Counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai; Ahithophel commits suicide; Absalom murdered by Joab; David mourns Absalom's death.
And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth . . . And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him (II Sam. 18:9,15).
The majority of Israel's leaders and great numbers of discontented people joined Absalom in an attempt to overthrow King David. Absalom was declared king. He then entered and took control of the capital without resistance. Up to this point all his plans had been successful. But Absalom was determined to pursue and execute David (17:2-4). However, God allowed him to go only so far. In the battle that ensued, Absalom suffered heavy losses, a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men (18:7). Then God used a branch of a tree to seize and hold him until he received his just execution.
When the time of Absalom's judgment arrived, he didn't have a friend who cared to help him. There were many who had once stayed by him; but now, with his head caught in the limbs of the oak tree, everyone rushed past him, intent on saving their own lives.
Absalom's rebellion against David is typical of the men who take counsel . . . against the Lord (Ps. 2:2). Although this Scripture refers prophetically to Christ, it is also true that those who oppose the leaders God appoints oppose Christ. They seem to prosper for awhile, but after the purpose of God has been fulfilled, they are destroyed. It is impossible for anyone to defeat the purpose of God for his anointed servant. For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5). He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me (John 13:20).
When the desire for recognition, advancement, or power is motivated by a selfish ego, it results in hatred, envy, disunity, and sometimes, even death. This evil is often the cause of discontentment at work, disagreements in the home, and quarrels among individuals.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Phil. 2:3).
Thought for Today:
God always has a way of honoring the humble.
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).
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.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bob Coleman • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Country: Belize (236,000) on the eastern coast of Central America • Major languages: English and Spanish • Religious freedom • 64% Roman Catholic; 26% Protestant; 2% spiritist/animist; 1% Hindu; 1% Muslim; 1% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a clean and pure heart (James 4:8).
Optional Reading: Acts 18
Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26