AMBASSADORS AND COUNSELLORS
2 Samuel 10:1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. 6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.
Ambassadors are official representatives of a king, or a nation. They are bound to set forth only those things authorized by the one who chose them to be their representative! As here, David’s servants were to go into Ammon at this time of the king’s death to show kindness to his son. And this is what they did!
Christ’s ambassadors are now to do the very same. They are now authorized to go forth at the time of their dead king, Adam, (for he once had dominion over all creation), in order to comfort his son’s with everything that is found in the Holy Scriptures! 2 Cor. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
And they were only authorized to tell what they had personally experienced! Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Ambassador In Bonds
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
The Apostle Paul here asks twice for prayer that he might might speak boldly in order to make known the mystery of the gospel. Why is he so urgent as to ask twice for this? He tells us that it is because he is an ambassador! But he also adds two words of description – in bonds! For he knew that he was not a volunteer in this King’s realm, (as no Christian is – see John 15:16), but he had been chosen by the Sovereign to lose his former personal life, and count all his achievements as dung in order to fulfill his calling as Christ’s ambassador! 1 Cor. 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Listen to his crucified attitude as Christ’s ambassador! 2 Cor. 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. Phil. 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
True gospel ambassadors are never lords over God’s heritage (1 Peter 5:3), but are always helpers of their joy! For all who are in religious leadership will reflect but one of two personalities! They will either have the submissive, crucified attitude of Christ, as did Paul, to serve the soul’s of the Lord’s people. Or they will have the attitude of vain glory and pride, as did the angel who refused his calling to be the anointed cherub that covereth, and thereby became the Devil! The origin of sin and iniquity can be traced to his pride filled heart, (Ezek. 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.), at the moment of his decision not to cover these dust-made sons of God with his out stretched celestial wings, like those on the mercy seat! Heb. 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? The very instant he determined not to submit to aiding the Church, the glorious angel became the Devil!
We find also in this passage, not only the ambassadors of King David, but also the counsellors of King Hanun, the Ammonite. They, unlike an ambassador, are not require to give strict and official representation for the king! But they are responsible to give personal opinions for personal guidance to the king! And what wicked and harmful counsellors they proved to be! For many thousands of lives were lost as King Hanun’s “Wherefore” is brought forth! For in verse four of our above listed passage we find that due to their suspicious and prejudicial council against the true kindness of David, it is recorded of their entire nation that “they stank before David!”
It is a precious thing to have the council of a sanctified conscience to receive the goodness and kindness of the Lord! For it helps us in gaining access for the heart into the presence of glory! Heb. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
For a sanctified conscience is worth rejoicing over! 2 Cor. 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: 26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. 27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
In this passage we see that it is of the Lord’s initiative to provide edifying counsellors! He alone can undertake to “turn his hand upon us,” purge us of inward pollution, purifying our hearts in order that we may benefit from God-given counsellors.
Regeneration is utterly essential for benefit from the Holy Scriptures! Psalms 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. And the indwelling Holy Spirit as our guide is above price to guide us! John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And along with the Holy Spirit is our greatest Counsellor, the Lord Jesus Christ! Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
We would do well to adhere to their councils! Prov. 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. 21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Prov. 8:12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
1 Kings 12:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; 14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
Just like some of our day who go around “preacher shopping” until they can find one whose council will justify them in their sinful intents, Jeroboam went on from the older and wiser counsellors to the inexperienced youth who told him what he wanted to hear. The wise older men had told him to be a servant unto this people, and they will be thy servants forever! (1K. 12:7). But he had not the servant’s heart, and therefore, not the servant’s ear! The result was that God split the kingdom of Israel!
And notice: for the cause was from the LORD! Be sure that you seek the Lord for a pure heart and submissive spirit in order to serve his people, or you could wind up as the means used of the Lord to destroy spiritual unity from your generation!
Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Let us be careful to fortify our hearts and minds against the evil council, both of human and spiritual forces, and seek the council of the Holy Spirit!
Pastor Gene Breed