“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psa. 46:1). Lord, help me to know the truth of this.
Read 2 SAMUEL 18:19-33
 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.”  “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.”  Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off.  Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.” But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.”  He said, “Come what may, I want to run.” So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.  While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone.  The watchman called out to the king and reported it. The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the man came closer and closer.  Then the watchman saw another man running, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!” The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.”  The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” “He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.”  Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the LORD your God! He has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king.”  The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.”  The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there.  Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The LORD has delivered you today from all who rose up against you.”  The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.”  The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you-O Absalom, my son, my son!” 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 are the different reactions to Absalom's death?
As I write these notes rescuers are searching through the rubble for signs of life following an earthquake, while relatives wait, torn between hope and despair. It is hard not to know what has happened, but sometimes knowing is also very hard.
Ahimaaz and the Cushite are eager to tell David the results of the battle. They see the result as a great victory which needs to be communicated quickly. Ahimaaz in particular is like a child, eager to get the approval of his father, though David’s initial reaction (29) does make him see that Joab may have had a point (22).
The writer draws a touching picture of David’s hopes and fears. Waiting is so hard, and the news does come, his reaction is something we have all felt: if only. It is easy to go over what might have been; harder to accept what is. We need to learn to trust God for the past as well as for the future, and that he will take those regrets and mistakes that we can’t change, but still bring about his purpose in our life.
Share your news, good and bad, any regrets and mistakes, with God. His reaction won’t disappoint you. He understands.
Gracious Lord God, I gladly trust You for my past, present and future. You’re in control and that’s all I need to know.
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