Absalom gains popularity and conspires against David; David flees from Jerusalem; Absalom enters Jerusalem.
And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up (II Sam. 15:30).
One of the saddest scenes in the Bible is that of King David fleeing from his son, Absalom. Heartbroken, the aged king is described as barefooted, his head covered, fleeing across the rough hills leading to the Mount of Olives.
His own son, Absalom, gained the confidence of much of Israel. Absalom then led an at-first successful revolt and took control of Jerusalem (15:13-18).
David and many of his supporters voluntarily left the city of God rather than see it destroyed by civil war (15:14). David was more concerned for the well-being of the city and the people of God than for himself.
Shimei, one of Saul's relatives, followed David as he fled from Jerusalem, cursing him and stoning him. He accused David of being responsible for Saul's death and all the blood of the house of Saul (16:8). This accusation was not true, and Abishai asked David for permission to kill Shimei. David refused, saying: Let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David (16:10). David was willing to accept abuse because he recognized the sovereignty of God.
Although he knew he was being chastised, David did not blame God for the many tragic experiences that resulted after his great sin with Bath-sheba. David had made his choice, and he suffered the consequences without complaining. But he knew the presence of the Lord's loving-kindness, as his words testify when he fled from Absalom. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head (Ps. 3:2-3).
Too often we retaliate, fight back, or seek revenge, and do not see the hand of God in our sufferings. But once we see this Truth and yield to Him, we discover His perfect will. The highest privilege Christians can have is to yield our will to His ways. May God teach us the precious privilege of accepting and loving His ways!
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Is. 55:9).
Thought for Today:
God is our strength in time of trouble.
By David as he rebuked his followers when they wanted to execute his enemies (II Sam. 16:10-11; compare I Sam. 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).
15:27 seer, prophet of God who has discernment (I Sam. 9:9); 15:28 certify, inform; 16:5 cursed still, shouted curses continuously.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by William Lupton • Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Clifford B. Stearns (FL) • Country: Belgium (10.2 million) in northwestern Europe • Major languages: Flemish and French • Religious freedom • 74% Catholic; 3% Muslim; 1% Protestant; .5% Orthodox; 20% Secular Humanism; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will obey the Word of God and not be just a deceived hearer (James 1:22).
Optional Reading: Acts 17
Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26