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Bible Pathways 04/16/2003

April 16

Read II Samuel 15 -- 16

In Today's Reading:

Absalom wins over national leaders; he leads a revolt and overthrow of David; David flees in fear of his son; Absalom's death

After Absalom had been in exile three years (II Samuel 13:34-38), Joab, commander-in-chief of David's army, initiated a clever plan which persuaded David to bring Absalom home.

About two years after Absalom had returned from exile (14:28), with an arrogant, shameless, and defiant attitude, he demanded that Joab arrange to have the king see him. David promptly forgave Absalom, who then began an ambitious and deceptive scheme to take over his father's throne: Absalom provided himself with a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him.He would rise early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate.When anyone had a grievance to bring before the king he pretended a deep concern. Absalom would say to him, Look, your claims are good and right, but the king doesn't have a deputy justice to listen to you. . . . If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice (15:1-4).

Soon the shocking news reached David that the hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom! (15:13). During this time, he had no thought of self-pity, bitterness, or revenge. David was confident that his life and the destiny of Jerusalem were in the sovereign control of God.

It is sad to read that David, the brokenhearted old king, left Jerusalem, running barefoot down the rocky, rugged hills to the Brook Kidron and up the Mount of Olives, weeping, fleeing Jerusalem in fear of his own beloved son (15:30).

After learning he had been betrayed by his trusted counselor, David committed himself to God and prayed: O LORD . . . please, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness! (15:31). Then, he sent Hushai his longtime friend (15:37; I Chronicles 27:33) back to Jerusalem with instructions as to how he could become Absalom's adviser, and thus refute Ahithophel's counsel (II Samuel 15:33-35).

Wicked men are often used by our holy God to correct those whom He loves. David later confessed: Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word (Psalms 119:67).

Christ Portrayed:

By David as he rebuked his followers when they wanted to execute his enemies (II Samuel 16:10-11; compare I Samuel 26:8-9). When Jesus' disciples wanted to do the same, He rebuked them saying: The Son of Man did not come to destroy people's lives but to save them (Luke 9:54-56).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Thomas Allen (ME) and Rep. Clifford Stearns (FL) · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to make you willing to go wherever He wants to send you (Isaiah 6:8).

Optional Reading: Acts 17

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:17

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