Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Left Dangling in the Air

O. T. #729  "Left Dangling in the Air"
April 5, 2016
2 Samuel 18


Do you like a good book, movie, or tv show that leaves you dangling, not revealing the ending or solving a mystery until the next show,  after a  commercial, or chapter? Today,  we will read where Absalom was left dangling, but in another manner.

Talk about drama. This book is full of drama. The revolter Absalom  took the advise from Hushai, David's spy, instead of Ahithophel, David's former advisor gone traitor. As a result, Ahithophel killed himself; time elapsed, allowing David time to get away into hiding before Absalom and his army pursued him; DAvid had time to organize his army; David was greeted in the land of Gilead by three friends providing food, cooking utensils, and sleeping mats.

Note that there are 12 proverbs in the OT that warn of children rebelling against their parents. A son or daughter who rebels against godly parents will not prosper. (D. Jeremiah)
This is illustrated in the life of Absalom.

Now David prepared for battle with his son Absalom's army by dividing his men into three troops with Joab, Abishai, and Ittali as their commander. (a customary military strategy) David wanted to go to fight with his army, but his men refused to allow it. Absalom's men were looking for David only. David's men acknowledged that David was worth 10,000 men of them, but it was better that he stayed in town and sent help if it was needed.

He was an old man by this time, and certainly his battle skills had declined. (David Jeremiah)

"If you think that's the best plan, I'll do it," the king answered. So he stood alongside the gate of the town as all the troops marched out in groups of hundreds and thousands. (Verse 4, NLT)

Do we stop to consider that our King Jesus is working the best plan in our life? Are we working alongside Him?


What was the command that David gave his commanders and army?
We find the answer in verse 5:
For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom. (NLT)

This was carried out by David's troops, but not by one of his commanders, Joab.

This civil war began in the forest of Ephraim. David's army was beating back Absalom's army, with 20,000 of Absalom's men killed. During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. One of David's men saw what happened and told Joab. (You will recall back in chapter 14 that Absalom only cut his thick hair once a year.)

David Jeremiah says it is poetic justice that the mischievous and prideful troublemaker ended up in such an undignified predicament.

According to New Living Translation, this happened next:
  • Joab demanded, "You saw him there and didn't kill him? I would have rewarded you 10 pieces of silver and a hero's belt!"
  • "I would not kill the king's son for even a thousand pieces of silver," the man replied to Joab.
  • All the men heard the king say, "For his sake, please spare Absalom." The man knew that if Joab and David found out who killed Absalom, they would have abandoned him. (Thus Absalom's army would have killed the man.)
  • Joab dismissed the man, took 3 daggers and plunged them into Absalom's heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. (verse 14)
  • Then 10 of Joab's young armor bearers surrounded Absalom and killed him. (Really? As though he wasn't dead already.)
Joab blew the ram's horn and his men ceased chasing the army of Israel. They threw Absalom's body into a deep pit in the forest and piled a heap of stones over it. All Israel fled to their homes.

Do you recall that Judas was given 10 pieces of silver to betray Jesus? He killed himself afterwards.
Do we keep our word when we say we will do something?


Stay a faithful friend.

Remain faithful to Jesus forever.


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