MLMorning Light – July 1st, 2015
Today: [2 Samuel Chapter Fifteen]: David Leaves Jerusalem. In this chapter David leaves Jerusalem and surrenders the throne to Absalom. There are times in your life when the enemy and circumstances will prevail upon you and you will be tempted to fight your own battles. In this situation David chooses to humble himself in the circumstance because he knows ultimately that God will preserve his rule. Likewise we have to remember ourselves that humility and non-resistance often fast track us to the place of blessing and security that God has for us.

Today: [2 Samuel Chapter Fifteen]: David Leaves Jerusalem. In this chapter David leaves Jerusalem and surrenders the throne to Absalom. There are times in your life when the enemy and circumstances will prevail upon you and you will be tempted to fight your own battles. In this situation David chooses to humble himself in the circumstance because he knows ultimately that God will preserve his rule. Likewise we have to remember ourselves that humility and non-resistance often fast track us to the place of blessing and security that God has for us.

[2Sa 15:1-37 KJV] 1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was [so], that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city [art] thou? And he said, Thy servant [is] of one of the tribes of Israel. 3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters [are] good and right; but [there is] no man [deputed] of the king to hear thee. 4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was [so], that when any man came nigh [to him] to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. 6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

In the previous chapter Absalom is allowed to return to Jerusalem but King David does not choose to see him for two years. During this time Absalom gains favor with the people and now sets himself by the gate of the city. While at the entering in to Jerusalem Absalom steals the hearts of the people by making himself accessible to them and showing favor to whatever cause they would bring before the king. It is important to note the birth order of the sons of David to reflect the true motive of Absalom in all his manipulations. Amnon, killed by Absalom was first in line for the throne. Amnon was the son of David’s second wife Ahinoam. David’s second son we know very little about – he was born to Abigail the widow of Nabal and his name was Cheleab (also known as David). There is suggestion that Cheleab was actually Nabal’s son and that Abigail was pregnant with him at the time she married David. Jewish tradition maintains that Cheleab is one of the four people they contend that died without sin. In light of this it is possible that he died as a child or that there was some mental defect in him such as autism, etc., that made him different and incapable of participating in the rule of David. This would have left Absalom second in line for the throne and this fact therefore reveals the true motive of Absalom in killing Amnon and now manipulating and putting himself forward to the people.

7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. 8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD. 9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, [that were] called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, [even] from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. 13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. 14 And David said unto all his servants that [were] with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants [are ready to do] whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint. 16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, [which were] concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. 18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou [art] a stranger, and also an exile. 20 Whereas thou camest [but] yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth [be] with thee. 21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. 22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that [were] with him.

After spending much time garnering the favor of the people Absalom “after forty years” or, at the age of forty requests to go to Hebron. Hebron is where David was first crowned king and where the patriarchs including Abraham and Sarah are born. Absalom goes to Hebron and declares himself king. In so doing he is connecting his proposal to rule with the golden days when David as a young man was crowned by Judah and ruled in great favor with all the people. He is in essence maintaining that David has corrupted his rule and that as Saul was rejected now he is the chosen and anointed king.

David could have surely overthrown Absalom but chooses not to. He calls his retinue of close supporters together and informs them they are to flee the city. He leaves ten concubines behind to tend the house. When Absalom comes takes the throne he publically has sex with these concubines as a way of further usurping his father’s rule. This was prophesied to happen by the prophet Nathan because of what David did in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah. In all of this David is not likely ignorance or not regarding what Nathan said. It would seem that David sees this as all happening by God’s hand and is cooperating with what he sees and the hand of Divine Discipline in his life. Absalom is being used by the hand of God to fulfill the prophesy of Nathan although there will be no reward in it for him for in the end he dies by the hand of Joab.

23 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. 24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites [were] with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city. 25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me [both] it, and his habitation: 26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, [here am] I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. 27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, [Art not] thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. 29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there. 30 And David went up by the ascent of [mount] Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that [was] with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

Zadok the priest makes the attempt to follow David out of the city with the ark of the covenant. David refuses to allow this and sends Zadok and the ark back to Jerusalem. He reminds Zadok that as High Priest there is a Seer’s anointing upon him. He tells Zadok he will tarry in the plains until Zadok hears the word of the Lord “to certify” what David should do next. In all of this David is not unaware or unbelieving that God is at work in the midst of this chaos. He refuses to war with Absalom, choosing not to trust in his sword or his ability to win in battle but to lean on the Lord and let the Lord if He so chooses to give him back the throne he now walks away from.

31 And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. 32 And it came to pass, that [when] David was come to the top [of the mount], where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: 33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: 34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father’s servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 And [hast thou] not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, [that] what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king’s house, thou shalt tell [it] to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, [they have] there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok’s [son], and Jonathan Abiathar’s [son]; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear. 37 So Hushai David’s friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Ahithophel is a trusted counselor of David and other than Solomon himself is one of the wisest men in biblical history. David sends his friend Hushai back to Jerusalem to counter the counsel that Ahithophel gives to Absalom. If Ahithophel’s counsel had been allowed to stand Absalom’s reign would have been much stronger. What else do we know about this man? If you examine the genealogies given later you will find that Ahithophel is Bathsheba’s grandfather. You might wonder why such a wise man would join a rebellion against David but now it is plain that he was seeking revenge against David for the dishonoring of his family line in the matter of his granddaughter.

In all of these events it makes one question why David didn’t resist or make a stand against Absalom. David no doubt by this time is seeing the hand of God in the pattern of events taking place. As things come to a culmination regarding Absalom he hastens the matter by refusing to fight. When Jesus was brought before Pilate he said “if my kingdom were of this world then my servants would fight…” When Paul stood before Agrippa he could have been released but he had appealed to Caesar because it was God’s will for Paul to go to Rome. In these matters David’s discernment is returning to him and he is making his best attempt to humble himself and yield to the hand of God in the circumstance.

It is not necessary to fight your own battles. There are times when like David you should go barefoot with earth on your head. If we take matters into our hands we sometimes make matters worse. Better to do as Jesus said and “resist not evil” not so that evil will reign but so the situation is deposited in the hand of God and deliverance is hastened.

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