Reading 2 Samuel Together
Monday, February 15, 2021
David banished Absalom for taking revenge against his half-brother Amnon for raping Absalom's sister Tamar. Joab one David's closest advisor's knew David was thinking about Absalom night and day and missed him terribly. Joab sent a woman to tell David a story that might trigger David soften his heart toward Absalom even more. Don't get lost in the details of the story. The point of the story is to bring Absalom home so David would only experience the loss of one child, not two. David grants Joab's request and Absalom came home.
When has a family member hurt you deeply, and how were you able to recover from the feelings of pain and anger?
How has God used your experience to help others?
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
David still didn't get it. Absalom needed his attention, his care and his love. After Absalom came home, David would not see him for two years. Ignored, alone and hurting deeply, Absalom was willing to do anything to get his father's attention. David greatly misjudged the loyalty of his people and the reputation his son was building with those in power. David's affair with Bathsheba, his mishandling of family issues, coupled with Absalom's grief, and Absalom's great looks and great reputation made for an incredible family breakdown. If only David had taken care of his family business.
Growing up, what issues did your family have no one was willing to confront?
When your family has issues now, do you tend to "go for the kill", ignore them, or sit down and talk about them?
How would the person who knows you best say you handle issues? If you don't know, ask them right now.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Absalom "stole the hearts of the men of Israel." We aren't told if Absalom thought God was on his side. It is highly likely he did. We wonder how he could have been so blind. Spiritual blindness infects us all though. We look at a wrongdoing taking place and we feel justified in taking the law into our own hands, or taking an action that is ungodly in order to stop ungodliness. Absalom likely these thoughts, "I've suffered enough under dad's rule." "dad is an awful father." "I won't stand here and watch my father destroy God's chosen people". "I remember what dad did with Bathsheba". King David, my father is a hardhearted murderer, I must do something." We have similar thoughts don't we, but we aren't son blunt? "I just can't stop doing this or that." "God wants me to happy." "I know what the Bible says but..."
Let's affirm these truths:
- It is never right to break one of God's laws in order to bring about what we think is God's will.
- No one has a special relationship with God that allows them to break His commands.
- God will never give anyone permission to do something outside of His character and His will.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
There are so many aspects of the church to love. Certainly, deep abiding friendships are at the top of the list. Ittai can be defined as as a "friend that sticks closer than a brother." David's son Absalom appears to be successful at overthrowing his father's kingdom, but Ittai decides his loyalty will remain with David no matter what it costs him personally. Prayerfully, you have at least one friend like this in your life. If not, pray God would send this person to you. Until then you can pray a prayer like David prayed early in his life when he wrote Psalm 27.
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me. Because of my adversaries, show me your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path. Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence. I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Most scholars believe Ahithophel is the grandfather of Bathsheba. Why would David be shocked to find out he had abandoned him. Most people are unaware of the impact they have on the lives of others. It is very likely Ahithophel had been waiting on this day for a long time. He desired revenge on David for what David did to Bathsheba's family. No one knows if David apologized to Ahithophel after sinning against his granddaughter, but if his response was anything like how David treated his sons, the answer is likely a "No." When we have wronged people it is critical to our lives and theirs that we create space for them to talk and for us to apologize. Nothing will grow our walk with Christ and with others than learning to repent of sin publicly and to say "I'm sorry and I was wrong."