Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 17.15-29
2 Samuel 17:15-29
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 I have counseled. 16 Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be destroyed.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a maidservant would go and tell them, and they would go and tell King David, for they could not be seen entering the city. 18 But a lad did see them and told Absalom; so the two of them departed quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. 19 And the woman took a covering and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 21 It came about after they had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed the Jordan; and by dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan. 23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father. 24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead. 27 Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched seeds, 29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”
This is a Bible story that outmatches any spy novel you will ever read. King David is on the run from his rebellious son Absalom who is ready to crush his father. There are many characters mentioned in this passage but let me highlight just a few:
Ahithophel was once the wise counselor to King David but joined Absalom in the rebellion. David knew and feared the great wisdom of Ahithphel and prayed in 2 Samuel 15:31 that God would thwart his counsel to Absalom. Lost in this account is that Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba. Some speculate that he may have silently held ill will against David because of the affair incident and wanted revenge. Once his counsel is rejected by Absalom, he goes home and commits suicide. As you ponder this ask yourself who you need to forgive. Who has hurt you in the past that you would love to get revenge against? Confess this before God because unforgiveness never has a good ending.
Hushai is David’s spy in the camp of Absalom. He’s a double agent but more than that he is God’s plant. Hushai boldly goes against the counsel of Ahithophel who many thought spoke for God as a prophet does. God uses the alternative plan or Hushai to appeal to the vanity of Absalom and give David more time to get in a better military position. Think about how God could use you today to thwart the voice of Satan or the counsel of the world in the life of someone at work or home. Who might God save through the words you speak today?
David also received help from secret, underground runners. The priests, Zadok and Abithar had two runners, Jonathan and Ahimaaz and an unnamed woman to get messages to David. Pause and reflect on the majesty of the Lord and how He directs history and in this case the protection of David. God has His people in many places doing their job for Him. Will you surrender to the Lord today and find your place of service in His kingdom?
Finally, look at the group of people God assembled to feed David and his men. There’s Shobi who is an Ammonite (think pagan), Machir a once loyal subject to King Saul, and Barzillai an 80 year old man. That’s who God uses to give refreshment to the military for the upcoming battle. Do we have an amazing God or what? Give Him the worship that is due Him for His guidance, strength, and protection He gives to us through Jesus Christ.
Weekly Memory Verse: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1.21