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Bible Pathway - Apr. 16, 2011

Read 2 Samuel 15:1


The handsome and popular Absalom (II Sam. 14:25) wins over national leaders, including David's most trusted counselor Ahithophel. Absalom leads a revolt and attempts to overthrow and murder David.

The cruel and savage rebellion of Absalom against his father seems unbelievable. Following his return from his exile, he pretended to care for the people. Each day he would listen to their complaints and deceptively tell them how he would improve the administration of justice if only he were king. The plot culminated as he gathered his forces to besiege Jerusalem.

Before Absalom's arrival in Jerusalem, there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said . . . Arise, and let us flee (II Sam. 15:13-14). The aged, heartbroken king fled barefoot, his head covered, down the rough, rocky hillside leading to the Mount of Olives. His own son Absalom, whom he loved greatly, stole the hearts of the men of Israel (15:6) and revolted against David, the anointed king over the people of God. Deceitful and ruthless Absalom, and all the . . . men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him and took over Jerusalem (16:15-23).

David did not blame God for the tragic experiences that happened after his sin with Bathsheba. He had sinned and he knew he was now suffering the consequences as Nathan had prophesied (12:9-12).

David waited two long years for some sign of repentance from Absalom for the murder of his brother, but there is no record that Absalom repented of any sin. In contrast David confessed his sin, deeply repented, and prayed: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness (Ps. 51:1). Knowing the righteousness of God, he earnestly petitioned: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (51:10). As his words testify, he prayed that a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise (51:17). He pleaded: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (51:7).

David was sincere in prayer and for the rest of his life did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (I Kin. 15:5). The results of sin are inevitable and inescapable, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7). We can be exceedingly confident and grateful for the Lord's mercy: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy (Prov. 28:13).

Thought for Today:

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7).

Christ Portrayed:

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).

Word Studies:

15:27 seer prophet of God who has discernment (I Sam. 9:9); 15:28 certify inform; 16:5 cursed still shouted curses continuously.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Clifford Stearns (FL) • Country: China, Mainland (1.242 billion) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) • Renewed persecution of the Church • 16% Asian (including Fulun Gong); 8% Buddhist; 3% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing; 10% Atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Pray without ceasing (II Tim. 1:3).

Optional Reading: Acts 17:1

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:10

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