Oct 10, 2021. II Samuel 18:1-5

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ABSALOM OR THE ARMY?  II Samuel 18:1-5.  10/10/21.  #40.

II Samuel 18:1-5 [New King James Version]

1 And David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2 Then David sent out one third of the people under the hand of Joab, one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I also will surely go out with you myself.” 3 But the people answered, “You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us; nor if half of us die, will they care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us now. For you are now more help to us in the city.” 4 Then the king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 Now the king had commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains orders concerning Absalom.

  1. From grief to gearing for war
    1. David had to lay aside his grief in order to prepare for battle
      1.  Even in the midst of grief we have to carry on necessary activities
      1.  Grieving, despair, and reflection had to give way to effective planning and action
    1. David divides his forces into 3 divisions under Joab, Abishai, and Ittai
    1. Even though David is busy organizing his defense, he is still in the midst of grief
      1.  Grieving does not end when one continues doing the necessary work and activities of life
      1.  Responsibilities must be met
      1.  Moving on is difficult, but important
        1.  Will not feel like continuing
        1.  Must force self to meet obligations
    1. David was responsible to lead his people
      1.  Israel looked to David for strength and action
      1.  David’s position did not allow him to be weak, neutralized, or self-absorbed
      1.  Even in the midst of personal loss, we still have to serve, meet our duties, and help others
  2. David – man of war; man of value
    1. David proposes to lead his troops into battle
      1.  The army rejects the idea
      1.  If David is killed their entire cause is lost
    1. The entire point of Absalom’s attack is to kill David
      1.  David is to stay behind the city walls (probably Mahanaim, home of Barzillai)
      1.  David was worth the entire army in strategic value
    1. Ironically, David wants to lead his army when he shouldn’t but did not do so when he should’ve (II Samuel 11)
    1. Just as Hushai predicted, David would be in hiding with the entire army protecting him
  3. Personal plea, but a colossal insult
    1. David then instructs his army commanders not to harm his son Absalom
      1.  Absalom was trying to kill David
      1.  Many of David’s men would die to protect David, but the cause of the war was to be spared
    1. Had David meted out proper judgment upon Absalom for the murder of Amnon, the war would not have been necessary
    1. David demonstrated that he valued the life of his rebellious son more than anyone in his army
    1. Judgment must begin in one’s own household
      1.  If we do not apply biblical principles in our own families first, we can’t insist on it for others
      1.  People observe how we interact with our own families to see if we truly live out our faith
    1. David’s instructions become a point of contention after the battle
      1.  His position demanded a level of objectivity which did not allow him to play favorites
      1.  Righteousness demands that we treat all people with respect, deference, and justice
    1. David never removes himself from a personal focus