David is Forced to Leave Jerusalem
Comments for Study 7
2 Samuel 15:1-16:22
Memory Verse: 16:11
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I. Absalom's Conspiracy (15:1-37)
>How did Absalom steal the hearts of the men of Israel? (1-6)
* 2 Samuel 15:1-6 "In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, "What town are you from?" He would answer, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel." Then Absalom would say to him, "Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you." And Absalom would add, "If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice." Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel."
* "In the course of time" -Absalom's time in Geshur was three years. His time in Jerusalem without seeing his father was two years. The events that follow have no exact start date.
* "Absalom provided himself with" -Many produce positive press to sway the hearts of people so that they can gain power over them. Such tactics are not part of the kingdom of God. Jesus' kingdom is different. When Jesus healed people he often told them to not tell anyone. He also rebuked demons from stating who he was. Jesus wants us to believe in him by our own personal evaluation and experiences. Jesus does not force his kingship on anyone. He displays his grace and truth personally to those who accept it. 1 John 5:6-10 states, "This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son."
* "a chariot and horses" -A show of power, money, and status. This is no different that people spending a lot of money on cars and second residencies and impress others with them. Acts like this are selfish and misleading. Jesus told us to rejoice that our names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
* "stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate" -The leaders of a city would sit by the gate to welcome people and conduct business. Absalom made sure that he was the first person a guest to the city would see.
* "your claim is valid" -Based on what investigation? He pretended to be wise and knew everything that was going on.
* "there is no representative of the king to hear you" -Absalom lied about David to make himself look better than David and true and wise. He sought power and authority in the way the other nations did. He did not look to the Lord God in anything he did, never truly calling on the Lord. He trusted in political maneuver to gain a position. The Lord had already chosen a leader and would work his plans accordingly. God's will is always being done in spite of sinful man's actions.
* "judge in the land" -Absalom was careful not to use the word king because that would be clear rebellion. Yet, since the king was the top judge, he implied it.
* "gets justice" -The one who was unjust claimed that another was unjust. We should always be weary of those who promote their state, whether good or bad. There are some who go around churches saying, "Poor me," with the hopes of gaining control over people and their money. They are no different than Absalom. Christians are taught to rejoice in every situation because we have a God who loves us and all things work for the good of those who believe.
* Absalom promised a lot. Yet in reality he did nothing for all who he acting this way toward. He did not prove himself in anyway. We can assume that his words even discouraged people from going into Jerusalem to see if the king would hear their case.
>When and how did he carry out his conspiracy against the king?
* 2 Samuel 15:7-12 "At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: 'If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.'" The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.'" Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom's following kept on increasing."
* "at the end of four years" -Absalom patiently worked his plans. By now he must have been around 30 years old and David was in the last decade of his life on earth.
* "Hebron" -The center of the tribe of Judah and the city that David reigned in before all Israel made him king. Absalom was born there.
* "to fulfill a vow I made to the Lord" -This is the only place that Absalom is recorded saying anything about the Lord. He used the name of God for his own benefit. He was a pretender. Our you a pretender or do you truly have faith? Jesus said, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)
* "If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem" -Absalom's claim is similar to Jacob's claim thus adding to the weight of the claim. Absalom and perhaps David did not recognize that Jacob was wrong in stating, "If God... then I." This is why Jacob ended up wrestling with the Lord his whole life. Our faith should never say, "If God... then I will."
* "Go in peace" -Once again David partakes in the judgement on himself that was pronounced by Nathan the prophet.
* "Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor" -This is the first time Ahithophel is mentioned. He is the grandfather of Bathsheba (cf. 2 Samuel 11:3 with 23:34) The text seems to indicate he rebelled against David willingly. Strange since eventually his great grandson will become the king of Israel. He may not have liked how David acted toward Bathsheba and Uriah.
* "Giloh" -Part of the area Joshua gave to Judah. (Jos. 15:51) Some scholars locate it at modern khirbet Jala in the suburbs of Jerusalem, but most think Giloh was actually further south.
* "Absalom's following kept on increasing" -Absalom had become a threat to the nation, not to David's reign for the Lord had promised him his reign as king over Israel, and that his son would become only after his death. David must have remembered these words and trusted them.
>2. Why did David decide to flee instead of fight? (13-14)
* 2 Samuel 15:13-14 "A messenger came and told David, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom." Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, "Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword."
* "none of us will escape from Absalom... and put the city to the sword" -David wanted to spare Jerusalem a blood bath.
* David did not do anything to change the hearts of people. David waited to be king until Israel would accept him, so now he would wait until there hearts would turn back to him.
>When it is better to flee then fight? (Luke 4:28-30, 13:32-33; Matt. 5:43-48)
* Luke 4:28-30 "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way."
* Luke 13:32-33 "He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!'"
* Matthew 5:43-48 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
* God is in control of everything. He has set us times and places for each of us. He can trust in his love for us. We are taught not to fight back, but to repay good for evil. At times we are to walk away. How will we know what to do? Is not our God active in our lives. Does not he send the Holy Spirit to us? Romans 12:2 states, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
>3. Who was loyal to David?
* 2 Samuel 15:15-18 "The king's officials answered him, "Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses." The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at a place some distance away. All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king."
* "king's officials" -The officials were meet with a decision; stay with David who seemed to be losing his throne, or change over to Absalom who looked like would be the new king. Their decision would affect the rest of their life.
* "he left ten concubines to take care of the palace" -David again is unknowingly is setting up the scenario where the words of the Lord through Nathan to be fulfilled.
* "all the people following him" -David lead his followers out of Jerusalem.
* "they halted at a place some distance away" -David decided to stop and see who passed by him. He wanted to see who remained loyal.
* "the Kerethites and Pelethites" -See study 4. (8:18) David used Gentiles as his personal body guards. Common to kings in those days was the use of foreigners to protect the political and powerful. David did not trust his own people to protect him.
* "Gittites" -See study 3. (6:10) Term used for those who are from Gath.
>What can we learn from Ittai? (19-22)
* 2 Samuel 15:19-22 "The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you." But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be." David said to Ittai, "Go ahead, march on." So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him."
* "Why should you come along with us?" -When David was with the Philistines to evade Saul's sword, David was following the Philistines toward a battle with Saul and Israel. His loyalty was questioned and he was eventually sent back to his home. Now, David posses a question to the Philistines with him similar to the one he was given.
* "King Absalom" -David calls his son king even though he knew otherwise. so why say this? To test the Philistines with him.
* "as surely as the Lord lives" -Ittai most likely had faith in the Lord.
* "my lord he king" -Declaring David his king many times over.
* "and the families with him" -Everyone lives were in turmoil because of sin and selfishness.
* The Gentile mercenaries were not loyal to David because of monetary reasons (common in the day) but on a much deeper and personal reason.
* Each person who believes in Jesus should search his or her heart to see why they are loyal to Jesus. Is it for monetary reasons? When things are good are they loyal, but when things get hard with no apparent gain in sight we abandon and question him?
>How did the people respond? (23)
* 2 Samuel 15:23 "The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the desert."
* "The king also crossed the Kidron Valley" -Jesus often crossed the Kidron Valley as he left Jerusalem, especially on the night that he was arrested and tried.
* "all the people moved on toward the desert" -After the Mount of Olives was a desert that stretched to Jericho and then the Jordan River. David was making his way to the Transjordan, east of the Jordan. The trip through the desert would have been hard and slow, especially for the children, and especially since the exit out of Jerusalem was to quick to prepare food and clothing.
* At times in everyone's life are times so hard to endure. Should we give up, commit suicide? No. That would be sin, a lack of trust in God. God has a plan, and we are a part of it. Jesus said, "In this life you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
>4. What did Zadok and the Levites do? (24)
* 2 Samuel 15:24 "Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city."
* "Zadok" -First mentioned in 8:17, study 4.
* "the ark of the covenant of God" -Continually mentioned in 1 and 2 Samuel. It was a symbol of the presence of the Lord amongst the Israelites.
* "Abiathar offered sacrifices" -Probably friendship offerings.
* The Levites did as their services required.
>Why did David send Zadok and the ark back to Jerusalem?
* 2 Samuel 15:25-26 "Then the king said to Zadok, "Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him."
* "If I find favor in the Lord's eyes" -David already had to know the answer to this question through the prophet Nathan.
* "he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again" -David's statement was one of faith, based on the word of God given to him. We also have been given promises through Jesus, God's son. We should act on faith in them.
* "then I am ready" -We do not know all the details in our lives. We should always be ready to accept what he has planned for us. David was suffering as a result of his sins, and yet it foreshadowed what is to come.
* "let him do to me" -Trust and obey. Jesus said, "Trust in God, trust also in me." (John 14:1)
>What other positive action did David take? (27-29)
* 2 Samuel 15:27-29 "The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Aren't you a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan son of Abiathar. You and Abiathar take your two sons with you. I will wait at the fords in the desert until word comes from you to inform me." So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there."
* "Aren't you a seer?" -A seer was a prophet, mostly giving special individual messages from God to people.
* David and the priests were in an open conversation. David needed to be careful what he said. Saul did not hesitate when he killed the priests who helped David. David wanted to be careful with what he said.
* "fords in the desert" -Near Jericho on the Jordan were shallow areas where it was easy for large groups to cross. Joshua and Israel crossed there. Now David was about to. This was to be the place where the priests were to deliver messages to David.
* David did not take the ark with him because perhaps he knew that it was for all Israel to come to worship him. Jerusalem was the city the Lord had chosen for all Israel to come to worship him, especially during the Feasts. Also, if he was out of favor of the Lord having the ark would be of no help. Finally, that the Lord was with him throughout his years (as said through Nathan) even though David never had the ark with him.
>Describe his ascent up the Mount of Olives.
* 2 Samuel 15:30 "But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up."
* "up the Mount of Olives" -A steep climb.
* "weeping as he went" -Jesus wept for Jerusalem just before he looked down upon the Mount of Olive into Jerusalem. (Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:34)
* "his head was covered" -To hide his tears or to hide who he was.
* "barefoot" -Perhaps a symbol of the extreme times.
>What was his prayer?
* 2 Samuel 15:31 "Now David had been told, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." So David prayed, "O Lord, turn Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness."
* "Ahithophel" -A real threat because his advice was always good.
* "among the conspirators" -We can never know for sure who is for us and who is against us. Ahithophel was a trusted counsel, relative, and friend.
* "David prayed" -David knew that all knowledge and wisdom came from the Lord. His psalms often state this. So David went to the source for help.
* When all seems falling apart around us sometimes all we can do is pray. Yet that is all we ever need to do. God is in total control of everything, always.
>Who was Hushai?
* 2 Samuel 15:32 "When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head."
* "at the summit, where people used to worship God" -This was one of the places around Israel used as a worship center before Jerusalem became the chosen city.
* "Hushai the Arkite" -He was David's Canaanite friend who remained loyal to him even though all seemed loss for doing so. Hushai is not mentioned before this. David had many Gentiles with him while many Israelites betrayed him.
* "Arkite" -Arkite was a Canaanite clan listed in the table of nations (Gen. 10:17). They apparently centered around Arqa, modern Tell Arqa in Syria 80 miles (130km) north of Sidon. Thutmose III of Egypt conquered it. It appears in the Amarna letters. Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria conquered it in 738 B.C. Romans called it Caesarea Libani and noted its Astarte worship. (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* "his robe torn and dust on his head" -A sign of remorse.
>Why did he go back?
* 2 Samuel 15:33-37 "David said to him, "If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; I was your father's servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,' then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel's advice. Won't the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king's palace. Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear." So David's friend Hushai arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city."
* "you will be a burden to me" -Hushai is assumed to be very old, though David was around sixty.
* "Won't the priests" -David was reassuring and instructing Hushai at the same time.
* David trusted the Lord, though he didn't know the exact extent of the details. He acted.
* One could ask how could Absalom accept so many past friends of David into his service. Absalom believed that David's past sinful acts disqualified him as the king just as Saul's sins disqualified him. Absalom was wrong because he did not understand the heart of God. His ego and self-righteousness blinded him from reality.
II. A Blessing and a Curse (16:1-14)
>5. As David left Jerusalem, how did Ziba show his colors as an opportunist? (1-3)
* 2 Samuel 16:1-3 "When David had gone a short distance beyond the summit, there was Ziba, the steward of Mephibosheth, waiting to meet him. He had a string of donkeys saddled and loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs and a skin of wine. The king asked Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the desert." The king then asked, "Where is your master's grandson?" Ziba said to him, "He is staying in Jerusalem, because he thinks, 'Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom.'" Then the king said to Ziba, "All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours." "I humbly bow," Ziba said. "May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king."
* "Ziba" -Ziba was a servant of Saul. David ordered him and his family to take care of Jonathan's remaining son and gave Jonathan's son all of Saul's land.
* "the king" -Stated many times. David was still king, even though his son was trying to take over. Kings have been and always will be decided by God. Some may attempt to change that, yet it will not happen if God has not willed it. God's plan is always being done. God's will cannot be changed. In these end times the evil one is trying to changed the set times. He is not able to. (Dan. 2:21, 7:25)
>How was his loyalties correct?
* 2 Samuel 16:4 "Then the king said to Ziba, "All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours." "I humbly bow," Ziba said. "May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king."
* David made a quick decision without any investigation, a decision he would later regret. He had assumed that because the revolt was so quick and widespread that this man's words were true. We cannot expect leaders, even though they are with faith in Jesus, to make the right decision all the time. Also, we should realize that any leader who claims his word should be obeyed as though God's word because he is a man of God will eventually make wrong decisions and lead people down the wrong path. They are "the blind leading the blind." (Deut. 27:18) Our personal relationship with God through Jesus grants us the Holy Spirit who we need to rely on for guidance and help. Yes, God grants each different gifts and appoints shepherds over us. Still we should examine all before his word and the Spirit.
* When things go bad does not stop the opportunists. Man's heart is full of wrong plans if not the the love of the Lord.
* Beware of men baring gifts and at the same time claim something against someone else.
>6. What errors were in Shimei's curing?
* 2 Samuel 16:5-8 "As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king's officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David's right and left. As he cursed, Shimei said, "Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood!"
* "a man from the same clan as Saul's family" -From the same clan as Matri. (1 Sam. 10:21)
* "Bahurim" -A town between Jerusalem and Jericho on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. The second husband of Saul's daughter, David's first wife cried all the way to this town when Abner was retrieving her for David at David's request. Now one of Saul's family would repay David for the wrongs he perceived David as doing.
* "Shimei son of Gera" -Unknown until this time.
* "As he cursed" -A very hard teaching to keep is, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28) Romans 12:14 also states, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."
* "The Lord has repaid you" -Shimei's actions and words did not match. Cursing and throwing stones was something that David had not done to Saul because he was the Lord's anointed. How often do my words and my actions reveal inner intent? Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)
>How did David respond? (9-12)
* 2 Samuel 16:9-12 "Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head." But the king said, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?'" David then said to Abishai and all his officials, "My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today."
* "Abishai son of Zeruiah" -Joab's brother, first mentioned in 1 Samuel 26:6. He had accompanied David into Saul's camp and wanted to kill Saul.
* "dead dog" -Shows great contempt. Dog's in those days and times were mangy wild animals that lived in and eat from trash heaps. People did not have them as household pets as they do in modern times.
* "What do you and I have in common" -David had men in his ranks that were loyal to him and used by him, yet he really didn't have anything spiritually and morally in common with them. He did not through them out, or expel them. Rather he allowed them to stay in his service. Jesus taught "The Parable of the Weeds" concerning these type of people growing amongst the Lord's wheat. (Matt. 13:24-30) The parable is just before "The Parable of Mustard Seed" and "The Parable of the Yeast". The common thread in all is that amist the people of God are those who look similar to wheat called tares except they do not produce fruit. When Jesus comes again he will sort out the wheat and the tares.
* "If he is" -David did not know for sure. He knew that he had sinned and was told by the prophet that he would pay the price for the sin. So perhaps this was part of the punishment, and David would take the punishment. If the man was sent by God, then David could not stop him just to save pride.
* "It may be that the Lord will see my distress" -David considered another possible outcome of being cursed. He did not know what the outcome would be. He just knew he wouldn't do to this man what he was doing to David.
>What was everyone's condition when they arrived at their destination?
* 2 Samuel 16:13-14 "So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself."
* "And there he refreshed himself" -With food, water, rest, and the presence of the Lord.
>What can we learn here about David's faith?
* "repay me with good" -David knew that the Lord was good and the Lord shows compassion. The Lord does repay; he does reward and take away reward. I too look for the mercy of the Lord. Lord remember all that those had done to your servant in the past and show kindness for if you were to take away your kindness, that would be devestation to me. Even if all curse me and you are the only one who does not, that would be enough to sustain me. But if you to curse me, then why go on? You are a God of love and compassion. Though I do not deserve it, forgive my sins and look my way in the name of your son Jesus.
* Ephesians 3:16-19 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
>7. How does this foreshadow the Messiah? (Matt. 26:36-38; Luke 22:39-44, 13:34-35)
* Matthew 26:36-38 "Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
* Luke 22:39-44 "Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."
* Luke 13:34-35 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
* Jesus was rejected by Israel, driven out and cursed. Yet he prayed for Jerusalem. He did not seek retribution. Instead he prayed for them and laid down his life for the forgiveness of sins. He let himself become a curse by receiving our guilt in himself. Evil men cursed him. (Mark 14:63-65; Luke 22:63-65)
III. Ahithophel's Advice Fulfills God's Word (16:15-23)
>8. Who was with Absalom and where did they go? (15)
* 2 Samuel 16:15 "Meanwhile, Absalom and all the men of Israel came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him."
* "Absalom" -Absalom was David's third son. He was forcefully trying to take away the throne from David at the cost of the lives of many innocent people. Absalom was a disgruntled and ambitious son who believed that he would be a better king than David. He gained a following and tried to take control of God's chosen nation. He slowly and secretly planned and conducted his take-over. At the right time he sprung his trap. I have seen such people in businesses, in families, and in congregations. There is no exception. Years ago I meet a man who when he was a pastor just out of seminary school left his denomination and was removed from his congregation because he wanted to do things his way, not accepting the direction of his denomination's elders. When he left he brought with him a group of followers. He told his denominational leaders that he believed he knew better than they. So he with the help of a few others started his own fellowship, building on the work of others including the Navigators. The funny thing is that several years later some in the fellowship he had help started did exactly what he had done years earlier. They left saying they knew better than he. Even funnier is the the same thing kept happening over and over again in his fellowship up to this very day. The moral of the whole sad chain of events is that man's sinful nature follows this pattern over and over again. Behind it all is selfish ambition and pride; there is no love. Yet through it all, God's will is being done. The Apostle Paul experienced this too. Such is the case with Absalom against David, a selfish and prideful attempt to do things ones own way. Doubt what I'm writing? Consider the reasons for the rapid rise of divorce in the modern age, even amongst those who confess the name of Jesus. Paul wrote, "Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:5-7)
>How did Hushai keep his promise to David?
* 2 Samuel 16:16-19 "Then Hushai the Arkite, David's friend, went to Absalom and said to him, "Long live the king! Long live the king!" Absalom asked Hushai, "Is this the love you show your friend? Why didn't you go with your friend?" Hushai said to Absalom, "No, the one chosen by the Lord, by these people, and by all the men of Israel--his I will be, and I will remain with him. Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve the son? Just as I served your father, so I will serve you."
* "went to Absalom" -Going to Absalom took courage. He did not know how the young prince would welcome him.
* "your friend" -Absalom did not say, "my father" or "the king".
* "by all the men of Israel" -Indeed it looked like all of Israel was following Absalom. A growing ill feeling had been risen up against David ever since his sins against Uriah had been made public. sin stains a leadership. Yet we should not become like Absalom.
* "serve" -Repeated several times because it would appease the young proud man.
>9. Why might Absalom seek his advice? (20; Prov. 20:18)
* 2 Samuel 16:20 "Absalom said to Ahithophel, 'Give us your advice. What should we do?'"
* Proverbs 20:18 "Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance."
* Jesus also taught that we should consider the decisions we make. I paraphrase, "Building a house? Consider the cost! Don't start what you can't and/or won't want to finish."
* Yet, even though a person seeks advice, he still has to make a decision. The wisest men seek God's will. Since Absalom was seeking his own plans and David was trusting in the Lord's will to be done no matter the outcome, David proved to be the wiser of the two.
>What does the fact that Absalom accepted his advice show about him? (23)
* 2 Samuel 16:23 "Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel's advice."
* All should seek advice, Absalom has learned this.
* Amongst men there are some better equipped to give advice than others. This is a gift of God. And as with any gift comes the temptation to give oneself all the glory instead of the one who gave the gift. If there is anything you find helpful in the study help on this site, it is God who gives it, not I. I pray that his words be given. To him goes the glory.
>Who was Ahithophel like, but not actually? (Jer. 14:14-16)
* "like that of one who inquires of God" -In other words like a prophet. Many considered Ahithophel's advice as valid as a prophets word. This does not say that he was a prophet or that he even inquired of God.
* Jeremiah 14:14-16 "Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, 'No sword or famine will touch this land.' Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve."
>10. What was Ahithophel advice?
* 2 Samuel 16:21 "Ahithophel answered, "Lie with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father's nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened."
* Nathan the prophet has said, "'Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'" (2 Sam. 12:10-12)
* "lie with your father's wives" -Jacob's oldest son, Reuben had done the same thing for the same reasons. It did not end well for Reuben either. (Gen. 49:4)
* "and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened" -This is the one part of the advice that was not entirely born out. They were strengthened for a time until they lost. Then their hands would be at their own throats.
>What does this show about him? (Proverbs 12:5)
* Proverbs 12:5 "The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful."
* Ahithophel was being deceitful and evil. He did not care about the ten women.
>Did Absalom follow his advice?
* 2 Samuel 16:22 "So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel."
* He did exactly was he was told.
>What does this show about him?
* He too was heartless.
* Such ambition men are not fit to lead. Yet people like this lead all the time, especially in this end time.
>What can we learn?
* The end does not justify the means. If our hands are dirty, then anything they build will be dirty.
* Isaiah 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."
* Psalm 22:6-7 "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:"
* Psalm 37:32-36 "The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives; but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial. Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found."
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