Father God, I want all my relationships to reflect Your love and grace. Help me to mend any that are broken.
Read 2 SAMUEL 15:1-26
 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him.  He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”  Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.”  And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice.”  Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him.  Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel.  At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD.  While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.'”  The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.  Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.'”  Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter.  While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.  A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”  Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword.”  The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”  The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace.  So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at a place some distance away.  All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.  The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland.  You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you.”  But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”  David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.  The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the desert.  Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.  Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.  But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was David's attitude toward his fate here (25,26)?
The consequences of God’s judgment (12:10-14) are devastating for David: the death of his son with Bathsheba, rape, murder, and finally a conspiracy against David himself, plotted by his beloved son Absalom.
Charismatic, handsome and bold, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel over a four-year period. Perhaps they saw in Absalom the young David who slew giants, rode out in battle and gathered the broken and the outcast in the wilderness. Even David’s trusted adviser Ahithophel defected to Absalom’s side, strengthening the conspirators and David and his officials flee the palace for their lives.
David is vulnerable and on the run again: this time the enemy is his own son. As before, David entrusts himself, his kingship and his people to God’s hand, depending on him alone for the outcome (25,26).
When hope is splintered, relationships broken and the future uncertain, where do you turn? David places his broken life in God’s hands. Let’s follow David’s example.
Where do you turn when you face trouble or uncertainly? Ask God for any help you need just now.
Lord God, I trust in Your loving care and good purpose for me. I gladly place my life in Your loving hands.
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