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Bible Pathways - Apr. 16, 2008


April 16

2 Samuel 15

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The consequences of David's sin continue as his son Absalom violently strives to murder his father and take over his kingdom. We see David flee because of his concern for the safety of the Ark and the city of God.

The cruel and savage rebellion of Absalom against his father seems unbelievable. Following his return from his three-year exile, he pretended to care for the people. Each day he would listen to their complaints at the gate and deceptively told them how he would improve the administration of justice if only he were king. His plot culminated as he gathered his forces to besiege Jerusalem.

Before Absalom's arrival in Jerusalem, there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said . . . Arise, and let us flee (15:13-14). The aged, heartbroken king fled barefoot and with his head covered down the rough, rocky hillside leading to the Mount of Olives. His own son Absalom, whom he loved greatly, had stole the hearts of the men of Israel (15:6), and he led a successful revolt against David, the anointed king over the people of God. Deceitfully and ruthlessly Absalom, and all the . . . men of Israel, came to Jerusalem,and Ahithophel with him and without opposition took control of Jerusalem (16:15-23).

David did not blame God for the many tragic experiences that happened after his great sin with Bathsheba. He had sinned and he knew he was now suffering the consequences as Nathan had prophesied (12:9-12). David now experienced his kingdom being shattered by civil war with all of its devastation and undoubtedly blamed himself. Little could David have realized when he beheld the beautiful Bathsheba, that one night of self-indulgence would bring such awful consequences. No one ever does.

David had kept aloof from Absalom for two long years, waiting for some sign of repentance for murdering his brother, but there is no indication that Absalom ever repented of any sin. In contrast David confessed his sin, deeply repented, and prayed: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness (Psalm 51:1). He saw the righteousness of God and earnestly petitioned: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (51:10). As his words testify, he prayed that a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise (51:17). He pleaded: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (51:7).

David was sincere and for the rest of his life he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord (I Kings 15:5). The results of our sins are inevitable and inescapable, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). We can be exceedingly confident and grateful for the Lord's mercy: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

Thought for Today:

The lesson for us all to learn is that our internal spiritual battles (lust) usually become external wars. For all that is in the world (I John 2:16). From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (James 4:1).

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

Word Studies:

15:27 seer =prophet who has discernment; 15:28 certify =until you inform me; 16:5 still =cursed continuously.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Clarita Talbot • Staff: Gina Lesnefsky • Government Officials: Rep. Tom Allen (ME) and Rep. Clifford Stearns (FL) • Country: Libya (5 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and Italian • No form of Christian witness to Libyans is permitted • 98% Muslim; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you would be sanctified through the truth of the Word of God (John 17:17).

Optional Reading: Acts 17

Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:21

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