Bible Pathways 04/17/2004
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- 2004 Apr 17
Read 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. But, 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 assumed Absalom would accept his plan. But it had offended Absalom as well as Amasa, his military leader. This 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 Beersheba . . 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. The Bible clearly warns that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). Undoubtedly, Hushai's advice was an answer to David's prayer.
Pity those who are unaware of the "Unseen Presence" of God, who defends those who trust in Him (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).
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.
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).
Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Express your gratitude for the loving-kindness of God (Jeremiah 32:17-18).
Optional Reading: Acts 18
Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:35