Calvary Road Baptist Church

“ON BEING AN APPEALING CHRISTIAN” Part 11

 

This will be the eleventh and final installment of our study of Biblical appeals in this series of messages that I have titled “On Being An Appealing Christian.”

To refresh your memory, we have seen that the main principles related to making a Biblical appeal can be applied to your dealings with a person who exercises authority over you as an employer, spouse, or parent. As well, you can make use of a Biblical appeal when seeking forgiveness from someone you have sinned against. Finally, we saw that praying to God is a specialized form of Biblical appeal.

This evening we will consider three appeals from the Old Testament scriptures. However, before we turn to the Bible, let me rehearse with you the seven ingredients or components that seem to comprise Biblical appeals: First, to make an appeal you must have the right standing for your appeal, Second, to make an appeal you must have the right basis for your appeal, Third, you must present your appeal when the right timing exists, Fourth, you must communicate the right information when presenting your appeal, Fifth, you must display the right attitude when presenting your appeal, Sixth, when stating your appeal you must use the right words, and, Finally, you must display the right response no matter the response to your appeal.

There are three appeals I would like to review with you:

 

First, THERE IS AN APPEAL MADE TO KING DAVID

 

Turn to First Kings chapter one, where we read of an appeal made to the aged King David on his death bed by his wife Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan, to avert a coup d’etat by David’s son Adonijah. We read from First Kings 1.1:

 

1      Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.

2      Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.

3      So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

4      And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

5      Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

6      And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.

7      And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.

8      But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

9      And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants:

10     But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.

11     Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?

12     Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.

13     Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?

14     Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.

15     And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.

16     And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?

17     And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne.

18     And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not:

19     And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called.

20     And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.

21     Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.

22     And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.

23     And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.

24     And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?

25     For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.

26     But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.

27     Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

28     Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.

29     And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

30     Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day.

31     Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

 

If you are careful to examine this passage when you get home, you will find all the necessary ingredients expected with a genuine Biblical appeal. Bathsheba and Nathan both had a right standing with David. As well, they both had the right basis for their appeal, which was not only the preservation of their own lives which would have been lost had Adonijah succeeded in becoming king, but also the fulfillment of God’s revealed will for Solomon to succeed David as king. What about the right timing? With Adonijah’s plan to usurp the throne being executed, they had no choice but to appeal to David immediately. Did they communicate the right information when presenting their appeal? Yes, they did. Fifth, did they display the right attitude when presenting their appeal? Yes, their humility before the aged king was quite appropriate. Sixth, when stating their appeal did they use the right words? Because of careful planning before they coordinated their remarks, they made sure they used the right words. Finally, did they display the right response to their appeal? Of course, they did. The right response is relatively easy when your appeal is successful.

The part of this passage that seems to occasionally concern some people is what appears to be the conspiratorial air surrounding Bathsheba and Nathan’s approach to David. The fact that they coordinated their remarks and the timing of their approach to David smacks of manipulation to some people.

Let me respond to that by stating that spiritual behavior is usually planned behavior. Therefore, since Bathsheba and Nathan discussed implementing a plan that would bring about the will of God to assure Solomon’s succession to David as the king of Israel, what they did should not be seen as manipulation.

Beloved, manipulation involves the unethical persuasion of a person to accomplish a personal goal at the other person’s expense. However, what Bathsheba and Nathan were engaged in was the judicious planning of their appeal and their comments to bring about what David had previously announced to be the will of God for his life, for Solomon’s life, and for Israel’s future.

This was no manipulation. This was a well-coordinated used of proper means designed to approach the King of Israel in such a way that he would quickly respond to a coup d’etat that was in process to prevent its success and the possibility of civil war.

 

Next, THERE IS AN APPEAL MADE TO KING SOLOMON

 

Turn to First Kings chapter two, where we read of an appeal made by Solomon’s brother and former conspirator to the throne, Adonijah:

 

12     Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

13     And Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably.

14     He said moreover, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And she said, Say on.

15     And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother’s: for it was his from the LORD.

16     And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.

17     And he said, Speak, I pray thee, unto Solomon the king, (for he will not say thee nay,) that he give me Abishag the Shunammite to wife.

18     And Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for thee unto the king.

19     Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand.

20     Then she said, I desire one small petition of thee; I pray thee, say me not nay. And the king said unto her, Ask on, my mother: for I will not say thee nay.

21     And she said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah thy brother to wife.

22     And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

23     Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.

24     Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.

25     And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.

 

Adonijah made this appeal, and it ended badly. Keep in mind that appeals can end badly, and that there is always a risk involved in presenting an appeal. Had David learned of the discussions Bathsheba and Nathan were having before they approached him he may very well misinterpreted their planning as a conspiracy against him. Therefore, keep in mind that there is another side to appeals that must be reflected upon. Things can go terribly wrong.

Rather than analyze this appeal of Adonijah carefully, I would like to toss the ball to you to play with. What happened with the appeal that resulted in Adonijah’s death? Did he do anything wrong? Did Bathsheba do anything wrong? Did Solomon do anything wrong?

Adonijah’s error was two-fold: First, he appealed to the wrong person when he appealed to Bathsheba. This is much like a kid asking his mom for what he should ask his dad for. With attentive and manly fathers, this error should not be allowed to succeed. The more grievous error of Adonijah, however, was his attempt to secure Abishag as his wife. You see, since she had in the previous chapter been David’s concubine, trying to take her as his wife not only violated the Mosaic Law but also showed that Adonijah’s eyes were still on the throne.

The only wrong done here was by Adonijah, in my opinion. Bathsheba was at worst ignorant, since she would never knowingly endanger her son the king. As for Solomon, his decision to execute Adonijah was appropriate in light of this second attempt by his brother to usurp the throne, which would also have resulted in the murder of all others in line to sit on the throne.

Therefore, you see that appeals have to be made to the right people. Bathsheba was not the right person to appeal to, something Adonijah should have known at cost of his life.

 

Finally, THERE IS THE APPEAL MADE BY THE PROPHET DANIEL

 

Daniel chapter one:

 

1      In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

2      And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

3      And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;

4      Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

5      And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.

6      Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:

7      Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

8      But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

9      Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

10     And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.

11     Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

12     Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

13     Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

14     So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

15     And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

16     Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

 

This is probably the most famous appeal found in the Bible in which one person appeals to another person. Abraham’s appeal on behalf of the city of Sodom, of course, is an appeal made to God. The seven things we should look for in Daniel’s appeal, presuming it to be a complete appeal are, First, to make an appeal Daniel must have the right standing for his appeal, Second, to make an appeal he must have the right basis for his appeal, Third, he must present his appeal when the right timing exists, Fourth, he must communicate the right information when presenting his appeal, Fifth, he must display the right attitude when presenting his appeal, Sixth, when stating his appeal he must use the right words, and, Finally, he must display the right response no matter the response to his appeal.

Do we find these ingredients, these components, in Daniel’s appeal? Look with me: First, to make an appeal Daniel must have the right standing for his appeal. Did he? Read verse 9: “Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” How transparent it would have been for Daniel to try to kiss up to the prince of the eunuchs at the last minute. My friends, right standing is something that is maintained whether you make an appeal or not. Second, to make an appeal he must have the right basis for his appeal. Verse 8: “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” This is the right basis from Daniel’s perspective, but not from the eunuch’s perspective. The eunuch would see Daniel’s request as life-threatening to him, which is why Daniel proposed a short trial run experiment of only ten days. This way the eunuch’s perception of his personal danger is greatly minimized. Third, he must present his appeal when the right timing exists. Verses 5 and 8 show us that a decision had been made about what Daniel would eat, in violation of the Mosaic Law dietary restrictions. Thus, with Daniel, the timing for his appeal was now or never if he was to obey God’s dietary rules for the Jewish people. Fourth, he must communicate the right information when presenting his appeal. Again, if you read verse 8 and then verses 11-14, you will see that Daniel proposes an experiment that will show the eunuch the evidence he needs to respond to Daniel’s appeal. Keep in mind that what Daniel is proposing could conceivably show the eunuch in a very good light if what Daniel is proposing turns out right. Therefore, his appeal is in the eunuch’s best interest as well as his own. Fifth, he must display the right attitude when presenting his appeal, requested. Did Daniel display the right attitude? I think so. Keep in mind that in verse 8 we read, “he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Sixth, when stating his appeal he must use the right words. This is seen by the fact that Daniel makes a request instead of pronouncing to one and all in strident terms his convictions. What he says in verses 12 and 13 clearly shows his understanding that words can be used to negotiate around the obstacles that people have in their minds. Finally, he must display the right response no matter the response to his appeal. If the response of the three Hebrews to being thrown in the fire, and Daniel’s response when thrown in the lion’s den, is any indication of what he might have done in this situation had his appeal been denied, then I think we can safely argue that Daniel would have simply starved to death with a sweet disposition rather than defile himself with the king’s unclean food.

 

My friends, appeals are prayerful and wise requests. They are questions asked by men and women with wisdom. They are words that are spoken by people who trust God to change other’s hearts. May we exercise wisdom, discretion, prayer, and humility to make use of this powerful tool given to us by God that has proven over the centuries to be useful even when others rule over us.



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

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