Monday 28 January 2019

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot. (v. 30a)

2 Samuel 15:13-31 Monday 28 January 2019

Psalm: Psalm 63:1-8


The book of 2 Samuel tells the story of David’s history as a king of Israel. This passage is part of the narrative describing the rebellion of David’s son Absalom against David. The people of Israel switch allegiance to Absalom, forcing David to flee. David’s servants are loyal to him. So too are the Gittites – foreign soldiers David advises would be better off remaining with Absalom. David also advises Zadok to return the ark of God back to the city, in confidence that God will unite him with it if he has God’s favour.

At the end of the passage, David is said to be weeping, to have his head uncovered and to be barefoot. These are all signs of penitence and suggest that David interprets the disaster that has befallen him as a punishment by God, which he accepts and, through his repentance, hopes to return to God’s favour. David does not seem to be plotting to reverse his defeat, but to be waiting on God’s action.

David’s reading of the events that befall him as indications of God’s will is striking for many modern readers. Frequently we know that things happen to people that do not seem deserved: there are unending examples both of innocent victims of disasters and of people who successfully enrich themselves through unjust actions. In contrast, being alert to when we have not followed God’s will, responding with repentance and having confidence that we can trust in God may be ways in which we can identify with David’s actions in this passage.


To Ponder:

  •  What do you make of David’s actions in this passage?
  • How do you understand the relationship between events in the world and God’s will?
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