2 Samuel 17-18
The Rebellion of David’s son Absalom, cont’d. 2 Samuel 13-19
2 Samuel 17:1-29-Ahithophel tells Absalom to let him pursue David and kill him…while he and the people with him are tired from their quick escape. Absalom asks Hushai what he thinks about the plan...he is against it. He reminds him that David is a great warrior and so are the men with him. If Absalom’s army lost the battle it would send a bad message to the rest of Israel about his leadership. He tells Absalom that he should go after David with a huge force so that there is no chance of losing...and Absalom agreed. Hushai sent word to David through Jonathan and Ahimaaz (but they were seen leaving Jerusalem and were followed, but they escaped). Ahithophel got mad and went home and hung himself. Absalom selected Amasa to lead his army.
2 Samuel 18:1-David divides his army up between Joab, Abishai, and Itaai. David wanted to go out to battle with them...but they wouldn't let him. He told them to "deal gently with the young man Absalom" and the people heard him (:5). While Absalom was trying to escape his mule ran under a tree and his hair got caught in the branches and he was left hanging there. A man saw him and reported it to Joab. Joab killed Absalom...and then 10 more men also helped to kill him. They threw him into a pit and covered up his body with stones. David's army won the battle. Ahimaaz (son of Zadaak the priest, 15:27) wanted to tell David that Absalom was dead. But Joab ordered a Cushite slave to go tell David that Absalom was dead...in case David became angry. But Ahimaaz insisted that he be allowed to follow him and Joab agreed. But instead, he outran the slave and told David that they had won the battle. Then the slave arrived and told David that Absalom was dead. David wept out loud and all the people heard him, "...Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (:33).
Prayer: Father, David loved his sons intensely. Even when they attacked him…he continued to love them. But he allowed this personal devotion to his sons to cloud his judgment. Holy Spirit, my perception of things can just as easily be affected by people, and circumstances, and even my own nature. I pray that You will give me clarity and certainty in what You desire. Help me to see things as You do and to not allow my judgment to be adversely affected. Give me Your discernment.