Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 15.13-29
2 Samuel 15:13-29
Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all his servants passed on beside him, all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” 22 Therefore David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness. 24 Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25 The king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation. 26 But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.
This was a bad time for David. His son had started a coup against him and verse 13 is very clear about the popular polls; “the hearts of men of Israel are with Absalom.” David is under pressure and is forced to flee his palace and capital city. It is a humbling experience and it brings David to a time of prayer and commitment to God. Public opinion is that God has forsaken David and now Absalom is ready to pounce.
But God is going to teach them and us a powerful lesson. A rule based religion says that if you let God down then He is going to let you down and make life miserable for you. But here we see that God is NOT going to forsake David. God is going to respond to David’s repentance and humility by supporting him. That’s the way the gospel of grace operates. God is not finished with any of us so dwell on that thought today.
God supports David by sending encouraging people. The first is Ittai the Gittite. As David is leaving the city he tries to persuade Ittai to return to his homeland. This was not Ittai’s fight but he makes an oath to follow David no matter the outcome. Who do you know today that is in relational turmoil like David and you could be the encourager they need? What a blessing Ittai was to David as he fled for his life.
Next, Zadok the priest shows up with all the Levites and the Ark of the Covenant. They are going to follow David too. Yet David sends Zadok and the ark back! David understands that he is not the owner of the ark. It belongs to God and it is for God’s people. It belongs in the Temple and is not a magical charm for protection from Absalom. Protection comes from God alone and David understands this. His response is, “My life is in the hands of my gracious God.” Where have you placed your life today? In what or whom are you trusting?
Weekly Memory Verse: O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34.8