19 July 2016

2 Samuel 18:1-8

"The king gave orders to Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.’" (v. 5)

Psalm: Psalm 119:97-112 


Absalom was the thrid son of David, who was first mentioned in a list of David's sons in 2 Samuel 3:2-5. In yesterday's passage we read how Absalom had rebelled against his father and taken the throne, leaving David to flee from Jerusalem.

Now David has amassed a large army in an attempt to recover the throne. But his loyalties are divided ... on one hand the army is expected to defeat the rebels, but on the other he wants his errent son to be treated mercifully (verse 5).

He is on the horns of a dilemma.

But look back to 2 Samuel 17:14: "For the  Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the  Lord might bring ruin on Absalom". In other words it is in God's hands, not David's.

To Ponder

  • David's loyalty was divided between his army and his son. There was no right choice. How do you deal with the dilemma of competing sides?
  • For all David's worry, the event were out of his hands and in God's. How do you react to the idea that everything is in God's hands? If that a good thing, or not?  If so, does it absolve us from decision making? To what extent is this satisfactory, or not?

Bible notes author

Ken Kingston

Ken Kingston preaches in the High Wycombe Circuit. He has worked for the Connexional Team since 1992 in a variety of roles and has been involved in 'Called by Name' and 'Time to Talk of God' amongst others.