2 Samuel 16-17 part 10

 

Last week we ended with David leaving his city because Absalom was on his way to try and take his kingdom from him. Absalom was gaining great strength and he even had the wisdom of Davidís trusted councilor Ahithophel. Let us continue our story in,

 

2 Samuel 16:1 When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine.2 And the king said to Ziba, "What do you mean to do with these?" So Ziba said, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who are faint in the wilderness to drink."3 Then the king said, "And where is your master's son?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, 'Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.' "4 So the king said to Ziba, "Here, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours." And Ziba said, "I humbly bow before you, that I may find favor in your sight, my lord, O king!"

 

In times of war and confusion some will take advantage of the situation to prosper from it and that what we see here. Ziba has come out the blue with all these gifts and then he begins to sell David a pack lies about Mepheibosheth. In the heat of the moment David believes Ziba and gives him Mepheiboshethís property. However later on when David get to talk to Mepheibosheth he finds out that he has been coned by Ziba. A great lesson we can learn from this is that we should not immediately believe something we are told about another person. Instead, we should investigate and actually ask that person to find out if what said about them was true or not.

 

2 Samuel 16:5 Now when King David came to Bahurim, (ba-ha-rum) there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei (shem-i-uh) the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came.6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.7 Also Shimei (shem-i-uh) said thus when he cursed: "Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue!8 "The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!"

 

Can you imagine this one little man following David and his army cursing at them and throwing stones at them. It seems that many of those who were loyal to Saul blamed David for his death and for sons even though he was not guilty of this accusation.

 

2 Samuel 16:9 Then Abishai (a-bish-a-eye) the son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!"10 But the king said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, 'Curse David.' Who then shall say, 'Why have you done so?' "11 And David said to Abishai (a-bish-a-eye) and all his servants, "See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him.12 "It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day."13 And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei (shem-i-uh) went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.14 Now the king and all the people who were with him became weary; so they refreshed themselves there.

 

As you can see Davidís men began to get annoyed by this little man and they wanted to take his head off but David wanted them to leave him alone. Now when David says that the Lord had ordered him he apparently thought that the man was put there to chastise him for the sins that were in his life but again I want point out that David was not guilty of what the man was accusing him of and this little man didnít give up as he continued throwing stone and kicking up the dust. David is hoping at this point that God will relieve him of his affliction.

 

2 Samuel 16:15 Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him.16 And so it was, when Hushai (Hoo-shigh) the Archite, David's friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"17 So Absalom said to Hushai, (Hoo-shigh) "Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?"18 And Hushai (Hoo-shigh)said to Absalom, "No, but whom the LORD and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain.19 "Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father's presence, so will I be in your presence."

 

Here we see that Davidís friend Hushai (Hoo-shigh)has done exactly what David has asked him to and he is now serving Absalom as a spy for David. Hushai (Hoo-shigh)will play a important role in David victory over his son.

 

2 Samuel 16:20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give counsel as to what we should do."21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong."22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.

 

Now we need to remember that David had left behind 10 of his concubines. Now concubines were wives but they were considered as secondary to those called wives and we see that Absalom follows Ahithophelís advice and commits 10 accounts of incest with fathers wives in plain view of the people which again is punishable by death according to the Law of Moses. However it shouldnít surprise us to much because Nathan prophesied that would happen because of what David had done with Bathsheba and because he killed her husband.

 

2 Samuel 12:11 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.12 'For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.' "

 

Of course this lewd act done Absalom would make it impossible for David and his son to be reconciled. We also learn that both David and Absalom considered Ahitihphelís advice like it was advice from God himself. Well, can certainly that Ahtiophel was playing the part of the devilís advocate in this case. We should never takes another persons word as the word of God.

 

2 Samuel 17:1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight.2 "I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and make him afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king.3 "Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace."4 And the saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

 

Now this would have been a great plan. They could have attacked David that very night when he wasnít expecting it and if he could pull it off he would just kill David and prevent a civil war. Now at first this pleased Absalom but he about to change his mind.

 

2 Samuel 17:5 Then Absalom said, "Now call Hushai (Hoo-shigh) the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too."6 And when Hushai (Hoo-shigh)came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, "Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up."7 So Hushai (Hoo-shigh)said to Absalom: "The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time.8 "For," said Hushai, (Hoo-shigh)"you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people.9 "Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, 'There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.'10 "And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.11 "Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person.12 "So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one.13 "Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there."14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai (Hoo-shigh)the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel." For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom.

 

Here is where we see Hushai (Hoo-shigh)overcome the advice Ahithophel. First he points out how this sneak attack cant possible work against David since his men are such strong warriors and that David was most likely hidden away from his people. Then he appeals to the prideful side of Absalom by giving him the picture in his of all of the tribes of Israel riding along with as he battle his father for the kingdom. This persuasive speech won him over and this was providence of God at work and we read in verse 14,For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom.

 

You see Ahithophelís advice was the best but since it was Godís will that his advice fail Absalom and the elders choose the advice of Hushai instead. If will you remember David prayed to God that this would happen and it did which shows power of prayer.

 

2 Samuel 17:15 Then Hushai (Hoo-shigh)said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, "Thus and so Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so I have advised.16 "Now therefore, send quickly and tell David, saying, 'Do not spend this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily cross over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.' "17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, (ro-gull) for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David.18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom. But both of them went away quickly and came to a man's house in Bahurim, (ba-ha-rum) who had a well in his court; and they went down into it.19 Then the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground grain on it; and the thing was not known.20 And when Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house, they said, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" So the woman said to them, "They have gone over the water brook." And when they had searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

 

Here we get a glimpse into David communication line. Husahi gives Zadok and Abiathar the news. The in turn send the message to Jonathan and Ahimazz via a servant women. All this was done to keep things secret but young saw what was going on and tells Absalom. So he sends soldiers to catch these 2 men but the woman hides them in a well and lies to the soldiers telling them that they had crossed the brook and this seem to sastify them as they went back to Jerusalem.

 

2 Samuel 17:21 Now it came to pass, after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and told King David, and said to David, "Arise and cross over the water quickly. For thus has Ahithophel advised against you."22 So David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them was left who had not gone over the Jordan.

 

So David follows the advice given him and he crosses over the Jordan.

 

2 Samuel 17:23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father's tomb.

 

What a sad ending to Ahithophel life. When he saw this his advice was not heeded he apparently didnít think life was worth living any longer and so he hung himself. I have always thought to be very sad that some seem to think that the best way of dealing with the problems and disappointments in their life is by killing themselves.

 

2 Samuel 17:24 Then David went to Mahanaim. (may-huh-nay-im) And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the army instead of Joab. This Amasa (am-ah-sah) was the son of a man whose name was Jithra, an Israelite, who had gone in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother.26 So Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

 

First I want to show you on the map where David was located. Mahaniam (may-huh-nay-im) which was a strategic location which was easy to defend. Next we can see that Absalom and his men were camped here in the land of Gilead.

 

2 Samuel 17:27 Now it happened, when David had come to Mahanaim, (may-huh-nay-im) that Shobi (shoe-bigh) the son of Nahash from Rabbah (rab-uh) of the people of Ammon, Machir (may-kir) the son of Ammiel (am-i-el) from Lo Debar, and Barzillai (bar-zill-ay-eye) the Gileadite from Rogelim,28 brought beds and basins, earthen vessels and wheat, barley and flour, parched grain and beans, lentils and parched seeds,29 honey and curds, sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him to eat. For they said, "The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness."

 

As we see at the end of this chapter David had plenty of men that respected him and were willing to come to his rescue. Now David and his men were now fully stocked on food. This would give them the strength they needed to face their battle with Absalom and we will see this battle unfold when we look at chapters 18 and 19 next week.

 

I believe we have learned several lessons from these 2 chapters that can apply to us today.

 

1. Donít judge a person based on hearsay instead investigate the matter for yourself.

2. Be careful of whose advice you follow especially when violates Godís Law.

3. God answers prayer through his providence just as he answered Davidís prayer for making Ahitophelís advice to fail.

4. Suicide is not the answer to the problems we face in this life.

5. Good friends are valuable asset as David found his friends to be very helpful.