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Bible Pathways - 4/16/05



April 16


Read II Samuel 15 -- 16


In Today's Reading:


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


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


Two years after Absalom had returned from exile (see 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 of conspiracy to overthrow his father and declare himself king of Israel. Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment he pretended a deep concern. And Absalom said to him, See, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of (representing) the king to hear you. . . . Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice! (15:1-4). The shocking news eventually reached David that the hearts of the men of Israel are after (committed to) Absalom (15:13).


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 (see 15:30). During this time, he had no thought of self-pity, bitterness, or revenge. David's great concern was to avoid bloodshed in Jerusalem, the City of God.


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


Wicked men are often used by our holy God as instruments of correction for those whom He loves. David later confessed: Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Your Word (Psalm 119:67).


Word Studies:


15:27 seer = prophet; 15:28 certify = inform; 16:5 still = continuously.


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: You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke 9:54-56).


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thomas & Mary Beaghen · BP Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Government Officials: Sec. Anthony Principi (Department of Veterans Affairs) and Rep. Clifford Stearns (FL) · Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish · Limited religious freedom for Christians · 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice over and pray for those who share the Good News (Nahum 1:15).


Optional Reading: Acts 17


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:16


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