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Bible Pathway - Apr. 17, 2010


2 Samuel 17


Here's an important life-lesson. Always compare your desires with the Word of God. Absalom didn't and his rebellion against God destroyed him (II Sam. 18:9).

Verses for Today:

Absalom hanged in an oak. . . . Joab . . . took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom. . . . they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit. . . . Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar (II Sam. 18:10,14,17-18).

The majority of Israel's leaders and many of the people joined Absalom in a rebellion to overthrow King David. Absalom was then declared king and entered Jerusalem without resistance.

Up to this point, all his plans had been successful. But Absalom was determined to pursue and murder his father David. However, in the ensuing battle, there was . . . a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men. . . . And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head (hair) caught hold of the oak (limbs), and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away (18:7,9).

There were many who had once stayed by Absalom; but now, when his hair caught in the limbs of the oak tree, he didn't have a friend to help him escape. Everyone rushed past him, concerned only about saving their own lives.

Absalom's rebellion against David is typical of those who take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed (Ps. 2:2). But God allows the wicked to be "successful" only until His purposes have been fulfilled. God provided an insignificant branch of a tree to hold Absalom by his hair until he was killed by Joab. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).

Many people have died an untimely death after having taken an open stand against a God-appointed leader. It is so important that we pray for those in authority instead of taking matters into our own hands without seeking direction from God. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1).

Pity the ignorant who are unaware of the "Unseen Presence" of God, who defends those who trust in Him (Heb. 4:13; Ps. 40:17). For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another (Ps. 75:6-7). All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom. 8:28).

Thought for Today:

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee (Ps. 91:7).

Christ Revealed:

Through Mahanaim, a city of refuge where David went when he was fleeing from Absalom (Josh. 21:38; II Sam. 17:27). Christ is our Refuge. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the Hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Heb. 6:18,20).

Word Studies:

17:8 chafed =angered; 17:17 wench =maidservant; 17:25 host =army; 18:3 succour us out of the city =remain in the city and assist by providing reinforcements; 18:9 taken up =left hanging, suspended.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Al Joslyn • Country: Finland (5.2 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Finnish and Swedish • Religious freedom • 86% Lutheran; 1% Orthodox; 12% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christ will be seen through you (Phil. 1:20-21).

Optional Reading: Acts 18

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:11

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