2 Samuel 18:1-18
Judges 1:16-26 – Land Still to Conquer. When Moses was in exile in Midian, he married a Kenite woman the daughter of Jethro a Priest. During the exodus Moses and had sent his wife and children to live with Jethro for some unknown reason. When the nation was safe across the Red Sea, Jethro brought Moses’ wife and children back to Moses. Because the Kenites were skilled metalsmith workers, Moses invited them to come with Israel to the promised land (Numbers 10:29-33). The problem with this situation is that it set the stage for future issues. You see, Moses struggled with trust in the Lord, and once invited there was no “uninviting” any more than Joshua could change direction on the Gibeonites. So once we make a decision whatever happens afterward is our responsibility to deal with that will ultimately be passed down to the next generation. The nations that were not expelled from the land would serve Israel until the nation became weak due to sin.
Psalms 87 – Glorious Things of You Are Spoken. The Words of the Lord are a plumbline that has stood in place all of the years of mankind. Those who have built their homes “life” according to the plumbline, never feared that they might be out of whack. Part of the reason that incidents like David and Bathsheba, Amnon, and Absalom are recorded is not so that we can look back and tell where these men went wrong but that we might learn how sin influenced them. After sin had corrupted and destroyed these men, the Lord still loved them in the same way that he loves us. Just because Jacob was chosen by the Lord it didn’t imply that he was without sin but that he made himself available for the Lord’s purpose. In the same way, being called “Children of the Living G-d” does not mean that we are not susceptible to temptation and won’t act on sin. What it means is that because of Jesus’ sacrifice we are forgiven and the pathway will still be made available to get us home when we come to our senses.
Ecclesiastes 8:1-9 – Keep the King’s Command. If there was anyone message uttered by the teacher that would have benefited Joab it was this one. There are commands uttered by the Lord that in our sinful state make no sense like “forgive and you shall be forgiven” and “vengeance is mine I will repay”. If you will notice about all the Lord’s commands is that He never tells us why He made such an audacious claim. The reason is that He wants us to obey out of love for Him where knowing the “why” compels us to wait for the gift like a mouse in a maze. When it comes to making decisions, we have no idea what is coming down the pike anymore than we know the heart of mankind. For this reason, we need to listen to the Lord and follow His lead regardless of how we feel about it. When we act on temptation and ask for forgiveness, it doesn’t make the matter “go mysteriously away” because sin hurts the wrong people who are usually members of our family to say nothing about how it hurts us (Proverbs 8:35-36).
Isaiah 24 – Judgement of the Whole Earth. This poem tells of a shattered world that is broken, emptied, and ruined because of sin. In the beginning, the Spirit hovered over the deep. After six days or possibly six thousand years, the world could be inhabited (Genesis 1). In the same way, when we come to the Lord and confess our unrighteousness, the Lord begins a good work in us. As we walk uprightly before the Lord our life takes on a new purpose and edible fruit comes from the field of our hearts. The thing is, though, the Devil does not like it when we are walking in the shout of the King because it means he is rendered powerless. To remedy this, the Devil sends in temptation sort of like what the did to David. When sin is conceived, disillusion sets in, and what once produced joy and gladness becomes a reminder of the power we once wielded. When we see what we have done, we tend to think that if we just go back to singing songs of praise, go back to church, and even donate a little bit of money our world will be put back on its axis again. Unfortunately, going back to what we were doing “pre-fall” will once again be as empty as the life after the fall. The only true remedy is the cross, faithfulness, and patience.
2 Samuel 18:1-18 – Absalom Killed. The whole ordeal with Absalom had taken a toll on David so he was urged by the men who supported him to stay home. David ordered the three battle commanders to treat Absalom well for David’s sake. By all rights, Absalom should have been put to death for acts of treason. Earlier Absalom had his servants set fire to Joab’s fields in retribution for not allowing Absalom to see the king. So, I think anyway, that Joab used Absalom’s misfortune to get retribution by killing Absalom. The young man who saw Absalom hanging from a branch would have received a warrior’s belt and gold for killing the King’s enemy. I want you to keep this in mind though, the award was a smokescreen of sorts. The reason I say this is that if the young man had killed Absalom, the young man would have received a reward alright, he would have been singled out for disobeying the king and Joab would have separated themselves from him. So Joab does the dirty work and then hides Absalom in a pit so that no one would know what he did. In a way, this event paralleled what David did to his faithful servant Uriah. The victory claimed by Joab “the blowing of the horn” was swallowed up because of Joab’s actions against Absalom. In the same way, the victory over the Ammonites was swallowed up because of David’s actions against Uriah.