2 Samuel 16
1 When David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, What do you mean by these? And Ziba said, The asses are for the king’s household to ride on. The bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat. And the wine for those that are faint in the wilderness to drink. 3 And the king said, And where is your master’s son? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he stayed at Jerusalem: for he said, Today the house of Israel will restore to me the kingdom of my father. 4 Then the king said to Ziba, Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours. And Ziba said, I humbly bow before you that I may find grace in your sight, my lord, O king.
- Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and grandson of king Saul.
- Ziba, his servant, had enjoyed the fruits of the land that belonged to Mephibosheth during Mephibosheth’s absence (seven years).
- When David reigned over the whole land he sought out Jonathan’s family and restored their property.
- King David was running for his life from his son Absalom who stole the hearts of the people of Israel by flattery.
- This revolt was a discipline from God because David revolted against God when he took Bathsheba and killed her husband.
- Hebrews 12:6 those the Lord loves he disciplines, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7 If you endure discipline, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father does not discipline?
5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, a man came out to meet him from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came out cursing as he came. 6 He threw stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the soldiers that were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And Shimei said this when he cursed, Come out, come out, you bloody man, and you man of Belial/wickedness 8 The LORD has returned on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son: and, behold, you are taken in your evil, because you are a bloody man.
- This was a lie.
- David killed no one in Saul’s line.
- David refused to touch God’s anointed king over Israel.
9 Then Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I beg you, and take off his head. 10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, Curse David. Who then can say, Why have you done this? 11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came out of my bowels, seeks my life: What more can this Benjamite do? Let him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD has bidden him.
- Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you all families of the earth will be blessed.
God looks on our affliction and turns it to good
12 It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will return me good for his cursing this day. 13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side opposite him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and threw dust. 14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, grew weary, and refreshed themselves there.
- Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
15 And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, Let the king live, let the king live. 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your kindness to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend? 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, No; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, I will be his, and I will stay with him. 19 And whom should I serve? Should I not also serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I will be in your presence. 20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we should do. 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in unto your father’s concubines, who he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father: then the hands of all that are with you will be strong.
- David had left 10 concubines back in Jerusalem to keep the house (2 Samuel 15:16).
- Absalom asked advice of men rather than God.
- Jeremiah 17:5 The LORD says this; Cursed is the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD.
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
22 So they spread Absalom a tent on the top of the house; and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 And the counsel of Ahithophel that he counseled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the word of God: all the counsel of Ahithophel was like this with both David and with Absalom.
- Again Absalom did a dishonorable thing.
- He disregarded the law of God.
- This was more than adultery. It was rape, public rape.
- However, it fulfilled part of God’s judgment against David.
- 2Samuel 12:11 Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
2 Samuel 17
1 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Now, please let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will chase after David tonight: 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and will make him tremble: and all the people that are with him will flee; 3 I will strike the king by himself, and I will bring back all the people to you and will return all except the man you are seeking; all the people will be in peace. 4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
- The word ‘pleased’ is literally ‘was right in the eyes of.’
5 Then Absalom said, Please call for Hushai the Archite also, and let’s hear what he has to say. 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him saying, Ahithophel has counseled this: shall we do what he says? If not, you speak. 7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. 8 Hushai said, You know your father and his men, they are mighty warriors, and they are bitter of soul, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field: your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place: and it will happen when some men fall at the first, whoever hears about it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 10 Those who are valiant, with hearts like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt: for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty warrior, and they that are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be diligently gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you personally go into battle. 12 We will come upon him in some place where he will be found, and we will fall upon him as the dew falls on the ground: and there will not be one left of him and of all the men that are with him. 13 Moreover, if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the river, until there is not one small pebble found there.
- Hushai first planted a seed of doubt. Then he appealed to Absolom’s pride, then Hushai gave them a vision of great power ‘we shall fall upon them as dew falls on the ground.’
God answered David’s prayer and defeated the counsel of Ahithophel
14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had commanded to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil on Absalom.
- Notice that Absalom consulted Hushai and Ahithophel. Who did he leave out?
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, this is what Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel; and this is what have I counseled. 16 Now send quickly and tell David saying, Do not stay at the fords of the wilderness tonight. Cross over quickly! So that the king not be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.
- Zadok and Abiathar were David’s spies in Jerusalem.
- Jonathan and Ahimaaz were their messengers.
- They prepared for the worst.
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; so they might not be seen coming into the city: and a maidservant went and told them; and they went and told king David. 18 But a boy saw them and told Absalom: but both of them went away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; they went down into the well. 19 And the woman spread a covering over the well’s mouth and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said to them, They crossed over the brook of water. And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
- The woman’s lie saved the lives of many.
- John 7:24 Do not judge according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
21 And after they departed, they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said to David, Get up and quickly cross over the water: for Ahithophel has counseled this against you. 22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they crossed over Jordan: by morning light not one of them was left that had not gone over Jordan. 23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, arose, and went home to his house, to his city. There he put his household in order, hanged himself, died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.
- Ahithophel knew that if they didn’t act immediately Absalom would be defeated because David would have time to get his troops ready.
- Ahithophel not only sided with Absalom but offered to lead the assault against the king (verse 1).
- Suicide is the final testimony of complete lack of faith.
- Scripture does not teach that suicide causes a person to lose their salvation.
- King Saul committed suicide but Samuel, when summoned by the witch of Endor, told Saul. ‘tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.’
- Samuel was in paradise (I Samuel 28:19).
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab: Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra, the Israelite who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 So Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead. 27 And when David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, earthenware bowls, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, and beans, and lentils, and roasted grain, 29 And honey, butter, sheep, and cheese from the herd, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.
- God provided what was needed during this time of discipline.
- These events happened in David’s life because of the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah, her husband (2 Samuel 11, 12).
- Philippians 4:19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies...
2 Samuel 18
God still fought for David
1 And David mustered the people that were with him, and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. 2 And David sent out a third of the people under the hand of Joab, a third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I will definitely go out with you myself also. 3 But the people answered, You will not go out: for if we flee, they will not set their hearts on us; if half of us die, they will not set their hearts on us: but you are worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that you help us from the city.
- Truth is worth more than it’s weight in gold.
- Truth brings us all the things we seek.
- David was full of God’s truth.
- He fed God’s people God’s truth through what he said and the songs that he wrote and taught the people.
- The parable Jesus told of the talents speaks of God’s love and His truth that is given to us to disperse to the world more than it speaks of our abilities.
4 And the king said to them, I will do what seems best to you. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai saying, For my sake, deal gently with the young man, with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
- The troops were strapping on weapons to risk their very lives fighting for David and he asked them to deal gently with the cause of the trouble.
6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the woods of Ephraim; 7 Where the people of Israel were killed before the servants of David; there was there a great destruction that day of twenty thousand men. 8 For the battle was scattered over the face of all the country: and the woods devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
- The battle was in a forest. 20,000 men died.
- The winner of this battle would rule Israel.
- David, though flawed, was a better leader for God’s people than Absalom.
- Absalom had little thought for God and bent God’s law to suit himself frequently.
- David sought the Lord with all His heart and would do all God’s will.
- Deuteronomy 3:22 Do not fear them: for the LORD your God he will fight for you.
- Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode on a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. 10 And a certain man saw it and told Joab saying, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. 11 And Joab said to the man that told him, You saw him, and why did you not strike him to the ground there? I would have given you ten shekels of silver, and a belt. 12 And the man said to Joab, Even if I received a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, I would not put out my hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged you, Abishai, and Ittai saying, Beware that no one touch the young man Absalom. 13 I would have done harm against my own soul: for no matter is hidden from the king, and you yourself would have set yourself against me.
- Joab tried to chastise this soldier for not killing Absalom.
- This soldier stood up or himself and spoke the truth.
- The soldier knew that Joab would have turned against him.
14 Then Joab said , I can not linger here with you. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the midst of the oak. 15 And ten young men that carried Joab’s armor surrounded and struck Absalom, and killed him. 16 And Joab blew the ram’s horn, and the people returned from chasing Israel: for Joab restrained the people. 17 And they took Absalom, threw him into a great pit in the forest, and set over him very great heap of stones: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. 18 Now in his lifetime Absalom had taken and set up for himself a standing pillar, which is in the valley of the kings: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called to this day, Absalom’s place.
- The battle was over when the leader of the revolt was dead.
- Absalom displayed his pride by setting up a pillar to himself.
- He has been remembered throughout history, but not for the monument that he set up to honor himself.
- Also, God’s word records that at some time before his death Absalom had two sons and a daughter (2 Samuel 14:27).
- 1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Vengeance belongs to God
19 Then Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok said, Let me run now, and carry the king news how the LORD has avenged him of his enemies. 20 And Joab said to him, You will not carry news today; you will carry news another day: this day you will carry no news, because the king’s son is dead. 21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what you have seen. And Cushi bowed himself to Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, said again to Joab, Please let me also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Why will you run, my son, seeing that you have no news to present? 23 But he said, let me run. And he said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
- Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.
24 Now David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate to the wall and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw a man running alone. 25 And the watchman cried and told the king. And the king said, If he is alone, there is news in his mouth. And he came closer, and drew near. 26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called to the gate-keeper and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also brings news. 27 And the watchman said, I see the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and comes with good news. 28 And Ahimaaz called and said to the king, All is safe. And he fell down to the earth on his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. 29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant, and I your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was. 30 And the king said to him, Turn aside and stand here. And he turned aside and stood still.
- Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand.
31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, News, my lord the king: for the LORD has avenged you this day of all those that rose up against you. 32 And the king said to Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against you to do you hurt, be as that young man is. 33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept: and as he went, he said this, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! I wish to God that I had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son!
- God’s heart is like this for each of us. Our Eternal King did die in our place.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
SUMMARY: 2 Samuel 16-18
- The LORD looks on our affliction and turns it for good
- He defeated the counsel of evil
- He still fought for David
- Vengeance belongs to Him