15:13-23

WHAT DO I SEE?

Where is the gospel in the text?

Jesus is the true king. And He is worthy. He is worthy of us giving Him our hearts. He is worthy of all our praise. He is worthy of all our loyal service to Him. He is worthy of us following Him in life or death. Wherever He leads, we must follow. Jesus is the true king. And He is worthy.

What words stand out?

13 hearts (leb—the heart; one’s inner self; will; character; mind; soul; middle; courage; attention)[1]

13 with (ahar—after; back; behind; pursue a thing; walk with; attach oneself to; following part; west)

14 servants (ebed—slave; subordinate; subject; officer; minister; bond servant)

14 bring down (nadah—to wield an axe; bring disaster on; impel; banish; thrust forth; expel; cast down; scattered)

15 whatever (kol—all; the whole; everything; completely; total; every kind of; every sort; every; totality; every sort; altogether)

15 chooses (bahar—select; desire; prefer; examine; select; approve; love; delight; decide)

17 Ittai (ittay—neighboring; passage street; nearness; companionable)

19 exile (galah—to uncover; remove; to be naked; reveal; lay bare; to immigrate; deport; go away)

20 wander (nua—to tremble; to roam around; totter; be shaken; stagger; disturb; to cause to move to and fro; without shelter or home)

20 mercy (hesed—loyalty; faithfulness; goodness; graciousness; loyal love; zeal; steadfast love)

20 truth (emet—trustworthy; faithful; constancy; firmness; peace and security; lasting; uprightness)

21 wherever (maqom—location; place; site; space; room; residence; direction; abode; habitation; town; country; anywhere; everywhere)

21 there (sam—here; over there; then; just then; at that time; thither; thence)

23 weeping (bakah—wail; cry; bewail; weep for; sob; mourn; weep bitterly; weep continually)

23 wilderness (midbar—wasteland; desert; barren wilderness; sterile, sandy country; sparsely inhabited land, providing little or no sustenance)

What is one big take away for me?

Being loyal is a big deal.

Interpretation for 2 Samuel 15:13-23

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What is the author saying here?

A lone messenger comes to David with bad news: the hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom. What does that look like? One of David’s sons, Absalom leads a cunning revolt. After more than four years of unashamed self-promotion and crafty, smooth talking, Absalom now sets himself up as king at Hebron.

When David gets the news, he says to all his servants who are with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

The king’s servants respond. They say, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.”

So, the king goes out. All his household follows. David leaves ten concubines to keep the house. The king goes out, and all the people after him. They stop at the last house. All his servants pass by him, including six hundred Gittites who followed him from Gath. They pass before him.

Then David speaks to Ittai the Gittite. He asks, “Why do you also go with us?” David tells him to go back home, and David gives a blessing saying, “mercy and truth be with you.”

Ittai responds to David. He says, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”

David replies, saying, “Go then, pass on.”

So Ittai the Gittite passes on with all his men and all the little ones with him. And all the land weeps aloud as all the people pass by. And the king crosses the brook Kidron, and all people pass on toward the wilderness.

Personal Application for 2 Samuel 15:13-23

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THIS TRUTH?

By God’s grace, I will be loyal to Him. I will serve Him well.

Thoughts and Quotes for 2 Samuel 15:13-23

I know of nothing which I would choose to have as the subject of my ambition for life than to be kept faithful to my God till death, still to be a soul winner, still to be a true herald of the cross, and testify the name of Jesus to the last hour. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

What think we of Christ? Is He altogether glorious is our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to Him, and more devoted to His service. ~ Matthew Henry

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. ~ Oswald Chambers

An honest heart seeks to please God in all things and offend Him in none. ~ A.W. Pink

Let your words be the genuine picture of your heart. ~ John Wesley

Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. ~ Martin Luther

You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you. ~ Augustine

Absalom Stole Their Hearts

He made himself look like a king.

1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

He got an early start to steal their hearts.

2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate.

He said what they wanted to hear.

He made them feel welcome.

He made the king seem small and distant.

And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.”

He claimed the rights of king that were not his to give.

He made promises he could not and would not keep.

4 Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”

He looked like he truly cared for them.

5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.

He spread a big blanket of lies.

6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment.

So he stole their hearts.

So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Application for 2 Samuel 15:13-23

Does a rival king have your heart?

Do not underestimate him.

Do not listen to his lies.

· God is small. God is distant. God doesn’t care for you. God is powerless here.

· You are the most important person here. You should follow your heart. Your opinions are always good and right. You deserve justice.

Do not draw close to him.

Do not follow him in his rebellion.

Do not give him your heart.

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” (Matthew 4:10)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Does an exile king have your heart?

You are ready to do whatever He decides!

Listen to Him.

Spend time reading and studying and memorizing God’s word.

Thirst for God’s word.

Know God’s word.

Obey God’s word.

You are ready to be wherever He is!

Deny yourself. Take up your cross daily. Follow Him. Do not be ashamed of Him or His words. (Luke 9:23-26)

Delight in Jesus.

Be loyal to Jesus.

Love Him.

Obey Him.

· You thank Him for where He has you now. You give your all where you are now.

· Refuse to waste your life. Make the most of your time.

· You are not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). You proclaim the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-11).

Give Him your all.

Give Him your heart.

[1] Word studies from various sources on Logos Software, including, but not limited to A Dictionary of Biblical Languages by James Swanson.

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