Highlights In Today's Reading:
Joab, David's nephew (I Chr. 2:13-16), feels justified as he kills Abner (II Sam. 3:27), his cousin Absalom (18:14), and his cousin Amasa (20:10; I Chr. 2:16-17). Yet he sensibly reproves David twice (II Sam. 19:5-7; 24:1-3). Read the comments as the king returns to his place of honor (chap. 19). There is one last revolt from the 10 tribes before David's kingdom is restored in chapter 20.
David had just one concern at this tragic moment when Absalom and his soldiers were seeking to kill him: Is . . . Absalom safe? (18:29,32). And, behold, Cushi came; and . . . said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee (18:31).
David's soldiers returned from battle expecting to be welcomed by a glorious victory celebration; instead, they heard the king weeping and wailing: O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son! (19:4).
David was no stranger to violence and death — even the death of his children. When Bathsheba's first child became sick, David fasted for seven days in prayer and seclusion; but, when he received word that the child had died, he accepted it calmly and said: I shall go to him (12:16-23). Heaven will be all the more precious because of loved ones who have gone on before us. But David had no hope he would ever see Absalom again, for he would be cast into hell where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth forever (Matt. 13:42,50).
Tragic events that happen to believers are never unfortunate “accidents.” Our lives are in the loving care of our Heavenly Father at all times, in every place, and without exception. However, at times all of us are responsible for the adverse circumstances and sorrows that we experience — and we know it. It may seem natural to condemn ourselves for our faults, our failures, our fears, our frustrations, or the things that “happen” to us. Whatever it might be, we sometimes mourn too long in self-pity, grieving over what might have been, or we can let the indwelling Holy Spirit deepen our faith in the wisdom of God through these experiences and bring us into a closer relationship with Christ.
We have peace with God . . . and rejoice . . . knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope (faith): And hope maketh not ashamed (never disappoints); because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rom. 5:1-5).
Thought for Today:
Tragedies are difficult to understand at best, but they remind us that the Word of God teaches that our lives are as a vapour and we must be ready (James 4:14).
By David, who wished to be invited back as king (II Sam. 19:11). Our Lord Jesus wants to be invited into the hearts of all mankind. He only comes in by our invitation. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, (and enjoy sweet fellowship together) and will sup with him, and he with Me (Rev. 3:20).
19:14 bowed =swayed; 20:3 ward =guarded house; 20:18 were wont to speak =used to say.
Pray for Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Officials: Rep. Bob Latta (OH) and Rep. Gwendolyn Moore (WI) • Country: Indonesia (211.8 million) five large and 13,662 lesser islands in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Bahasa Indonesian (modified form of Malay) and English • Growing pressure from Muslim leaders to limit advances of Christianity by not renewing many of the missionaries' permits to stay in the country • 83% Muslim; 9% Protestant; 4% Catholic; 2% Hindu; 1% Buddhist; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the Lord will enable you to comfort and encourage others (II Cor. 1:3-4).
Optional Reading: Acts 19
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:11-12