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On a Hill Far Away

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2021 7:00 pm

On a Hill Far Away

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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September 5, 2021 7:00 pm

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Your Bibles with you today. Turn with me if you would to second Samuel chapter 21 and start off versus 133 there was a famine in the days of David for three years here after year. And David saw the face of the Lord and the Lord said there is blood guilt on Saul and on his house because he put the Gibeonites to death. So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them in the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites, although the people of Israel and sworn to spare them solid salt to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.

David said to the Gibeonites.

What shall I do for you. How shall I make atonement that you may bless the heritage of the Lord.

Bear with me as we got our Lord in prayer. Heavenly father, we come before your throne this morning. First of all, the lift up Martin referred to you heavenly father. He is desperately sick. He's in a bad situation right now and he desperately need your touch. I thank you Lord for the doctors and the nurses that are helping, but father he needs the great physician needs you to put your hand upon him, Lord, and help him Lord and we as a congregation right now are asking you for a miracle to reach down from heaven and so touching Lord, that he might be made well from all this heavenly father we pray for others in our congregation who are now suffering with the code that is where you would pray for in the net and Tony and Robert Brown pray that Jeff might not get this disease week.

Pray for Christina Dale Powell also heavenly father we have before us today a heart gripping passage we see men being executed for crimes that they didn't commit. We see people who are filled with hatred and bitterness and were seeking revenge. We see a parent who is bereaved over the mistreatment of her children. This is not a feel-good story. So why did you put in your word because it is life.

RCN is creating these kinds of problems. We live in a world where there is very little trust nations live to was our own government fuses to be honest with us, the culture feeds a secular propaganda that is purposely trying to turn us against God and toward sin. So many times we just feel helpless. So often we feel angry, too often, her anger turns into bitterness in our hearts seek out ungodly revenge helpless Lord understand what we can and to trust you to the things that we can't understand them by the heart of Risko the mother be replicated in the hearts of the parents and grandparents of grace, but we love our kids in the Lord, may we fight for them and train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Father keep my lips from air today.

May Jesus be exalted through this message may this congregation beatified this in Jesus precious name we pray. Amen. You may be seated.

There was a famine that lasted for three years and the days of David back in the late 1970s and early 80s. We became very aware of what the hearts of famine were like, for we solve field clip after film clip on the news every night of the terrible famine that was going on in Ethiopia. We saw pictures of little children that were so weak with hunger if they could even slap the flies away from their eyes.

We sold me on who will rip and bark off trees and stuff it in their mouth, trying to feel their hungry bellies. We saw trucks coming into villages that were filled with raw grain and people would jump up on the trucks rip those bags of grain open and stuff.

The raw grain into their miles. But it's a famine in David's day was quickly reaching that point that's hard for us to identify with it because we can at least a little bit preserve food and save it and store it up. We got canned goods. We got freezers. We could put me then when we got all these kinds of things even pressurize food today that can last up to 25 years.

David had none of that. None of that and what we see here is an absolute tragedy.

People were dying of starvation and cute little kids were hung hungry and wailing and crying with stomach pains. David was upset and so he went to the Lord and he cried out to the Lord.

He said Lord what's the matter, why is this going on. Why had you done this to us in the Lord related to David that this was a problem that Saul had missed treated the Gibeonites know of the Gibeonites of the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but they were descendents of the Amorites, and they were eight low class lazy bunch of people who had become a great burden on the people of Israel. In Joshua chapters chapter 9, we find out that that Josh has just defeated Jericho and the city of AI in the Gibeonites come to him and they come disguised that they wear clothes that are torn and old looking and they put dust on them and they let their beards grow long and shabby and they did that to give the appearance to Joshua that they are coming from a long distance away and they came to Joshua and they said Joshua we will enter into a covenant with you, before God and in this covenant, we want you to promise us that you will not destroy us that you will not kill us and we will make a covenant promise to you that we will be your servants that we will be your slaves. Joshua fell into that deception. He made that covenant with them and almost immediately, they became an albatross around Israel's neck they would not work so to speak. They were just, put in their welfare system had to be taken care of and it was a deep burden for them. But Joshua had made a promise before God. Joshua had made a covenant oath and he would not break it takes us to point one that I was to look at today.

That is the unrelenting justice of God, look at me at verse one.

Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years. Year after year and Dana saw the face of the Lord and the Lord said there is blood guilt on Saul and on his house because he put the Gibeonites to death. Several years after Joshua made this covenant with the Gibeonites King Saul rose to become the king of Israel, and when he saw what the Gibeonites were doing to Israel. He was absolutely indignant and he said not all my watch. I'm not going let this happen.

I don't care what Josh was promised, I don't care if he made an oath before God or not, I will like the Gibeonites and I'm going to deal with them and he went after them and clean house and killed many of the Gibeonites and God said no you don't do that you don't make a promise before God.

You don't make an oath before the Lord and then break it and the result was that God was chastening, Israel with a terrible terrible famine. Let me share with you some quick insight about Richard Phillips. He said this circumstance prompts us to make several observations regarding God's judgment verse we see that God's justice is unforgiving and unrelenting. We say that time heals all wounds. Not so with God.

The passage of time in Israel's dimming memory of this event did nothing to erase the blood guilt in the annals of God Gordon Keddy writes people may forget our past sins but God never forgets because he will perfectly vindicate his law and those who have been wronged from the Lord's perspective. Nothing merely blows over. There is no statute of limitations with the justice of God. God knows the time to bring forth his demand for retribution, whether immediately some years later, or only at the final judgment when all unforgiving sin will receive eternal punishment. This makes clear the importance of sinners seeking forgiveness in the way that God is offered through the blood of his son Jesus Christ. No matter how good we may come to feel about our sales minimizing and forgetting our sins against God's law. God never forgets them and will bring them to account, in the day of Christ's return.

So David prays, Lord, what should we do about this situation and the Lord says to David restitution must be given to the Gibeonites. The word that is actually used they are in the Hebrew is the word for atonement.

Atonement must be made and we know David Davis toughening a man he anyone scared of anything that grew hair or fur.

He was just a tough guy.

Let me tell you David realizes this is serious business.

He realizes that this is a situation where God has removed his blessing and not even rain is falling upon Israel at this point in time. David is deeply concerned because he remembers the Scripture in Leviticus chapter 26 verse 20 that says this and your strength shall be spent in vain for your land shall not yield its increase in the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. So David swallowed his pride and he went to the Gibeonites and he sat down with them and said all right fellas, the Lord has revealed to us that we have broken our covenant oath with you and that we're here to ask you what kind of restitution to you Walt.

How can we make amends liquid preaching for a minute go to Madeleine over four decades of pastoring I've had many people come to me and say Doug I've been praying about something, and God will not answer my prayer is like the heavens or brass. It's like God is ignoring me when I pray one of the first questions I will ask them is this have you wrong someone else and not made it right. Have you wrong someone else and not made it right. We can't be right with God until we are right with each other. Some 66 verse 18 says if I regard iniquity in my heart. The Lord will not hear me listen to what Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount, if you bring a gift to the altar and then remember that you got something between you and your brother then leave the gift they are. Go get it cleared up with your brother, and then come back and fellowship with the Lord.

In other words, your horizontal relationships have got to be right before your vertical relationship is going to be right. Years ago a man in my former church was praying and he was asking the Lord to just speak to his heart to to showing what his heart was like in as he was probably in the Lord brought up a situation that happened in his life when he was a teenager.

He was a Christian then became a Christian much much later. But how this thing was brought up what he had done was that he had stolen two magazines from a drugstore back when he was a teenager and so he decided that he needed to call a drugstore to call them up and it was 30 years later, the man that owned the drugstore was still running the drugstore and he was there and so my friend Larry asking him to a set art told him he said I need to to confess to you that I stole two magazines on your store 30 years ago, and I will ask your forgiveness. I want to pay for the magazines in the mansion will buy I will forgive you and that that'll be fine. And so Larry started to write the check out and when he did, the Lord spoke to his heart again said you don't owe him just for the amount of the magazines you owe him for also for interest all those years and he figured it up and it was about $250 and so he was on his knees again. He said Lord I don't have this kind of money I don't know what to do and as he was on his knees. He got a telephone call from his parents man who had just given him his taxes back yesterday and said Larry I made a mistake I made a mistake and and on your taxes you pay in $250 too much and he said I want you to know that now you got $250 that you didn't know that you had and Larry was absolutely flabbergasted folks God provided the money now. What did all that accomplish.

First of all, his conscience was clear before God and that man. But secondly, what a witness that was to the store owner, for he wrote that check out not only did he write a check.

He also Rod wrote a letter and he shared his testimony of how he had become a Christian and that's why he confessed his sin. He wrote that letter and then he gave a presentation of the gospel. Verse by verse.

I don't know about you, so my sins me $250 out of the blue and since a little letter along with that, I think I might read that letter. Can you imagine what this lost world would do and how they would react if all of those of us who call ourselves Christians would go to those who we've offended and roamed an sight of them. I have rolled you would you forgive me and do I need to make restitution to you what you think the lost world would say I think they would say this while that God is God is for real.

He's not just talking. He's not just playing games he means business with the Lord back to the Scripture. When David went to these fellows. He knew that they were worthless. He did not realize how worthless they were. But he says to them, how can we make amends. What can we do for restitution. I say we don't want any silver and gold. What we want his seven sons of Saul.

We were to take those sons of Saul and we want to hang them up on the heel and give you the word hang is the Hebrew word got caught in that word minute means literally to impale when David heard this.

I'm sure his heart was broken. I'm sure he couldn't believe his ears he was between a rock and a hard place and he had no recourse but to do what they were asking him to do so the next day seven of Saul's sons were marched up to the heel and give you and they were impaled on these polls, much like a crucifixion.

I think it was probably a very festive addict atmosphere that was there with the Gibeonites. I think they probably bother brought their picnic baskets and their six packs in and they probably were circling around these men that were dying upon those polls and they were mocking them in and they were laughing at them, cursing them and probably spinning on them all a big time by the end of the day all seven of those men were dead.

The custom of the Gibeonites that they would just leave those people up on the polls and that would not take them down after death that we just kind of a head to the to the terrible humiliation this twilight approached a little woman who was the mother of two of these men made her way up to the top of the hill of give you where these men had been impaled on these polls. This woman's name was Risko that name name means hot stone. She was one of Saul's concubines to those son of those men upon those polls were her sons and so she she goes up they are and I guess she does what any mother would do. She sees her sons. They are there dead.

Their bodies are stained with blood, and she goes over she wrapped her hands around there there dead feet and holds them to her chest, and you would think that after that this little lady would say well there's nothing more I can do. I'm going home. She didn't do that.

She took a sackcloth, like a blanket and she is, rolled it out. She said I'm staying here. I'm not leaving. She said the animals will not come and devour my son's flesh. She's of the vultures will not, I will not let that happen.

And when the animals did come when they smell that flesh likes Rhonda to get to the bodies of her sons. What did she do she took a stick and about beat them to death. And when the vultures would come.

She take that that sheepskin and she would just what you've written and and and make them flee in and get out of the way and Scripture says this happened at the time of the barley harvest and she stayed there until the time the first rains. Most scholars believe that the Barley Harvest Took Pl. in May and the first Rains Took Pl. in September. That was about four months. If that's the case that's a long time for this woman to be in this kind of danger with these wild animals with this woman to be and in this kind of of of atmosphere day after day after day when she could have easily just have gone home, but she would not like that takes me to the second point, one question to three people or three persons in the question is this why are you here on the heel of give you the first great almost to look at are the seven sons of Saul, Saul, seven sons of Saul, why are you here on the heel of Gibeon. Look at verses five and six. They said to the king. The man who consumed us and plan to destroy us so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel but seven of his sons be given us so that we may hang them before the Lord at Gibeon, Saul, the chosen of the Lord and the king said I will give them picture this in your mind. These men are hang and they are impaled on these polls. They are scorched with the heat from that day there there dehydrated. Their lips are cracked and parched theirs. Their clothes are just stained with blood, and we look up to them and we ask them this question sons of Saul who are you here on the heel of tibia and they answer us back and they say were here for one reason, because our father seemed to think about this thing for just a minute we inherit the physical traits of our parents and grandparents.

I'm 5'8" tall. I wish I was taller, but I'm not in the reason I'm not is because my granddad was 5'8" tall. I got it from him.

I had a Sunday Mitch. Mitch was little will be walking down the road and somebody would stop us and he said that's gonna be your son because he looks just like you looking for Mitch. That's a compliment Michie saddle thinks her dad, but it is true that parents and grandparents have their physical characteristics of pass down to their kids that also is true in the spiritual room in Deuteronomy 59. The Scripture says the sins of the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth generation. Psychologists tell us today that the children of alcoholics have a greater tendency to become alcoholics than children of parents that don't drink at all. I had a friend in high school and he went we would come home from school and his mother and dad were just hopeless alcoholics and often times when we walk in the door they would be land passed out drunk in the floor he be embarrassed to death and I used to think to myself manic. I'll never drink started drinking in high school when he was in his early 30s. He drove his car off the road, hit a tree killed himself the sins of the children of the fathers are visited on the children.

We read you a quick illustration of two men lived at the very same time. The first name guys name was Max Jukes. They lived in New York.

He did not believe in Christ or in Christian training. He refused to take his children to church even when asked to go. He has had 1026. Defendants 680 of them were admitted alcoholics, 300 were sent to prison for average term of 13 years hundred and 90 were public prostitutes. His family thus far as cost estate in excess of $420,000 they made no contribution to society living in that same time was another man. I think one of America's greatest theologians Jonathan Edwards, Jonathan Edwards lived in the same state the same times as Jews. He love the Lord saw that his children were in church every Sunday as he serve the Lord, to the best of his ability. He has 929 descendents of those 430 were ministers, 86, became University professors 13 became unit became University presidents 75 authored good books fiber elected Congress to the Senate.

One was VP of his nation. His family never cost estate one cent but is contributed immeasurably to the life of the land. Today, pastor friend of mine is a man, his church is now blind is suffered with problems from the time he was born when he was younger he trod medicines and sales in different prescription glasses.

Nothing seemed to work. Did know what was happening and why he had that until he was 35 years old when his father died, his family doctor called me and said Bob I want you to know that you have a disease that's gonna cause your eyes to completely deteriorate and it probably won't be much longer until you are totally blind and he said what's the matter what.

What is this what did I do something that calls this and the doctor said to me Bob before you were born your father had an affair with another woman, and he contracted a powerful strain of syphilis from her and when you were born that syphilis was passed down to you, it causes the eyes to deteriorate and one day soon you will be blind you will be blind because your father seemed to remember when I was pastoring my first church is looking at the directory and I saw a man's name that I didn't recognize a been there about a year and saw the sign that does seem I went to his house and he invited me in his little boy was down the floor while we were talking in the living room probably about five years, always playing with his toys.

I start talking to the man about the importance of Christians being in church, said the Scripture tells us that we are not to forsake the assembling together of the brethren, I said you need to worship God. You need accountability you need the fellowship you need to be in church and he said I'm not going to that church. He said that too many hypocrites they are beside. I'm not hurting anybody but myself a little boy ran over to them jumped up in his lap, gave me a long, hard, stay or suggest right daddy. You telling we don't need all Jesus doing at man's face turned white as a sheet. He looked over at Mason pastoral be at church Sunday I'll be at church Sunday and praise God he was the sins of the fathers are visited on the children. The second group owner question is the Gibeonites Gibeonites.

Why are you here on the heel of Gibeon and verses five and six of the verses we are in red though somewhat will do it again, but the Gibeonites respond with snarls on their lips and with gritted teeth and they say were here because of revenge. One reason we are here. We want revenge we know, like Saul, we hate Saul because of what he did and now it's payback time and they were all excited.

I saw those men hung up on those poles impaled on those poles and they they had a party and they danced around them in the end they spit on them and they mock them and they laughed at them and they do this all day long all day long folks easily get satisfied them.

You think they felt better. I don't think so. Yeah.

They laughed and they partied while they were together had to go home at night in the when I went home that night. I'm sure they lay down in their bed and they try to close their eyes and when they did all they could see in their minds were those 7 million whose blood was just dripping down the coagulate and the little pools down beneath your feet is an expression that says revenge is sweet on what you know that's a lie right straight out of the pits of hail revenge is not sweet, it's deadly and it will kill us spiritually will kill us emotionally and it will kill us physically in Hebrews chapter 12 verse 14 through 15. The Scripture says this strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

See to it that no one, no one fails to obtain the grace of God that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and by it many become defiled.

I tell you the Lord is not shy about taking me to the woodshed when there's disobedience in my life.

He'll do that in a heartbeat. Not my toughest spankings by the Lord have come when there's been bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart and it is I'm going through that discipline from the Lord. I'm reminded that if Jesus could forgive me, how can I not forgive others. Nobody has ever done something to me that was so bad that it made me suffer a little hail. But what I did to Jesus did make him suffer a literal hail vengeance is the Lord's. He will take care the injustices thoroughly was asked the question to Risko. Risko why are you here on the hill and give you.

Are you here. Look at verse 10, then rhythm of the daughter of a I took sackcloth, and spread it herself on the rock. From the beginning of harvest until rain fail upon them from the heavens and she did not allow the birds of the air to come upon them by day or the beasts of the field by night is only one answer that she could given the answer is a mothers love. This is to me one the most touching scenes in the entire Bible little gray-haired lady makes her way up the hill of of Gibeon and she sees her sons day out on those poles in chief lays down on the ground right below them. She puts her head then her hands and she begins to weep. She doesn't understand all the political ramifications of why her sons had to die. All she knows is this, they are dead. And on this earth. She will never speak to them again. She remembers them as toddlers and remembers how they used to jump up in her lab how they used to ask her for a drink of water to make a sandwich and Kelly said these cute little things and then she jumped up and I can see her running over to these these boys bodies and she grabs them around the feed and she hugs him and she just wails like a baby and she says to herself, I'm not leaving.

I don't care about the danger of the walls in the end, like hyenas in the Lions don't care about the danger the vultures. I'm not leaving this place, they will not touch my sons. I don't care if I miss my bridge club.

I don't care if I missed some meals that doesn't matter to me.

They will not touch my children praise God we need some parents like that today. Parents who will stand up and fight the world for their kids couple weeks ago we had a ruling elder to open us up in the morning service with prayer. He looked out over the congregation. He said this week is my son's 30th birthday tear begin to roll down his cheek and he said my son does not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He tried to ask us to pray for his son for several moments the words just would not come when he did that and finally said, please, please pray for my son. All I could think about was Risko folks at elder was broken. He understands that this is not a peripheral issue.

The understands that if his son dies without Christ. He is going to be lost for all of eternity and it blessed my heart to see a daddy care that much. Would to God that we had more parents like Risko parents who refused to get discouraged parents who refused to fit into the world's mold parents. Our culture is rotten to the core and if your kids get into the culture and reject Christ. They will be lost for all of eternity is life is like a puff of steam it's here and that is gone but eternity is forever. If ever there was a time that we need to fight for our children's souls.

It is right now .3. A portrait of Christ's sacrifice. Look with me versus 11 to 14 when David was told Risko, the daughter of a the concubine of solid done. David went took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from Amanda J Bish Gilliard, who'd stolen them from the public square. Best, Shannon for the Philistines and hang them on the daily on the day the Philistines kill Saul and Gilboa and he brought up from there. The bones of Saul and the bones of the son, Jonathan, and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged and they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin's Lelah the tomb of Kish's father. They did all of the king commanded and after that God responded to the pulley for the land 3000 years ago on a hill call Gibeon seven young men were sacrificed for the sins of another. These seven men were sinful men, but they were typed.

There were pictures.

They were signposts who were that were pointing us to another heel that we read about that took place a thousand years later that hill is called Calvary, there was another man, all that heel that died on the cross. He was the son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and he died not because of his own sins, for he was perfectly sinless. He died for the sins of his people, folks, Risko, Risko loved her sons that love was great but it was nothing in comparison to the love of Christ. What was the purpose of the cross we give you for quick purposes. Number one, it was a substitutionary atonement. Jesus died on the cross to take RCN to give us his righteousness to take our hail and give us his heaven. Second, it was a propitiation he died in order that that the wrath of God against RCN might be appeased that God's wrath against RCN would be totally completely satisfied.

Thirdly, it was a reconciliation.

Jesus died in his blood wash is book his blood washed away our sins completely so that he could reconcile a holy God to sinful people and lastly was a redemption redemption. He purchased our ransom. He died to bring us out of the slave market of sin and the payment that he made was his own shed blood of a question. I will ask you before close.

That question is this. Are you saved, do you know it beyond a shadow of a doubt if you died in a car wreck on the way home today. Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you go to heaven if I don't I'm not sure how to one know you repent of your sins.

That means that you turn from those things in your life that are displeasing to God and you run to Christ in faith, faith, and what faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross that he died he died, not just for the world that he died for you personally and faith in his resurrection that his resurrection brought the power of death over you, you surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and Jesus becomes your treasure plea for my encouragement. He was don't put this off, don't put it off.

It was Solomon who said to us that we are not to put things off that we are not to wait a sin, we are not to do that because we are to boast not of herself of tomorrow, for we know not what a day shall bring forth.

Paul said today is the day of salvation.

Now is the time a decision Jesus said all that the father gives to me will come to me and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.

So what is he telling you if you will come to him right now in faith and repentance.

His promise is he will not cast you out, he will save your soul for all of eternity is pray.

Heavenly father in John five Jesus said, search the Scriptures because they testify of me. As we study this strange event about Saul sons being executed because of Saul sin.

Our minds were turned to the cross.

Father, help us to be so Jesus centered that you might use everything to drive us to our Savior help us to say, along with Paul who said, far be it for me to boast in anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, of which the world has been crucified to me and to the world. We love you Lord help you to love us. Help us to love you more for us in Jesus precious name we pray

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