ESOCS Devotional 23 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom-my son, my son Absalom-if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33
TEXT: 2 SAMUEL 18:19-33
19 Then said Ahimaaz son of Zadok, Let me now run and bear the king tidings of how the Lord has avenged David of his enemies.
20 Joab told him, You shall not carry news today, but another time. Today you shall bear no news, for the king’s son is dead.
21 Then said Joab to the Cushite [an Ethiopian], Go tell the king what you have seen. And the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz son of Zadok again to Joab, But anyhow, let me, I pray you, also run after the Cushite. Joab said, Why should you run, my son, seeing you will have no reward, for you have not sufficient tidings?
23 But he said, Let me run anyhow. So Joab said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain and outran the Cushite.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate by the wall, and when he looked, he saw a man running alone.
25 The watchman called out and told the king. The king said, If he is alone, he has news to tell. And he came on and drew near.
26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper, Behold, another man running alone. The king said, He also brings news.
27 The watchman said, I think the man in front runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok. The king said, He is a good man and comes with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called and said to the king, All is well! And he fell down to the ground on his face before the king and said, Blessed be the Lord your God, Who has shut up the men who lifted up their hands against my lord the king.
29 The king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant and me, your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I do not know what it was.
30 The king told him, Turn aside; stand here. And he turned aside and stood still.
31 And behold, the Cushite (Ethiopian) came, and he said, News, my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from all who rose up against you.
32 The king said to the Cushite, Is the young man Absalom safe? The Cushite replied, May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise against you to do evil be like that young man is.
33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would to God I had died for you, O Absalom, my son, my son!
Grace remains a very important factor in achieving greatness in life and in succeeding in what you do; but moral rectitude and self-control is key in keeping things in place, for a slip or wrong action can introduce unintended variables that will either change your destiny or water down God’s blessings for you. The story of David is very instructive. He was a man God had chosen and anointed for greatness and uncommon blessings. God was with him wherever he went and in whatsoever he did, gave him victory on all fronts and no one was able to prevail against him.
One evening, as he lazed around walking on the roof of the house, he saw a naked woman bathing herself and lusted after her. The fact that she was the wife of another man did not deter him. He took her and slept with her; and to cover his sin, he set up her husband, killed him, and married her. The consequences of this sin changed God’s perfect will for him and brought in events that caused him much sorrow and pain. In delivering God’s judgment on him, the Prophet Nathan said to him: “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from thine house…. Thus said the Lord, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thine wives before thine eyes, and give thine neighbor and he shall lie with thine wives before the sun.”
This judgment changed the sequence of David’s life. What we see in this text is the culmination of this judgment, which started with the rape of Tamar the daughter of David, Absalom’s sister by Amnon son of David, for which Absalom murdered him in revenge and went into exile. When he came back from exile he schemed and planned against his father David, sacked him from the throne and publicly desecrated him by sleeping with his concubines in the open. He fought against his father, chased after him with the intention of shedding his father’s blood. But God’s grace had not departed from David. He was still the man after God’s heart. God fought for David and defeated his enemies and Absalom died in that battle. This painfully fulfills God’s judgment on David. And David wept bitterly. Joab did not understand why David should weep thus and rebuked the king. But the king had a good reason to weep, not only because Absalom was his son but mostly because the death of Absalom was the fruit of the seed he planted in the killing of Uriah. He was reaping what he sowed and had every reason to weep. He knew it was first his fault before Absalom’s and wept, “O my son my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you.” He covered his face and cried aloud and the victory that day was turned to mourning.
- Where do you think David made mistakes in the sin he committed with Uriah’s wife?
- Having committed adultery, how should David have handled it to protect his family from these terrible events?
- Merciful God, in many ways we have sinned and complicated our lives. Please forgive us and free us from all the evil that sin has bought into our life. Help us to love you supremely and to live in righteousness before you. Amen
FURTHER READING: Isaiah 65:17-end; Jeremiah 42:1-12; Luke 19:29-end; 24:36-end
Thank you for reading the ESOCS Devotional today. Please share and follow us on all our platforms to contribute to the spread of the Gospel.
ESOCS Devotional 23 April 2023