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Patriots and Politics, Part 1
In the past several issues, we have taken special note of how the providence of God orchestrated events to bring David to occupy the throne over Judah. David waited on the Lord to give him the throne; he did not take it by force. We could have titled those issues “Providence and Politics.” We will now see how, in contrast, certain self-styled “patriots” in ancient Israel attempted to force matters.
As we continue our study of the life and character of David, we find that General Abner has now been murdered by General Joab. With Saul’s wishy-washy son, King Ishbosheth on the throne of Israel, the nation was now vulnerable to attack from the Philistines. The stage is now set for political conspiracies by so-called “patriots.” Two brothers, military men who had served under Abner, now spot an opportunity to rapidly move up the ladder of power and prestige, if they can successfully accomplish their dastardly and daring deed.
2 Samuel 4:2 And Saul’s son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon a Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin: (for Beeroth also was reckoned to Benjamin:
3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)
Here we are given a little background about these two brothers: their father’s name, where they lived, and curiously, it tells us about the former inhabitants, the Canaanites who used to live there, but who had fled the area. If there are some curious things in that verse, then verse 4 is even more puzzling. Verses 5 & 6 continue with the story of the brothers Rechab and Baanah, so what is this seemingly out-of-place verse doing here?
4 And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
Why interrupt the story of the brothers to insert these facts about Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth? (You will recall that Jonathan was the son of Saul and a very dear friend of David. But, alas, Jonathan had perished with his father in a battle against the Philistines.) We don’t hear anymore about Mephibosheth until five chapters later in the Holy Script. Yes, it seems odd, but we shall begin to glean a reason before too long, so we will reserve comment on this verse for now. Back to the palace of King Ishy.
5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon.
While Ishy is in his bedroom taking his siesta, the two brothers come into the palace under pretense.
6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.
7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.
We have emphasized it many times in these studies of Saul already, so we should all notice the prominent symbol that jumps out at us in verse 6. It’s the wheat! …a symbol of Pentecost, the in-part anointing, the realm of insufficiency, the symbol of non-overcomers, etc. Just as Saul represents nonovercomers, so also his son, Ishbosheth, continues that representation.
8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life: and YHWH hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed.
9 And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As YHWH liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity,
10 When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:
11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth?
12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.
Let us now consider how and why this murder came about. There is a reason for the insertion of the facts about Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, being placed right there in verse 4. In fact, there are several reasons. One reason is to show us that these two officers, Rechab and Baanah, knew the political situation. They knew that the House of Saul was running out of male heirs.
True, there were some grandsons of Saul by his concubines, but Mephibosheth was a legal and legitimate grandson of Saul. However, he had had the accident which left him lame, and in those days no man could ascend to the throne who was deformed by birth or by accident. They were deemed unfit to rule. So Rechab and Baanah are conspiring between themselves: “Look, Abner’s gone, and Ishbosheth is too weak to rule. If he were out of the way, that only leaves Mephibosheth. But that 12-year-old [for it has now been seven years since the death of Saul and Jonathan] boy is disqualified from being king because of his lameness. Therefore, if we took out Ishbosheth, then David could be king over all Israel just as Yahweh had promised him through Samuel.
“And imagine how pleased David will be with us for getting revenge on the House of Saul for him! Why, David will appoint us to be very high-ranking officers, probably right under his nephew Joab. Listen, brother, I know how we could do it. You see, we go in to Ishbosheth’s house to the granaries to get the wheat to pay our men….”
And thus they plotted their heinous act. But as we reflect on their plot, we realize that Rechab and Baanah would not have conspired to murder Ishbosheth unless they had first formed an impression of David’s character in their own minds. And what was their assessment of David’s character? They thought of him as being on their own level—as one who is merely interested in personal gain, whether of power, or money or prestige; and usually the three go together. These were base men, men who had a paucity of spiritual understanding and perception. Therefore, because they themselves were so dull of spiritual sensitivity, they could not perceive how any political leader could be as David was: a man of noble character and virtue; a man who desired above everything else to see God’s plan for the kingdom of Israel come about in whatever manner God chose.
David himself, as we have noted, was content to wait on God to orchestrate the events which would ultimately bring him to the throne. In verse 9, when the assassins are brought before him, David tells them in no uncertain terms that it was Yahweh who had protected him through all his trials and that David did not need criminals to murder his opponents in cold blood in order for him to obtain the throne. David had always acted honorably towards both King Saul and King Ishbosheth. Even when David agreed to Abner’s plan, David did not go to Abner and seek the overthrow of Ishbosheth. David was not the initiator. Abner came to David and then David could see God’s hand orchestrating the events.
By the way, Abner’s plan did come to pass. The other tribes did switch their allegiance over to David. The only difference was that Abner’s plan was accomplished without Abner alive to partake of its fruit. Abner’s character was not all that different from his cousin Saul’s. Thus, God took Abner off the stage also. David’s character was not perfect, but it was orders of magnitude above the character of Rechab and Baanah. These two men no doubt fancied themselves as Israelite patriots because they believed they could help unify the nation under God’s anointed man, David, if they acted to eliminate the House of Saul.
But… they greatly miscalculated their own reward for doing what they thought was fulfilling the plan of God.
And with that last statement as a hint, my friends, there is a very important and timely lesson in this Old Testament story for us in 2005 A. D. in the United States of America, the land of regathered Israel. I will now spell it out. I know that this is going to step on the toes of some readers, but I also know from personal experience of having my own toes stepped on, that sometimes that is what it takes to awaken us to see a truth we had not seen before. (The full import may not become clear until part 2 of “Patriots and Politics.”)
As I have stated over and over again in these studies of Saul and David, these are types and shadows of New Testament history from 33 A.D. right up through today. To this point, we have spoken primarily of Saul representing the church leadership in the age of Pentecost, but really, he represents both church leadership and civil leaders. That is clearly seen by a knowledge of the history of the past 2,000 years because church and state were basically one entity for the majority of those centuries.
Our understanding of prophecy shows us that at the end of the age of Pentecost, which is where I believe we are at in these years, that the Saul leadership must fall and give way to the leadership of David. That is to say, the kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 11:15). Jesus Christ is David, the Head, and His overcomers are the Body of David (the Body of Christ) who will rule the kingdom under Him in the sooncoming millennial age. The age of Passover was from Mt. Sinai until the cross. The age of Pentecost was from 33 A. D. until now and we are on the threshold of the age of Tabernacles, the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. But we must realize that just as the pattern was with the House of Saul and the House of David, it was not a sudden thing.
2 Samuel 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
There was a period of transition. I believe we are in that period today. What I see in this story in 2 Samuel 4 is what I have seen occurring in Israel America. Here are three examples. Example #1: Recall that in the 1980s there was a group called The Order, which made headlines for allegedly committing a number of crimes, including murder and robbery, in the name of patriotism. The Order fashioned itself after the group of the same name in a novel called The Turner Diaries. While the author of The Turner Diaries, Dr. William Pierce (now deceased), was— allegedly—a non-Christian, self-admitted, white supremacist racist; some of the members of The Order were allegedly believers in the Israel identity message. (I am using the word allegedly frequently here because I did not know any of these people. Having no first-hand knowledge of this, I am simply giving my recollections of what I read about the group at the time.)
Members of The Order were put on trial in (I think) 1988 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and although some members were alleged to have murdered Denver talk show host, Alan Berg, I think they were actually convicted of other offenses and many or all of them are still serving extremely long prison terms, like 230 years or something like that. We will leave this example as a loose end which will be tied together in part 2.
Example #2: In April 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed with the loss of 168 lives. To me and to many other Americans who observe current events, and to a number of public officials and legislators who were personally involved in investigating this tragedy, it appears that this was another massive cover-up like the John F. Kennedy assassination where a patsy like Lee Harvey Oswald was made to appear to be the sole perpetrator of the crime. Timothy McVeigh, an exmilitary man, was easily caught and later convicted and executed as the sole perpetrator for the Murrah building bombing. All Americans followed the news and aftermath of this tragedy closely. I followed it especially closely because a group of Leftists called the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], headed by Morris Dees, put out material to law enforcement personnel and local news “medianites” all across America trying to link myself and Stone Kingdom Ministries [SKM], along with dozens of other ministries to Tim McVeigh. The SPLC claims to be a watchdog group which monitors so-called hate groups. However, a few years ago a newspaper article about the SPLC showed that they had funds in the bank in excess of $100 million dollars! Obviously, the “poverty” business is quite lucrative. Meanwhile, we at SKM praise God for putting it in the hearts of enough people to send in donations to keep us running on a month-to-month basis. (I think it’s called “living by faith?” At this new year, may I simply say thank you, faithful givers!)
And so, the local fish wrapper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, dutifully regurgitating the press releases from the SPLC, has on several occasions run feature articles, usually front page, naming SKM and yours truly as one of, or the leading hate group in Western North Carolina. To be sure they were fair and balanced in their reporting (grin, chuckle) because the articles would state something like “Bruggeman denies that he is a hater.” So exactly how was SKM allegedly linked with Tim McVeigh and therefore with the Oklahoma City bombing? Well, it is because one of our foundational teachings is that we, the AngloSaxon, Celtic, Scandinavian, Germanic and many other related peoples of European ancestry are the true descendants of the Israel people of the Bible and because McVeigh is alleged to have believed that also. Their proof that he did?
Some time shortly before April 19, 1995, Tim McVeigh had evidently lived in Elohim City, Oklahoma. Now this place was not really a city, but a small community of people, or a village (I don’t know for sure, I’ve never been there), but it was a place where a group of people who all believed the Israel identity message all lived in close proximity. Therefore, the quirky reasoning goes, if McVeigh “lived there” for a time—actually, it was more like an extended visit—then all those other inhabitants of Elohim City must have been “Christian patriot terrorists” like McVeigh! That would be akin to saying all Baptists are terrorists because McVeigh was a Baptist (we’re just making that up as an example), or that all Catholics are terrorists because McVeigh was a Catholic (which he was actually by birth, I understand).
Pardon me, but I am just cynical and suspicious enough to believe it is likely that Oswald’s—oops, I mean—McVeigh’s handler ordered him to stay and visit at Elohim City so that later the link could be purported in order to smear anybody who believed the Christian Israel identity message. Then they could say “See, this proves that all those people who believe they are the real Israelites, that they are fanatics trying to overthrow the government.” And that is the modus operandi of Morris Seligman Dees, who is of Jewish ancestry.
Are you beginning to see how this ties in with Rechab and Baanah? The men of The Order, the Tim McVeighs, do have some patriotic fervor. They are angered by what they see happening in our country. Somewhere in their young lives (and they were almost all young men), they became enlightened to some of the political truth about our nation and the world. They learned about the CFR, the Trilateralists and the Bilderbergers. Some of them had some biblical knowledge to go with it. Some apparently also understood the true identity of Israel in the world today. Some of them understood that the present government is corrupt just like that of old King Saul. Eventually, they grew more and more frustrated because they saw that the educational efforts of tens of thousands of patriotic Americans was having virtually no effect in slowing down, let alone reversing the juggernaut towards a new period of Dark Ages under the guise of a New World Order. So they evidently felt it was their God-assigned responsibility to help restore freedom and preserve our heritage by overthrowing the present Saul government. But… they greatly miscalculated their own reward for doing what they thought was fulfilling the plan of God.
Next month: example #3 of modern day Rechabs and Baanahs and how the Word of God must be rightly divided to understand how we should act vis à vis an ungodly government.