Highlights In Today's Reading:
The handsome and popular Absalom (14:25) commits treason against his father, King David. David experiences the ultimate humiliation as he flees (15:30). Absalom's final insult (16:21-23).
After arranging for the murder of his older brother, Absalom could assume that he was one step closer to inheriting the throne of David. However, to avoid prosecution for his crime, he escaped into his mother's country to live with his grandfather, who was king of Geshur in Syria (15:8). After Absalom had been in exile three years (13:38), Joab, commander-in-chief of David's army, engineered a deceitful plan to bring about Absalom's return.
Absalom prepared him (himself) chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate, the entrance into the city and often a place for court cases to be decided (15:1-2). His private army would make him appear as the obvious heir to the throne. He pretended a deep concern for any man that had a controversy (who) came to the king for judgment (15:2). Intercepting him, Absalom said unto him . . . thy matters are good and right. . . . Oh, that I were made judge . . . I would do him justice! (15:3-4). In all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom (14:25) and the hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom (15:13).
The despicable treachery of Absalom was exposed after he asked permission of his father David to “worship” in Hebron (15:7-8), the city of Absalom's birth (3:2-3). However, his purpose was to organize a revolution. Soon it was known throughout the tribes that Absalom reigneth (is king) in Hebron (15:10). Even Ahithophel joined the deserters (15:12). During this critical time, David expressed his trust in the sovereign control of God over the affairs of life when he said to Zadok the priest: If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again (15:25).
It is pitiful to see the brokenhearted King David weeping as he fled Jerusalem in fear of his beloved son, running barefoot down the rugged, rock-covered hills to the brook Kidron and up the Mount of Olives (15:30). David then crossed the Jordan River (17:22-24) to one of the towns of the Levites, where he was well provided for (17:27-29).
I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:44-45).
Thought for Today:
The things that are gained by deceitful practices eventually bring shame into our lives.
By David as he rebuked his followers when they wanted to execute his enemies (II Sam. 16:10-11; compare I Sam. 26:8-9). When Jesus' disciples wanted to do the same, He rebuked them saying: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke 9:54-56).
15:27 seer =prophet of God who has discernment; 15:28 certify =inform; 16:5 cursed still =shouting curses continuously.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Staff: George Kopchak • Government Official: Rep. Clifford Stearns (FL) • Country: Iceland (272,000) at the northern end of the Atlantic • Major language: Icelandic • Religious freedom • 94% Protestant; 6% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment in all decisions (I Cor. 2:12-14).
Optional Reading: Acts 17
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:11-12