Date

April 17

 

Read II Samuel 17 -- 18

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Absalom follows advice of Hushai; David's troops battle Absalom and his followers; Absalom killed by Joab; David grieves bitterly

 

It often takes a crisis to reveal who our true friends are. Ahithophel (David's longtime and most trusted adviser) was invited by Absalom to join his conspiracy. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased (in numbers) continually with Absalom (II Samuel 15:12). David was old and feeble and it appeared that Absalom had successfully won the confidence of most of the key leaders of the nation. When Ahithophel decided to desert David and join with Absalom, he revealed his true character with the words "me" and "I." Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: And I will come upon him . . . I will smite (murder) the king only: And I will bring back all the people to you (17:1-3). At first, the saying pleased Absalom (17:4). Apparently, Absalom then realized that he would be in a secondary position to Ahithophel. Remember also that God did not forget David's prayer: O LORD . . . turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (15:31).

 

David had sent his friend Hushai to join Absalom. Undoubtedly, his coming appealed to Absalom's ego, for he now had gained his father's two top advisers. Ahithophel had assumed Absalom would accept his plan; but it appears it offended Absalom as well as Amasa, his military leader. This then led them to consider the counsel of Hushai, who reminded Absalom that all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant (brave) men (17:10).

 

As Absalom considered the possibility of losing his first battle, he realized this could produce panic and the loss of his followers. Hushai advised that all Israel be generally gathered to you, from Dan even to Beer-sheba . . . and that you go to battle in your own person (17:11). This appealed to Absalom's ego and gave David and his men time to prepare for the battle that would lead to Absalom's defeat. Undoubtedly, Hushai's advice was an answer to David's prayer. The Bible clearly warns that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

 

Pity those who are unaware of the "Unseen Presence" of God, who defends those who trust in Him (see Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 40:17).

 

Promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He puts down one, and sets up another (Psalm 75:6-7).

 

Word Studies:

 

17:8 chafed = angered; 17:11 generally = fully; 17:17 wench = maidservant; 17:25 host = army; 18:3 succour = assist by providing reinforcements from the city; 18:9 taken up = left hanging.

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through Mahanaim, a city of refuge where David went when he was fleeing from Absalom (II Samuel 17:27). Christ is our refuge. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Hebrews 6:18-20).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Allen Joslyn · Country: St. Kitts-Nevis (42,000) in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies · Major language: English · Religious freedom · 74% Protestant; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for godly men of old who were faithful to record His Word of Truth (Habakkuk 2:1-2).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 18

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:17