2 Samuel 19-20
The Rebellion of David’s son Absalom, cont’d. 2 Samuel 13-19
2 Samuel 19:1-39-David mourns the death of Absalom to the point that the people who fought for him feel forsaken. Joab tells him that if he doesn’t get over the death of Absalom and thank those who risked their lives to save him that he could have another rebellion, worse than the first, on his hands. David goes to the city gate and greets the people. David tells Amasa (who had led Absalom's army in rebellion against him) that he will be the new commander of his army (17:25). David returns to Jerusalem. Now all of those who had sided with Absalom come sulking back to David seeking his forgiveness. He forgives those who had spoken out against him. Mephibosheth arrives and greets David. David asks why he did not go with him when he was chased out of Jerusalem. Mephibosheth says that his servant had lied to David. David decides to divide the property of Saul (his father) between the two of them. Either David made a mistake of judgment in doing so. Or, he realized that what Mephibosheth said was correct, but didn’t want to totally alienate Ziba. Or, he did not completely believe that Mephibosheth was telling the truth but couldn’t prove it so he made a compromise between the two. An old man, named Brazillai, who had supported David during this time arrives as he is crossing the Jordan on his return home. David offers to take him to Jerusalem and to provide for him for the rest of his life out of appreciation for his support. Brazillai says that he is old…but asks David to take his son, Chimham, with him instead and David does so.
2 Samuel 19:40-43-Israel and Judah argue about who has the most claim on David. Israel (the 10 tribes to the north) felt left out of the welcoming ceremonies held when David returned to Jerusalem (located in Judah). They claimed that while they were not the tribe of David by ancestral lineage…they still had a greater claim to him as king since they represented 10 of the 12 tribes in the nation. This rivalry eventually led to civil war and to the division of Israel into two nations.
The Rebellion of Sheba the Benjamite 2 Samuel 20
2 Samuel 20:1-As a result of this rivalry…a man from Israel, named Sheba, claimed that Israel had no portion in David (that David was not interested in them) and led the people to leave and not follow him. They followed Sheba. David sent Amasa to capture Sheba. He told him to do so in three days…but he was slow to respond. Joab seized the moment and raised the army…going in hot pursuit of Sheba. Along the way Amasa caught up with the army. Joab was wearing his battle gear when Amasa arrived. He bent forward and took Amasa by the beard in a symbolic guesture of greeting. But as he did so his sword fell out. He reached down to pick it up…and then thrust it into Amasa…morally wounding him. One of Joab’s men then called on all the men of the army to join Joab. They then pursued Sheba until he took refuge in a city. In order to save the city…the people of the city cut off Amasa’s head and threw it over the wall to Joab.
Prayer: Lord, it can sometimes be hard to discern the truth. At times, people are deliberately deceitful. At other times, people simply see matters from different perspectives. Please give me Your discernment and perspective. Holy Spirit, I pray that You will guide me in making decisions that affect the ministry of Your church and the lives of Your people. Let me bring You glory.