Thursday, February 27, 2014 0 comments

The Breastplate of Judgment

15 ¶And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it….
17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes….
29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.
30 ¶And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually. (Exodus 28:29-30)

I think we learn something about Christ that is typified through the breastplate of judgment.  Just as Aaron was to wear this breastplate over his heart when in the temple, Christ was to always remember the children of Israel.  The use of gems to represent Israel’s tribes shows us that Israel is very precious to Christ.  Each gem is different, signifying their individuality and I think that also applies to us as well.

The Urim and Thummim (an instrument of revelation) is also positioned over the heart, which tells us that Christ would constantly have and live by revelation in His dealings with and judgments of Israel. 

We are told Aaron would “bear the judgment of the children of Israel,” which suggests Christ’s future atonement for their sins.

Something I find interesting is that it was to be “memorial before the Lord continually.”   Just as we promise to always remember Christ, it seems the Lord wants us to know that Christ will always remember us.  I think my “always” needs more work if it is to match His “always.”  How about you?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 0 comments

Stories from LDS Police

What is it like for police officers who are LDS?   What is their experience?

I never thought to ask these questions, but I found a website that has compiled a number of stories from different LDS police officers about experiences they have had where they’ve seen the hand of the Lord miraculously preserving their lives or helping them preserve the lives of others. 

Check out this Warrior Stories page you will find a linked list of stories if you scroll down.

Prepare to be inspired!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 0 comments

Thoughts about the Altar of Incense in the Tabernacle

1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.
2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.
3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.
4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal.
5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.
7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.
8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord. (Exodus 30:1-10)

These verses describe the altar of incense that was to be placed in the holy place in front of the veil leading to the holy of holies.  Incense was to be burned on it every morning and evening. 

That the high priest burns this incense hints it represents the intercessory prayers Christ says on our behalf. 

We learn in Revelation that burning the incense was also to represent the prayer of the Saints (see Rev 5:8).  Saints in our temples today continue to offer intercessory prayers.

What else do we learn about prayer from the instructions about the burning of incense here and in Leviticus 16:12-13?

With the burning of incense in the morning and the evening, we learn about frequency of prayer.  I suppose morning and evening should be the minimum we pray.  Incense isn’t burned all at once, though.  It burns little by little; so too our prayers should continue little by little throughout the day.

I love the association of prayer with burning incense that would create a smell.  Think about what that teaches about prayer.  It tells us that prayer creates a certain kind of atmosphere, a feeling that is special, something we can sense.

Exodus 30:34-38 tells us the ingredients for the perfumed incense and the proportions in which it was to be made.  It was to be ONLY used for these holy things, nowhere else.  The Lord was so serious about this that He commanded those who made it for their own use were to be “cut off” or excommunicated.  We see the Lord wanted the Israelites to think of the temple and remember the temple when they smelled it and associate it only with the temple.  What does this teach us about prayer?  I think it is teaching us to associate prayer with conversing with God and with no other being.  Just as the incense wasn’t for personal use, prayer is not meant to make us look good. 

The blood of Atonement once a year cleansed the altar of incense.  This says to me that our prayers are only effective because of Christ’s sacrifice for us and we should pray for forgiveness of our sins when we find ourselves in the wrong.

Next, see how incense plays a part of the priest’s duties in the Day of Atonement:

11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself:
12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil:
13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not:
14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.
15 ¶Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: (Lev. 16:11-15, emphasis added)

I have written recently about the meaning of the bells on the high priests robes making a sound so “that he die not.”  In the above verses of Leviticus Aaron was instructed to bring incense and the censer of hot coals within the veil into the holy of holies and burn incense so that the cloud of incense would cover the mercy seat “that he die not.”  Once again, we have something that is supposed to become a safety measure, something that is not generally considered to be protective.  We know this should be symbolic of something Christ would do to ensure his spiritual protection. 

I think that this is testifying of Christ’s earnest prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane when he wanted the bitter cup to pass from Him but prayed submissively that God’s will be done.  It was that time more than any other that he needed protection from the temptations of Satan in order to carry out that great sacrifice.  He needed the strength to continue under the crushing burden of humanity’s sins that must have been pressing down on Him.

It is so cool to me that we can learn so much about Christ from these little bits of symbolism of the Tabernacle.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 0 comments

Cold War and a Desperate Strategy in 2 Samuel 10

 2 Sam 10 has an interesting story in it about Israel’s relations with the children of Ammon.  (The children of Ammon were descendants of Lot.) 

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.

David wants to show his gratitude to Hanun for what his father did to help him when David had been running from Saul.  Nahash had given David refuge, though probably not out of real friendship; most likely it was to spite Saul.

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?

David’s gesture must have seemed too nice to the children of Ammon.  They couldn’t believe that David would take the trouble to send ambassadors to condole over the death of Nahash.  So, looking for ulterior motives, they conclude that David’s ambassadors must really be spying out the best way to conquer the Ammonite city.

I kind of get the idea that with David as king and the fighting he did, Israel was gradually gaining greater military power.  It was up-and-coming on the world stage and this would undoubtedly make other cultures and peoples nervous.  The Ammonites thought that David would naturally start trying to build an empire.

If they thought this, they would want to send some sort of symbolic message that they were not going to pretend to be friends just to get swallowed up later.  They don’t want a sneaky takeover.  So they craft a gesture of defiance, intended to embarrass and show their own dominance. 

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.

It’s not an outright act of war; they didn’t mutilate or kill David’s servants or directly attack Israel’s borders.  But what they do is pretty humiliating.  Shaving off half a person’s beard sounds to us today like a really lame way to humiliate. But back then, the beard was sign of manhood and wisdom.  Slaves were shaved.  Half-shaving the beard sent the message that David’s servants (and by extension David himself) were considered half-slaves and not completely free.  Perhaps it was an insulting reference to Israel’s slavery in Egypt so many years ago, saying they hadn’t made much progress since then. 

The other thing the Ammonites did to David’s servants was to cut their clothes so short that their bottoms were naked and send them back home that way.   That would be pretty awful to Israelites very concerned about preserving their modesty. 

To treat David’s messengers like that wasn’t just disrespectful, it was breaking the rules of hospitality, which were very important in the middle east.

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.

David was kind to his humiliated servants.  He doesn’t make them come back into Jerusalem society looking such a fright with half their beards gone.  He lets them re-grow their hair in privacy.  If it were a bad haircut they could were a hat or something, but problems with facial hair?  What could they do, wear a scarf around their face?

6 ¶And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.

This is when the Ammonites realize that they have just hurt their own cause with David, rather than helping it.  They have made themselves odious, abhorred, repulsive.  So what do they do?  You’d think they would try to make some sort of gesture of peace, but no.  They decide that if David thinks they stink, then that means now he’s really going to attack them. 

So they go and hire Syrian mercenaries to help them fight the Israelites, about 33K soldiers worth because they are afraid they can’t handle the Israelites alone. 

You can really get the sense that the Ammonites are very very afraid and everything they do in international diplomacy in relation to Israel arises out of that fear, even when there was nothing to be afraid of.  In the end, listening to their fears ended up bringing upon them the very thing they feared would happen.

Next we get a neat account of the battle and how the Israelite general Joab dealt with the threat of these Syrian mercenaries.

7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.
8 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

Notice, the children of Ammon have the Israelite army almost surrounded.  The Ammonites are fighting from the gate in front, and those 33K Syrian mercenaries, who are supposed to be excellent fighters, are pressing the Israelites from the rear.  This is a very dangerous situation for the Israelites.  We don’t know how many men the Israelites had, but the Ammonites seem to have anticipated 33K mercenaries would be more than enough to squash them.  What is Joah going to do?

 9 When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:
10 And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.

Joab decides to distribute his men according to their ability and the level of opposition.  Those 33K Syrian mercenaries were going to be the biggest threat, so he decided he’d take all the “choice men of Israel” (today these would be your toughest troops--your SEALS and Marines) and put them against that 33K.  We don’t know how many Israelites were “choice men.”  It could have been 10K.  It could have been 5K.  Or even less.  All the other Israelite soldiers would be put against the Ammonites.  Those other men weren’t necessarily weaklings though.  Verse 7 calls the whole group “all the host of the mighty men.”

Then, he makes this arrangement with his brother Abishai who will command the Israelite soldiers.  If the Syrians are too strong for Joab, Abishai and a portion of the Israelites will turn around and support them, and if Abishai’s army is having troubles, some of Joab’s people will turn around and support them.  Joab anticipates this arrangement will ensure no Israelite gets cut down from behind, which is always a concern when the enemy is in front and behind. 

These arrangements really give you the sense that it was a desperate situation for the Israelites.  Joab’s final instructions might make us think of Captain Moroni:

12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good.

Joab is an experienced soldier and so is Abishai.  Yet it must have been so alarming for them that Joab felt a need to remind Abishai to be of good courage.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of it.  “Play the men for our people” makes me think that sometimes you just have to pretend to be brave for the sake of the people who depend on you; put a good face on things.  I love that Joab makes this statement that the Lord will do what seems good.  He’s made the preparations to the best of his ability, but ultimately the survival or success of the Israelite army depended on the Lord.  It seems Joab accepted that.  It almost sounds like he was ready to die if he had to.

So Joab and his few choice men (toughest of the tough) go into battle against 33K Syrian mercenaries.  What’s going to happen here?
13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.
14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
BOOYA!  The Syrians were totally intimidated by Joab’s men and retreated instead of fighting.  Then, the Ammonites fled back to the protection of their city when they saw they had lost their mercenary support. 

What a victory!  There was no way that Joab or Abishai could have known that the Syrians would just run away.  What if the Israelites had just given up thinking that defeat was inevitable?  It was because they stood firm and determined that the Lord was able to bless them.

But this isn’t the end of the story.  The Syrians think they need more men, so they gather reinforcements!
15 ¶And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.
16 And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.
17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.
18 And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.
19 And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
When the Syrians get their reinforcements, David knows they need more men too, so he gathers all Israelites men of fighting age together.  It’s not just the standing army now.  We don’t have many details about how this battle went except that David was able to beat the Syrians and secure peace agreements with them.  If the Ammonites want to stir up trouble with Israel, they weren't going to get any help from the Syrians any more.

There’s a great lesson in this story about the importance of standing strong and being courageous, even when the odds and the numbers are against you.  It’s also about doing your best planning and then leaving the results in the hands in the Lord.  Things may appear desperate, but with the Lord on your side, your influence can be magnified.

This chapter is also the chapter before the one in which David commits adultery with Bathsheba--2 Samuel 11.  That chapter starts out mentioning how David was in Jerusalem at the time when kings go out to battle.  If David had been where he was supposed to be--with his armies--he wouldn't have seen Bathsheba at all.  We learn from this that doing our duty tends to keep us out of trouble.
Friday, February 21, 2014 27 comments

What is the Meaning of the Bells and Pomegranates on Aaron’s Robe in Exodus 28:33-35?
31 ¶And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue….
33 ¶And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not. (Exodus 28:31, 33-35)

This part always used to puzzle me.  The idea that Aaron had to have bells and pomegranates around the hem of his robe as a safety feature so that he wouldn’t die because the sound would keep him safe while going in and out of the temple is really strange.    This should tip us off that there is some symbolism here that is supposed to teach us about Christ.

I have already written about the symbolism of the pomegranate and its meanings of atonement, eternal life, and countless posterity, so I’m going to focus more on the bells in this post.

Why bells?  What is the function of a bell that hangs on a person or animal?  It is to usually to let you know they are coming or to let you know where they are. 

I started trying to imagine what it would be like for the high priest to wear all those bells.  Right away it became evident that the high priest wouldn’t be able to make the slightest movement without making noise.  You’d always know when the priest was coming because of the sound of those bells. 

Then I thought, Did Jesus go around with bells on?  No.  But then I thought about the explanation of bells as a safety feature every time the high priest moves and then I thought about how it might fit in with how important it was for Jesus to stay pure.  It was important for Jesus to stay spiritually safe, otherwise He would die spiritually and the Plan of Salvation would be frustrated.  I realized the ringing bells symbolized prayer, and that Jesus had to let Heavenly Father know everything He was going to do so that He could be warned if it was bad so He wouldn’t sin.  He had to learn ahead of time from Heavenly Father, rather than learning by experience so that He would stay pure.  So the bells symbolize constant communication to Heavenly Father about Christ was about to do so that “he die not” or avoid spiritual death.

The arrangement of bells alternating around the hem of Aaron’s robe also gives us a sort of symbolic film strip of Christ’s life—bell, pomegranate, bell, pomegranate—prayer, life, prayer, life—to show us that Christ stayed spiritually alive because of prayer.

I think this shows us that if we want to be more like Christ, we can learn to counsel with our Heavenly Father over what we are about to do and learn to be obedient to the warnings we receive.  Prayer will help us stay alive in Christ.

The sound of the bells on Aaron’s hem would automatically start when he moved.  I think this can teach us about how natural and automatic prayer was to Christ, and it can also teach us how natural and automatic prayer can be (and should be to us) if we want to be like Him.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 0 comments

An additional vision Paul had

As Paul was in Jerusalem and was the center of an uproar and accusations he had defiled the temple grounds by bringing in Greeks, he made a defense, or rather, bore his testimony telling of his conversion, but at the tail end of that experience, he also recounts another vision he saw of Jesus and instructions he was given.
17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live. (Acts 22:17-22)
It is easy to overlook this vision because his account is very short, but there are some interesting features to it.

The first thing we notice is that the Jews, by their reaction, fully vindicated Christs’ words to Paul; they were incensed that God would send a minister to the gentiles, so they overlooked all the great witness Paul bore just so they could indulge their prejudice.

The next thing we notice from this account is that Paul seems to have argued with the Lord a little bit, such that the Lord repeats the instructions to confirm them.  But it is a little difficult to see what Paul’s argument is.  It almost doesn’t make sense.

“Leave, the Jews won’t listen to you.”
“But they know I persecuted the Saints.”

Why did Paul think the Jews’ knowledge of Paul’s persecutions of the Saints was a good reason for Paul to stay in Jerusalem?  I would think it would be embarrassing, plus Paul would get persecuted too as he had once persecuted others.

Finally I realized that Paul was arguing he could be a more effective missionary among the Jews because they know what he was like and what had done before his conversion and they would see how he had changed since his conversion.  He felt that would make the most powerful argument for Christ.  It is also possible he wondered how he could have any success talking about the change in his life to an audience who didn’t know his “before.”

Still, Christ reconfirmed the call to teach the gentiles.  It is possible that with a slightly weakened rhetorical strategy there would be a greater opportunity for the Spirit to witness to the truth.  People would not be converted by Paul’s arguments, but by the Spirit they felt from his testimony.

I think this is good for us to remember today.  It's not the arguments, it's not the logic, it's the Spirit felt through testimony that converts.

Monday, February 17, 2014 1 comments

The Death of Absalom as a type of Christ

I was reading in 2 Sam 18 about the death of Absalom, David’s son, and the grief that David felt over his death and when I read verse 33 something clicked in my head.

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept:
and as he went, thus he said,
O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!
would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

I thought to myself, That sounds an awful lot like how Heavenly Father would grieve over the death of His Son Jesus Christ! 

So I started looking more closely at the circumstances of Absalom’s death and I started to see it as a type of Christ.  Now, Absalom wasn’t the greatest person to become a type of Christ.  After all, his death happened as he was rebelling against his father King David, and previous to his rebellion he arranged for his brother Amnon’s murder for defiling his sister Tamar.  But let’s look at the circumstances of his death.

5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 ¶So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 ¶And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. (2 Sam 18:5-17)

After that, two messengers are sent to tell David the news of what happened and the second messenger has this conversation with David:

31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.
32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 ¶And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! (2 Sam 18:30-35)

So here’s a chart with all the similarities that are discernable.

Story of Absalom’s death
Story of Christ’s death
David instructed all his servants to deal gently with Absalom. 
Heavenly Father expected all Israel and the leaders to reverence Jesus.
Absalom rode on a mule as a sign of his princely status. 
Christ rode a donkey during his triumphal entry to Jerusalem.
Absalom was stuck hanging from a tree.
Christ hung on a wooden cross.
Joab said he would have rewarded a man ten shekels of silver for killing Absalom, which would have been a betrayal. 
Judas was rewarded 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus to the leaders of the Jews.
The man who was offered the reward knew it was wrong and lists all the reasons why he didn’t.  These reasons become prophecy about Judas and what would happen to him. 
1) He knew it was against the king’s commandments.
2) It would be falsehood against his own life. 
3) The king would find out anyway.
4) The man knew Joab would turn on him if he had done it.
1) Judas broke Heavenly Father’s commandments in betraying Jesus.
2) By betraying Christ, Judas would betray everything he had lived for.
3) Heavenly Father knew everything about what Judas did.
4) The Jews turned on Judas after Judas betrayed Christ; see Matt 27:3-10
Joab pierced Absalom with darts while Absalom was still alive. 
Jesus was pierced with nails to be hung on the cross.
Ten young men who bore Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom and killed him.
Roman soldiers surrounded, mocked, and abused Jesus during his trials, and also crucified him.
Absalom’s body was thrown in a pit and a great pile of stones covered him. 
Jesus was put in a tomb and the entrance was covered with a great stone.
Clearly Joab thought he was doing King David a service by getting rid of the head of a rebellion. 
The leaders of the Jews thought they were serving God by getting rid of Jesus, considering his claim to be the Son of God to be rebellion against God.
The messenger tells David that David has been avenged of all those who rebelled against him. 
Christ’s suffering and death paid the price of justice for all who disobeyed God.
The messenger tells David he hopes that all David’s enemies will end up like Absalom’s end.
This prophetically shows how Christ’s death will be as if he were the enemy of God and also it warns that the enemies of God who don’t repent will die for their own sins.
David grieves greatly for his son’s death and wishes he could have died in his place.
We learn from this about the pain Heavenly Father felt over the death of Christ and that He would preferred to have sacrificed Himself in Christ’s place.