Thursday 21 July 2016

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

"Then Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, ‘Let me run, and carry tidings to the king that the Lord has delivered him from the power of his enemies.’" (v. 19)

2 Samuel 18:19-23 Thursday 21 July 2016

Psalm: Psalm 119:113-128


After a brief diversion yesterday to Psalm, we return to 2Samuel. The story so far ... Absalom has conspired against hisfather David, causing David to flee from Jerusalem. David has nowgathered around him an army to fight against Absalom and hisfollowers. In Tuesday passage David showed himself to havecompeting loyalties - a desire to quell the rebellion and theenduring love between a father and his son (however errant).

In 2 Samuel 16:9-15 we read of the death ofAbsalom. Whilst riding his head had become caught in a tree and hewas left hanging in mid-air. One of David's men discovered Absalombut was reluctant to kill him. Instead he reported his finding toJoab (a nephew of King David), who did the deed.

In today's passage there is the question of how to tell Davidthat his son is dead. Ahimaaz wanted to be the bearer of the news,but Joab says no. It seems that the choice of the messengerdepended on the content of the message. This appears to beconfirmed in 2 Samuel 18:27 when David presumes that Joabwould not have sent someone like Ahimaaz to deliver bad news.

Joab gives the task to a nameless Cushite (a foreigner): "Go,tell the king what you have seen" (v. 21). But Ahimaaz isdetermined, and pleads with Joab to accompany the Cushite. Joabrelents and Ahimaaz leaves only to outrun the Cushite and reachDavid first.

One wonders why Ahimaaz is determined to tell the king. Ahimaazwas the son of Zadok the priest, who eventually became the HighPriest. Under King Solomon Ahimaaz was succeed him (1Chronicles 6:8, 53). Could it be that Ahimaaz thought itwas the task of member of the priestly family to convey the messageto David, however distressing? Or looking back at 2Samuel 17:17-21 we can see that Ahimaaz was involved ingathering information of Absalom's activities and reporting back toDavid. Now that Absalom has died, does Ahimaaz want to tell Davidas a way of finishing this task?

To Ponder

  • Why do you think Ahimaaz wanted to tell King David about thedeath of his son?
  • The conveyor of a message can either add weight or diminish themessage that they bring. (Is that why the BBC relies on figureslike David Dimbleby and Huw Edwards for state occasions?) Who wouldyou like to deliver to you (a) good news? (b) bad news? Why?
  • People seem very interested in discovering whether celebritieshave a Chrsistian faith? To what extent do this enhance or diminishthe gospel message? Why?
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