Nevertheless my loving-kindness - My mercy; my favor. I will not utterly cast him off. He shall not be in the condition of those who are my enemies, or who are entirely forsaken.
Will I not utterly take from him - Margin, “I will not make void from.” The Hebrew word - פרר pârar - means to break, to break in pieces; then, to violate, as a covenant; then, to make vain, to bring to nought, to frustrate; then, to annul, to abolish. The idea here is that of making entirely vain; wholly removing from; or taking completely away. The meaning is, that he would not wholly take away his favor; he would not entirely abandon him; he would not suffer him to become wholly apostate; he would not leave him to ruin. The covenant once made would be accomplished; the promise given would be carried out.
Nor suffer my faithfulness - My faithfulness as pledged in the covenant or promise. “To fail.” Margin,” lie.” I will not prove false, or deal falsely in the pledge which I have made. It shall not appear at last that I have made a promise which has not been kept. This passage contains a very important principle in regard to the dealings of God with his people. The principle is, that if people are converted, if they in fact become his people - he will never suffer them wholly to fall away and perish. They may be suffered to backslide; they may fall into sin, but they will not be allowed to go so far as to apostatize wholly. They will be brought back again. Whatever method may be necessary for this, will be adopted. Commands; warnings; entreaties; remonstrances; - their own experience; the admonitions of others; the influences of the Holy Spirit: judgments and calamities; sickness; loss of property; bereavement; disappointment; disgrace; any of these, or all of these, may be resorted to, in order to bring them back; but they will be brought back. God, in mercy and in love, will so visit them with sorrow and trouble that they shall be recovered, and that their “spirit shall be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
But he saw in his own sin the cause of his trouble. The words of the prophet Micah breathe the spirit that inspired David's heart. “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me.” Micah 7:8, 9. And the Lord did not forsake David. This chapter in his experience, when, under cruelest wrong and insult, he shows himself to be humble, unselfish, generous, and submissive, is one of the noblest in his whole experience. Never was the ruler of Israel more truly great in the sight of heaven than at this hour of his deepest outward humiliation. PP 738.1
Had God permitted David to go on unrebuked in sin, and while transgressing the divine precepts, to remain in peace and prosperity upon his throne, the skeptic and infidel might have had some excuse for citing the history of David as a reproach to the religion of the Bible. But in the experience through which He caused David to pass, the Lord shows that He cannot tolerate or excuse sin. And David's history enables us to see also the great ends which God has in view in His dealings with sin; it enables us to trace, even through darkest judgments, the working out of His purposes of mercy and beneficence. He caused David to pass under the rod, but He did not destroy him; the furnace is to purify, but not to consume. The Lord says, “If they break My statutes, and keep not My commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail.” Psalm 89:31-33. PP 738.2
Soon after David left Jerusalem, Absalom and his army entered, and without a struggle took possession of the stronghold of Israel. Hushai was among the first to greet the new-crowned monarch, and the prince was surprised and gratified at the accession of his father's old friend and counselor. Absalom was confident of success. Thus far his schemes had prospered, and eager to strengthen his throne and secure the confidence of the nation, he welcomed Hushai to his court. PP 738.3
Absalom was now surrounded by a large force, but it was mostly composed of men untrained for war. As yet they had not been brought into conflict. Ahithophel well knew that David's situation was far from hopeless. A large part of the nation were still true to him; he was surrounded by tried warriors, who were faithful to their king, and his army was commanded by able and experienced generals. Ahithophel knew that after the first burst of enthusiasm in favor of the new king, a reaction would come. Should the rebellion fail, Absalom might be able to secure a reconciliation with his father; then Ahithophel, as his chief counselor, would be held most guilty for the rebellion; upon him the heaviest punishment would fall. To prevent Absalom from retracing his steps, Ahithophel counseled him to an act that in the eyes of the whole nation would make reconciliation impossible. With hellish cunning this wily and unprincipled statesman urged Absalom to add the crime of incest to that of rebellion. In the sight of all Israel he was to take to himself his father's concubines, according to the custom of oriental nations, thus declaring that he succeeded to his father's throne. And Absalom carried out the vile suggestion. Thus was fulfilled the word of God to David by the prophet, “Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor.... For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 2 Samuel 12:11, 12. Not that God prompted these acts of wickedness, but because of David's sin He did not exercise His power to prevent them. PP 738.4Read in context »
Though He “delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy's hand,” yet He said, “My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail.” Psalm 78:61; 89:33. 8T 276.4
“Is Ephraim My dear son? is he a pleasant [Authorized Version] child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore My heart yearneth for him.” Jeremiah 31:20, A. R. V. 8T 276.5Read in context »