The Brook Kidron – The Place of Betrayal

The Brook Kidron

“And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness”
2 Samuel 15:23

There are places referred to in the scriptures that represent to us experiences with which we can identify in our own walk. Ziklag, Peniel, Mount Moriah and many other locations speak to us of deep and heart felt experiences through which we must pass. Those places our fore fathers walked through by faith will be ours if we too walk in same path of faith. What was true then must also be true now.

David and the Brook Kidron

It was a very dark night and one filled with great distress for King David and his loyal friends. Absalom, through treachery and political intrigue, had risen to power and was now seeking David’s life. David had been warned of the betrayal and had to run for his life into the wilderness. Friends, associates and family had betrayed him and were now conspiring to take his life. At this juncture David weeping crosses over the brook Kidron. Kidron* in the Hebrew means darkness, turbulence, great agitation and great evil. It was a brook that flowed into the Dead Sea. It is a brook which must be crossed over, where the deep lessons of God’s faithfulness, His steadfastness and His mercy become the very core of our hope. It is here we are weaned from dependence upon others and God Himself becomes our friend and salvation.

Kidron represents the shattering of our self-reliance and strength, our allegiance to other things. It is the doorway into a new wilderness experience which is quite different from the others in which we have walked. New testings and new sorrows must bring us into new places of faith and reliance upon God. The processing of our God is thorough and effectual. What others mean for evil God makes for our good. The trial known here is more painful and heart-rending as it is not one which comes to us from foes without but from friends within the family of God. Later on in the Psalms David speaks of these deep and agonizing experiences:

“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company”
Psalm 55:12-14

Jesus and the Brook Kidron

Over a thousand years later we see Jesus crossing this same dark brook as He also was being betrayed: by Judas.

“When Jesus had spoken these words,
he went forth with his disciples
over the brook Cedron (Kidron)…”
John 18:1

The final drama of Jesus life was unfolding. Judas had gone to the religious leaders of that day and obtained a “band of men” to come and take Jesus by force unto the Chief priests.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons”
John 18:1-3

It is important to note that not only did Jesus cross over this dark and turbulent brook but so did His disciples. Think it not strange that the servant is to follow in the same path as the Master. It is in following Him that we become molded and shaped by the experiences of life to overcome as He overcame; to find the healing and sweetness of His life rising in our own. It is the bitter experiences that free us from our own bitterness.

The Brook Kidron is one of the most important crucibles we will face in our lives. The enemy of our soul has orchestrated it for our destruction; God allows it for our good.

The great danger with any bitter experience is that we allow it to linger and to fester. This incapacitates us from living and blossoming in the goodness of God. The three Hebrew men thrown into the fire emerged from it with no trace of smoke upon their garments. God’s design is for us to walk through this excruciating experience with no hint of the bitterness remaining.

God’s determination for the painful lessons of the Brook Kidron is for us to become sweet. Do not fear when these waters arise and would drive you into the wilderness, for God, even thy God shall prove thee and work in thee the wonder and the sweetness of Jesus Himself…

“Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all powders of the merchant?”
Song of Songs 3:6

Ω

The good news is we will never cross this brook alone.

“…he (Jesus) went forth with his disciples
over the brook Cedron”

* Note: Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names translates Kidron: Very Black, Full of Darkness.

The brook Kidron is mentioned as the extent of Shimei’s confinement, the one who cursed David in this dark place of betrayal. How fitting was his judgement that when he crosses the Kidron, Solomon has him executed (1 Kings 2:36-46).

Brian Troxel

Ziklag – The Great Press of God

ZIKLAG

The Great Press of God

“And David said in his heart,
I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul:
there is nothing better for me than that I should
speedily escape into the land of the Philistines”
1Samuel 27:1

These are insights into the heart of David in the midst of a long and protracted circumstance. Saul’s relentless pursuit of David continued year after year in spite of the fact that David spared his life on several occasions. David finally came to the conclusion that Saul was not going to change. The situation seemed hopeless and David, now at the point of weariness, succumbed to a logical solution. For centuries the Philistines had been one of the chief enemies of God’s purposes; we see them even in the days of Isaac contending for his wells and God’s promises. The very meaning of “Philistine” “is to wear down, to roll or wallow in self (pity)”. Have we not all at one time or another been victims and sojourners in “the land of the Philistines”? We face situations with our health, financial issues, sins that plague us, temptations, struggles with relationships and many other circumstances whereby we are under assault often for years without any remedy in sight. Consciously or subconsciously we give in to a life of defeat and despair of ever knowing victory in a particular situation.

When Saul heard that David had moved into the land of the Philistines he no longer pursued him. So it is with the enemy of our souls. A defeated and hopeless Christian is no longer a threat to Satan’s dominion for we are dwelling in the place of his rule.

“And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath:
and he sought no more again for him”
1Samuel 27:4

It is bad enough to move into the land of the Philistines but David went even further and asked the King of the Philistines to appoint a place for him to dwell!

“And David said unto Achish,
If I have now found grace in thine eyes,
let them give me a place in some town in the country,
that I may dwell there”
1Samuel 27:5

To which the King of the Philistines was more than pleased to give unto David Ziklag.

“Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day”
1Samuel 27:6

Ziklag comes from a Hebrew root verb meaning to “press (mentally) someone or something to reveal what is inside” (*see note). Ziklag is a spiritual land we must visit in our walk with God. It is a place wherein we find ourselves when the press is on, the situation is dire and we, in that moment, revert to our own devices and seek out a refuge from the storm apart from God. It is a necessary work of God to reveal to us our hidden reliance on other things rather than Him alone. It is here that David is pressed even further.

While David and his men were gathered to join in battle with the Philistines to fight Israel, the Amalekites attacked Ziklag and took all of the wives and children of David and his men captive and burned the city with fire.

“And it came to pass,
when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day,
that the Amalekites had invaded the south,
and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein:
they slew not any, either great or small,
but carried them away, and went on their way”
1Samuel 30:1-2

David’s men had faithfully followed him into this place but this last compounding of the trial had brought them (and David) to a place of inconsolable grief.

“Then David and the people that were with him
lifted up their voice and wept,
until they had no more power to weep”
1Samuel 30:4

It is hard to even comprehend the depth of grief they were all feeling. In the midst of this great sorrow we read even David’s men began to speak of stoning him!

“And David was greatly distressed;
for the people spake of stoning him,
because the soul of all the people was grieved,
every man for his sons and for his daughters…”
1Samuel 30:6

The great pressing of God had come to David. The energies and strategies of all his natural ability had been thrown into the press of the Almighty God. The despair, discouragement and enormity of circumstance had been brought to bear upon this one who was called of God to rule and reign in Israel. What would become of him?

“…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”
1Samuel 30:6

“And David recovered all that the Amalekites
had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them,
neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters,
neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them:
David recovered all”
1Samuel 30:18-19

The end of man brings us to the beginning of God and His resources. Though the press seems more than one can bear, God knows our frame and His ways are higher than ours. Men who are called of God to walk in the high places must know of these pressings and ways of the Most High God. In the Old Testament men were born priests; in the New Covenant we are “…made kings and priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). God’s end in our lives is to be made like unto Him to such an extent that “…as he is, so are we in this world”.

Well could David declare…

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place
Psalm 66:8-12

It is also interesting to note that Ziklag was originally a city of Philistine rule. As a result of David being brought low, and then rising up in the strength of his God, Ziklag became a possession of Israel! That which was meant by the enemy to destroy David became part of the inheritance of Israel. God’s intention is to bring us to the place of victory in Christ Jesus.

“…wherefore Ziklag pertaineth
unto the kings of Judah unto this day”
1Samuel 27:6

It is God’s plan and desire that all the things which are meant to crush us become a place of victory and praise unto our God. It is in these places that the overcomers in God arise and stand in the strength and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength”
Isaiah 40:29

*NOTE: Ziklag: Scholars have identified two separate roots of the form צוקiti
1: The verb צוק (suq I) denotes pressing someone (mentally) in order to bring out what’s kept inside. Thus enemies press the cities they besiege to surrender (Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 19:9). The Timnite pressed Samson for the answer to his riddle (Judges 14:17), and Delilah for the secret of his strength (16:16).
2: The verb צוק (suq II) also denotes the bringing forth of something contained internally, which is done either by applying pressure or by smelting. From rock copper is smelted (Job 28:2), but rocks poured/squeeze out streams of oil (Job 29:6). Likewise, Isaiah observes that in their distress (from צרר, sarar) the people of Israel visited YHWH and poured/squeezed out a whisper (Isaiah 26:16).

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info